MastersConnection 2020
Issue 499 In This Issue October 29th, 2016

Editors Corner

Did you know that the common swift can fly continuously for 10 months out of the year every year? Apparently they only land for brief periods of time during their breeding season. Since these swifts fly continuously for such a long period of time, researchers think "the species may not actually need to land for sleep". Click here

While we're on the subject of nature, are you aware that there are crustaceans in the ocean's 'twilight zone' that use a bacteria coating to help camouflage themselves against a predator's gaze? This coating appears, under an electron microscope, "as a sheet of uniform beads smaller than the wavelength of light". Click here

On a slightly different subject, have you heard that some crosswalk buttons and elevator door-close buttons don't actually do anything? Whatever we think they do happens anyway, with or without pressing the button. They are apparently only there to help promote an illusion of control. Click here

There's more but I will leave the rest for you to discover and enjoy.
Have a happy Halloween.

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The articles published in these MastersConnection2020 newsletters, or on or, only represent the views or opinions of the person or entity whose name appears as the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the MastersConnection2020 or any of its affiliates.
Regulating Marijuana Production & Processing in Thurston County
Important Public Hearing Nov. 8th

There will be an important Public Hearing on regulating marijuana production & processing in Thurston County on November 8, 2016 @ 5:30 PM at the Thurston County Courthouse Building 1, 2000 Lakeridge Drive, Olympia

Please encourage all to attend to prevent the zoning of large-scale marijuana production and processing facilities in rural residential Thurston County.

Since January 2014 there have been 8 Interim Ordinances. A final Ordinance was proposed on Sept. 20, 2016, to regulate the zoning of large-scale marijuana production and processing operations in Thurston County. The first 5 Ordinances (#s: 14944, 14978, 15086, 15122, 15157) zoned marijuana production and processing within agricultural and rural residential areas of unincorporated Thurston County.

Following public outcry, and a review, Ordinances #15210 (Nov. 10, 2015) and #15292 (May 10, 2015) restricted zoning of marijuana production and processing to Commercial and Industrial districts ONLY.

Click here to read full article

Space Watch

World-first images show what the universe would look like if humans could see radio waves

The world's first pictures of the universe in radio technicolour have been produced using a $50 million radio telescope in the Western Australian outback. The ground-breaking Galactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA (GLEAM) survey has created multi-coloured images of 300,000 galaxies, millions to billions of light years away, in the southern sky.

Click here to read full article

Earth Watch

Extreme cold winters fuelled by jet stream and climate change
The research, carried out by an international team of scientists including the University of Sheffield, has found that warming in the Arctic may be intensifying the effects of the jet stream's position, which in the winter can cause extreme cold weather, such as the winter of 2014/15 which saw record snowfall levels in New York. Scientists previously had two schools of thought. One group believe that natural variability in the jet stream's position has caused the recent severe cold winter weather seen in places such as the Eastern United States and the UK. The other camp includes scientists who are finding possible connections between the warming of the Arctic – such as melting sea ice, warming air temperatures, and rising sea surface temperatures – and the emerging pattern of severe cold winter weather. Now, Professor Edward Hanna and Dr Richard Hall from the University's Department of Geography, together with Professor. James E. Overland from the US Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have brought together a diverse group of researchers from both sides of the debate.

Click here to read full article

History Watch

A piece of pixelated history: The 176 original EMOJIS become part of the Museum of Modern Art’s collection
Back in the day before cars could drive themselves and phones could send stickers and animations, a Japanese phone company released a set of 176 emojis. The year was 1999 and the tiny 12-by-12 pixel designs of smiley faces, hearts of the intact and broken variety and cute animals were mainly popular in Japan. Now, 17 years later, New York's Museum of Modern Art has acquired the original set of 176 emojis. In 2010, Unicode Consortium, which now controls emoji standards, translated the emoji into the Unicode standard, which means that a person in France, for example, can send an emoji to a person in the U.S. and it will look the same, no matter what brand of phone or operating system they use. The original set of 176 emojis were a gift to the museum from the phone company, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone. 'From the start (in 1929), part of MoMA's mission has been to display and collect the art (and design) of our time,' said Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the Department of Architecture and Design at the museum, in an email. 'Our time is lived today in both the digital and the physical space.'

Click here to read full article

On The Lighter Side

Is he Siri-us? Professor writes entire nonsense paper using Apple autocomplete app only for it to ACCEPTED for an academic conference 
An academic who jokingly wrote a research paper written entirely by Apple's iOS autocomplete - and was subsequently filled with nonsense - has been accepted to present his findings at a nuclear physics conference. Christopher Bartneck, an associate professor at the University of Canterbury's Human Interface Technology laboratory in New Zealand, was stunned to discover he had been successful in securing a place at the conference, which takes place in America next month. 'I started a sentence with 'Atomic' or 'Nuclear' and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions,' wrote Bartneck in a blog post on Thursday. 'The text really does not make any sense.' Bartneck's mischievous side was fired up after receiving an invitation from the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics, which will be held in Atlanta in November.  'Since I have practically no knowledge of Nuclear Physics I resorted to iOS auto-complete function to help me," explained Bartneck. The resulting paper is complete gobbledygook. 'Nuclear weapons will not have to come out the same day after a long time of the year,' it states.

Click here to read full article

Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

October 29th: Saturday Night Special
7pm to 9pm: Spooks & Kooks Children's Special. $5 suggested donation.
9pm: Rocky Horror Picture Show... 'Cause it's Halloween!! Cost: $5

October 30th @ 10am: WATCH SEA-HAWKS

Every Weekend in November: Monty Python's SPAMALOT!!
The show performs Friday and Saturday nights November 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 25th & 26th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday matinees November 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th at 2pm. (November 19th is a special sold out performance).
Regular Ticket price: $24.50 Discounted Tickets for Seniors, Military, and Students: $15.00

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Community Calendar

We do love to hear from you especially about community events that you think our readers ought to know about. So, thanks and keep the info flowing.

November 8th, 2016 @ 5:30pm: Public Hearing on regulating marijuana production & processing in Thurston County
This hearing will be held at the Thurston County Courthouse Building 1, 2000 Lakeridge Drive, Olympia
Click here for more information

In The News

Germany drafts law to install face-recognition cameras in public places – media leaks
The German Interior Ministry has drafted a law on video surveillance allowing the installation of automatic facial recognition cameras in public places to tackle rising terrorism threats, local media reported. Critics argue the proposal is nothing but a “placebo.” A package of massive video surveillance measures proposed by the Interior Ministry was exposed this week by German media. According to a draft law on “improvement of video surveillance” seen by the Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere wants facial recognition cameras to monitor privately-run public areas, such as shopping malls, stadiums and car parks.  The bill, expected to be rubber-stamped by the German parliament in November, cites recent terrorist attacks, namely the shooting spree in a Munich mall as well as a bomb attack in Ansbach, Deutsche Welle reported.  De Maiziere’s proposal follows statements by top security officials who warned that Germany’s transportation system, specifically train stations and airports, is vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks while the police and railroad security services are short of proper equipment and manpower.

Click here to read full article

Privacy concerns are raised over new US hacking rules: Change could see judges issue warrants for remote access to ANYONE'S computer
A group of lawmakers in the US Congress has asked the Justice Department to clarify how a looming rule change to the government's hacking powers could impact privacy rights of innocent Americans. The change, due to take place on 1 December, would let judges issue search warrants for remote access to computers located in any jurisdiction, potentially including foreign countries.  Magistrate judges can normally only order searches within the jurisdiction of their court, which is typically limited to a few counties. 'We are concerned about the full scope of the new authority that would be provided to the Department of Justice,' 23 senators and representatives wrote to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. In April, the Supreme Court approved amendments to Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure. This would allow judges to issue warrants in cases when a suspect uses anonymising technology to conceal the location of his or her computer or for an investigation into a network of hacked or infected computers, such as a botnet. Those amendments will take effect on December 1 of this year unless Congress passes legislation that would reject, amend or postpone the changes.

Click here to read full article

Nature Watch

This Bird Can Remain Airborne For 10 Months Straight
Scientists have long suspected that the common swift remains airborne for extraordinary amounts of time during its annual migration. Now, a team of scientists in Sweden has proved that these birds fly for tremendously long periods of time. They affixed data loggers onto a total of 19 of the master fliers in 2013 and 2014, and recaptured the birds months or years later. Researchers found that the birds can spend almost their entire 10-month nonbreeding period on the wing. The data loggers gathered information on acceleration and flight activity, and those installed in 2014 also included light trackers for geolocation. The results were astonishing. For example, according to research published in Current Biology, one of the birds stopped for just four nights in February in 2014 — and the next year it stopped for only two hours. Other birds stopped for longer periods of time. But "even when swifts settle to roost," the researchers say, "the amount of time not flying is very small." The birds are known to travel from Europe to sub-Saharan Africa — but they apparently don't touch down there, as National Geographic reports. Researchers say they have never found roosting sites in sub-Saharan Africa.

Click here to read full article

Crustaceans in the ocean’s ‘twilight zone’ wear CAMOUFLAGE: Bacteria coating helps creatures avoid a predator’s gaze
There’s no place to hide from predators in the vastness of the open ocean for vulnerable crustaceans. While they live at depths where sunlight fades to darkness and have transparent bodies to avoid being spotted by upward-glancing hungry fish, experts have discovered the creatures have another method of subterfuge. These midwater crustaceans have a camouflage coating made of living bacteria to keep them safe from predators that use bioluminescent ‘searchlights’ to find dinner. A new study from Duke University and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, published in the journal Current Biology, has found these midwater hyperiid amphipods – small aquatic crustaceans with large eyes - are covered with anti-reflective coatings on their legs and bodies. The living coating can dampen the reflection of light by 250-fold and prevent it from bouncing back to a hungry lantern fish's eye. Lantern fish as their name suggests, are able to produce light thanks to tiny organs known as photophores within which a chemical reaction takes place, resulting in bioluminescence, or a ‘glow’. The experts viewed the crustaceans’ coating under an electron microscope to discover that it appears as a sheet of uniform beads smaller than the wavelength of light.

Click here to read full article

Something Worth Knowing

The 'close door' button on your elevator is a scam! Manufacturers reveal buttons make no difference 
Most people do not have the patience to wait a few seconds for the elevator doors to shut, so they push the 'close' button to speed up the process. However, some say this feature has been obsolete since the 1990s, suggesting the button is a complete fake – it will not close the doors any faster. Experts reveal that there numerous buttons in the world that do not live up to their name, but are present to make us feel in control. The Americans With Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, mandating that elevators stay open long enough for someone with a physical disability, such as on crutches or in a wheelchair, to make it inside, Karen W. Penafiel, executive director of National Elevator Industry Inc., told Christopher Mele with The New York Times in an interview. Although these buttons are useless to the average person, they do perform their proper function for firefighters and maintenance workers – but only with a code or designated keys.

Click here to read full article

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