Saturday, May 30, 2015

Neder-L: Taalunie licht bezuinigingen toe

Neder-L: Taalunie licht bezuinigingen toe: Het onderstaande bericht van de website Taalunieversum   plaatsen wij met toestemming door . Van 20 t/m 23 mei vond in Olomouc (TsjechiĆ«) ...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Introducing Inside 360: looking behind the scenes of Mars One’s mission processes

Amersfoort, 27th May 2015 – Mars One is proud to introduce Inside 360; a series of in-depth articles that present an inside look into the details and feasibility of the Mars One mission. The first article can be found on Mars Exchange. Subsequent articles will be added periodically.

Mars One has taken the first crucial steps in the process of establishing the first human settlement on Mars. In order to address the questions and concerns that have been raised, Inside 360 will foremost provide an in-depth explanation of the individual phases of the mission. Mars One is continuously improving their mission plans based on advice from advisers and suppliers, and Inside 360 will offer the rationale behind decisions made. The ongoing series will additionally feature interviews with Mars One team members and external experts about the different aspects of the mission.

“Mars One is still in the early stages of organizing this human mission to Mars,” said Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and CEO of Mars One. “We are looking forward to sharing our developments as well as the studies completed by our suppliers. This way, the aerospace community can share their feedback and we can implement suggestions that improve our mission design.”

Astronaut Selection: Inside 360 will describe the Mars One astronaut selection process and include an interview with Mars One’s Chief Medical Officer, Norbert Kraft, M.D., discussing the selection criteria. Dr. Kraft has researched crew composition for long duration space missions at NASA and has also worked for the Japanese Space Agency and collaborated with the Russian Space Agency.

The second selection round has recently concluded with only 100 candidates remaining. Mars One’s first rounds focused on individual selection. These rounds included finding individuals who fulfilled all requirements, testing their learning ability, and their ability to retrieve and apply knowledge. There was also a strong focus on determining the likelihood of who would be a good team player. The Mars One’s selection will proceed with subsequent rounds that will focus on group selection. This means finding out who has what it takes to not only to learn how to survive on Mars but also to be able to work efficiently in a team.

“The recent carefully structured interviews quickly revealed who might have potential to be a good candidate and therefore have been very useful in narrowing down the pool of candidates,” says Dr. Norbert Kraft. “The subsequent rounds will consist of team and environmental challenges.”

Mission Feasibility: This series will discuss mission details and explain the reasoning behind the current mission design. This section will contain interviews with Mars One ambassadors and advisers including Nobel Prize Laureate Prof. Dr. Gerard ‘t Hooft, former NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck, as well as other experts.

“The technical challenges are daunting,” says Mason Peck. “That has been true for each step into the cosmos we've taken — sending humans to orbit, exploring the moon and conducting science with robotic spacecraft at the outer planets and beyond. This problem and others like it simply need the attention of creative people committed to settling the solar system. Defeatism, cynicism and mindless conservatism didn't get us to the moon.”

Necessary technology: Inside 360 will provide additional information about the selection for certain technology and engineering solutions. The engineering for this mission will be incredibly challenging and there can be no short-cuts or cutting corners. To be successful, Mars One must work with state of the art integrated systems and hardware that are optimized for the mission. However, there is a strong foundation of established science and engineering upon which Mars One can build on.

“Part of the confusion, and we accept responsibility for this,” said Lansdorp, “is our general assessment that no new technology needs to be developed to undertake the Mars One Mission. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines technology as, “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area” or “a capability given by the practical application of knowledge”. The intention of our “no new technology” message is to convey the following to the general public: The knowledge exists – There are no fundamental physical processes or phenomena that need to be discovered; there is no requirement to develop exotic materials that do not currently exist; there is no need to develop completely new propulsion technologies to safely transport cargo and humans to Mars. Our message is that the fundamental physical, chemical, electrical, and biological processes and technologies required to undertake this mission are known. We have the ability to design and manufacture the engineered products now – we do not have to wait decades for another generation to develop them before we go.”

Budget Estimate: One of the primary challenges is raising sufficient INVESTMENT funds to initiate the mission and complete the first human landings. The initial estimation for this mission is 6 billion U.S. dollars, which is the cost of all the hardware combined, plus the operational expenditures and margins. Inside 360 will explain how the budget was formed, as well as discuss why this budget is lower than other mission estimates, for example a return mission to Mars.

Mars One is in the process of refining this cost estimate based on data from the suppliers who are destined to work on the initial conceptual designs. “Our $6B estimate is in fact the initial estimate and from the preliminary data we are confident that the final price tag is within reasonable margins,” states Arno Wielders, Co-Founder & CTO of Mars One. “The primary driver of cost for this mission is the development of the final hardware to be used and the launch costs. We are therefore very excited about all the recent developments by private companies in the aerospace industry and NASA in lowering rocket transportation costs and testing techniques like supersonic retro-propulsion, which is needed to bring larger masses to the surface of Mars.”

Inside 360 will not only cover the topics outlined above but will be an ongoing and in-depth series about various aspects of the mission. This series will be available on

About Mars One

Mars One is a not-for-profit foundation that will establish permanent human life on Mars. Human settlement on Mars is possible today with existing technologies. Mars One’s mission plan integrates components that are well tested and readily available from industry leaders worldwide. The first footprint on Mars and lives of the crew thereon will captivate and inspire generations. It is this public interest that will help finance this human mission to Mars.

- See more at:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Landmark Lawsuit Challenges U.S. Approval of Deep-sea Mineral Mining

For Immediate Release, May 13, 2015

New Ocean Gold Rush Could Hurt Marine Life Before Impacts Are Known

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. government today over its first-ever approval for large-scale deep-sea mining, a destructive project between Hawaii and Mexico that would damage important habitat for whales, sharks and sea turtles and wipe out seafloor ecosystems.

Loggerhead sea turtle
Loggerhead sea turtle photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Damien DuToit. This photo is available for media use.
The lawsuit targets the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for issuing and renewing exploratory permits for the work before completing environmental impact studies required by federal law. This is the first major legal challenge to an emerging global industry that is seeking to extract gold, nickel, copper and other increasingly valuable metals and minerals from the seabed beneath international waters.

“Like mountaintop-removal coal mining, deep-sea mining involves massive cutting machines that will leave behind a barren landscape devoid of life,” said Emily Jeffers, the Center attorney who filed the case in federal district court in Washington DC. “Deep-sea mining should be stopped, and this lawsuit aims to compel the government to look at the environmental risks before it leaps into this new frontier. We need to protect the ocean wildlife and habitat, and the United States should provide leadership for other nations to follow before more projects get underway.”

The lawsuit challenges a pair of exploratory permits that were issued to OMCO Seabed Exploration LLC, a subsidiary of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, to pursue mining work in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Mexico. NOAA issued the first licenses in 1980, but they expired in 2004, and this case challenges their renewal in 2012, which was based on a request from the company.

The deep ocean is believed to contain billions of dollars worth of nickel, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, gold and other rare-earth metals and minerals. Extracting those materials has been considered too expensive, difficult and risky for investors, but technological advances and skyrocketing prices for these materials, much of which are used in consumer electronics, have triggered a strong push by the mining industry.

There are now 26 mining permits that have been issued to explore mining, including an active commercial mining operation that has been permitted by Papua New Guinea, the Solwara I project. Most of the permits have been issued through the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for the Clarion-Clipperton Zone which is rich in valuable polymetallic nodules, but the United States asserts claims in the area independent of the multi-nation ISA.

“The rush to strip-mine the deep-ocean floor threatens to damage mysterious underwater ecosystems. If we aren’t careful, this new gold rush could do irreparable harm to the basic building blocks of life,” said Jeffers. “The federal government has a moral duty, as well as a legal one, to understand the full environmental impacts before the mining industry scrapes away our deep-sea resources.”

For more information and to download a copy of the lawsuit, please visit the Center’s Deep-sea Mining webpage and list of FAQs at
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 825,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Neder-L: Aan de algemeen secretaris van de Taalunie, ETC., ...

Neder-L: Aan de algemeen secretaris van de Taalunie, ETC., ...: Door Arie J. Gelderblom (v/h Universiteit Utrecht),  Alice van Kalsbeek (v/h Universiteit van Amsterdam),   Arthur Verbiest   (Escuela ...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Neder-L: Mijmeringen van een niet-moedertaalspreker

Neder-L: Mijmeringen van een niet-moedertaalspreker: Over het leven na de nieuwe maatregelen van de NTU Door Judit Gera Hoogleraar Moderne Nederlandse Letterkunde,  Universiteit Boedapes...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Slavery is not outdated

It is not my habit to use this blog in order to make money. I want people to read things that attract my attention, because they are interested, not because someone needs money.

But it is time to make an exception. There is an organization in the Philippines dedicated to help people get out of slavery situations. Slavery is very much alive today.
Many people have been trapped in a position of unpaid servitude, by dept traps, tradition or brute force. The voluntary group Visayan Forum, a Walk Free partner organization is active rescuing slaves and it provides safe havens for the freed slaves.

You may think that is a very adventurous and even romantic way of life. Liberating mainly girls and woman from their male oppressors, the stuff books are about. But there is grave danger in the story as well.

When they had freed 27 woman and girls, ready to be sold into domestic and no doubt sexual slavery, from a trafficking organization, they experienced that violence was an option.

The trafficking organization hired a bunch of thugs and attacked the Center of Hope, a safe house run by Visayan Forum. Not afraid of the police they tore down the gate, entered the compound and abducted 16 women and girls. The police came, but too late for those 16.

Now comes the tedious part. Visayan Forum, together with the local authorities want to provide more safety for the women and girls that have been rescued. The police have to be notified in time when something is happening, so the New Hope Center needs a good alarm system. That will cost $2,500.
The gate to the compound has been destroyed by the thugs, $12,000 is needed to get a new, stronger and safer gate. A third line of defense has to be created as well, security grills for windows and doors.

This is to provide security to woman and children who will otherwise lead a life of violence, rape and servitude, as well as to the brave volunteers ready to serve them. If you believe that a law against slavery is enough to stop the practice, stop reading here, that law exists. But reality dictates that people will do anything to make money, even sell and buy other people.
Do a little to help end slavery worldwide and donate to

sources: Valkenburg