Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

pretty as a rose

eating octopus

water on the moon

NASA has opened a new chapter in our understanding of the moon.
Preliminary data from the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates that the mission successfully uncovered water during the Oct. 9, 2009 impacts into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus cater near the moon’s south pole.

The impact created by the LCROSS Centaur upper stage rocket created a two-part plume of material from the bottom of the crater. The first part was a high angle plume of vapor and fine dust and the second a lower angle ejecta curtain of heavier material. This material has not seen sunlight in billions of years.

Permanently shadowed regions could hold a key to the history and evolution of the solar system, much as an ice core sample taken on Earth reveals ancient data. In addition, water, and other compounds represent potential resources that could sustain future lunar exploration.

"We were only able to match the spectra from LCROSS data when we inserted the spectra for water," said Colaprete. "No other reasonable combination of other compounds that we tried matched the observations. The possibility of contamination from the Centaur also was ruled out."

Sunday, November 8, 2009


The MESSENGER's global map of Mercury included the "most spectacular" volcanic vent feature yet seen on the planet, as well as evidence for geologic activity on Mercury as recently as a billion years ago. "After Mariner 10, it was thought that internal volcanic activity on Mercury ended earlier than on any other planet," MESSENGER imaging team member Brett Denevi said. "Now we're realizing that's not the case."

Mercury is known to have the largest metallic core, relative to its diameter, of any of the rocky planets. But, Lawrence said, "many space and Earth based measurements have shown Mercury's surface has a low concentration of iron within silicate minerals. Since silicate minerals typically dominate the bulk composition of planetary bodies, this observation has led to a commonly-held view that Mercury's surface has generally low abundances of iron as well as titanium. As a consequence, it has been a puzzle for studies of Mercury to explain how a planet can have such a large, iron-rich core but have a surface with such a very low iron content."

As MESSENGER flew past Mercury, it pointed its neutron
spectrometer at the surface, providing the first direct test of the exact abundance of iron and titanium in Mercury's rocks.

The high-resolution photos snapped by MESSENGER on approach to this flyby make it clear that the splash is a halo of material, probably volcanic cinders, tossed out of an enormous, steep-sided hole in the ground that is almost certainly a volcanic vent, Denevi said: "It doesn't have a raised rim, it is very steep, and it has this odd shape, all of which are characteristics of a volcanic vent. It's one of the best examples on the planet." At roughly 30 kilometers across, it is one of the largest such features yet spotted by MESSENGER.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mad as a Hatter

The felt top hat and zany manner of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland are literary references to the toxicity of mercury compounds. Mercury (II) nitrate and chloride were used with HNO3 to make felt for hats from animal hair. Inhalation of the dust generated by the process led to "hatter's shakes," abnormal behavior, and other neurological and psychological symptoms.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Of Montreal- The Events Leading Up to the Collapse of Detective Dullight

There was jello in the fingerprints.
Detective Dulllight discovered.
It proved to be the most important finding in the case
And where as Detectives Slocks and Slovits
slobbered over smutty photographs
Dulllight had a better lead to follow.
He followed the ringing to the telephone where a voice asked

"Excuse me aren't you so and so?"
"Oh so and so since you left I have been eating only sweets cause they remind me of you."
He felt this surely was a clue.
So he climbed into the tub wearing
his underwear and overcoat,
jumped aboard the model boat
and followed the water down the drain.

In his brain there are file cabinets
and secretaries filing their nails downstairs
(But I don't want to talk about that room downstairs).

At this moment Detective Slocks and Slovets realize that since they had reported on the crime scene this morning
each of them has aged over fifty years.
Two butterflies land on their shoulders and
harmonize softly in their ears:
"Where did all the time go?"
"Did you think that you'd stay young forever?"
"But at least you're still together..."

The two detectives held hands in the moonlight.
The butterflies flew away which prompted Slovit's to say,
"l miss them already".
Slocks removed a fountain pen from his breast pocket,
drove it deep into Slovit's throat and began screeching

While in prison, Slocks wrote one of the most revered exercises in free verse titled "The Cause of Gauze".
"Oh the cause of gauze, The Manuels have fondled many memories from my lap though each memory has its own lap and swimmers swim laps. Even swimmers have laps however and while in that condition many require a delicate gauze.
I desire only this in my decrepitude, that I will have one more opportunity to serve as a gauze to my fellow man and that in that state of gauze can somehow disturb the world less often with my prickly fingers."

When Detective Dulllight returning from the catacombs
first heard the news of the Slocks and Slovets stabbing
and subsequent poetry enterprise,
he immediately fell to the floor
and began plucking peaches from his cheeks.

This eventually became a tiresome activity so he evaporated into the cream a float a child's bedtime coco.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Megaleledone setebos

Many deep-sea octopi evolved from an Antarctic octupus species, descendants of which still exist in the Southern Ocean.

The photo shows Megaleledone setebos, the closest living relative of the ancient ancestor.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Ballad of Love and Hate- The Avett Brothers

Love writes a letter and sends it to hate.
My vacations ending. I'm coming home late.
The weather was fine and the ocean was great
and I can't wait to see you again.

Hate reads the letter and throws it away.
"No one here cares if you go or you stay.
I barely even noticed that you were away.
I'll see you or I won't, whatever."

Love sings a song as she sails through the sky.
The water looks bluer through her pretty eyes.
And everyone knows it whenever she flies,
and also when she comes down.

Hate keeps his head up and walks through the street.
Every stranger and drifter he greets.
And shakes hands with every loner he meets
with a serious look on his face.

Love arrives safely with suitcase in tow.
Carrying with her the good things we know.
A reason to live and a reason to grow.
To trust. To hope. To care.

Hate sits alone on the hood of his car.
Without much regard to the moon or the stars.
Lazily killing the last of a jar
of the strongest stuff you can drink.

Love takes a taxi, a young man drives.
As soon as he sees her, hope fills his eyes.
But tears follow after, at the end of the ride,
cause he might never see her again.

Hate gets home lucky to still be alive.
He screams o'er the sidewalk and into the drive.
The clock in the kitchen says 2:55,
And the clock in the kitchen is slow.

Love has been waiting, patient and kind.
Just wanting a phone call or some kind of sign,
That the one that she cares for, who's out of his mind,
Will make it back safe to her arms.

Hate stumbles forward and leans in the door.
Weary head hung, eyes to the floor.
He says "Love, I'm sorry", and she says, "What for?
I'm your and that's it, Whatever.
I should not have been gone for so long.
I'm your's and that's it, forever."

You're mine and that's it, forever.