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Bad Moon Rising

from The Independent

Solar eclipse, Supermoon, Spring equinox: Friday will see three rare celestial events

by ANDREW GRIFFIN

Eclipses have long been feared as bad omens, but the equinox is celebrated as a time of renewal

As the eclipse plunges the UK and other places into darkness this Friday, two other rare if less spectacular celestial events will be taking place, too: a Supermoon and the Spring equinox.

A Supermoon, or perigee moon, happens when the full or new moon does its closest fly-by of the Earth, making it look bigger than it normally does. And the spring equinox refers to the time of the year when the day and night are of equal duration, mid-way between the longest and shortest days.

The solar eclipse refers to a phenomenon where the sun and moon line up, so that the latter obscures the former. And while it won’t be affected by the two other events, it is rare that the three events happen even individually.

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on March 16, 2015 by Editor

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I Like Pi

from The Washington Post

10 stunning images show the beauty hidden in pi

By Ana Swanson

Saturday — March 14, 2015, or 3/14/15 — marks an extremely nerdy holiday. It is the official celebration of π, the magical, mathematical and infinite constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

For any circle you can imagine, if you divide the distance around the circle by the distance across it, you will get pi, or 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749
445923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066
470938446095505822317253594081284811174502841027019385…

We could keep going, but you get the picture.

Some people will celebrate the holiday by making and eating pies (Washington restaurants are offering specials on everything from pizza to banana cream). Others will run a Pi-K race of 3.14 kilometers. And some data tinkerers are making art that visualize pi’s infinite and random digits.

One of the best known of these data tinkerers is Martin Krzywinski, a scientist who specializes in bioinformatics, or using computer science and statistics to understand biological data.

[ click to see more Pi art at WaPo ]

Posted on March 14, 2015 by Editor

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Why Pi Matters

from The New Yorker

Why Pi Matters

BY 

The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach.The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY JEFFREY COOLIDGE / GETTY

Every March 14th, mathematicians like me are prodded out of our burrows like Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day, blinking and bewildered by all the fuss. Yes, it’s Pi Day again. And not just any Pi Day. They’re calling this the Pi Day of the century: 3.14.15. Pi to five digits. A once-in-a-lifetime thing.

I’m dreading it. No hope of solving any equations that day, what with the pie-eating contests, the bickering over the merits of pi versus tau (pi times two), and the throwdowns over who can recite more digits of pi. Just stay off the streets at 9:26:53, when the time will approximate pi to ten places: 3.141592653.

Pi does deserve a celebration, but for reasons that are rarely mentioned. In high school, we all learned that pi is about circles. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference (the distance around the circle, represented by the letter C) to its diameter (the distance across the circle at its widest point, represented by the letter d). That ratio, which is about 3.14, also appears in the formula for the area inside the circle, A = πr2, where π is the Greek letter “pi” and r is the circle’s radius (the distance from center to rim). We memorized these and similar formulas for the S.A.T.s and then never again used them, unless we happened to go into a technical field, or until our own kids took geometry.

So it’s fair to ask: Why do mathematicians care so much about pi? Is it some kind of weird circle fixation? Hardly. The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on March 13, 2015 by Editor

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Why Pacquiao-Mayweather Matters

personal injury lawyers

from The New Yorker

How Much Does Pacquiao-Mayweather Matter?

BY 
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY ESTHER LIN/SHOWTIME®

In a humid boxing gym in Hollywood on Tuesday, members of the sports media outnumbered world-class boxers by about twenty to one. They had come to watch Manny Pacquiao, by most measures the second-best welterweight in the world, prepare for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, Jr., by all measures the best. As Pacquiao shadowboxed in the ring, Michael Koncz, one of his closest advisers, looked at the reporters and videographers and seemed to wince. “After these two weeks, that’s it!” he said. He had agreed to a brief media invasion, but he wanted as much brevity as possible.

Fred Sternburg, Pacquiao’s publicist, just laughed. Pacquiao-Mayweather will almost certainly be the most lucrative boxing match in history—it’s being called the new Fight of the Century, and it requires a publicity push to match. The fight is scheduled for May 2nd, in Las Vegas, and until then everyone in both fighters’ orbits will have to accommodate and ignore the non-stop stream of outsiders bearing notepads and cameras. The fight will be broadcast on pay-per-view, as part of an unusual arrangement between HBO and Showtime—the rival fighters are attached to rival premium cable networks, who therefore have had to find a way to collaborate. As far as the fight’s promoters are concerned, members of the media have one job to do: help them entice more paying customers.

The promotion began in earnest the next day, with the Press Conference of the Century, which took over the Nokia Theatre, in downtown Los Angeles. There was a red carpet, where each fighter could take a hundred-yard stroll in front of broadcast media. A number of outlets, including ESPN and CNN, had erected temporary anchor desks, which heightened the illusion that something important was about to happen.

Mayweather versus Pacquiao has been the most talked-about match-up in boxing for more than six years, and many observers had been skeptical, in recent months, that the fighters would finally agree to fight. Now that the date is set, boxing fans can go back to doing what they do best: complain—in this case, about the fact that it didn’t take place years ago, when both men were younger and quicker.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on March 12, 2015 by Editor

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Enceladus Moon

from Popular Mechanics

Why the Warm Ocean on This Moon of Saturn Could Be Perfect for Life

One of the most promising places to look for life beyond Earth just got even more tantalizing

Move over, Europa. It looks as though the most life-friendly habitat ever discovered outside of Earth is Enceladus—Saturn’s sixth-largest moon.

Astrophysicists working with NASA’s Saturn sweeping Cassini spacecraft have just announced that Enceladus has a warm ocean at its southern pole with ongoing hydrothermal activity—the first ever discovered outside of Earth. This new research, published in the journal Nature, builds upon last year’s discovery of the moon’s 6-mile-deep ocean, which is also believed to contain many of the chemicals commonly associated with life.

“We now have very strong evidence that there is a hot hydrothermal environment at the base of Enceladus’s ocean, perhaps like those where we believe life began on Earth,” says Jonathan Lunine, a planetary scientist at Cornell University who works with the Cassini spacecraft but was not involved in the new research. “This is yet another discovery in a series of really remarkable findings that have come one by one, to tell us that this may be the place to go look for life in the outer solar system.”

[ click to continue reading at PM ]

Posted on March 11, 2015 by Editor

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Mining The Moon

from CNBC

Billionaire teams up with NASA to mine the moon

by Susan Caminiti

Source: MoonExpress

Moon Express, a Mountain View, California-based company that’s aiming to send the first commercial robotic spacecraft to the moon next year, just took another step closer toward that lofty goal. Earlier this year, it became the first company to successfully test a prototype of a lunar lander at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The success of this test—and a series of others that will take place later this year—paves the way for Moon Express to send its lander to the moon in 2016, said company co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain.

Moon Express conducted its tests with the support of NASA engineers, who are sharing with the company their deep well of lunar know-how. The NASA lunar initiative—known as Catalyst—is designed to spur new commercial U.S. capabilities to reach the moon and tap into its considerable resources. In addition to Moon Express, NASA is also working with Astrobotic Technologies of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California, to develop commercial robotic spacecrafts.

Jain said Moon Express also recently signed an agreement to take over Space Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral. The historic launchpad will be used for Moon Express’s lander development and flight-test operations. Before it was decommissioned, the launchpad was home to NASA’s Atlas-Centaur rocket program and its Surveyor moon landers.

[ click to continue reading at CNBC ]

Posted on March 10, 2015 by Editor

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Moto Colombia

Posted on March 9, 2015 by Editor

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Heart of Glass How-to

from The Wall Street Journal

How Blondie Created ‘Heart of Glass’

Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein talk about ‘Heart of Glass’

By MARC MYERS

Until 1978, Blondie was a punk band with a cult following and not much visibility in the U.S. beyond New York’s Lower East Side. Eager for a hit album, Chrysalis, the band’s label, paired Blondie with Michael Chapman, an inventive producer who had success recording other downtown artists, including Suzi Quatro and Sweet.

The result was “Parallel Lines,” Blondie’s third album, and the single “Heart of Glass.”After the song’s release in early 1979, it became Blondie’s first Billboard pop-chart hit, climbing to No. 1 in April 1979, helping to pave the way for synth-pop and electronic dance music (EDM).

Mr. Chapman and the song’s co-writers—Debbie Harry (who opens at New York’s Cafe Carlyle March 24) and guitarist Chris Stein(author of the recent “Negative: Me, Blondie and the Advent of Punk”)—talked about the hit’s evolution, Donna Summer’s influence and the struggle to adapt the high-impact Euro-techno sound. Edited from interviews:

Chris Stein: When Debbie and I were living in our top-floor apartment at 48 W. 17th St., I often messed around on a borrowed multitrack tape recorder. It let me record a rhythm guitar track and then layer melody and harmony lines on top. I wrote and developed my songs this way. In the summer of 1974, I wrote a song and referenced the catchy feel of “Rock the Boat” by the Hues Corporation, which was a big hit then. Debbie and I began calling it “The Disco Song.”

Debbie Harry: I used to keep a notebook to jot down lyrics and ideas that came to me. On this one, Chris was constantly experimenting with the song, and the lyrics just floated into my head. The words I came up with expressed a very high school kind of thing, of falling in and out of love and getting your feelings hurt. But instead of dwelling on the pain, the words sort of shrugged off the breakup, like, “Oh, well, that’s the way it goes.”

Chris and I both came from an art background, and we were familiar with existentialism, surrealism, abstractionism and so on. The feeling I wanted to get across was, “Live and let live,” like this is what happened and now it’s not happening, you know? I threw in the “Ooo-ooo, ohhh-oh” fill when we started performing the song at CBGB. It was a 1960s “girl group” thing. Chris and I both loved R&B.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ.com ]

Posted on March 8, 2015 by Editor

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Second Moon

from geek.com

Earth’s mysterious ‘second moon’ and its odd orbit

By 

It sounds like one of those crazy conspiracy theories: There are aliens at Area 51. Abraham Lincoln was a lizard. The Earth has a second, secret moon. However, the last of these is actually pretty widely repeated in scientific circles, though only with a very colloquial definition for the word “moon.” Though it’s technically a near-Earth asteroid, the astronomical body called 3753 Cruithne spends much of its time following the Earth like our much more famous satellite, Luna.

First, a quick explanation of why Cruithne is not actually a moon, then an explanation of why many refuse to accept that fact. It’s not a moon because, well, it’s an asteroid. Cruithne orbits the Sun, not the Earth, and its seemingly wonky orbital pattern is definitely not tied to the Earth’s in any satellite-like fashion. By no means is Cruithne actually a secondary body orbiting the Earth — so why is it so often referred to that way?

The answer is that Cruithne has a very similar orbital period to the Earth’s, just a day or so off at 364 days per cycle. This means that when the astroid happens to be close to the Earth, it will also happen to stay close to the Earth for quite a while. The tendency of this small celestial body to move in tandem with the Earth, often for long portions of the year, has led some to incorrectly dub it our second moon.

However, though it may take a similar amount of time to loop around our star, Cruithne’s orbit is anything but regular. As seen from an objective viewpoint (above right), it’s easy to see how the two orbits are independent of one another. Seen from a more realistic perspective, one which keeps the Earth stationary and simulations our view from its surface, shows a very different picture. View the video below, which offers a great three-dimensional look at Cruithne’s so-called “horseshoe orbit.” Seen from this perspective, it’s a lot easier to understand why Cruithne has been so widely mischaracterized as a moon of the Earth.

[ click to continue reading at geek.com ]

Posted on March 7, 2015 by Editor

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Zombieville For Sale

from ebay

grantville

[ click to bid at ebay ]

Posted on March 6, 2015 by Editor

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The 23-year Premiere

from Indiewire

Watch: Exclusive Trailer for Tsai Ming-liang’s Long-Awaited ‘Rebels of the Neon God’

By Travis Clark

The film is finally set for a theatrical premiere in the U.S.

It’s been a long time coming, but Tsai Ming-liang’s 1992 film “Rebels of the Neon God” is finally getting a U.S. premiere thanks to Big World Pictures, and Indiewire has the exclusive trailer.

The film centers on a young man named Hsiao-kang who defies his parents wishes and runs away to downtown Kapei where an unfortunate meeting leads him down a path of trouble.

[ continue reading at Indiewire ]

Posted on March 5, 2015 by Editor

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The Baller Formerly Known As Prince

from The Washington Post

Yes, Prince really did play high school basketball, and we have a tremendous photo to prove it

By Des Bieler

By now, you should have seen the hilarious “Chappelle Show” skit in which Charlie Murphy recalls a night when Prince surprisingly schooled him in basketball (if not, drop everything and check it out). And there has been some corroboration that the diminutive pop star/strange person really does have game.

On Tuesday, we got something wonderful: An old photo of Prince in his high school basketball uniform, plus some words of praise from his coach at the time. This came from Libor Jany, a reporter for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where the man who would later give us “Purple Rain” first learned to rain jumpers.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on March 4, 2015 by Editor

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“Everyone was willing to let the writer hang, and I wasn’t.”

from NY1

One on 1 Profile: Editor/Publisher Nan Talese Continues Her Legacy in the World of Books

By Budd Mishkin

In any book, one of the most heartfelt thank yous from an author usually goes to the book editor, and for many years, some of the most prominent authors have thanked Nan Talese. NY1′s Budd Mishkin filed the following One on 1 profile.

Nan Talese was once dubbed the “high priestess of all New York editor/publishers.”

“People have said, ‘I’m so glad to meet you,’” she says. “Now, I cannot figure it out. (laughs).”

Talese: The hard thing is to write. What I do is easy.

Mishkin: Maybe it’s easy for you.

Talese: It’s easy for me.

Talese is held in such high regard that she has her own imprint, akin to her own department of the publishing giant Doubleday.

On the walls of her Midtown office hang pictures of some of the writers with whom she’s worked for decades, including best-selling authors Margaret Atwood and Pat Conroy.

At her Upper East Side home, there are notes from book projects both present and past.

“What I usually do is – I won’t do it because it’s undignified – I lie down here with my feet up here and I read the manuscripts,” Talese says. “I read very, very slowly. because I hear the words.”

Her appreciation for what writers endure is helped immensely by the fact that she lives with a writer, and a pretty fair one at that: her husband of more than 55 years, Gay Talese.

“As Gay writes his book, I read aloud the pages as they come out, and I think it puts me in the atmosphere of the writer’s working,” Nan Talese says. “I think it’s helped me a great deal.”

[ click to continue reading at NY1.com ]

Posted on March 3, 2015 by Editor

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And He Walks Away

Posted on March 2, 2015 by Editor

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ENDGAME Helps Ward Off Endgame for Cahokia Mounds

from St. Louis Public Radio

Crowdfunding and an alternate reality game provide a modern boost for ancient mounds

By

Monks Mound is the largest prehistoric earthen construction in north or south America.Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthen construction in [the Americas]
PHOTO COURTESY CAHOKIA MOUNDS STATE HISTORIC SITE

After word spread that the cash-strapped Cahokia Mounds Museum Society was crowdfunding to raise $7,500 to print brochures for the storied Illinois landmark — the largest prehistoric Indian site north of Mexico — donations poured in from down the road, around the globe and from a mysterious alternate reality.

More than 500 people pledged upward of $8,500 to the campaign on gofundme.com after St. Louis Public Radio’s storyon Feb. 23 made the rounds on social media. Many of the donors are players of Endgame, an alternate reality game created by Google’s Niantic Labs, which adopted the cause because Cahokia Mounds is one of the ancient societies included in the game’s lore.

Lori Belknap, the society’s executive director, said she was surprised and grateful when the Endgame players began driving the contributions upward. They used the hashtag #AncSoc to designate their connection to Ancient Societies, an Endgame website.

Belknap said the campaign touched a nerve.

“It says to me that a lot of people are passionate about our site and are appalled at what’s happening with funding — and how we’re affected by the state’s politics and budget concerns,’’ she said.

Unlikely allies from an alternate reality

The crowdfunding effort by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society was slow-going until the Endgame players jumped in. The gofundme.com page, which was posted nearly a month ago, had about $550 in contributions when St. Louis Public Radio highlighted the need behind the campaign.

Brian Rose, community manager at Niantic Labs, says a player alerted Endgame to the story after it triggered a Google alert on Cahokia Mounds. Endgame issued a “call to action,” offering to match contributions of $5 or more marked with the #AncSoc hashtag, until the goal was reached. The players were also added to a beta list for a mobile game app that will launch soon.

Rose noted that some of the players live in the St. Louis area, but most of the contributors live across the United States, and some are from Europe and Australia.

“It was really great to see how quickly people leapt to action on this,’’ he said. “Players wanted to contribute because that’s sort of what the game is all about — rediscovering and supporting these ancient societies.”

Niantic matched about $2,100 in donations, and author James Frey, who wrote the Endgame trilogy on which the game is based, donated $1,000.

Rose said the challenge fit with the mission statement for Niantic Labs —  “adventures on foot with others” — which seeks to build real-life experiences into its games.

“We were looking at how people were playing video games and it’s somewhat of a solitary hobby. Usually, people were sitting behind TVs or computer monitors,’’ he said. “We wanted to give people some encouragement or incentive — some reward to explore neighborhoods around them and to travel more and to rediscover their neighborhoods and find the hidden gems in their towns.”

[ click to read complete article at St. Louis Public Radio ]

Posted on March 1, 2015 by Editor

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Ariel Camacho Gone At 22

from The New York Times

Ariel Camacho, Lead Singer of Los Plebes del Rancho, Dies at 22

By PAULINA VILLEGAS

MEXICO CITY — Ariel Camacho, the lead singer of the popular norteño group Los Plebes del Rancho, died in a car accident early Wednesday on a highway near the Mexican state of Sinaloa. He was 22.

Mr. Camacho was returning from a performance at a music festival, Carnaval de Mocorito. He had been on tour with his group, whose name roughly translates as “the ranch’s plebeians,” promoting their album “El Karma.” It was not immediately known what caused the accident or who was driving.

Mr. Camacho, who played guitar and wrote songs as well as singing, was idolized by youngsters in rural Mexicoand had begun amassing a fan base on the other side of the border.

He was known for his original narcocorridos — accordion-driven ballads telling of the violent lives of drug traffickers. But his fans, and the musicians he worked with, argued that his message was broader. He himself referred to his songs as “campirana”: music for farmers.

[ click to read full article at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on February 28, 2015 by Editor

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Mr. Spock Gone \:–(

Posted on February 27, 2015 by Editor

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Llama Highway Star

from The New Yorker

The Running of the Llamas

BY 

A mother llama and her baby were recorded live as they fled down a Phoenix highway today after escaping their handlers.A mother llama and her baby were recorded live as they fled down a Phoenix highway today after escaping their handlers. CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ABC15.COM

In 2015, when someone G-chats you to ask, “Watching the llama cam?” you might think little of it. You might even roll your eyes—twenty-four-hour live-streams of puppies or zoo animals are old news, and llamas, you might think, are not especially compelling. They just sort of stand there, chewing their cud and giving onlookers the side eye. The most exciting thing about them is the threat of loogies being hawked if you get too close. But when your G-chat correspondent follows up with “two llamas on the loose,” your interest is piqued. You click on a link to the Web site of an ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona.’

It’s hard to describe the particular thrill of watching, live, the two llamas who were chased down a desert highway today, for the better part of two hours, by law-enforcement officers and concerned citizens. The obvious comparison was to O. J. Simpson in his white Bronco; “Bonnie and Clyde” meets “Homeward Bound” also came to mind. The llamas, a mother and her baby, had been a visiting attraction at an assisted-living facility for seniors in Sun City, outside of Phoenix, earlier in the day. The details are fuzzy, but somehow, as their handlers loaded them into a trailer to head home to the llama farm, they made a break for it. It wasn’t long before they were traversing major thoroughfares, often against traffic, followed closely by a news helicopter above and a gaggle of would-be captors on the ground.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on February 26, 2015 by Editor

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The Best New Soccer Stadium In America

from The San Jose Mercury News

Is Earthquakes’ new stadium best soccer venue in America?

By Elliott Almond

SAN JOSE — It started almost 2 1/2 years ago when 6,256 soccer fans grabbed blue-bladed shovels to break ground at a long forgotten lot just west of Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The resulting European-style soccer stadium that lurches 75 feet skyward in sight of Interstate 880 and Highway 87 could become the envy of teams around the country — and a mecca for the region’s growing base of futbol aficionados.

On Saturday, the San Jose Earthquakes will christen Avaya Stadium, a privately funded, 18,000-seat venue that club officials hope transforms a once-niche sport into something that rivals baseball, basketball and football.

[ click to continue reading at SJ Merc ]

Posted on February 25, 2015 by Editor

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Aliens On The Death Star Planet

from The Daily Mail

What is flashing us from mysterious dwarf planet? Riddle of Ceres’ spots deepens as probe finds ANOTHER flashing mark

  • Ceres orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter, and may have water gushing from its surface

Ceres continues to baffle astronomers as the Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the dwarf planet.

The latest images, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000km) from Ceres, reveal that a bright ‘alien’ spot that stands out in previous images lies close to yet another bright area.

While Nasa has not provided an explanation, scientists suggest these spots may be frozen pools of ice at the bottom of a crater that reflect light.

‘Right now, all we can say is that the material reflects 40 per cent or more of the light falling on it,’ UCLA astronomer Chris Russell, the principal investigator for the Dawn mission, told NBC News.

‘This limit is because of the resolution of the camera at this distance from Ceres. If the final answer is that it reflects all the light that falls on it, then the most probable reflector would be ice.’

He added that there may be a volcano-like origin of the spots, but that Nasa will have to wait for better resolution before we can make such geologic interpretations.

Using its ion propulsion system, Dawn will enter orbit around Ceres on March 6.

When it does, it will become the first human-made probe to visit the ‘Death Star’ planet – and scientists hope it will uncover the secrets behind its mysterious white spot.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on February 24, 2015 by Editor

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1 Million Fireworks Cool

Posted on February 23, 2015 by Editor

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Hey, Dude – It’s corporate. Can you do me a favor and trash the store. Nah, it’s cool, man – go ahead.

from The New York Daily News

Prank caller tricks employees into destroying Circle K convenience store, causing about $30,000 in damage: cops

BY  

At least they’re good at following instructions!

A prank caller fooled two Circle K employees in Globe, Ariz. into destroying the convenience store so severely that it temporarily shut down.

The loyal-to-a-fault workers believed they were abiding by the guidance of a security company — and they caused about $30,000 in damage before figuring out the trick, police said.

“They thought they were acting righteously in terms of following direction from security,” Sgt. A.J. Castaneda told the Daily News.

The call came in around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The prankster posed as Circle K’s corporate security, claiming that a silent fire alarm was going off and giving instructions to contain the crock crisis, KSAZ reported.

The caller told the employees to discharge fire extinguishers in the store, throw the extinguishers through the windows and destroy merchandise, computers, registers and security televisions, Castaneda said.

In less than five minutes, the employees wrecked most of the store and smashed all but one of its windows. One employee remained on the phone while the other followed the destructive demands, Castaneda said.

All of this happened while two or three customers were shopping.

[ click to read full article at NYDailyNews.com ]

Posted on February 22, 2015 by Editor

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Dizzying Hedonism On Film

from The Daily Mail

Glitz, glamour and infamous excess: Dizzying photos from inside Studio 54 reveal the star-studded debauchery of the world’s most famous disco

Nearly 40 years after it opened its doors to a flood of party-hungry movie stars, fashion royalty and debaucherous disco dancers, Studio 54 remains the most famous night club America has ever known.

This month, Swedish-born photojournalist Hasse Persson releases a breathtaking compilation of his first-hand experiences at the New York discotheque, where he routinely captured the dizzying hedonism on film from 1977 to 1980.

Like a booze and drug fueled fever dream, Persson’s ‘Studio 54′ freezes a red-hot moment in disco-era history into 200-plus pages of spellbinding, head-spinning imagery.

Standouts in the vivid, black and white shots are such colorful characters as Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Bianca Jagger.

But, nearly always sharing the frame with these notables, are the professional level partyers whose presence made Studio 54 the white hot cultural touchstone it was for a brief but memorable 33 months and continues to be in society’s collective memory.

As the tome is billed at artbook.com,  ‘Almost 35 years after the club’s unceremonious and sudden closure, this beautiful hardback volume superbly documents the zeitgeist.’

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mail ]

Posted on February 21, 2015 by Editor

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Classic Oscar Gag (+ Watch For Howard Stern)

Posted on February 20, 2015 by Editor

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SQUAREPUSHER Damogen Furies Woo-hoo

from Paste Magazine

Squarepusher Announces New Album Damogen Furies, Shares New Track

By Jeff Pearson

Squarepusher Announces New Album <i>Damogen Furies</i>, Shares New Track

Since 2012’s Ufabulum, prolific English producer Squarepusher (Tom Jenkinson) has been relatively quiet. He released the Music for Robots EP last year, a composition written by Jenkinson and performed by three Z-Machine robots, but that didn’t quite sate the die-hard fans in the interim. Squarepusher has announced that he will be returning with a proper LP, titled Damogen Furies, on April 20 via Warp Records.

In addition to the exciting album announcement, Squarepusher has made the lead single “Rayc Fire 2” available as a free download on his website. The song continues in the direction of the Ufabulum material, with utterly mind-bending future sounds moving along at a frenetic and glitchy pace. It’s a jarring trip through technology, and hints that Damogen Furies will be an intense listening experience, to say the least.

You can pre-order Damogen Furies here, and download “Rayc Fire 2” here.

[ click to continue reading at paste ]

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Editor

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Poo-Pourri Rules

Posted on February 18, 2015 by Editor

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Meditation Boom

from The LA Times

MEDITATION BOOMS AS PEOPLE SEEK A WAY TO SLOW DOWN

By MARY MACVEAN

MeditationParticipants meditate during a class at Unplug, a new meditation studio in Los Angeles, on April 24, 2014. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

One hundred fifty people sat in the big meeting room, hands on laps, eyes closed, feet flat on the floor.

“Bring your attention to this moment,” Janice Marturano instructed. “Be open to sensations of warmth or coolness, sensations of fullness from breakfast, or perhaps hunger.” Minutes later, the meditation ended with the traditional strikes of little hand cymbals.

Buddhists? Old hippies? New Agers?

Nope. The room was full of hospital executives and managers in lab coats and scrubs, jeans and sports coats at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. And the teacher was Marturano, once a top executive at General Mills.

The founder of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, Marturano is about as far from woo-woo as the spectrum allows — and a sign that meditation has snaked its way into every sector of our lives. The hospital employees were learning a practice shared by millions these days: college students, parents and prisoners; soldiers, the overweight and the lovelorn; the Seattle Seahawks, public school kids and members of Congress; Oprah, Chopra and Arianna.

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on February 17, 2015 by Editor

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Philip Levine Gone

from The New York Times

An Appraisal: The Poet Philip Levine, an Outsider Archiving the Forgotten

By 

Della and Tatum, Sweet Pea and Packy, Ida and Cal. You met a lot of unpretentious people in Philip Levine’s spare, ironic poems of the industrial heartland. Mr. Levine had toiled in auto plants as a young man. “I saw that the people that I was working with,” he told Detroit Magazine, “were voiceless in a way.”

Mr. Levine’s death is a serious blow for American poetry, in part because he so vividly evoked the drudgery and hardships of working-class life in America, and in part because this didn’t pull his poetry down into brackishness.

He was a shrewd and very funny man. I’m not sure another major American poet could give advice quite like the following, from a poem called “Facts,” collected in Mr. Levine’s classic 1991 book “What Work Is”:

If you take a ’37 Packard grill and split it down

the center and reduce the angle by 18° and reweld it,

you’ll have a perfect grill for a Rolls Royce

just in case you ever need a new grill for yours.

Mr. Levine was among those poets, and there are not enough of these, whose words you followed even outside their poetry. His interviews, for example, were feasts for the mind. To get back to Della and Tatum, Sweet Pea and Packy, and Ida and Cal for a moment, here is what he told The Paris Review in 1988 about the unpeopling of American poetry:

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Editor

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Michele Ferrero, Creator of Nutella Gone

from The New York Times

Michele Ferrero, Tycoon Who Gave the World Nutella, Dies at 89

By 

Michele Ferrero, widely regarded as the richest man in Italy and — a distinction more notable to lovers of sweets everywhere — the creator of Nutella, died on Saturday at his home in Monte Carlo. He was 89.

Mr. Ferrero presided over a vast international confectionary empire; he was sometimes referred to as a real-life Willy Wonka. He ranked 22nd on the most recent Forbes list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $26.5 billion. The magazine stated the source of his wealth simply: “chocolates.”

Actually, it was more than chocolates; Ferrero products include fruity and minty Tic Tacs, as well as Ferrero-Rocher candies and Kinder snacks. The company, which Mr. Ferrero’s father, Pietro, started in a Piedmont pastry shop in the 1940s, grew under the younger Mr. Ferrero’s leadership into a worldwide powerhouse, rivaling Mars, Nestlé and Hershey. Its sales in 2014 totaled about $10 billion.

It was Nutella, a thick spread of chocolate and hazelnut, that truly captivated the world’s taste buds.

“World’s flags should be at half-mast: Nutella owner has died,” read one of the many posts on Twitter after Mr. Ferrero’s death — which poetically enough came on Valentine’s Day — was reported.

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on February 15, 2015 by Editor

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$2.5 Billion Per Annum On Oreos

from EATER

The World Spent $2.5 Billion on Oreos in 2014

by 

The Oreo is going through a bit of a renaissance. Sure the beloved sandwich cookie has been around for over a century, but it’s made headlines recently with its introduction of novelty flavors. Oreos now come in flavors like cookie dough, watermelon, peanut butter, caramel apple, and many more. So far, 2015 has already seen the debut of the Red Velvet Oreo and, if rumors are true, a S’mores flavor is coming soon. According to Quartz, Oreo is currently the most popular cookie in the world, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. Below, Oreo by the numbers:

1912: The year of Oreo’s birth.

103: Years Oreo has been around.

$1.5 Billion: Amount spent on Oreos 2007.

$2.5 Billion: Amount spent on Oreos 2014.

5: How many times more Oreos sell each year than boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

[ click to continue reading at EATER.com ]

Posted on February 14, 2015 by Editor

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30 Years Of Meat Is Murder

from PASTE Magazine

Meat Is Murder, 30 Years Later

By Mack Hayden
<i>Meat Is Murder</i>, 30 Years Later

Thirty years ago, The Smiths followed up a self-titled debut album which featured songs like “This Charming Man” and “Hand in Glove” with a record called Meat is Murder. It may not have the visceral punch of the debut, the gothic beauty and cohesion of The Queen is Dead or the pop confidence of Strangeways, Here We Come, but it’s still my favorite of their records, the reason for that being that this is the record in which all of the members of the band showed off their chops in equal measure to the best of their abilities. Don’t believe me? Listen to the first 10 seconds of “Barbarism Begins at Home” and we can talk again after. The fact it was their only No. 1 album on the UK Charts is further testament to its greatness.

To set the scene, let’s talk about music in 1985. In February of that year, two songs held the No. 1 spot: “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner and “Careless Whisper” by Wham! Schmaltz and sax riffs were reigning supreme. The only other album of importance to the latter-day post-punk movement to be released that month was Night Time by Killing Joke. Tears for Fears’ Songs from the Big Chairdropped too, just in case you were wondering what kind of rad pop music was available to consumers during that month. Then in walk The Smiths ready for their round two.

Allow yourself to feel small in the presence of the group’s overwhelming talent. Johnny Marr was 21 when this record was released. This means he’d written “How Soon is Now?” at that point in his life, and all I’m doing is writing about how amazing that is. Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce’s rhythm section never gripes for unnecessary authority over the songs but when they’re in the spotlight, they always shine. Morrissey’s eloquence and command over the English language can be deceptive. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how recently these Manchester masterminds graduated from the institutions they decry. Their music is so fully formed it’s hard to believe it was being written by people in their early to mid twenties.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Posted on February 13, 2015 by Editor

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Lost Leonardo Found

from The Telegraph

‘Lost’ Leonardo da Vinci painting seized by Italy

“Priceless” painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci discovered in 2013 seized by Italian police from bank vault in Switzerland

A long-lost painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was confiscated from a bank vault in Switzerland after Italian police said it had been exported illegally and was in danger of being sold for up to £90 million.

Swiss police, acting on a request by their Italian counterparts, seized the portrait of Isabella d’Este, a Renaissance noblewoman, from a private bank vault in Lugano on Tuesday.

After being lost for centuries, the painting was rediscovered in 2013 in a collection of 400 artworks kept in a Swiss vault. The authorities then were alerted to the existence of the painting, but it went missing again.

It turned up again last summer during an investigation into insurance fraud and it later emerged an Italian lawyer was trying to negotiate the sale of the painting for €120 million (£89 million).

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on February 12, 2015 by Editor

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Monarch Massacre

from The Washington Post

The monarch massacre: Nearly a billion butterflies have vanished

By Darryl Fears

Threatened animals like elephants, porpoises and lions grab all the headlines, but what’s happening to monarch butterflies is nothing short of a massacre. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service summed it up in just one grim statistic on Monday: Since 1990, about 970 million have vanished.

It happened as farmers and homeowners sprayed herbicides on milkweed plants, which serve as the butterflies’ nursery, food source and home. In an attempt to counter two decades of destruction, the Fish and Wildlife Service launched a partnership with two private conservation groups, the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to basically grow milkweed like crazy in the hopes of saving the monarchs.

Monarch butterflies are a keystone species that once fluttered throughout the United States by the billions. They alighted from Mexico to Canada each spring on a trek that required six generations of the insect to complete. Afterward, young monarchs about the quarter of the weight of a dime, that know nothing about the flight pattern through the United States, not to mention Mexico, fly back, resting, birthing and dining on milkweed. Only about 30 million remain.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on February 11, 2015 by Editor

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