Air Asia 8501 - Tail Section Raised
Nothing justifies the killing of people for expressing ideas no matter how repugnant one finds them. However, these things don't happen in a vacuum. These things are not simply the fault of the minority other person and their refusal to see how superior the majority is and adopt their ways.  The Marianne LePen's of France are more the reason for this than Charlie Hebdo is.  Charlie was just a soft target that those cowards decided to attack.  Hearing a major political candidate advocate for the deportation of a large group would tend to make radicalism more likely. 
The terrorist attack of two days ago in Paris to the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo left most of us hit hard by the blow to freedom of the press and freedom of thought, which are among that core set of rights on which we have built our society and which we feel we really cannot give up.

I confess I have never unfolded a copy of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, but I am quite familiar with the work of Wolinski, the 80-year-old cartoonist, who perished in the attack along with his colleagues. I liked his sense of humor and his cartoons a lot, and I am quite pissed off by those two morons taking that away from me.
Yesterday (8th) I took this photograph of Venus and Mercury from the grounds of Reading University.
In the photograph, Mercury is about two moon-breadths down and to the right of Venus.  Over the next two days Mercury will follow the arrow relative to the much brighter Venus, moving up and closer to Venus, and then move off to the right.
For folks in the USA, you should get a slightly better view as the angles will be tilted a few degrees clockwise, and near the Equator the two planets will appear to sit directly over the brightest part of the sky where the sun is directly below the horizon.

Good viewing!
Ocean Currents in the South Asian Archipelago

The losses of AirAsia QX8501 and Malaysia Airlines MH370 are tragic.  I hope that the relatives may find some comfort in the knowledge that their loved ones will have a lasting monument in improvements in air safety and in improved knowledge of our planet's oceans and climate.

As a direct result of the loss of MH370 a large scale ocean-floor survey was commenced, leading to almost daily discoveries of scientific importance. 

MH370 Operational Search Update—07 January 2015

There is no more important universal problem in the Standard Model of elementary particles than the problem of mass and mixing flavor hierarchies.

The mainstream theoretical approach for treating it is to probe different group-symmetry flavor models. For decades, this math approach has not led to established flavor theory.

Is seems reasonable at this time to view flavor concept as related to new physics fundamental paradigm that should be firstly approached by simple means of semi-empirical phenomenology as exampled by physics history of e.g. quantum mechanics (Plank, Einstein, De-Broglie, Rutherford, Bohr, ...).

Air Asia 8501 - Tail To Be Raised

The recently located tail of Air Asia flight 8501 is to be raised according to reports by Detik News.

Cartoon Credit: Dave Brown (Source)


The face of addiction treatment is changing, and not for the better.

Betty Ford and Hazelden have long been beacons of hope in the addiction treatment community, two well-known and respected centers that used 12-step treatment and abstinence based recovery to help thousands of people recover from addiction for decades.