Europa Mission Wins Big in New NASA Budget

NASA begins the new year with an unexpected budget bump from Congress, which added $530 million to President Barack Obama’s request before adjourning for the holidays. The space agency’s $18 billion budget for the year that began Oct. 1 is part of the $1.1 trillion spending plan Obama signed last week.

More than half the bonus is earmarked for the new heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket, which is expected to debut in 2018. NASA will now spend $1.7 billion on the program through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2015, an increase of $320 million above the White House’s request.

The other prime beneficiary is NASA’s planetary science program, which ends the year with $1.44 billion in its budget, an increase of $157 million. Congress set aside $100 million to begin work on a mission to Jupiter’s ocean-bearing moon Europa. The Obama administration had requested $15 million.  “This mission does not officially exist, though the president’s budget did request $15 million this year to study low-cost concepts (a step in the right direction),” Casey Dreier, advocacy director with California-based Planetary Society, wrote in a column.

“$100 million is a considerable increase,” Dreier wrote. “NASA would be crazy not to use this funding to start a real mission, but that decision likely lies with the Office of Management and Budget, which approves their funding requests. Let’s hope they get the message in time to request a new start in 2016.”

Meanwhile, scientists have been searching for signs that the ice-covered moon has plumes of water shooting out into space from its south pole. The discovery was reported last year by a team using the Hubble Space Telescope. So far, however, analysis of Europa images taken by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft have not shown plumes, scientists reported at the American Geophysical Union conference earlier this month.  “It is certainly still possible that plume activity occurs, but that it is infrequent or the plumes are smaller than we see at Enceladus,” Cassini scientist Amanda Hendrix, with the Planetary Science Institute in Pasadena, said in a press release.

“If eruptive activity was occurring at the time of Cassini’s flyby, it was at a level too low to be detectable,” she said.



anonymous asked:

I've always wanted to cosplay but Ihaven't yet for two reasons. There's no way I can afford it (I'm a broke college student) and I don't have the time/place to do it (for the same reasons). I'm also afraid of what people will think if I do because I don't really have any friends at school who like cosplay. Any advice for me?

Broke College Student
I feel you on this. I started cosplay as a broke highschool student and now I’m a broke college student — it can be done! Cosplay can be pretty affordable if you want it to be, but that might affect the quality of your costumes or how long it takes to make them. 

This chart is such a good representation of what to expect with cosplay:


Though I would argue that the magical middle ground comes from a combination of a lot of skill and a lot of supplies around your house.

Decide Your Budget
The first step you need to do is set how much you’re willing and able to spend on a costume. Time is also important here. You might be able to put down $10 right now (which isn’t much) but perhaps you can put in $200 over several months — that’s a better number to work with.

Think of a costume like a new outfit, you’re probably spending about $100 minimum. The more layers, more fabric, more detail the higher the price. 

Choosing a Costume Based on Budget
Once you know how much you have to work with, then choose a costume. That way you can keep your budget in mind and find a design that fits it. 

Going back to $10 … well you need something that is going to work with what is in your closet. That could be doing your own version of a character (Bikini version, plainclothes version etc) or making a gijinka (human form) of a mascot character. 

That $200 budget is a lot better and you can still work with what is in your closet, but rather than doing your own spin you can choose a character with a simple outfit. Some examples of simple outfits:

from left to right: Panty from PS+G, Dipper from Gravity Falls, Phi from Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward, Toyn Stark from Marvel’s Avengers

Planning Ahead / Time Budgeting
Giving yourself a lot of time allows you to spread out spending money, rather than spending it all up front. It also allows you more time to work on your costume, take advantage of sales and deals and come up with solutions to issues you come across. 

Even if it’s a simple outfit, having a few months to get it together will be less of a strain overall. 

Reuse / Recycle
What do you have at home? I already mentioned checking your closet for clothes that can be used, but you can use a lot of crazy things for cosplay. Some people have used bed sheets and curtains as fabic, popcans can be used for metal embellishments and cardboard boxes can be used in props

Cards, Sales, Discounts
This ties into time budgeting because you can take advantages of sales if you’re not making the costume at the last minute. Check sale racks, look over clearance fabrics, take advantage of seasonal sales (especially post-halloween). Look into rewards programs and coupons, such as fabric store memberships or e-mail newsletter coupons. 

There are lots of free resources online for learning how to sew and how to make things, you can also check your local library for books on how to sew. Kijiji and similar sites might have people giving away useful things and fabric swaps are a great way to grab some free stuff.


Time and Place

Lots of cosplayers will organize meetups as an excuse to cosplay outside of conventions. Where I am, Toronto (Canadaland) is great for this because we have picnics almost once a week in the summer and winter skating. These are usually free, depending on the location, and can be a great way to meet other costumers in your area. 

During large conventions there may be events that are happening outside the convention area that are lower cost, or free. Some people also meet up for photo shoots or going for food. So even if you’re not at the main event you can still meet people and dress up. 

There may also be small conventions in your area which can be far more affordable —the small cons around me are about $10 for a day. What is nice about the smaller conventions is that they are more for hanging out than seeing big guests, so it is easy to make friends. 

Lastly, some conventions will give volunteers a free badge. Volunteering helps support the convention and lets you meet and work with a bunch of people with similar interests. 

What People Will Think
If you don’t want to tell people about cosplay you don’t have to. Many people keep their cosplay stuff separate from their everyday life and usernames are one way to keep that separation. For example, many cosplayers keep their cosplay stuff to a facebook page rather than their main feed. 

Seattle is quickly becoming one of the most interesting cities in the country for political observers. 

Earlier this year the city approved a $15 minimum wage — the highest for any major city in the United states — shortly after electing a socialist former software engineer from India to its City Council, which voted unanimously Friday on a $4.8 billion budget package loaded with a number of initiatives that illustrate how Seattle is making strides toward becoming a testing ground for boldly progressive policies.

The Stranger reported the City Council’s additions and modifications to Mayor Ed Murray’s budget package, including a number of exciting elements.

Help for the homeless and minority communities, tax on the 1% and a higher minimum wage sooner

tropicer asked:

I've been getting a lot of acne since I transitioned to vegan (about two weeks ago), is this normal? Also, any advice on what to tell my parents when they say I will get malnourished and it's expensive being vegan and that it'll never work in the long run? Love love love your blog btw, keep it up! :)

The acne in the firsts weeks of transition can be normal, since your body starts experiencing natural detox mostly when we quit dairy products. Keep an eye on it and drink lots of water. :)

If you have a chance, get your parents to see Food Matters, they will be a lot more relaxed about your nutrition, but if it doesn’t work, this website it’s pretty useful to learn how to eat being vegan.  

And here are some resources when eating vegan on a budget:

Pennies as offerings 

For those of you who hail from Canada, you know the penny has been discontinued and is no longer included in our currency. But that makes it perfect candidate for offerings. A lot of traditions call for monetary or coin offerings / payments, especially practices such as buying graveyard dirt. Pennies use to be inexpensive and thoughtless, but now that they’ve become a less common commodity and they’ve gained a sort of value in with that they’re slowly becoming rare and soon they’ll fade into rarity.

That being said, They’re still relatively cheap, and if you’re like me and have a small horde  you’ll find yourself with a new collection of offerings.  So I’ve started to use them in practice, now that they mean something more than if I just offered one cent. which would have been sort of insulting, now they’re worth so much more and over the ages will only be more so. it’s so strange how their meaning has changed once they’be stopped being made. 

So there you have it, if it calls for coin, the penny would easily replace the much more expensive ingredients ( old coins, dollars, ect ) that before might have been silly or unattainable. ( Trust me, as a poor college student this revelation is a life-saver ).

Plant-based eating on a budget:

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