Watch Fireball Video 100 X Brighter Than Full Moon In Colorado Sky

This is nothing short of awesome.  You should see a moving video of the event below.

chris-peterson1_strip

 

On Friday night a fireball one hundred times brighter than the full Moon lit up the sky near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Astronomer Chris Peterson photographed the event using an all-sky video camera dedicated to meteor studies. “In seven years of operation, this is the brightest fireball I’ve ever recorded. I estimate the terminal explosion at magnitude -18.”  Meteors this bright are called superbolides; they are caused by small (meter-class) asteroids and are likely to pepper the ground with meteorites when they explode.

Fireballs this bright belong to a rare category of meteors called superbolides. They are caused by small asteroids measuring a few to 10 meters in diameter and massing hundreds of metric tons. Superbolides trigger seismic detectors on the ground, produce waves of infrasound that can travel thousands of miles, and they are tracked by military satellites scanning Earth for nuclear explosions. Recent examples include the El Paso fireball of 1997 and the Slovenian Superbolide of 2007.

Last night’s fireball is on the low end of the superbolide scale. Nevertheless, it was still a beauty and likely peppered the ground with meteorites when it exploded.

Wind-Whipped Icicles On Lake Monona

The winds howled on Friday night, creating nice-sized waves on Lake Monona, though  not visible in the darkness, they were very audible.  Today a walk along the shore gives evidence to the beauty that Mother Nature created while the storm settled in over the Isthmus.

I know that I have readers who once lived in this area, and enjoy pictures of Madison.  I also know there are others who enjoy winter from inside….so these are all for you.  ( I even added winter snowflakes to fall on your computer screen!)

lm1

lm2

lm3

lm4

lm5

lm6

lm7

“Congress Will Reassert Its Constitutional Independence From The White House “

The Las Vegas Sun will print a story on Sunday that truly is in line with my views about the process of government.  Readers may know that I have long been concerned with the expansion of executive power for the President, while legislative power diminished.  The Sun will publish the following in the next edition of the paper.

I truly see light at the end of the tunnel after 8 years.  There is reason to think that we can turn lots of policy and actions around.  I know that this type of issue is real dry and boring for many Americans, except the process is all important to the end results, and too many never understand why this is true.

The new Congress will reassert its constitutional independence from the White House by barring the vice president from joining in internal Senate deliberations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in an interview with The Sun. The move is intended to restore checks and balances to a system that tilted heavily toward the White House in the Bush presidency. By giving Vice President Dick Cheney regular access to Senate Republican caucuses, at times with White House advisers in tow, party unity became more important to many Republicans than upholding their responsibilities to provide legislative oversight of the executive, experts say. Asked if Vice-President Joe Biden will be allowed to attend Senate Democratic caucus meetings, Reid said: ‘Absolutely not.'”

Is Sarah Palin Trig’s Mother, Or Was ‘Birth’ Political Hoax?

This is a story that has percolated along over the months, accompanied with pictures that show a very slim un-pregnant looking Sarah Palin just weeks before her claim that she delivered a 6 pound baby that would be named Trig.  How she felt labor pains while in the lower 48, had her water break, boarded a plane for an 11-hour flight to Alaska when any hospital is equipped to handle births, is just weird.   Even for Sarah Palin.  Why Palin waited for more than an a day to get to a hospital (her account of the story) makes many wonder just what happened in Palin Land.  Was she ever was pregnant with this child?  And if not her, then where did it come from?  Her daughter?

This seems like a mirror episode from ABC’s “Desperate Housewives”.

The fact that this story was been talked about endlessly, given the bizarre nature of the events that led to Trig’s birth, and the lack of media scrutiny on what very well may have been the biggest political hoax on the American public, deserves attention.  Given that Palin seeks notoriety, this story is perhaps a way she can gain some more.

Andrew Sullivan, writing his column “The Daily Dish” in the The Atlantic has a sense of the outrage that more people should have over this matter. 

Actually, the Dish went out and interviewed eight of the leading obstetricians in the country and laid out all the facts of the case and asked the experts for their take. While none would say that this pregnancy could not have happened, and none would comment on a case they hadn’t examined personally, all of them said it was one of the strangest and unlikeliest series of events they had ever heard of and found Palin’s decision to forgo medical help for more than a day after her water broke and risk the life of her unborn child on a long airplane trip to be reckless beyond measure.

Malkin also equates the story with the Obama birth certificate affair. But we have documentary evidence of the certificate, and Palin has produced no hard evidence at all for her pregnancy. All that’s needed is some medical records of her pregnancy which, as a Down Syndrome pregnancy, would have a large pile of medical documentation easily released. There is no formal record of Trig’s birth at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, although there is a record of two other babies born on the same day.

Maybe I am crazy to even wonder. Or maybe we have witnessed one of the biggest frauds in American political history and the biggest failures among the American media in a very, very long time.

All I know is: the media refuses to ask and doesn’t want to know and failed to demand medical records. All I know is that some journalists – like the Washington Post’s Howie Kurtz – even tried to discredit the integrity of bloggers for asking. And yet in the campaign, the pregnancy and baby were offered at every moment as a reason to vote for Palin. If the Bridge To Nowhere is worth checking out, why aren’t the pregnancy’s bizarre details? Without the Down Syndrome pregnancy, Palin would not have had the rock-star appeal to the pro-life base that contributed to her selection. She made it a political issue by holding up the baby at the convention.

I do not know the truth and have never claimed that Palin is lying. I have always stated that bringing a baby with Down Syndrome into the world is a noble and beautiful thing. I have simply asked, given the implausible, if possible, circumstances, that a person running for vice-president provide some basic evidence for a very strange and unclear story. For a photograph of Palin pregnant with one of her previous children, see below. Compare and contrast. Remember that, as a general rule, pregnant mothers show more with each successive pregnancy. Remember also, as a general rule, that successive labors come more quickly. I think it’s time Palin’s doctor, Catherine Baldwin-Johnson talked to the press, don’t you think? And that the McCain campaign tell us exactly what they knew and asked all along.

Saturday Song: The Blind Boys Of Alabama “Go Tell It On The Mountain”

When one hears the name Blind Boys Of Alabama it instantly conjures up the sounds of energetic and rollicking music with a blend of the black spirituals that makes hands clap and feet move.   “Go Tell It On The Mountain” is such an example, and a Christmas favorite.