Nebula W50 will now be known as the Manatee Nebula
By: Clara Moskowitz
Published: 01/19/2013 09:45 AM EST on SPACE.com
A watery-looking nebula in deep space is being renamed after the sea creature it strongly resembles: a manatee.
The nebula is the leftovers from a star that died in a supernova explosion about 20,000 years ago. Before it died, the giant star puffed out its outer gaseous layers, which now swirl in green-and-blue clouds around the dead hulk of the star, which has collapsed into a black hole.
Known officially as W50, the celestial object is being dubbed the Manatee Nebula by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), during a ceremony today (Jan. 19) at the Florida Manatee Festival in Crystal River, Fla. The NRAO will also unveil a new photo of the nebula taken by the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope network in New Mexico.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will remove airport body scanners that privacy advocates likened to strip searches after OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS) couldn’t write software to make passenger images less revealing.
TSA will end a $5 million contract with OSI’s Rapiscan unit for the software after Administrator John Pistole concluded the company couldn’t meet a congressional deadline to produce generic passenger images, agency officials said in interviews.
The agency removed 76 of the machines from busier U.S. airports last year. It will now get rid of the remaining 174 Rapiscan machines, with the company absorbing the cost, said Karen Shelton Waters, the agency’s assistant administrator for acquisitions. The TSA will use 60 machines manufactured by L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL), the agency’s other supplier of body scanners, and will move some scanners to busier airports to reduce waiting times.
By Jeff Plungis – Jan 18, 2013 5:05 PM ET
Do you know flight crews, airport employees and TSA employees are exempt from being scanned? Do you know that passengers can refuse these scans and accept a personal pat down. I once refused being scanned and received such a personal pat down that a passenger passing by said that he was being aroused by watching me being touched all over. Most Americans are like lemmings and they just follow each other into these scanners which haven’t yet been proven to be safe for those who use it often. I’d rather be felt than exposed to radiation.
I always wanted the accusations by others that Lance Armstrong was just another cheating cyclist were not true. I thought jealously was the motivating factor in all those accusations. But now I wonder how naive I was to believe that an American cyclist could actually win 7 Tour de France Tours.
By JULIET MACUR
Lance Armstrong admitted using performance-enhancing drugs in a TV interview set to air Thursday, and he plans to testify against people who knew about his doping.
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Confessions from flight attendants Pet peeves (and a few tips) from the folks who serve you at 30,000 feet.
Ever wonder what flight attendants really think of you? What they’d tell you if they had the nerve? Or weren’t afraid of being fired? What secrets would they reveal about their jobs?
Several of my friends work as flight attendants. One of them recently retired after 20 years flying for a storied name in commercial aviation. Others work for less glamorous domestic U.S. airlines. I asked them what they would say to their passengers if they could or what bits of wisdom they would reveal if granted anonymity. These folks do not represent every flight attendant in the skies, so if you’re a flight attendant, feel free to disagree and send comments to email@example.com. But I didn’t make this stuff up. What you read here may surprise you or make you laugh or both.
Here are some of their confessions.
You know that coffee you ordered? It may be decaf even though you asked for regular. Flight attendants told me they would rather you sit back, relax and fall asleep so you don’t bother them.
When they “arm” the doors on your aircraft, flight attendants check the work of their colleagues at the opposite door. You hear it often: “Arm doors and cross check.” Despite all the cross checking, they err occasionally and forget to arm the doors, which means the emergency slides won’t automatically deploy if needed in an emergency. It’s a fireable offense.
Airlines used to pay their flight attendants when they showed up for duty at the airport. Not now. That changed to getting paid when the cabin doors closed, then to when the plane’s brakes were released and now, often, when the wheels leave the ground (“wheels up” in airline parlance). There can sometimes be hours of delay between the time they show up for work and when they’re airborne. Different airlines have different policies, but it’s a way for them to save money. So when flight attendants greet you at the door, it’s very often for free. No wonder the smiles sometimes seem fake.
If a flight is late, the airline might have to pay overtime. If the flight is going to be late anyway, flight attendants have been known to delay it even further in order to make sure overtime kicks in, which can mean up to double the hourly pay.
A flight attendant can upgrade you to business or first class after the airplane’s doors close, but they don’t do it often. That’s partly because on some airlines that requires filing a report explaining why it was done, partly because there has to be a meal for you and partly because the forward cabins are often full. Whom do they upgrade? Not, they said, the slob who’s dressed in a dirty tank top. It helps if you’re extremely nice, well dressed, pregnant, very tall, good-looking or one of their friends.
Taking your computer or a newspaper into the lav is a problem because it means you’ll be occupying longer than you should. Don’t do it.
You can ask a flight attendant what part of the country or world you’re flying over at any given moment, but chances are he or she won’t know. Flight attendants are not, after all, flying the plane.
Passengers who do deep knee bends in the galley while flight attendants are trying to work should go do them somewhere else. You won’t get deep vein thrombosis on a short flight.
Jiggling your glass of ice at a flight attendant doesn’t prompt better service. It might, in fact, have the opposite effect.
When a flight attendant asks you what you’d like to drink and you ask, “Well, what do you have?” they want to answer, “Not a lot of time.” Look at the inflight magazine or just guess.
When a flight attendant asks you what you want to drink and you keep saying, “Huh?” because your earphones are in, that ought to be a clue to take them out. After about the fourth time, they’ll either move on or bring you a Coke.
Sometimes they ask the captain to leave the seat belt on long after the turbulence has ended so they can serve in clear aisles.
On night flights, they sometimes hold off on meal service as long as they can on the chance you’ll be asleep. Fewer passengers to serve and all.