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While all eyes have looked to Marvel to produce a female-led superhero film, Warner Bros. and DC Comics catapulted ahead in the race on Wednesday with the announcement of a solo “Wonder Woman” film, starring Gal Gadot. The film is set to release in 2017.

Additionally, Warner Bros announced “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa, will be released in 2018 and gave the greenlight to a solo “Cyborg” film, to be released in 2020, starring African-American actor Ray Fisher.

DC also made history by casting out LGBT actor Ezra Miller to play superspeedster “The Flash,” getting his own solo film in 2018. Miller, who confirmed to Out Magazine that he was “queer” in 2012, becomes the first openly gay actor to lead a major superhero comic book adaptation on the big screen.

Copernicus Sentinel-1: making our seas safer










ESA - Sentinel-1 Mission logo / Copernicus logo.

22 October 2014

Sentinel-1A satellite


Within the first days of its operational life, the Sentinel-1A satellite has provided data for marine services in the Arctic.

During the first week of the satellite’s operational data supply, experts from the Technical University of Denmark and the Danish Meteorological Institute working under the Horizon 2020 MyOcean Follow-On project used the data to alert vessels on marine ice conditions.

Monitoring ice drift


The series of MyOcean projects is the pre-operational precursor of the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, to be implemented by the European Commission. Its primary objective is to provide forecasts of the global marine environment and the near-realtime observation data necessary for forecast models.

Since Sentinel-1A data started to become free and accessible earlier this month with the satellite entering into its operational phase, the Danish Meteorological Institute began to use the information to improve observations of the polar regions and forecast maritime conditions.

Monitoring icebergs


The data are being used to produce ice charts, showing the details of ice conditions in a variety of regions, including the warnings of icebergs drifting in shipping routes.

The first ice chart from Sentinel-1A was produced in demonstration mode in April just weeks after launch, demonstrating the satellite’s capabilities for ice mapping at an early stage. Now that the satellite is operational, the mission will gradually become the backbone to the regular ice charting of Greenland waters.

The radar on Sentinel-1 can see through clouds and in the dark, making it the perfect tool for monitoring polar regions that are prone to bad weather and long periods of darkness.

October ice chart


The radar can distinguish between the thinner, more navigable first-year ice and the hazardous, much thicker multiyear ice to help assure safe year-round navigation in ice-covered Arctic and subarctic zones.

The mission also provides continuous sampling of the open ocean, offering information on wind and waves. This is useful for understanding interactions between waves and currents, forecast iceberg drift and improve efficiency for shipping. In addition, these observations can be used to track the paths of oil slicks and other pollution.

“There are a lot of expectations for Sentinel-1,” said Leif Toudal Pedersen, from the Danish Meteorological Institute.

Ice mapping at an early stage


“This mission will be the backbone of future ice charting and ice service provision, as well as sea ice science development.”

User-friendly, near-realtime access to Sentinel-1 data for marine users in polar regions is provided by PolarView and the DMI Centre for Ocean and Ice.

For more information on Sentinel-1A data access: https://sentinel.esa.int/web/sentinel/home%20

The current MyOcean-Follow On H2020 project comprises 58 European public and private partners from 28 countries, and is led by Mercator Ocean.

Related links:

Sentinel-1: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-1

PolarView: http://www.seaice.dk/

DMI Centre for Ocean and Ice: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/modis.uk.php

European Commission Copernicus site: http://www.copernicus.eu/

Mercator Ocean: http://www.mercator-ocean.fr/

MyOcean: http://www.myocean.eu/

Danish Meteorological Institute: http://www.dmi.dk/dmi/index

Technical University of Denmark: http://www.dtu.dk/english

Images, Text, Credits: ESA/Contains Copernicus data (2014)/MyOcean/PolarView/DMI.

Greetings, Orbiter.ch
Full article

Marijuana Industry Could Be Worth $35 Billion

If all 50 states legalized marijuana and the federal government ended prohibition of the plant, the marijuana industry in the United States would be worth $35 billion just six years from now.

That’s according to a new report from GreenWave Advisors, a research and advisory firm that serves the emerging marijuana industry in the U.S., which found that if all 50 states and the federal government legalized cannabis, combined sales for both medical and retail marijuana could balloon to $35 billion a year by 2020.

If the federal government doesn’t end prohibition and the trajectory of state legalization continues on its current path, with more, but not all, states legalizing marijuana in some form, the industry in 2020 would still be worth $21 billion, GreenWave projects.

In its $21 billion 2020 model, GreenWave predicts 12 states plus the District of Columbia to have legalized recreational marijuana (besides Colorado and Washington, which legalized it in 2012). Those states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, according to data GreenWave provided to The Huffington Post from the full report. By that same year, the model assumes, 37 states will have legalized medical marijuana. To date, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use.

"Our road map for the progression of states to legalize is very detailed –- our assumptions are largely predicated on whether a particular state has legislation in progress," Matt Karnes, founder and managing partner of GreenWave as well as author of the report, told HuffPost. "We assume that once legalization occurs, it will take a little over a year to implement a program and have product available for sale. So for example, for Florida, we expect the ballot measure to pass [this year] yet our sales forecast starts in year 2016. We think the time frame will lessen as new states to legalize will benefit from best practices."

As Karnes noted, some of these states are already considering legalization this November — voters in Oregon, Alaska and D.C. are considering measures to legalize recreational marijuana, while Florida voters will weigh in on medical marijuana legalization.

GreenWave isn’t the first group to suggest the federal government may end its decades long prohibition of marijuana. One congressman has even predicted that before the end of the decade, the federal government will legalize weed. And as outlandish as it may sound, it’s already possible to observe significant shifts in federal policy toward pot.

The federal government allowed Colorado’s and Washington’s historic marijuana laws to take effect last year. President Barack Obama signed the 2014 farm bill, which legalized industrial hemp production for research purposes in the states that permit it, and the first hemp crops in U.S. soil in decades are already growing. And in May, the U.S. House passed measures attempting to limit Drug Enforcement Administration crackdowns on medical marijuana shops when they’re legal in a state.

The GreenWave report also projects a substantial shift in the marijuana marketplace — the merging of the medical and recreational markets in states that have both.

"In the state of Colorado, we are beginning to see the sales impact — i.e., cannibalization of medical marijuana sales by the adult-use market — when the two markets co-exist," Karnes said. "We expect a similar dynamic to unfold in those states that will implement a dual marijuana market."

Beginning in July, recreational marijuana sales in Colorado began to outpace medical for the first time, according to state Department of Revenue data.

Karnes writes in the executive summary that just what the marijuana industry will look like in 2020 will largely depend on how the industry is regulated and how it is taxed by that time.

"Since ‘chronic pain’ is the most common ailment among medical marijuana users, it is likely that recreational users can already purchase marijuana without great difficulty in states where medicinal use is legal," the report reads. "Accordingly, it can be argued that a merged market already exists in medical marijuana states. Less currently popular, but arguably providing more economic stimulus, would be a regulatory regime providing for only adult recreational use."

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