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Gaythia Weis
Analytical Chemist
Analytical Chemist
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Memorial Day
"Individual human beings died in our place when the country called on them. In a time when personal self-aggrandizement seems to be in vogue for far too many, we need to give more thought and attention — and thanks — to those who exemplify selfless service. "

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Accounting for Fossil Fuel Impacts
"Colorado utility regulators have waded into new political and economic waters with a vote that requires the state’s largest utility to put a dollar figure on the impacts from carbon emissions tied to future power sources."

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-"it's just like Rick to step in and help somebody out"
"Rick Best, one of two men killed in a brutal attack Friday aboard a MAX train, was a city of Portland employee, Army veteran and onetime candidate for Clackamas County commissioner."_

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Giant Steps Backwards
Many Oklahoma Public Schools try 4 day weeks
"Republicans — who have controlled the legislature since 2009 and governorship since 2011 — have cut income taxes further and also significantly lowered taxes on oil and gas production."

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What a hero looks like

"Taliesin Meche, 2016 graduate of Reed College [in Portland], was murdered yesterday while defending strangers from racist abuse. A role model and a hero."

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""We're concerned that DHS does not seem to be seriously considering the concerns of victims of crime""

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Helium: scientific applications include particle accelerators, MRI machines, and anything else that requires ultra-strong electromagnets.

“Helium is a finite resource on Earth, and the longer it takes us to begin conserving Earth’s stores of it in earnest, the more surely and severely we doom ourselves to a future scarcity. Certainly, there are other options for harvesting it, but they’re all astronomically expensive. Extracting helium from the atmosphere is possible — as is stealing it from other worlds — but we get a one time shot on Earth to just dig in the right spot and then contain it. Every atom we lose due to frivolity is another atom we’ll someday be forced to harvest in a much more difficult fashion.”

When you think of helium, you very likely think of balloons, birthday parties, and blimps. But this inert, lighter-than-air gas has a number of unique properties among all the elements, including that it’s liquid at very low temperatures and it enters a superfluid state. It’s scientific applications include particle accelerators, MRI machines, and anything else that requires ultra-strong electromagnets. Yet helium is becoming harder and harder to find, because the way we obtain it is by extracting it from underground reserves. These natural reserves take hundreds of millions of years to form, and once we expel this gas into the atmosphere, almost all of it escapes into interplanetary space. If we don’t start conserving it, we’ll lose it forever.

The world is absolutely wasting our helium on frivolous applications, and if we don’t do something about it, we’ll have a medical and scientific shortage. It’s time to act.

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Tax breaks, R&D support, federal land use without competitive bidding or full royalty payments, environmental costs, health costs, and still losing out to renewable energy sources.

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Update: One worker had been found dead, at the Anadarko site.
"The fourth victim was later discovered at the scene of the explosion and pronounced dead"

Anadarko oil tank fire in Mead injures three workers, spews black smoke

An oil tank burns at the scene of an oil well explosion near the Grand View Estates neighborhood in Mead on May 25, 2017

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“NASA’s Office of Education, in its current incarnation, oversees and administers around sixty different programs that benefit educators, K-12 students, as well as undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students and researchers. With the Trump administration officially announcing their budget for the next fiscal year, they provide only $37 million for NASA’s Education Office, with one major stipulation: the office must be eliminated entirely.”

So, here we are, encountering one another on the internet. There’s a really good chance that this is because you have some interest in space, science, astronomy, astrophysics, or some related area. Although I am an astrophysicist with a Ph,D. in theoretical physics, my focus over the past decade or so has been on education and public outreach: science communication. There’s an incredible Universe out there that we’re exploring, and the more we learn about it, the more effort we need to put into education and outreach if we want a society that’s with us on the cutting edge. That understands where we are and what we’re doing; that creates valuable opportunities for the next generation of scientists to participate and contribute to the enterprise of science.

So why, then, would we be okay with just eliminating NASA’s Office of Education? If we care about America, we won’t be. Read on.
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