Newly declassified documents, obtained by George Washington University’s National Security Archive, appear to for the first time acknowledge the existence of Area 51. Hundreds of pages describe the genesis of the Nevada site that was home to the government’s spy plane program for decades. The documents do not, however, mention aliens.
The project started humbly. In the pre-drone era about a decade after the end of World War II, President Eisenhower signed off on a project aimed at building a high-altitude, long-range, manned aircraft that could photograph remote targets. Working together, the Air Force and Lockheed developed a craft that could hold the high-resolution cameras required for the images, a craft that became the U-2. Why “U-2”?
They decided that they could not call the Read more…
LAS VEGAS >> About 10 minutes after a powerful, magnitude-7.4 earthquake rattled southern Mexico last month, researchers outside Las Vegas were watching a tiny tsunami churn a normally tranquil spring pool 1,700 miles away.
Three National Park Service technicians were doing maintenance on data recorders at Devil’s Hole March 20 when the waters started surging more than 2 feet high. They grabbed a camera, and their video of the rare phenomenon now has more than 47,000 views on YouTube.
“It baffles me, but it makes sense. Everything’s kind of connected in a way,” Jeffrey Read more…
Once people realized that Facebook was basically harvesting biometric data, the usual uproar over the site’s relentless corrosion of privacy ensued. Germany even threatened to sue Facebook for violating German and EU data protection laws and a few other countries are investigating. But facial recognition technology is hardly confined to Facebook — and unlike the social networking site, there’s no “opt-out” of leaving your house.
Post-9/11, many airports and Read more…
An extraordinary set of circumstances produced the Colorado River Compact of 1922. The question now is whether the compact and other laws and treaties collectively called the Law of the River are sufficiently resilient to prevent teeth-barring among the seven states of the basin in circumstances that during the 21st century may be even more extraordinary.
For the most part, speakers at a recent conference sponsored by the University of Colorado Natural Resources Law Center agreed that there’s no need to start over even if future circumstances will require states of the Southwest to “bend the hell out of it,” in the words of law professor Douglas Kenney.
Kenney, director of the law school’s Western Water Policy Program, last winter released the first part of a several-tiered study of challenges to administration of the river. Obscured by drought that had left Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, reduced to its lowest level since 1938, demand had quietly crept up and overtaken supply during the last decade, he said.
Despite occasional wet years such as the current one, climate-change projections foresee significantly hotter temperatures and perhaps a 9 percent decline in water volume during coming decades, according to the newest study issued this spring by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
DeBecque Canyon on the Colorado River near Palisade (Best)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The hereditary communist dictatorship in North Korea reports on the spread of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant, but it has all but fallen off the corporate media radar screen here. Monitoring stations across North Korea from April 11 to 17 detected iodine-131 and cesium-137 in the air above Wonsan in the southeast and Chongjin in the southeast, according to the country’s state-run media.
Here is a recent map showing the spread of cesium-137. Note the increased concentration over the United States.
Heather Buchman, Meteorologist
Feb 24, 2011; 3:13 PM ET
It’s been more than three decades since snow has fallen in downtown San Francisco, and there is a possibility that this long streak will be broken by the end of this week.
Lower elevations around Los Angeles, as well as other parts of California and the Southwest where it rarely snows, could also have snowflakes flying this weekend. Las Vegas is another place where snowflakes may be seen.
In some places, the snow will be heavy enough to disrupt travel significantly or even shut down travel completely.
Snow already made an appearance in some of Read more…