Eternal light, up for grabs

first_imgThe Outer Space Treaty bars any nation — and by extension, corporation — from owning property on a celestial body, but a loophole in the pact may amount to the same thing, warns a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) researcher.Martin Elvis, a senior astrophysicist at the CfA, says that provisions in the treaty allow nations to exploit resources, including through establishing research stations, and bar others from disrupting such endeavors. In some cases, this could amount to de facto ownership, Elvis said. As China and Japan plan moon landings, and corporate leaders eye their own space ventures, the loophole has gained in importance.  Elvis spoke with the Gazette about his recent paper on the issue, co-authored with Tony Milligan of King’s College London and Alanna Krolikowski, a former Fairbank Center fellow now at Georg-August University Göttingen, and published in the journal Space Policy. A realistic scenario, he and his fellow researchers wrote, would be a race to claim the lunar “Peaks of Eternal Light,” bathed in near-perpetual sunlight and thus ideal for a photovoltaic power station. GAZETTE: What is the Outer Space Treaty and what does it say?ELVIS: It was agreed upon in 1967, during the Russian-U.S. rivalry over getting to the moon. It was concluded very quickly and it was a fight between socialist principles of the Russians — keeping space common property — and the U.S. capitalist approach saying we should be able to exploit space for its resources. And they sort of sit uncomfortably together in the treaty.So you can’t own any celestial body as it’s defined, including the moon, but you can make use of its resources. That leads to a sort of tension, but it has never mattered because it’s never actually come up as a practical issue.GAZETTE: It sounds like the main concern is that nations could potentially abide by the letter of the law but not its spirit.ELVIS: Things are changing very rapidly in space. Over the past 10 years, there have been a series of surveys of the moon and [we now know] it’s not just a gray, dusty sort of place, with some mountains and some lowlands and otherwise kind of boring. There are very highly differentiated resources, concentrations of particular metals or minerals. That’s very interesting, scientifically, but it also means some spots are more valuable than others. We highlighted the rarest one — these little ridges at the poles in almost permanent sunlight [the Peaks of Eternal Light]. That means you can have an almost continuous power supply.GAZETTE: What is so special about the ridges? How big are they?ELVIS: Unlike the Earth, which is tilted so the poles are in six months of darkness and six months of light, the moon is almost perfectly aligned with its orbit around the sun. You can imagine a single mountain peak near the south pole, going round and round as the moon rotates, illuminated by the sun. In practice, we’ve now mapped out the moon carefully enough that we see there are some very thin ridges — crater rims and ridges joining craters — that are very close to being that. But they’re tiny, thin ribbons and their total area is a few football fields.GAZETTE: All together or …ELVIS: All together, yes.GAZETTE: So you’re talking about the highest knife-edge of a ridge?ELVIS: Yes. And even then you have to build some structures a few yards high to really get continuous illumination. And they sit right next to some permanently dark craters. For the same reason — the moon is not tilted — their crater floors never get exposed to sunlight at all. So they’ve got billions of tons of water and other materials deposited there by comets and asteroids eons ago. Those are resources people want to exploit. You’ve got resources next to a power source, and that can get an industry started. A lot of people are excited about that. So these peaks are the most precious lunar resource there is.GAZETTE: Is this more of a concern now that we have private companies figuring out how to make reusable rockets and deliver payloads more cheaply?ELVIS: Oh, yes. Ten years ago we didn’t even know about the very uneven distribution of resources on the moon, certainly not in any detail. And 10 years ago no one was talking about going back to the moon. Now, not only are China and Japan planning a series of missions to the moon, China just announced that one of its missions would land at the south pole somewhere. There are also private companies, stimulated by the Google Lunar X Prize. And there are two teams that have rocket flights booked for 2017, an Israeli team and Moon Express, a U.S. company. And they seem to be looking at being able to send a lander to the moon for $50 million, which is very cheap by space standards. So this makes it a very urgent issue.CfA researcher Martin Elvis, seen at the Center for Astrophysics observatory, wants to clarify restrictions on lunar real estate before property conflicts arise. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerGAZETTE: What is the concern?ELVIS: People would want to start putting power stations on these Peaks of Eternal Light and use them for exploiting the resources. What we pointed out is that a very simple experiment, similar to the one that the Chinese have already landed on the near side of the moon, [could serve to limit access to others]. You land on one end of the ridge and a little rover goes off, trailing a little copper wire behind it. It trundles off to the other end of the ridge, and that would then form a radio telescope.GAZETTE: So all you would need is a stretch of wire to form a radio telescope?ELVIS: Yes, just a dipole antenna like you used to have on your roof for your TV.That’s a perfectly valid experiment for solar physics. You would study the low-frequency part of the radio spectrum that cannot be studied from Earth because those waves don’t get through our atmosphere. It would be permanently exposed to the sun and you can claim — because you want to do clever Fourier analysis techniques — that you need continuous coverage [by sunlight]. That’s crucial, because then you say, “This is wonderful. I’ve just set up a research station, as anyone is allowed to under the Outer Space Treaty. And I’m happy for you to come and inspect it, as is required under the Outer Space Treaty. Except you mustn’t interrupt my operations, as is required under the Outer Space Treaty, and I’ve got a bare copper wire here, so don’t bring a radio, don’t bring any electrical equipment whatsoever, because it will pick up on my wire and ruin my solar physics experiments.”And that means you can’t visit because there is no way to get around on the moon without any electrical equipment at all. So I basically, totally legally, have effectively taken possession. In effect, I own it, because how are you going to get me out of there if you want to put up photovoltaic cells? You’re going to have to make it worth my while to roll up my copper wire. You could complain, but who are you going to complain to? There is nobody to oversee these disputes. And that’s what we’re really pointing out, that it’s time to realize that because of the highly non-uniform distribution of resources on the moon and the imminent arrival of several players, we’d better start thinking about what those mechanisms should be.GAZETTE: Should this be handled by international treaty or is it something for the U.N.?ELVIS: We talk about different ways of doing it. They’re very hypothetical because you’re going to have to have international negotiations to decide what the mechanism should be. It’s very hard to do treaties anymore, but you could interpret the treaty we already have. It’s very uninterpreted at this point — there isn’t a lot of decided law flowing from it. We might do as we did with the Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act last year. We might have an act which decides what the rights would be for U.S. people, and derive from the original treaty what we think that means for U.S. citizens or corporations. I think it deserves discussion by people skilled at this kind of thing. It’s not just these Peaks of Eternal Light; all space resources are very unevenly distributed. We have to think about it.GAZETTE: For people who believe human expansion in space is a good thing, is this, in a way, a good problem to have, in that we’re on the cusp of having more permanent human activity on the moon?ELVIS: I’m one of those “space cadets” and I think it is, yes. I’m probably more of a Jeff Bezos type than an Elon Musk type. Elon wants to go to Mars to have a backup plan for the world. Jeff Bezos says we should be using this planet for what it’s good for, not for exploiting its resources and polluting it. We should offload our heavy industry into space. And in the long term I think that’s what’s going to happen. I think a lot of excitement is going to happen in the next decade, which I hope to witness. I’m just trying to get things more realistic. Kind of bring it down to earth, as it were.SaveSaveSaveSavelast_img read more

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Union Bank announces new Danville Office

first_imgUnion Bank announces new Danville OfficeDanville VT, August 14, 2008 – Union Bank has announced the official opening of its new Danville office, located in the Marty’s 1st Stop complex, Route 2 in Danville. A grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting was held on Saturday, August 9th for both the new Union Bank office and the newly-expanded Marty’s 1st Stop store.”We are very excited about serving the greater Danville area with our new office,” said Ken Gibbons, Union Bank President and CEO. “Marty’s 1st Stop is a center for a great deal of activity for both local residents and commuters, and our new office will feature extended hours to accommodate their banking needs. The new office will be open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., and our ATM and night depository will continue to be accessible 24/7.””The expansion of Marty’s and the completion of our new office give customers a single, time-saving location for groceries, hardware, pet food, gasoline and now banking,” states Tracey Holbrook, Union Bank Regional Vice President. “Our new Danville team is both friendly and professional, and we look forward to serving the banking needs of our new customers.”The Danville Union Bank office is supervised by Bethany Whitcomb.Union Bank, with headquarters in Morrisville, Vermont, offers deposit, loan, trust and commercial banking services throughout northern Vermont and New Hampshire. As of the close of business August 8, 2008, Union Bank had approximately $419 million in assets and operated 14 banking offices, 30 ATM facilities in Vermont and Littleton, New Hampshire as well as a loan origination office in St. Albans, Vermont, with a new, full-service office opening in St. Albans in 2008.last_img read more

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Dominion Energy Riverrock announces Virtual Experience with virtual trail events, streaming content to celebrate 2020 festival

first_img“We know that Dominion Energy Riverrock is one of the most anticipated weekends of the year in Richmond, so it’s important for us to bring the spirit of the festival to our dedicated community with this Virtual Experience,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We especially would like to thank Dominion Energy for their support to bring this concept to reality so we can all take part in the festival in our own way.” The virtual races will encourage participants to bring the celebratory spirit home to them. Participants can choose 5k, 10k, or Half Marathon trail running distances, or 10-mile or 20-mile mountain bike distances, then select their own course and complete their race any time before May 31. Participants can also upload and compare their times on an online leaderboard. Virtual event registration is now open at www.riverrockrva.com, and the registration fee of $20 includes a Dominion Energy Riverrock trucker hat with an event entry. As part of the celebration, festival organizers are also hosting a drawing for a prize pack featuring items from event partners including YETI, Sierra Nevada, ENO, nuun, Virginia Lottery, and Capital One, among others. No purchase is necessary to win the prize pack and anyone aged 21 and over can enter to win here. The streaming highlights show will feature music from several artists originally scheduled to perform during the 2020 Dominion Energy Riverrock, including the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, The Hot Seats, and The Northerners, as well as interviews with Dominion Energy Riverrock athletes, demos on mountain biking, slacklining, kayak, and bouldering, and plenty of other festival-related content. The livestream will premiere at 5 p.m. on May 16 on the Dominion Energy Riverrock YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/DominionRiverrock/live ) and on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/riverrockRVA/), and be available for on-demand streaming immediately after. A trailer for the special can be viewed at the Dominion Energy Riverrock Instagram page, @RiverrockRVA. Richmond, Virginia, USA downtown skyline on the James River. Photo by Sean Pavone from Getty Imagescenter_img Dominion Energy Riverrock is planning its first Virtual Experience to bring the sights and sounds of the festival, which was originally scheduled for May 15-17 before its cancellation due to the COVID-19 outbreak and associated restrictions on large events, directly to viewers and participants. The Virtual Experience will include trail running and mountain bike events for participants to take part in virtually on their own before enjoying the streaming festival highlights show on Saturday, May 16, at 5 p.m. “Even though we can’t gather along the James River at our wonderful downtown waterfront, we still want to celebrate Richmond’s vibrant active-living community,” said Megan Schultz, Director of Events for Sports Backers, co-organizers of Dominion Energy Riverrock with Venture Richmond. “We believe that the Virtual Experience will be a great way for Dominion Energy Riverrock enthusiasts to engage with the things that make the festival so unique and exciting.”last_img read more

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Guinea-Bissau Can’t Fight Drug Trade Alone, Leader Says

first_imgBy Dialogo September 26, 2012 Guinea-Bissau has long been considered a key platform for the trafficking of cocaine and other narcotics from South America to Europe. Some reports have implicated top military officers in the trade. “I ask the international community to support Guinea-Bissau, which is going through a transition period that is going to end in less than a year in general elections for which we will need our partners’ support,” he said. “I call once more on the international community to come to the rescue, to stop this evil,” said Nhamadjo, in an address to mark the 38th anniversary of the country’s independence from Portugal. He also called on the international community to help organize the elections meant to restore constitutional rule after the latest coup, which erupted between the first and second rounds of a presidential election. Since its independence in 1974, the coup-prone country’s army and state have remained in constant conflict. No president has ever completed a full term in office. center_img Nhamadjo, who attended a military parade to mark Independence Day, said his government was “not under the Army’s orders, either in form or substance”. “Guinea-Bissau cannot face drug trafficking by itself,” said Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, the country’s leader under a transition process negotiated after a coup on April 12. The European Union, Guinea-Bissau’s main development donor, suspended aid to the country after the coup, and some countries do not recognize the transitional authorities put in place under a deal brokered by mediators from the Economic Community of West African States. Guinea-Bissau, a hub of international drug trafficking, is powerless to fight the narcotics trade alone, its interim president said on September 24, calling on the international community for help. last_img read more

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Comedian Paula Poundstone Brings her Gag Bag to Sag Harbor

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Perhaps the funniest woman in America today, Paula Poundstone, known for her quick wit and wry responses, right or wrong, on NPR’s popular news quiz show, “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me,” heard locally on WSHU-FM, is playing the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor next Saturday night.She’s an award-winning humorist, who’s even performed standup at the White House Correspondents dinner sharing jokes with President Barack Obama. Last year, she joined Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers and other prominent comediennes in a feature-length Showtime documentary called “Why We Laugh Too: Women of Comedy.” She’s also starred in one-woman comedy specials on HBO and Bravo, and won an Emmy Award.As millions of public radio listeners can attest, Poundstone is a true show-stopper thanks to her unmatched improv skills. When she’s on a roll, nobody can keep up with her.“They allow me to say whatever I want on ‘Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.’ The panelists are unscripted, so it’s perfect for me,” Poundstone says. “I feel like I’m a batter in a batting cage. I get lobbed topics. Sometimes I just watch them go by, but every now and then I get a piece of one. If the others didn’t cheat, it would be an almost perfect work experience.”It’s true that she doesn’t routinely win the news quiz, but as “Wait, Wait” host Peter Sagal would readily admit, she deserves credit for almost always making the funniest points.For her standup performances, she has a special ability to connect with audiences so intimately and live in the moment so spontaneously that no two shows she does are ever the same.“It’s not that I don’t repeat material. I do,” Poundstone says. “My shows, when they’re good, and I like to think they often are, are like a cocktail party. When you first get there, you talk about how badly you got lost and how hard it was to find parking. Then you tell a story about your kids or what you just saw on the news. You meet some new people and ask them about themselves. Then someone says, ‘Tell that story you used to tell,’ and then someone on the other side of the room spills a drink, and you mock them. No one ever applauds me when I leave a party, though. I think they high five.”Her material is rarely blue and it’s never mean. What’s not to like?The Bay Street Theatre is located at 1 Bay St., in Sag Harbor. Showtime is 8 p.m. on May 24. For more information, visit www.baystreet.org.last_img read more

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PA Woman Struck, Killed in Amityville

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 52-year-old Pennsylvania woman was fatally struck by an SUV while crossing a street in the driver’s hometown of Amityville on Tuesday morning.Suffolk County police said Lora Rohner, of Stroudsburg, Penn., was walking across Oak Street  when she was hit by an Acura that was making a left turn out of a parking lot at 9:30 a.m.The victim was taken to Saint Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, where she was pronounced dead.The driver, 31-year-old Yeimy Pichardo-Cruz, was not injured.First Squad detectives impounded the truck, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on this crash to call them at 631-854-8152.last_img

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January 2016 Credit Union Trends Report from CUNA Mutual Group

first_img continue reading » The Credit Union Trends Report is a monthly “pulse check” on the state of the credit union marketplace, often placed in a historical context. The report is published and distributed by Steven Rick from CUNA Mutual Group. View Steven’s biography.January 2016:·         The nation’s credit unions increased their loan portfolios by 0.6% in November, less than the 0.7% pace reported in November 2014.·         Memberships are up 3.8% during the past year due to robust demand for credit, solid job growth and comparatively lower fees and loan interest rates.·         Credit union loan delinquency rates fell to 0.81% in November, down from 0.86% one year earlier due to a stronger economy, lower gas prices and double digit loan growth. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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3 fees you should say goodbye to

first_imgWe all have bills to pay. Those bills provide us with stuff that we need and stuff that we want. But what about fees? Is there anything worse than paying fees? Here are three fees you should eliminate so you can keep a little more cash in your wallet…Credit card fees: Is there any credit card that’s really worth an annual fee? Compare credit cards and try to find the best rewards or cash back card you can get that won’t charge you an arm and a leg just to have it. A credit card is a nice tool to have (especially if the rewards are really paying off) but make sure you’re not keeping a balance from month to month. Credit card interest isn’t fun. Pay those things off on time and in full each month!Late payment fees: If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can be a delicate process to make sure every bill is covered on time every month. Paying a bill a few days late isn’t worth an added fee or a damaging hit to your credit report. Make a budget and save a little from the previous pay period so you can cover each bill when it’s due. Start saving and as long as you’re not spending more than you make, you won’t run into the same problem again.ATM fees: It’s nice when you need cash to be able to use a nearby ATM, but what’s it costing you? If your financial institution isn’t anywhere close, you’re probably going to pay at least one fee when using another FI’s ATM. Remember to stop by your favorite branch on your way to your destination and get enough cash to cover your trip or night out. You can also get cash back from most retailers, so take advantage of that. If you find yourself in a place that only takes cash, get a friend to pay and Venmo them back. 215SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more

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Raj Technologies CEO Raj Mehta: The Problem Solver

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York When he came to the United States from India in 1978, Raj Mehta knew he had to make money, so he took a minimum-wage job in the Washington, D.C. suburbs before earning a computer science degree from the University of Maryland. He would soon start his own company, Infosys International in Plainview, now Raj Technologies, with just a single computer and a determination to succeed.Your company was known as Infosys International for some 30 years. Now it’s Raj Technologies Inc. What happened? We had to reach a settlement with a big company, Infosystems of India. We had to change our name. There was no way we could fight a $12 billion company.Was the name change difficult for you? It was definitely a lot of work. People know who we are. We have contracts with federal and state governments. I have worked hard for over 30 years and I’ve been using this name all of that time. It’s going to take some people time to adjust. All of our contracts had to be renamed, with the new name. But I also like Raj Technologies.Why did this big company do this now? We asked this question. They said, “So what? We came after you when we did.”What does Raj Technologies actually do? We are an information-technology company and we work primarily in the public sector and for Fortune 500 companies. What we do all depends on what the client wants. They may want to change their finance systems, or their HR systems. This means they have to change their software. So we go out and do an analysis. We implement the solutions they want. Is the company profitable? We are a privately held company so we don’t disclose those figures. But we are a healthy company with an excellent reputation.When did you come to this country? In 1978, from India. I first went to Maryland. I knew I had to make money so I got a job as an accounting clerk in Maryland. I was making minimum wage, about $5 an hour.What happened next? I went to the University of Maryland and studied computer science. I already had two bachelor’s degrees in India. After I graduated Maryland, I joined Sperry Corp. in Virginia, working on NASA programs. I worked on a lot of different government programs, including for the U.S. Air Force. I went out and made the customer happy.How was the business started? I started the business in 1986. I had four years of savings. If I didn’t make money for four years, it wouldn’t have mattered.How much were start-up costs? I just had to buy a computer for myself. I spent my time going out getting clients. At that time, if somebody offered me $500 I would do their job. You need to grow. You want to establish yourself. Money isn’t important. I would just say, “Give me the work.”When did the company start to grow? I would say in the early 1990s. Until then, I had only one or two people. [Business reports say the company now has 65 employees.] But we remain basically a small, minority-owned company.Are you finding it hard to hire qualified people in this strong economy? It is always hard to find the right people to match your culture. We are very family oriented here. We don’t have set things for people to do. Nobody says, “That’s not my job.” When we hire people, we don’t expect them to know everything. But we do expect them to find the answer to things.You operate a television production studio that broadcasts your own show. Why? I started this six years ago. It’s a public service from me. I help a lot of people. I was thinking, “How can I help more people?” By having my own show I can give people knowledge. I interview government officials, political figures. I once interviewed a cardiac surgeon. He described the operating room. That was important for people to know.What keeps you up at night? I think of whatever happened that day. I say, “Okay, this or that happened. Let’s move on.” Then I sleep well.last_img read more

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US worries put brake on UK rental growth

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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