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Archive for the ‘India’ Category

>Michele Obama’s Spending Makes Me Feel Proud Again To Be An American


Dear American Taxpayer
For only the second time in my adult life, I am not ashamed of my country. I want to thank the hard working American people for paying $242 thousand dollars for my vacation in Spain . My daughter Sasha, several long-time family friends, my personal staff and various guests had a wonderful time. Honestly, you just haven’t lived until you have stayed in a $2,500..00 per night suite at a 5-Star luxury hotel. Thank you also for the use of Air Force 2 and the 70 Secret Service personnel who tagged along to be sure we were safe and cared for at all times. 

Air Force 2 only used 47,500 gallons of jet fuel for this trip and carbon emissions were a mere 1,031 tons of CO2. These are only rough estimates, but they are close.That’s quite a carbon footprint as my good friend Al Gore would say, so we must ask the American citizens to drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars and drive less too, so we can lessen our combined carbon footprint. 

I know times are hard and millions of you are struggling to put food on the table and trying to make ends meet. I do appreciate your sacrifice and do hope you find work soon. I was really exhausted after Barack took our family on a luxury vacation in Maine a few weeks ago. I just had to get away for a few days. 



P.S. Thank you as well for the $2 BILLION trip to India we just returned from! Love ya, mean it.



>Neither Illinois Nor India Is Safe

>In the NY Times today there were two top sidebar stories. The first talked about the mess in Illinois–with a succession of corrupt governors. With corruption on top, there has to be corruption on lower levels which perhaps even affects safety on the streets. I don’t know anyone who is planning a vacation or honeymoon to downtown Chicago, do you?

Beneath this story was a warning from the government to be very careful traveling to India–or anywhere abroad. I don’t know about you, but I’m expanding my “abroad” to the “near abroad” when it comes to safety. And that includes the entire state of Illinois. It’s too corrupt, and what’s in the water to make so many governors go bad?

I think we should have a special prosecutor in Congress. Not to take the place of the FBI here, but find out how we can make it safe to travel to the Windy City.

Opinion »

Op-Ed: State of Shame
Ethics reform in Illinois is regarded as an oxymoron. The arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich may at last speed reform, writes Scott Turow.

Travel »

A Lesson of Mumbai: Have a Safety Plan
Security experts suggest safety tips for traveling abroad.

>India, China, Russia, USA Have Space Programs


Science –

India Shoots for the Moon with New Probe

33 minutes ago

BANGALORE, India – Five years after being formally approved and following a series of late delays, India’s first-ever planetary mission is on track to launch the morning of Oct. 22 Local Time, with arrival in lunar orbit scheduled to occur 17 days later.

  • Planets Thought Dead Might Be Habitable Tue Oct 21, 6:15 AM ET

    Astronomers have long talked about a “habitable zone” around a star as being a confined and predictable region where temperatures were not to cold, not to hot, so that a planet could retain liquid water and therefore support life as we know it.

  • This image provided by NASA Tuesday Oct. 7, 2008 shows the planet Mercury taken  on Oct. 6, 2008, at roughly 4:40 a.m. ET, when MESSENGER flew by Mercury for the second time this year. MESSENGER is the first mission sent to orbit the planet closest to the sun. During the encounter, the probe swung just 125 miles (200 kilometers) above the cratered surface of Mercury, snapping hundreds of pictures and collecting a variety of other data from the planet as it gains a critical gravity assist that keeps the probe on track to become the first spacecraft ever to orbit the innermost planet beginning in March 2011. The spectacular image shown here is one of the first to be returned. It shows Mercury about 90 minutes after the spacecraft�s closest approach. (AP Photo/NASA)

    Strange Weather on Alien Planets Explained Mon Oct 20, 7:31 AM ET

    Though scientists have yet to find alien life on distant exoplanets, much about those planets certainly seems alien — especially the weather.

  • Satellite Business Booming in the Middle East and North Africa: Highly Competitive Region Has 13 Operators Mon Oct 20, 7:31 AM ET

    The 13 commercial satellite-fleet operators active in the Middle East and North Africa showed a 73 percent fill rate on their 41 Ku-band satellites in mid-2008 when measured in booked megahertz compared to total megahertz of capacity, according to a mid-2008 survey of capacity taken from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, by the London Satellite Exchange (LSE) and Euroconsult. The satellites were spread over 31 orbital slots.

  • Space Tourist Settles in Aboard Station Sat Oct 18, 11:31 AM ET

    American space tourist Richard Garriott is settling into life aboard the International Space Station and learning firsthand the lessons learned by his astronaut father.

  • This NASA file image shows the Hubble Space Telescope resting in the Space Shuttle Discoverys cargo bay during a repair mission in 1999. New technical problems on the telescope, which is currently undergoing more repairs, will further delay the resumption of the it's regular duties, according to NASA officials.(AFP/HO/File)

    NASA Hits Snag in Reviving Hubble Space Telescope Fri Oct 17, 5:45 PM ET

    NASA’s attempt to revive the ailing Hubble Space Telescope has hit a snag, leaving the iconic observatory’s return to science observations in limbo until two new glitches can be solved, agency officials said Friday.

  • New Observatory Set to Scan Solar System’s Edge Fri Oct 17, 2:45 PM ET

    A new space observatory that aims to investigate the edge of the solar system is poised to launch Sunday.

  • Europe to Delay Mars Rover Mission Fri Oct 17, 2:45 PM ET

    PARIS — European Space Agency (ESA) governments tentatively have agreed to delay the launch of Europe’s first-ever Mars rover by a little more than two years, to 2016, as part of a broader effort to rein in project costs and seek deeper cooperation with NASA and the Russian space agency, European government officials said.

  • Doorstep Astronomy: Mercury in the Morning Fri Oct 17, 12:45 PM ET

    If there ever was a planet that has gotten a bad rap for its inability to be readily observed, it would have to be Mercury, known in some circles as the “elusive planet.”

  • One Mystery of Jet Streams Explained Fri Oct 17, 10:30 AM ET

    Planetary scientists have long puzzled over why fast-moving rivers of air called jet streams flow eastward at the equator of Jupiter and Saturn, but go westward on Uranus and Neptune. Now a new simulation has begun unraveling that mystery by showing how turbulent thunderstorms create the jet streams.

  • FAA Approves Rocket Races Fri Oct 17, 9:31 AM ET

    Rocket-powered racers received the go-ahead this week from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to soar at over 20 venues across the United States.

  • Mysterious Mars Moon a Pile of Rubble Fri Oct 17, 9:30 AM ET

    New observations of Mars’ moon Phobos show the object is more like a pile of rubble than a single solid body.

  • Hubble Space Telescope is seen in this picture taken from Space Shuttle in March 2002. (NASA/Handout/Reuters)

    NASA: Hubble Space Telescope’s Reboot Going Well Thu Oct 16, 4:45 PM ET

    NASA’s long-distance effort to revive the ailing Hubble Space Telescope is going well, with the orbital observatory on track to resume science observations by week’s end, agency officials said Thursday.

  • Hottest Planet Ever Discovered Thu Oct 16, 2:32 PM ET

    In the hunt for extrasolar planets, a new find is shattering records left and right.

  • China’s Space Capability Could Surpass United States, Panel Warns Thu Oct 16, 2:32 PM ET

    WASHINGTON — The Shenzhou 7 mission and spacewalk should serve as a reminder that China is building space capabilities that could surpass U.S. technological advances and boost China’s diplomatic and economic ties with its allies, a panel of experts said here Oct. 8.

  • Bush Signs NASA Authorization Bill into Law Thu Oct 16, 12:45 PM ET

    WASHINGTON – U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law the NASA Authorization Act of 2008 (H.R. 6063), a policy bill that endorses U.S. plans to return to the Moon, sets budget targets for NASA programs and requires the agency to conduct an additional space shuttle flight to deliver a multibillion dollar science payload to the International Space Station.

  • Impact Crater Exhumed from Mars Ice Thu Oct 16, 12:45 PM ET

    New images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed rare evidence of an impact crater in Mars’ north polar region.

  • A Major Moon Dust-Up Thu Oct 16, 7:02 AM ET

    Like Rodney Dangerfield, dust don’t get no respect. If you make a laundry list of the material contents of the cosmos, you’ll be sure to put stars, planets, gas clouds and dark matter on the ticket. But dust? Who cares about such tiny, sticky bits of carbon, silicon and other boring stuff?

  • ‘Alien’ Water Bears Amaze Scientists Thu Oct 16, 7:02 AM ET

    Astrobiologists work at the cutting edge of scientific research, investigating the possibility of life elsewhere in our universe. They are, however, plagued by a single, potentially critical problem: a lack of samples. Studying alien organisms is naturally difficult when none have been discovered.

  • This image taken July 14, 2008 by the Surface Stereo Imager on  NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander' and released by NASA July 15, shows the silver colored rasp protruding from the lander's robotic arm scoop.  REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona/Texas A&M University/Handout

    Phoenix Lander Survives Martian Dust Storm Wed Oct 15, 4:15 PM ET

    NEW YORK – NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander weathered its first dust storm on the red planet this past weekend, though the dust did lower the lander’s solar power and put the brakes on some of its planned activities.