• Keep an eye on this:
    It is normal for the ice to crack and for leads to occur. However, this is very extensive cracking and there are some very big leads, and all of it seems to come earlier than expected. Given last year's melting mayhem and the low amount of multi-year ice, it makes one wonder whether this early cracking will have any effect in the melting season to come.

    There are still several weeks to go before this part of the Arctic is going to start melting, up till then the ice will actually thicken some more, even when the Sun's rays start to reach the ice. But the ice is already getting broken up in smaller pieces, which means that 1) the pack becomes more mobile (like we saw last year), and 2) the thin ice that now grows to fill up the leads, will go first when the melting starts, potentially leading to more open water between floes to absorb solar energy and convert it to heat.

    But maybe not. Maybe this will have zero influence. We don't know. That's why we watch.

    And here is a visual:

  • Brilliant:
    So, let's recap. North Korea parades six missiles though Kim Il Sung Square and then sends them out to South Hamgyong Province or some other barren piece of North Korean real estate. We commit to a $1 billion dollar decision to add 14 interceptors that totally solve the problem, provided the North Koreans don't build nine instead of six ICBMs. By the way, the new interceptors won't be ready until 2017, but we're hoping to have a successful flight test at some point during the wait.
  • Another big lie by the small minded climate change deniers is easily debunked: Jeff Masters of Weather Underground explains that anthropogenic global warming is not slowing down.
  • A helpful compilation of all the good reasons why we need the Keystone XL pipeline to be approved. Among my favorites:
    • Because it will encourage and give a green light to other countries who want to exploit their own deposits of more greenhouse intensive fossil fuels.
    • Because it will support the globe's dependency on gasoline for its automobile fleets.
    • Because it will make oil companies richer and more powerful.
    • Because it will make it more difficult to resist the current oil based economic system.
  • This makes one wonder about the quality of education of policy-makers:
    States have cut their support for public colleges and universities – deeply, in some cases – and schools have raised tuition as a result. They’ve also dropped classes, eliminated faculty and reduced other services to compensate.

    For high school seniors nervously waiting for admissions decisions this spring from public colleges and universities, the recession’s impact might mean fewer acceptances, in some cases, and higher costs for many who do get in, according to a study on the impact of state education cuts by the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

  • Fox "news"...
  • Rabbi Herschel Schacter has died:
    It was April 11, 1945, and Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army had liberated the concentration camp scarcely an hour before. Rabbi Schacter, who was attached to the Third Army’s VIII Corps, was the first Jewish chaplain to enter in its wake.

    That morning, after learning that Patton’s forward tanks had arrived at the camp, Rabbi Schacter, who died in the Riverdale section of the Bronx on Thursday at 95 after a career as one of the most prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, commandeered a jeep and driver. He left headquarters and sped toward Buchenwald.

    By late afternoon, when the rabbi drove through the gates, Allied tanks had breached the camp. He remembered, he later said, the sting of smoke in his eyes, the smell of burning flesh and the hundreds of bodies strewn everywhere.

    He would remain at Buchenwald for months, tending to survivors, leading religious services in a former Nazi recreation hall and eventually helping to resettle thousands of Jews.

  • More compassionate conservatism:
    Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts: We must cut food stamps to save them
  • How to turn your state liberal.
  • And on the other side of the planet:
    New research from the Antarctic Peninsula shows that the summer melt season has been getting longer over the last 60 years. Increased summer melting has been linked to the rapid break-up of ice shelves in the area and rising sea level.

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