3 Executive Productivity Hacks That Any Leader Can Use

By Scott Eblin – Recognizing that her time and attention are limited resources that she must deploy as effectively as possible, she’s come up with three productivity hacks that help her determine where she needs to focus. more> http://tinyurl.com/n5x8g5h

Physicists detect process even rarer than the long-sought Higgs particle

By Karen McNulty Walsh – The analysis efforts started two years ago and were carried out in particular by groups from Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Michigan State Univ. and Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.

“Only about one in 100 trillion proton-proton collisions would produce one of these events,” said Marc-André Pleier, a physicist at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

“It’s like a fingerprint,” Pleier said. “We have a predicted fingerprint and we have the fingerprint we measure. If the fingerprints match, we know that the Higgs does its job of mass generation the way it should. But if it deviates, we know that some other physics mechanism is helping out because the Higgs alone is not doing what we expect.” more> http://tinyurl.com/n6gje2q

97 Percent of Key Industries Doubt Security Compliance Can Defy Hackers

(GlebStock/Shutterstock.com )By Aliya Sternstein – Only 3 percent of information technology executives at utilities and other businesses critical to society strongly believe security rules and standards decrease threats to the systems running their operations.

“The regulations themselves are not getting the job done. It’s hard to have regulations in this area that are dynamic enough to be helpful,” Larry Ponemon told Nextgov. more> http://tinyurl.com/orhgyz3

NASA Memory Lane (39)

July 23, 1999.

Fifteen Years Ago, Chandra X-Ray Observatory Deployed by Space Shuttle Crew
Fifteen Years Ago, Chandra X-Ray Observatory Deployed by Space Shuttle Crew
NASA – On July 23, 1999, a little more than seven hours after Space Shuttle Columbia and its five astronauts were launched from the Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory was successfully deployed by the STS-93 crew. Chandra was spring-ejected from a cradle in the shuttle’s cargo bay at 6:47 a.m. Central time, as Columbia flew over the Indonesian island chain. Commander Eileen Collins, the first female Shuttle Commander, maneuvered Columbia to a safe distance away from the telescope as an internal timer counted down to the first of a two-phase ignition of the solid-fuel Inertial Upper Stage (IUS). The IUS lit up as scheduled at 7:47 a.m., and a few minutes later, shut down as planned, sending Chandra on a highly elliptical orbit which was refined over the next few weeks by a series of firings of telescope thrusters, designed to place Chandra in an orbit about 6900 x 87,000 statute miles above the Earth.

Since its deployment, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. Chandra, one of NASA’s current “Great Observatories,” along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions of the universe.

In this photograph, the five STS-93 astronauts pose for the traditional inflight crew portrait on Columbia’s middeck. In front are astronauts Eileen M. Collins, mission commander, and Michel Tognini, mission specialist representing France’s Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Behind them are (from the left) astronauts Steven A. Hawley, mission specialist; Jeffrey S. Ashby, pilot; and Catherine G. (Cady) Coleman, mission specialist. In the background is a large poster depicting the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Keeping a city-by-the-sea from becoming a city in it


By James Sanders and Jesse M. Keenan – Unlike the great capitals of Europe, New York does not sit snugly inland along a winding river. Instead it opens directly onto one of the world’s great oceans, a geographic advantage that helped propel the city to pre-eminence. Even by the 1820s, when Frances Trollope [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] was writing, the city’s proximity to the Atlantic had made it by far the busiest port in the nation.

New York is also Amsterdam — holding back the sea. Since its founding in the early 17th century as New Amsterdam, New York has shared with its namesake the distinctive Dutch instinct to create land by reclaiming it from the sea. more> http://tinyurl.com/mxknxw9

Creating an Environment for Change

By Susan Foley – Culture is a powerful force that shapes our individual and collective behavior. It influences everything we do and puts limits on our thinking and behavior. It sets the tone for how we work and how we relate to others in the organization. It is a reflection of our identity, our status and power. Changing these things is difficult and scary. But change them you must.

It is often the “unlearning” part of change that is the most difficult. more> http://tinyurl.com/p99bxz2

Updates from GE

This Fuel Cell Startup Could Spark a Revolution

GE – A fuel cell works like a battery, using a simple chemical reaction to provide energy. In fuel cells, this reaction involves hydrogen molecules abundant in natural gas and oxygen from ordinary air.

It sounds easy enough, but the process is full of pitfalls. Car companies, for example, have tried to make fuel cells work as a replacement for the internal combustion engine for more 20 years without commercial success.

But scientists in GE labs recently cracked an important conundrum involving one iteration of the technology called solid oxide fuel cell, or SOFC.

The fuel cell has no moving parts. The guts of the cell look like a stack of cookies. Each cookie is a metallic plate with a maze of flow channels cut into the bottom and a square of black “icing” on top.

That icing is the core of the breakthrough that makes the solid oxide fuel cell work. It contains three layers made from special ceramic materials: the cathode on top, the anode on the bottom, and a dense layer of solid oxide electrolyte in the middle.

GE is using additive thermal spray technology originally developed to protect parts working inside jet engines to deposit the anode and the electrolyte. more> http://tinyurl.com/pexm6fo