The bright light in the lower right region of the sun shows an X-class solar flare on Oct. 26, 2014, as captured by NASA’s SDO. This was the third X-class flare in 48 hour. Image by NASA/SDO
“It’s kind of like having a rubber band that you twist and twist, and it starts to knot up,” said C. Alex Young, associate director for science at NASA Goddard’s Heliophysics Science Division. “The same sort of thing is happening with magnetic fields. They become more twisted, they get more concentrated, and eventually you have to get rid of that energy.”
The result: a spewing forth of ionized gas.
Releasing this pent-up energy typically takes two forms: a solar flare or a coronal mass ejection, and this is key to what makes the behavior here unusual. A coronal mass ejection is made up of balls of gas ejected from the sun’s outer atmosphere, consisting of charged particles and magnetic field. The fastest CME’s travel up to 93 million miles a day, or millions of miles per hour. A solar flare is a burst of x-rays and energy, typically smaller and shorter-lasting than a CME, and rather than being launched out into space, it is caused by material accelerated back into the sun.
…The Washington Post last month devoted a multi-part series to documenting highway robberies by cops whose departments keep all or part of the proceeds. Now The New York Times scrutinizes the curious IRS practice of draining people’s bank accounts because they regularly deposit relatively small sums of cash.
Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.
The trigger for the seizures is regular deposits of under $10,000, the threshold above which banks are supposed to report financial activity. But depositing money below that amount is considered suspicious “structuring” and is also reportable.
The penalties for failure to file may also apply to any person (including a payer) who attempts to interfere with or prevent the seller (or business) from filing a correct Form 8300. This includes any attempt to structure the transaction in a way that would make it seem unnecessary to file Form 8300. “Structuring” means breaking up a large cash transaction into small cash transactions.
The IRS has regularly interpreted this rule to apply to restaurants, corner stores, and other cash-heavy small businesses that undergo the oh-so-suspicious process of bagging up the week’s receipts and taking them to the bank. Keeping lots of cash on hand is, in many cases, an invitation to a stick-up. And, as the Times story points out, some small businesses are insured only up to $10,000 for cash in their possession—so when the mount gets close, they’re naturally inclined to make a deposit. After a few such efforts at safekeeping the proceeds, the IRS feels justified in taking it all.
With nearly 35 years of experience and observations of the IRS, the past 4 to 6 years have been the most aggressive, taxpayer unfriendly and downright scary times to actually know what’s going on in the area.
I guess it’s time for me to stop fighting it, retire and bury my head in the sand with everyone else. Apparently, the electorate are happy with the suspension of due process (that was in the Constitution for those who remember we had one of those) through regulation and interpretation by Administrative Law Judges (these are employees of the Government Agency they are supposed to be keeping and eye on, no conflict of interest there.)
For decades, medical advances have made it possible for women to postpone or extend their ability to have children. Now two big tech firms, Apple and Facebook, say they will pay up to $20,000 to allow employees to freeze their eggs for later fertilization.
That decision has sparked a fair bit of conversation about the benefits, the risks and the choices women could face.
Egg freezing certainly was important for women who had to undergo a medical procedure such as chemotherapy and who wanted to at least preserve the possibility of having children genetically of their own some time in the future.
But the prospect of women beginning to do this in order to simply preserve their fertility while they advance their careers is a new phenomenon and somewhat more troubling, because it is simply not as successful as having children through ordinary conception or even through ordinary in vitro fertilization and freezing your embryos.
To advance their careers? So they get to decide career versus kids? Does the benefit really give them a choice or create a career conundrum? Can (when will) supervisors pressure women to postpone pregnancy now that they can freeze their eggs on the company nickle?
Portland is known for great coffee, but new data shows that we like our beds a little more than our daily cup of joe.
According to data collected by the alarm clock app, Sleep Cycle, Portlanders spend the most amount of time in bed when compared to other major U.S. cities.
On average, Rose City residents are getting about seven hours and nine minutes of shut eye each night — that’s nearly a half hour longer than Miamians, who get the least amount of sleep.
Our northern neighbors in Seattle come in at No. 4, getting about five minutes less sleep than Portland.
But all that sleep isn’t enough to curb our coffee addictions. Sleep Cycle found that Portland is also No. 2 in coffee consumption nationwide, behind Boston. We’re trailed by other fast-paced metros like Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York, and we’re the only Northwest city in the ranking.
Okay, Seattle behind Boston on the list leaves certain Northwest residents questioning the credibility of the data.
There is a catch, however. Even if customers get a chip card now, they may not easily find a store that accepts it because retailers in the United States have lagged other countries in adopting payment terminals that can process the cards. Some major retailers like Whole Foods, Sam’s Club and Costco already have the systems in place, said Ms. Conroy, but “we’re going to see cards hit the market more quickly than terminals.”
Most big stores are expected to have chip-compatible readers by October 2015. That is when the liability for card fraud that occurs on nonchip terminals will shift away from card-issuing banks, which now bear the brunt of fraud costs, to the merchants.
Phew, I thought they were doing what’s best for their reputation and their customers. Now I understand they are being forced to comply and some will wait until the last minute deadline.
Because of the staggered adoption, most of the chip cards being issued will have the magnetic strips as well, so they can be used even at stores that do not have upgraded card readers.
Choose your merchants wisely and ask for chip enabled readers at your local coffee shop so they know you care.
the administration might seek regulations and laws forcing companies to create a way for the government to unlock the photos, emails and contacts stored on the phones.
his position seemed to put him at odds with a White House advisory committee that recommended against any effort to weaken commercial encryption.
Good to see that everyone is playing nice and on the same page.
Mr. Comey’s position has set up a potentially difficult struggle between law enforcement agencies and the nation’s high-technology manufacturers, who have rebuffed the government’s demands for a way to decode data.
It has also touched off a debate inside the government that highlights the difference between cybersecurity and traditional crime fighting. Any technology that allows the United States government to bypass encryption in the name of solving crimes could also allow hackers and foreign governments to bypass encryption in the name of stealing secrets.
Yes, I’m going to download the encryption software if it doesn’t show up on its own.
No, the Government should not be able to just tap into my phone without my knowledge or reasonable proof that a crime has been committed and they get a search warrant approved by a judge. (But, don’t get me started on how easy that process has become given that the Prosecutors are now in charge and the judges are powerless, but that’s a topic for another post.)
We can start by having this conversation about the emotional health of players, and having it frequently enough that the N.F.L. has to start listening, just as it did in 2011 when frenzied media coverage of head injuries forced the league to adopt safer concussion protocols. The N.F.L. can provide its players with more and better mental health resources, and it’s time fans start demanding that it do so.
There are those who would solve the problem by abolishing football altogether. But that would only further ignore the needs of the millions of football players, from youth leaguers to professionals, who rely on the game as a source of healthy emotional fulfillment.
The hope of every football fan is that by mitigating the emotional toll endured by some players, we can not only reduce violent aftershocks — our primary goal — but also save the N.F.L. from slipping further into a downward spiral. Otherwise we might lose football altogether, and with it our weekly chance to put up our feet and forget, for a few exhilarating hours, our own pain and hardship.
One man’s perspective (although he forgot about the millions of gamblers and fantasy league participants who would, in their likely opinion, be devastated but the end of the NFL).
For fair reporting, I offer a rebuttal here from an admitted insider: