2018-01-08T14:15:12+00:00

Space News:

Power Generation

Scientists at NASA explain that unmanned spacecraft traveling away from the sun to explore the outer planets of the solar system are powered by nuclear energy, specifically Plutonium-238 built into a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG).

Elements such as Uranium and Plutonium are considered “radioactive” due to an imbalance of protons and electrons. The process of radioactive decay occurs as an atom of these elements naturally seeks to stabilize itself by releasing subatomic particles into the environment.

Alpha, beta, and dangerous gamma radiation is emitted as heat energy that can be converted into electricity within the generator.   

Radioactive elements and the use of nuclear power in space travel clip art image.

Raging Storms

The wind on Jupiter, and on other planets within the solar system, is caused by temperature changes within the atmosphere that force high pressure (warm) air to flow in the opposite direction of low pressure (cold) air. Jupiter’s colored stripes and circular storms are caused by winds that rage at speeds of 200-300 mph. 

Jupiter’s banded outer surface is a pattern of alternating “zones” and “belts”

Within the light colored zones, wind blows toward the east and the circular storms swirl in an anti-clockwise, or cyclonic, direction. The zones appear lighter in color due to an upward flow of wind that causes ammonia ice clouds to form

The belts are darker as molecules of carbon, methane, and nitrogen mix with the mostly hydrogen atmosphere. Winds blow toward the west and downward, causing storms such as the Great Red Spot to spin in a clockwise direction    

Read Instride: Jupiter

Health News:

Finding the Time

We know that exercise is good for our health, but how much of a metabolic boost is needed to reap the benefits?

Researchers with Medical News today have found that just 20 minutes of physical activity a day gets the heart beating and kick starts the immune system, preventing it from overproducing certain types of leukocytes that target healthy cells in the body and cause inflammation.

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Inspiration and advice for healthy living 

Healthy Variety

A healthy diet is most important when we need the energy to get through a busy day. Specialty or convenience foods might be a tempting time-saver, but the experts at Health.com advise us that all the nutrients we need are in the affordably-priced foods we’ve been including in our diet for years:

  • A medium sweet potato contains 500% RDA for Vitamin A
  • 100% of the vital B vitamins are in combinations of foods like fortified cereal, eggs, orange juice, chicken, fish, and beans
  • All the minerals we need come from healthy snack foods such as salads, whole grains, nuts, yogurt, and dark chocolate
  • And these same foods contain protein and carbs for energy and a clear-minded focus through the day

Fruits and vegetables lose some of their nutrients when they’re canned or frozen, but processing fresh vegetables when they’re in season means they can be enjoyed at reasonable prices all year.

At sustainabletable.org you can search for seasonal produce and where to find the nearest farmer’s market.


In Politics:

Presidential Advisers

The responsibilities of the executive branch are delegated to the President, the Vice President, and the offices of the Cabinet. The Constitution empowers the President to select a team of close advisers to manage the numerous agencies and programs that influence the lives of Americans every day.

During the first presidential administration, George Washington established four Cabinet posts: Secretary of State, Treasury, War, and the Attorney General.

  • The War Department evolved into the Department of Defense in 1949, with control over the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force
  • The Attorney General, at first a part-time position, now heads up the Justice Department, created in 1870 to advise on legal matters within the federal government

Eleven other Cabinet level positions have been added during the twentieth century, the most recent being the Department of Homeland Security created in 2002.

Read Instride: Executive Branch

The Grand Old Party

A “republic” is a form of government that empowers its citizens to vote and elect officials, an idea that America was founded on when the Revolutionary War was fought to secure independence from the monarch of Great Britain.

In reference to a political party, the word “republican” has had different meanings through the years. The Republican Party that exists today was created in the late 1850’s and was prevalent in the northern states that were in favor of abolishing slavery.

Abe Lincoln was the first Republican President, and the Civil War was fought during his administration in an effort to prevent the southern states from creating a separate form of government.

In the years following the war, the first of the civil rights amendments were written.

  • 13th Amendment abolished slavery
  • 14th Amendment safeguards the legal protections and equal freedoms of Americans
  • 15th Amendment secures the right to vote

Read Instride: Judicial Branch

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Spiritual News:

Dharma Day

Buddhanet.net is an online resource for studying the philosophies of Buddhism. The concept of Dharma, for instance, is a theme within many Southeast Asian religions. To a Buddhist, Dharma means practicing the teachings of Buddha to understand reality and to live peacefully in the world.

After years of focused meditation, 35-year-old Siddhartha Gautama had become “enlightened” and was from then on known as the Buddha. Dharma Day is celebrated in remembrance of the first of Buddha’s sermons when he taught his followers about the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

This year, Dharma Day is on July 27. Buddhists light candles and spend the day quietly meditating on ancient writings.

The Middle Path

Buddha believed that by living in moderation and focusing on a “middle path” a person could avoid the painful extremes of both indulgence and deprivation. He explained that the unhappiness that arises from within the self can be conquered with non-violent, uplifting thoughts and actions.

Read Instride: Buddhism

Forgiveness of Sins

Easter is a time of solemn observances and triumphant celebrations for the 2.5 billion Christians around the world.

Visit Patheos.com for in-depth reading about this Christian holiday, and for access to a library of information about other World Religions.

    • Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, is on February 14th in 2018. The 40 days of Lent concludes on the Sunday before Easter
    • Holy Week begins on March 25 with Palm Sunday, the day the cheering crowds welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem by laying palm branches at his feet
    • When those same crowds began to turn against him, Jesus gathered with his Apostles for the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, explaining that one of them was about to betray him. Judas then identified Jesus to the Roman authorities and he was arrested and condemned to die
    • Good Friday was the day Jesus was crucified
    • April 1 is Easter Sunday. Christians believe that Jesus’ soul was resurrected from death and ascended to heaven 

Read Instride: Christianity

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Quick Reads:

The Ghost With the Basket

ghost of sylvia playbuzz.com-min

A sudden and devastating accident in the 1850's disrupts the spirit of a quiet farm wife. Is the ghost of Sylvia Crickler trying to threaten away the young family or does she need their help to put her spirit to rest?

Read Instride: The Ghost With the Basket

Switchblade

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Birdie risks everything to start a new life, but Rick is close behind to take back what was his. If she can't outrun him, can they compromise and find a way to both stay alive?

Read Instride: Switchblade