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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Satellite Spotters Glimpse Secrets, and Tell Them

NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By John Schwartz - February 5, 2008 When the government announced last month that a top-secret spy satellite would, in the next few months, come falling out of the sky, American officials said there was little risk to people because satellites fall out of orbit fairly frequently and much of the planet is covered by oceans. But they said precious little about the satellite itself. Such information came instead from Ted Molczan, a hobbyist who tracks satellites from his apartment balcony in Toronto, and fellow satellite spotters around the world. They have grudgingly become accustomed to being seen as “propeller-headed geeks” who “poke their finger in the eye” of the government’s satellite spymasters, Mr. Molczan said, taking no offense. “I have a sense of humor,” he said. Mr. Molczan, a private energy conservation consultant, is the best known of the satellite spotters who, needing little more than a pair of binoculars, a stop watch and star charts, uncover some of the deepest of the government’s expensive secrets and share them on the Internet. Thousands of people form the spotter community. Many look for historical relics of the early space age, working from publicly available orbital information. Others watch for phenomena like the distinctive flare of sunlight glinting off bright solar panels of some telephone satellites. Still others are drawn to the secretive world of spy satellites, with about a dozen hobbyists who do most of the observing, Mr. Molczan said. In the case of the mysterious satellite that is about to plunge back to earth, Mr. Molczan had an early sense of which one it was, identifying it as USA-193, which gave out shortly after reaching space in December 2006. It is said to have been built by the Lockheed Martin Corporation and operated by the secretive National Reconnaissance Office. Another hobbyist, John Locker of Britain, posted photos of the satellite on a Web site, galaxypix.com. John E. Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a private group in Alexandria, Va., that tracks military and space activities, said the hobbyists exemplified fundamental principles of openness and of the power of technology to change the game. “It has been an important demystification of these things,” Mr. Pike said, “because I think there is a tendency on the part of these agencies just to try to pretend that they don’t exist, and that nothing can be known about them.” But the spotters are also pursuing a thoroughly unusual pastime, one that calls for long hours outside, freezing in the winter and sweating in the summer, straining to see a moving light in the sky and hoping that a slip of the finger on the stopwatch does not delete an entire night’s work. And for the adept, there is math. Lots of math. “It’s somewhat time consuming and tedious,” Mr. Molczan said, acknowledging that the precise and methodical activities might seem, to the uninitiated, “a close approximation to work.” When a new spy satellite is launched, the hobbyists will collaborate on sightings around the world to determine its orbit, and even guess at its function, sharing their information through the e-mail network SeeSat-L, which can be found via the Web site satobs.org. From his 23rd-floor balcony, or the roof of his 32-floor building, Mr. Molzcan will peer through his binoculars at a point in the sky he expects the satellite to cross, which he locates with star charts. When the moving dot appears, he determines its direction and the distance it travels across the patch of sky over time, which he can use to calculate its speed. Mr. Molzcan declined a request to visit him in Toronto and to be photographed for this article, saying: “No offense intended, but this is beginning to sound like more of a human interest story than one about the substance of the hobby. My preference is for the latter. Also, I prefer not to have photos of myself published.” Mr. Locker, who favors a telescope for his camerawork, said that people like him and Mr. Molczan were not, as he put it, “nerdy buffs who lie on our backs and look into the sky and try to undermine governments.” Spotting, he said, is simply a hobby. “There are people who look at train timetables and go watch trains,” he said. People are drawn to what interests them, he said, and “it’s what draws people to any hobby.” While recent news coverage has focused on the current satellite’s threat to people when it falls from above, that threat is, statistically, very small. Even when the space shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas five years ago and rained debris over two states, no one on the ground was injured. Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, noted that 328 satellites had come down in the past five years without injury to anyone. While Mr. Johndroe declined to divulge much about the current satellite aside from the fact that it carries no nuclear material, he said that the government would take responsibility in the remote chance of damage or injury. The government’s relationship with the hobbyists is not a comfortable one. Spokesmen for the National Reconnaissance Office have stated that they would prefer the hobbyists not publish their information, and suggest that foreign countries try to hide their activities when they know an eye in the sky will be passing overhead. The satellite spotters acknowledge that this may be so, though they doubt that such tactics are effective. Mr. Molczan said he believed that the hobbyists hurt no one but that “you can’t say with absolute certainty what effect you’re having.” Mr. Pike said the officials who complained about the hobbyists “don’t like it, but they’ve got to lump it.” Despite the many clever ways that the spy agencies try to minimize the likelihood that their satellites will be spotted, he said, they will be. And that, he said, is a valuable warning: a world with so many eyes on the skies renders deep secrets shallow. “If Ted can track all these satellites,” Mr. Pike said, “so can the Chinese.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/science/space/05spotters.html?ex=1359954000&en=49168b36a9a598df&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Storm Makes Drivers Slip, Fliers Wait

Creation Groans ASSOCIATED PRESS - By Carla K. Johnson - February 2, 2008 CHICAGO - Winter storms at both ends of the country dumped snow and snarled air and land travel Friday, killing at least 10 people, blocking major highways and even stranding 400 train passengers in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Nearly 7 1/2 inches of snow was reported at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport before the front moved out of the area Friday. About 500 flights were canceled at O'Hare, which canceled 600 flights Thursday and housed hundreds of stranded travelers who spent the night awaiting planes from other cities also affected by the storm. - - - The storm brought snow, freezing rain and sleet to the Northeast, where arriving flights at Newark Liberty Airport were delayed as long as three hours Friday afternoon. Arrivals were delayed by 2 1/2 hours at La Guardia Airport, two hours at Philadelphia International and an hour and a half at New York's Kennedy, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's Web site. Along the nearly 500-mile-long New York State Thruway, troopers reported more than 200 accidents - compared with 10 to 15 on a typical clear day. At least four people died Friday on ice-slicked Hudson Valley roads - three when their car slid into an oncoming sanding truck in East Fishkill, the fourth in a head-on collision in the town of Goshen. Six people died on Illinois roads Thursday and Friday. Another storm system made roads impassible in parts of the Pacific Northwest. In Washington state, a 70-mile stretch of Interstate 90 remained closed because of the avalanche danger at the Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Range. The state's main east-west traffic route across the Cascades had been closed for all but six hours since Tuesday morning - the lengthiest closure for the pass since 1997. Recent storms have dumped more than 5 feet of snow on the pass, and more was expected by Saturday morning. Crews used dynamite to dislodge unstable snow near the highway. State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Claudia Cornish said officials hoped to reopen it early Saturday "if all goes well." Two Amtrak trains carrying 400 people got stuck in the mountains of Northern California near Donner Pass, agency officials said. No injuries were reported. The trains had been stuck since 2 p.m., but the passengers are being fed and both trains have heating and lights, Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Romero said. The tracks were expected to be cleared early Saturday morning. A large snow plow being used to clear the tracks fell through a walkway and blocked the trains' path, Romero said. Union Pacific was bringing a crane to the site to remove the plow. Amtrak was trying to summon buses to nearby towns to get passengers out but have had little luck because many of the vehicles are in Arizona for the Super Bowl. The California Zephyr trains were heading in opposite directions between Emeryville and Chicago. --- Associated Press writers Jim Suhr in St. Louis, David Mercer in Champaign, Ill., and John K. Wiley in Spokane, Wash., contributed to this report. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080202/D8UI5OH80.html FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Storm-hit China calls for 'faith'

Creation Groans BBC NEWS [PSB operated by BBC Trust]- February 3, 2008 Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has urged people to "have faith" that some of the worst snow storms in 50 years can be overcome, state media says. Mr Wen called the extreme weather a "severe natural disaster" as he travelled to Hunan province, one of the worst-affected. The weather has caused travel chaos and left thousands of people stranded. One woman has been trampled to death in the southern city of Guangzhou, in a stampede to board a train. Another southern city, Chenzou, has reportedly had no power for a week, and many of its 4m resident have also been without a stable water supply for days. Furious clashes Elsewhere in Hunan province, heavy fog further paralysed the transport network, delaying flights and road traffic. Elsewhere, travellers clashed with police and soldiers after being stranded on Sunday at an airport in Guangzhou, the capital of southern Guangdong province. The BBC's Daniel Griffiths witnessed furious scuffles as passengers demanded airline officials put them on another flight after a cancellation. Our correspondent says the authorities took several hours to resolve the stand-off, and there were similar scenes here throughout the day. 'More snow' At Guangzhou train station on Saturday, a woman died after falling during a stampede to board a train home to Hubei province in central China, state media reported. Hundreds of thousands of stranded people have been forced to spend the night in the open in sub-zero temperatures at the station. Travellers are trying to get home for this week's Lunar New Year holiday. For many workers it is their only chance to see their families all year. The government has set up a command centre to coordinate its response to the crisis, deploying more than 300,000 soldiers and almost 1.1m reservists. Xinhua quoted the prime minister as assuring his country people: "We have the faith, courage and ability to overcome the severe natural disaster." The provincial weather bureau has forecast more snow for Monday and Tuesday. The extreme weather, now in its fourth week, has affected an estimated 100m people, and caused 54bn yuan (£3.8bn) of damage. Officials say emergency medical teams have treated over 200,000 sick and injured people, and that 60 people have died. Officials have warned of future food shortages because of damaged winter crops. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7224871.stm FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.