Nancy Pelosi on Immigration

Question: What is your plan for immigration reform?

Nancy Pelosi: Well, we have been on the same page on immigration reform. Our Democratic caucus has adopted certain principles that relate to securing our borders, enforcing our laws, protecting our workers, unifying families and having a path to legalization. And they are the principles that we have been arguing from, debating from, for several years now. So I would hope that any comprehensive immigration reform that we would have would contain those principles.

We also recognize that immigration is essential to our competitiveness. We need all the fresh, wonderful thinkers from all over the world to be part of our economy. And we also need many of the young people who have been educated in our institutions of higher learning, especially in the sciences, to stay here.

So, short of a comprehensive immigration reform, or a part of it, we'd like to see a green card stapled to every graduate degree in that regard.

Question: Can we disentangle immigration from racism and xenophobia?

Nancy Pelosi: I appreciate the question, because I have said to the President [George W. Bush], and to my colleagues, and to all who will listen, that we will not be in a position to have the comprehensive immigration reform that we want unless we enlarge the issue.

Many people are concerned in our country about their job security. And they think they're losing the job because of trade or because of immigration.

So until we have a progressive economic agenda creating good-paying jobs in America where people have more sense of security themselves, we won't be able to have the immigration reform that is necessary and worthy of the subject that we are addressing. So I believe the foundation has to be laid by a strong economic, job-producing, job-creating, business-creating agenda for America. And then we can go to the next step.

 

Recorded on: June 24, 2008

Pelosi says any immigration bill must contain the principles relating to securing our borders, enforcing our laws, protecting our workers, unifying families and having a path to legalization.

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A Mercury-bound spacecraft's noisy flyby of our home planet.

Image source: sdecoret on Shutterstock/ESA/Big Think
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First off, let's be clear what we mean by "hear" here. (Here, here!)

Sound, as we know it, requires air. What our ears capture is actually oscillating waves of fluctuating air pressure. Cilia, fibers in our ears, respond to these fluctuations by firing off corresponding clusters of tones at different pitches to our brains. This is what we perceive as sound.

All of which is to say, sound requires air, and space is notoriously void of that. So, in terms of human-perceivable sound, it's silent out there. Nonetheless, there can be cyclical events in space — such as oscillating values in streams of captured data — that can be mapped to pitches, and thus made audible.

BepiColombo

Image source: European Space Agency

The European Space Agency's BepiColombo spacecraft took off from Kourou, French Guyana on October 20, 2019, on its way to Mercury. To reduce its speed for the proper trajectory to Mercury, BepiColombo executed a "gravity-assist flyby," slinging itself around the Earth before leaving home. Over the course of its 34-minute flyby, its two data recorders captured five data sets that Italy's National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) enhanced and converted into sound waves.

Into and out of Earth's shadow

In April, BepiColombo began its closest approach to Earth, ranging from 256,393 kilometers (159,315 miles) to 129,488 kilometers (80,460 miles) away. The audio above starts as BepiColombo begins to sneak into the Earth's shadow facing away from the sun.

The data was captured by BepiColombo's Italian Spring Accelerometer (ISA) instrument. Says Carmelo Magnafico of the ISA team, "When the spacecraft enters the shadow and the force of the Sun disappears, we can hear a slight vibration. The solar panels, previously flexed by the Sun, then find a new balance. Upon exiting the shadow, we can hear the effect again."

In addition to making for some cool sounds, the phenomenon allowed the ISA team to confirm just how sensitive their instrument is. "This is an extraordinary situation," says Carmelo. "Since we started the cruise, we have only been in direct sunshine, so we did not have the possibility to check effectively whether our instrument is measuring the variations of the force of the sunlight."

When the craft arrives at Mercury, the ISA will be tasked with studying the planets gravity.

Magentosphere melody

The second clip is derived from data captured by BepiColombo's MPO-MAG magnetometer, AKA MERMAG, as the craft traveled through Earth's magnetosphere, the area surrounding the planet that's determined by the its magnetic field.

BepiColombo eventually entered the hellish mangentosheath, the region battered by cosmic plasma from the sun before the craft passed into the relatively peaceful magentopause that marks the transition between the magnetosphere and Earth's own magnetic field.

MERMAG will map Mercury's magnetosphere, as well as the magnetic state of the planet's interior. As a secondary objective, it will assess the interaction of the solar wind, Mercury's magnetic field, and the planet, analyzing the dynamics of the magnetosphere and its interaction with Mercury.

Recording session over, BepiColombo is now slipping through space silently with its arrival at Mercury planned for 2025.

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