Monday, February 28, 2005
A trio of supergiants -- red, cool,
bright stars at the end of their lives -- may be the biggest
stars ever identified, astronomers reported on Monday. All three have diameters of more than 1 billion miles, or
1,500 times the sun's girth. If they were in the same location
as the sun, they would completely engulf Earth and their outer
layers would extend to a point between the orbits of Jupiter
and Saturn. The big three dwarf even Betelgeuse, a well-known
supergiant and the brightest star in the constellation Orion,
the team of scientists said in research presented at the annual
meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting in San
Diego. They also are slightly bigger than the previous champion,
known as Herschel's "Garnet Star."
Astronomers Identify Trio of Supergiant Stars
By Deborah Zabarenko
Reuters, Mon Jan 10,12:24 PM ET
All three have diameters of more than 1 billion miles, or 1,500 times the sun's girth. If they were in the same location as the sun, they would completely engulf Earth and their outer layers would extend to a point between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn.
The big three dwarf even Betelgeuse, a well-known supergiant and the brightest star in the constellation Orion, the team of scientists said in research presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Diego. They also are slightly bigger than the previous champion, known as Herschel's "Garnet Star."
Sunday, February 27, 2005
R.I.P. Hunter S. Thompson
I was stunned to learn of Hunter S. Thompson's suicide last week -- I was off the grid and unable to access any media or email.
Thompson was a phenomenally talented writer. His book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (sub-titled, A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream). remains to this day one of the funniest things I ever read. Get the hardcover, which is brilliantly illustrated by Ralph Steadman
You can also check out his 1965 Nation article on Motorcycle Gangs: Losers and Outsiders
Hunter S. Thompson
Hunter S. Thompson dead at 67
'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' author takes own life
CNN, Monday, February 21, 2005 Posted: 3:49 PM EST (2049 GMT)
More Ice Photos from Geneve
Some more interesting ice photos (earlier shots are here).
A couple of weeks ago a spectacular ice storm hit Geneva's lakefront. The winds whipped up spray from Lac Léman (which is fresh water, after all) and carried it onto the parks and docks along the shore. Because the air temperature had been below freezing for several days, the spray froze instantly on everything it touched.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
QTVR Full Screen Moon Panorama
Very very cool full screen, immersivde QTVR of the moon from this site:
Apollo 17 last men on the moon
images via NASA
Friday, February 25, 2005
Need a GMail invite?
Click on the link below, and lets see how longhtis works for . . .
How to Get Arrested in Clovis California
Put this 4 x 6 sticker on the back of your car; A 25 year old waiter did -- and got arrested for "distribution of sexually oriented materials to minors."Absurd!
This is what gets you arrested in Clovis California?
See the artists site for more of his work
Battle brewing over devilish stickers
Mike Linn: CNJ news editor
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Pitchfork Top 100 Singles
I hardly agree with a lot of these -- but there are certainly some interesting choices here, as mweel as music you probably haven't heard -- but should.
Let me spare you the suspense: here are their top 10
010: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
009: The Rapture
"House of Jealous Lovers"
008: Missy Elliott
007: Beyoncé [ft. Jay-Z]
"Crazy in Love"
005: Kylie Minogue
"Can't Get You Out of My Head"
004: Missy Elliott
"Get Ur Freak On"
003: LCD Soundsystem
"Losing My Edge" / "Beat Connection"
See what I mean? A novelty song, 2 Missy Elliotts, and Beyonce in the top 10. Either that wa sa pretty horrific period of music, or these guys have the musical chops of 14 year olds . . .
Check it out:
Pitchfork Top 100 Singles
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Cocaine, Heroin, Morphine: On your grocer's shelves now!
Pretty fascinating collection of products from the turn of the centruy (um, last century). All available over the counter, no prescription, perfectly legally -- in any pharmacy or grocery.
Cocaine: Now in delicious Cherry flavor !
Heroin: From a name you trust
Morphine: Mom's helper when Junior has a toothache!
whack available from your local grocer!
Before Prohibition: Images from the preprohibition era when many psychotropic substances were legally available in America and Europe
Addiction Research Unit, Department of Psychology/University at Buffalo
Monday, February 21, 2005
Tatra: Streamlined Czech Queen of the Road.
NYT: "The story of Tatra is one of innovation, repression and vindication. The company got its start in the 1850's in Moravia (then part of the Austrian Empire, later Czechoslovakia) making buggies and railway cars. Auto production began with the Präsident in 1897.
A brilliant young engineer named Hans Ledwinka joined the company around that time and introduced innovations like all-wheel brakes, air-cooled engines and a central tube chassis with independent rear suspension. The Tatra's design and construction were years ahead of their time, strongly influencing Ferdinand Porsche, who was developing the Volkswagen Beetle on orders from Hitler; Porsche appropriated several of Ledwinka's ideas for VW.
"Porsche admitted he was basically looking over Ledwinka's shoulder," Mr. McCoskey said.
By the early 1930's, Tatra was testing aerodynamic design elements by a Hungarian designer, Paul Jaray. Many of these were incorporated into the design of the Tatra 77 of 1934. The air-cooled V-8 engine was placed behind the rear axle, allowing a spacious, quiet interior, and the car had a top speed of 90 miles an hour.
Ledwinka continued to tinker and produced a more graceful and compact model, the T 87, in 1936.
To keep the car light, much of the Tatra V-8, an advanced overhead-cam design, was made of aluminum. Like its predecessor, the sleek T 87 had an airplane-type central fin at the rear, air-intake scoops along the sides to direct cooling air to the engine and a third headlight that turned with the front wheels to cast light around a curve - as the Tuckers did years later.
After World War II, Communist central planners shifted production to a rival carmaker, Skoda, where the Tatraplan T 600 was made. But in 1957 car production returned to Tatra with a new streamlined model, the T 603. A descendant of the T 87, the first 603 also had three headlamps, an air-cooled V-8 and the same innovative chassis, although it traded the distinctive tailfin and louvers for a normal rear window."
Tatraplan and Tatra 603.
An East European Tour de Force, Often Copied but Still Unsung
NYT, January 31, 2005