NASA has procedures for astronauts who go haywire out in space

first_imgThe instructions do not spell out what happens after that. But NASA spokesman James Hartsfield said the space agency, a flight surgeon on the ground and the commander in space would decide on a case-by-case basis whether to abort the flight, in the case of the shuttle, or send the unhinged astronaut home, if the episode took place on the international space station. The crew members might have to rely in large part on brute strength to subdue an out-of-control astronaut, since there are no weapons on the space station or the shuttle. A gun would be out of the question; a bullet could pierce a spaceship and could kill everyone. There are no stun guns on hand either. “NASA has determined that there is no need for weapons at the space station,” Hartsfield said. NASA and its Russian counterpart drew up the checklist for the space station in 2001. Hartsfield said NASA has a nearly identical set of procedures for the shuttle, but he would not provide a copy Friday, saying its release had not yet been cleared by the space agency’s lawyers. The space-station checklist is part of a 1,051-page document that contains instructions for dealing with every possible medical situation in space, including removing a tooth. Handling behavioral emergencies takes up five pages. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – What would happen if an astronaut came unglued in space and, say, destroyed the ship’s oxygen system or tried to open the hatch and kill everyone aboard? That was the question on some minds after the apparent breakdown of Lisa Nowak, arrested in Orlando this month on charges she tried to kidnap and kill a woman she regarded as her rival for another astronaut’s affections. It turns out NASA has a detailed set of written procedures for dealing with a suicidal or psychotic astronaut in space. The documents, obtained this week by The Associated Press, say the astronaut’s crewmates should bind his wrists and ankles with duct tape, tie him down with a bungee cord and inject him with tranquilizers if necessary. “Talk with the patient while you are restraining him,” the instructions say. “Explain what you are doing, and that you are using a restraint to ensure that he is safe.” The military has a similar protocol for restraining or confining violent, mentally unstable crew members who pose a threat to themselves or others in nuclear submarines or other dangerous settings. Although Nowak performed her duties with aplomb during a short visit to the space station via the shuttle last July, and was not scheduled to fly again, her arrest has led NASA to review its psychological screening process. A mentally unstable astronaut could cause all kinds of havoc that could endanger the three crew members aboard the space station or the six or seven who typically fly aboard the shuttle. Space station medical kits contain tranquilizers and anti-depression, anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications. Shuttle medical kits have anti-psychotic medication but not antidepressants, since they take several weeks to be effective and shuttle flights last less than two weeks. The checklist says say astronauts who crack up can be restrained and then offered oral Haldol, an anti-psychotic drug used to treat agitation and mania, and Valium. If the astronaut won’t cooperate, the drugs can be forcibly given with a shot to the arm. Crew members are instructed to stay with the tied-up astronaut to monitor vital signs.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Poll: Immigration near top of concerns

first_img“When I was younger, the amount of illegals coming across the border was a lot less,” said Smith, 51. “Now, I think there is a systematic disregard for the border patrol.” As immigration concerns have grown, economic worries have dipped. Only 14 percent now say the economy and related issues are their top concern, compared with 24 percent in October.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe rise in public concern about immigration over the last three months has been substantial. When people were asked this past week to name the top national problem that came to mind, 13 percent said immigration – four times the number who said that in January. Roughly the same number, 14 percent of those polled, named the economy, according to the poll of 500 adults conducted April 3-5. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. More than 11 million illegal immigrants are believed to be in this country now, with thousands more coming in all the time. About 1.2 million illegal immigrants were apprehended last year along the nation’s border with Mexico, according to immigration officials. Ron Smith of Corpus Christi, Texas, has a front-row seat. “A lot of it is happening where I live,” said Smith, who lives about 150 miles from the Mexican border. WASHINGTON – People are now about as likely to mention immigration as the economy when they are asked to name the most important problem facing the United States, though both rank behind war in Iraq and elsewhere, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Immigration’s rise in the latest survey about the nation’s top problems suggests the public is keeping close watch on the immigration debate in Congress and reaction around the country. “Nobody is happy about the war, but the war is far away – the immigration issue is right here,” said Dagmar Washington, a nurse from the Atlanta suburbs. Efforts in the Senate to pass sweeping immigration legislation faltered Friday, leaving in doubt the prospects for passage of a measure that offered the hope of citizenship to millions of men, women and children living in the United States illegally. last_img read more

Steve Kerr shows sympathy and perspective on Kevin Durant

first_imgTempe, AZ. – Kevin Durant is technically an NBA star. Steve Kerr is technically the Warriors’ coach. They also have a different job title.“We’re all actors in a soap opera,” Kerr said following Friday’s morning shootaround at Arizona State. “We really are. And we have to deal with that part of it.”Therefore, Kerr had a mixed perspective on Durant sharing his frustrations following the Warriors’ win over San Antonio on Thursday regarding the media’s questions and coverage regarding his pending …last_img read more

Portugal’s TAP tightens economy legroom.

first_imgTAP Air Portugal is celebrating its 70th anniversary by renewing its aircraft interiors in a revamp that is seeing more product differentiation and a tightening seat pitch on short-haul economy flights.The first of TAP’s 21 Airbus A319 planes, which have an average age of 17.4 years, to get the refit are already back in service with new cabins, despite a 17.4-year average age, and the whole A320-family fleet will be converted by July next year. “This is the biggest revamp in TAP’s product history,’’ cabin Interiors product manager Joel Fragata tells AirlineRatings, “This is mostly about efficiency gains, to be able to compete in today’s market.” TAP’s economy class has to mirror the offerings and fares of the low-cost carriers which have become a strong presence in Portugal. It has adapted by introducing a “discount” fare which includes just one cabin bag. At the same time, however, it has to offer business travellers, especially those connecting on to long-haul in Lisbon, a suitable product.The current fare spectrum is illustrated on a randomly picked flight from Heathrow to Lisbon, where an online survey yields ticket prices varying from ₤52 ($US66) to ₤238 one way. This is one reason TAP is differentiating its offerings more and tightening seat pitches in the back of the plane. “We are achieving several goals at once with the revamp — increasing the seat count, lowering the total weight of the aircraft by 700 kilos and thus (getting) lower fuel burn, and still offering more comfort to many customers”, says Fragata. The result of the move is the A319’s capacity goes up from 132 to 144 seats, the A320’s from 162 to 174 and the A321’s from 200 to 216.This is partly due to thinner seatbacks and partly to the removal of a galley in the front of the plane. But it also means economy class, recognisable by green seats aft of the over-wing emergency exits, now has a tight 28-inch ’ (71.1cm) pitch, making it even more uncomfortable than the aft rows of Lufthansa’s A320neos.TAP doesn’t allow any recline at all, while Lufthansa’s seatbacks move a few millimetres. In airline speak, this is called “pre-reclined” mode, a nonsense at this minimal pitch. and anybody taller than 175cms (5ft 9in) suffers in these seats.Worse, TAP operates its A320 family on fairly long routes: Lisbon to Accra is 5:30 hours while the trip to Helsinki is 4:40 hours. The best option for economy travellers is the first “green” row — row 11 in the A319 —boasting a generous 33’’ pitch, to compensate for the four-inch recline of the “premium” seats ahead of it.It is a different feel at the front end of the plane.The first ten rows of the A319 are equipped with business class seats, easily recognizable by their red leather edges, the middle seat remains free and has a table.Here the pitch is 33 inches (83.8cm), every three seats have a power outlet for electricity (110V) as well as a USB port, something still rarely found on short- and medium-haul. TAP plans to offer an “Economy Plus” product in some “red” rows and have it system wide next year.On long-haul, the two newest A330-200s, registered CS-TOS and CS-TOT, already have seven rows in the front of Economy boasting a 34-inch pitch, which will soon n be sold as “Economy Plus”. These planes currently operate the New York, JFK and Boston routes. Starting in January, seven of 16 TAP A330-200s will be refurbished in a program expected to be completed by October.Business class will get fully-flat seats for the first time, a newer model of the Thompson Vantage seat, to replace the increasingly unacceptable angled lie-flat that are no longer acceptable to many passengers.But it will be 2019 before TAP expects to have lie-flat seats across all its aircraft and a real relaunch is not expected until newly ordered aircraft arrive. TAP is the launch customer for the A330-900neo and the first of 14 will arrive at the end of 2017 and early 2018 along with six new A330-300s. A year later, the first batch of a total of 39 A320neos-A321neos will follow. These will include the long haul version A321LRs, which TAP intends to operate on shorter Brazilian routes and which will also have fully-flat business seats.last_img read more

SABMiller to build Namibian brewery

first_img7 March 2013 SABMiller is to invest US$40-million building a 260 000 hectolitre brewery in Okahanjda, Namibia as part of its African expansion strategy, the firm announced on Wednesday after receiving re-zoning approval on the 7.2 hectares of land selected for the project. Construction is expected to begin in April and it is hoped the brewery will become fully operational in the second half of 2014. The Johannesburg- and London-listed company said the brewery would be designed to accommodate future growth and expansion. It also plans to invest in warehousing facilities and a returnable bottle packaging line. “The local brewery will not only enable us to make more of our key brands available to consumers in the Namibian market, but it will also make a meaningful contribution to the Namibian economy once it is up and running,” SAB managing director Mauricio Leyva said in a statement. SABMiller has operated in Namibia for over 20 years and began by servicing the local market through importing South African beers. SABMiller Namibia was established in 2010 to house all Namibian operations, and is part of SABMiller’s wholly owned South African business, South African Breweries Limited. It is 60% owned by SAB Limited and 40% owned by local Namibian partners – 20% of which is made up of Onyewu Investments and 20% by three charitable trusts. It has an estimated 22% share of the Namibian market, with brands such as Castle Lager, Carling Black Label and Castle Lite. These brands will be brewed at the Okahanjda site. “Jobs will be created, our environmental impact on the country will be reduced as we shift to returnable bottles, and we will build on our existing programmes to uplift the local community,” Leyva said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Congress for the New Urbanism Lands in Atlanta

first_imgI had the pleasure of attending the 18th Congress for the New Urbanism in Atlanta this year. I have been following the development of the New Urbanism movement since its early days, having been introduced to it by my friend Peter Katz, who wrote one of the first books on the subject, The New Urbanism, almost 20 years ago. New Urbanism is a movement in architecture and development that promotes walkable neighborhoods by combining a range of housing types, community amenities, and businesses in close proximity. Interestingly, some of the best examples of “New” Urbanism can be found in older cities such as New York and San Francisco, and in much of Europe. New Urbanism embraces one core tenet of green building: reducing the amount of driving by designing communities that encourage walking, biking, and mass transit. These communities also encourage smaller buildings, indirectly promoting resource and energy efficiency.What’s the code?New Urbanism is developed using what are referred to as form-based codes, a type of regulation that replaces a traditional zoning code, which focuses on building use, with one that controls the physical form of buildings and their relationship to the streets to encourage walkability. Many successful new communities have been planned like this, creating (or re-creating) places where people can live, work, walk, and socialize.About ten years ago, I brought up the idea of green building as a part of New Urbanism. At the time, my friend Mr. Katz expressed his opinion that he thought all green homes were ugly, although he has come around recently. It does appear that the movement has finally embraced green building, although it seems to me that they still have a long way to go in this regard. Planners of New Urbanist communities often have an opportunity to lay out the street grid, providing them an opportunity to design lots for appropriate solar exposure. Within individual blocks and lots, opportunities exist to create codes for building types that maximize the solar potential. I asked this question in several presentations, and while the response was generally positive and several professionals assured me that they were including these criteria in their new codes, I did not see enough evidence at the congress to assure me that they are doing everything they can.SmartCode, an open-source form-based code, has recently introduced several add-on modules to their core document—including a sustainability section—which planners can use if they wish. All good, but when looking at the details of this module, they only have four sections: Wind Power, Solar Energy, Food Production, and Composting and Recycling. The solar energy component looks promising, but on further investigation, it only addresses orienting roofs for solar panels, rather than taking a bigger view of street and lot planning and how building forms can work best in different locations. An alternate module, produced by Farr Associates, goes into more depth with solar orientation, window shading, and overall energy demand reduction.I very much appreciate the New Urbanism movement, and their actions are leading us toward energy efficiency and improved health and environment by reducing vehicle miles and building size, conserving natural resources, and encouraging a walking lifestyle. I look forward to seeing all aspects of green building incorporated into the codes for future developments.Oh, and I almost forgot, the keynote speaker at the opening session was David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame. He gave a very quirky talk on bicycle riding. I kind of wish he’d sung instead…last_img read more

Occupant Behavior Makes a Difference

first_imgEnergy experts often repeat the cliché, “There’s no such thing as a zero-energy home — just zero-energy homeowners.” Energy monitoring data from two well-publicized Massachusetts homes — the so-called Montague Urban Homestead house in Turners Falls and the home of Matt and Laura Beaton in Shrewsbury — prove the cliché to be true.Energy-use data for the two homes were shared in a presentation by Mike Duclos and Paul Panish at the Better Buildings by Design conference in Burlington, Vermont, on February 8, 2012. Duclos and Panish are energy consultants at the DEAP Energy Group in Newton, Mass.The first of the two houses, the Montague house, is owned by Tina Clarke and Doug Stephens. It has won at least two awards: the $25,000 Massachusetts Zero Energy Challenge, and NESEA’s $10,000 Zero Energy prize. Energy-use data from the Montague house show that the homeowners used far less energy than predicted by energy models.The other house discussed by Duclos and Panish, Matt Beaton’s house in Shrewsbury, is the first certified Passivhaus in Massachusetts. Energy use data from the Beaton house show that the homeowners used far more energy than predicted.The key factor in both cases was occupant behavior.The Montague house was built by Bick Corsa with help from the homeowners. Construction was completed in 2009.Here’s a snapshot of the house:Energy modeling (using REMrate software) predicted that the homeowners would consume 5,479 kWh of electricity per year; in fact they used only 1,959 kWh — that is, only 36% of the projected usage. Average consumption was 163 kWh per month.The home’s PV array produced 4,892 kWh during the first year — two and a half times as much electricity as the owners consumed.Of course, there is no secret to low energy use. We all know how to do it: don’t use much hot water, only… Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

CAPTCHAs With A Conscience: Can You Prove You’re Human?

first_imgCan websites get visitors to prove they’re human by forcing them to make a moral choice? This is not a hypothetical question.I wrote an article for ReadWriteWeb this summer about a way to replace those annoying CAPTCHAs with a miniature game. They are annoying because website operators put them in place to check for bots or spammers who are trying to gain access, perhaps to set up a bunch of accounts automatically.Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University developed CAPTCHAs in 2000 and they have been popping up pretty much everywhere online ever since.Many spammers use various methods to defeat them, including paying virtual slave wages to real people to input the values or through the use of special optical character recognition (OCR) software. As the bad guys get better at defeating them, they’ve sparked a continuing war of technology to differentiate the bad actors from the legitimate site visitors.The CAPTCHA tests have had to get harder to read and parse out. That means they run the risk of keeping real visitors from the sites that are running the tests. So there’s been a full-on search for better ways to make the distinction than reading a few distorted letters.In my earlier article, I mentioned Play Thru, which invites users to solve a game, such as figuring out what ingredients are used to make pancakes. One programmer wrote about a way around the Play Thru system last week.The Moral Equivalent Of A RobotBut now we’re taking the concept to a new level – using complex moral problems to establish humanity. (The idea is not exactly new, as shown by this XKCD comic that attempts to play on arcane human knowledge.)It makes a certain amount of sense, since CAPTCHAs are probably the best known of a class of problems called the Turing Test, which try to differentiate a human from a computerized source.The tests are named after Alan Turing, a brilliant mathematician and code breaker who developed many of the original tenets of computer science well before we had actual computers, let alone ones that would fit in the palms of our hands. Turing played a key role in the decoding of the German codes during World War II and the development of early computational algorithms. The CAPTCHA is actually the reverse of the Turing test: it determines if an entity is a bot.Beyond simple letter recognition, though, as CAPTCHAs become more complex, they take on the dimensions of the fictional Voight-Kampff Test – the question-and-answer field-test that cop Harrison Ford used in the movie Blade Runner to try to determine if the subject is man or machine. (The Voight-Kampff Test was also used some 10 years ago to determine if San Francisco mayoral candidates were actually human – one candidate actually recognized the test. He didn’t win.) david strom Tags:#security#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts The Next Step For CAPTCHAIn this post on the Sophos Naked Security blog, there are some pretty funny examples of really difficult tests that most of us would have a hard time passing.But last week there was another innovation, what is being labeled as “CAPTCHAs With A Conscience.” The idea, from the Swedish activist organization Civil Rights Defenders, is to pose a political question asking the viewer how a loaded question (prisoners being tortured, or gay-bashing) makes them feel?That’s currently beyond the scope of most bots – but frankly it seems that the real goal here is political awareness, not bot protection. Of course, soon enough we will have computers that can correctly interpret human feelings, but it is an intriguing approach nonetheless.How do you feel about this approach? And can you prove that you are really human when you reply? 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Archers bang on target to snap up 2 gold medals

first_imgIndia swept the individual recurve events at the Commonwealth Games at the Yamuna Sports Complex here on Sunday to cap a brilliant run at the nineteenth edition of the event.Rahul Banerjee and Deepika Kumari snatched the men’s and women’s individual recurve gold to take India’s overall tally in archery (compound and recurve) to three gold, one silver and four bronze.Deepika beat England’s Alison Williamson in three straight sets (6-0), while Rahul dug deep to win his quarter-final, semi-final and final via a shoot-off after tying in all three matches. In the final, he beat Canada’s Jason Lyon 6-5.Earlier in the day, the women’s recurve final was supposed to be veteran Dola Banerjee’s pet event, but 16-year-old Deepika stole the show. She beat Australia’s Alexandra Fenney in the quarter-finals in straight sets.In the semi-finals, she overpowered Anbarasi Subramaniam of Malaysia seven set points to one, with an overall score of 108-89 to set a final date with England’s Alison. Interestingly, Alison’s last arrow in the women’s team recurve final fell short of the required nine to hand India gold.In the final, Deepika once again blew away the competition, registering a straight sets win. The blistering conditions were a handful for all the archers, but Deepika held her own despite having started playing the game just three years ago. “I am delighted with the win.The conditions were tough. I am not used to such windy conditions and the bow was shaking a lot,” Deepika said. She dedicated the gold medal to her parents.advertisement”This medal is dedicated to my parents and my coaches. I grew up in Ranchi and not many knew about archery there. It was my cousin who introduced me to the game and my parents were surprised at my decision to turn into an archer. But my father encouraged me and I am glad they reposed theirfaith in me.”Dola, on the other hand, had to settle for bronze. She beat Anbarasi 6-2 in the play-off match. In the men’s section, Rahul and Jayanta Talukdar were in the fray. Jayanta beat England’s Simon Terry 6-2 to make it to the semi-finals, where he lost to Canada’s Lyon in straight sets.However, in the bronze medal play off, he overcame Matthew Gray of Australia 6-4, after tying the last set. Rahul showed a lot of grit and nerves as all his matches on Sunday went into a shoot off. In the quarter-finals, the deciding set saw both Rahul and Matthew Masonwells tied at four set points each.Needing nine to win, Matthew hit an eight. In the ensuing shoot-off, Rahul’s perfect 10 gave him an entry into the semis. Thereafter, he beat Matthew Gray in the semis in similar style, with his eight in the shoot off, beating Gray’s attempt of seven.The final was another closely contested affair with Canada’s Lyon in top form. The wind had picked up considerably but both the archers kept up the pressure. At one point, Rahul was trailing five set points to one at the start of the third set. Needing two set wins to tie the match, he did so and took the match into shoot off.Jason hit an eight and Rahul then hit a nine to seal the gold. “I am glad I came out on top in all the shoot offs. Things fell in place perfectly today,” Rahul said.last_img read more