Sheriff Clarke Withdraws From Homeland Security, NASA’s X-Ray Observatory, Trucking Industry Abuses

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Port trucking presents a difficult lifestyle, but a new report finds that companies are often taking advantage of their drivers. We discuss how workers are driven into debt and given few of the protections other industries provide. We also learn about NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Lab, which has given us stunning images of deep space and helped unravel some mysteries of the cosmos. Plus, the details on Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s surprising announcement that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for a post in the Homeland Security Department.

Featured in this Show

  • Sheriff David Clarke Says He Withdrew From Homeland Security Position

    Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke announced that he had withdrawn his name for a job as assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In reaction, some Milwaukee leaders have said the sheriff should resign. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele urged Sheriff Clarke to submit his resignation–the sheriff responded by calling Abele a “little mouse.” And Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor, a Democrat from Milwaukee, sent out a press release saying Sheriff Clarke should withdraw from public service. We talk about the details of this federal job and what might be next for Sheriff Clarke.

  • What NASA's Chandra X-Ray Lab Allows Us To See

    The Chandra x-ray observatory has given us unprecedented views of the universe. We learn about some of its most amazing discoveries.

  • X-Ray Telescope Helps Scientists Study Dark Matter

    Nearly 18 years ago, NASA launched the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, a telescope designed to detect X-ray emissions — meaning Chandra sees and records things that can’t be seen using only visible light — to study dark matter.

    Scientists know roughly how much dark matter there is in space, but they don’t yet know what dark matter is, explained Wallace Tucker, author of “Chandra’s Cosmos: Dark Matter, Black Holes, and Other Wonders Revealed by NASA’s Premier X-Ray Observatory.”

    Knowing how much there is in the universe was a good first step to figuring out what dark matter is, Tucker said. After finding out more information on how much dark matter there is, researchers tried to figure out how the it is distributed in galaxies or groups of galaxies. Now, scientists have determined dark matter is laid out uniformly, more or less, he said.

    “They keep looking for subtle ways in which the dark matter might reveal itself. Collisions with other dark matter particles, maybe they produce some strange form of radiation that we could detect. So far, no luck,” Tucker said.

    One of the discoveries from Chandra has been the Bullet Cluster of galaxies.

    “The galaxies are sort of concentrated into clusters, so they run into each other, and when galaxies run into each other, it creates shock waves and they get built up into bigger and bigger galaxies, and bigger and bigger clusters of galaxies,” Tucker said.

    Scientists weren’t quite sure how that happened until they saw images of the Bullet Cluster. They saw clusters of galaxies colliding, and could even see the shock wave in the images. They also observed dark matter was distributed differently from the “normal” matter, which consists of protons, neutrons and electrons.

    “So this is considered one of the best proofs of the existence of dark matter, is the Bullet Cluster, because we can actually see the separation of the dark matter from the normal matter in this gigantic collision that’s happening,” Tucker said.

    When it comes to comparing what scientists know to what is still to be discovered, the science writer said he likes to use the analogy of the circle. Inside the circle is what we know, outside the circle is what we don’t know, and on the edge of the circle is the boundary between the known and the unknown.

    Tucker said the circle gets bigger the more researchers know, but the boundary between the known and the unknown gets bigger, too, because the rim around the circle is larger. He pointed in particular to the issues of dark matter and dark energy.

    “Two of the most profound mysteries in physics today are yet to be solved, and we may look forward to solving those in the next 15 years, maybe not, but I’m hopeful,” he said.

  • Port Truckers Face Work Akin To Indentured Servitude According To New Investigation

    In a new investigative piece from USA Today, reporter Brett Murphy looked into the conditions facing the trucker who bring imported goods to warehouses before they end up on store shelves. Many truckers face grueling hours, low pay, and more. We’ll speak with Murphy about the report.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Daniel Bice Guest
  • Wallace Tucker Guest
  • Brett Murphy Guest

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