Well … kinda. A new study from University of Florida astronomer Jian Ge, along with a team including Tennessee State University astronomers Matthew Muterspaugh and Gregory Henry, have discovered a planet orbiting the star 40 Eridani A as part of the Dharma Planet Survey, which is analyzing about 150 nearby stars that are like the Sun in size and temperature to detect planets based on Doppler shifts. The planet, categorized as a “super-Earth” (i.e., two to ten times the size of terra firma and possibly terrestrial), has twice the radius of Earth and about nine times the mass. According to the scientists involved, it is barely within the habitable zone of 40 Eridani A, an orange dwarf star (or K-type main-sequence star) which is smaller and cooler than our sun. 40 Eridani is a triple star system 16.4 light years from Earth in the constellation of Eridanus. 40 Eridani A is the brightest star of the three and visible to the naked eye in the night sky. Whether the planet discovered orbiting 40 Eridani A may support life is open question. The conditions would not be optimal. The closeness of its orbit means a year on this planet is 42 days, and that closeness to the star also means the planet’s temp is more “toasty” than what we’re used to here. All that extra mass means the gravity well of the planet would be stronger and make things a bit heavier too. Whether that would be cripplingly heavy for life to flourish is another open question. The reason these findings have made headlines in recent days is not exactly the planet itself but where this planet was located, and how close some of the conditions match an iconic fictional world in science fiction lore. Since at least 1968, the planet Vulcan from Star Trek has been speculated by fans and the show's creator as being located in the 40 Eridani system. Whether or not there are green-blooded, pointy-eared, human-looking aliens living on this planet is the next shoe to drop.
Hannah Giorgis at The Atlantic writes—The Simple Request of the McDonald’s Anti–Sexual Harassment Protests: Tuesday afternoon in Chicago, a McDonald’s worker and single mother named Adriana Alvarez led a group of protestors who stood with blue duct tape covering their mouths, with “#MeToo” scrawled on it in black marker. “I represent thousands of fast-food workers who are striking across the country against sexual harassment,” Alvarez said after removing the tape from her face. “Today, fast-food workers just like me are breaking the silence. We’re taking this historic step, and we’re going on strike to tell McDonald’s ‘No more sexual harassment.’” “We’ve seen in the news that sexual harassment is happening to others within more major corporations like CBS, and how Hollywood actresses have filed lawsuits against their CEOs and media moguls,” Alvarez continued. “Now, more than ever, it is imperative that fast-food workers take action and use our voices in the same way—to hold McDonald’s and other fast-food chains accountable.” But McDonald’s employees—and workers across the food-service industry—have been speaking up about workplace harassment for years. In May, 10 women working at McDonald’s locations in nine different cities filed complaints against the company with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for what they described as a culture of rampant sexual harassment. [...] For McDonald’s employees and other fast-food workers, the overall lack of empathy from the public stems from the same source of marginalization that enable cultures of workplace harassment. Many low-wage food-service employees are uniquely vulnerable to harassment on the job because of the precariousness of their economic conditions. The specter of poverty complicates—and often precludes—decisions like the one to risk one’s income to protest harassment. Reports of misconduct in more visible, highly paid industries have thus far eclipsed the national concern over the hostile working conditions that many food-service employees contend with. So when McDonald’s employees ask that their voices be heard, their entreaties are directed just as much to media and to consumers as they are to the company’s executives. Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES QUOTATION “Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.” ~~John Muir, My Summer in the Sierra (1911) TWEET OF THE DAY xMazie Hirono tells ABC that Chuck Grassley's claim that Republicans have done everything they can to contact Dr. Ford «is such bullshit I can hardly stand it.» pic.twitter.com/cPUr0EeI0R— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 20, 2018 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2014—Boehner: Jobless Americans would 'just rather sit around' House Speaker John Boehner had some harsh words for jobless Americans Thursday. In response to a question at the end of a speech to a conservative audience: Boehner then lamented «this idea that has been born, maybe out of the economy over the last couple years, that you know, I really don't have to work. I don't really want to do this. I think I'd rather just sit around. This is a very sick idea for our country.» Ahem: Less than two weeks after the House returned from its «August recess,» which stretched well into September, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Thursday that the lower chamber would be leaving town once again. Not for a week, as originally planned. But for almost two months, so members can go home and campaign before Election Day. ANYWAY. The «very sick idea» is that unemployed people would just rather sit around. The jobs economy is improving, slowly, but this is still an economy where there are 2.1 job seekers for every available job. LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Kavanaugh still tops the news. Greg Dworkin rounds up the latest on that front and more. New angles also include a review of the stolen documents story, and that «certain look» his clerks should have. Trump still doesn’t know how elections work. x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)
Donald J. Trump’s put five judges on the Fifth Circuit; George W. Bush placed four there. Two Reagan appointees are still active. Just three Obama and two Clinton judges sit on that court, which hears appeals from Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The latest reminder of what that means for our rights is a chilling one. For the past 55 years, prosecutors have been required to share exculpatory evidence—that is, evidence they have that a defendant may be innocent—with the defendant. That requirement, called the Brady Rule or Brady Doctrine, does little to alleviate the radical disparity between prosecutorial and defense resources when defendants depend on public funding, but it’s a bulwark against the worst of abuses. The rule came out of a 1963 Supreme Court case, Brady v. Maryland, in which prosecutors prosecuted one man, John Leo Brady, for murder—he was sentenced to death—despite having a confession from another man, Donald Boblit, admitting he’d been the one to kill the victim. Seems like a fundamentally sound concept, no?
Immigrant rights advocates, some holding their children’s hands and others carrying babies in their arms, walked out of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday in protest of the Trump administration’s effort to keep migrant children detained longer, perhaps even indefinitely. “They’re talking about numbers, but they need to see babies,” said demonstrator Jorge Silva as he held his baby daughter Isabel. “They need to see parents with their babies in their arms. When they talk about beds, and when they talk about numbers, we hope they see that this is what they’re talking about.” xThey wonÃ¢ÂÂt divide us. Americans always come together to right wrongs. We hit the streets, halls of Congress, and then the voting booths. #FamiliesBelongTogether pic.twitter.com/dMpFL21UzWÃ¢ÂÂ Beatriz Lopez (@Beatrizluthor) September 18, 2018 The administration is attempting to replace family separation with family detention by modifying a decades-old agreement, which, though flimsy, limits how long and under what conditions kids can be detained. But children do not belong in detention, period, and the government’s attempt to eviscerate this agreement stands to harm kids permanently. “Even brief stays in detention,” said Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, “can lead to psychological trauma and lasting mental health risks.”
In March 2013, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and three Indian parents filed a first-of-its-kind suit in federal court under the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Fourteenth Amendment. Judges and state attorneys were blowing through the initial hearings that are required after removing an Indian child from a parent. Parents didn’t know they had a right to an attorney; they were being denied the chance to contest claims of neglect or abuse. The result? Children were separated from their families for months before a meaningful opportunity to fight for their return arose. Social workers have been taking children away from parents based on nothing more than a report about the parent or a parent’s arrest. In one South Dakota county, more than 1,000 Indian children have been removed from their homes since 2010. Fifty-two percent of children in foster care in the state are Indian. Of course, there’s a long and terrible history of state actors removing Indian children from their homes. District Court Judge Jeffrey Viken granted the tribes standing to sue under the ICWA and certified Indian parents as a class for the first time. He went on to rule for the plaintiffs, cataloging state failures and mandating reforms. Then it went to the Eighth Circuit. It’s not that the Eighth Circuit said that South Dakota’s practices are fine; it just said that federal courts shouldn’t intervene. The three judges are relying on a principle of abstention established in 1979 in Younger v. Harris, that federal courts should generally let state courts decide state issues. Their reasoning draws heavily, but not well, from ignoble Supreme Court precedent. There’s a 1979—yes, 1979—case called Moore v. Sims in which a five-justice majority decided that Younger abstention doctrine should apply to a federal district court challenge to Texas child custody procedures because Texas hadn’t specifically banned parents from litigating the issues in-state. [T]he only pertinent inquiry is whether the state proceedings afford an adequate opportunity to raise the constitutional claims, and Texas law appears to raise no procedural barriers.
Anybody with a personal history of protesting or a good resistance library knows that the police often are not friends of Americans’ right of dissent and assembly. And this is especially so when the dissenters are people of color and their allies. Although individual officers may be particularly brutal, this is not a matter of rogue cops exceeding their orders. Police departments aren’t independent operators. They do the bidding of the powers that be. Whether taking action against labor strikes, the civil rights movement, the antiwar and anti-apartheid movements, immigration activists, or other protests of the existing order, police agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have a markedly unsavory record. This is about much more than direct clashes in the street. Law enforcement attacks have included harassment, threats and intimidation, illegal surveillance, infiltration, acting as agents provocateurs, and outright violence. The FBI used the infamous CoIntelPro, among other things, to turn African American and American Indian activists against one another in ways that led to some murders in the 1960s and early ‘70s. The FBI facilitated the murder of others. (See Fred Hampton). Often, these attacks on dissent have been aided by private parties ranging from corporate goons hired to go after workers on the picket line in the 1930s to the likes of highly militarized operations like the global security firm TigerSwan at the anti-pipeline protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota in the past couple of years. Techniques of suppressing protest are always being tweaked and polished. Will Parrish and Sam Levin at The Guardian report on recently released documents showing that police plan to move aggressively against ongoing protesters fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, that conduit indigenous people along its northern route label the “black snake” designed to carry highly polluting tar sands petroleum from Alberta to Texas. If Keystone XL gets final approval, massive demonstrations like those against the Dakota Access Pipeline can be expected: Documents obtained by the ACLU of Montana and reviewed by The Guardian have renewed concerns from civil rights advocates about the government’s treatment of indigenous activists known as water protectors. Notably, one record revealed that authorities hosted a recent “anti-terrorism” training session in Montana. [...] “Treating protest as terrorism is highly problematic,” said [Mike German, a former FBI agent and fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice], noting that the US government has long labeled activism as “terrorism”, once claiming that filing public records requests was an “extremist” tactic. “It’s an effective way of suppressing protest activity and creating an enormous burden for people who want to go out and express their concerns.”
The bleary-eyed Apple fans queueing early in the morning, the cheering staff: Apple's latest iPhone launch was on brand.
Here's a list of top stocks that may remain on investors' radar in today's session -
Facebook said it could offer assistance to more candidates globally by focusing on offering support through an online portal instead of in person.
Google said in a letter to US senators made public on Thursday that it relies on automated scans and reports from security researchers to monitor add-ons after launch, but did not respond to lawmakers#39; request to say how many have been caught violating the company#39;s policies.
The US Photoshop maker is sharpening its focus on the fast-growing cloud business, a fiercely competitive market dominated by Microsoft Corp , Oracle Corp and Salesforce.
International benchmark Brent crude for November delivery was up 4 cents at $78.74 a barrel by 0053 GMT.
In a new study comparing climate change attitudes across 36 countries, including the United States, commitment to democratic values is the strongest predictor of climate change concern globally.
About half the size of a lunch box, the Tiny Isothermal Nucleic acid quantification sYstem (or TINY) has shown promise as a point-of-care detector of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in resource-limited settings such as sub-Saharan Africa.
Imagine your liver being just a big puddle. Some organelles in your cells are exactly that including prominent ones like the nucleolus. Now a synthetic organelle engineered in a lab shows how such puddle organs can carry out complex life-sustaining reaction chains.
Data from new suite of tests could eventually help your vehicle's exterior better defend itself against dings, dents, scratches and things that go bump on the highway.
New 3-D maps of water distribution during cellular membrane fusion are accelerating scientific understanding of cell development, which could lead to new treatments for diseases associated with cell fusion.
Popular ad-blocker AdGuard has forcibly reset all of its users’ passwords after it detected hackers trying to break into accounts. The company said it “detected continuous attempts to login to AdGuard accounts from suspicious IP addresses which belong to various servers across the globe,” in what appeared to be a credential stuffing attack. That’s when […]
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - It's official: It will cost you more to check a bag on any of the three biggest U.S. airlines. American Airlines said Thursday that it is raising fees for checking bags by $5 apiece each way, matching Delta and United. The first bag is now ...
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Colombian police have shut down a small makeshift museum that showcased the life and times of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, saying the building's managers do not have a tourism license. Police announced Thursday that they raided the venue a day earlier while seven tourists were ...
Are you excited about the PlayStation Classic? It’s coming out in December, and pre-orders are being taken. And if you run into an out of stock message, you can easily sign up to […] The post Geek Deals: Pre-Order PlayStation Classic Mini appeared first on Geek.com.
There may not be any more MCU movies coming out in 2018, but there’s still at least one thing to look forward to this year. Daredevil is getting a third season… sometime later this year. […] The post Daredevil Has a Poster, Captain Marvel Has a Secret & More MCU News appeared first on Geek.com.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on new thermal activity in Yellowstone National Park (all times local): 1:35 p.m. A Yellowstone National Park official says a thermal spring near Old Faithful is erupting for the first time in 14 years. Park spokesman Neal Herbert said Thursday that Ear Spring erupted ...
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California becomes first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically handing out plastic straws.
As if his night wasn’t going great in the first place, Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor is now dealing with a concussion.The former Pro Bowler exited Thursday’s game against the New York Jets with a head injury after slamming it on the turf. Almost immediately, Taylor was placed into the concussion protocol.Prior to the start of the third quarter, Cleveland ruled its starting quarterback out for the remainder of the game. Rookie No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield replaced Taylor under center and ultimately led Cleveland to its first points of the game. Mayfield’s presence in the game was something Browns fans had been demanding.Having exited the game down 14-0, Taylor finished his night having completed 4-of-14 passes for negative net passing yards.
he Toronto Blue Jays stormed back from an 8-2 deficit in the 9th inning to stun the Tampa Bay Rays 9-8 in Game 2 at Tropicana Field.
Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist to help the Montreal Canadiens beat the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals 5-2 in Quebec City
Justin Smoak lifts Blue Jays past Rays with walk-off shot
Christin Stewart hit his first two big-league homers and drove in six runs Thursday night, leading the Detroit Tigers past the Kansas City Royals 11-8