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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Little Fox Constellation

From #NASA:

Situated 8,000 light-years away, giant stars form at the heart of the “little fox” constellation. These giant stars are some of the biggest in the galaxy, some even containing dozens of times the mass of the sun. Discover more :

Putin for Bond? Tell us who you want to be the next 007 — RT Viral

Daniel Craig is expected to announce shortly that he will no longer order his Vodka Martinis “shaken, not stirred,” as he steps down from the role of James Bond. But who will be next?

Putin for Bond? Tell us who you want to be the next 007 — RT Viral

Monday, May 30, 2016

It's Been a Rough Week

From Freaky The Scary Snowman:

Remembering those who have protected our country

From NOAA Digital Coast:

Remembering those who have protected our country. Happy #MemorialDay!

Remembering Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Today, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms #MemorialDay

#MemorialDay is when we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

From #NASA:

#MemorialDay is when we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We would like to thank these brave men and women who have given their all for us.

Wreath Laying Ceremony

From National Mall and Memorial Parks:

Many thanks to all of those who turned out for this morning's wreath laying ceremony to honor the memory of the more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives in World War II. #MemorialDay

Friday, May 27, 2016

Proactive Efforts by U.S. Federal Agencies Enable Early Detection of New Antibiotic Resistance

From the #USDA:

Just over a year ago, President Obama released a National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. As part of that plan, he also charged the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with co-chairing a Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (Advisory Council). In the past year, our three agencies and the Council have held numerous stakeholder meetings, made new discoveries, and undertaken new research to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.
In recent weeks, our three agencies have made some important discoveries regarding antibiotic resistance in the United States. Earlier this week, the Department of Defense notified stakeholders that its Multidrug-resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN) at the Walter Reed Institute of Research had identified the first colistin-resistant mcr-1 E. coli in a person in the United States. A USDA and HHS search for colistin-resistant bacteria in food animals, retail meats and people also has found colistin-resistant E. coli in a single sample from a pig intestine.
These discoveries are of concern because colistin is used as a last-resort drug to treat patients with multi-drug resistant infections. Finding colistin-resistant bacteria in the United States is important, as it was only last November that scientists in China first reported that the mcr-1 gene in bacteria confers colistin resistance. Following the revelation in China, scientists across the globe began searching for other bacteria containing the mcr-1 gene, and the bacteria have since been discovered in Europe and Canada. The mcr-1 gene exists on a plasmid, a small piece of DNA that is not a part of a bacterium’s chromosome. Plasmids are capable of moving from one bacterium to another, spreading antibiotic resistance between bacterial species.
The patient with colistin-resistant E. coli was treated in an outpatient military treatment facility in Pennsylvania.  Biologic samples were sent to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for initial testing and then to MRSN for genetic sequencing to identify the mcr-1 gene.
Our three departments take the emergence of this resistance gene very seriously.  A coordinated public health response is underway to try to prevent its spread.
For example, to respond to the DoD finding of mcr-1 in a human isolate, HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with DoD, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, local health departments, and others to identify close contacts, including household and healthcare contacts, of the Pennsylvania patient to determine whether any of them may have been at risk for transmission of the bacteria containing the mcr-1 gene. Similarly, USDA is conducting traceback work to determine the sampled pig’s farm of origin.
At the same time, the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) is continuing its search for evidence of colistin-resistant bacteria in the United States. For the past 20 years, NARMS has detected emerging resistance to clinically important antibiotics. NARMS is a partnership between HHS and USDA, as well as state and local public health departments, dedicated to tracking changes in the antimicrobial susceptibility of intestinal bacteria found in ill people, in retail meats, and in food animals.
After the detections in China, the NARMS teams began a two-pronged approach to search for evidence of colistin-resistant bacteria caused by mcr-1 in the United States.  First, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists took on a proactive study that used a modified technique to look for bacteria with the mcr-1 gene, employing a targeted and extremely sensitive method to examine whole bacterial populations found in intestinal samples from food-producing animals.  In the still-ongoing study, USDA scientists analyzed the samples by first exposing them to colistin at a concentration that would kill sensitive bacteria and allow any bacteria carrying mcr-1 to survive.  Out of 949 animal samples screened so far, one strain of colistin-resistant E. coli was found in a pig intestinal sample. The DNA sequence of this isolate revealed that the strain contained the mcr-1gene on a plasmid.  The scientists also determined that the mcr-1 carrying colistin-resistant E. coli is resistant to other antibiotics including ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline.
Second, HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration used whole genome sequencing technology to search for the gene in SalmonellaE. coliand Klebsiella taken from human and retail meat sources. As of April 2016, more than 44,000Salmonella and 9,000 E. coli/Shigella isolates from NARMS as well as the National Center for Biotechnology Information genomic database did not show the presence of the mcr-1 gene.
Although the findings suggest that mcr-1-mediated colistin resistance might be rare, HHS and USDA remind consumers that cooking all meat, poultry and fish to its proper internal temperature kills bacteria, viruses and other foodborne pathogens, whether or not they are antibiotic-resistant.
The NARMS partners will continue to study the newly isolated E. coli strain to better understand themcr-1 gene, as well as continue to analyze the remaining food animal samples for the presence of colistin resistance.  Once USDA’s ARS completes this study, the findings could help determine any additional steps necessary to further understand the mechanisms and dissemination of mcr-1 and associated genes.
Beginning in fall 2016, CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance lab network will provide the infrastructure and lab capacity for seven to eight regional labs, and labs in all states and seven major cities/territories, to detect and respond to resistant organisms recovered from human samples. State labs will be able to detect new forms of antibiotic resistance—including mutations that allow bacteria to survive the effects of the last-resort drugs like colistin—and report these findings to CDC in near real-time.  With this comprehensive lab capacity, state health labs and regional labs that are part of the network will be able to investigate emerging resistance in ways currently unavailable, generating better data for stronger infection control among patients to prevent and combat future resistance threats.
And consistent with the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, CDC, FDA, USDA, DOD and other government agencies will continue efforts to track, slow and respond to the emergence of antibiotic resistance.
The two detections of the mcr-1 gene in the U.S. provide a new clue into the antibiotic resistance landscape, and it also highlights how much we still do not understand. Colistin is rarely used in human medicine compared to other antibiotics.  It is often used to treat multi-drug resistant infections and its use is increasing.  It is not used in animals in this country.  As such, the new detection underscores the urgent need for more research in this area, and that’s why the President’s 2017 budget request also calls for Congress to fund the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative at its full level, allowing our nation’s best and brightest scientists to help the NARMS partners get ahead of the fight to keep antibiotics effective and available. Earlier this month, USDA announced that it is seeking applications for $6 million in research funding to address antibiotic resistance through this program, but currently USDA must leave nine in ten applications for AFRI grants unfunded, keeping meaningful projects off the table.

A Huge Undertaking with Tremendous Benefit – USDA’s Integral Role in the National Beef Quality Audit

From the #USDA:

Chad Nelson with the University of Nebraska team
Chad Nelson takes a break from an audit with the University of Nebraska team. Pictured left to right: Kolin Scheele, Dr. Ty Schmidt, Chad Nelson, Laura Gorecki and Joe Buntyn.
About once every five years since 1991, the National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) brings together producers, consumers, academia, and government in a collaborative research and data collection exercise that spans the entire U.S. beef industry.  Funded by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (the beef checkoff program), the NBQA assesses the current status of the industry regarding production processes and practices that ultimately affect consumer demand for beef.
The audit uses a multi-phase approach to identify the top challenges the fed-beef (cattle raised for meat production) industry faces.  The NBQA first gathers data to measure current quality and consistency of U.S fed-beef, and then quantifies the level to which cattle producers are applying common sense husbandry techniques, specifically the Beef Quality Assurance principles, to safeguard that quality.  The results are translated into practical guidance for continued improvement in the production of fed-beef and, in turn, consumers’ acceptance of the end products found in stores.
Right now, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) supervisors and meat graders are playing an important role in the success of the 2016 NBQA.  An essential part of this endeavor are the beef packing plant audits currently scheduled at dozens of plants across the country.  These facilities represent over 70 percent of the federally-inspected slaughter volume in the U.S.!
For each audit, AMS Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program’s Quality Assessment Division supervisors and meat graders identify factors that relate to the quality grade of the carcasses, while student teams from participating universities (Colorado State, West Texas A&M, Texas A&M, University of Nebraska and Oklahoma State) record the data.  Ultimately, the quality grade (e.g., USDA Choice) assigned to a beef carcass is a composite evaluation of factors that affect palatability of meat.
On April 15, AMS Supervisor Chad Nelson worked with a team from the University of Nebraska to call grade factors in Schuyler, Neb.  AMS has also participated in NBQA activities at several other plants across the country, and additional audits will continue until mid-summer.  A full list of participating plants is on the Texas A&M website at
NBQA continues to be an industry success story, leading the broad changes in production and handling practices that support improved meat quality.  The 2016 audits will benchmark progress since the last audits, identify areas for continued improvement, and help maintain the industry’s focus on quality, safety, and customer satisfaction in the beef eating experience.  AMS is proud to play an integral role.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln campus
AMS Supervisor Chad Nelson worked with a team from the University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus pictured above) to review 234 steer and heifers on grade factors like skeletal maturity, lean maturity, and meat marbling. Photo courtesy Penn State Live.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Archive Available

From Landsat:

"The primary archive available for reviewing the positions of coastlines and effects of sea-level rise is Landsat." 

full story:

'The Americans' renewed through sixth and final season at FX - May. 25, 2016

"The Americans" had been renewed for two more seasons, which will mark the end of the critically acclaimed FX drama's run.

The extension includes a full 13 episodes for next year, and a truncated order of 10 for a sixth and final season in 2018.

'The Americans' renewed through sixth and final season at FX - May. 25, 2016

Bank Of America Cardless ATM Technology With Android Pay

Earlier this year, Bank of America jumped onto the cardless ATM technology bandwagon announcing the introduction of the state-of-the-art ATMs that would allow customers to withdraw or complete other tasks using their smartphones instead of their bank cards. This week, they took that ambition a step further announcing that they would now allow customers to perform those tasks though Android Pay.

Bank Of America Cardless ATM Technology With Android Pay

Know Where Your Food Comes From with USDA Foods

From the #USDA:

USDA Foods Map
Map of the dollar value of USDA Foods purchased in FY 2014; icons represent the states that are the largest sources of a particular type of USDA Foods. (Click to view a larger version)
Do you know where your food comes from?  If you can pinpoint where your food was grown and produced, you can make more informed decisions to maximize quality, freshness, and nutritional value.  You can also help support local economies through your purchases.  The USDA Foods program takes this mantra to heart and publishes state of origin reports with procurement information on all USDA Foods every year.  As we like to say at FNS, “All USDA Foods are local to someone.”
USDA Foods are 100 percent American grown and produced.  Each year, USDA procures more than 200 types of food, including meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, flour, cereals, and dairy products, totaling approximately $2 billion.  Organizations such as food banks, disaster and emergency feeding organizations, Indian Tribal Organizations, schools, and other feeding groups receive these USDA Foods for use in meal service or distribution to households through programs like the National School Lunch ProgramThe Emergency Food Assistance Program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
A recent report on the state of origin of USDA Foods found that USDA Foods procures food from more than three-quarters of all states.  California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois are the five states with the highest dollar amounts of USDA Foods purchases.  A number of items available through USDA Foods are sourced solely from one state.  For example, 100 percent of the strawberries purchased by USDA Foods in FY2014 came from the state of California.  During this time, California schools received approximately 3.3 million pounds of this locally produced product through the USDA Foods program.  All of the wild blueberries came from Maine and all the catfish were purchased from Mississippi.
States and schools can use this sourcing information and other purchasing trends available on our website to tailor their USDA Foods purchases accordingly, or they can simply purchase with confidence, knowing that all USDA Foods purchases help strengthen the American economy by supporting a local community somewhere across the country.

'Captain America' twist stuns comic book world - May. 25, 2016

Captain America has been a symbol of American heroism since 1941, and that all appears to be a lie.

'Captain America' twist stuns comic book world - May. 25, 2016

Free Speech: Speak Out or Be Silenced Forever!

Sunnyside Canal on the Yakima Project, Washington

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

Headquarters office of the United States Reclamation Service (later the Bureau of Reclamation) at the headworks of Sunnyside Canal on the Yakima Project, Washington. Photo taken on September 23, 1907. #TBT #throwbackthursday

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

BOOK EXCERPT - Confessions Of A Postmodernist | Stefan Molyenux

#MatthewDrake #StefanMolyneux #PostModernism


#BillWhittle #SupremeCourt #SCOTUS #DonaldTrump #Trump2016




Schools across America Honored for Their “One in a Melon” Farm to School Programs

From the #USDA:

A girl working in the garden
Farm to school programs help kids form healthy habits, learn where their food comes from, and develop an understanding of the importance of nutrition and agriculture.
Back in March, we invited you to vote for the school district with your favorite farm to school program – one with exemplary initiatives, inspiring results; one that you think is ‘one in a melon’!
Well, the results were tabulated and one district in each state has just received the “One in a Melon” award.  These districts received the most votes from parents, teachers, community stakeholders, students, and others who recognized the incredible work they’re doing through their farm to school programs. We were so inspired by the nominations we received that we wanted to share a few quotes of them with you, but for a full list of award winners, visit
Belle Chasse Academy in Louisiana:
Every grade experiments with gardening throughout the year – even kindergarteners. They learn how seeds grow, learn about the process, about the impact we have on nature and nature on us. They tie it to their other studied subjects. We have a garden on site that we can go check out any time and where kids proudly could point out their own plant they have planted.
Col. San Judas Tadeo in Puerto Rico:
The school food authority buys fresh fruits and vegetables and their students know where their fruits and vegetables come from.  They also know the farmer who grew those fruits and vegetables.  On a bulletin board, they put the name of the farmer, the name of the farm and the town from where the fruits or vegetables come.  Farmers came in to talk about the importance of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables locally grown.
Shelby County Schools in Tennessee:
My son’s school has a wonderful garden. The kids get to help tend it, and the veggies are served in the cafeteria whenever possible. This is a very urban school, so it’s great to see.
Loudoun County Schools in Virginia:
We have ‘farmer trading cards’ from local farms that give information on the farms, crops and the farmers that provide local produce. School parents are excited to be able to volunteer in the school garden.
Montague Area Public Schools in Michigan:
Montague supports farm to school in so many ways from the fresh amazing salad bar every day to the many fruits and veggies offered! We support our local farmers and our fabulous FAA program that provides us with eggs and fresh produce as well!! Montague pride!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

D'Souza Emphasizes Allowing The Facts To Speak For Themselves

D'Souza vs. Shermer: Modern Science & Faith-Based Assumptions

Our Solar System

From #NASA:

From Saturn to Jupiter, here are a few things you should know about our solar system this week:


From NASA Earth:


An astronaut on the International Space Station caught this glimpse of the Ohio River, with its sweeping bends and brown color. Cincinnati’s downtown zone—centered on the river bluffs at the point where the Licking River (Kentucky side) meets the Ohio River—is harder to see because cities appear gray and have low-contrast features.

The urban zone straddles two states, spilling into Kentucky as the towns of Covington, Newport, and Bellevue. Green suburbs beyond these downtowns are harder to detect in this early summer shot. Straight lines of the street grid and curved lines in some subdivisions show the extent of the metropolitan area, which covers 325 square kilometers (125 square miles).

Steep bluffs cast long shadows onto the river, especially opposite the airport. The ovals of two stadiums sit along the banks of the Ohio—one for the Cincinnati Bengals and one for the Cincinnati Reds. A barge near the bridges makes its way downstream.

Eight bridges carry highway traffic over the Ohio River. For spaceborne observers, near-vertical views like this can make mountains and bridges seem flatter. In this photo, the combination of a powerful lens and a low sun angle reveals the outlines of the bridges in the shadows projected onto the river surface. The Newport Southbank Bridge, popularly known as the Purple People Bridge, is one of the few pedestrian-only bridges over a river in the United States.

Monday, May 23, 2016

America's National Park Service celebrates 100

Quiet Tropics

From NASA's Hurricane Web Page:

The tropics are quiet again today. Now that Tropical Cyclone Roanu has dissipated over Bangladesh, there are no other areas anywhere in the world suspect for tropical development. Here's a look at the quiet Pacific Ocean today, May 23 at 1152 UTC (7:52 a.m. EDT) from NOAA's GOES-West satellite.#GOES-West #NASA

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Concannon: Reauthorize Child Nutrition Programs So They Benefit Children

From the #USDA:

Children with their school meals
School lunch staff and students enjoy the new school lunch menu created to meet the new standards at the Yorkshire Elementary School in Manassas, VA.
It may seem like common sense for child nutrition programs to benefit children, but some see it differently today.
Nationwide, schools have made the lunchroom a healthy environment. In fact, in only the second school year of full implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), over 98 percent of schools participating are already meeting the healthier meal standards.  Students are eating more fruits and vegetables during the school day and more low-income children are eating nutritious breakfasts and lunches at school. And data show obesity rates for some children are leveling off. With all the success of HHFKA, now is not the time to intentionally go backwards on nutrition standards in healthier school meals and to block access to these meals for millions of children.
In January, the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously took a bipartisan step toward reauthorizing critical child nutrition programs like school lunch and breakfast. Rather than diminish the progress we’ve already made, the Senate’s bill ensures these improvements to our children’s diets will continue.  The bipartisan Senate bill represents a compromise that allows us to stop rehashing old debates and secures a healthier future for our kids. It represents a win for children, parents, schools, and our country’s future.
In contrast, the House Education and Workforce Committee’s bill aims to weaken one of the most successful aspects of HHFKA. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows high-poverty schools or districts to serve all students free meals without any burdensome paperwork, has been lauded for increasing student participation, reducing administrative burdens and costs on schools, cutting down on paperwork for busy parents, and improving program integrity. But the House bill would place new limitations on the number of schools in high-poverty areas that qualify for CEP, forcing many high-poverty schools to lose eligibility. This would cause school meal participation to fall dramatically, and schools would be forced to spend more time on paperwork and less time focusing on feeding kids. And some children who need free meals may slip through the cracks.
The House bill would also roll back the school meal nutrition standards and gut the Smart Snacks in School rule, which ensures that all snack foods and beverages for sale to students during the school day are nutritious. Under the House bill, school vending machines could go back to selling soda and junk food.  Schools have already invested time and effort into making the switch to healthier options.  The snack food industry has innovated and developed hundreds of new products that meet the requirements and are popular with students.  Now is not the time to regress.
We are proud of the way the school meals program provides flexibility for schools to tailor the programs to their local needs. For example, schools design their own menus and have the ability to serve items they know their students prefer.  They can also choose options like CEP and serve afterschool snacks and suppers if they are the right fit for their local community. However, in the name of local flexibility, some are considering a proposal to convert the school nutrition programs into a block grant. That is a very dangerous idea. Not only would it put further strain on state and local school districts’ budgets, but it would jeopardize children’s access to quality, healthy school meals no matter where they live.
Instead, we are working with schools and districts to ensure their programs meet their needs. One example is the Team Up For School Nutrition Success training. Along with the Institute of Child Nutrition, we offer all state agencies the opportunity to host local events to provide tailored technical assistance, support, and best practices for schools in administering successful meals programs. During the training, schools cover topics like menu planning, financial management, procurement, meal presentation and appeal, as well as youth engagement tactics and strategies to reduce plate waste. Schools have the opportunity to learn from each other in order to make positive strides toward providing healthy school environments with financial stability and strong student participation. With all these strides being made, now is not the time to eliminate the successful partnership between the federal government and state agencies, putting further strain on state and local school districts’ budgets.
It would be unwise to roll back the school meal standards and I urge Congress to stay the course for sake of our children. USDA looks forward to working with Congress, schools, parents and communities to continue to improve the health and wellbeing of the next generation.

Are You Ready? Do You Know How USDA’s Nutrition Assistance Programs can Play a Vital Role in Helping Those Most in Need Following a Disaster?

From the #USDA:

Two women talking
FNS’ initial response includes providing USDA Foods to disaster relief organizations. This include a variety of canned, fresh, frozen and dry products including fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains.
Twice a year, as part of America’s PrepareAthon!, USDA works closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as with other Federal, state and local partners to promote emergency preparedness.  When disasters strike, it’s not only important for you and your family to be prepared, it’s also critical that your community be prepared.  USDA supports local communities by providing access to healthy meals in emergency situations.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) ensures people have access to nutritious food when they find themselves suddenly in need of assistance following a storm, earthquake, flood or other disaster emergency.  Oftentimes after a disaster, retail food stores are closed making it impossible for families to get the food they need.  Even after stores reopen, disaster survivors often still are recovering financially which makes buying food difficult.  FNS programs are there to help in those circumstances.
FNS’ initial response includes providing USDA Foods to disaster relief organizations such as, Catholic Charities and The Salvation Army. USDA Foods include a variety of canned, fresh, frozen and dry products which include fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains. FNS works with states to determine the amount and type of food needed and then makes arrangements to get the food to the disaster relief organizations. Once the food is delivered, the states make meals available at shelters and other large-scale feeding sites, or in some cases, deliver food packages to households.
Even after retail food stores are re-opened and operating, if disaster survivors still need nutrition assistance, FNS can authorize states to provide benefits through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) to quickly offer short-term food assistance to families. D-SNAP provides a full month’s benefit to households affected by a disaster who may not normally qualify for or participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It also can provide supplemental SNAP benefits to households already participating in the program.
The FNS response efforts can go beyond these two programs as well. FNS’ other nutrition assistance programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Child Nutrition programs, such as the National School Lunch Program, have flexibilities to support continuation of benefits to participants in disaster situations.
FNS currently is providing food assistance through D-SNAP for survivors of the recent floods in Louisiana in 30 parishes.  In 2015, FNS also provided assistance to people who were affected by wildfires in California, winter storms in the northeast, typhoons in the Federated States of Micronesia and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as the floods in South Carolina. In Fiscal Year 2015, FNS responded to 12 different major disasters and provided approximately $9.8 million in food assistance.
Thanks to the readiness and relief efforts marshalled by federal and state agencies, Indian Tribal organizations, non-governmental and faith-based organizations, corporations, and local partners, USDA is able to lift up communities and help them emerge stronger following disasters. USDA is proud to play a crucial role in those efforts.
Remember, if you are in need of food for your family in the midst of a disaster; contact the disaster relief organization in your area to determine which sites are providing children or families with free meals.  For more information about disaster nutrition assistance in your community, contact your local Red Cross.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Two Subtropical Disturbances

From NASA's Hurricane Web Page:

This image was collected by EUMETSAT on May 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm EDT. At this point there are two suspect tropical disturbances. The first is the one reported yesterday as 91B which still has a "medium" chance of developing into a cyclone. This system is 140 miles north northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The second system of note is located 745 east southeast of Diego Garcia and the likelihood of this system transforming into a cyclone is currently "low." There is no system in the Eastern Pacific or Atlantic basin.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Challenge Response: Jesus Can't Be God

What Does the Bible Say about Raising and Disciplining a Child?

Challenge Response: Knowledge Is the Enemy of Faith

How to Answer Your Critics

#Christian #Christianity

This Hurricane Preparedness Week, Rubio Calls For Action On Forecasting

Press Releases

Action Needed On Hurricane Forecasting
By Marco RubioSouth Florida Sun-SentinelMay 16, 2016
Last Monday, I toured the National Hurricane Center to discuss preparedness efforts for the 2016 hurricane season, which will take place from June to November. It's important for all Floridians to take the necessary steps to prepare for any inclement weather that could confront our state this year. My Senate office stands ready to serve you in the event of a storm, and I'm also working to pass legislation to help the National Hurricane Center forecast and track storms more accurately.
While touring the facility, I saw how important it is that the Senate pass the "Hurricane Forecast Improvement Act of 2015," legislation I proposed along with Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., as part of a larger weather bill last year. It would ensure the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project will continue to work toward increased accuracy and reduce the devastation of hurricanes by limiting errors in tracking and intensity forecasts.
This legislation will help the National Hurricane Center continue to save lives as well as dollars. While it has been needlessly tied up by politics as usual, I nonetheless remain committed to finding a way forward and getting it passed this year.
As we continue our efforts in the Senate to improve hurricane forecasting, we must also remember how important it is to take the time at the start of each hurricane season to make sure our families, homes and businesses are prepared in the event of a storm. By taking a few simple steps, we can all stay safe.
First, I encourage you to learn the evacuation routes for your area so you'll be aware of the fastest and easiest way to get to safety. The routes can be viewed on the Florida Division of Emergency Management's website. Also, keep your automobile fully fueled, particularly if a storm seems imminent. Once electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
After meeting the dedicated meteorologists and hardworking experts at the National Hurricane Center last Monday, I know we are being served by individuals who put our personal safety above all else. Nonetheless, I hope my Senate colleagues will come together to pass the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Act that I proposed last year so we can give them all the tools they need to forecast effectively. If those of us in Congress and all of us as Floridians do our part, we can ensure a safe hurricane season this year. 
Read the full op-ed here

The 2016 eastern North Pacific hurricane season officially began yesterday, Sunday, May 15, 2016

From NOAA Satellite and Information Service:

The 2016 eastern North Pacific hurricane season officially began yesterday, Sunday, May 15, 2016. Starting only two weeks before the Atlantic hurricane season (which starts on June 1), both seasons will run until November 30th. This year's eastern North Pacific hurricane season comes on the heels of a particularly intense 2015 season.

According to NOAA's National Hurricane Center, 2015's eastern North Pacific hurricane season saw the highest number of major hurricanes (category 3 or stronger) since reliable records began in 1971. Among the 18 named storms, 13 hurricanes and nine major hurricanes, was Hurricane Patricia-- the strongest hurricane in recorded history.

This image of the storm, captured by the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite on October 23, 2015, at the peak of the storms strength, shows the infrared brightness temperatures of the clouds--generally a good approximation for cloud top temperature.

Forgotten world: Eerie drone footage of top 5 places abandoned by humankind (VIDEO)

Haunting drone footage reveals an eerie glimpse of five places seemingly forgotten by the world and standing desolate for a variety of reasons.