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  • Colleen McCullough, Author of ‘The Thorn Birds,’ Dies at 77

    01/29/2015 9:18:37 AM PST · by EveningStar · 22 replies
    The New York Times ^ | January 29, 2015 | Margalit Fox
    Colleen McCullough, a former neurophysiological researcher at Yale who, deciding to write novels in her spare time, produced “The Thorn Birds,” a multigenerational Australian romance that became an international best seller and inspired a hugely popular television mini-series, died on Thursday on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, where she had made her home for more than 30 years. She was 77.
  • Australians fighting for Isis reportedly killed in battle for Kobani

    01/28/2015 10:55:09 PM PST · by Berlin_Freeper · 14 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | 28 January 2015 | Michael Safi
    Australians were among the largest contingent of foreign jihadists killed in the battle for Kobani, a senior US state department official has said, after Kurdish forces announced the “liberation” of the Syrian city on Monday. A coalition of Kurdish and Syrian rebel fighters claimed full control over Kobani, located less than a mile from the Turkish border, after a bloody four-month siege by the militia group known as Islamic State (Isis or Isil). Their victory was confirmed by a senior US state department official on Tuesday, who told AFP: “[Isis] is now, whether on order or whether they are breaking...
  • Hostage in Sydney cafe siege killed by police bullet, inquest hears

    01/28/2015 10:45:09 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    ap ^ | January 29, 2015
    SYDNEY – A hostage who died during a siege in a downtown Sydney cafe was killed when she was struck by fragments of a bullet fired from a police officer's gun as authorities stormed in to end the 16-hour standoff, a lawyer told an inquest on Thursday. Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old lawyer who was among 18 people taken hostage last month by a gunman, died after being hit by six fragments of a police bullet that had ricocheted off a hard surface, Jeremy Gormly, a lawyer assisting the coroner, told the Glebe Coroner's Court. One fragment struck a major blood...
  • Chemists find a way to unboil eggs

    01/26/2015 2:39:12 PM PST · by Red Badger · 46 replies
    phys.org ^ | 01/26/2015 | Janet Wilson
    UC Irvine and Australian chemists have figured out how to unboil egg whites – an innovation that could dramatically reduce costs for cancer treatments, food production and other segments of the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to findings published today in the journal ChemBioChem. "Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg," said Gregory Weiss, UCI professor of chemistry and molecular biology & biochemistry. "In our paper, we describe a device for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold. We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return...
  • As in 2012, Romney Can Do No Right in Murdoch’s Eyes (Hearts Jeb)

    01/27/2015 9:44:43 AM PST · by C19fan · 18 replies
    NY Times ^ | January 27, 2015 | Amy Chozick and Michael Barbaro
    The usually grim-faced media mogul practically swooned in his seat. Moments after Jeb Bush delivered what many in the audience described as an unremarkable talk at a conference in Washington, Rupert Murdoch turned to his seatmate, Valerie Jarrett, the White House adviser, to gush over its content and tone. Mr. Murdoch was pleased that Mr. Bush, the former governor of Florida, had listed the economic benefits of overhauling the nation’s immigration system, confiding in Ms. Jarrett that Mr. Bush, a likely Republican presidential candidate, had said all the right things on the fraught issue, according to three people with firsthand...
  • Hospitals Giving 'Death Test' to Seniors

    01/26/2015 12:38:22 PM PST · by Responsibility2nd · 61 replies
    Newser ^ | 01/25/2016 | Neal Colgrass,
    (Newser) Seniors had better brace themselves: Some US hospitals are now administering the "death test," which estimates their chance of dying over the next 30 days. Invented in Australia, the test weighs 29 different criteria—including blood pressure, respiratory rate, and medical history—to determine whether hospitalization is worthwhile or the patient should return home or go to a hospice, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The idea is to prevent needless and expensive procedures while allowing patients to spend their last days with loved ones. "Most terminally ill people want to die at home, but in fact three quarters end up dying...
  • Italy seizes more than 5,000 looted antiquities in record haul

    01/25/2015 1:33:45 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    France24 ^ | 22 January 2015 | AFP
    The Italian government on Wednesday said police had seized more than 5,000 ancient artefacts in a record 45-million-euro haul after dismantling a Swiss-Italian trafficking ring. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said it was the country's "largest discovery yet" of looted works and consisted of 5,361 pieces, including vases, jewellery, frescoes and bronze statues, all dating from the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. The archaeological treasures came from illegal digs across Italy and "will be returned to where they were found", the minister told reporters. Police said the items were worth around 45 million euros ($52 million) and were...
  • Outrage After Female Tennis Star Asked to 'Twirl' on Court

    01/23/2015 8:27:35 AM PST · by shove_it · 48 replies
    GMA ^ | 123 Jan 2015
    It's a twirl that now has some heads spinning. Just moments after seventh-ranked Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard crushed her opponent in 54 minutes to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, Australian commentator, Ian Cohen, asked her to “twirl” to show off her hot-pink outfit. The interviewer’s request has now sparked a flood of criticism and cries of sexism. In a video of the incident, Bouchard can be seen on the tennis court following her easy defeat of Kiki Bertens in the second round of the competition. Cohen then tells the 20-year-old: “Now yesterday, or...
  • ‘Clinton the Musical’ Is Definitely Running Off Broadway

    01/22/2015 8:33:07 AM PST · by shove_it · 14 replies
    ArtsBeat ^ | 20 Jan 2015 | PATRICK HEALY
    For those who can’t get enough of Bill and Hillary Clinton – or want to see them lampooned in the tawdriest way possible – the stage satire “Clinton the Musical” is getting an open-ended commercial run at Off Broadway’s New World Stages complex, the producers announced on Tuesday. The show, which had a brief outing last summer in the New York Musical Theater Festival, focuses mostly on scandals in the Clinton administration (Monica Lewinsky features prominently) and splits the president into two characters – the diligent WJ and the roguish Billy – while portraying Mrs. Clinton’s character as politically ambitious....
  • Australia fighter jet data theft 'shows cyber-spy risk'

    01/19/2015 2:47:28 AM PST · by moose07 · 7 replies
    BBC ^ | 19 January 2015 | BBC
    The reported theft by Chinese spies of designs for Australia's new warplane, the US-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, highlights the risk of cyber-espionage, an Australian minister said. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also told Sky News she was confident that the US would guard its intellectual property. She was responding to media reports, citing leaked US documents, of the theft of a huge amount of F-35 data. Australia has ordered 72 F-35 jets, due to come into service in 2020. The F-35 is the most expensive defence project in US history. The stealth aircraft, manufactured by US-based Lockheed Martin, was...
  • Amal Clooney to Egypt's Sisi: Pardon jailed Al Jazeera journalist

    01/17/2015 11:07:11 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 29 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | 1/17/15 | jpost.com staff
    British-Lebanese human rights lawyer urges Egyptian president to expedite release of Canadian-Egyptian reporter.British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has called on Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to release and pardon an imprisoned Egyptian-Canadian journalist for Al Jazeera, whom she represents. The attorney - who recently wed Hollywood star George Clooney - released a statement Friday, expressing disappointment over the lack of "concrete" progress toward the release of Mohamed Fahmy following a meeting with Egyptian and Canadian diplomats, Egypt's Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird expressed cautious optimism for Fahmy's release after talks with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri...
  • New deep sea mushroom-shaped organisms discovered

    09/03/2014 11:54:05 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 9 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 03 SEP 2014 | Provided by Public Library of Science
    Scientists discovered two new species of sea-dwelling, mushroom-shaped organisms, according to a study published September 3, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jean Just from University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues. Scientists classify organisms based on shared characteristics using a taxonomic rank, including kingdom, phylum, and species. In 1986, the authors of this study collected organisms at 400 and 1000 meters deep on the south-east Australian continental slope and only just recently isolated two types of mushroom-shaped organisms that they couldn't classify into an existing phylum. The new organisms are multicellular and mostly non-symmetrical, with a dense layer...
  • Ocean 'calamities' oversold, say researchers

    01/17/2015 7:34:17 PM PST · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Nature ^ | 14 January 2015 | Daniel Cressey
    Team calls for more scepticism in marine research.___ The state of the world's seas is often painted as verging on catastrophe. But although some challenges are very real, others have been vastly overstated, researchers claim in a review paper. The team writes that scientists, journals and the media have fallen into a mode of groupthink that can damage the credibility of the ocean sciences. The controversial study exposes fault lines in the marine-science community. Carlos Duarte, a marine biologist at the University of Western Australia in Perth, and his colleagues say that gloomy media reports about ocean issues such as...
  • Comet Finlay Surprise Outburst, Visible in Binoculars … again!

    01/17/2015 6:55:45 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    Two nights ago, Australian comet observer Michael Mattiazzo took a routine picture of Finlay and discovered it at magnitude +8. Today it’s a magnitude brighter and now joins Comet Lovejoy as the second binocular comet of 2015. Comet-wise, we’ve gone from zero to 60 and the new year’s fewer than 3 weeks old! Right now it’s not far from Lambda Aquarii and will soon glide just south of the well-known asterism called the “Circlet” in Pisces. Currently between 7th and 8th magnitude and showing a bright, condensed center, Comet Finlay is easily visible in 10×50 binoculars. Catch it while you...
  • Free Markets Smash Chinese Rare Earth Minerals Monopoly

    01/17/2015 8:26:32 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 7 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | January 16, 2015 | William Wilson
    Last week China announced that it would adhere to a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling from last year by removing export quotas among other restrictions on rare earth minerals (RE). After controlling the global market for a number of years and extracting handsome rents, why is Beijing suddenly deciding to comply? It probably has little to do with the Chinese deciding to play by the rules and more to do with the realization that their attempt to use their dominant position to coerce political concessions has backfired. China’s monopoly of RE production has been quickly slipping away due to market...
  • The Prime Minister Of Australia Is Calling ISIS By A New Name That It Absolutely Hates

    01/12/2015 1:05:45 PM PST · by cotton1706 · 59 replies
    businessinsider.com ^ | Peter Terlato
    In recent weeks, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has started referring to the Islamic State terrorist organisation by a name they reportedly despise — Daesh. Australia’s allies in the Middle East have suggested the Western world not use monikers such as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), or IS (Islamic State) as they legitimise the group’s aspirations. “Daesh hates being referred to by this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive ­appeal to me,” Abbott said. “I absolutely refuse to refer to it by the title that it claims...
  • The FRiday Night Movie - The Earthling (1980)

    01/09/2015 8:19:46 PM PST · by DemforBush · 12 replies
    Youtube ^ | n/a | n/a
    We're back, and are kicking off the 2015 season with a fine film from Australia. Patrick Foley (William Holden) is a sick old man, wanting only to return to his childhood home in the Outback before he dies. His plans become complicated, however, when he discovers Shawn Daley (Ricky Schroeder), a sheltered 10-year old boy from Los Angeles who has suddenly found himself orphaned and alone in the Australian wilderness. Uploaded in 10 parts.
  • No, Bibi-Bashers, Israel Is not ‘Isolated’ Under Netanyahu

    01/05/2015 7:35:39 AM PST · by SeekAndFind
    Pajamas Media ^ | 01/05/2015 | P. David Hornik
    [1]On Tuesday the Palestinians tried to get the UN Security Council to adopt a draft resolution to shrink Israel down to indefensible borders.They failed to get the nine votes from the 15-member council that they needed. Even if they had, the U.S. had promised to veto the resolution. But the Palestinians would have succeeded in painting Israel as a country almost friendless, hanging by the thread of U.S. support.The draft resolution demanded that Israel and the Palestinians wrap up all their disputes and reach an agreement within one year; that a Palestinian state be set up along Israel’s 1967...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy before a Globular Star Cluster

    12/31/2014 11:47:49 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | December 31, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy has become visible to the unaided eye. To see the comet, just go outside an hour or so after sunset and look for a fuzzy patch to the right of Orion's belt. Binoculars and a star chart may help. Pictured here, Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) was captured three days ago passing nearly in front of M79, the globular star cluster visible as the bright spot slightly above and to the left of the comet's green-hued coma. The nucleus of Comet Lovejoy is a giant dirty iceberg that is shedding gas into a long and intricate ion tail,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- This Comet Lovejoy

    12/25/2014 4:29:32 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | December 25, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2, is framed like a cosmic Christmas tree with starry decorations in this colorful telescopic portrait, snapped on December 16th. Its lovely coma is tinted green by diatomic C2 gas fluorescing in sunlight. Discovered in August of this year, this Comet Lovejoy is currently sweeping north through the constellation Columba, heading for Lepus south of Orion and bright enough to offer good binocular views. Not its first time through the inner Solar System, this Comet Lovejoy will pass closest to planet Earth on January 7, while its perihelion (closest point to the Sun) will be on...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy over the Great Wall

    02/20/2014 3:29:47 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | February 20, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Fading now as it returns to the outer solar system Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still graces planet Earth's sky, a delicate apparition in binoculars or small telescopes. The comet, a relic of the solar system's formative years, is seen here rising in the morning twilight on January 12 among the stars of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Posing near the comet is bright star Alpha Ophiuchi, also known as Rasalhague, from Arabic "the head of the serpent collector". Of course, the serpentine shape below is the ancient Great Wall of China, along the Panlongshan section northeast of Beijing. Panlongshan is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Lovejoy in the New Year

    01/04/2014 12:44:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | January 03, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A rival to vanquished Comet ISON in 2013, Comet Lovejoy (C/2013 R1) still sweeps through early morning skies, captured in this starry scene on New Year's day. The frame stretches some 3.5 degrees (about 7 full moons) across a background of faint stars in the constellation Hercules. Only just visible to the naked eye from dark sites before dawn, Lovejoy remains a good target for the northern hemisphere's binocular equipped skygazers. But this deep exposure shows off Lovejoy's beautiful tails and tantalizing greenish coma better than binocular views. Not a sungrazer, this Comet Lovejoy made its closest approach to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy Over a Windmill

    12/09/2013 5:28:01 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | December 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Lovejoy continues to be an impressive camera comet. Pictured above, Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) was imaged above the windmill in Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire in southern France with a six-second exposure. In the foreground is a field of lavender. Comet Lovejoy should remain available for photo opportunities for northern observers during much of December and during much of the night, although it will be fading as the month progresses and highest in the sky before sunrise. In person, the comet will be best viewed with binoculars. A giant dirty snowball, Comet Lovejoy last visited the inner Solar System about 7,000 years ago,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy through Mörby Castle Ruins

    12/04/2013 8:11:38 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | December 04, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This new comet is quite photogenic. Comet Lovejoy, discovered only three months ago, was imaged through ruins of ancient Mörby Castle in Sweden last week sporting a green-glowing coma and tails trailing several degrees. The past few weeks have been an unusually active time for comet watchers as four comets were visible simultaneously with binoculars: ISON, Lovejoy, Encke, and LINEAR. C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) comet is currently visible to the unaided eye from a dark location. As Monday's new Moon will provide little glare, the next few days provide a good time to see Comet Lovejoy as it reaches its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy Before Galaxy M63

    12/02/2013 8:49:44 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | December 02, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy was captured last week passing well in front of spiral galaxy M63. Discovered only three months ago and currently near its maximum brightness, Comet Lovejoy can be seen near the Big Dipper from dark northerly locations before dawn with the unaided eye. An unexpected rival to Comet ISON, C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy), pictured above, is currently sporting a large green coma and a beautifully textured ion tail. Comet Lovejoy is now headed back to the outer Solar System but should remain a good sight in binoculars for another few weeks. Conversely, spiral galaxy M63, lies far in the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy with M44

    11/09/2013 11:29:50 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 1 replies
    NASA ^ | November 09, 2013 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: While anxiously waiting for Comet ISON to brighten further as it falls toward the Sun, northern skygazers can also find three other bright comets in the east before dawn. In fact, Comet Lovejoy C/2013 R1 is currently the morning sky's brightest. Only discovered in September and not a sungrazing comet, this Comet Lovejoy is nearing the edge of naked-eye visibility and might be spotted from very dark sky sites. Sporting a greenish coma and tail in this telescopic view taken on November 7, Comet Lovejoy is about 0.5 AU from our fair planet and 1.2 AU from the Sun....
  • Video: Close Call in the Corona

    06/09/2013 11:10:06 AM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 6 June 2013 | Sid Perkins
    Credit: Video courtesy of Cooper Downs Deep inside the sun's atmosphere, temperatures reach millions of degrees—so hot that even the best-shielded spacecraft can't go there (even at night). But natural objects that pass exceptionally close to the sun do provide scientists opportunities to directly probe the solar corona. Enter sun-grazing comets, such as comet Lovejoy, which whizzed within 140,000 kilometers of the sun's surface in mid-December 2011 (as seen in the first 20 seconds of the video). When a comet is far from the sun, its tail acts like a weather vane in the solar wind (the torrent of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Little Planet Lovejoy

    01/10/2012 9:47:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies · 1+ views
    NASA ^ | January 11, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Once a bright apparition in the southern hemisphere dawn Comet Lovejoy is fading, but its long tail still stretches across skies near the south celestial pole. Captured on the morning of December 30th, the comet appears near edge of this little planet as well. Of course, the little planet is actually planet Earth and the image was created from a 12 frame mosaic used to construct a spherical panorama. The type of stereographic projection used to map the image pixels is centered directly below the camera and is known as the little planet projection. Stars surrounding this little planet...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy and the ISS

    12/30/2011 9:36:05 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | December 31, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On December 24, Comet Lovejoy rose in dawn's twilight, arcing above the eastern horizon, its tails swept back by the solar wind and sunlight. Seen on the left is the comet's early morning appearance alongside the southern Milky Way from the town of Intendente Alvear, La Pampa province, Argentina. The short star trails include bright southern sky stars Alpha and Beta Centauri near the center of the frame, but the long bright streak that crosses the comet tails is a little closer to home. Waiting for the proper moment to start his exposure, the photographer has also caught the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy over Paranal

    12/28/2011 2:28:24 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | December 28, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) survived its close encounter with the Sun earlier this month, taking its place among wonders of the southern skies just in time for Christmas. Seen here before sunrise from Paranal Observatory in Chile, the sungrazing comet's tails stretch far above the eastern horizon. Spanning over 20 degrees they rise alongside the plane of the our Milky Way galaxy. A breathtaking spectacle in itself, Lovejoy performs on this celestial stage with southern stars and nebulae, including the Large and Small Magellanic clouds right of the telescope dome, and the glow of zodiacal light along the left...
  • New Comet 2007 E2(Lovejoy)-Destination unknown ?

    03/17/2007 6:28:40 AM PDT · by Orlando · 31 replies · 2,005+ views
    spaceweather.com ^ | 3-17-07 | spaceweather
    New Comet(Lovejoy): On March 15th, Terry Lovejoy of Thomlands, Australia discovered a new comet (C/2007 E2) in the southern constellation Indus. Remarkably, to make the find he used not a telescope but just a camera- a Canon 350D. At Lovejoy's request John Frummund of Gisborme, New Zealand confirmed the comet with this photo taken through a 0.41-m reflector. The new comet is green, 9th-magnitude, and located approximately at right ascension 20h 42m 55s, declination -50o 43' 14" (ref: International Astronomical union Circular 8819). A detailed ephemeris is not yet available, so it is impossible to say how bright Comet Lovejoy...
  • New Green Comet Set for April Show (Comet Lovejoy - C/2007 E2)

    04/01/2007 4:09:11 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 2,370+ views
    A new comet has recently been discovered, and like the brilliant Comet McNaught from earlier this year, this latest discovery belongs to an Australian: Comet Lovejoy (C/2007 E2). On March 15th, Terry Lovejoy of Thornlands, Queensland, Australia, discovered a 9th-magnitude comet in the southern constellation Indus the Indian. In reporting the find to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lovejoy described the comet as having a coma that appeared distinctly green in color, with a slight extension to the southwest. Remarkably, Lovejoy made the discovery not with a telescope but using an off-the-shelf digital camera! In...
  • Comet Lovejoy Survives Fiery Plunge Through Sun, NASA Says

    12/16/2011 8:02:01 AM PST · by edpc · 28 replies
    Space.com via Yahoo News ^ | 16 Dec 2011 | Mike Wall
    A newfound comet defied long odds on Thursday (Dec. 15), surviving a suicidal dive through the sun's hellishly hot atmosphere, according to NASA scientists. Comet Lovejoy plunged through the sun's corona at about 7 p.m. EST (midnight GMT on Dec. 16), coming within 87,000 miles (140,000 kilometers) of our star's surface. Temperatures in the corona can reach 2 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 million degrees Celsius), so most researchers expected the icy wanderer to be completely destroyed.
  • NASA Photo of the Day: Comet Lovejoy

    12/27/2011 5:00:17 AM PST · by EnjoyingLife · 6 replies
    ChamorroBible.org ^ | December 21, 2011 | Daniel C. Burbank, NASA Astronaut and International Space Station Expedition 30 Commander
    2250x1497 pixels, 3250x2162 pixels, 4256x2832 pixels. Via http://ChamorroBible.org/gpw/gpw-201112.htm
  • New Comet Discovered: Lovejoy Will Add to “Comet Lineup” in Winter Skies

    09/10/2013 5:38:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | September 10, 2013 | Bob King on
    The discovery of C/2013 R1 Lovejoy was announced on Sept. 9 after two nights of photographic observations by Lovejoy with an 8-inch (20 cm) Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector. When nabbed, the comet was a faint midge of about 14.5 magnitude crossing the border between Orion and Monoceros. Subsequent observations by other amateur astronomers peg it a bit brighter at 14.0 with a small, condensed coma.
  • Watch the New Year's Skies for a Green Comet

    12/30/2014 2:20:17 PM PST · by Red Badger · 20 replies
    National Geographic ^ | Published December 30, 2014 | Andrew Fazekas
    Comet Lovejoy is brightening faster than expected, putting on a show you can see for yourself this holiday season. Comet Lovejoy, snapped here through a telescope on December 16, is streaking through the night sky this holiday season. Just in time for the holidays, the skies are serving up a special cosmic gift: a brightening comet that may not have been in our part of the solar system for nearly 12,000 years. Discovered only this past August, comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is now quickly brightening to naked-eye visibility as it moves from the deep southern sky into prime viewing location...
  • Bright Comet Lovejoy Rings in the New Year! (Closest approach 7JAN2015)

    01/01/2015 7:01:59 PM PST · by Jack Hydrazine · 34 replies
    Slate.com ^ | 30DEC2014 | Phil Plait
    2014 hasn’t even ended yet and we already have one of the best comets of 2015 showing off in our skies: C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), already visible to the naked eye and predicted to get brighter over the next couple of weeks! This is the fifth comet discovered by Australian "amateur" astronomer Terry Lovejoy. In 2011, one of “his” comets made a spectacular pass through the sky. This one may not be quite so ostentatious, but its location and brightness make it a winner. On Jan. 7 it will pass about 70 million kilometers (44 million miles) from Earth, and it’s...
  • John Howard rebukes Barack Obama over climate speech

    01/01/2015 3:07:21 PM PST · by naturalman1975 · 28 replies
    The Australian ^ | 2nd January 2015 | Dennis Shanahan
    JOHN Howard has criticised Barack Obama for “wading into domestic political differences on climate change” during his recent visit to Australia for the G20 leaders’ summit. The former prime minister said the US President’s speech to the University of Queensland in Brisbane “could have been phrased differently”. ..... Mr Obama’s passionate speech to a young audience ­during the G20 summit embarrassed the Prime Minister, caused outrage among members of the Queensland government and drew public criticism from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. ..... Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said he was not about to criticise Mr Obama as “our guest” but the...
  • Massive Terror, War Avoided As UN Rejects Palestinian State

    12/31/2014 4:21:32 PM PST · by IsraelBeach · 9 replies
    Israel News Agency ^ | December 30, 2014 | Joel Leyden
    By Joel Leyden Israel News AgencyNew York, New York — December 30 … Lethal, Islamic terror attacks and the potential for a new Middle East war were avoided this evening as the UN Security Council defeated a Palestinian resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territories by late 2017. The UN resolution called for negotiations to be based on territorial lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the Six Day War. It also demanded that a peace agreement be reached within 12 months. If a bid for Palestinian statehood was...
  • Muslim Leaders in Australia Say Banning Terrorism Will Ban Islam

    01/01/2015 10:48:06 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 39 replies
    Frontpage Mag ^ | 01/01/2015 | Daniel Greenfield
    They have a point. It’s just usually one that they aren’t willing to admit in public. The Jihad comes from the Koran. Every act of Muslim violence that is religiously sanctioned, from terrorism to rape, is derived from the Koran. If you ban incitement to violence against non-Muslims, you criminalize the Koran. A Muslim cleric who preaches from certain passages of the Koran could be caught in the “broad” net of the government’s new anti-terror law, Islamic leaders have warned.Grand Mufti of Australia Ibrahim Abu Mohammad and the Australian National Imams Council have called for the offence of “advocating...
  • EU Calls for Peace Talks After PA Fails at UN

    12/30/2014 10:30:49 PM PST · by Eleutheria5 · 15 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 31/12/14
    The European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Tuesday's vote at the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Palestinian statehood underlined the need for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to urgently resume peace negotiations. The Security Council failed to adopt an Arab-backed resolution that would have paved the way to a Palestinian state, setting a 12-month deadline for Israel to reach a final peace deal with the PA and calling for a full Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria by the end of 2017. The vote "underlines once again the urgency of resuming meaningful negotiations between the...
  • Palestinian Statehood Resolution Fails at UN Security Council

    12/30/2014 5:05:41 PM PST · by lbryce · 16 replies
    Times of Israel ^ | December 31, 2014 | Itamar Sharon
    The UN Security Council on Tuesday rejected a resolution on Palestinian statehood, with the Palestinians failing to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption by the 15-member council: Eight voted for the resolution and two voted against, with five abstentions. France, China and Russia were among the countries that supported the text setting a 12-month deadline for negotiations on a final peace deal with Israel and an imposed full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem by the end of 2017. Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg also voted for the resolution. Australia and the United...
  • Reported text of draft UN resolution on Palestinian statehood

    12/30/2014 7:44:09 AM PST · by Former Fetus · 9 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | 12/30/2014 | TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF
    The draft resolution by the Palestinians calling for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem within three years and revised to include language declaring East Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state was presented to the UN Security Council late Monday. The draft resolution affirms the urgent need to achieve “a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution” to the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict within 12 months and sets a December 31, 2017 deadline for Israel’s occupation to end. Many of the changes to the draft are semantic, such as the addition of the word “just,” to...
  • Abbas Bucks Kerry and Runs to the UN to Throw Obama under the Bus

    12/30/2014 4:14:57 AM PST · by SJackson · 9 replies
    Jewish Press ^ | December 29th, 2014 | Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
    Abbas ignored Kerry’s hints of sanctions and told him Jordan will present a resolution to the UN to force Israel to "Auschwitz borders.” Abbas, the one who is short in size and common sense, with Kerry, the one who is tall in size but short on common sense. Mahmoud Abbas is ignoring hints of American sanctions and a possible defeat in the U.N. Security Council which is set to consider a resolution from Jordan on Monday, ordering Israel to sign a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority in one year. The resolution calls on Israel to surrender within three years...
  • Mahmoud Abbas: Failing the Palestinians and Peace

    12/29/2014 4:40:02 AM PST · by SJackson · 19 replies
    FrontPage Magazine ^ | December 29, 2014 | Joseph Puder
    Mahmoud Abbas: Failing the Palestinians and PeacePosted By Joseph Puder On December 29, 2014 @ 12:35 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | No Comments Mahmoud Abbas, (aka Abu Mazen) has been a failure as the Palestinian “Rais.” He failed to lead the Palestinian Authority (PA) toward peace with Israel, and he mismanaged the alleged goal to achieve statehood for the Palestinians. Instead of facing the tough issues and making compromises required in negotiating peace and statehood with the Israelis, Abbas chose an alliance with the Gaza controlled terrorist group Hamas. Following Abbas’ pact with Hamas last April, Israel broke off peace negotiations with the...
  • Security Council Rejects PA's Statehood Resolution (falls short of 9 vote threshold)

    12/30/2014 2:39:28 PM PST · by Dave346 · 23 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 12/31/2014, 12:32 AM
    PA's unilateral resolution calling on Israel to "end the occupation" fails to receive the nine required votes to pass. Only eight countries voted in favor of the resolution, two voted against, and there were five abstentions. The resolution needed nine votes in favor to have passed. Australia and the United States voted against.
  • Australia’s 1st Jihad Attack, January 1,1915

    12/31/2014 7:46:16 AM PST · by Jan_Sobieski · 9 replies
    Israel National News ^ | 12/31/2014 | Editor
    The Department of Veteran's Affairs announced last March that the centenary of the Battle of Broken Hill on 1 January 2014 would not be formally commemorated by the Australian Government. That decision will now be seen in hindsight by many as a wise one indeed – following the fallout resulting from the horrific Martin Place siege perpetrated by self-styled Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis just two weeks ago - that claimed his life and those of two innocent civilians...
  • Remembering Australia’s First Jihadist Attack—1 January 1915

    12/30/2014 9:45:36 AM PST · by Sean_Anthony · 1 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 12/30/14 | David Singer
    Battle of Broken Hill The Department of Veteran’s Affairs announced last March that the centenary of the Battle of Broken Hill on 1 January 2015 would not be formally commemorated by the Australian Government. That decision will now be seen in hindsight by many as a wise one indeed—following the fallout resulting from the horrific Martin Place siege perpetrated by self-styled Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis just two weeks ago - that claimed his life and those of two innocent civilians. However Nicholas Shakespeare has written a novella—”Oddfellows” - based on this little known event—to be published by Random House...
  • Sydney siege: Australia's radicalised Muslims in 90 seconds

    12/29/2014 3:51:02 PM PST · by Jan_Sobieski · 5 replies
    BBC News ^ | 12/15/2014 | BBC News
    The gunman who held hostages at a Sydney cafe made them raise a black flag widely used by Muslim extremists. The 16-hour siege followed mounting concerns over the effect on Australia's domestic security of those who fight for, or sympathise with, militant Islamist groups in Iraq and Syria. But who are the radicalised members of Australia's Muslim community and how large is the problem? Here's a quick look…
  • Ugly Muslim Face of Islam in Sydney, Australia

    12/29/2014 3:41:32 PM PST · by Jan_Sobieski · 5 replies
    Youtube ^ | 10/26/2014 | Stevie Koch
    This is only the beginning. Muslims are growing so rapidly in numbers that they now threaten the safety of many Australians. They can never integrate with Australians nor can they befriend us as taught by their Quran and Hadiths... Surah 98:6 "Those who disbelieve (Islam), among the People of the Scripture (Christians and Jews) and the Polytheists, will dwell in the fire of hell. They are the worst of all creatures."Surah 5:51 "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a...