Monday, December 19, 2011

Processing Small Game Squirrel

Fleshing hides: The easy way

A new to me way to flesh hides at home.

Simon's Cat in 'Fowl Play'

A crafty cat plans a Christmas caper.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The gathering storm

Wake up, Europe, and smell the treachery.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peter Schiff on The Alex Jones show - 28 Nov 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Phil Plait: How to defend Earth from asteroids

What's six miles wide and can end civilization in an instant? An asteroid - and there are lots of them out there. With humor and great visuals, Phil Plait enthralls the TEDxBoulder audience with all the ways asteroids can kill, and what we must do to avoid them.

1 AU = ~150 million kilometers
1 LD = Lunar Distance = ~384,000 kilometers
175706 (1996 FG3)  2011-Nov-23 0.1014 39.5 670 m - 1.5 km 18.0 8.13
(2011 WP4)  2011-Nov-24 0.0038 1.5 11 m - 25 m 26.9 10.86
(2011 WN2)  2011-Nov-25 0.0210 8.2 24 m - 53 m 25.3 8.71
(2011 SR69)  2011-Nov-26 0.1143 44.5 270 m - 590 m 20.0 6.63
(2011 WR2)  2011-Nov-26 0.0500 19.5 24 m - 53 m 25.3 12.50
(2010 RJ43)  2011-Nov-26 0.1930 75.1 59 m - 130 m 23.3 10.66
(2008 KT)  2011-Nov-27 0.0674 26.2 6.0 m - 14 m 28.2 4.97
(1994 XL1)  2011-Nov-28 0.1182 46.0 180 m - 400 m 20.8 16.36
289315 (2005 AN26)  2011-Nov-29 0.0918 35.7 550 m - 1.2 km 18.4 12.51
(2002 TZ66)  2011-Nov-30 0.1471 57.3 18 m - 39 m 25.9 4.30
(2004 JN1)  2011-Dec-01 0.1473 57.3 54 m - 120 m 23.5 8.96
(2011 WD)  2011-Dec-01 0.0736 28.6 17 m - 37 m 26.0 3.63
(2006 WO3)  2011-Dec-01 0.1564 60.9 140 m - 300 m 21.5 13.38
(2011 KG4)  2011-Dec-03 0.0921 35.9 67 m - 150 m 23.0 12.52
(2003 XV)  2011-Dec-04 0.0262 10.2 12 m - 27 m 26.7 12.66
(2010 TK7)  2011-Dec-05 0.1991 77.5 200 m - 450 m 20.6 14.62
170502 (2003 WM7)  2011-Dec-09 0.1224 47.6 990 m - 2.2 km 17.1 28.54
(2003 SS84)  2011-Dec-09 0.1723 67.0 120 m - 260 m 21.8 10.96
(2011 WU4)  2011-Dec-09 0.0844 32.8 85 m - 190 m 22.5 10.05
190491 (2000 FJ10)  2011-Dec-09 0.1213 47.2 170 m - 390 m 20.9 4.90
(2011 WK5)  2011-Dec-10 0.0818 31.8 52 m - 120 m 23.5 6.24
(2009 VO24)  2011-Dec-12 0.1491 58.0 300 m - 680 m 19.7 14.33
(2011 UV158)  2011-Dec-13 0.0980 38.2 110 m - 240 m 22.0 10.20
(2004 BG41)  2011-Dec-14 0.0335 13.0 35 m - 77 m 24.4 8.36
(2011 GD60)  2011-Dec-15 0.1892 73.7 120 m - 270 m 21.7 4.92
137671 (1999 XP35)  2011-Dec-20 0.1991 77.5 620 m - 1.4 km 18.2 11.15
(2008 YQ27)  2011-Dec-20 0.0991 38.6 81 m - 180 m 22.6 12.74
(2011 OV18)  2011-Dec-20 0.0495 19.3 320 m - 710 m 19.6 12.09
(2008 AF3)  2011-Dec-24 0.0915 35.6 14 m - 31 m 26.4 6.01
(2000 YA)  2011-Dec-26 0.0074 2.9 49 m - 110 m 23.7 13.62
(2001 YE4)  2011-Dec-26 0.0668 26.0 210 m - 460 m 20.5 10.79
(2009 WK1)  2011-Dec-26 0.1126 43.8 9.5 m - 21 m 27.2 7.41
(2011 SL102)  2011-Dec-28 0.1949 75.9 630 m - 1.4 km 18.1 6.02
(2003 AK18)  2011-Dec-28 0.0570 22.2 310 m - 700 m 19.6 11.67
(2004 XK50)  2011-Dec-29 0.1346 52.4 390 m - 870 m 19.2 26.38
(2000 CH59)  2011-Dec-29 0.1158 45.1 320 m - 710 m 19.6 9.59
(2011 ON24)  2011-Dec-30 0.1858 72.3 68 m - 150 m 23.0 9.36
263976 (2009 KD5)  2011-Dec-31 0.1516 59.0 590 m - 1.3 km 18.3 8.83
(2002 AB2)  2012-Jan-01 0.1479 57.5 67 m - 150 m 23.0 10.15
(2007 AM)  2012-Jan-01 0.1906 74.2 130 m - 280 m 21.6 11.36
(2007 BD)  2012-Jan-02 0.0935 36.4 20 m - 45 m 25.6 9.40
(2004 FG29)  2012-Jan-02 0.1932 75.2 19 m - 41 m 25.8 20.55
(2003 AF23)  2012-Jan-04 0.0361 14.1 200 m - 460 m 20.6 16.18
(2008 SA)  2012-Jan-06 0.0563 21.9 26 m - 58 m 25.0 6.63
(1999 LS7)  2012-Jan-06 0.1379 53.7 190 m - 430 m 20.7 11.90
(2011 VO5)  2012-Jan-07 0.1955 76.1 110 m - 260 m 21.8 8.44
(2011 AC3)  2012-Jan-09 0.0765 29.8 89 m - 200 m 22.4 20.61
(2002 BF25)  2012-Jan-11 0.0677 26.3 82 m - 180 m 22.5 8.77
(2004 YD)  2012-Jan-12 0.1284 50.0 41 m - 92 m 24.1 8.45
(2005 BU)  2012-Jan-14 0.0517 20.1 13 m - 29 m 26.6 11.24
(2010 JK1)  2012-Jan-21 0.1644 64.0 35 m - 78 m 24.4 4.27
(2005 YO3)  2012-Jan-21 0.1265 49.2 25 m - 57 m 25.1 9.44
P/2006 T1 (Levy)  2012-Jan-21 0.1911 74.4 n/a 0.0 15.46
(2009 BO58)  2012-Jan-24 0.1795 69.8 110 m - 250 m 21.9 20.32
(2010 LN14)  2012-Jan-24 0.1500 58.4 160 m - 350 m 21.1 19.19
7341 (1991 VK)  2012-Jan-25 0.0650 25.3 1.2 km - 2.7 km 16.7 8.73
(2011 FC29)  2012-Jan-26 0.1720 67.0 170 m - 380 m 20.9 17.47
(2008 CL20)  2012-Jan-28 0.1168 45.4 23 m - 52 m 25.3 9.96
(2010 WU8)  2012-Jan-30 0.0776 30.2 39 m - 86 m 24.2 7.91
433 Eros  2012-Jan-31 0.1787 69.5 17 km 11.2 5.95
(2008 EP6)  2012-Feb-01 0.0605 23.6 360 m - 790 m 19.4 12.72
278381 (2007 MR)  2012-Feb-01 0.0727 28.3 110 m - 250 m 21.9 8.58
(2006 SU217)  2012-Feb-01 0.0716 27.9 22 m - 49 m 25.4 7.36
(2006 CJ)  2012-Feb-01 0.0453 17.6 250 m - 560 m 20.1 21.89
(2006 AL8)  2012-Feb-01 0.1050 40.9 580 m - 1.3 km 18.3 36.73
(2011 CE50)  2012-Feb-10 0.1898 73.9 60 m - 130 m 23.2 8.85
(2009 DT10)  2012-Feb-11 0.0268 10.4 70 m - 160 m 22.9 14.16
(2008 CQ116)  2012-Feb-13 0.1446 56.3 50 m - 110 m 23.6 14.62
(2010 GR33)  2012-Feb-13 0.1119 43.6 75 m - 170 m 22.8 8.95
(2004 XG)  2012-Feb-14 0.1968 76.6 40 m - 89 m 24.1 14.23
(2008 QY)  2012-Feb-14 0.1531 59.6 540 m - 1.2 km 18.5 22.29
(2009 AV)  2012-Feb-16 0.1154 44.9 710 m - 1.6 km 17.9 24.01
(1993 DA)  2012-Feb-17 0.0410 16.0 14 m - 31 m 26.4 6.62
(2002 TZ66)  2012-Feb-18 0.1247 48.5 18 m - 39 m 25.9 5.59
162421 (2000 ET70)  2012-Feb-19 0.0454 17.7 630 m - 1.4 km 18.1 11.54
(2008 WZ13)  2012-Feb-21 0.1471 57.2 520 m - 1.2 km 18.5 10.49
(2011 CP4)  2012-Feb-23 0.0233 9.1 160 m - 350 m 21.2 30.47
(2007 RS1)  2012-Feb-24 0.1558 60.6 1.7 m - 3.8 m 31.0 16.01
(2008 BX2)  2012-Feb-25 0.1560 60.7 50 m - 110 m 23.6 7.66
(2010 RF12)  2012-Feb-26 0.0958 37.3 5.6 m - 13 m 28.4 8.00

* Diameter estimates based on the object's absolute magnitude.

Washington Could Learn A Lot From A Drug Addict

Washington's chronic overspending is just like a junkie's addiction to drugs. Unless the cycle of addiction is broken, our economic and unemployment situation will continue to suffer. Washington is out of time. To avoid hitting rock bottom, Washington must cut spending today. To spread this message, Washington Could Learn a Lot has created this video. Learn more at

Update: Now, our economic situation has deteriorated even further. We are now approaching $15 trillion in debt and Congress has raised the debt ceiling 11 times in the past ten years.

Washington Could Learn a Lot is a project of Public Notice Research & Education Fund (PNREF). PNREF is an independent non-profit dedicated to educating the American people about economic policy and the principles of economic freedom.

Through our education and awareness projects, PNREF will explore the future consequences of public policies being enacted today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

SHTF: Global Edition

 "There is a secondary level of exposure that is potentially more worrying -- through international banks lending to each other. Here the greatest risk stems from Italy and France. International bank claims on Italy total $939 billion, and French banks account for well over one-third of that, BIS data show... If Italian debt slumps even further, causing deeper losses for French banks, international banks could stop lending to France. The losses would ripple through the whole global financial system"

"While the Treasury has been at pains to say that direct U.S. bank exposure to European countries now receiving bailout aid -- Greece, Ireland and Portugal -- is moderate, once the debt of Italy and Spain, plus credit default swaps, and U.S. bank indirect exposure through European banks are added, the potential sum could exceed $4 trillion."

Read More: Expect A Global Recession No Matters What Happens In The Euro Zone

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Poof it's gone!


September 2011: Beginning of the loss of confidence by foreign central banks with respect to US Treasury. Trends in foreign central bank transactions concerning US Treasury and agency holdings (2000-2011.) In brown: monthly increases. Green line: above, central banks are buying; below, they are selling Treasury bonds - Source: CaseyResearch, 10/2011.

Read more: Global systemic crisis: 30,000 billion US dollars in ghost assets will disappear by early 2013 / The crisis enters a phase of widespread discounting of Western public debt

Here You Go: It's Over

Nathan Myhrvold: Cut your food in half

Cookbook author (and geek) Nathan Myhrvold talks about his magisterial work, "Modernist Cuisine" -- and shares the secret of its cool photographic illustrations, which show cross-sections of food in the very act of being cooked.

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

Professional Cooking

Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated

On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (5th Edition)


Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Gold Rush Currency Wars

Sovereign debt and USA debt are at their tipping points. They are all sacking the rulers left with the Gold. The writing is on the wall. Paper or an eternity of Gold currency history. You choose.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dennis Miller - The Big Speech

Segment from recent HBO comedy special. Miller's take on Islam - Terrorists and Nancy Pelosi.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Giraffe Test

The Giraffe Test

via Urban Survival

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? Stop and think about it and decide your answer before continuing.


The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2 How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?


Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

Wrong Answer.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions..

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend .... Except one. Which animal does not attend?


Correct Answer : The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory.. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?


Correct Answer:? You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to [XYZ] Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively proves the theory that most professionals do not have the brains of a four-year-old.

Bet you feel better already.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar

On any given day we're lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, shows the manners and "hotspots" used by those trained to recognize deception -- and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Simon's Cat in 'Double Trouble'

A new arrival causes chaos.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

5 Min Fire and Shelter Conversion

Webbot Clif High with Marshall Masters 9/27/2011

It runs over 50 pages in PDF format.

NOT for small children or weak minded individuals. Only real pie eaters should read this report.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Divining a Purpose

Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men - above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends. -- Albert Einstein

~ ~ ~

Congratulations, P.J., on the birth of your first grand child. ;) - c

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Peter Schiff Before Congress on Obama Jobs Bill 9/13/11

Friday, August 26, 2011

New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones: Map
“Areas potentially under water include the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge.” -- Climate Systems Research at Columbia University

Interactive tracking chart, wind speed graph and latest news.

~ ~ ~

Wall Street, too, is entering the bunker

Many of New York's largest investment banks are headquartered in midtown Manhattan, and thus fall outside the city's designated flood zones. Bank of America's 1 Bryant Park skyscraper, Citigroup's 399 Park Avenue building, Morgan Stanley's 1585 Broadway bureau, and JPMorgan Chase's 270 Park Avenue offices are all outside the zones. Credit Suisse's tower, located a little further south at 11 Madison Avenue, also carries a "no zone" designation.

But the headquarters of Goldman Sachs, located at 200 West Street in Battery Park City, is located in Zone A, putting it at greater risk for flooding should Hurricane Irene strike the city with force. So is Deutsche Bank's 60 Wall Street headquarters, and American Express's office in the World Financial Center. -- NYT

This one's for you, Wall Street!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eat The Weeds: Horseweed

Spice, food and source of a drill for making fire by hand, Horseweed is found around the world.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Madrid Fault Earthquake: Fukushima on the Mississippi
In May, the federal government simulated an earthquake so massive, it killed 100,000 Midwesterners instantly, and forced more than 7 million people out of their homes. At the time, National Level Exercise 11 went largely unnoticed; the scenario seemed too far-fetched — states like Illinois and Missouri are in the middle of a tectonic plate, not at the edge of one. A major quake happens there once every several generations.

But Tuesday’s earthquake along the East Coast is a reminder that disasters can hit where they’re least expected. And if the nightmare scenario comes, government officials worry that state and federal authorities won’t be able to handle the “cascading failures” that follow. The results of May’s disaster exercise won’t be released to the public. But privately, these government officials say they’re glad that this earthquake was just a drill — and not the big one. Especially because there are so many nuclear power plants in the fault zone.

Read more at Wired

Take Big Bites

To get the most out of life, take big bites...

"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks." -- Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Science as Religion: Selected Quotes

"I don't try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our adequate senses to appreciate it." -- Albert Einstein

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." -- Charles Darwin

"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths." -- Carl Sagan

"Some people have views of God that are so broad and flexible that it is inevitable that they will find God wherever they look for him. One hears it said that 'God is the ultimate' or 'God is our better nature' or 'God is the universe.' Of course, like any other word, the word 'God' can be given any meaning we like. if you want to say that 'God is energy,' then you can find God in a lump of coal." -- Steven Weinberg

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." -- Albert Einstein

"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion.

I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.

The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive." -- Albert Einstein

All quotes from The GOD Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Double Coronal Holes

A double-barreled hole has opened up in the sun's atmosphere and it is spewing a split-stream of solar wind toward Earth. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this composite UV image of the double coronal hole on August 20th.

Sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the solar wind arrives on August 22-24. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% to 50% chance of high-latitude geomagnetic activity. -- Space Weather

Related: The Sun-Earth Connection

Enhanced Technique for Tracking Solar Storms All the Way From Sun to Earth

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Alien Invasion" Gets Airtime

Just listen to this! Talk about hiding things in plain sight and laying out the agenda. Here we see Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman actually saying that an alien invasion would see the economy sorted in 18 months, even if they had to come out and admit there was no threat after that time!

This comes on the day after [physicist] Michio Kaku hyped the alien invasion scenario and how it would help bring about a global governance!

There is something in the offing here people. We are seeing the ground work being laid right now. -- ufoencontrosimediato

Read More: Research explores potential outcomes of contact with aliens

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Storing Food in Mylar Bags

Kev's SHTF food preps include food in mylar bags, #10 cans, MREs and canned goods. In this video he makes up 20 mylar bags of rice, beans, oatmeal and various other items. -- Read more

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Keiser Report With Bill Black (!)

This week Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, observe the British shock that there is no society. In the second half of the show Max talks to former bank regulator William K. Black about the absence of justice for banking crimes and whether or not the population plays a role in demanding this justice.

~ ~ ~

Don't miss this commentary from Karl Denninger:

Comet Elenin Poses No Threat to Earth

Trajectory of comet Elenin. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Often, comets are portrayed as harbingers of gloom and doom in movies and on television, but most pose no threat to Earth. Comet Elenin, the latest comet to visit our inner solar system, is no exception. Elenin will pass about 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from Earth during its closest approach on Oct. 16, 2011.

Also known by its astronomical name C/2010 X1, the comet was first detected on Dec. 10, 2010 by Leonid Elenin, an observer in Lyubertsy, Russia, who made the discovery "remotely" using an observatory in New Mexico. At that time, Elenin was about 401 million miles (647 million kilometers) from Earth. Since its discovery, Comet Elenin has – as all comets do – closed the distance to Earth's vicinity as it makes its way closer to perihelion, its closest point to the sun.

NASA scientists have taken time over the last several months to answer your questions. Compiled below are the some of the most popular questions, with answers from Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and David Morrison of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

Most Popular Questions About Comet Elenin

When will Comet Elenin come closest to the Earth and appear the brightest?

Comet Elenin should be at its brightest shortly before the time of its closest approach to Earth on Oct. 16, 2011. At its closest point, it will be 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from us.

Will Comet Elenin come close to the Earth or between the Earth and the moon?

Comet Elenin will not come closer to Earth than 22 million miles (35 million kilometers). That's more than 90 times the distance to the moon.

Can this comet influence us from where it is, or where it will be in the future? Can this celestial object cause shifting of the tides or even tectonic plates here on Earth?

There have been incorrect speculations on the Internet that alignments of comet Elenin with other celestial bodies could cause consequences for Earth and external forces could cause comet Elenin to come closer. "Any approximate alignments of comet Elenin with other celestial bodies are meaningless, and the comet will not encounter any dark bodies that could perturb its orbit, nor will it influence us in any way here on Earth," said Don Yeomans, a scientist at NASA JPL.

"Comet Elenin will not only be far away, it is also on the small side for comets," said Yeomans. "And comets are not the most densely-packed objects out there. They usually have the density of something akin to loosely packed icy dirt.

"So you've got a modest-sized icy dirtball that is getting no closer than 35 million kilometers [about 22 million miles)," said Yeomans. "It will have an immeasurably minuscule influence on our planet. By comparison, my subcompact automobile exerts a greater influence on the ocean's tides than comet Elenin ever will."

I've heard about three days of darkness because of Comet Elenin. Will Elenin block out the sun for three days?

"As seen from the Earth, comet Elenin will not cross the sun's face," says Yeomans.

But even if it could cross the sun, which it can't, astrobiologist David Morrison notes that comet Elenin is about 2-3 miles (3-5 kilometers) wide, while the sun is roughly 865,000 miles (1,392,082 kilometers) across. How could such a small object block the sun, which is such a large object?

Let's think about an eclipse of the sun, which happens when the moon appears between the Earth and the sun. The moon is about 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) in diameter, and has the same apparent size as the sun when it is about 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) away -- roughly 100 times its own diameter. For a comet with a diameter of about 2-3 miles (3-5 kilometers) to cover the sun it would have to be within 250 miles (400 kilometers), roughly the orbital altitude of the International Space Station. However, as stated above, this comet will come no closer to Earth than 22 million miles.

I've heard there is a "brown dwarf" theory about Comet Elenin. Would its mass be enough to pull Comet Honda's trajectory a significant amount? Could this be used to determine the mass of Elenin?

Morrison says that there is no 'brown dwarf theory' of this comet. "A comet is nothing like a brown dwarf. You are correct that the way astronomers measure the mass of one object is by its gravitational effect on another, but comets are far too small to have a measureable influence on anything."

If we had a black or brown dwarf in our outer solar system, I guess no one could see it, right?

"No, that's not correct," says Morrison. "If we had a brown dwarf star in the outer solar system, we could see it, detect its infrared energy and measure its perturbing effect on other objects. There is no brown dwarf in the solar system, otherwise we would have detected it. And there is no such thing as a black dwarf."

Will Comet Elenin be visible to the naked eye when it's closer to us? I missed Hale-Bopp's passing, so I want to know if we'll actually be able to see something in the sky when Elenin passes.

We don't know yet if Comet Elenin will be visible to the naked eye. Morrison says, "At the rate it is going, seeing the comet at its best in early October will require binoculars and a very dark sky. Unfortunately, Elenin is no substitute for seeing comet Hale-Bopp, which was the brightest comet of the past several decades."

"This comet may not put on a great show. Just as certainly, it will not cause any disruptions here on Earth. But, there is a cause to marvel," said Yeomans. "This intrepid little traveler will offer astronomers a chance to study a relatively young comet that came here from well beyond our solar system's planetary region. After a short while, it will be headed back out again, and we will not see or hear from Elenin for thousands of years. That's pretty cool."

This comet has been called 'wimpy' by NASA scientists. Why?

"We're talking about how a comet looks as it safely flies past us," said Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office. "Some cometary visitors arriving from beyond the planetary region – like Hale-Bopp in 1997 -- have really lit up the night sky where you can see them easily with the naked eye as they safely transit the inner-solar system. But Elenin is trending toward the other end of the spectrum. You'll probably need a good pair of binoculars, clear skies and a dark, secluded location to see it even on its brightest night."

Why aren't you talking more about Comet Elenin? If these things are small and nothing to worry about, why has there been no public info on Comet Elenin?

Comet Elenin hasn't received much press precisely because it is small and faint. Several new comets are discovered each year, and you don't normally hear about them either. The truth is that Elenin has received much more attention than it deserves due to a variety of Internet postings that are untrue. The information NASA has on Elenin is readily available on the Internet. (See If this comet were any danger to anyone, you would certainly know about it. For more information, visit NASA's AsteroidWatch site at

I've heard NASA has observed Elenin many times more than other comets. Is this true, and is NASA playing this comet down?

NASA regularly detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing relatively close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them and predicts their paths to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet. For more information, visit the NASA-JPL Near Earth objects site at .

However, neither NASA nor JPL is in the business of actively observing Elenin or any other comet. Most of the posted observations are made by amateur astronomers around the world. Since Elenin has had so much publicity, it naturally has attracted more observers.

I was looking at the orbital diagram of Comet Elenin on the JPL website, and I was wondering why the orbit shows some angles when zooming? If you pick any other comet, you can see that there are no angles or bends.

Many people are trying to plot the orbit of the comet with the routine on the JPL website, without realizing that this is just a simple visualization tool. While the tool has been recently improved to show smoother trajectories near the sun, it is not a scientific program to generate an accurate orbit. Yeomans explains that the orbit plotter on the Near-Earth Object website is not meant to accurately depict the true motion of objects over long time intervals, nor is it accurate during close planetary encounters. For more accurate long-term plotting, Yeomans suggests using the JPL Horizons system instead: .

DC Agle (818) 393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Indecision 2012 - Corn Polled Edition - Ron Paul & the Top Tier

Even when the media does remember Ron Paul, it's only to reassure themselves that there's no need to remember Ron Paul.