Daily Archives: July 2, 2017

Astronomy – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: July 2, 2017 at 9:54 am

Astronomy is a natural science. It is the study of everything outside the atmosphere of Earth.

It studies celestial objects (such as stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets and nebulae) and processes (such as supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic microwave background radiation). This includes the physics, chemistry of those objects and processes.

A related subject, physical cosmology, is concerned with studying the Universe as a whole,[1] and the way the universe changed over time.

The word astronomy comes from the Greek words astron which means star and nomos which means law.[2] A person who studies astronomy is called an astronomer.

Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Ancient people used the positions of the stars to navigate, and to find when was the best time to plant crops. Astronomy is very similar to astrophysics. Since the 20th century there have been two main types of astronomy, observational and theoretical astronomy. Observational astronomy uses telescopes and cameras to observe or look at stars, galaxies and other astronomical objects. Theoretical astronomy uses maths and computer models to predict what should happen. The two often work together, the theoretical predicts what should happen and the observational shows whether the prediction works.

Astronomy is not the same as astrology, the belief that the patterns the stars and the planets may affect human lives.

Early astronomers used only their eyes to look at the stars. They used maps of the constellations and stars for religious reasons and also to work out the time of year.[3] Early civilisations such as the Maya people and the Ancient Egyptians built simple observatories and drew maps of the stars positions. They also began to think about the place of Earth in the universe. For a long time people thought Earth was the center of the universe, and that the planets, the stars and the sun went around it. This is known as the geocentric model of the Universe.

Ancient Greeks tried to explain the motions of the sun and stars by taking measurements.[4] A mathematician named Eratosthenes was the first who measured the size of the Earth and proved that the Earth is a sphere. A theory by another mathematician named Aristarchus was, that the sun is in the center and the Earth is moving around it. This is known as the Heliocentric model. Only a small group of people thought it was right. The rest continued to believe in the geocentric model. Most of the names of constellations and stars come from Greeks of that time.[5]

Arabic astronomers made many advancements during the Middle Ages including improved star maps and ways to estimate the size of the Earth.[6]

During the renaissance a priest named Nicolaus Copernicus thought, from looking at the way the planets moved, that the Earth was not the center of everything. Based on previous works, he said that the Earth was a planet and all the planets moved around the sun. This heliocentrism was an old idea. A physicist called Galileo Galilei built his own telescopes, and used them to look more closely at the stars and planets for the first time. He agreed with Copernicus. Their ideas were also improved by Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton who invented the theory of gravity. At this time the Catholic Church decided that Galileo was wrong. He had to spend the rest of his life under house arrest.[7]

After Galileo, people made better telescopes and used them to see farther objects such as the planets Uranus and Neptune. They also saw how stars were similar to our Sun, but in a range of colours and sizes. They also saw thousands of other faraway objects such as galaxies and nebulae.

The 20th century saw important changes in astronomy.

In 1931, Karl Jansky discovered radio emission from outside the Earth when trying to isolate a source of noise in radio communications, marking the birth of radio astronomy and the first attempts at using another part of the electromagnetic spectrum to observe the sky. Those parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that the atmosphere did not block were now opened up to astronomy, allowing more discoveries to be made.

The opening of this new window on the Universe saw the discovery of entirely new things, for example pulsars, which sent regular pulses of radio waves out into space. The waves were first thought to be alien in origin because the pulses were so regular that it implied an artificial source.

The period after World War 2 saw more observatories where large and accurate telescopes are built and operated at good observing sites, normally by governments. For example, Bernard Lovell began radio astronomy at Jodrell Bank using leftover military radar equipment. By 1957, the site had the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. Similarly, the end of the 1960s saw the start of the building of dedicated observatories at Mauna Kea in Hawaii, a good site for visible and infra-red telescopes thanks to its high altitude and clear skies.

The next great revolution in astronomy was thanks to the birth of rocketry. This allowed telescopes to be placed in space on satellites.

Satellite-based telescopes opened up the Universe to human eyes. Turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere blurs images taken by ground-based telescopes, an effect known as seeing. It is this effect that makes stars “twinkle” in the sky. As a result, the pictures taken by satellite telescopes in visible light (for example, by the Hubble Space Telescope) are much clearer than Earth-based telescopes, even though Earth-based telescopes are very large.

Space telescopes gave access, for the first time in history, to the entire electromagnetic spectrum including rays that had been blocked by the atmosphere. The X-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet light and parts of the infra-red spectrum were all opened to astronomy as observing telescopes were launched. As with other parts of the spectrum, new discoveries were made.

From 1970s satellites were launched to be replaced with more accurate and better satellites, causing the sky to be mapped in nearly all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Discoveries broadly come in two types: bodies and phenomena. Bodies are things in the Universe, whether it is a planet like our Earth or a galaxy like our Milky Way. Phenomena are events and happenings in the Universe.

For convenience, this section has been divided by where these astronomical bodies may be found: those found around stars are solar bodies, those inside galaxies are galactic bodies and everything else larger are cosmic bodies.

Diffuse Objects:

Compact Stars:

Burst events are those where there is a sudden change in the heavens that disappears quickly. These are called bursts because they are normally associated with large explosions producing a “burst” of energy. They include:

Periodic events are those that happen regularly in a repetitive way. The name periodic comes from period, which is the length of time required for a wave to complete one cycle. Periodic phenomena include:

Noise phenomena tend to relate to things that happened a long time ago. The signal from these events bounce around the Universe until it seems to come from everywhere and varies little in intensity. In this way, it resembles “noise”, the background signal that pervades every instrument used for astronomy. The most common example of noise is static seen on analogue televisions. The principal astronomical example is: Cosmic background radiation.

There are way astronomers can get better pictures of the heavens. Light from a distant source reaches a sensor and gets measured, normally by a human eye or a camera. For very dim sources, there may not be enough light particles coming from the source for it to be seen. One technique that astronomers have for making it visible is using integration, (which is like longer exposures in photography).

Astronomical sources do not move much: only the rotation and movement of the Earth causes them to move across the heavens. As light particles reach the camera over time, they hit the same place making it brighter and more visible than the background, until it can be seen.

Telescopes at most observatories (and satellite instruments) can normally track a source as it moves across the heavens, making the star appear still to the telescope and allowing longer exposures. Also, images can be taken on different nights so exposures span hours, days or even months. In the digital era, digitised pictures of the sky can be added together by computer, which overlays the images after correcting for movement.

With radio telescopes smaller telescopes can be combined together to create a big one, which works like one as big as the distance between the two smaller telescopes.

Adaptive optics means changing the shape of the mirror or lens while looking at something, to see it better.

Data analysis is the process of getting more information out of an astronomical observation than by simply looking at it. The observation is first stored as data. This data will then have various techniques used to analyse it.

Fourier analysis in mathematics can show if an observation (over a length of time) is changing periodically (changes like a wave). If so, it can extract the frequencies and the type of wave pattern, and find many things including new planets.

A good example of a fields comes from pulsars which pulse regularly in radio waves. These turned out to be similar to some (but not all) of a type of bright source in X-rays called a Low-mass X-ray binary. It turned out that all pulsars and some LMXBs are neutron stars and that the differences were due to the environment in which the neutron star was found. Those LMXBs that were not neutron stars turned out to be black holes.

This section attempts to provide an overview of the important fields of astronomy, their period of importance and the terms used to describe them. It should be noted that astronomy in the Modern Era has been divided mainly by electromagnetic spectrum, although there is some evidence this is changing.

Solar astronomy is the study of the Sun. The Sun is the closest star to Earth at around 92 million (92,000,000) miles away.[8] It is the easiest to observe in detail. Observing the Sun can help us understand how other stars work and are formed. Changes in the Sun can affect the weather and climate on Earth. A stream of charged particles called the Solar wind is constantly sent off from the Sun. The Solar Wind hitting the Earth’s magnetic field causes the northern lights.[9] Studying the Sun helped people understand how nuclear fusion works.

Planetary Astronomy is the study of planets, moons, dwarf planets, comets and asteroids as well as other small objects that orbit stars. The planets of our own Solar System have been studied in depth by many visiting spacecraft such as Cassini-Huygens (Saturn) and the Voyager 1 and 2.

Galactic Astronomy is the study of distant galaxies. Studying distant galaxies is the best way of learning about our own galaxy, as the gases and stars in our own galaxy make it difficult to observe. Galactic Astronomers attempt to understand the structure of galaxies and how they are formed through the use of different types of telescopes and computer simulations.

Hydrodynamics is used in astronomy for mathematically modelling how gases behave. Strong magnetic fields found around many bodies can drastically change how these gases behave, affecting things from star formation to the flows of gases around compact stars. This makes MHD an important and useful tool in astronomy.

Gravitational wave astronomy is the study of the Universe in the gravitational wave spectrum. So far, all astronomy that has been done has used the electromagnetic spectrum. Gravitational Waves are ripples in spacetime emitted by very dense objects changing shape, which include white dwarves, neutron stars and black holes. Because no one has been able to detect gravitational waves directly, the impact of Gravitational Wave Astronomy has been very limited.

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Astronomy | Definition of Astronomy by Merriam-Webster

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Learn about animals, astronomy and more scientific wonders at 6000 N. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach.

A storied machine responsible for some of the greatest advances in modern astronomy, its 200-inch primary mirror set the size limit for five decades.

Yes, astronomy is typically extremely visual, but there are tons of ways to interact with data thats not visual at all.

Something else that makes this part of the country special, from an astronomy standpoint: Another total solar eclipse will swing by April 8, 2024.

The findings, described in a paper accepted to Physical Review Letters, cement the idea that gravitational-wave astronomy a whole new way to observe some of the most powerful events in the universe is here to stay.

Dr. Eugene Parker, from the University of Chicago’s department of astronomy and astrophysics, debuts his Parker Solar Probe on May 31, 2017.

Yangs work stood out even among other excellent projects, said Len Duda, who just retired from the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., and served as a coach for the physics and astronomy division at the Intel competition.

This is the eighth annual Mall event that organizer Don Lubowich, astronomy outreach coordinator at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y., has assembled.

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See the sharpest-ever view of giant Betelgeuse – Astronomy Now Online

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30 June 2017 Astronomy Now

This orange blob shows the nearby star Betelgeuse, as seen by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). This is the first time that ALMA has ever observed the surface of a star and this first attempt has resulted in the highest-resolution image of Betelgeuse available.

Betelgeuse is one of the largest stars currently known with a radius around 1400 times larger than the Suns in the millimeter continuum. About 600 light-years away in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter), the red supergiant burns brightly, causing it to have only a short life expectancy. The star is just about eight million years old, but is already on the verge of becoming a supernova. When that happens, the resulting explosion will be visible from Earth, even in broad daylight.

The star has been observed in many other wavelengths, particularly in the visible, infrared, and ultraviolet. Using ESOs Very Large Telescope astronomers discovered a vast plume of gas almost as large as our Solar System. Astronomers have also found a gigantic bubble that boils away on Betelgeuses surface. These features help to explain how the star is shedding gas and dust at tremendous rates. In this picture, ALMA observes the hot gas of the lower chromosphere of Betelgeuse at sub-millimeter wavelengths where localised increased temperatures explain why it is not symmetric. Scientifically, ALMA can help us to understand the extended atmospheres of these hot, blazing stars.

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See the sharpest-ever view of giant Betelgeuse – Astronomy Now Online

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Bring Your Thirst for Beer and Knowledge to Astronomy on Tap – Pasadena Now

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On Monday, July 3 beginning at 7:30 p.m. join astronomers from Caltech for Astronomy on Tap.

At this event, youll learn about the supermassive black holes and weird planets in talks by Elena Murchikova: The Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy and by Dr. Erik Petigura: Is Our Solar System Weird? In addition, they will host an astronomically-themed quiz with great space-related prizes for the winners.

Come with science questions, as there will be many world-renowned astronomers to mingle with between talks. In addition, Der Wolfskopf features a special Astronomy on Tap Happy Hour for discount prices on beer and food throughout the event.

Astronomy on Tap is a nation-wide phenomenon where professional astronomers give informal talks in local bars on a variety of scientific topics followed by lots of discussion and interaction with the public. Here in Los Angeles, we at Caltech are spearheading this effort in collaboration with researchers from UCLA, Carnegie, The Planetary Society, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (operated by Caltech for NASA).

The event is free and open to all ages 21+. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. For more information about our events and affiliated lecture+stargazing series visit http://www.astro.caltech.edu/outreach/aot.

Der Wolfskopf Pub is located at 72 N. Fair Oaks Avenue in Old Pasadena.

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Bring Your Thirst for Beer and Knowledge to Astronomy on Tap – Pasadena Now

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Astronomy: July is the season of Scorpius – Longmont Times-Call

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(Daniel Zantzinger / Skywatcher’s Guide)

It is perhaps indisputable that skywatching July’s warm summer nights is the most comfortable, spectacular and awe inspiring outdoor activity going.

The trick, the essence of summer’s night skywatching, lies in first rooting in the core concentration of stars in the south, and then slowly climbing the galactic arms toward zenith and beyond.

Whether you’re using your eyes, binoculars, telescopes, scientific journals and/or telescope-directing websites, there’s more than enough out there to stimulate the imagination, provoke wonder and astound the senses.

For many skywatchers, this is a great time to head away from the city lights into the hills; to the high country with its deep and darkened valleys; to our state parks and national monuments; and to someone else’s sparsely populated, protected properties.

This is the season of the scorpion, the swan, the deeply troubled Hercules and myriad other sidereal (star-like) residents of the Milky Way. Moreover, each one of these house crystalline and nebulous denizens of their own, who in turn hold in their embraces secrecies unfolded only to skywatchers making the effort to look for them.

Find fishhook-shaped Constellation Scorpius, “the scorpion,” low and due south at 11 tonight (July 1) and around nightfall on the 31st. To its east is teapot-shaped Constellation Sagittarius, “the centaur archer,” and to its north is Constellation Ophiuchus, “the serpent-bearer.” Saturn, having reached opposition just two weeks ago, is well positioned here for viewing until the end of August.

These areas of space are so rich that if you figuratively speaking were to draw your last breath right after careful and thorough examination of them, you will have died having a life fulfilled with few regrets.

The moon is bright here in the month’s first 10 days or so, so it’s best to get serious July 16 and thereafter.

Darker skies mean better views. Longer expanses of time between ocular exposures to white light after a minimum of 12 minutes mean better viewing ability. Use red flashlights. Avoid looking at car headlights, or you’ll have to start the clock all over again. A good dose of Zen patience and measured breathing provides for you a better overall experience. Speak minimally, and your companions will have a better overall experience.

When you’re staring at Sagittarius, you’re gazing in the direction of the galactic core, that is, toward the center of the Milky Way. Most of the wow factor in the southern sky is from here toward zenith.

From our line of sight, three arms of the spiral barred (striped) galaxy intersect at the Scorpius/Sagittarius border. This allows us to observe not only millions of stars, but also diffuse nebulae M8, M17 and M20; and the relatively young and open star clusters M6, M7, M21, M23 and M25 circulating with the disc. These clusters have a few hundred to several thousand stars.

Scorpius and Sagittarius and our southern sky’s hemisphere for that matter is home to an abundance of globular star clusters, spherical concentrations of several hundreds of thousands of much older and denser stars that dwell in the galaxy’s outer halo.

With the naked eye, find red giant star Antares, the “rival of Mars,” the heart of the scorpion, an irregular star that slowly pulses from magnitude 0.6 to 1.6. Train the telescope 1.3 degrees west to M4 to find one of the two closest globular clusters to the solar system.

Clocking in at 12.2 billion years old, M4 has some 13 billion-year-old white/degenerate dwarf stars invisible to earthbound skywatchers that are among the oldest known stars in the Milky Way galaxy. In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope photographed white dwarf PSR B1620-26 with a planet with a mass of 2.5 times that of Jupiter.

With binoculars and/or a motorized telescope, crawl up the galaxy’s arms into Constellation Cygnus, “the swan,”to the Great Globular Cluster (M13) in Constellation Hercules at zenith, and then into the great beyond.

The moon is full at 10:07 p.m. July 8, and is called the Full Thunder Moon.

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Astronomy: July is the season of Scorpius – Longmont Times-Call

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Microsoft said to be planning sales force overhaul; layoffs likely – Yakima Herald-Republic

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Microsoft is planning a reorganization of its sales groups that will likely bring layoffs, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Its unclear what groups will be affected and where they are located. The shift, which could be announced as soon as next week, comes as Microsoft retools its legions of sales teams to emphasize its cloud-computing products instead of licenses for boxed software.

A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

Plans for a cloud-focused reorganization were reported earlier by thePuget Sound Business JournalandBloomberg News, which said the shift will bring some of the most significant changes to the sales force in years. Local marketing efforts in various countries will be affected, Bloomberg reported.

The weeks around the end of Microsofts fiscal year, which was Friday, often include announcements of a corporate reorganization for the year ahead.

Microsofts sales groups have been in flux since the exit of longtime chief operating officer Kevin Turner last year. At the time ofhis departurefrom the company, he oversaw 51,000 employees in an umbrella organization for sales, marketing, operations and Microsofts corporate technology needs.

That group, Microsofts largest, was broken up.

Microsoft sales executive Judson Althoff took over the companys business-oriented sales force, and Jean-Philippe Cortois received oversight for Microsofts foreign sales and marketing subsidiaries.

Althoff hasbeen criticalof Microsofts former sales approach, which he characterized as an attempt to sell Azure, Microsofts platform of on-demand computing power and software services, using strategies learned from decades of selling out-of-the-box software.

Layoffs announced last July which targeted 2,850 cuts over the course of Microsofts just-ended fiscal year included at least 900 employees of the sales group. Althoff said in September that Microsoft had also added to the payroll about 1,000 salespeople with specialties in selling cloud-computing products.

Microsoft at the end of March employed about 121,500 people, including 45,500 in Washington state. The total tally includes the 10,000 employees Microsoft scooped up in its$27billion acquisitionof professional social network LinkedIn in December.

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Microsoft said to be planning sales force overhaul; layoffs likely – Yakima Herald-Republic

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Sam Zell Is Over the Tribune – The New Yorker

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On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Sam Zell, the iconoclastic Chicago businessman, breezed into his New York City office, on Madison Avenue, fresh from a week of motorcycling through the Tuscan countryside. It was absolutely spectacular, he said. Ill tell you, the one thought that just kept going through my head all week long was, Im seventy-five years old. Im riding faster and better than I ever have in my life. He wore his usual outr uniform of pressed black jeans and black T-shirt, and was his typical jovial and provocative self. He was in town ostensibly to promote his new book, Am I Being Too Subtle? , a chatty memoir that is an homage both to his parentsJews who escaped Poland in 1939and to his own entrepreneurialism, which has helped him to accumulate a fortune estimated by Forbes to be five billion dollars.

Zell attributes his wealth to a prescription articulated by any number of successful business people: zigging when everyone else is zagging. Its a replicable formula, he says, and he has little patience for people who complain that it was somehow easier in the good old days, or that the moment for such opportunities has passed. (His earliest successes came from investing in real-estate assets that others shunned.) My message is, anybody can do it, he explained. Theyve got to be focussed. Theyve got to be driven. Theyve got to have a tin ear to conventional wisdom. Theyve got to think outside of the box. He refuses to listen when hes told he cant do something. I spent my whole life listening to people explain to me that I dont get it, he says. I look at the Forbes 400 list, and if I eliminate the people who inherited the money, everybody else went left when conventional wisdom said to go right. How did I do what I did? By not listening to anybody else.

It was this singular thinking, in part, that led to Zells biggest financial miscalculation: the December, 2007, acquisition of the Tribune Company, for $8.2 billion. At that time, Tribune was a venerable but troubled collection of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune , the Los Angeles Times , and Newsday ; the superstation WGN America; the Food Network; twenty-three local and regional television stations; and the Chicago Cubs. (He quickly sold off Newsday and the Cubs.) He knew that the newspaper industry was struggling and in serious disarray. Thats why the deal he structured to buy the company was classic Zell: awfully clever, perhaps too clever. He borrowed billions of dollars ($11.5 billion, to be precise, bringing the total amount of debt on the company to fourteen billion dollars) and risked just enough of his own money, through Equity Group Investments, his investment firmthree hundred and fifteen million dollars, about six per cent of his net worthso that he could lose it without feeling too much pain.

Zell took the company private, alongside the Tribunes employees, through an employee-stock-ownership plan, or ESOP , which resulted in both tax benefits and the employees becoming his equity partners. He promised them that if the deal succeeded, they would get rich (and Zell would get richer). After the deal closed, he says he went around the company and met every person who worked for Tribune. I looked up each one of them and I said, Guys, if this doesn’t work, its not going to change my lifestyle. But if this does work, its going to change yours. So climb onboard.

He also insulted them. He referred to Washington bureau reporters as overhead , and his suggestions to put ads on the front pages of the newspapers also offended them. In Zells telling, the employees were simply not wise enough to follow his lead. Im talking about survival, and theyre talking about journalistic arrogance, he said. I rest my case.

Ann Marie Lipinski, who resigned as the Chicago Tribunes editor in 2008, after sweeping staff cutbacks were carried out, flatly dismissed Zells version of events. Im sure thats a comforting narrative for him, but its rubbish, Lipinski, who is now the curator of the Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, wrote in an e-mail. The idea that employees opposing innovative ad placement were what brought the company to its knees demonstrates some real revisionist history.

Zell made other mistakes. Randy Michaels, the former radio executive he chose to run the Tribunes media properties (Michaels ran Jacor, a successful radio company that Zell bought out of bankruptcy in 1993), set a frat-house tone, and, as David Carr wrote in the Times , his and his executives use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective shocked and offended people throughout the company. He also underestimated how quickly the companys revenues were declining, and within a year, the company had filed for bankruptcy, undone by a toxic combination of too much debt, plunging ad revenue, a general disruption confronting print media, and, to a lesser extent, the Great Recession. Needless to say, Tribune employees did not get rich.

Some blame Zell for being the architect of a leveraged buyout comprised of roughly ninety-eight per cent debt and two per cent equity. A virtually no-money-down L.B.O., said David Rosner, an attorney for a Tribune creditor, at a December, 2009, bankruptcy court hearing. In April of 2007, Tribune agreed to undertakeand the funding banks and, now, the hedge funds as successors, they agreedthey funded this massive amount of debt to permit Mr. Zell to acquire control of Tribune. That is the L.B.O. that drove this company into bankruptcy. Zell said, of the Tribune experience, I made a bet. I thought the bet was reasonable. I underwrote it appropriately. I was wrong. He lost his entire investment.

Though the fate of the Tribune newspapers got the most attention during the Zell years, it was the other properities, especially the TV stations, that interested him as a businessman, as Connie Bruck wrote in the magazine , in 2007. In part because of the failure of Zells leadership at Tribune and the debt he piled on it, those stations will now likely be used to form a conservative nationwide television rival to Fox News.

After emerging from bankruptcy after four years, and owned by its creditors, Tribune split itself into two piecesthe absurdly named Tronc, short for Tribune Online Content, its publicly traded newspaper groupand Tribune Media, its growing collection of local television stations. In May, Sinclair Broadcasting, which already owns a hundred and seventy-three television stations around the country, agreed to buy Tribune Media, with its forty-two stations, for $3.9 billion. Regulators are still evaluating the deal, but it now appears it will be completed. Sinclair has a reputation for its conservative bent in many markets and recently hired as its chief political analyst Boris Epshteyn, who served as an often contentious spokesman for Trumps Presidential campaign and then briefly as a White House adviser. (In his new gig, Ephsteyn recently criticized CNN, saying that it “along with other cable news networks, is struggling to stick to the facts and to be impartial in covering politics in general and this president specifically.)

As a bottom-line-oriented dealmaker, Zell is indifferent to the fate of the Tribunes television stations. It’s all predictable because effectively, they no longer had scale and they no longer had an owner, he said. Then, it becomes a financial transaction. But by this point in our conversation, he had had enough talk of the Tribune deal.

Unlike many other Wall Street types, hes not particularly worried about Donald Trump, though he is hardly a fan. Zell did not give money to Trump during the Presidential campaign (he declined to say whom he supported or voted for) but said that he finds Trump to be far preferable to Hillary Clinton.

He repeated what has become almost a clich: that the lites on the coasts completely missed Trumps appeal. I live in the Midwest, said Zell, whose primary home is in Chicago. You do not understand how angry the people in the middle of the country were. Angry is the best description. That may be an understatement. Their anger was directed at Washington politicians and regulators who tell people what they can and cant do. When youre a farmer, or youre a landowner, and you got a puddle on your ground, and last week it was a puddle and now it’s navigable waters, thats pretty serious shit, he said. I think thats the major problem of the Democratic Party, is exactly that stretch.

Zell said that Trumps Electoral College victory was about the people in the heartland sending a powerful message: We count. Youve been running this country for the benefit of urban lites. (He concedes that he, too, is an urban lite, but he also appreciates the wisdom of the message.) He said he thinks the East Coast and West Coast liberals are still in denial. They cant believe he got elected, he said. They cant believe what he does. Zell can. I dont think Trump is the disaster that the New Yorkers would like to portray him as, he said. But hes given up watching CNN because of what he sees as its anti-Trump bias. I dont like listening to Fox, either, he said, because its so biased.

The sale of the Tribune television stations to Sinclair wont make Zells dilemma about where to get his unbiased news any easier. And, in fact, it may exacerbate the growing schism between progressives and conservatives, further hardening already stark divisions. Thats a problem that Zell the businessman may choose to be matter-of-fact about, but not one that Zell, the son of clever and lucky immigrants, can afford to ignore.


Sam Zell Is Over the Tribune – The New Yorker

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Donald Trump’s very affectionate tweet about Justin Trudeau, explained – Washington Post

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It started well enough: Soon after Donald Trump won the presidency, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated him, pledging to team with him on trade and security to give Canadians and Americans a fair shot at success.

We’re going to keep working withpeopleright around the world. We’re going to work with our neighbors, and I’m going to work with President-elect Trump’s administration, as we move forward in a positive way for, not justCanadians and Americans, but the whole world, Trudeau said at an event in Ottawa.

Sure, it lacked some of the bombast of a complimentfrom the lips of a Trump Cabinet member.But it seemed like the start of a working relationship. It probably helped that Trudeau had studiously avoided criticizing Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign (though oneLiberal Party fundraisingemail, from September 2016, characterized the American election as a fundamental choice betweenhope or fear, diversity or division and openness and inclusion, or turning our backs on the world. No candidates were named.)

But therelationship between the pair has since gone south.

First, there was Trudeau’s Jan. 28Twitter dig at Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim nations:To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.

Then cametheir first meeting, during which Trudeau famously neutralized the president’s handshake.

And there was Trump’s strange decision to refer to Trudeau as Justin from Canada in a speech, a relaxed descriptor that struck some as dismissive.

Then there was also a nasty fight over trade and tariffs, during which Trump called Canada a disgrace for its policies that hurt American dairy farmers. (Trudeau’s response: The way to do that is to make arguments in a respectful fashion, based on facts, and work constructively and collaboratively with our neighbors.”)

Trump also has threatened to”get rid of NAFTA once and for all,” which would put Canada in a tough spot.

Trump, however, seems to have changed his tune at least for a day. In honor of Canada Day, the president praised his “new found friend” Justin Trudeau.

Thatshout-out perhapsreflects Trudeau’s wide-ranging efforts to winTrump over, even as he opposes many of the president’s policies.As the New York Times explained:Prime Minister Justin Trudeaus strategy for managing Mr. Trump is unlike anything tried by another ally. And he has largely succeeded where even experienced leaders like Angela Merkel of Germany have fallen short.

Trudeau’s strategy:In the days after Trump won the presidency, Trudeau put together a war room of America-whisperers, seeking to cultivate relationships with people around the president. The prime minister has gone out of his way to compliment Trump, praising his ability to listen and suggesting that the president isn’t a typical politician obsessed with being right. He invited the president’s older daughter, Ivanka, to a Broadway show in March, and chaired a panel with her on women in business.

Maintaining good relations with Trump is important for Canada because, as Politico explained:

In Trump, Trudeau has the most unnatural of confederates: a man whose policies he must opposeandwhose professional partnership he requires. No matter how philosophically different they may be, Trump must be approached gingerly because of Canadas place in the world and dependence on its economic relationship with the U.S. Perhaps that is why at times Trudeau seems to go out of his way not to irk the tempestuous elephant next door.

Europeans have praised Trudeau’s efforts.The way in which Canada relates to this novelty is interesting, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said in an interview. He praised Trudeau’s strategy of finding common ground with Trump as an effective strategy, saying I think that Canada’s example can allow us to have good relations.

And it’s paid off in some ways. White House advisers called Trudeau to ask him to persuade Trump to remain in NAFTA. The deal seems safe, at least for now.

Canadians, though, seem a little more skeptical of the budding bromance. In response to Trump’s tweet, some replied:

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Donald Trump’s very affectionate tweet about Justin Trudeau, explained – Washington Post

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Did Donald Trump Invent a Chemical Attack in Syria? – Mother Jones

Posted: at 9:52 am

Kevin DrumJul. 1, 2017 10:21 PM

Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via ZUMA

A reader emails to ask why I havent written about Seymour Hershs story from last week that accuses Donald Trump of ignoring evidence that Syrias chemical attack in April wasnt actually a chemical attack at all. Its worth an answer.

First off, theres some background. Hershs main outlet was the New Yorker until a few years ago. But they refused to publish his 2013 article making the same accusation against the Obama administration, so the London Review of Books published it instead. But the LRB declined to publish his latest one, so it ended up in a German newspaper. Thats two well-respected publications that have parted ways with Hersh. Why?

Second, Hershs latest piece is almost completely single-sourced to a senior advisor to the American intelligence community. Thats mighty vague. And boy, does this advisor know a lot. He seems to have an almost photographic recall of every meeting and every decision point that preceded Trumps cruise missile attack. Its hardly credible that a civilian advisor could be as plugged in as this guy apparently is.

These things dont inspire confidence. So now lets take a look at the piece he wrote. Heres an excerpt:

Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the presidents determination to ignore the evidence. None of this makes any sense, one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. We KNOW that there was no chemical attack the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth I guess it didnt matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.

And now heres an excerpt from his 2013 piece:

The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, How can we help this guy Obama when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?

This is way too similar. In fact, the whole 2017 piece reads like a warmed-over version of his 2013 article. I just dont trust it.

Plus theres this: the Trump administration is one of the leakiest in memory. If Trump flatly ignored the advice of every one of his military advisorswhich is what Hersh saysits hard to believe that this wouldnt also have leaked to one of the legion of national security reporters in DC, who have demonstrated that theyre pretty sourced up. But so far, no one has even remotely corroborated Hershs story.

Is this because the mainstream media is afraid to report this stuff? Please. Theyd see Pulitzers dancing before their eyes. Theres not a reporter in the entire city who wouldnt go after this story.

You never know. Maybe Hersh will turn out to be right. Its certainly a compelling and detailed story he tells. But for now, I dont believe it.

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Did Donald Trump Invent a Chemical Attack in Syria? – Mother Jones

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‘What Are They Trying to Hide?’ President Trump Questions 25 States Refusing to Hand Over Voter Information – TIME

Posted: at 9:52 am

More states are pushing back against President Donald Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.

As of Friday, 25 states have refused to give partial or full requested information, according to the Washington Post . Some states cited state laws prohibiting them from releasing certain voter information, while others opposed the information request due to the nature of the commission itself, the Post reported.

Trump tweeted about the subject Saturday morning writing, “Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?”

Trump’s commission on voter fraud asked each state to provide personal data on all registered voters going back to 2006.

California, New York and Virginia were the first states to balk at the request. Mississippi’s Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann gained attention for his statement on refusing to provide the information.

“They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” Hosemann, a Republican, said Friday. “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

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‘What Are They Trying to Hide?’ President Trump Questions 25 States Refusing to Hand Over Voter Information – TIME

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