black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
Hamas Appoints First Female Spokesperson | AJ
Meet the 23-year-old journalist, Isra al-Modallal.
Al-Modallal doesn’t consider herself to be a Hamas loyalist, ”I am not Hamas. I am a Palestinian activist who loves her country.”
The change began with Ihab Ghussein, the new head of the Hamas media department. In an effort “to be more open to the West,” Ghussein started a new website, hired younger people, and actively pursued use of social media. He said many women were among the dozens of applicants considered for the position. ”Women are partners in our society.”

Hamas Appoints First Female Spokesperson | AJ

Meet the 23-year-old journalist, Isra al-Modallal.

Al-Modallal doesn’t consider herself to be a Hamas loyalist, ”I am not Hamas. I am a Palestinian activist who loves her country.”

The change began with Ihab Ghussein, the new head of the Hamas media department. In an effort “to be more open to the West,” Ghussein started a new website, hired younger people, and actively pursued use of social media. He said many women were among the dozens of applicants considered for the position. ”Women are partners in our society.”

This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For

barackobama:

The official White House response to a petition to secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016:

By Paul Shawcross

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
     
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
     
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky—that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts—American, Russian, and Canadian—living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs—one wielding a laser—roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo—and soon, crew—to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.

Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.

We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.

We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.

If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget

Today in stupendous. 

“Like they say: It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you disparage the pathetic lives of the little people who make it possible for you to have a career bouncing an inflatable ball.”
Stephen Colbert on LeChoker
White House Accused of Spinning Report; Scientists say it is 'just not true' that the vast majority of oil from the BP spill has gone

"Recent reports seem to say that about 75% of the oil is taken care of and that is just not true," said John Kessler, of Texas A&M University, who led a National Science Foundation on-site study of the spill. "The fact is that 50% to 75% of the material that came out of the well is still in the water."

Even the White House’s own estimates still left a spill five times the size of that from the Exxon Valdez, she said, with long-term consequences that would be unknown for years to come. 

"It seems that there was a rush to declare this done, and there were obvious political objectives there," he said. "Even if there is not a drop of oil out there, and it had truly magically vanished, it would still be an environmental disaster caused by the toxic shock of the release of 5m barrels of oil."

Wetlands Front Group Funded By Big Oil Wants To Ensure Taxpayers Foot The Bill For BP's Gulf Destruction

A group of oil companies including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Chevron and other polluters are using a front group called "America’s WETLAND Foundation" and a Louisiana women’s group called Women of the Storm to spread the message that U.S. taxpayers should pay for the damage caused by BP to Gulf Coast wetlands, and that the reckless offshore oil industry should continue drilling for the “wholesale sustainability” of the region. 

Using the age-old PR trick of featuring celebrity messengers to attract public attention, America’s Wetland Foundation is spreading a petition accompanied by a video starring Sandra Bullock, Dave Matthews, Lenny Kravitz, Emeril Lagassi, John Goodman, Harry Shearer, Peyton and Eli Manning, Drew Brees and others.

The America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) was launched in 2002 with primary support from Shell Oil and a host of other oil companies. AWF is run by the PR shop Marmillion+Company, whose founder previously served as a PR manager at ARCO and staffer to various GOPers. According to the Washington Post:

"Shell Oil, worried about its offshore drilling platforms, put up several million dollars for a PR campaign to rebrand Louisiana’s marshes as ‘America’s Wetland.’"

A quick look at the sponsors of America’s WETLAND Foundation reveals the oily underpinnings of this greenwashing campaign, with Shell serving as “World Sponsor,” and a long list of oil companies, the American Petroleum Institute and other polluting interests who back the group financially as well.

Women of the Storm was established after Hurricane Katrina by Anne Milling, the wife of America’s Wetland chairman R. King Milling, who is part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R-LA) team to lift the offshore drilling moratorium. America’s Wetland Foundation and Women of the Storm are also partners in another affiliated campaign called “America’s Energy Coast” whose tag line is “Shore Up, Fuel The Nation.”

New Orleans resident Sandra Bullock, who has become the face of the Restore the Gulf Campaign, has now severed her involvement with it after learning of the connections.

©2011 Kateoplis