A man, who had been drinking, told the victim that he needed to use her phone, she handed him a portable phone through a small opening in the door and then closed the door. The man pretended to use the phone and then when she opened the door again to regain her phone the man barged his way in, at about 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 13 NZST.
It was a five-hour attack and she only managed to escape when, the next day, she was driven to an ATM to withdraw money where she fumbled with her bank cards and while the attacker was distracted she ran to a service station.
The victim told police that she believed that the man had been stalking her for about a week. Criminal profilers are worried that he may strike again.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grimstone says “the terror in the woman’s eyes is clearly visible as she asks for help at a service station.”
The attacker could be wearing blue jeans and a black jacket that was taken from the victim’s house. The attacker is described as an unshaven M?ori male in his late 30s or 40s.
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Regardless of what it looks like to the outside world, being dumped does a lot of damage to a man. Being in love is truly a magical experience and when it comes to an abrupt halt in the form of a sudden break up, it’s enough to upend your world. Many men, perhaps you included, have to deal with this on a daily basis. They’re left in the emotional rubble of a crumbling relationship and only want answers to questions like, “how do I make my ex girlfriend miss me,” or “is there a way to get her to love me again.” It’s natural to want to get back the person you love most in the world. Making her miss you is actually one of the best ways to accomplish that.
The answer to the question, “how do I make my ex girlfriend miss me,” isn’t quite as simple as stopping all contact. You actually have to put in a bit of effort first if you want to make your absence in her life have the greatest impact. It’s essential that you apologize to her for the difficulties you two faced in your relationship. This does not have to be an over-the-top, blown-out-of-proportion apology. You simply need to tell her that you’re deeply sorry for what you did or didn’t do that played a role in the breakdown of your relationship. This one gesture will have a lasting impact on her and will pave the way for you to take your leave for a bit.
When you do decide to create some distance between you and your ex in an effort to get her to miss you it’s important that you follow through with it and stop all contact completely. You can’t call her occasionally just to see how she is and it’s not a good idea to send her a text message once a week to check in. The contact has to come to a complete and total stop. If you give in to temptation and reach out to her, that will negate everything else you are doing.
It’s much easier to stay away from her if you keep yourself occupied with other things. Your friends can be a great resource when it comes to this. Hang out with them more and plan some activities that will soak up your time in the evenings and on the weekends. Go away for a few days if the opportunity presents itself but don’t preface that with a call to your ex telling her that you won’t be available.
If you can resist the urge to be in touch with her, it can have an enormous impact on your relationship in the future. When a couple stops talking it puts a spotlight on their relationship. She won’t be able to stop thinking about you because suddenly you won’t be there for her anymore. All the negative feelings she had about the break up will be replaced with thoughts about the wonderfully loving moments. A little distance can truly change the entire dynamic of your relationship with your ex and can pull her back towards loving you again.
Confused about how to win her back? Saying or doing one wrong thing can impact your future with the woman you love. Learn the step-by-step guaranteed plan to get her back now. You’ve only got one chance to win her back so make it count.Author: Gillian Reynolds
The Internet group Project Chanology today held protests critical of the Church of Scientology. The protests marked what would have been the 49th birthday of Lisa McPherson, who is claimed to be a victim of the Church of Scientology’s practices. Lisa died in 1995 during a running of what Scientologists refer to as an Introspection Rundown, a procedure intended to help Church members deal with a psychotic or deeply traumatic event.
Protests were planned throughout the day in 14 countries and over 50 different cities. The estimation of total protesters world wide for Feb. 10, 2008 is 9,250 people.
Wikinews had correspondents at a number of protest locations to report on the events. This article was updated throughout the day with reports from around the globe.
1 Location Reports
1.1 Adelaide, Australia
1.1.1 Adelaide Gallery
1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
1.2.1 Atlanta Photo Gallery
1.3 Austin, Texas
1.3.1 Austin Photo Gallery
1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
1.4.1 Boston Photo Gallery
1.5 Brisbane, Australia
1.5.1 Brisbane Gallery
1.6 Brussels, Belgium
1.6.1 Brussels Photo Gallery
1.7 Buffalo, New York
1.7.1 Buffalo Photo Gallery
1.8 Chicago, Illinois
1.8.1 Chicago Photo Gallery
1.9 Clearwater, Florida
1.10 Dallas, Texas
1.10.1 Dallas Photo Gallery
1.11 Edinburgh, Scotland
1.11.1 Edinburgh Photo Gallery
1.12 Honolulu, Hawaii
1.12.1 Honolulu Photo Gallery
1.13 Houston, Texas
1.14 London, England
1.14.1 London Photo Gallery
1.15 Los Angeles, California
1.15.1 Los Angeles Photo Gallery
1.16 Manchester, England
1.16.1 Manchester Photo Gallery
1.17 Melbourne, Australia
1.17.1 Melbourne Photo Gallery
1.18 Minneapolis, Minnesota
1.19 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1.19.1 Milwaukee Photo Gallery
1.20 New Orleans, Louisiana
1.20.1 New Orleans Photo Gallery
1.21 New York City, New York
1.21.1 New York City Photo Gallery
1.22 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1.23 Phoenix, Arizona
1.23.1 Phoenix Photo Gallery
1.24 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1.24.1 Pittsburgh Photo Gallery
1.25 Plymouth, England
1.25.1 Plymouth Photo Gallery
1.26 Portland, Oregon
1.26.1 Portland Photo Gallery
1.27 San Antonio, Texas
1.28 San Diego, California
1.28.1 San Diego Photo Gallery
1.29 Seattle, Washington
1.29.1 Seattle Photo Gallery
1.30 Sydney, Australia
1.30.1 Sydney Photo Gallery
1.31 Toronto, Canada
1.31.1 Toronto Photo Gallery
1.32 Vancouver, Canada
1.33 Vienna, Austria
1.34 Winnipeg, Canada
1.34.1 Winnipeg Photo Gallery
1.35 The Internet
1.35.1 Internet gallery
1.36 Other locations
1.36.1 Stories from other locations
2 Related news
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Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.
Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.
In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”
An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.
Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.
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The eastbound 1993 Honda was sideswiped from the driver’s side by a southbound 1999 Ford, killing Jose. His sister, 6-year-old Elizabeth Covarrubias, and mother, Maria Covarrubias, were killed when they ejected, as they were not wearing seatbelts. Family friend Froylon Gonzalez was sent to the hospital with serious injuries, and the driver of the Ford, Charles Seguin, sustained minor injuries.
Felipe Gonzalez, Froylon’s brother, said the family was returning from Jose’s soccer team practice. He also added that he had never seen Jose drive before. Gonzales was the lone survivor of the Honda and has not yet been interviewed.
The accident occurred at a rural intersection and it did not appear to law enforcement that drugs, alcohol, or weather were a factor in the collision.
The bodies will be buried in Mexico near where the father lives.
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There has been significant growth in the demand of residential and commercial property in India. This has subsequently brought forth stiff competition in the market among real estate agents and property developers. There is no gainsaying in the fact that they have significantly helped customers by offering them current and best properties at a very affordable price.
No doubt, India is proudly situated as one of the nations in the world with considerable growth in commercial, industrial and residential sectors. There has been good growth in per capita income of individual which has subsequently enabled them purchase piece of property for their needs. Moreover, there is no dearth of real estate agents who have good deal of information for properties for sale and rent in several sections in the country. No doubt, these factors have given an awesome entryway to business personnel and financiers globally so that they can get possession over property through sale or purchase. This is really great as it has enabled to reap inordinate benefits from the property sector in quickest time possible. Home loan has played very crucial role to help individuals materialize dream of owning new house or residential or commercial property in India. No doubt, the popularity of such type of loan has its unblemished reputation in all over the country; the underlying fact is that there are many things to understand before someone opts for it. Home loan EMI calculator is one of the things to consider in this respect. Before we understand EMI calculator for home loan, let us understand about EMI. In fact, EMI or equated monthly installment is a criterion to which your repayment is determined. For instance, if you have taken home loan, they you will be required to repay the loan on monthly basis. It is to be understood that EMI is payable till the entire loan is paid back in total. It is determined by amalgamation of tenure, loan amount and home loan interest rates. You should understand that if there is increase in loan amount, EMI will increase correspondingly. If the tenure is increased, the EMI will be decreased accordingly. The calculator is a tool used to deduce how much EMI you will be required to pay against your loan. It is very easy to use and many banks which are providing home loans also offer the service of emi calculator. Housing loan can give you a facility to sort out your money woes and emi calculator helps you know about amount of money you are to repay to your lender in response to the loan borrowed.Home loan
This is the third Space Shuttle mission of 2008. STS-124 is the second of three missions to assemble the Japanese Experiment Module, also known as Kibo. The JEM Pressurised Module (JEM PM or JPM) is the largest laboratory module of the International Space Station, and one of the largest payloads ever launched by the Space Shuttle. The main Japanese robot arm, or RMS, will also be launched on this mission. Discovery’s mission is scheduled to last for fourteen days, however it can be extended by two days if necessary. Three spacewalks, or EVAs, are planned to be conducted.
Preparations for launch had been underway for several months. The External Tank arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in late March. Following tests in a checkout cell, it was mated with two solid rocket boosters which had been assembled on a Mobile Launch Platform. Discovery was then rolled from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building for mating with the External Tank and boosters. Rollover occurred in late April, and was followed by rollout to the launch pad about a week later.
The Kibo pressurised module arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in May 2003 by ship. It was then moved to the Space Station Processing Facility. Electrical interface tests with the Harmony node were conducted in August 2003. At the end of April 2008, the module was placed in a transportation canister, and moved to the launch pad. The payload arrived at the launch pad about a week ahead of the Shuttle. Once Discovery arrived at the launch pad, the module was placed into Discovery’s payload bay. Owing to the size of the payload, there was no room in Discovery’s’ payload bay for the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS), a safety device used primarily to inspect the Shuttle Orbiter’s heat shield. As a result of this, Endeavour left its OBSS at the International Space Station, during the last Shuttle Mission, STS-123. Discovery’s crew will collect this during an EVA.
Fueling of Discovery’sExternal Tank in preparation for launch began at 11:50 GMT. By 12:50, it had been confirmed that initial tests on Engine Cutoff (ECO) sensors in the External Tank had been conducted successfully. ECO sensor failures had caused a number of delays to recent Shuttle launch attempts, and STS-124 is the first mission to use a modified tank, which is intended to eliminate such faults. At the time at which tanking began, weather forecasters predicted an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions at the scheduled launch time. Fuelling was completed, and topping up of cryogenic propellant began, at 15:36. In addition to the ECO sensor modifications, this was the first mission to use an External Tank manufactured after the Columbia accident in 2003, and therefore the first tank to have all safety enhancements built into it, rather than retrofitted.
The terminal countdown resumed after a planned hold at T-3 hours, at 17:07 GMT. Crew walkout from the Operations and Checkout building at the Kennedy Space Center occurred at 17:12. Following walkout, the crew boarded a bus known as the “astrovan”, which was used to transport them to the launch pad. The crew arrived at the launch pad at 17:31, and began boarding Discovery at 17:38. As Mission Commander, Mark Kelly was the first to board the orbiter. He was followed by Chamitoff at 17:42, Ham at 17:52, Fossum at 17:55, Nyberg at 18:08 and Hoshide at 18:11. Ron Garan was the last to board the orbiter at 18:21. Pad technicians known as the closeout crew, assisted the astronauts with boarding the Shuttle, and getting strapped in. The pad technicians were cleared to close the orbiter’s access hatch at 19:02 GMT, and the hatch door was closed two minutes later at 19:04. Sealing the hatch was completed at 19:54.
A scheduled ten-minute hold at T-20 minutes began at 19:47 GMT. During this hold, the closeout crew put thermal insulation plugs into screwholes on the orbiter’s hatch, removed protective covers, and disassembled the white room, a collapsible structure at the end of the crew access arm which is used to access the spacecraft. The countdown resumed at 19:57. At that time, no problems were being worked.
The final built in hold, at T-9 minutes and lasting for 45 minutes and 12 seconds, began at 20:08. During this hold, flight controllers set the exact launch time to be 21:02:12 GMT, and confirmed that the launch window would end at 21:08:59 GMT. The countdown was set to resume at 20:53:12. Shortly before the end of the hold, the launch director described conditions as a “gorgeous day to launch”, and wished the crew “good luck and Godspeed”. Mark Kelly thanked him, and replied “whilst we tend to live for today, Discovery, with Kibo, will certainly deliver hope for tomorrow”. Countdown resumed on time at the end of the hold, and the automated Ground Launch Sequencer was initiated.
When giving clearance to retract the Orbiter Access arm from the Shuttle, seven minutes before launch, the Orbiter Test Conductor wished the crew “best of luck delivering JEM to the International Space Station”. Four minutes before launch, the engines were purged of gasses, and tests of the flight control surfaces began. Liquid hydrogen tanks were pressurised shortly after at T-3 minutes, and the fuel vent cap was retracted. Two minutes before lift-off, the crew were instructed to close and lock their visors, and the liquid oxygen tank was pressurised. At T-50 seconds, the orbiter switched to internal power, and the Shuttle’s flight computers took over control of the countdown at T-31 seconds.
Launch occurred on schedule at 21:02:12 GMT. The Solid Rocket Boosters separated about 120 seconds into the flight, and around eight and a half minutes after launch, the Main Engines (SSMEs) shut down, and the External Tank was jettisoned. At this time, Discovery was on a 65km x 217km x 51.6° sub-orbital trajectory. Orbital insertion followed about thirty minutes later, with a firing of Discovery’sOMS engines. This burn started at 21:39 GMT, and ended at 21:42, lasting two minutes and 44 seconds.
At the time of launch, the International Space Station was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, South-East of Canada. Following launch, a fault was detected with the backup electrical system controlling the left OMS engine gimbal actuator. As it was a backup, flight controllers predicted that it would have no effect on the mission, and all scheduled burns will go ahead. The fault was later traced to the failure of both transducers in the unit, and it was reported that the problem was probably due to an equipment malfunction as opposed to a faulty sensor. When asked about the faulty actuator, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin stated that at the “worst case it would be a loss of redundancy but we will still be able to use that system”. Discovery’s payload bay doors were opened at 22:35 GMT. At 23:09, the crew were cleared to begin on-orbit operations.
Processing and countdown progressed smoothly, and were described by Discovery’s processing and launch flow director, Stephanie Stilson, as being “a very clean flow”. Mission Commander Mark Kelly remarked that there had been a “historic low on spacecraft issues”. Around four hours prior to launch, Stilson remarked that there had been 73 anomalies detected so far. The smallest number of anomalies during the countdown for a previous mission was 76, for STS-103.
Moron AFB in Spain was considered the primary transoceanic abort landing (TAL) site, should an engine failure, or other major problem have occurred during early ascent. Istres in France was considered the backup TAL site. The weather at both of these sites was good, however no abort was required during the launch.
This is the 123rd Space Shuttle mission, and the 35th to be flown by Discovery. Ten further missions are planned, including two contingency logistics flights, prior to the Shuttle’s retirement in 2010. Discovery is assigned to three of these missions. It is next scheduled to fly in early 2009, on mission STS-119. The next Space Shuttle mission will be conducted by Atlantis, which will fly STS-125, the final mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. This is the fourth manned, and 27th orbital launch of 2008.
At a press conference following launch, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin stated that it was “a huge day for the space station partnership”, and that the International Space Station was “a place in orbit where we can learn to live and work in space”. He congratulated JAXA on the launch of the Japanese Experiment Module, saying that “Japan has now built a first class laboratory…which is capable of supporting humans in space”, and that “with this step Japan has shown itself to be capable of performing at the highest levels of space exploration”. Griffin also stated the STS-124 is “an essential step” in the Space Station programme. When asked by a reporter how he felt about recent NASA successes, including the STS-124 launch, and the landing of the Phoenix probe on Mars last Sunday, he joked that it felt “so great that not even having to do a press conference, two press conferences in a week can ruin it”. When asked about the difficulty of what NASA was doing, he remarked that flight controllers “make it look easy”, but “it is so far from being easy that I could talk until 6am tomorrow, and I wouldn’t touch on how difficult it is”.
NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier said that it was “a great day for the launch”, and described STS-124 as a “pretty challenging mission”. Gerstenmair stated that five foam debris impacts had been identified during ascent, but that NASA “don’t consider this a big deal, they were all late”. When asked what he meant by ‘late’, he explained that after 123 seconds into the flight, pieces of falling foam debris “can’t build up enough velocity to hit the orbiter, or if they hit the orbiter they will just bounce off” He went on to say that “things look really well and look really good”, and that NASA have “no concern” about foam, “It’s not an issue to us”.
Launch Integration manager LeRoy Cain described it as a “flawless countdown and a flawless launch”. He said that STS-124 is “a big milestone for us”, and went on to explain that “this is the most important mission we have going right now”. He also stated that the “tank’s performance looks really good”.
Launch Director Mike Linebach stated that it was a “Fantastic launch”, that was tying for the lowest faults during a countdown, with 74 issues reported. Stephanie Stilson has previously stated that the record was 76 issues, so it is unclear whether STS-124 has set a new record, or is tying with the previous record. Linebach went on to describe the launch as “outstanding”.
Keiji Tachikawa, the President of JAXA said that he “was very delighted to see the Shuttle Discovery successfully launched”. He stated that the Kibo module would “significantly enhance the capability to perform experiments in orbit”, and that experiments conducted aboard the Space Station, and the Kibo module, would lead to “better daily lives for the people of our planet”. He also expressed his “profound appreciation to NASA, and all international and domestic organisations” involved in the launch, explaining that the mission is “very significant to Japan”.
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Stardust is a NASA space capsule that collected samples from comet 81P/Wild (also known as “Wild 2) in deep space and landed back on Earth on January 15, 2006. It was decided that a collaborative online review process would be used to “discover” the microscopically small samples the capsule collected. The project is called Stardust@home. Unlike distributed computing projects like SETI@home, Stardust@home relies entirely on human intelligence.
Andrew Westphal is the director of Stardust@home. Wikinews interviewed him for May’s Interview of the Month (IOTM) on May 18, 2006. As always, the interview was conducted on IRC, with multiple people asking questions.
Some may not know exactly what Stardust or Stardust@home is. Can you explain more about it for us?
Stardust is a NASA Discovery mission that was launched in 1999. It is really two missions in one. The primary science goal of the mission was to collect a sample from a known primitive solar-system body, a comet called Wild 2 (pronounced “Vilt-two” — the discoverer was German, I believe). This is the first [US]] “sample return” mission since Apollo, and the first ever from beyond the moon. This gives a little context. By “sample return” of course I mean a mission that brings back extraterrestrial material. I should have said above that this is the first “solid” sample return mission — Genesis brought back a sample from the Sun almost two years ago, but Stardust is also bringing back the first solid samples from the local interstellar medium — basically this is a sample of the Galaxy. This is absolutely unprecedented, and we’re obviously incredibly excited. I should mention parenthetically that there is a fantastic launch video — taken from the POV of the rocket on the JPL Stardust website — highly recommended — best I’ve ever seen — all the way from the launch pad, too. Basically interplanetary trajectory. Absolutely great.
Is the video available to the public?
Yes [see below]. OK, I digress. The first challenge that we have before can do any kind of analysis of these interstellar dust particles is simply to find them. This is a big challenge because they are very small (order of micron in size) and are somewhere (we don’t know where) on a HUGE collector— at least on the scale of the particle size — about a tenth of a square meter. So…
We’re right now using an automated microscope that we developed several years ago for nuclear astrophysics work to scan the collector in the Cosmic Dust Lab in Building 31 at Johnson Space Center. This is the ARES group that handles returned samples (Moon Rocks, Genesis chips, Meteorites, and Interplanetary Dust Particles collected by U2 in the stratosphere). The microscope collects stacks of digital images of the aerogel collectors in the array. These images are sent to us — we compress them and convert them into a format appropriate for Stardust@home.
How many samples do you anticipate being found during the course of the project?
Great question. The short answer is that we don’t know. The long answer is a bit more complicated. Here’s what we know. The Galileo and Ulysses spacecraft carried dust detectors onboard that Eberhard Gruen and his colleagues used to first detect and them measure the flux of interstellar dust particles streaming into the solar system. (This is a kind of “wind” of interstellar dust, caused by the fact that our solar system is moving with respect to the local interstellar medium.) Markus Landgraf has estimated the number of interstellar dust particles that should have been captured by Stardust during two periods of the “cruise” phase of the interplanetary orbit in which the spacecraft was moving with this wind. He estimated that there should be around 45 particles, but this number is very uncertain — I wouldn’t be surprised if it is quite different from that. That was the long answer! One thing that I should say…is that like all research, the outcome of what we are doing is highly uncertain. There is a wonderful quote attributed to Einstein — “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called “research”, would it?”
How big would the samples be?
We expect that the particles will be of order a micron in size. (A millionth of a meter.) When people are searching using the virtual microscope, they will be looking not for the particles, but for the tracks that the particles make, which are much larger — several microns in diameter. Just yesterday we switched over to a new site which has a demo of the VM (virtual microscope) I invite you to check it out. The tracks in the demo are from submicron carbonyl iron particles that were shot into aerogel using a particle accelerator modified to accelerate dust particles to very high speeds, to simulate the interstellar dust impacts that we’re looking for.
And that’s on the main Stardust@home website [see below]?
How long will the project take to complete?
Partly the answer depends on what you mean by “the project”. The search will take several months. The bottleneck, we expect (but don’t really know yet) is in the scanning — we can only scan about one tile per day and there are 130 tiles in the collector…. These particles will be quite diverse, so we’re hoping that we’ll continue to have lots of volunteers collaborating with us on this after the initial discoveries. It may be that the 50th particle that we find will be the real Rosetta stone that turns out to be critical to our understanding of interstellar dust. So we really want to find them all! Enlarging the idea of the project a little, beyond the search, though is to actually analyze these particles. That’s the whole point, obviously!
And this is the huge advantage with this kind of a mission — a “sample return” mission.
Most missions rather do things quite differently… you have to build an instrument to make a measurement and that instrument design gets locked in several years before launch practically guaranteeing that it will be obsolete by the time you launch. Here exactly the opposite is true. Several of the instruments that are now being used to analyze the cometary dust did not exist when the mission was launched. Further, some instruments (e.g., synchrotrons) are the size of shopping malls — you don’t have a hope of flying these in space. So we can and will study these samples for many years. AND we have to preserve some of these dust particles for our grandchildren to analyze with their hyper-quark-gluon plasma microscopes (or whatever)!
When do you anticipate the project to start?
We’re really frustrated with the delays that we’ve been having. Some of it has to do with learning how to deal with the aerogel collectors, which are rougher and more fractured than we expected. The good news is that they are pretty clean — there is very little of the dust that you see on our training images — these were deliberately left out in the lab to collect dust so that we could give people experience with the worst case we could think of. In learning how to do the scanning of the actual flight aerogel, we uncovered a couple of bugs in our scanning software — which forced us to go back and rescan. Part of the other reason for the delay was that we had to learn how to handle the collector — it would cost $200M to replace it if something happened to it, so we had to develop procedures to deal with it, and add several new safety features to the Cosmic Dust Lab. This all took time. Finally, we’re distracted because we also have many responsibilities for the cometary analysis, which has a deadline of August 15 for finishing analysis. The IS project has no such deadline, so at times we had to delay the IS (interstellar, sorry) in order to focus on the cometary work. We are very grateful to everyone for their patience on this — I mean that very sincerely.
And rest assured that we’re just as frustrated!
I know there will be a “test” that participants will have to take before they can examine the “real thing”. What will that test consist of?
The test will look very similar to the training images that you can look at now. But.. there will of course be no annotation to tell you where the tracks are!
Why did NASA decide to take the route of distributed computing? Will they do this again?
I wouldn’t say that NASA decided to do this — the idea for Stardust@home originated here at U. C. Berkeley. Part of the idea of course came…
If I understand correctly it isn’t distributed computing, but distributed eyeballing?
…from the SETI@home people who are just down the hall from us. But as Brian just pointed out. this is not really distributed computing like SETI@home the computers are just platforms for the VM and it is human eyes and brains who are doing the real work which makes it fun (IMHO).
That said… There have been quite a few people who have expressed interested in developing automated algorithms for searching. Just because WE don’t know how to write such an algorithm doesn’t mean nobody does. We’re delighted at this and are happy to help make it happen
Isn’t there a catch 22 that the data you’re going to collect would be a prerequisite to automating the process?
That was the conclusion that we came to early on — that we would need some sort of training set to be able to train an algorithm. Of course you have to train people too, but we’re hoping (we’ll see!) that people are more flexible in recognizing things that they’ve never seen before and pointing them out. Our experience is that people who have never seen a track in aerogel can learn to recognize them very quickly, even against a big background of cracks, dust and other sources of confusion… Coming back to the original question — although NASA didn’t originate the idea, they are very generously supporting this project. It wouldn’t have happened without NASA’s financial support (and of course access to the Stardust collector). Did that answer the question?
Will a project like this be done again?
I don’t know… There are only a few projects for which this approach makes sense… In fact, I frankly haven’t run across another at least in Space Science. But I am totally open to the idea of it. I am not in favor of just doing it as “make-work” — that is just artificially taking this approach when another approach would make more sense.
How did the idea come up to do this kind of project?
Really desperation. When we first thought about this we assumed that we would use some sort of automated image recognition technique. We asked some experts around here in CS and the conclusion was that the problem was somewhere between trivial and impossible, and we wouldn’t know until we had some real examples to work with. So we talked with Dan Wertheimer and Dave Anderson (literally down the hall from us) about the idea of a distributed project, and they were quite encouraging. Dave proposed the VM machinery, and Josh Von Korff, a physics grad student, implemented it. (Beautifully, I think. I take no credit!)
I got to meet one of the stardust directors in March during the Texas Aerospace Scholars program at JSC. She talked about searching for meteors in Antarctica, one that were unblemished by Earth conditions. Is that our best chance of finding new information on comets and asteroids? Or will more Stardust programs be our best solution?
That’s a really good question. Much will depend on what we learn during this official “Preliminary Examination” period for the cometary analysis. Aerogel capture is pretty darn good, but it’s not perfect and things are altered during capture in ways that we’re still understanding. I think that much also depends on what question you’re asking. For example, some of the most important science is done by measuring the relative abundances of isotopes in samples, and these are not affected (at least not much) by capture into aerogel.
Also, she talked about how some of the agencies that they gave samples to had lost or destroyed 2-3 samples while trying to analyze them. That one, in fact, had been statically charged, and stuck to the side of the microscope lens and they spent over an hour looking for it. Is that really our biggest danger? Giving out samples as a show of good faith, and not letting NASA example all samples collected?
These will be the first measurements, probably, that we’ll make on the interstellar dust There is always a risk of loss. Fortunately for the cometary samples there is quite a lot there, so it’s not a disaster. NASA has some analytical capabilities, particularly at JSC, but the vast majority of the analytical capability in the community is not at NASA but is at universities, government labs and other institutions all over the world. I should also point out that practically every analytical technique is destructive at some level. (There are a few exceptions, but not many.) The problem with meteorites is that except in a very few cases, we don’t know where they specifically came from. So having a sample that we know for sure is from the comet is golden!
I am currently working on my Bachelor’s in computer science, with a minor in astronomy. Do you see successes of programs like Stardust to open up more private space exploration positions for people such as myself. Even though I’m not in the typical “space” fields of education?
Can you elaborate on your question a little — I’m not sure that I understand…
Well, while at JSC I learned that they mostly want Engineers, and a few science grads, and I worry that my computer science degree with not be very valuable, as the NASA rep told me only 1% of the applicants for their work study program are CS majors. I’m just curious as to your thoughts on if CS majors will be more in demand now that projects like Stardust and the Mars missions have been great successes? Have you seen a trend towards more private businesses moving in that direction, especially with President Bush’s statement of Man on the Moon in 2015?
That’s a good question. I am personally not very optimistic about the direction that NASA is going. Despite recent successes, including but not limited to Stardust, science at NASA is being decimated.
I made a joke with some people at the TAS event that one day SpaceShipOne will be sent up to save stranded ISS astronauts. It makes me wonder what kind of private redundancy the US government is taking for future missions.
I guess one thing to be a little cautious about is that despite SpaceShipOne’s success, we haven’t had an orbital project that has been successful in that style of private enterprise It would be nice to see that happen. I know that there’s a lot of interest…!
Now I know the answer to this question… but a lot do not… When samples are found, How will they be analyzed? Who gets the credit for finding the samples?
The first person who identifies an interstellar dust particle will be acknowledged on the website (and probably will be much in demand for interviews from the media!), will have the privilege of naming the particle, and will be a co-author on any papers that WE (at UCB) publish on the analysis of the particle. Also, although we are precluded from paying for travel expenses, we will invite those who discover particles AND the top performers to our lab for a hands-on tour.
We have some fun things, including micromachines.
How many people/participants do you expect to have?
About 113,000 have preregistered on our website. Frankly, I don’t have a clue how many will actually volunteer and do a substantial amount of searching. We’ve never done this before, after all!
One last thing I want to say … well, two. First, we are going to special efforts not to do any searching ourselves before we go “live”. It would not be fair to all the volunteers for us to get a jumpstart on the search. All we are doing is looking at a few random views to make sure that the focus and illumination are good. (And we haven’t seen anything — no surprise at all!) Also, the attitude for this should be “Have Fun”. If you’re not having fun doing it, stop and do something else! A good maxim for life in general!
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Beijing’s city legislature has approved a bill, one year in the making, to safeguard the historical and cultural heritage of old Beijing. The new 41-article set of regulations will come into effect May 1, requiring the city to protect listed heritage sites and unlisted sites deemed of historical or cultural value. It also guarantees protection for the area within the city’s Second Ring Road.
Director of the Beijing Administrative Bureau of Cultural Heritage, Mei Ninghua, said “the most encouraging content of the regulations is that Beijing will pay more attention to protecting the old city’s landscape in its entirety, rather than just focussing on scattered heritage sites.” This means the old city layout, colours of buildings, and the names of houses and lanes will have legal protection.
“We took measures to protect the city’s siheyuan courtyard houses by tagging protection plates on more than 650 of them in 2003, preventing them from being demolished or damaged during the city’s massive housing reconstruction projects,” said Mei.
“Now the new regulations give legal buttress to the protection of siheyuan courtyard homes, as well as other unmovable ancient treasures, that have yet to be listed but are at risk of being demolished during urban renovation.”
Forex trading involves the buying and consequent selling of currencies. The Forex is the single largest traded market in the world with over $1.5trillion of trades completed every single trading day. There are several reasons for this popularity not least of which is the popularity itself. Those who want to begin trading currencies must first consider Forex trading education as a vehicle to learning the most important factors.
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