02 May 2014

Bloodmoon April 14/15 and Oct 7/8 2014











I had the great fortune to witness the total lunar eclipse on the 14th of April and it was amazing. The weather was perfect and what I witnessed was just as it apears in the photo. Yes, the moon did look red! I was able to watch the entire event in my backyard and even went in and outside throughout the night just to check the progress after the total eclipse. I am looking forward to seeing the next bloodmoon in Oct of this year and there will be two more next year.

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02 April 2014

02 March 2014

Musings About the movies Ender's Game and After Earth.


I might as well start with  After Earth because there was not much of a plot and what existed was very simple and not too deep, and to have Will Smith’s son starring in the entire movie was boring. I am not against child actors by any means when they can act well. The only thing I liked about the movie was the message about fear. Healthy fear keeps us alive but obsessive or irrational fear can  harm us.
I know a lot of people liked Ender’s Game because they liked the novels, but I am not a fan of teaching children how to fight battles. War games, theft games, fighting games, etc. in the form of videos and movies are ways to train a young mind to be battle ready. If people want peace in the world, and I mean really want peace, then playing peaceful video games or better yet getting fresh air outside and playing sports or playing board games indoors is a good start. This is just my opinion, but if people want to live in a less chaotic world, young minds had better start reading, using their imagination, learning to play a musical instrument, playing  word games, practicing visual arts, playing sports, and learning to write creatively. Of course in my experience with school systems in two countries, these very activities are the first ones cut due to budget concerns. We need to have complete human beings if we want fresh new ideas in the form of novels, short stories, poems, television, and movies, otherwise, we will nurture individuals who will continue to write the same old stale war novels or movies which reflect the real life battles over land and resources that create death and havoc in the world. I realize the novel and movie address the option of talking before fighting, but I am still against battle training and opt for training in critical thinking skills. I know I am in the minority here, but I really am against violence and its representation as entertainment.
I prefer a movie/novel like Contact by Carl Sagan any day over a movie like Ender’s Game.
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23 February 2014

Star Shock Wave


If you thought shock waves  were only for science fiction movies, look again. JPL in Pasadena captured this infrared image of a shock wave created by a speeding star named Kappa Cassiopeiae. I have seen various movies and science fiction shows in which a star explodes and creates a shock wave that can destroy ships and space stations but to see an actual shock wave is pretty cool besides being quite beautiful.  NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope is responsible for the image.
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17 February 2014

The Space Station Passes Through The Pleiades Star Cluster

The Seven Sisters aka the Pleiades Star cluster had been a visible winter night sky object of curiosity for many centuries and have been the source of many tales and myths since at least 1600 BCE. It is interesting that modern technology( The ISS) meets an ancient sight in the night sky.
The International Space Station streaks through the night sky over Pisa, Italy, as the bright blue Pleiades star cluster glitters in the background in this amazing photo recently submitted to Space.com.

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15 February 2014

The Russian satellite Kosmos 1220 is set to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere the 16th of Feb 2014 but the exact location is unclear.
The parts of the Kosmos-1220 satellite are expected to re-enter the planet’s atmosphere at high speeds, Russian officials have confirmed.
Most of the locations of where the fragments will land, still remain unknown.
“As of February 7, 2014 the fragments are expected to fall on February 16,” Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin told Russian news agency Ria Novosti.
They said this will pose a “very real danger”.
But Zolotukhin said the parts he thought the parts would plunge into the Pacific Ocean, but he could not confirm it.
“The exact impact time and location of the fragments from the Kosmos-1220 satellite may change due to external factors,” Zolotukhin said.
This uncertainty means the satellite could potentially fall anywhere on Earth.
You can read the rest at news.com.au

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10 February 2014

Gravity, The Movie That is!

I am glad that I had the Earth’s gravity to keep me in my seat while watching this exciting movie. It is the first unique space movie I have seen in quite a while having been inundated with end of the world movies such as death by solar flare, meteor, earthquake, the core stopping, etc. Finally a movie in space that really captured my attention, a nice touch by keeping it in real time and dealing with the constraints of zero gravity. Do not get me wrong, I am a die hard fan of the Star Trek Franchise ( but not the JJ Abrams version, that is just wrong), I loved the Alien series with  Sigourney Weaver, and I enjoy all of the Stargate series. So I like artificial gravity and maybe that is why I found this movie interesting. The music was great and the events had me biting my nails and Sandra Bullock performed extremely well. It was fun to see someone else (Bullock) talking to themselves for a change, in fact, I found it very creative that she was trapped alone with no communication since we live in a world in which we have instant communication with anyone anywhere in and out of this world, so the idea she could not talk to the command center, and she needed to have basic understanding of two other languages, no not Klingon, but Russian and Chinese. When she picked up the radio transmission of someone speaking a foreign language at one point in the movie, again a nice point that she was alone, in silence, no gravity, and dealing with other languages. I liked that about the movie that with all the technology and ability to communicate, we still need to be able to think for ourselves and make decisions that will make our lives better or even more to the point  may save our lives without the need to rely on someone telling us what to do at each step of the way.Overall, it was time well spent which is a rare thing to say these days about the newest movies on the silver screen.

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