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Water

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, a soon-to-be new water source for the county

© www.ksby.com
Pipe dream.
San Luis Obispo County Supervisors are looking to the only new water source in the county, the desalination plant at PG&E's Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

This desal facility can produce nearly a million gallons of water a day, operating for the past 30 years. However, the drinkable water it is making, is only used at the power plant.

"It is our drinking water, it is the water we use in the kitchen, we operate it in the plant, it is all the water we use on site," says Tom Jones, who oversees the desal facility at the power plant. "The water started in the Pacific, went through our water treatment plant -- it is a water desalination facility. We removed the salt from it and other impurities, and we pump it up the hill here were we store five million gallons of it for plant use.

The harsh drought leaving a dry mark on the state, officials say this water can be used for much more than the plant's uses. "We could pump this to a treatment facility or build a separate treatment facility here and tie it into other existing water systems," says Jones.

Comment: A new kind of desperate! On the one hand, a big bunch of dollars dollars for a pipeline and hopefully non-contaminated water or, on the other hand, the continued and irreversible depletion of groundwater, without replenishment in sight, compounding the real threat of a megadrought. A kWh costs an average of 12¢ in America, so this is a tenth of a cent per gallon. But the Canyon Diablo nuclear plant produces this electricity at only 4¢/kWh, cheaper than most other energy sources in California, so the cost is even less. (RO water from the supermarket costs about 40¢/gallon.) Significant increase of wastewater treatment across California could provide over a hundred million gallons a day. It's at least a choice.


Laptop

Memcomputer may solve world's most complex math problems

© agsandrew/Shutterstock.com
A new computer prototype called a "memcomputer" works by mimicking the human brain, and could one day perform notoriously complex tasks like breaking codes, scientists say.

These new, brain-inspired computing devices also could help neuroscientists better understand the workings of the human brain, researchers say.

In a conventional microchip, the processor, which executes computations, and the memory, which stores data, are separate components. This constant relaying of data between the processor and the memory consumes time and energy, thus limiting the performance of standard computers.

In contrast, Massimiliano Di Ventra, a theoretical physicist at the University of California, San Diego, and his colleagues are building "memcomputers," made up of "memprocessors," that both process and store data. This setup mimics the neurons that make up the human brain, with each neuron serving as both the processor and the memory. The building blocks of memcomputers were first theoretically predicted in the 1970s, but they were manufactured for the first time in 2008.

Now, Di Ventra and his colleagues have built a prototype memcomputer they say can efficiently solve one type of notoriously difficult computational problem. Moreover, they built their memcomputer from standard microelectronics.

"These machines can be built with available technology," Di Ventra told Live Science.

The scientists investigated a class of problems known as NP-complete. With this type of problem, a person may be able to quickly confirm whether any given solution may or may not work but can't quickly find the best solution to it.

Meteor

Is life as we know it going to end? The scientific case for Nibiru/Planet X that will not go away

Image

Is something big on its way?
Speculating and theorizing about the existence of yet undiscovered planets in our solar system has been bounced around for centuries. Prior to each new discovery of another outer planet has come detection of anomalies in the erratic, inexplicable motions of the outermost known planet. For instance, before Neptune's existence was determined, for decades astronomers had been theorizing that Uranus' (discovered in 1781) irregular movement may have been caused by the presence of yet another undiscovered planet. Indeed that was the case in 1846 when Neptune was first sighted and identified.

The now dethroned ninth planet Pluto discovered in 1930 (relegated in 2006 to minor dwarf planet status) and Pluto's later found moon Charon were then used to explain the observed "wobbles" in Uranus and Neptune's respective orbits. Thus, errors in calculating precise positions of known planets hold an enduring pattern of later confirmation of cause determined by each newly discovered planet. Hence, for over a century scientists have debated that yet more major planets and dwarf planets belonging to our solar system are still out there in space waiting to be found and existing anomalies to be explained.

Way back in 1940 Chilean astronomer Carlos Munoz Ferrada predicted accurately that the powers-that-be would attempt to cover-up Planet X when it comes barreling towards the earth. Ferrada referred to Nibiru/Planet X as a "Comet-Planet" because it has the size of a planet but speed and elliptical orbit of a comet.

Comment: For more on the very high probability of Earth soon being on the receiving end of a major cometary bombardment, and why,
see Laura Knight-Jadczyk's Comets and Catastrophe series:

Tunguska, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction
Letters From the Edge
Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls
Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth?
Climate Change Swindlers and the Political Agenda
Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction!
New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection
The Hazard to Civilization from Fireballs and Comets
Cosmic Turkey Shoot
Wars, Pestilence and Witches
Thirty Years of Cults and Comets
Comet Biela and Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
Tunguska, the Horns of the Moon and Evolution

And the books: Comets and the Horns of Moses by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
and Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World - Book 3 by Pierre Lescaudron
and Laura Knight-Jadczyk


Info

British astronomers discover five supermassive black holes

© The Independent, UK
The cosmic masses chew up everything that comes close to them.
Five previously hidden supermassive black holes have been discovered by British astronomers, leading to speculation that the universe could contain millions of the mysterious monsters which chew up everything that comes close to them.

A supermassive black hole is a cosmic mass at the centre of most large galaxies with a gravitational pull nothing can escape - not even light.

International scientists led by astronomers at Durham University said the five had been hidden by clouds of dust and gas - and millions more could be similarly hidden.

They were uncovered when the team pointed Nasa's orbiting Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) satellite observatory at a collection of nine that are thought to be "extremely active" - emitting high-energy X-rays across space.

Light Saber

Russian scientists discover new method of DNA repair which could prevent and cure neurodegenerative diseases

© Nadezhda S. Gerasimova et al
Estimated structure of the nucleosomal DNA loops, which are temporarily formed during transcription of chromatin containing intact DNA by RNA polymerase II (Pol II). In the presence of a single-strand DNA break, the loop structure likely changes, preventing rotation of the RNA polymerase along the DNA helix (orange arrow).
The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

A group of researchers, lead by Vasily M. Studitsky, professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The article describing their discovery is published in AAAS' first open access online-only journal Science Advances.

"In higher organisms DNA is bound with proteins in complexes called the nucleosome. Every ~200 base pairs are organized in nucleosomes, consisting of eight histone proteins, which, like the thread on the bobbin, wound double helix of DNA, which is coiled into two supercoiled loops. Part of the surface of the DNA helix is hidden, because it interacts with histones. Our entire genome is packed this way, except for the areas, from which the information is being currently read",—says Vasily M. Studitsky , who is the leading researcher and the head of the Laboratory of Regulation of Transcription and Replication at the Biological Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Galaxy

Black hole wakes up after 26-year slumber

© NASA's Goddard Space center
A stream of gas falling onto a black hole may have generated a massive X-ray light show.
After taking a 26-year nap, a waking black hole released a burst of X-rays that lit up astronomical observatories on June 15 — and it's still making a ruckus today.

Astronomers identified the revived black hole as an "X-ray nova" — a sudden increase in star luminosity — coming from a binary system in the constellation Cygnus. The outburst may have been caused by material falling into a black hole.

Rocket

Russian spaceship successfully delivers supplies to ISS

© Roscosmos
After two consequent failures to get essential supplies to the International Space Station, crew members finally received much-needed cargo delivered by a Russian Progress space freighter.


Comment: What's up with these frequent resupply failures, rocket crashes and malfunctions in space?
There is a hypothesis that our atmosphere has changed:
Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World - Book 3


The Progress M 28M docked with the ISS on Sunday, carrying 2.4 tons of fuel, water, oxygen and scientific experiments needed to operate the station. The robotic freighter was launched Friday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The delivery gives relief to the three-strong crew of the ISS a week after Space X rocket Falcon 9 failed to launch a Dragon cargo ship to the station as its oxygen tank burst. In April, a Russian Progress spaceship failed, too, due to a glitch in its third stage that sent the spaceship tumbling.

The delivery paves the way for the scheduled arrival on three more crewmembers, NASA's Kjell Lindgren, Russia's Oleg Kononenko and Japan's Kimiya Yui, who are to join NASA's Scott Kelly and Russia's Mikhail Korniyenko and Gennady Padalka in orbit later this month.

With the Progress ship's arrival, the ISS has a stockpile large enough to operate through November. The next supply mission by the Japanese HTV cargo transport is scheduled for August.

Comment: How much do these missions cost? Especially in light of the frequent failures, exploding rockets, cargoes burning up and falling into the ocean?
Wired: April 30, 2015
The unmanned Progress M-27M capsule was launched atop a Soyuz-2-1a rocket on Tuesday, carrying around 3,000 pounds of fuel, food, supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. Unfortunately Roscosmos and Nasa have now admitted that Progress 59 is now effectively space junk, Sen.com reported - albeit a piece of junk which cost around $50 million to put into space just days ago.
Antares rocket failure: October 29, 2014
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment, ranging from "classified cryptographic" gear to school science experiments, was destroyed in a giant fireball on Tuesday evening after technicians detonated a self-destruct mechanism six seconds after launch because of a "catastrophic" equipment failure.
Washington Business Journal: March 3, 2009
Last month's satellite launch failure will cost Orbital Sciences Corp. more than $5 million.



Comet

Solar system-wide 'climate change': Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

© Vincent et al., Nature Publishing Group
This close-up image shows the most active pit, known as Seth_01, observed on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the Rosetta spacecraft. A new study suggests that this pit and others like it could be sinkholes, formed by a surface collapse process similar to the way these features form on Earth.
The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft first began orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. Almost immediately, scientists began to wonder about several surprisingly deep, almost perfectly circular pits on the comet's surface. Now, a new study based on close-up imagery taken by Rosetta suggests that these pits are sinkholes, formed when ices beneath the comet's surface sublimate, or turn directly to gas.

The study, which appears in the July 2, 2015 issue of the journal Nature, reveals that the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is variable and dynamic, undergoing rapid structural changes as it approaches the sun. Far from simple balls of ice and dust, comets have their own life cycles. The latest findings are among the first to show, in detail, how comets change over time.

"These strange, circular pits are just as deep as they are wide. Rosetta can peer right into them," said Dennis Bodewits, an assistant research scientist in astronomy at the University of Maryland who is a co-author on the study. The pits are large, ranging from tens of meters in diameter up to several hundred meters across.

"We propose that they are sinkholes, formed by a surface collapse process very similar to the way sinkholes form here on Earth," Bodewits added. Sinkholes occur on Earth when subsurface erosion removes a large amount of material beneath the surface, creating a cavern. Eventually the ceiling of the cavern will collapse under its own weight, leaving a sinkhole behind. "So we already have a library of information to help us understand how this process works, which allows us to use these pits to study what lies under the comet's surface," Bodewits said.

Comment: The Rosetta mission scientists have already admitted, based on new information, that what they "have discovered is already starting to transform our understanding of Rosetta's target comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (C-G for short), and cometary science."

Wheres the ice 3 surprising comet facts we've already learned from Rosetta

Perhaps if they considered the electrical nature of comets, as Wallace Thornhill states in this video, these sinkholes and other phenomena, such as the "increasingly stormy" conditions on Uranus, increased volcanic activity on Jupiters moon Io, scientists have been puzzled by the wobble of Saturn's moon Mimas and a major increase in asteroid activity has seen MIT astronomers upgrade the solar system from stable to dynamic would seem to indicate solar system-wide 'climate change'.

For more information read: Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection


Info

Revolution in technology: Drag images from display screens, manipulate mid-air and plunge your fingers into the screen

© Ghost
Exciting new technologies, which allow users to change the shape of displays with their hands, promise to revolutionise the way we interact with smartphones, laptops and computers. Imagine pulling objects and data out of the screen and playing with these in mid-air.

Today we live in a world of flat-screen displays we use all day - whether it's the computer in the office, a smartphone on the train home, the TV or iPad on the couch in the evening. The world we live in is not flat, though; it's made of hills and valleys, people and objects. Imagine if we could use our fingertips to manipulate the display and drag features out of it into our 3D world.

Such a vision led to the launch in January 2013 of GHOST (Generic, Highly-Organic Shape-Changing Interfaces), an EU-supported research project designed to tap humans' ability to reason about and manipulate physical objects through the interfaces of computers and mobile devices.

Info

Four mysterious spots detected on Pluto

© NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
A row of four mysterious dark spots has been discovered on the frozen surface of the distant world of Pluto by the NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.

Scientists are at a loss to explain the intriguing spots which are remarkably consistent in both their even spacing along the dwarf planet's equator, and their shape and size.

Each spot appears to be circular and about 480 kilometres in diameter.

"It's a real puzzle-we don't know what the spots are, and we can't wait to find out," says New Horizons principal investigator Dr Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado.

"Also puzzling is the longstanding and dramatic difference in the colours and appearance of Pluto compared to its darker and greyer moon, Charon."

The strange spots were detected in new images of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, taken by New Horizons on June 25 and 27, 2015.