Sunday, April 13, 2014

Collins manages to insult Utahns with comments on Bundy roundup

...Darin Bushman, a Piute County, Utah, commissioner, called [Clark County Nevada Commissioner] Tom Collins about the Bureau of Land Management roundup of Bundy’s cattle in the Gold Butte area, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The cattle are being seized after Bundy failed to pay grazing fees over 20 years. When the conversation ended, Bushman posted on Facebook that Collins said Utahns are “inbred bastards” and if they come to Clark County to support Bundy they “better have funeral plans.” Collins also told Bushman that they should mind their “own (expletive) business.”

Collins’ statement draws scrutiny

Source: Las Vegas Sun

Update: The Las Vegas Sun Appears to have taken down their report of this incident. You may be able to view a Google cache version here.

Commissioner Tom Collins’ profanity-laced statement last week to supporters of embattled rancher Cliven Bundy have landed him in hot water.
During a phone call with a county commissioner from Utah, Collins warned that any Utahns coming with guns to help Bundy “better have funeral plans.” Collins also referred to Utahns as inbred and used several expletives, according to a Facebook post made by Darin Bushman, the commissioner from Piute County.
Collins has tried to clarify the remarks, saying that he was only trying to discourage violence by telling armed Bundy supporters to stay away.
But his efforts haven’t been enough to quell the controversy.
Although Collins’ behavior is not listed on the agenda, Commission Chair Steve Sisolak plans to lead a discussion about the decorum of board members. It's not clear whether Collins will face any sort of formal reprimand.

PhoneSat 2.5 is scheduled to launch on the next SpaceX commercial cargo flight to the International Space Station.  

The SpaceX-3 mission should hopefully launch tomorrow (Monday, April 14) and will deploy the latest SmallSat. PhoneSat 2.5 is built from mostly consumer off the shelf products such as the Samsung Galaxy S platform smartphone and Android OS that provides most of the satellite control systems.

Source: NASA
 
In addition to the large memory, fast processors, GPS receivers, gyroscope and magnetometer sensors and high-resolution cameras commonly found in smartphones, the PhoneSat 2.5 also houses a low-cost commercial attitude determination and control system that contains reaction wheels that by slowing down or speeding up, can rotate the satellite. Engineers hope to determine if this control system can orient PhoneSat in space, a critical capability for satellites that may need to point towards a specific object of scientific interest like an asteroid, star or features on Earth. The missions also gather further information about the orbital lifespan of the smartphone components.
 
"By advancing the price performance of nanosatellites using consumer electronics, we can make some of the more radical ideas become economically viable," said Jasper Wolfe, PhoneSat Control System lead at NASA Ames.

NATO pics 'show Russia buildup' near Ukraine

Source: CNN

The photos of tanks, artillery battalions, and infantry brigades near Novocherkassk -- just 50 kilometers from the Ukrainian border -- show Russia's preparation for a potential invasion, says Igor Sutyagin, a research fellow for Russian studies at RUSI, a defense and security think tank.
...
Sutyagin says the recent build-up of these jets in what appear to be sparsely resourced air fields doesn't make much sense from a strategic standpoint.

"The planes seem to be more about parade than about preparation," he says. "Firstly, they're designed to fly hundreds of kilometers anyway, so moving them another 90 kilometers closer to the border won't make much difference."

He added: "If the Russians do not have installations to service the planes, or utilize weapons storages, and if they're far from their permanent bases where their rear-support units are concentrated, they cannot be operationally effective for an invasion."

In pictures: Russian military build-up near Ukraine

Source: BBC

Nato's decision to release over 20 satellite images and associated maps of the Russian military build-up on Ukraine's eastern frontier is a signal of the concern among the alliance's commanders that a Russian military option against Ukraine is very much on the table, the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus reports.

An unnamed Russian military official responded to the release of the images by saying that the satellite photos were actually taken in 2013.

Nato, however, rejects the Russian allegations out of hand.

It says: "The dates of the images released by Shape were collected by the Digital Globe satellite 'Constellation' between late March and early April 2014. The images are unclassified and are commercially available in Digital Globe's public archive. Shape did not alter or edit the images in any way prior to release."