Looking At Those Exoplanets!

February 24, 2011 at 8:26 PM (Uncategorized)

Still stuck on space studies; I can’t get enough!  I was checking my e-mail, and I got a memo from one of the sites that I visit, often.  It was a memo discussing one of my favorite topics, the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

This particular site delved into the details regarding other planets that are outside of our solar system, yet exist within our Milky Way Galaxy.  It did some elaborating on the recent studies that are being done by U.S. astronomers.  These details are providing information which expands upon the findings of likely more than fifty billion exoplanets within our galaxy!

Astronomers are hard at work, gathering data to support their findings.  Currently, at least three main methods are being used to identify exoplanets, those which exist beyond our solar system.  The astrometry method is used by observing oddities with light being emitted by distant stars.  Researchers are able to identify orbiting planets by watching how much the star wobbles over various lengths of time.

The microlensing method shows how light emissions are changed because of gravitational pulls.  When passing planets move around their stars, the amount of light from that star that is visible changes.  As well, levels of radio waves that are produced by the stars are distorted due to planetary orbits.

The radial velocity method measures the speed of distant planets in orbit around their host stars.  The power of gravitational pulls on distant stars can be measured, observing the rate at which orbiting planets, or even the gravity of our remote Earth, pull on the star.  This manner of measurement is called The Doppler Method, also.

Changes in emitted starlight are noted through studies that use the transit technique.  This allows astronomers to observe the reductions in emitted starlight as a planet passes in front of the viewing range.  This type of study can provide details about an alien planet’s mass and size, also.  The transit technique has allowed for the largest amount of exoplanets to be identified, of the 502 planets discovered, existing beyond our solar system.  The Kepler Mission Spacecraft uses this technique also, having identified more than 750 exoplanets!

The vast majority of these planets are gas giants, which have such extreme sizes that the forces of their gravitational pulls on their host stars are easily identified.  Yet, certainly, there are smaller, rocky planets, similar to our Mercruy or Mars, or even like our EarthJust how much like our Earth is the ultimate question?!?!?!

planets moving around the sun









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Pirates Still At Play!!!

February 23, 2011 at 1:22 AM (Uncategorized)

What is with the damned pirates?!?!  Have we not had enough of this madness, yet?  How is it that these people are continuing to enact these appalling actions, and why is more NOT being done to disuade anymore of these absurd, aquatic activities?

Yet again, the high seas had to handle the horrors from more Hook wanna-bes.  This time, the oceanic outrage occurred off of the shores of Oman.  Yacht owners Jean and Scott Adams, accompanied by friends Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle,  were aboard the Adams’ ship, The Quest.  They were sailing with The Blue Water Rallies, an event that is composed of long-distance cruises.  Their event started in Thailand, yet The Quest ventured onto another course on February 15, when the rally departed from Mumbai, India.

It was last Friday, February 18, when The Quest ended up being overtaken by pirates.  The criminals caught the yacht, boarded it, then killed it’s passengers. As they were being overtaken, The Quest did send alerts, to which The U.S. Navy responded.  When the rescue ships arrive, pirates boarded them to negotiate with Navy representatives.  However, other pirates were aboard The Quest while the the talks were taking place.

A ransom was being offered by the pirates for the release of The Adamses and their friends.  Yet, negotiations went afoul, as Navy forces had some pirates on board in an effort to work out a deal.  The pirates killed the passengers aboard The Quest before they could be rescued by The U.S. Navy.  Military forces responded by killing two pirates, and capturng fifteen others. 

United States military officials are working with The U.S. Justice Department to deal with the legal actions regarding the captive pirates.  Discussions are taking place to decide whether the pirates will be tried in New York or Virginia courts.  It is not expected that the results will be tolerable upon the criminals, recalling the recent pirate activities of 2009’s Maersk Alabama, and this year’s attack upon The U.S. Naval Ship U.S.S. Ashland.

 The burned out hull of a suspected pirate skiff drifts near the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48).

A suspected pirate skiff burns after being destroyed by the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48).




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We Got Two Goodie-Goodies This Week!

February 19, 2011 at 2:26 AM (Uncategorized)

Several good movies premiered this week!  We could not see them all at once, but we did get into what I thought were two very good films.  I had been anticipating both of these films, and I was glad to have seen them!

We began with I Am Number Four!  This was an exciting, science-fiction adventure film!   A fifteen year-old boy named John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) lives with a man named Henri (Timothy Olyphant), who is serving as his guardian.  Both of them are beings called Loriens, from another world, and they are hiding from a race of hunters called The Mogadorians.

We start the film by seeing Number Three being killed, and Number Four being seen as he is leaving his home.   Four has three scars around his right ankle, indicating that three of his kind have been killed.  Henri (Timothy Olyphant) appears, taking him to Ohio, where both of them assume new identities, and Four officially becomes John Smith.

John enrolls into the area high school, and he meets Sarah (Dianna Argon).  They become friends immediately, which turns into a dating relationship.  Yet, he gets into a fight with Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, showing that he is stronger than he looks!

It is one afternoon, while in class, that John’s hands start glowing.  He gets home, finding out that his first Legacy has come.  This is a special power that all of those from his homeworld possess.  His power is the capacity to emit light from his hands, and the ability to endure extreme heat.  John is a telekenetic as well, yet all Loriens have this ability.

The manifestation of John’s power leads Henri to begin teaching him.  During this time, he makes a friend in classmate Sam (Callan MacAulliffe), who believes in the existence of extraterrestrials.  They go with Sarah and one of her friends to a house party, yet it is disrupted when John gets into a fight.  It is a continuation of an altercation into which John was placed earlier, where Sarah’s ex-boyfriend shows up again, and he wants to fight.  He pulls a gun on John, having seen his hands glowing, earlier. 

Sam wants to know the truth behind John.  He asks John what he is, and John has to prove to Sam that he is not an alien.  They choose to remain friends, going to Athens, Ohio, where they meet Henri.  He is another Lorien being who warns John about falling in love with Sarah. 

The friends go to another house party, and a fire breaks out.  Sarah gets trapped inside, but John uses his powers to save her.  She then wants to know what John is, and he tells Sarah about himself.  Yet, a paper-fax arrives at their school, with the question:  “Are You Number Four”.  John panics, gets into an argument with Henri, and he goes to find Sarah so that he can run away with her, hiding from a species of hunters called The Mogadorians!

John winds up killing one Mogadorian that found him.  He groups with three others, including one girl who reveals herself as Six.  She states that a war has started, so all of them proceed to escape the school.  As they run, John battles and kills a sentry that was sent to capture him!

Now hurt from this battle, John is saved by two others with special powers.  He then realizes that he can communicate with animals.  John uses this power to speak with a dog that is actually an alien being.  It mutates into a much larger beast, attacking, then killing an alien sentry that was hunting them!

Another battle occurs, where Henri was killed.  Yet, John and Sarah hide away at a hotel.  He then tells Sarah that he has to go on a trip.  John joins with Sam, and another called Six.  All of them proceed on a journey to find the other Loriens!

Poster art for "I Am Number Four."


The second movie was the suspenseful Unknown!  A car wreck occurs, having Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Nesson) hospitalized.  He is there at this Berlin, Germany medical facility for days. 

Dr. Harris returns to The United States, allegedly going home to his wife, Liz (January Jones).  He is surprised and terrified to find out that Liz claims not to know him.  She is leading another life, and she is happily married to another man (Aidan Quinn), also called Martin!

The original Martin attempts to find help.  He goes to police, trying to get validity to his claims that he is who he says.  While trying to find assistance, a woman named Gina (Diane Kruger) gets in with Martin’s quest, and both of them work to find the truth behind what has happened. 

It is at his home where Liz stumbles upon Martin’s briefcase.  She finds photographs that were taken with the both of them together, which startle her, but verify his story.  It is at this point when Liz works with Martin to uncover the truth behind what is happening, going through a perilous plight to put their lives in place, at last! 

Unknown Poster

They have put out another trailer for X-Men:  First Class!  I believe that it is taking the storyline all the way back to when Professor Xavier first began his school for mutants, along with highlighting how the rift between himself and former friend Erik “Magneto” Lensherr began!  I think that I recognized Cyclops, Emma Frost, Mystique, and Dr. Henry McCoy as some of the other mutants in the story.  I am sure that there are more…..

February 25 will bring the releases of Drive Angry and Of Gods and MenThe Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, I Saw The Devil, and Rango all premiere on March 4.  The following week will bring Battle:  Los Angeles, Mars Needs Moms, and Red Riding Hood

The rest of March will include Black Death, The Lincoln Lawyer, MonogamyPaul, and Sucker Punch!  Yet, summer hits are being advertised, already.  Transformers:  Dark of the Moon, the third edition to the blockbuster franchise, premieres July 1!



I was thinking the same thing, when I saw you…..

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Idol’s Hollywood Hopefuls and Hilarities!

February 17, 2011 at 10:34 PM (Uncategorized)

I just finished watching tonight’s American Idol, as they are still in the audition stage.  I am a real fan of music, so I enjoy hearing it from various sources.  Idol has been a source of some truly spectacular sounds, as well as some back-cracking comedy!

This is Hollywood Week, with the contestant-hopefuls performing before the judges at a Southern California studio.  It is always interesting, seeing the contestants entering the room, and wondering what they are going to bring.  You would think that all of them would be ready to give their best vocal presentations, knowing that they are going to be on national television, while standing in front of Hollywood superstars.  Yet, and yet again, that is not always the case…

Some of them were forgetting the lyrics.  Some of them were performing comedy songs.  Some of them just wanted to have that quick five minutes, not really caring as to whether or not they got to any next levels.  However, there were some whom truly could sing!

One of the girls sang And I Am Telling You, and she did sound good!  She was no Jennifer Holliday, or Jennifer Hudson, yet she has potential to be a challenging contestant.  Two guys sang My Prerogative, by Bobby Brown, and only one of them sounded like anything.  Then, there was one guy with a huge, standing bass violin who did seem decent.  One girl even had the nuts to sing I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing in front of Steven Tyler, and she sounded good!

It was interesting, how they changed this initial format, this year.  I was intrigued by the groupings of the contestants, as they were divided into trios and quartets (some quintets, too).  They had to show how well they could sing individually, as well as how apt they were to performing with others.  I thought that was a good addition to the audition stage.

Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler really seem like they are going to be a good judging team!  Each of them has considerable background with music and stage performance.  They should-will know what to seek when judging the contestants.  It would not be a bad thing to get a song or two out of J. Lo and Steven Tyler, either!

This was Round Three of this year’s tryouts.  I know that sixty-eight contestants were cut, last night.  Tonight, final cuts were made, so that the show can progress onto Hollywood Week-Part Two, where the singing and judging are supposed to intensify!  I will stay tuned…. 

          Animated Music - SingersFree Animations

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Hanging On By the Skin of His False Teeth?

February 10, 2011 at 7:13 PM (Uncategorized)

Egypt is erupting!  As an increasingly angry Egyptian population is demanding that he vacate office immediately, President Hosni Mubarak is firmly clinging to his position of office.  The citizens of the African nation are in a state of uproar, as protests have spread throughout the streets.

It was yesterday when Hosni Mubarak, age 81, spoke to his nation’s people, stating that he was not going to vacate the presidency.  He announced that he would be allowing Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman to have an increased level of power, though Mubarak would remain as the main political figure.  Suleiman’s new duties will be mananging the economy of Egypt, acting as managing reviewer of the national police, leading Egypt’s Interior Ministry, and acting as negotiator with any of the nation’s rival factions.

Hosni Mubarak has been President of Egypt for thirty years.  He has been the sole leader of the nation’s government, only having appointed Omar Suleiman as Vice-President two weeks ago.  Mubarak is 82 years old, and Suleiman is 74 years old.

Masses of Egyptian citizens packed the nation’s central Tahrir Square to listen as Mubarak stated he plans to remain as President.  He means to keep the position until September, saying that he is giving additional powers to Vice-President Omar Suleiman as he allegedly prepares for exit.  However, this did not set well with the people, as they want Mubarak to leave immediately! 

It was the initial January 29 announcement that Mubarak meant to leave office that had Egyptian citizens pleased, and ready to proceed into a more progressive nation.  Now that he is not planning to exit, the nation possibly sits at a starting point of revolution.  It is disturbing to nations around the world, with neighboring Israel watching closely. 

The Muslim Brotherhood, currently banned from Egypt, sits as a possible force in revolutionary activities.  Vice-President Suleiman allegedly is trying to make actions that will keep them from starting any levels of public distruption.  Suleiman stated that he plans to use Egyptian military to keep the opposition forces from moving into any increased positions that may allow for hostility and violence.

     Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak makes a televised statement to his nation in this image taken from TV that aired  February 10, 2011    








Ancient Egypt Animated GIFs | GraphicsGrotto.com


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Tonight We Took It Deeper!

February 6, 2011 at 1:37 AM (Uncategorized)

It has been a bit since I have blogged.  I did get to take some time today, as I participated in a family celebration, as well.  All of us got out for lunch, and a movie!

We had a meal at a Chinese food buffet restaurant.  We have eaten there before, and the food is good.  I had a seemingly ordinary meal, just some fish and fried rice.  I did have some of those cheese puffs with the sweet sauce, which is more junk food, than anything else.

Our film was Sanctum!  It is an adventure, human-interest film that is in 3D.  James Cameron produced the movie, yet the only character whom I recognized instantly was Ioan Gruffudd, the guy that plays Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic from The Fantastic Four.  Anyhow, the film was decent.

Gruffudd plays Carl Hurley, a bank fincancer who is with a team of explorers that goes cave diving.  The get to the Esa-ala cave system, located in Papua New Guinea.  When they are exploring the caves, an approaching hurricane makes landfall at the island!

The deadly storm forces them deeper into the caves for shelter.  However, their depth backs them into a trapped situation, as the cavern begins to flood.  Hurley is in the caves, as his expedition team is lead by Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh), who is a master diver and cave explorer.  McGuire’s teenaged son, Josh (Rhys Wakefield), is with them, also.

As the caverns fill with water, they suddenly become barricaded by rocks that fall at the entrance.  This makes the team have to back deeper into the system, trying to find another way out.  However, while in the cave, oxygen seems to deplete, and they have to work together in order to make significant use of the necessary air supply.

While travelling upward, the team faces deadly dangers.  The darkness, and the jaggedness of the rocks makes it difficult to ascend.  The difficulty of the escape does not allow for all of them to escape, as the youngest member, Josh, is the only one that survives!

Possibly interesting movies opening next week are Cedar Rapids and The Eagle!  The rest of February includes Big Momma’s:  Like Father, Like Son, I Am Number Four, The Last LionsShelter, and  Unknown!  March includes The Adjustment Bureau, Mars Needs MomsPaul, Rango, and Red Riding Hood

I’m sitting here, looking at my Bruno, so I thought I’d jam to some…..


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