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U.S. Sen. Tom Udall On Treasury Department Ending Disclosure Requirements For Dark Money Donors

on July 18, 2018 - 11:14am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) released the following statement after the Treasury Department ended a requirement that “dark money” groups must disclose their donors to the IRS:

“Secret, undisclosed money has flooded our electoral system and completely drowned out the voices of everyday citizens. Now, the Trump administration is making an already rigged system even worse -- ending some of the limited disclosure we have about who is spending these unlimited sums of money to try to buy our democracy.

AGU: Martian Atmosphere Behaves As Single System

on July 18, 2018 - 9:29am

Artist’s concept showing the three segments of MARSIS, the radar instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft. Courtesy/NASA/JPL/Caltech
American Geophysical Union News:
By European Space Agency

New research using a decade of data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission has found clear signs of the complex Martian atmosphere acting as a single, interconnected system, with processes occurring at low and mid levels significantly affecting those seen higher up.

Understanding the Martian atmosphere is a key topic in planetary science, from its current status to its past history.

DEA-Led Probe Leads To Second Honduran Congressman Charged With Drug Trafficking And Weapons Crimes

on July 18, 2018 - 7:25am
DEA News:
NEW YORK DEA and the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that charges have been filed in New York federal court against Honduran congressman Midence Oqueli Martinez Turcios, and in a separate indictment, Arnaldo Urbina Soto, Carlos Fernando Urbina Soto and Miguel Angel Urbina Soto.
The charges in each indictment include conspiring to import cocaine into the United States and related weapons offenses involving the use and possession of machine guns and destructive devices. The United States is seeking the defendants’ extraditions from Honduras.
“DEA and

NNMC Students Conduct Research In The Bahamas

on July 18, 2018 - 6:33am
Dr. Rhiannon West, left, Jonathan Madrid and Astrella Gonzalez of NNMC during their recent three-week undergraduate research experience trip in The Bahamas. Courtesy photo

NNMC freshmen Jonathan Madrid and Astrella Gonzalez during their recent three-week undergraduate research experience trip in The Bahamas. Courtesy photo
NNMC freshmen Jonathan Madrid and Astrella Gonzalez during their recent three-week undergraduate research experience trip in The Bahamas. Courtesy photo
NNMC News:
When most people think of The Bahamas, they think of fun-filled vacations on white sandy beaches.

LANL: Feeding Plants To This Algae Could Fuel Cars

on July 17, 2018 - 3:47pm

LANL scientist Amanda Barry studies how biofuel-producing algae can be fed various grasses to improve their productivity. Courtesy/LANL


LANL News:


Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and partner institutions provided today the first published report of algae using raw plants as a carbon energy source.


The research shows that a freshwater production strain of microalgae, Auxenochlorella protothecoides, is capable of directly degrading and utilizing non-food plant substrates, such as switchgrass, for improved cell growth and lipid productivity, useful for boosting the

WWII Vet Finally Receives Bronze Star Medal Friday

on July 16, 2018 - 10:42pm


SANTA FE – World War II veteran Dennis Ferk will be presented with a Bronze Star Medal at a special presentation ceremony at 1:30 p.m., Friday at the Santa Fe Vet Center at 2209 Brothers Road in Santa Fe.

Ferk had earned this prestigious award for meritorious achievement during ground combat from April 1942 to May 1944 in New Guinea in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

At the ceremony, he also will be presented with an American Defense Service Medal, an American Campaign Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal.

Following the war, Ferk never sought to claim his awards.

Non-Profit Seeks Local Families To Host High School Exchange Students

on July 16, 2018 - 11:44am
Courtesy photo
ASSE News:
ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE), in cooperation with your community high school, is looking for local families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries: Norway, Denmark, Spain, Italy and Japan to name a few.
ASSE students come with an enthusiasm to practice their English and experience American culture - food, sports, shopping and more. They also love to share their own culture and language with their host families.

Naval Nuclear Laboratory Contracts Awarded To FMP

on July 13, 2018 - 8:40am


NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Naval Reactors, a joint program of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of the Navy (DON), announced the selection of Fluor Marine Propulsion, LLC (FMP) as the new DOE and DON contractor for the Naval Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).

FMP, a limited liability company, is a wholly owned, special-purpose subsidiary of Fluor Corporation.

Naval Reactors conducted a full and open competition for the new NNL contracts. 

The estimated combined award value of these contracts is approximately $30 billion over ten years if all options are

Trinity Test ‘Gadget’ Anniversary July 16

on July 13, 2018 - 8:02am
Courtesy photo
AHF News:
July 16 is the 73rd anniversary of the Trinity Test, the world’s first nuclear weapons test. At 5:29 a.m., the “Gadget” exploded with a yield of about 15-20 kilotons of TNT.
Manhattan Project veterans recall their reactions to the explosion. For example, chemist Lilli Hornig describes the mushroom cloud: “I remember these boiling clouds and vivid colors like violet, purple, orange, yellow, red, just everything. It was fantastic. We were all shaken up.”

For more on the Trinity Test, visit Veterans Remember the Trinity Test, Trinity Test Eyewitnesses and

World Futures: Statistics (And Probability) – Part Four

on July 12, 2018 - 7:28am

Los Alamos World
Futures Institute

In the previous column (Part Three) we ended with a question about statistics and its uses – investing, making money, providing governance, managing the budget, making choices, or something else.

As an example, consider baseball, professional baseball. For the vast majority of us, baseball is a form of entertainment as well as a sometimes highly emotional activity (are you a Yankees or a Red Sox fan?) without any real consequence other than bragging rights, unless, of course, you are betting on the outcome.

But what about the teams

A Path Forward On Net Neutrality

on July 10, 2018 - 3:49am
York Dispatch Contributor
Of the many unmistakable and powerful messages coming from voters after the Parkland massacre, one is the notion that Americans are tired of leaders putting politics ahead of the nation’s business. Members of Congress, for their own good, should see this canary in the coal mine, not just on gun safety but just about everything else as well.
And while protecting the open internet may not, rightfully, stir the same passions as protecting our children from semi-automatic weapons, the devolving debate about internet freedom illustrates just how

AFS-USA Seeks Los Alamos Host Families

on July 9, 2018 - 7:04am
Families in the Los Alamos area can help build bridges of intercultural understanding by sharing their homes and daily life with exchange students.
AFS is looking for host families for high school exchange students coming in August and September from more than 90 countries.
Each year, AFS welcomes more than 2,200 international students to the U.S. These are outstanding young people who were selected in their home countries to study in U.S. high schools and are eager to experience what it's like to live in America.

Hear From Local Astronomers At Nature On Tap July 9

on July 8, 2018 - 7:13am
PEEC News:
Join the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and the Los Alamos Creative District for Nature on Tap, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 9, at UnQuarked Wine Bar.
Galen Gisler will lead a panel of local astronomers in a discussion about recent updates in astronomy. The panel features Erica Fogerty, Steve Becker, Joyce Guzik and Paul Arendt who will discuss topics like asteroid near misses, meteorites and dark matter. Audience members are welcome to ask any astronomy-related questions.
For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit,

AGU: Freak Rockfall Accident In China

on July 7, 2018 - 7:46am
The aftermath of the rockfall accident in Shimian County. Courtesy/Chengdu Business Daily
AGU News:
The Chengdu Business Daily has a report of a freak rockfall accident that occurred June 30 in Shimian County in Sichuan Province, China.
At the time a bus was driving on the S217 Provincial Road between Chengdu and Wuhu, carrying 38 people. The coach was struck by a large boulder. It appears that the boulder penetrated, and became wedged through, the windscreen of the coach. The driver, Zhao Jianguo, a 44-year-old native of Chengdu, was pinned in his seat and killed.

Explore Asteroids & Comets At NMMNHS Planetarium

on July 6, 2018 - 6:04am
Courtesy photo
ALBUQUERQUE — Audiences at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS) Planetarium will discover how asteroids and comets have collided with earth, changing the course of life on Earth and shaping today’s world, in the California Academy of Sciences’ latest original planetarium show, Incoming!
From the comfort of a planetarium seat, viewers will embark on a dynamic journey on the trail of asteroids and comets, get an up close look at the advanced technologies that allow scientists to detect asteroids before they reach Earth, and

Izraelevitz: The Honor And Blessing Of Becoming An American Citizen

on July 5, 2018 - 7:28am
Los Alamos County Council Chair

When the Publisher of this newspaper asked if I would write a column celebrating the Fourth of July, I couldn’t help but look back to the previous July 4th at the Bandelier National Monument Visitor Center, where I was invited to speak at a new citizenship ceremony. I shared with them my feelings about the honor and blessing of becoming an American citizen as an adult. I hope you will enjoy an abbreviated version of my talk.

July 4, 2017

Thank you very much for your invitation to speak here today.

Leftist Firebrand Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Decisively Wins Mexico Presidency

on July 2, 2018 - 4:37pm

Newly elected president of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

HSNW News:

Leftist firebrand Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has won Mexico’s presidential election with more than 50 percent of the vote.

Mexican voters decisively backed Lopez Obrador in Sunday’s presidential election, giving him 53 percent of the vote.

The Telegraph reports that official projections show that Ricardo Anaya of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) won between 22.1 and 22.8 percent; Jose Antonio Meade of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) – the party of outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto

Climate Change Making Night Clouds More Visible

on July 2, 2018 - 8:07am
Noctilucent, or night-shining, clouds are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere. They form in the middle atmosphere, or mesosphere, roughly 50 miles above Earth’s surface. The clouds form when water vapor freezes around specks of dust from incoming meteors. Courtesy/Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics NASA
AGU News:
Washinton, D.C. -- Increased water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere due to human activities is making shimmering high-altitude clouds more visible, a new study finds.

Bandelier Hosts 4th Of July Naturalization Ceremony

on June 29, 2018 - 5:27pm

A previous naturalization ceremony at Bandelier National Monument. Courtesy/NPS


July 4th is traditionally a day when Americans celebrate freedom and independence. For the eighth year, Bandelier National Monument is proud to partner with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to host a naturalization ceremony in the park on that day. 

Fifteen candidates from 12 countries, after working for years to fulfill their requirements, will be taking the oath and becoming the newest citizens of the United States.

NNSA, Air Force Complete Successful End-To-End B61-12 Life Extension Program Flight Tests At Tonopah

on June 29, 2018 - 8:32am


NNSA News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and the U.S. Air Force completed two non-nuclear system qualification flight tests of the B61-12 gravity bomb June 9 at Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.

“These qualification flight tests demonstrate the B61-12 design meets system requirements and illustrate the continued progress of the B61-12 life extension program to meet national security requirements” said Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, NNSA’s Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application.

PEEC: Explore Fate Of Solar System & Humanity Friday

on June 28, 2018 - 12:52pm
Courtesy photo
PEEC News:
In about one billion years, the Sun will swell to nearly the size of the earth’s orbit and lose its outer atmosphere. All of the oceans will evaporate and temperatures will increase drastically. Join Rick Wallace for an exciting discussion about the fate of the earth and humanity at 7 p.m., Friday, June 29 at the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium.
In this talk, audience members will fly through 3D models of similar planetary nebulae while considering the eventual fate of our planet.

World Futures: Statistics (And Probability) – Part Two

on June 28, 2018 - 7:51am

Los Alamos World
Futures Institute

In the previous column we looked at nuclear cross sections as the probability of a nuclear interaction and noted that the cross section is a statistic derived through experimentation. If the statistic was measured incorrectly, the nuclear reactor would fizzle and a mess would result. But what if the measurement dealt with people and was “sort” of wrong? What if the test was usually right, but sometimes could give a false result? And what if the test was applied to an entire population or a representative sample to draw an inference?


AGU: Coldest Place On Earth ... Even Colder Than Scientists Thought

on June 27, 2018 - 10:16am
Persistent winds shape the surface of East Antarctica’s snow into small dune forms called ‘sastrugi’. Courtesy/Ted Scambos, NSIDC/University of Colorado-Boulder
Blowing snow conditions at a camp site near Vostok Station in Antarctic summer. Courtesy/Ted Scambos, NSIDC/University of Colorado-Boulder
AGU News:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tiny valleys near the top of Antarctica’s ice sheet reach temperatures of nearly minus 100 degrees Celsius (minus 148 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter, a new study finds.
The results could change scientists’ understanding of just how low temperatures

LANL: Exploring Carbon Nanotube Optics As Pathway For Quantum Information Processing

on June 24, 2018 - 8:47am

Depiction of a carbon nanotube defect site generated by functionalization of a nanotube with a simple organic molecule. Altering the electronic structure at the defect enables room-temperature single photon emission at telecom wavelengths. Courtesy/LANL


LANL News:


Researchers at Los Alamos and partners in France and Germany are exploring the enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes as single-photon emitters for quantum information processing. Their analysis of progress in the field is published in this week’s edition of the journal Nature Materials.


“We are particularly interested

World Nuke Count: 14,465 Bombs

on June 23, 2018 - 6:08am


HSNW News:

A new report finds that all the nuclear weapon-possessing states are developing new nuclear weapon systems and modernizing their existing systems.

Nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea—possess approximately 14,465 nuclear weapons. This marked a decrease from the approximately 14,935 nuclear weapons these states were estimated to possess at the beginning of 2017.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released June 18 the findings of SIPRI Yearbook 2018, which