Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Deeyenda Virus Hoax

The "Deeyenda" virus warnings are a hoax. CIAC has received inqueries regarding the validity of the Deeyenda virus. The warnings are very similar to those for Good Times, stating that the FCC issued a warning about it, and that it is self activating and can destroy the contents of a machine just by being downloaded. Users should note that the FCC does not and will not issue virus or Trojan warnings. It is not their job to do so. As of this date, there are no known viruses with the name Deeyenda in existence. For a virus to spread, it must be executed. Reading a mail message does not execute the mail message. Trojans and viruses have been found as executable attachmentsto mail messages, but they must be extracted and executed to do any harm. CIAC still affirms that reading E-mail, using typical mail agents, can not activatemalicious code delivered in or with the message.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Probing dark energy

Scientists have studied the night sky for thousands of years searching for clues to help them understand the universe. The South Pole Telescope (SPT)team, including Case Western Reserve University professor John Ruhl and graduate student Zachary Staniszewski, achieved a major milestone toward using a new technique to probe the most mysterious component of the universe, dark energy.

Staniszewski is the lead author on the multi-institution collaboration's paper, “Galaxy clusters discovered with a Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect survey” released Oct. 10 in a pre-publication posting on astro-ph, an electronic preprint archive. The paper chronicles the discovery of three galaxy clusters using a new survey technique.

The technique relies on an effect that galaxy clusters have on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) light that passes through them. The SPT team surveyed a 40-square-degree patch of sky looking for galaxy clusters via this effect, called the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect. The survey found four galaxy clusters, one previously known and three new ones. It is the first time this technique has been used to discover new clusters.

The 10-meter South Pole Telescope’s millimeter-wave camera captures images of the CMB, radiation left over from 270,000 years after the Big Bang Galaxy clusters affect the brightness of the CMB after it has passed through them; this brightness change is the SZ effect, and is independent of distance to the galaxy cluster, unlike the optical or x-ray brightness of the clusters.

These galaxies, Staniszewski says, are likely billions of light years away and about seven billion years old.

Part of the data set was taken by Staniszewski during his winter stay at the South Pole manning the telescope. Bolstering the confidence that the newly discovered clusters are real, the paper includes analysis of data from follow-up optical observations with the Blanco Cosmology Survey instrument, led by University of Illinois astrophysicist and SPT collaborator Joe Mohr.

“The theory of how galaxy clusters imprint a signal on the CMB has been around for nearly 40 years, when two Russian physicists first proposed it in 1969,” Staniszewski said. “The SZ effect has been seen in clusters that were already identified by optical and x-ray observations, but no one had yet used it to discover a brand new galaxy cluster. These are the first galaxy clusters discovered using this method.”

The SPT will produce a larger catalog of new clusters with more data and analysis. “These three new clusters are just the tip of the iceberg," Ruhl said. “The full survey is what will help us achieve our ultimate goal, which is to understand dark energy.”

“The expansion of the universe is accelerating, and because of that we believe that dark energy dominates the energy density of the universe. Dark energy provides a negative pressure, or repulsive force, that accelerates the expansion, rather than slowing it down like the attractive force of gravity does,” Staniszewski said. “We're trying to figure out what dark energy actually is, and it turns out that a survey of galaxy clusters can be used to trace the expansion history of the universe, which can tell you about the dark energy."

Gravity works to pull pockets of galaxies together, into clusters, a process that is more effective at early times when matter is dense. Dark energy speeds up the expansion of the universe and spreads out the matter, which slows down clustering. Counting the number of galaxy clusters as a function of time throughout the history of the universe can therefore be used to understand dark energy.

The SPT science team, led by principal investigator John Carlstrom at the University of Chicago includes more than 40 scientists from Case Western Reserve, University of Chicago, University of California at Berkeley, Cardiff University, University of Colorado, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, University of Illinois, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, McGill University, and NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

BITTERNUT HICKORY - Carya cordiformis, Wang., Koch

THERE ARE SEVEN READILY recognizable hickories in Missouri but bitternut hickory is the only hickory tree which has long, sulphur-yellow colored buds. It is widely distributed over the state.

The nut is nearly globe-shaped and covered by a thin husk which is partially winged along the lines where it splits. The kernel is bitter but the squirrels don't seem to mind it. For them it is an important winter food which they store in hollow trees and bury in the ground. Forgotten buried nuts become new trees. The leaf, ranging from 6 to 10 inches long, is compound with 7 to 9 elliptically shaped leaflets. They are usually broadest above the center with toothed edges. These leaflets are supported from hairy stalks and are dark yellow-green and smooth above, pale and slightly hairy below.

In winter, this tree can be identified by its slender, pale gray twigs which are dotted with corky rises. The bark is nearly smooth and light gray when young, remaining on the trunk for several years. As the tree ages the bark becomes shallowly furrowed with thin interconnecting ridges.

Small bitternut hickory trees will grow in dense shade under the tops of sugar maple, white oak, white ash, and black walnut among others and still survive. It is a moderately fast growing tree, but short lived compared with other hickories.

Bitternut hickory wood is used to some degree in making handles, but is used largely for making charcoal for outdoor barbecuing. This wood smoke gives meat a rich flavor and aroma. Some meats are smoke cured with hickory because of its distinctive taste. It also makes an excellent fuelwood for cook stoves, furnaces or fireplaces.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Preventing Anemia in Pregnant Women

Half of all pregnant women develop iron-deficiency anemia because their volume of blood increases and because the growing fetus needs iron. Anemia during pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of premature delivery and a low-birth-weight baby.

To prevent these problems, pregnant women need twice as much iron as women who are not pregnant. Pregnant women can get more iron from eating more iron-rich foods, from supplements, or from both. Medical care during pregnancy should include screening for anemia.

The doctor giving prenatal care may prescribe iron supplements, which should be taken as directed. Pregnant women should notify their doctors if they have uncomfortable side effects such as constipation. The doctor also may give advice on how to get higher levels of iron through eating iron-rich foods.