Links – February 10, 2016

Everything you need to know about gravitational waves. Supposedly a bit announcement coming on Thursday. Graphic from here: gravity waves from two black holes orbiting around each other.

Lots of stuff I’ve written on plutonium disposition and the MOX plant. Most of it still holds. The tl;dr is in a tweetstream from Tuesday, starting here.

Good summaries of what we know about the North Korean satellite launch from 38 North, Washington Post, and Arms Control Wonk. A timeline since 2011.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says that intelligence shows that North Korea has been operating its plutonium-producing reactor for long enough that it is almost ready to harvest another several kilograms of plutonium. Groups monitoring overhead photos have suggested that the reactor may be operating, although the signs have been ambiguous.

There’s a lot of talk out there on the US establishing a “safe” or “no-fly” zone in northern Syria. It wouldn’t work and would make a shooting war with Russia likely. Read the comments too. The best analysis I’ve seen of the current situation in Syria and what we can expect from talks.

The New Start Treaty between the United States and Russia is working well, an important common interest in difficult times. NATO is talking about holding a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, another positive step.

Ukraine is beefing up its nuclear power so that it can be more independent from Russia.

Are we overreacting to terror? For the most part, yes.

Another sexual misconduct case, this time in anthropology.

A different sort of scientific squabble, this one over credit for a discovery that is likely to lead to a Nobel Prize.


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