Monthly Archives: June 2012

Saturday leap second marks longer solar day

Earth is not the most reliable timekeeper

With this antenna at Kokee Park on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, NASA makes regular VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) measurements that are used in the time standard called UT1, or Universal Time 1. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy/PMRF)


If the day seems a little longer than usual on Saturday, June 30, 2012, that’s because it will be. An extra second, or “leap” second, will be added at midnight to account for the fact that it is taking Earth longer and longer to complete one full turn— a day — or, technically, a solar day.

“The solar day is gradually getting longer because Earth’s rotation is slowing down ever so slightly,” says Daniel MacMillan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy: America the Beautiful

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

There’s a holiday just around the corner, one we’ve celebrated for a few hundred years. Independence Day, Fourth of July and Cowboy Christmas –all one and the same.

America’s birthday is honored across the country with as many traditions as there are firecrackers. For my entire adult life, my observance of the day has always revolved around rodeo.

I spent a couple decades driving long, lonely highways to get to the “next one” over a four-day stretch of Cowboy Christmas. I hauled horses, kids, and dogs while giving little thought to much else except getting there on time and being ready to compete.

Mexico’s youth movement forges ahead

Mexican protesters gather in early June in Guadalajara to denounce presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and the influence of corporate television on Mexico's electoral process. (Photo courtesy of Gabriel Saldana via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License details below.)

Yo Soy 132 movement vow post-election political role

A protester in Mexico City holds a sign depicting PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto's hair. (Photo courtesy of JulieHagenbuch via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License details below.)

Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur

The impact of a social movement can often be gauged not only by the societal reception it gets, but also by the reaction it engenders. And Mexico’s “ I am 132 Movement” is no exception.

Born only several weeks ago as a Mexico City protest of private university students against the media imposition of presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Green Party (PVEM) electoral alliance, the movement has since spread to large cities and small towns across the country.

In the Pacific coast tourist town of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, an estimated 250 young people and their supporters took to the streets earlier this month to demonstrate against Peña Nieto and to call for the democratization of an electronic media dominated by two networks, Televisa and TV Azteça.

El Paso goes ahead with stadium idea; blogger blasts ‘no-compete’ contract feature

Rio Grande Digital

El Paso city councilors voted Tuesday to move ahead with a plan to build a $50 million baseball stadium on the Downtown parcel now occupied by City Hall and the Insights Science Museum, reports the El Paso Times.

SB 1070 ruling has both sides claiming victory

Both sides of the political divide are spinning Monday's Supreme Court ruling as victory. (Image courtesy New America Media)

Groups plan challenges to surviving provision

Valeria Fernández

New America Media

PHOENIX, Az. – Lawmakers on both sides of the political divide in Arizona are claiming victory following Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on the state’s immigration law known as SB 1070.

Mixed mood in Mexico as July 1 vote looms

Supporter of PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador displays campaign materials on June 23 in Calle Madero, Mexico City. Mexico will elect a new president and various other officials on July 1. (Photo courtesy Randal Sheppard via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License details below.)

PRI poised for return to Los Pinos

Virtually uncovered in the US press and given secondary treatment in the Mexican national media, the local and state elections will have important consequences for the distribution of power during the next several years, especially considering the enhanced autonomy of municipal and state governments in relation to federal authority.

Kent Paterson

Frontera NorteSur

As Mexico’s political campaigns wind down in preparation for the big election day on July 1, mixed moods of doubt, anger, tension, confusion, excitement, exhaustion, resignation and hope grip the body politic.

Supreme Court dumps most of SB 1070

Demonstrators protest against Arizona's SB1070 anti-immigrant law as the bill was being debated in the state Legislature in 2009. The US Supreme Court struck down all but one part of the law in a ruling released Monday. (Photo courtesy RI4A via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License details below.)

Charles Scudder

Scripps Howard Foundation Wire

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court struck down most of a controversial Arizona immigration law Monday, but upheld a section of the law requiring officers to make a “reasonable attempt … to determine the immigration status” of anyone they stop or arrest.

A man is arrested by police on May 10, 2010, for a sit-in at the railings in front of the White House in what was intended to be an act of civil disobedience in protest of the government's failure to act on immigration reform. (Photo courtesy Nevele Otseog via Flickr under Creative Commons license. License details below.).

The court struck down three provisions that conflicted with federal statutes, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said in delivering the court’s opinion. The court said Arizona cannot prosecute illegal immigrants for seeking work, arrest suspected illegal immigrants without a warrant or require people to carry documents proving they are legal residents of the U.S.

The court upheld Section 2B, because the so-called “papers, please” provision has not been tested by lower courts. In theory, the section conforms with federal law.

The decision did not rule out future challenges after the law goes into effect.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito filed opinions that concurred in part and dissented in part, while Scalia read a dissenting statement from the bench.

Air Force plans waste-to-energy facility at Holloman

49th Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force Real Property Agency announced this week that the Air Force intends to enter into exclusive lease negotiations with New Generation Biomass Llc for the development of a 20-megawatt biomass/waste-to-energy facility on approximately 80 acres on Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo.

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