Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Space, Time, Distance, Deception, and Relativity


Picture of Saturn from Voyager 2
Astronomers say that Saturn's rings will disappear from view on Earth on September 4, 2009. The gases, ice, and rocky material that make up the rings will remain in place, but be invisible from the vantage point of Earth, as they do about every fifteen years.
They say that the debris, gases, water and ice that make up the rings are actually speeding around Saturn 60 times faster than a speeding bullet.

Our Sun is a Galactic Vagabond

A spiral galaxy from computer simulation
Astronomers have long believed that most stars are homebodies which stick close to their birthplaces. But a new simulation supports the suggestion that our sun might have once hitchhiked through the galaxy.

Where our sun or another star ends up migrating seems to depend on its position in a spinning spiral galaxy. Stars tagging along behind a massive spiral arm can get a gravitational speed boost that sends them into a bigger orbit around the galactic center. The stars leading in front of a spiral arm may end up getting slowed by the arm's gravitational pull and fall back into a smaller orbit.

Here in Redding

Photo of Sunday's lightning storm by CelticClicks

We had a lightning display Sunday night. There were over 250 strikes in the mountains, but only a few small fires. One of the, "posters", in our local paper's on-line comment section, had some good pictures he took from his home down in Cottonwood.

From the balcony, here, It was more like distant flash bulbs going off. Very entertaining.

Ancient European Civilization

7,000 year old bull on wheels, child's toy?

Before the Sumerians, before the Egyptians, in what is now Romania, there was a civilization, (Cucuteni-Trypillian), that seems to have been peaceful, artistic and respectful of nature. They left behind decorated pottery, small statues, and evidence of proto-cities. They would build a town, live in it for 80 years, then burn it down and build a new town in another location. Their statues do not depict threat or fear. The studies continue.

Move Over Rover

The Mars Rover will travel 7 miles to big crater
The science team behind the twin Mars rover missions announced Monday that Opportunity would head out for a 13.7-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) crater dubbed Endeavour.

Storm a comin'

Storm dumps heavy rains across Hispaniola

Cooking the Books in an Election Year,
by Changing the due dates on Utility Bills.

I received an e-mail from Fred, in Mississippi, about how the utility company changed his due date on his bill to the last day of the month. When he paid his bill on the first, (He is on a fixed income.), there was a late charge.

Funny thing. I just went through that, here in Redding! I got my due date changed back to where it's at the beginning of the month, again, but not before giving them a $16 fee, for being one day late!

Now, there are millions of fixed income people paying utilities across the country.
Adjusting due dates could mean a lot of money in late fee's.
That will show as economic growth.

I will not be surprised to see the republicans trotting out, "Statistics", that show an economic up-turn, to convince voters what a great job they are doing.
They will stop at nothing to maintain power.

Eveything is in Constant Motion
In an Infinite Number of Directions
Your eyes are in motion as you read this.
You are spinning around on the surface of the Earth at 1000 miles an hour.
The Earth is Racing around the Sun at 67,000 miles an hour.
The Sun is racing around the Milky Way at 486,000 miles an hour.
The Milky Way Galaxy is hurtling through space at 370 miles per second.
You are rapidly moving in many directions at once.
From your viewpoint, your eyes are moving back and forth, but viewed from just one other perspective, they would appear to be moving up and down. There are an infinite number of perspectives.
If you are with me so far, you have just traveled millions of miles.
There in the distance, you can see a glimmer of Newtons Law.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
Spike Jones-Cocktails for Two
From the original 1945 film

Laughter is one of Gods Greatest Gifts

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