Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Terra Nova

Potentially habitable planet found - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON - For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for 'life in the universe.'

The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively nearby at 120 trillion miles away. But the star it closely orbits, known as a 'red dwarf,' is much smaller, dimmer and cooler than our sun..."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Top 10 Strangest Things in Space

Click the link.
SPACE.com -- Top 10 Strangest Things in Space

Black Hole Emits Plasma

Black Hole Cluster Breathes Out Enormous Gas Cloud - Yahoo! News: "Astronomers have spotted a giant cloud of superheated gas 6 million light years wide that might be generated by a cluster of supermassive black holes.

The plasma cloud, detailed in April 10 issue of Astrophysical Journal, might be the source of mysterious cosmic rays that permeate our universe..."

Friday, April 20, 2007

InformationWeek Weblog: The Year 2000 As Predicted In 1900: Did They Anticipate Wireless Phones And TV?

InformationWeek Weblog: The Year 2000 As Predicted In 1900: Did They Anticipate Wireless Phones And TV?
It is always interesting to see what people in the past thought "the future" would be like. Predictions usually say more about the people in the age they were made than they do about the future. But sometimes, a few of these predictions really hit home.

I came across this article from The Ladies Home Journal of December 1900 entitled, "Predictions of the Year 2000" on Andrew Sullivan's blog. While most of these predictions seem totally out of date, more than a few are not that off the mark. Take this one, for example:

Prediction #18: Telephones Around the World. Wireless telephone and
telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic
will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We
will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York
to Brooklyn. By an automatic signal they will connect with any circuit in their
locality without the intervention of a "hello girl".

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Perfect Nebula

Ker Than
Staff Writer

"If symmetry is a sign of splendor, then the newly discovered Red Square nebula is one of the most beautiful objects in the universe.

Seen in the infrared, the nebula resembles a giant, glowing red box in the sky, with a bright white inner core. A dying star called MWC 922 is located at the system's center and spewing its innards from opposite poles into space. (A nebula is an interstellar cloud of gas, dust and plasma where stars can both emerge and die...)"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Eye Contact

Study finds holding eye contact is critical when police confront hysterical citizens: "New research relies on footage from TV show 'COPS'

DURHAM, N.H. -- Holding eye contact, or 'gaze,' with hysterical citizens is one of the most effective methods police officers can use to calm them down, according to new research conducted by the University of New Hampshire that relies on footage of the FOX TV show 'COPS.'

The study by Mardi Kidwell, assistant professor of communication, '�Calm Down!�: the role of gaze in the interactional management of hysteria by the police,' was published recently in Discourse Studies.

According to Kidwell�s research, regulating gaze is central to face-to-face interaction. For police officers, it�s an important factor in gaining compliance from and calming hysterical citizens..."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Signs of water seen on planet outside solar system - Yahoo! News

Signs of water seen on planet outside solar system - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Evidence of water has been detected for the first time in a planet outside our solar system, an astronomer said on Tuesday, a tantalizing find for scientists eager to know whether life exists beyond Earth.

Travis Barman, an astronomer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, said water vapor has been found in the atmosphere of a large, Jupiter-like gaseous planet located 150 light years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. The planet is known as HD 209458b..."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

3D Land

New 3-D movies more than a gimmick - CNN.com: "LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- By the end of the decade, Darth Vader could be rattling sabers with his enemies above the heads of moviegoers, and Buzz Lightyear could be flying off the screen on his way to infinity and beyond.

A growing number of blockbuster, live-action films and animated movies are expected to be offered in 3-D in the next few years, as thousands of theaters around the country are outfitted with the special projectors and screens needed to show the films..."