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Samuel Brice Hall
Samuel Brice Hall - Director with Piedmont Private Equity
Samuel Brice Hall - Director with Piedmont Private Equity

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Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Rolling Stone Magazine, July 24 1980

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The Helix Nebula - Bigger in Death than Life
A dying star is refusing to go quietly into the night, as seen in this combined infrared and ultraviolet view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which NASA has lent to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In death, the star's dusty outer layers are unraveling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core.
This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius. Also known by the catalog number NGC 7293, it is a typical example of a class of objects called planetary nebulae. Discovered in the 18th century, these cosmic works of art were erroneously named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets.
Planetary nebulae are actually the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our sun. These stars spend most of their lives turning hydrogen into helium in massive runaway nuclear fusion reactions in their cores. In fact, this process of fusion provides all the light and heat that we get from our sun. Our sun will blossom into a planetary nebula when it dies in about five billion years.
When the hydrogen fuel for the fusion reaction runs out, the star turns to helium for a fuel source, burning it into an even heavier mix of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. Eventually, the helium will also be exhausted, and the star dies, puffing off its outer gaseous layers and leaving behind the tiny, hot, dense core, called a white dwarf. The white dwarf is about the size of Earth, but has a mass very close to that of the original star; in fact, a teaspoon of a white dwarf would weigh as much as a few elephants!
The intense ultraviolet radiation from the white dwarf heats up the expelled layers of gas, which shine brightly in the infrared. GALEX has picked out the ultraviolet light pouring out of this system, shown throughout the nebula in blue, while Spitzer has snagged the detailed infrared signature of the dust and gas in red, yellow and green. Where red Spitzer and blue GALEX data combine in the middle, the nebula appears pink. A portion of the extended field beyond the nebula, which was not observed by Spitzer, is from NASA's all-sky Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The white dwarf star itself is a tiny white pinprick right at the center of the nebula.
The Image:
A dying star is throwing a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), which NASA has lent to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
#HelixNebula #NGC7293 #NASA

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Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $5.5 billion to settle one of the two major U.S. investigations into allegations it mis-sold mortgage-backed bonds that it needs to resolve before the British government can sell its shares.

The Edinburgh-based lender on Wednesday said it agreed to settle the lawsuit with the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that accuses it of mis-selling $32 billion of mortgage-backed securities before the global financial crisis.

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Jupiter's Great Red Spot Swallows Earth
Measuring in at 10,159 miles (16,350 kilometers) in width (as of April 3, 2017) Jupiter's Great Red Spot is 1.3 times as wide as Earth. This composite image was generated by combining NASA imagery of Earth with an image of Jupiter taken by astronomer Christopher Go.
This composite image was generated by combining NASA imagery of Earth with an image of Jupiter taken by astronomer Christopher Go.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.
More information about Juno is online at and
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Christopher Go
#NASA #Juno #Jupiter

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NASA's Juno mission completed a close flyby of Jupiter and its Great Red Spot on July 10, during its sixth science orbit.
All of Juno's science instruments and the spacecraft's JunoCam were operating during the flyby, collecting data that are now being returned to Earth. Juno's next close flyby of Jupiter will occur on Sept. 1.
Raw images from the spacecraft’s latest flyby will be posted in coming days.
"For generations people from all over the world and all walks of life have marveled over the Great Red Spot," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "Now we are finally going to see what this storm looks like up close and personal."
The Great Red Spot is a 10,000-mile-wide (16,000-kilometer-wide) storm that has been monitored since 1830 and has possibly existed for more than 350 years. In modern times, the Great Red Spot has appeared to be shrinking.  
Juno reached perijove (the point at which an orbit comes closest to Jupiter's center) on July 10 at 6:55 p.m. PDT (9:55 p.m. EDT). At the time of perijove, Juno was about 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) above the planet's cloud tops. Eleven minutes and 33 seconds later, Juno had covered another 24,713 miles (39,771 kilometers), and was passing directly above the coiling crimson cloud tops of the Great Red Spot. The spacecraft passed about 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) above the clouds of this iconic feature.
On July 4 at 7:30 p.m. PDT (10:30 p.m. EDT), Juno logged exactly one year in Jupiter orbit, marking 71 million miles (114.5 million kilometers) of travel around the giant planet.
Juno launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet's cloud tops -- as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno is probing beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and studying its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Early science results from NASA's Juno mission portray the largest planet in our solar system as a turbulent world, with an intriguingly complex interior structure, energetic polar aurora, and huge polar cyclones.
JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena. 
More information on the Juno mission is available at:
The Image: *
*Jupiter's Great Red Spot
This view of Jupiter was taken by Voyager 1. This image was taken through color filters and recombined to produce the color image. This photo was assembled from three black and white negatives by the Image Processing Lab at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL manages and controls the Voyager project for NASA's Office of Space Science.
Image credit: NASA/JPL
#NASA #Juno #Jupiter #GreatRedSpot

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On this day:
At 9th July of 1982, "TRON" premiered in US theaters. "TRON" is an American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars Jeff Bridges as a computer programmer who is transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer where he interacts with programs in his attempt to escape. Over time, "Tron" developed into a cult film and eventually spawned a franchise, which consists of multiple video games, comic books and an animated television series. A sequel titled "TRON: Legacy" directed by Joseph Kosinski was released on December 17, 2010, with Bridges and Boxleitner reprising their roles, and Lisberger acting as producer.

'TRON' was on the bleeding edge in 1982. After all, this was an era when the concept of computers being a mainstay in every household seemed like something out of a dimestore sci-fi novel. The Internet was in its infancy and all but unknown outside of universities, research facilities, and the government. 3D computer graphics at that point were almost entirely limited to crude geometric shapes in technical demos, rarely and even then only briefly used in feature films.

Some of the technical jargon that's tossed around throughout the movie may have seemed impenetrable in 1982 but are part of everyday conversation these days. Artificial intelligence...hacking...cyber-assaults...laser scans...virtual avatars...even the concept of some sort of purely digital existence aren't exactly science fiction anymore. Three and a half decades after the fact, the seams in the rotoscoping certainly show, and its CG effects look archaic now, but that really doesn't matter. 'TRON' is propelled by such a strong visual language that it transcends its limitations and is still startling all these years later.

Disney tried to jump on the Arcade game craze of the late 70′s and early 80′s and that is why it's more than obvious that is the reason Disney made this movie. The lead character in 'TRON' isn't the character of the same name, but an Arcade owner and former game and program designer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who is trying to hack into his former employers computers to prove that his games were stolen by new VP of Encom, Ed Dillinger (David Warner).

He is helped by former co-workers, Lora (Cindy Morgan) and Alan (Bruce Boxleitner) who just happen to create a new program called 'TRON', created to fix the problems with the new Master Control Program, Dillinger has total control over, so it seems. They try to break into Encom one night, while in the process Flynn is sucked into cyber-space accidentally and is now a user in the world of programs. Programs are like the people who make them, and of course resemble them.

The world they live in though is where Disney's hard work comes in. It may not seem so visual by today's standards but the fact that the Academy disqualified the film because they used computers and felt they "cheated", goes to show that they were on to something, and this is modern film-making in it's infancy, light years ahead of the rest. (Less than 10 years later many awards were given to movies for utilizing computers, including 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' and 'Jurassic Park'.)

For those of you who had an Atari or Collecovision in the early '80s or dumping pockets full of quarters into the Arcade games of the era, this film is a stunning interpretation of the look and sound of those games. The Wendy Carlos score brilliantly incorporates electronic music to add another texture layer to the world of Tron. This film is worth checking out for its unique visuals alone, but also sports a very good (if perhaps more child-oriented) story.

#TRON #JeffBridges
#80sMovies #Movies
#NeoNoir #SciFi #SciFiFilm
#ActionAdventure #AdventureFilm
#NeoNoirFilm #Disney
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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