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Unstrange Phenomena

30 June 2009

Astronomy Video 2 - Mysteries of Deep Space: To The Edge of Space

From Denny: These are actually 20 minute long episodes discussing what the Hubble Space Telescope has brought us in new information, exploring the revolution in astronomy. This one is the 2nd of six videos, enjoy!



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29 June 2009

Astronomy Video 1 - Mysteries of Deep Space: To The Edge of Time

From Denny: These are actually 20 minute long episodes discussing what the Hubble Space Telescope has brought us in new information, exploring the revolution in astronomy. This one is the 1st of six videos, enjoy!



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28 June 2009

Astronomy Video: 1st Image of an Alien Planet

From Denny: The Hubble Telescope sure has delivered time and time again; what a treat!

27 June 2009

George Carlin: Outrageous comedian



George Carlin: Outrageous comedian

"'Life's journey is not to
arrive at the grave safely
in a well preserved body,
but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting
'...holy sh*t ....what a ride!'"

By alekhouse @ HubPages

From Denny: Here's an interesting article from a new writer over at HubPages you will enjoy!

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26 June 2009

Tested: Bedside Brainwave Scanner Grades Your Ability to Sleep



From Denny: Here's something interesting over at Popular Science. People have trouble sleeping because of stress, worry about paying the bills, job loss, and now the extreme summer heat.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"What's it like sleeping with a new device that scores your slumber quality, minute by minute, night by night?

A new device called the Zeo promises to help stamp out bad sleep and wasted time in bed, by bringing deep analysis of sleep patterns, formerly the province of professional sleep laboratories, into the home.

The Zeo comes in two parts: a bedside unit that looks like an alarm clock, with a handsome blue-on-black vacuum-fluorescent display; and a headband with a fairly low-profile black box mounted on its front. Strap on the headband before bed, and as you sleep, it wirelessly transmits data about your brainwaves to the bedside unit.

In the morning, the Zeo gives you a "ZQ" rating -- a score for your night's sleep ranging from 0 to 120. The concept is simple, but having a quantitative measure of sleep quality that you can keep an eye on over a period of time is a boon to those who want to keep an eye on their nights; one of the traditional problems with sleep, of course, is that you're not conscious to observe it firsthand."

For the rest of the article just click on the title link! Thanks for visiting!

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New Software: Find Out Who Follows Your Tweets on Twitter

Image of Twitter from TwitterImage of Twitter



Photo by PinkMoose @ flickr

From Denny: If you are a blogger and are over at Twitter, try this new fun gadget to help you learn who is following your tweets. Connect with your Peeps! :)

Just plug in your user name @ Twitter:

Twitter Analyzer

Hello to my followers in the following countries and thank you for following, much appreciated!

Here are the countries in order of most followers first - what a surprise to find out Ecuador was right up there with the UK:

America
Ecuador
Great Britain
Germany
Iran
Australia

France
Switzerland
Netherlands
Belgium
India
China

New Zealand
Thailand
Turkey
Poland
Kenya
Bolivia

Japan
Indonesia
Pakistan
Canada
Mexico
Columbia
South Africa

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25 June 2009

Happy Birthday to One Talented Trumpeter!



Jeanne "Gabriel" Pocius, left, with Haiti's Minister of Culture, Director of Music Programs, Florence Elie in June 2009

From Denny: Happy Birthday to a dear friend in Boston, Massachusetts by the name of Jeanne Pocius! She’s a classical musician, teaches and tutors trumpet to adults and children alike. Like a lot of public school music teachers she recently experienced the budget slashing of her music program - and their teachers. Goodbye job. To her credit and good character, she still went out there and performed for several charity benefits that raised money for her local school system because she believes that much in a quality public school education.

It's a shame to put our best teachers out on the street. Through music kids develop a personal discipline that will stay with them for a lifetime. A love of music will also help with the adult years ahead when they are feeling stressed during tough times.

The musician’s life can be a tough one and hers is no exception. They go from gig to gig to pay the bills, never able to put down roots any where. Again, to her credit - since she adores teaching children - she connected up with some missionaries in Haiti who were participating in the country’s culture program of teaching music to their children. Jeanne now goes to Haiti several times a year to teach: for free.

Haiti is one of the poorest nations on the planet and yet they have a Minister of Culture who has created a free program to teach music to children. “Do ya think?” that maybe America could take a page out of their playbook?

A few years ago my very talented friend wrote a wonderful book called “Trumpeting by Nature: An Efficient Guide to Optimal Trumpet Performance" [UNABRIDGED] (Paperback or Kindle edition) that is most useful for both beginning children and adults, full of lots of photos to help demonstrate technique.

I’m featuring this book in The Social Poets Amazon book store under Books on Music (just look above the posts area for the store banner in orange) as it is informative and practical teaching for both the amateur and professional alike. You may have a budding musician in the house or a relative who plays on the weekends and feels stuck on a plateau of playing ability and wants to advance, then this book is a great gift, easy to read.

Cover of "Trumpeting by Nature: An Effici...Cover via Amazon



Reviews at Amazon

"Everything You Wanted To Know About How The Heck To Get a Note Out

P. Olguin (Whittier, CA) All I can say is WOW. This is a complete reference, with illustrations and thorough explanations of how to achieve the optimum set-up for yourself. As a working professional musician, I am always looking for tips on how to make my playing more efficient, more musical, more powerful. It doesn't matter what level you're on, you will learn a great deal here. The best part is, although this book is quite thorough, it is not some dogmatic, rigid, my-way-or-the-highway approach to playing. Jeanne's approach is a flexible (like one's playing should be) cafeteria-style menu of information, technique, philosophy and encouragement. This is destined to be a classic, and rightfully so.

Calling all trumpeters

Martin J. Rooney (Boston MA) This is a great book for any level trumpet player. This book will absolutely help any trumpet player improve their playing. Clear, concise, and best of all, IT WORKS! Text is excellent and the photos, which are top quality, illustrate her points very well.

I truly have seen everything :-}

Wilmer Wise (Brooklyn, NY) My copy of Jeanne G. Pocius "Trumpeting by Nature" came today. WOW! In clear English Jeanne has addressed every question a trumpet player may have. The fonts are great for the older comeback player. It's a sight for sore eyes.

I Wish I Had This 25 Years Ago!

Ralph Longo (Beverly, MA) For those of us who learned to play the trumpet incorrectly or inefficiently, this book is a revelation... What is in this book will help you learn to play at your highest level for a lifetime."

Jeanne is one of those child prodigies that can play over 10 instruments, though concentrates on the trumpet. Nothing is more fun than getting a phone call on your birthday and on the other end is this trumpet playing Happy Birthday like it’s a live concert! Now that’s unique! She is always serenading those close to her, blessing us with the sweet melody of her music. She is a fun and friendly person which is why children respond so well to her; she makes music fun!

Jeanne is available to play weddings for those of you in the Boston area. When other musicians run late (read that as they don’t show up on time when the wedding has started) she pitch-hits the other instruments to make sure the wedding is perfect; talk about a work ethic!

Jeanne also tutors both children and adults. She has tutored people from all over the world who visit regularly to brush up on their technique (and moral support). She can be contacted through Skype: (617) 326-7824 SKYPE ID: jeanne.gabriel.pocius. And Jeanne’s Email: jgpocius@yahoo.com.

Spread the word, folks, and let’s support the arts by supporting talented musicians and teachers!

Happy Birthday, Jeanne!


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Cool Erupting Volcano Photo Taken From Space!



From Denny: Did you see this awesome photo on the news last night? If you missed it then take a look.

From NASA's Earth Observatory site: "A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev Volcano (Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009. Sarychev Peak is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain, and it is located on the northwestern end of Matua Island.

Prior to June 12, the last explosive eruption occurred in 1989, with eruptions in 1986, 1976, 1954, and 1946 also producing lava flows. Ash from the multi-day eruption has been detected 2,407 kilometers east-southeast and 926 kilometers west-northwest of the volcano, and commercial airline flights are being diverted away from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake.

This detailed astronaut photograph is exciting to volcanologists because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption. The main column is one of a series of plumes that rose above Matua Island on June 12. The plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance. The eruption cleared a circle in the cloud deck. The clearing may result from the shockwave from the eruption or from sinking air around the eruption plume: as the plume rises, air flows down around the sides like water flowing off the back of a surfacing dolphin. As air sinks, it tends to warm and expand; clouds in the air evaporate.

In contrast, the smooth white cloud on top may be water condensation that resulted from rapid rising and cooling of the air mass above the ash column. This cloud, which meteorologists call a pileus cloud, is probably a transient feature: the eruption plume is starting to punch through. The structure also indicates that little to no shearing wind was present at the time to disrupt the plume. (Satellite images acquired 2-3 days after the start of activity illustrate the effect of shearing winds on the spread of the ash plumes across the Pacific Ocean.)

By contrast, a cloud of denser, gray ash—probably a pyroclastic flow—appears to be hugging the ground, descending from the volcano summit. The rising eruption plume casts a shadow to the northwest of the island (image top). Brown ash at a lower altitude of the atmosphere spreads out above the ground at image lower left. Low-level stratus clouds approach Matua Island from the east, wrapping around the lower slopes of the volcano. Only about 1.5 kilometers of the coastline of Matua Island (image lower center) are visible beneath the clouds and ash.

Astronaut photograph ISS020-E-9048 was acquired on June 12, 2009, with a Nikon D2XS digital camera fitted with a 400 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 20 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by M. Justin Wilkinson, NASA-JSC."

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24 June 2009

Totally Ridiculous Comedy: Jacks Nightclub



Totally Ridiculous Comedy: Jacks Nightclub

By Denny Lyon @ HubPages

From Denny: "I like nonsense - it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope... and that enables you to laugh at all of life's realities." - Dr. Seuss

Wrote this recently as a raucous fast-paced ridiculous short story. It's really a bit long to post here and when that happens I park those writes over at HubPages. Take a look and you will be amused! Thanks for visiting!

Here's an excerpt from my world of the ridiculous:

"Jack jumped over the electric blue fox - who was hunting down the orange cat - who was preying upon the stupid cockroach that was having an identity crisis - and believed he was a popular dragonfly down at the local Irish pub - because he sang Irish songs everyone loved and wrote some damn good poetry.

The orange cat circled back to chase the identity crisis cockroach - who just knew he was really Irish in a former life - while the blue fox preened and bathed in the fast-paced lights of the nightclub – this fox enthusiastically embraced blue as the new fashion neutral - it was Jack who was looking for the weird alien orange cat that kept eluding him - who was stalking the brave Irish-singing cockroach determined to make it to Broadway.

The powerful-singing cockroach drowned out the elegant Irish pub-singing dragonfly - and soon the people customers complained about the strange odd noises blaring from the rising platform – it was two ants standing on a leaf singing opera - and more ants joined them from the audience singing 49 Bottles of Guinness Beer on the Wall and Get Down Tonight! – and soon the nightclub was jumping and bumping - and the people were dancing and squishing and splatting the friendly ants - who got the place hopping on a Saturday night in the first place."

For the rest of the story just click on the title link!



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23 June 2009

Astronomy: Meteorite Grains Divulge Earth's Cosmic Roots



From Denny: A short article from the folks over at Science Daily. It seems like every few years there comes along a group of scientists telling us the Universe is either older or younger than previously thought. Who said Nature's laws are written in stone? Our maybe it's just our understanding is in a fluid state...

Pair of meteorite grains from the Murchison meteoritePair of the grains Image via Wikipedia



Here's an excerpt:

"The interstellar stuff that became incorporated into the planets and life on Earth has younger cosmic roots than theories predict..."

"Heck and his colleagues examined 22 interstellar grains from the Murchison meteorite for their analysis. Dying sun-like stars flung the Murchison grains into space more than 4.5 billion years ago, before the birth of the solar system. Scientists know the grains formed outside the solar system because of their exotic composition."

For the rest of the article just click on the title link.

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22 June 2009

Video: Discovering a Supernova at Age 14

From Denny: Caroline Moore is the youngest person ever to discover a supernova! Now what do you have to look forward to the rest of your life after such a momentous experience? Discover a new dimension in Time?

The newly discovered rare supernova is 70 million light years away and might even be a new class of supernova.



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21 June 2009

3 Kinds of Men to Honor



Peace sign Photo by Steve Rhodes @ flickr

COURAGEOUS

Today is Father’s Day on the calendar and I will be thinking of them throughout this week, we choose this day to honor the good examples of quality men who have influenced our lives beneficially. Most people reflect upon a father, a brother, an uncle, a grandfather, a husband, a good and trusted friend, even a mentor.



Neda killed by the police - Photo by Steve Rhodes @ flickr

Iran Protestors

Considering the political unrest in Iran going on I reflected upon the good men in Iran. These are men who are standing up against injustice and working toward a quality and trustworthy government, willing to give their lives in that pursuit. As a woman, and knowing the negatives in their harsh culture, what has impressed me the most about the male protestors was their willingness to march along side the women (termed the Lipstick Revolution). They also are willing to advance women’s rights.

Even more so, in a public demonstration, they have chosen to go to the defense of women that are strangers to them and not family related. In other words, they choose to be compassionate for the literally downtrodden, for the current harsh regime has ordered their police to target the women first and beat them savagely, kill them as well.

There have been video and cell phone photos released of men running to aid the women as they died. Now that’s a class act and certainly touches my heart for their public courage risks their own lives and that of their families. Yet, they chose to be heroes because someone was vulnerable and in need.



Soldier with peace symbol in hand Photo by Jayel Aheram @ flickr

Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

I think of our American troops in this protracted war the public wants us to end and how this too long of a stressor has taken a huge toll. Suicides are way up the past year from returning troops and those still in the field. PTSD is rampant and difficult to treat. These men (and women) are someone’s parent, spouse, brother (or sister), uncle (or aunt), best friend and mentor.

They also deserve our thoughts and prayers to sustain them during their tough life test. Spiritual testing is often longer than we think we can endure yet eventually we come out on the other side. These troops have the courage to go on when they think they cannot move another step and yet they move forward anyway. Human beings really are not hard-wired for long-term stressful situations like war.



Contemplation Photo by alicepopkorn @ flickr

COMPASSIONATE

Today I also reflect upon a wonderful European friend I met while on my travels a decade ago. He is a Carmelite monk by the name of Brother Peter in Austria. What is unique about him is that he works tirelessly with the folks who fall between the cracks of the social network be they refugees (Islamic or Christian) or locals who can’t pay the rent because the husband has a gambling problem. Most of all he spends intensive hours battling the severe rampant depression of suicidal people in his area. He works without notice for what will not bring him status or riches in the world.

Brother Peter is joined with the local Jewish community to help reestablish the Jewish population in Austria that was decimated during WWII and works toward improving Christian and Jewish relations. He is a humble man, a kind man, a sincere man. Most of all he is a loving man like the true Jesus he follows.

I’ve always had a soft spot for monks. They are the global intercessors for Peace. They pray FOR people of all races, religions and misunderstanding - not AGAINST them. As an intercessor I can relate to my Carmelite monk friends and well understand the importance of their life long mission.

Brother Peter had a birthday in April but somehow Father’s Day seemed more appropriate a day to honor his service to others. The man would make a great Pope as he definitely has a heart for the people. I count him a treasured friend!



Father and infant son asleep Photo by *clairity* @ flickr

NURTURING

Recently, I happened upon a new blog by a father of ten children. What a treat! The Mommy blogs are popular and prolific, many a delight to read. This blog is a unique perspective from the dad, one with a huge brood of children. Take a look at his amusing and clever blog post that was published in a local newspaper: Father of 10 Turns Bathtime into a Career.

While I could go on with many other wonderful examples like my cool paternal grandfather whose spiritual legacy I carry with delight, a Taoist spiritual master in Taiwan where in his culture they never trained women, especially teenage Americans - he proclaimed me his student of a lifetime, quite an honor - and the tough guy military mentors I had growing up – the kind that don’t like women but took a shine to me, adored my hutzpah and chose to train me in the unorthodox, hence, the name “Warriors’ Pearl,” I’ll save those stories for another time. Know that you are all in my heart as treasures…

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20 June 2009

Past 200th Post!



From Denny: I'm well past the 200th post here at this blog. OK, so I'm not exactly the anniversary wonder girl. It's actually 203 posts now - close enough! :)

Just wanted to take the time to thank everyone for subscribing to the feed and following on Blogger and other sites. You are much appreciated! Blogging is so much more fun when you have company and such good company you all are, thanks! Thank you for your support and hope you are enjoying your time here learning right along with me.

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19 June 2009

Mind-Bending Photo: Stairs in a London science museum


Science Stairs
Originally uploaded by OliverN5
"The Science Museum on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry.

The Science Museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items, including such famous items as Stephenson's Rocket, Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive), the first jet engine, a reconstruction of Francis Crick and James Watson's model of DNA, some of the earliest remaining steam engines, and a working example of Charles Babbage's Difference engine."

Cool sign: Science buzz!!!

From the Science Museum of Minnesota at St. Paul.

Art Photo: Fields of Science


Fields of Science
Originally uploaded by Image Editor
This guy, Image Editor over at flickr, does some interesting science oriented photos!

"Some fields of science include astronomy, biology,computer science, geology, logic, physics, chemistry, and mathematics."

18 June 2009

New Additions to Photo Blog Roll!



From Denny: "Can I tell ya?" Spent hours and hours this past weekend pouring over some awesome photo blogs, amateur and professional alike, sifting through them to place the BEST on my blog roll for you! There are about 70 choices now - around there, I lost count... :)

If you enjoy looking at photos and want to see what is going on in the photo blogosphere then this is a good place to start. My blog roll list is located at my photo blog, Visual Insights.

Talk about a wonderful way to while away a few hours with beautiful and thought-provoking photos! Take a look and enjoy! Go here.



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17 June 2009

Psychology: Hateful Humor, Hit Counts, and Positive Politics



From Denny: Here is an unusual article about writing in the blogosphere. Since I've never been a fan of political vitriol and character assassination promoted over problem-solving pressing social issues I found this interesting. First I've heard of this Losada Ratio about positive to negative emotions charting what ratio is needed for best group dynamics. There's even some psychology and science involved! :)

"Cruised any politics related web sites recently? Seen any angry, sarcastic, personal attacks wrapped in "humor"? If your answer to the first question was yes and your answer to the second was no, then you either cruise a VERY select set of websites (send me a list, please!) or …. Well, truth to tell, I can’t figure out how you might look through many of the top-rated websites and answer the second question "No."

I was cruising around the web the other day and ran into a post by a blogger who had just gotten his millionth hit. He was giving advice on how to do the same — and since I’m on track to hit that point with my blog in about 2037, maybe I should listen. Then again, maybe not, because two of his key points were to make some enemies and to use enough "vitriolic ad hominem to make sure he never forgets it." Note the lack of an exclamation point on that quote — no excitement here, just sane, sensible advice!

Now, let me note that this advice-giver also suggested that we not confuse "cyber-venom" with "real-world hate", suggesting that the vitriol in web space is equivalent to the theatrics of pro wrestling. And much of it probably is, but that doesn’t mean that engaging in such activities is consequence-free. I suspect that, for many participants, both readers and bloggers, there are very real consequences.

Losada Ratio

Two words: Losada ratio . Marcial Losada’s research established that positivity has a tipping point. At approximately three positive emotions to one negative, individuals and groups begin to experience life in a new way. Patterns of positive relationships, creativity, collegiality, and forward motion emerge that could not have been predicted before. Goals coalesce, pathways appear, and efficacy surges. Further research shows that the highest levels of group performance require a ratio of 5:1."

By Dave Shearon @ Positive Psychology News Daily

Take a look at this interesting site! Just click on the title link to take you to the rest of the article. Thanks for visiting!

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16 June 2009

Added Twitter Counter to ALL Blogs



From Denny: Just added the Twitter Counter to all the blogs! Come by and drop off a link to YOUR NAME on Twitter! Great way for you to boost your followers and just plain fun. Get a little link love! :)

Have also started a reciprocal Link Love on The Social Poets and will be extending it to the other blogs too. Just email me, Denny Lyon, warriorspearl@gmail.com so I know which blog is the best fit for your site's link - unless you have a preference. Keep a link on your site or blog with a link to one of my blogs and I'll keep a link for you too.

If we don't promote each other in cyberspace, who will? :)

Here's the link to the Twitter Counter page to make your own:
http://twittercounter.com/pages/buttons/skydiver

Here are quick links to the various blogs:

The Social Poets

The Social Poets Fav Bloggers

The Social Poets Fav Links

The Healing Waters

The Soul Calendar

The Soul Calendar Fav Links

Romancing The Chocolate

Comfort Food From Louisiana

Dennys Blog Feeds

Visual Insights

Beautiful Illustrated Quotations

Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd

Thanks for visiting!

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15 June 2009

Weather Video: Just How Wild is Our Weather Going to Get?



From Denny: I'm always fascinated with weather, especially when it takes a weird turn like hail and snow in June. The new watchword may be to "expect the unexpected" in the coming years weatherwise. Here's a good video to explain it all. (And if this ABC NEWS video isn't behaving just click on the title link to take you directly to it.)



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14 June 2009

New Blog Look!



From Denny: Have spent the day fine-tuning the new blog template. It's just so much fun (not!) when you have to go back to the original sites and generate and install a new code for one thing: the original no longer fits in the new column, too large or too small, the Amazon store and the visitor counter and more. Simple to do but time-consuming. Hopefully, I've gotten all the details. My eyeballs look like a Halloween scary mask, all blood shot! :) (Hmmm... is this where I'm supposed to whine and whine some more...?)

Why did I decide to change the look? She must be crazy, you tell yourself silently in your own head. (You are right, BTW.) Actually, Himalman of Himalman's Weblog suggested I change my template. He even provided the link to a great template site.

After a couple of hours (remember there are 12 blogs now) of pouring over pages of great interesting templates for the Blogger platform, I downloaded a bunch of them, all excited to get started. One by one, none of them were accepted to upload to Blogger, even though all were compatible with my browser. Great... now what? Well, after studying the best for so long by then I realized I could do something close to the preferred templates - and set about redesigning the blogs by using Blogger's established templates.

Hope you enjoy the new look and find the navigation much easier! Thanks for visiting! And me? I'll be the guy at the drug store buying eye drops so I won't scare the neighborhood children...

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13 June 2009

Astronomy: Endeavour Launch Scrubbed!

As the spent upper stage of NASA's Lunar Recon...Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Image via Wikipedia



From Denny: Endeavour's launch has been scrubbed! The STS-127 mission is now off. (After such a good write-up on Thursday, sigh...)

What happened to scrub the launch and mission? While the external tank was being filled with hydrogen, apparently a leak developed. From the mission managers, "the leak occurred at eerily the same time in the tanking process as it did with the STS-119 mission." Who said superstition and science still don't mix? :) Actually, they think it may be due to the cycling of the valves.

They still have a couple of chances to launch before the 17th. Otherwise they will have to stand down, as I mentioned in my Thursday post, in favor of an unmanned launch, LCROSS. LCROSS stands for Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Well, I bet there are some seriously ticked off astronauts right now...! Better disappointed than badly injured or dead. The secondary launch windows are still open for Sunday or Monday, weather permitting. Let's hope for the best!

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11 June 2009

Astronomy: Countdown to Space Shuttle Launch

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - All is quiet on L...Launch Pad 39a Image via Wikipedia



Space Shuttle STS-127 Endeavour's crew in June 2009

From Denny:

How favorable is the launch?

Two days and counting! Good weather by 90% is predicted for the launch on Saturday in Cape Canaveral, Florida at the NASA Kennedy Space Center. Considering I also live on the Gulf of Mexico, I know that is a very favorable weather outlook. There is one concern, lightning, which could be triggered by the slight chance for clouds over the launch pad.
Even if they "happen to delay launch the weather still looks good," says the Shuttle's weather officer Kathy Winters. The shuttle's liftoff is planned for 7:17 AM EDT (1117 GMT) from the launch pad 39a. If they cannot launch Saturday it still looks 90% favorable for the next 24 hours into Sunday and 80% for Monday.



What is the mission of the 7 person Endeavour crew?

The 16-day mission is all about visiting the International Space Station to deliver a porch-like experiment platform to the Japanese Kibo lab as well as other gear.

The mission's schedule will be nocturnal so the crew is sleeping in today, according to the veteran astronaut Mark Polansky. They are scheduled to wake up tonight at 8:15 PM EDT (2415 GMT). The two Canada Space Agency mission specialists, Julie Payette and Chris Cassidy, will conduct practice flights in NASA's T-38 training jets.

In order to install the new piece to the Kibo lab there will be at least five difficult spacewalks and a series of challenging robotic arm operations. They will also install a set of spare equipment for the space station.

Once Endeavour's STS-127 crew is onboard it will be quite crowded quarters as the population will double to thirteen. Mike Moses, the Endeavour's mission management team remarked, "It's like having your family descend on you for the holidays and they're gonna stay for a very long time ... and they're going to bring all their stuff!" Moses expects things to go smoothly as the team was able to train together before launch. He even thinks there "will be unprecedented efficiencies."

If, for some reason, Endeavour is unable to launch it will have to stand down after Monday. Why? There is another launch scheduled nearby at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 17th. What is set to launch is an unmanned spacecraft headed toward the moon.

Another window for launch opportunity if this June date is missed for Endeavour is July 11th. So far "all systems are go" as the launch countdown for Saturday began on Wednesday for liftoff.

Written by Denny Lyon

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10 June 2009

Top 100 Blogs List



Photo by foxtongue @ flickr

From Denny: You know how it is as a blogger, post and ping, ping manually because Blogger doesn't allow embedding the automatic to all the web bots. So, of course, I'm over at the very popular and doing well Swedish site, Twingly, to ping them and re-visited this page of top 100 blogs. Thought you might enjoy taking a look too! Just click on the title link to take you to the page. Nope! I'm not listed there ... yet! ;)

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09 June 2009

New Link Added to Interesting Mountain Climbing Blog



From Denny: Since I have a number of readers from Poland I thought you might enjoy checking out this guy's site. He is a friendly, smart guy who writes well in English so anyone can enjoy his unusual blog. He teaches beginner mountain climbing.

What I like about his blog is that from a spiritual or writing perspective it really is a metaphor for life as he teaches how to overcome obstacles that seem immovable! An enjoyable read worth the time to visit again and again. To visit his blog, Himalman's Weblog, go here.

Added him to the The Social Poets Fav Bloggers blog roll list so you have a permanent link to find him. He is also linked on The Social Poets Fav Links under the Travel section.

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08 June 2009

Weather Video: Look Up the Funnel of a Twister

From Denny: Hurricane season began June 1st as it does every year. NBC News has been running some great tornado videos. There is also the Vortex 2 project involving over 100 scientists studying tornados in the hurricane alley of America involving the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Wyoming. Take a look!






Storm chaser defies tornados with special car:




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