Inside the Earth and Beyond Neptune

A couple interesting scientific discoveries lately.

One was the discovery of another “minor planet” that resides in the Kuiper Belt of asteroids beyond Neptune. There have actually been two of these large space rocks found recently. The BBC reports extensively on “2003 UB313”. It seems to be the largest of the objects, larger than pluto and could be considered a “10th planet”.

However, I found the other object (with a similarly unoriginal name, 2003 EL61) to be a little more interesting. It’s a tad smaller than Pluto, but it has a moon… which of course makes it that much more fun for astronomers to look at.

New Scientist has an excellent rundown on how the discovery was made… and how surprising it is that we had not seen 2003 EL61 before.

In other news closer to home… scientists in the US have determined that, just like the movies have always told us… the boundary between the Earths hard outer crust and gooey mantle is quite sharp. So we really are all just floating on a big ball of boiling rock… spinning like a top… and twirling round a ball of fire.

I’m dizy…

Changing of the Guard in Iran

A moving post from Iran Hopes 2005

Today, at a newspaper agent, I found an elderly woman in tears. Her eyes were fixed on the headlines of a newspaper which read: “The Last Saturday of Khatami”. She was crying in silence.

I wish for strength for the Iranian people as they move forward into an unknown and potentially dangerous future…

How Bin Laden Got Away

According to the CIA Officer who lead the operation at Tora Bora in 2001.

Or at least he’d like us to know.. but the US Administration is, unsurprisingly, dragging their feet on approving his manuscript for release.

So now the CIA vet, who was decorated by the CIA for helping prevent an assassination attempt by Islamic Extremists on the Indian Prime Minister in 1996, is suing the government he spent his life working for.

He said he felt compelled to write his story. But he also acknowledges he retired two years early because he ruffled senior management feathers. It was clear he wouldn’t get further promotions.

It will be called “Jawbreaker”… look for it… read it.

Electoral Reform moves forward in BC

The Green Party of BC has posted a release on their website detailing the recent meeting between their leader, Adrian Carr, and BC Premier Gordon Campbell.

(Audio Podcast Available)

Campbell had promised to meet with Carr to discuss the results of the referendum on Electoral Reform in BC during the last election where the BC Public voted 58% in favor of a new voting system for BC. Unfortunately this was below the (artificially high) 60% needed to force the government to act, but it appears as though Campbell is prepared to admit that 58% across the entire province is a major message… one that is far stronger than the support for his own party.

In the statement Carr says, I was pleased to hear the Premier say that he will be publicly tabling a plan in late August or early September of this year to pursue electoral reform.

It will be interesting to see what the Premier tables.. will it be STV? Or some other form of proportional representation… or will it be something less dramatic.

Carr also pushed Campbell to pursue Legislative and Finance Reform. We’ll see if that goes anywhere.

And finally, Carr indicated that in a future meeting with Campbell, she will be addressing the question of “tax sharing” as a means to promote environmental responsibility. I’ve never heard this term before, so I’ve done some Googling and come up with these links and examples.

Tax Sharing in the US: Near Milwaukee and Minneapolis

In Canada: Legislation for tax sharing between the Province of Manitoba and Municipalities.

This last example is, I would think, what Carr has in mind.

(Cheers: Declan at Crawl Across the Ocean)