A break from the mundane

By Whskyjack, a Trail Mix Contributor

Or, how do they do this?

Some days we just need a break from the news about idiots and their mistresses. Thank your favorite deity.  We have science and  the real wonders  in astronomy

I just  read this article and it made my day.  I hope you enjoy it too. Beats the hell out of anything Donald Trump tweeted, just sayin’ …

Red giant brings its companion star back to life


There’s some adage out there about helping out your neighbor, right? Well, a red giant star was recently spotted lending more than just a cup of flour to its companion neutron star — it blasted it with winds that nourished the dead star back to life in a burst of X-ray light …

Stars with masses ranging from the size of the Sun to eight times that mass turn into red giants toward the end of their life. As they age, their outer layers are slowly pushed away from the star’s center by solar winds traveling at a few hundred kilometers per second. Over time, the outer layers can expand by millions of kilometers.

Rather than floating off into no-man’s-land like they normally would, the winds from the red giant were captured by its neighboring neutron star, which flared up in X-rays as it began accreting them …

Neutron stars typically develop when stars eight to 30 times more massive than the Sun run out of fuel and detonate in a supernova, leaving a small but incredibly massive spinning core behind. With masses of one and a half times that of the Sun squeezed into a core only about 6 miles (10 kilometers) across, neutron stars are some of the densest objects in the universe.

Neutron stars also exhibit a powerful magnetic field in the object’s early years, which is thought to fade significantly over time. When this particular neutron star’s magnetic field was measured, it was found to be quite strong, hinting that it’s still relatively young. However, its red giant companion is much older, leading researchers to wonder how the system has evolved to this point. One answer could be mass transfer, which can occur in close binary systems when material from one star is pulled in by or expands out past the other.

“These objects are puzzling,” Enrico said. “It might be that either the neutron star magnetic field does not decay substantially with time after all, or the neutron star actually formed later in the history of the binary system. That would mean it collapsed from a white dwarf into a neutron star as a result of feeding off the red giant over a long time, rather than becoming a neutron star as a result of a more traditional supernova explosion of a short-lived massive star.”

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So is your 401k supporting the firearms industry?

By Whskyjack, a Trail Mix Contributor

Florida Retirement Pension Plan had a $4 million stake in gun manufacturers

Just how invested are you in the firearms industry and do you want to be?  It seems we all are profiting from mass killings. Think about it.

The Barrons article: We’re All Gun Owners, and Here’s Why

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Draining the swamp

By Whskyjack, a Trail Mix Contributor

It looks like Mueller has decided to use his position to drain some of the Washington swamp. Republican lobbyist Manafort and company aren’t the only ones in his gun site. He is also after Democratic swamp dwellers as well. Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman John Podesta, is feeling the pressure.

All I can say, “it’s about time”

From USA Today:

Reports: Tony Podesta leaves lobbying firm amid Robert Mueller probe

A thought

By WhskyJack, a Trail Mix Contributor

We were out politicking a bit this weekend. One of our councilmen/wannabe Mayor was having a birthday/fundraiser. He has come through for us several times and, as he is also first in line to be our next Mayor, we attended.

But, he isn’t the point of this post. It was the band he hired for entertainment. Three old white guys dutifully going through boomer nostalgia. Not into it and neither was the audience.

As we were starting to leave they launched into a Stevie Ray Vaughn song. Mrs Jack decided to stop and listen. They were butchering it but there was enough rhythm to keep a steady beat and dance. So I extended my hand out to Mrs Jack to ask if she wanted to dance and we started.  First on the crowded deck (people moved chairs and tables for us) then out on the lawn. Interesting thing was the more we danced the better the band  became. By the end of the song they were doing a decent job.

As I thought about it later, a little appreciation does wonders — especially when your dream job starts to be just the same old same old.

I wonder how many of our Congress critters and elected officials at all levels start feeling the same way. None of them started out to be hacks.  But everyday the same old routine and what do you get?

Hey we can’t all be Stevie Ray but with a little appreciation and encouragement maybe things can be better.

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