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Historic Mt. Wilson Observatory a big draw in SoCal (with video)
Jul 24th, 2013 by Warren Swil

5,700 feet up, ‘scope

towers over region –

and my back yard

The historic 60-inch telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory. It is almost in my back yard. Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

ALMOST EVERYONE KNOWS the name George Hale, a prolific writer of books and articles aimed at the educated public in whom he wanted to instill the thrill of modern astronomy.
About 6,000 feet up in the San Gabriel Mountains behind my Pasadena home stands the Mount Wilson Solar Observatory, founded by Hale in 1904.
With its historic 60-inch telescope superseded by a newer 100-inch scope, the observatory is a popular attraction for intelligentsia visiting Southern California and the hoi polloi alike who love to hike its marvelous trails.
However, not only is the observatory surrounded by the Angeles National Forest, there is also a forest of broadcast antennae on the peak adjacent to it since the location
commands the best vantage point to beam signals into about 20 million homes in direct line of sight.
Since it is literally in my back yard – the upslope begins about eight blocks away – I am a frequent visitor, as I was on Tuesday.

WATCH A VIDEO BELOW THE FOLD


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INDISPENSIBLE JOURNALISM: NYT story on leak crackdown a feather in its cap

The treatment of the crackdown on leakers story on Sunday demonstrates that The New York Times is vital.
It is surviving the existential threat to print media everywhere by offering its readers indispensable journalism like this story.
We should all appreciate being In the (K)now. Get the scoop here.


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‘The Newsroom’ created by Aaron Sorkin is must-see TV (with video)

BRILLIANT DRAMA CAPTURES AMERICAN ZEITGEIST
If Fox News DOESN’T LIKE “The Newsroom,” do you need more of a reason to watch it? I don’t.
Creator/write/director Aaron Sorkin not only begins with a great script, he adds superb production values to produce a gripping drama that keeps one glued to the screen while receiving an important message.
Watch a video clip here and get In the (K)now!


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Oil output boom may threaten move to renewable energy

U.S. SET TO BECOME BIGGEST PRODUCER
Oil production in the U.S. is booming. If present trends continue, this country may become the world’s largest producer of oil in less than eight years.
Without the threat of either limited supplies or higher prices, it is reasonable to expect the incentive to switch to cleaner, more climate-friendly energy sources, will wane.
This is an issue that needs a great deal of further discussion.
That starts here.


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Space shuttle Endeavour draws crowds at new home (with video)

L.A.’S NEWEST ‘ATTRACTION’ PACKS LEARNING WITH FUN
A visit to the retired space shuttle Endeavour at its new resting place in the California Science Center near downtown Los Angeles sure beats a trip to Disneyland. It is proving to be a popular attraction this summer, with Angelenos and visitors alike. Watch a video of its trip from LAX across town.


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Vancouver has city center like few others (with video)

SMART PLANNING, SOOTHING WATER MAKE DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER SPECIAL (with video)
Not many downtowns can offer the same combination of attractions, ambiance and elegance as Vancouver, B.C.
Perhaps it is the soothing effect of all the water – downtown is surrounded by it – or the fact that Manhattan is 3,000 miles away.
Watch the video and decide for yourself.


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Banking regulators get tough with giants – finally

GIANT BANKS MAY BE REINED IN – EXPECT A FIGHT
So little has been done to improve the soundness of giant banks, that another financial crisis is almost inevitable. But a potent new weapon against too-big-to-fail banks in the form of tight new capital requirements with no wiggle room has been proposed by three federal agencies.
If it survives an expected onslaught by the banking lobby, we may just avoid another financial meltdown.
Get the details here.


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Snowden, Assange give middle finger salute to U.S.

WHISTLEBLOWERS DESERVE PRAISE, NOT PERSECUTION
Good luck to both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange as they seek refuge from those who pursue them in the name of all of us, the citizens of the United States.
Both Assange and Snowden have revealed information that is of vital importance to the American public. They should not be pronounced guilty – and persecuted ¬– before justice has had its say.


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Iconic image from UBC carried by almost every Canadian

ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUM A WORK OF ARCHITECUTRAL ART
The dominant exhibit in almost every corner of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver is the totem pole. But “The Raven and First Men” sculpture by Bill Reid is its most widely-known artifact, featured on the Canadian $20 bill. There’s much more to learn about it here.


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Is GOP bent on self-destruction?

FROM ITS BEHAVIOR, IT WOULD CERTAINLY SEEM SO
A new marketing campaign for tired old, worn out, ineffective policy prescriptions will do nothing to help the GOP or the country.
It is increasingly apparent that the GOP thinks its salvation lies in better marketing rather than changing any fundamental policy positions whatsoever. Let’s hope Republicans come to their senses before inflicting more damage on their party – and the country.


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