Sunday, December 31, 2006
Well, what do you think? Think Turkey will make it into the EU anytime in the next 50 years???? NOT.
Friday, December 29, 2006
It's all about Iraq, isn't it?
Yep, it's all about Iraq and...India and the Sudan and Algeria and Afghanistan and New York and Pakistan and Israel and Russia and Chechnya and the Philippines and Indonesia and Nigeria and England and Thailand and Spain and Egypt and Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and Ingushetia and Dagestan and Turkey and Kabardino-Balkaria and Morocco and Yemen and Lebanon and France and Uzbekistan and Gaza and Tunisia and Kosovo and Bosnia and Mauritania and Kenya and Eritrea and Syria and Somalia and California and Argentina and Kuwait and Virginia and Ethiopia and Iran and Jordan and United Arab Emirates and Louisiana and Texas and Tanzania and Germany and Australia and Pennsylvania and Belgium and Denmark and East Timor and Qatar and Maryland and Tajikistan and the Netherlands and Scotland and Chad and Canada and China and
......and pretty much wherever Muslims believe their religion tells them to:
"Fight those who do not believe in Allah, ... nor follow the religion of truth... until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection." Qur'an, Sura 9:29
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Explanation: The Great Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda (aka M31), a mere 2.5 million light-years distant, is the closest large spiral to our own Milky Way. Andromeda is visible to the unaided eye as a small, faint, fuzzy patch, but because its surface brightness is so low, casual skygazers can't appreciate the galaxy's impressive extent in planet Earth's sky. This entertaining composite image compares the angular size of the nearby galaxy to a brighter, more familiar celestial sight. In it, a deep exposure of Andromeda, tracing beautiful blue star clusters in spiral arms far beyond the bright yellow core, is combined with a typical view of a nearly full Moon. Shown at the same angular scale, the Moon covers about 1/2 degree on the sky, while the galaxy is clearly several times that size. The deep Andromeda exposure also includes two bright satellite galaxies, M32 and M110 (bottom).
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Explanation: Eight years ago results were first presented indicating that most of the energy in our universe is not in stars or galaxies but is tied to space itself. In the language of cosmologists, a large cosmological constant is directly implied by new distant supernovae observations. Suggestions of a cosmological constant (lambda) are not new -- they have existed since the advent of modern relativistic cosmology. Such claims were not usually popular with astronomers, though, because lambda is so unlike known universe components, because lambda's value appeared limited by other observations, and because less-strange cosmologies without lambda had previously done well in explaining the data. What is noteworthy here is the seemingly direct and reliable method of the observations and the good reputations of the scientists conducting the investigations. Over the past eight years, independent teams of astronomers have continued to accumulate data that appears to confirm the unsettling result. The above picture of a supernova that occurred in 1994 on the outskirts of a spiral galaxy was taken by one of these collaborations.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Explanation: How massive can a normal star be? Estimates made from distance, brightness and standard solar models had given one star in the open cluster Pismis 24 over 200 times the mass of our Sun, making it a record holder. This star is the brightest object located just to the right of the gas front in the above image. Close inspection of images taken recently with the Hubble Space Telescope, however, have shown that Pismis 24-1 derives its brilliant luminosity not from a single star but from three at least. Component stars would still remain near 100 solar masses, making them among the more massive stars currently on record. Toward the image left, stars are still forming in the associated emission nebula NGC 6357, including several that appear to be breaking out and illuminating a spectacular cocoon.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Explanation: Last Thursday evening, stars were not the only lights in Iowa skies. Spectacular northern lights also shone from the heavens, extending across the midwestern USA and other locations not often graced with auroral displays. The wide-ranging auroral activity was triggered as a large solar flare - an energetic cloud of particles blasted outward from the Sun a few days earlier - collided with planet Earth's magnetosphere. Alerted to conditions ripe for aurora, photographer Stan Richard recorded this apparition over Saylorville Lake, near Des Moines, Iowa, USA. While the colorful rays seem to end just above the water, they are actually at altitudes of 100 kilometers or more.
Subject: 60 MINUTES' "Hitler's Secret Archive" (Sunday,Dec.17)
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 22:15:51 +0000
Hat tip: Donal
Good afternoon. I wanted to give you a heads-up on a story that will be running this Sunday, Dec. 17 (7PM ET/PT on CBS) on "60 MINUTES" about a long-secret German archive that houses a treasure-trove of information on 17.5 million victims of the Holocaust. The archive, located in the Germantown of Bad Arolsen, is massive (there are 16 miles of shelving containing 50 million pages of documents) and, until recently, was off-limits to the public. But after the German government agreed earlier this year to open the archives, CBS News' Scott Pelley traveled there with three Jewish survivors who were able to see their own Holocaust records.It's an incredibly moving piece, all the more poignant in the wake of this week's meeting of Holocaust deniers in Iran. We're trying to get word out about the story to pople who have a special interest in this subject. So we were hoping you'd consider sending out something to your list serve and/or posting something on your website. Further information will also be available on our website (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1998/07/08/60minutes/main13502.shtml), which you're welcome to link to from yours.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Explanation: Large spiral galaxy NGC 1055 (top left) joins spiral M77 in this lovely cosmic view toward the constellation Cetus. The narrowed, dusty appearance of edge-on spiral NGC 1055 contrasts nicely with the face-on view of M77's bright nucleus and spiral arms. Both over 100,000 light-years across, the pair are dominant members of a small galaxy group about 60 million light-years away. At that estimated distance, M77 is one of the most remote objects in Charles Messier's catalog and is separated from fellow island universe NGC 1055 by at least 500,000 light-years. The mosaicked field is about the size of the full Moon on the sky and includes colorful foreground Milky Way stars (with diffraction spikes) along with more distant background galaxies.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I love Paul's sermon to the Athenians:
" Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'
"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."
When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." At that, Paul left the Council. A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 8, 2006
Explanation: A lesser known sight in the nebula-rich constellation Orion, NGC 2174 can be found with binoculars near the head of the celestial hunter. About 6,400 light-years distant, the glowing cosmic cloud surrounds loose clusters of young stars. Covering an area larger than the full Moon on the sky, this stunning narrow band image adopts a typical color mapping of the atomic emission from NGC 2174. The false-color mapping shows otherwise red hydrogen emission in green hues and emphasizes sulfur emission in red and oxygen in blue. Placing your cursor on the image will reveal an alternative image of the nebula made through broad band filters. The broad band image combines filters in a closer analogy to human vision, dominated by the red glow of hydrogen.
Monday, December 4, 2006
I was listening to the old marine preacher (Shepherd's Chapel) on TV yesterday, actually catching up after last week's little break, and he said something that made so much sense. He said the Holy Spirit is our advocate between us and the world. So when we're in trouble, in any way, we should ask the HS for help. I really like that. I've always had trouble figuring out what to pray for because I know God knows everything, loves His children, and therefore His will is the best way. But, thinking about the HS as my lawyer, counselor, etc, really makes a lot of sense. Perhaps more so now:>) Isn't God wonderful? He sends the right message at the right time.
John 14:16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—
Saturday, December 2, 2006
Explanation: A smaller companion seems wrapped in the spiral arms of enigmatic galaxy NGC 1097. This amazingly deep image of the peculiar spiral system, also known as Arp 77, actually combines data from two telescopes, one in the northern and one in the southern hemisphere of planet Earth. The faint details revealed include hints of a mysterious jet emerging toward the top of the view. Seen to be about 42,000 light-years from the larger galaxy's center, the companion galaxy is gravitationally interacting with the spiral and will ultimately merge with it. NGC 1097's center also harbors a massive black hole. NGC 1097 is located about 45 million light-years away in the chemical constellation Fornax.