Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet isn’t all that massive

This illuminating chart shows the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet isn’t all that massive




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Educational CyberPlayGround:[NetHappenings] Life on Other Planets?

A Long-Forgotten Essay from Winston Churchill Asks, “Are We Alone in
the Universe?”

“Are We Alone in the Universe?” Winston Churchill’s Lost Extraterrestrial
Essay Says No

Winston Churchill’s essay on alien life found

Churchill’s scientific papers reveal an even greater politician than we thought

National Churchill Museum

Science Museum: Churchill’s Scientists

In 1939, Winston Churchill penned an eleven-page essay titled, “Are We Alone in the Universe?” In this essay, the British prime minister employed scientific curiosity and logic to investigate the possibility of extraterrestrial life. By considering the conditions necessary to support life, Churchill hypothesized that life on other planets was not unlikely.

In the 1950s, Churchill revised his essay and passed it on to his publisher, Emery Reves; however, the essay was never published. Three decades later, Reves’s spouse donated a collection of papers, which included this essay, to the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri. Museum director, Timothy Riley, came across the long-forgotten paper last
year and passed it along to astrophysicist Mario Livio. In an article published this past week in Nature, Livio suggests that Churchill, who maintained a lifelong interest in science, displayed “the healthy skepticism of a scientist.”

“Are We Alone in the Universe?” also speaks to the global climate in which Churchill was writing. Authored just as Great Britain was entering World War II, Churchill notes: “I, for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilization here
that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time.” [MMB] scout.wisc.edu

7 Earth-Size Planets Orbit Dwarf Star, NASA and European Astronomers Say

Discover of 7 Earth-Size Exoplanets a “Giant Leap Forward” for Alien-Life Hunt

Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1

Largest batch of Earth-size, habitable zone planets

Next exoplanet or solar system discovery could be made accidentally by gamers, not Nasa

Visitors can browse the Open Exoplanet Catalogue, a crowdsourced “catalogue of all discovered extra-solar planets.”

Researchers announced the discovery of at least seven Earth-size planets orbiting a dwarf star dubbed TRAPPIST-1. While the discovery of a remote solar system is exciting in its own right, this discovery is especially noteworthy because scientists believe that these planets may foster environments hospitable to alien life. TRAPPIST-1, which resides about 40 light years away from Earth, is an “ultracool” dwarf star that is smaller and about half the temperature of our sun.

The seven planets in orbit around TRAPPIST-1 are in much closer proximity to this
cooler star than the planets in our own solar system. Thanks to this proximity, several of these planets dwell in the so-called “habitable zone,” where temperature conditions allow for the existence of water. However, scientists believe that all seven planets could potentially host
water depending on atmospheric conditions.

The next step? Astronomers plan to use the James Webb Space Telescope, which NASA will launch in 2018, to identify what the gasses are in each planet’s atmosphere. As Michael
Gillon, leader of the international team observing TAPPIST-1 explains, the presence of oxygen, methane, ozone, and carbon dioxide “would tell us that there is life with 99 percent confidence.” [MMB] scout.wisc.edu

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Job Opportunity  – Director of the National Music Museum

University of South Dakota and NMM Board of Trustees

Director of the National Music Museum

Position: The University of South Dakota and the Board of Trustees of the National Music Museum are seeking a dynamic professional to serve as the Director of the National Music Museum (NMM) at the University of South Dakota (USD).

Requires a professional with the stature and track record to fulfill all responsibilities of the Director’s job.


*       Provide administrative and academic leadership for the Museum, working collaboratively with its Board, staff, and the College of Fine Arts to continue the growth and development of the Museum as a world leader in outreach, research, education, and preservation of the history of musical instruments.

*       Serve on a new building project committee and assist in finalizing a multi-million dollar capital campaign.

*       Lead transition to new purpose-built off-site storage facility in Vermillion.

*       Raise funds for annual operations, including increasing membership and grant funding.

*       Implement strategic plan and report progress to board and staff.

*       Maintain a strong commitment to the university campus and its education programs.

*       Oversee the continuation of successful Museum offerings and the development of new programs and exhibitions.

*       Work with and engage a Board of thirty members.

*       Manage a professional staff of twelve.

*       Oversee high standards for the care, display, and interpretation of important collections and loans.

*       Develop and monitor the $1.5M annual budget.

*       Work with staff and the marketing committee to enhance marketing of the museum as a world-class institution and destination.

*       Manage the facilities, including the NMM’s Carnegie-library 1910 climate-controlled building, where 1,100 representative instruments are exhibited in 9 galleries; the building also includes a concert hall, library, and conservation laboratory.

*       Foster a professional and collegial environment.

*       Oversee the Master of Music degree program in the History of Musical Instruments (a prestigious program and the only one in the US, from which the musical-instrument curators at the Metropolitan Museum in NY and the MFA in Boston and other curators have graduated).

The NMM is the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of 15,000 rare and historic American, European and non-Western musical instruments. It is the premier institution of its kind, well-known internationally, with research scholars visiting from Paris, London, Dusseldorf, The Hague, Mexico City, and New York. It holds many of the earliest, best preserved, and most historically important musical instruments known. Forbes.com said, “Bob Dylan’s and Johnny Cash’s guitars meet Stradivarius violins at this dazzling museum.”* The NMM is associated with the USD Department of Music as a unit within the College of Fine Arts. Programs range from concerts and lectures to school tours. Multi-media tours allow visitors to see videos and hear instruments and curators. For the right person, this is a “died and gone to heaven” job. Visit www.nmmusd.org<http://www.nmmusd.org> and take a virtual tour.

*Forbes lists the NMM as #8 on its international “Worth It” list, where #2 is the Hotel Le Bristol, Paris. #6 is a hotel suite at Dar Ahlam, Morocco near Marrakech; and #9 is the Epic Pass, a national season pass for unlimited skiing at top-tier mountains such as Vail and Tahoe. 2


*       Academic credentials – graduate degree in the field of musicology, museum studies, ethnomusicology, arts administration, or business required.

*       At least five years of experience in museum administration, music administration, or other non-profit organization administration preferred.

*       Experience with non-profit fundraising for operations and capital, including private-donor gifts, grant-writing, and membership-development giving at a scale appropriate to this museum is preferred.

*       College teaching and museum-curation experience are desirable.

*       Knowledge of and passion for music history and for rare and historical musical instruments desirable.

*       People skills to engage the Board, membership, donors, and the public, and to serve as the face of the Museum desirable.

Salary: This position is a full-time, twelve month administrative job with the salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. USD offers benefits package and the NMM and USD offer travel budget to attend conferences and maintain national/international contacts. The person in this position reports to the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Location and USD: Enjoy the life-style of a small (population 11,000), safe university town and the option to teach at the state’s flagship liberal-arts university (enrollment over 10,000), founded in 1862. USD Vermillion encompasses the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Fine Arts, the Schools of Business, Law, Medicine, and Education, as well as the Graduate School. USD offers 132 undergraduate programs, majors and minors and 65 graduate programs. Visit http://www.usd.edu/about-usd/ . USD is healthy, growing, and financially stable.

Vermillion, SD, lies atop a bluff on the Missouri River and is known for its parks and intellectual, cultural, and recreational amenities, plus a winery. Home to Native peoples for centuries, today’s Vermillion was founded in 1859 by French fur traders. The city and regional towns have excellent schools. Enjoy the low cost-of-housing and choose a Victorian mansion or Arts-and-Crafts bungalow in a lovely residential neighborhood near the University and cycle to work.

To apply: Applications will only be accepted on-line at https://yourfuture.sdbor.edu. Include on the website: application letter, resume, philosophy of administration and educational development at a

museum, names and contact information of five current references, and an unofficial copy of your graduate transcript.

Questions, contact:

Monica Tiahrt, Office of the Dean

NMM Director Screening Committee

College of Fine Arts

The University of South Dakota

414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069


Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin July 10, 2017, and will continue until the position is filled.

USD is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students.

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Kevin Mitnick, explains what you should look for when choosing a secure PFS app.

There are lots of different ways to send a message to a friend, but some offer more privacy. Kevin Mitnick, one of the world’s famous hackers explains what you should look for when choosing an app.

Use Signal


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In an Era of Russian Hacks, the US Is Still Installing Russian Software on Government Systems


Nationalism may have made sense around the 1940’s when countries were self-sufficient. In the last two decades it is a bizarre logic that ties nationalism to the wrong pieces of  the security process. Tracing  commercial sourcing and supply chains are the *wrong* place to build in safety and security. Is Huawei or Foxconn or TSMC or all the other suppliers of hardware, software, microcode, design services, … a tool of national interest? Yes for sure. But *what* national interests? And what *other* interests?

Loyalty oaths and citizenship tests are the worst possible approach, and using them for political rabblerousing is ignorant and stupid.

There are lots of better ways to engineer safety and security into systems composed of imperfectly reliable and imperfectly securable parts. We know how to do that.

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