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Unstrange Phenomena

30 November 2009

Slamming Low-Ride Satellite Maps Earths Magnetic Field

Photo of Ion-propelled Gradiometer, the GOCE satellite

From Denny: The European Space Agency have been busy boys and girls, James Bond style. These guys are serious about mapping the Earth's magnetic field. The whole point of this exercise is to better understand the planet's natural processes.

They threw up a satellite about six months ago and it is just now fully calibrated and sending back data. Earth's magnetic field has the tiniest of variations so it is necessary to carefully calibrate this satellite to record accurately. Even the Russians did their satellite version back in March called the Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer.

OK, so we all know about gravity. But did you know that even though gravity exists everywhere on the planet it varies and is not distributed evenly across the surface?

What can cause slight changes to this gravitational force? Try mountain ranges, ocean trenches, even the density variations within the Earth's crust and mantle. Then there is also the fact the Earth's rotation can affect gravity variations.

Why is this so important? We have to gain more knowledge about these changes so we can accurately measure ocean circulation and sea levels. After all, climate change may be here to stay for a number of generations. We must study all we can in order to possess the information to know how to anticipate what happens next and how best to prepare for it.

This is a mock-up example of what the gravitational map will look like. It represents the Earth's gravity distribution with an accuracy and spacial resolution never before achieved. ESA

You have to take your hat off to these persevering scientists for the job they did. They figured out how to precisely measure gravitational fluctuations for as much as 160 miles up!

Gravity is closest to the Earth's surface so this cool satellite needed to be as close to the surface as it could. The next problem they faced was the instrumentation on the GOCE satellite had to be stable to measure accurately. What that means is that the ideal situation is for GOCE to be placed in an environment that has as little aerial drag as possible. OK, no aerial drag is what they truly desire but we all know engineers and scientists are actually romantic dreamers of the perfect utopia.

Well, the GOCE team must have had some second-born children in the crowd who knew how to make realistic compromises to get the most bang for their buck. This satellite is like a sleek new aerodynamic car and the propulsion system on this baby is so unique it makes it possible for the satellite to orbit at 158 miles above the Earth. That's lower than most Earth observation satellites. The beauty of this is that at 158 miles above the Earth eliminates most of the aerial drag.

As you have guessed by now, this GOCE satellite is a slamming low-ride, so low it is riding on the very fringes of our atmosphere. The sleek aerodynamic design helps the satellite to polish off any remaining air for drag yet that still isn't enough. It seems like there is always "just one more thing, by the way..."

Ratcheting it up to the next issue they had to resolve was the satellite had to be capable of remaining stable while, are you ready for this? free fall. At this high altitude if the air interferes even a little bit then the data could be wildly skewed - and the mission is so screwed.

Never fear, your favorite creative engineer was here to the rescue. These guys are always thinking. The GOCE satellite was outfitted with the latest sexy space fashionista's trend of the electric ion propulsion engine as thruster. This ion thruster is like a nanny, ready to protect and provide a nudge or two with its thrusters whenever the satellite encounters any drag on the space playground.

So, how long did it take these guys to calibrate this sensitive drama queen of a satellite? Try months! The team started the satellite in a 170 mile orbit above the Earth and gently teased her down to the 158 mile level.

The team is also lucky right now that this project is not experiencing any solar activity, giving perfect atmospheric conditions for the gravity mapping. With the good luck of the lack of solar activity it turns out the initial data coming in to the team has turned out to be even more accurate than they hoped. Read that as geeks gone wild, partying and dancing on their monitors. It's a good day to be a scientist, saving humanity...

*** Thanks for visiting!

25 November 2009

5 Funny Thanksgiving Quotes, Photos

Trash-talking turkeys just passing the time until someone took them seriously... Photo by stevevoght @ flickr from another of my funny posts: 21 Funny Thanksgiving Fighting Turkey Photos

From Denny: I found some hilarious Thanksgiving Day quotes along with a few smart jokes and LOL holiday poems for this week's Cheeky Quote Day over at The Social Poets blog. Click on the links below for the full post of funnies and the Obama Turkey Pardon Preparation Video. Here's a sampling taste to get you started on your holiday grinning, enjoy!


* If you count all your assets, you always show a profit. ~ Robert Quillen

* Here I am 5 o'clock in the morning stuffing bread crumbs up a dead bird's butt. - Roseanne Barr

* It was dramatic to watch my grandmother decapitate a turkey with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with 'gourmet' status. - Russell Baker

* Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty. ~ Michael Dresser

* I love Thanksgiving turkey. It's the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts. ~ Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

*** For more funny holiday quotes, holiday jokes and hilarious poems, the Obama funny video about his first act of turkey pardoning (wonder if it's name is Cheney???) and great holiday recipe links, check out The Social Poets and Cheeky Quote Day, go here.

*** Thanks for visiting and come back often for a grin! :)

23 November 2009

Video: How Weird Would Earth Look with Saturns Rings?

From Denny: This was a curious video I ran across today on Digg. Someone decided to do an artist's rendering of what Earth might look like if we had the rings of Saturn. It's a bit disorienting, amusing and even eerily beautiful to see the images of various cities around the world with how the rings would look in their skyline.

If our night skies looked different all these centuries can you imagine how our religions and mythology stories might have taken a far different track from this astronomical influence?

Take a look at this wonderful video:

*** Thanks for visiting!

21 November 2009

Rounding Up Lampooning Editorial Cartoons 21 Nov 2009

From Denny: Every Saturday I round up the best editorial cartoons of the week. They sure do lampoon the latest news! This week women have been up in arms angry at new health care guidelines which sounded really lame. There is the controversy over bringing Gitmo terrorists onto American soil to hang 'em in the New York courts just blocks away from the still destroyed Twin Towers area. Comments about Prez Obama's trips to Japan and China, too much bowing and nice-nice for most cartoonists apparently. Plenty of cartoonists lampooning Congress about health care.

Be sure to check out the funny video of Comedy Central's Jon Stewart lampooning the Palin book tour and the GOP in general. There are real news headline links to check out about the book tour farce and how Palin has already stiffed her fans, leaving them hanging literally out in the cold for hours in the rain in Indiana. They were not happy campers at all. Well, that's what you get when your hero is a fantasy: reality face slaps.

So, hike on over to The Social Poets where I park those cartoons every week and enjoy yourself today! BTW, thanks, everyone for visiting. You have been coming by the thousands, quite the unexpected turnout for my comedy parties, thank you! I'll make sure I order more appetizers for my hungry hordes... :)

This Weeks Editorial Cartoons 21 Nov 2009

19 November 2009

Climate Change Studies Reveal Startling Facts

From Denny: In Greenland there is a team of international scientists who are studying ice cores into the Earth's distant past trying to understand climate change. They are located about 800 miles north of the North Pole at the very top of Greenland conducting their studies.

Can you imagine drilling down into the ice for a distance of 11,000 years or more at a time? They study the ice cores similar to looking at tree rings to determine age and what happened during the tree's history. Part of what they have discovered is rapid climate change in just two years. If this is true then humanity had better get serious about preparing for that dramatic change.

Their next goal is to drill down to 1.6 miles for ice that is about 130,000 years old. Can't wait for that report!

18 November 2009

7 Funny Quotes About Reading Habits

Reading Upside Down Photo by garryknight @ flickr

From Denny: Today, and every Wednesday, is Cheeky Quote Day over at The Social Poets, one of my many blogs where I dance on the airwaves. Here's a sampling of what's going on today:


* A classic is something that everybody wants to have read
and nobody wants to read. ~ Mark Twain ~

* Never lend books, for no one ever returns them;
the only books I have in my library are books
that other folks have left me. ~ Anatole France ~

* I read the newspaper avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction. ~ Aneurin Bevan ~

* Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? ~ Henry Ward Beecher ~

* Outside a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.
~ Groucho Marx ~

* Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind. ~ Robert Chambers ~

* Never judge a book by its movie.
~ J. W. Eagan ~

*** To read a bonanza of funny quotes like this, hike on over to The Social Poets for Cheeky Quote Day to get some more grins, go here.

*** Thanks for visiting and come back often! :)

17 November 2009

Catch Up on This Weeks 51 Posts At Dennys Blogs 17 Nov 2009

From Denny: After a year of blogging, I turned around and suddenly realized I've been producing a lot of content. Nor am I silly enough to think you check in every day with every blog. :) So, in case you missed anything this week, here's a menu of various posts all in one place for an easy read - and bookmark - so you can read when you feel like it:

From The Social Poets:

Roundup of Sunday Funnies 16 Nov 2009

Life Advice Poem by Rudyard Kipling

This Weeks Editorial Cartoons 14 Nov 2009

Reflections of That Moment - Libations Friday! 13 Nov 2009

5 Powerful Soul Affirmations, Soul Journey Poem

Funny Money Advice - Cheeky Quote Day! 11 Nov 2009

Musicians Are Territorial Animals, Funny Post by David Thomas

Roundup of Late Night Funnies, Cartoons 9 Nov 2009

From the funny posts at Dennys Funny Quotes and Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd:

From Dennys Funny Quotes:

Funny Secret to Longevity Photo and Story

10 Funny Love Quotes, Funny Cat Photo

Funny Money Advice, Cheeky Quote Day at The Social Poets

Video: Weirdest American Gluttony Foods

3 Paradoxically Funny Head Scratching Quotes

Awww, 7 Funny Dog Photos to Make You Laugh

What's stupidly popular at Dennys Funny Quotes these days:

42 Monday Morning Funny Coffee Quotes, Coffee Cartoon

25 Weird Coffee Trivia to Astound and Amuse You

10 Funny Work Quotes for Monday Morning

5 Monday Morning Posts to Get You Laughing!

From Ouch Outrageous Obnoxious And Odd:

9 Funny Socially Inappropriate Store Signs - what gets lost in translation from Chinese or Japanese into English, some really tacky ones!

Ouch! Best Love Story in Three Pictures: Prez Bush and Sec Condi Rice - a bit silly.

Outrageous Video: Overview of World Censorship on the Web - serious look at how content is heavily censored and in which countries, interesting overview.

First Lady Michelle Obama on Leno Show - how the Obamas don't take themselves too seriously.

Odd News Video: Liquor Warehouse Implodes in Russia

Weird News: Man in Breathalizer Costume Arrested by Police

10 Outrageous Glenn Beck Quotes That Prove Insanity

From the food blogs, Romancing The Chocolate and Comfort Food From Louisiana:

From Romancing The Chocolate:

Savory Chocolate Recipe: Mini Hamburger Sliders with Sauce

Chocolate Trivia from Horror Director Hitchcock

Video: Cool Food Gifts for the Holidays, Southern Sweet Chocolate Coconut Pie Recipe

3 Quick Awesome Chocolate Recipes for the Holidays

Chocolate Trivia - Who Are the Biggest Chocolate Gluttons on the Planet?

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cake

From Comfort Food From Louisiana:

Video and Recipes: Holiday Challah and Ciabatta Stuffings, Vegetarian and Sausage

Cajun Joke: Boat For Sale by Beaudreaux and Thibodeaux

Video and Recipes: 3 Fabulous New Orleans Sweets

Cajun Joke: Boudreaux and Thibodeaux Fix Destroyed New Orleans Levee

Video: Unbelievable, OK, Weird, Foods and Recipes

Cajun Joke: Boudreaux and Thibodeaux Play Golf

Video and Recipes: Lobster Grits Polenta, Turkey Andouille Sausage Grits Casserole

Coca-Cola Glazed Baby Back Ribs

From Beautiful Illustrated Quotations:

Life is a Gift!

Whats Your Attitude Toward Life?

Veterans Day Quote, Links to Memorial Poems, Peace Quotes

3 Wonderful Quotes About Joy

5 Powerful Soul Affirmations, Soul Journey Poem

How Do You Know If You Have a Weak Mind?

When Something Inside You Dies, Do You Know How to Renew Your Life?

Do You Sell Your Soul For Others Admiration?

From The Healing Waters:

Video: Tim McGraw Making a Difference

Video: Halle Berry Making a Difference for Battered Women

The Perfect Work Quote to Keep Your Head Straight on Monday Mornings

Video: Awareness, and Gibran Quote

*** Thanks for visiting and come back often! :)

15 November 2009

Video: Halle Berry Making a Difference for Battered Women

From Denny: If you missed this segment you will definitely want to watch it. Halle Berry grew up with an abusive father who battered her mother. Today, the actress is helping other women get strong, help heal them and their children and build new - and confident - lives.

11 November 2009

Funny Money Advice, Cheeky Quote Day at The Social Poets

Money at hand by Don Hankin @ flickr

From Denny: It's Cheeky Quote Day over at The Social Poets where I stash a lot of humor as well. Actually, TSP was the blog that started it all with the funny quotes posts! Then the blog, Dennys Funny Quotes, spun off, guess it was a case of ROTFLOL...

As I researched just a few money quotes they struck me as, well, so odd they were funny. Guess I couldn’t help myself in the cheeky department, as an irreverent being and all. Then I ran across a cute quiz for odd words and phrases to entertain you too.

Here's a sampling of some of the oddest money advice quotes:

* Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon. - Peter Lynch

* If the nation's economists were laid end to end, they would point in all directions. - Arthur H. Motley

* Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells. - J. Paul Getty

* The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket. - Frank Hubbard

* Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work. - Robert Orben

*** For the full post with more funnies and the quiz, Funny Money Advice - Cheeky Quote Day 11 Nov 2009, go here.

08 November 2009

5 Powerful Soul Affirmations, Soul Journey Poem

Introvert Photo by h.koppdelaney @ flickr, a practicing Buddhist from Germany

5 Powerful Soul Affirmations, Soul Journey Poem

"Soul affirmations are a way to look at nourishing your patient ancient soul and convincing your ego to play nice, cooperate and learn to share with others while letting your soul out to play. It’s a way to blend the wise with the younger part of self still in the learning stage.

Our egos are trained and shaped and often defeated by the family and national culture into which we are born. Once we become adults it is up to us to parent those parts of ourselves that have been undernourished, neglected. Often we have been denied acceptance, understanding and love."

By Denny Lyon @ HubPages

From Denny: As we go into the holiday season and the cooling weather to prepare for winter when Nature sleeps and rests, our thoughts turn inward to reexamine our lives and meditate upon inner healing.

Though I choose to be a mystical Christian, this article can really apply to any religion or life philosophy based upon self-improvement so we can understand better the Life around us. There are wonderful art photos for the poem too, enjoy!

5 Powerful Soul Affirmations, Soul Journey Poem

07 November 2009

Awww, 7 Funny Dog Photos to Make You Laugh

From Denny: 7 funny dog photos to amuse and delight! I've been collecting these for a while this past year. Like so many things floating around on the worldwide web, many are without proper attribution to the photographer. If you happen to know about any of these images, shoot me an email: Denny Lyon - warriorspearl @ gmail.com. Glad to hear from you, thanks!

Photo courtesy of byme249 @ StumbleUpon - he collects a lot of funnies; check him out!

Ouch! From the socially inappropriate, and ironically true...

Photo by ano-cha @ flickr of Cocoa the dachsund clowning around.

Sunning Lab mocks by sticking his tongue out at the photographer. No attribution available on this one, if you know, shoot me an email.

I'm crazy for ya, baby! by inga @ flickr

Oh, the art of hiding out with my pet dog who is clueless...

Jack Russell terriers sleeping with their pet cheetah on the master's bed in South Africa - this came from a story from a UK newspaper.

*** Thanks for visiting and come back often! Keep laughing!

06 November 2009

Video: Overview of World Censorship on the Web

From Denny: This video zips along at a fast pace, full of diagrams, so you may need to watch it twice. :) Quite an eye-opener if you haven't seen this. Pass it forward to your friends so they realize just how much freedom we have in America to enjoy the internet. Amazing how little access some countries experience...

05 November 2009

How Kindness Develops Your Strength - and Power to Attract Love

From Denny: Kindness is often a hard sell in an aggressive Western society like America and parts of Europe. Kindness has been derided as a weakness, especially by the Republicans and other conservative fundamentalist cultures worldwide who consider kindness undesirable.

The conservatives in America claim to hold to Christian principles and "What Would Jesus Do?" T-shirts, forgetting the whole point of Jesus was about kindness. Jesus was also humanity's strongest person ever to walk this Earth! He is known for his profound teachings that span the centuries.


Kindness in words creates confidence
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness
Kindness in giving creates love.

Lao-tzu, Chinese philiospher

*** Thanks for visiting and come back often! :)

*** For more quotes like this, please visit Beautiful Illustrated Quotations, go here.

04 November 2009

6 Ironic Grinners! Cheeky Quote Day at The Social Poets - 4 Nov 2009

Ironic funny quotes comin' at ya, hard and fast! :)

From Denny: Found a lot of witty quotes for the Cheeky Quote Day! segment over at The Social Poets today! They will definitely get you thinking while you are laughing, a real two-fer to keep the brain cells in stellar fitness shape. :)

Witty quotes also make great writing prompts as they expose your mind to thinking about a subject from a different angle. Construct your own writing exercises for your blog or journal. Riffing off of quotes really does a lot to improve your writing. Give it a try and see for yourself!

Here are a few funny quotes for your tasty mind candy today (while you are detoxing from your Halloween candy high):


* All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

* Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. - Aldous Huxley

* The sinning is the best part of repentance. - Arab Proverb

* Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. - G.B. Shaw, "Maxims for Revolutionists," 1898

* It's pretty hard to be efficient without being obnoxious. - Kin Hubbard

* Is a stolen copyright a copywrong? – Anonymous

*** Thanks for visiting, much appreciated and come back often for a grin!

*** To get to Ironic Grinners - Cheeky Quote Day! 4 Nov 2009 - go here.

03 November 2009

Video: How Denialism and Irrational Thinking Affects Society Detrimentally

From Denny: This man is totally on point of his observation about when an entire society goes into a denial state of wishful irrational thinking like what happened under the Bush-Cheney regime in America. The Bush years will go down in history as "when America went crazy."

I certainly got enough personal death threats whenever I tried to warn people they were completely off balance and downright wrong in their assessments of political situations. Living in a Bushie state I would hear some really weird stuff that ran off the cliff and went screaming off the meter when it came to irrational thinking. There are still some of those weirdos on the local shock-talk radio shows, though their numbers are finally dwindling.

This author really makes the point there are isolated individuals who practice denialism. The destructive thing is when the whole herd runs off the cliff like during the Bush years. It's like a mass hypnosis insanity takes hold of people.

Of course, he uses the swine flu vaccine as a case in point. While he promotes everyone to get the vaccine; I have a different take. Assess your risk. If you are pregnant, have small children, have immune system issues or any of the other issues like are under the age of 30, then get the vaccine, especially if you are in crowded situations like schools, day care centers or other large groups. Why any nurse would refuse the vaccine is insane. A nurse is experiencing constant exposure and if you are working in a hospital, even as an office worker, it would be smart to get vaccinated.

One thing is for sure, it's good that some people are waking up to how irrational thinking is so very harmful for the individual as well as the nation. This author frames irrational fearful thinking as harmful to advances in science.

02 November 2009

Video: Check Out Prez Obamas Limo Ride!

From Denny: This news clip and graphic was featured when Obama took office back in January. Take a look at all the new Presidential upgrades!

Run-flat tires were installed. I had those on my last car and they are wonderful, also more expensive (hence, on the last car...) They are incredibly convenient and more safety oriented, especially for women worried about getting a flat tire on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. With run-flats you can continue to ride and ride on the tires until your destination.

I'll have to look into the bulletproof glass option on my next car... :)

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