Monday, June 25, 2012

Tropical Storm Debbie

Debbie didn't do Dallas, yesterday, nevertheless, it dumped tons of needed rain on South Florida. This is the most rain we experienced in some time, several weeks or more. Here's hoping that the lake will now be up to near normal water level. Hopefully, the water restrictions will be lifted.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Walt Disney's View

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney

Phew! U.S. regains #1 supercomputer spot in Top500.

There's relief at hand for nationalistic HPC-watchers. The latest Top500 list shows the U.S. back at #1, after trailing various Asian supercomputers. IBM's (NYSE:IBM) latest installation for the mushroom-cloud-computing folks at Lawrence Livermore is to blame, but Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) vows to catch up soon. 

Here's a link to the complete story.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Great Card Trick in Times Square New York

This is an incredible manipulation of reality by any stretch of the imagination. Makes you wonder how he performs this slight-of-hand.

If anyone can figure this one out, let me know.

Vacation at Lake New Saturn

NASA Confirms Liquid Lake On Saturn Moon
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA scientists have concluded that at least one of the large lakes observed on Saturn's moon Titan contains liquid hydrocarbons, and have positively identified the presence of ethane. This makes Titan the only body in our solar system beyond Earth known to have liquid on its surface.

Scientists made the discovery using data from an instrument aboard the Cassini spacecraft. The instrument identified chemically different materials based on the way they absorb and reflect infrared light. Before Cassini, scientists thought Titan would have global oceans of methane, ethane and other light hydrocarbons. More than 40 close flybys of Titan by Cassini show no such global oceans exist, but hundreds of dark lake-like features are present. Until now, it was not known whether these features were liquid or simply dark, solid material.

"This is the first observation that really pins down that Titan has a surface lake filled with liquid," said Bob Brown of the University of Arizona, Tucson. Brown is the team leader of Cassini's visual and mapping instrument. The results will be published in the July 31 issue of the journal Nature.

Ethane and several other simple hydrocarbons have been identified in Titan's atmosphere, which consists of 95 percent nitrogen, with methane making up the other 5 percent. Ethane and other hydrocarbons are products from atmospheric chemistry caused by the breakdown of methane by sunlight.

Some of the hydrocarbons react further and form fine aerosol particles. All of these things in Titan's atmosphere make detecting and identifying materials on the surface difficult, because these particles form a ubiquitous hydrocarbon haze that hinders the view. Liquid ethane was identified using a technique that removed the interference from the atmospheric hydrocarbons.

The visual and mapping instrument observed a lake, Ontario Lacus, in Titan's south polar region during a close Cassini flyby in December 2007. The lake is roughly 7,800 square miles in area, slightly larger than North America's Lake

For more information, visit NASA:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Suitable for Life on Mars

CU-Boulder-led team finds microbes in extreme environment on South American volcanoes.

A team led by the University of Colorado Boulder looking for organisms that eke out a living in some of the most inhospitable soils on Earth has found a hardy few.
A new DNA analysis of rocky soils in the Martian-like landscape on some volcanoes in South America has revealed a handful of bacteria, fungi and other rudimentary organisms called archaea, which seem to have a different way of converting energy than their cousins elsewhere in the world.
“We haven’t formally identified or characterized the species,” said Ryan Lynch, a CU-Boulder doctoral student involved in the study.  “But these are very different than anything else that has been cultured. Genetically, they’re at least 5 percent different than anything else in the DNA database of 2.5 million sequences.”

Read the complete story here:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Clumsy Day at Starbucks

No joke, at least five people dropped or spilled their drinks.—everything from a chocolate latte (or something like that) to steaming hot coffee at the condiment bar. I don’t believe that I’ve seen so much spillage at Starbucks before this day.

It makes you wonder if there’s something in the atmosphere that can make a large sample of people all spill or drop drinks—within an hour of time. Could this be some type of record. Is Howard Schulz having a contest?