Friday, August 28, 2015

If You are Thinking of Moving to MARS

From TED lessons

Yes that's Mars, in the Red Planet.

Anyone contacting a moving company?

Additional Resources for you to Explore
Studying terrestrial analogues of morphological features on Martian surface is one of the key approaches to getting information about Mars. Studying signatures of different conditions on the Martian surface will help us to figure out both the climate history and present conditions on Mars. Some features are common on both planets, but some features on Mars could be found in just few spots on Earth, which makes specific characteristics of those locations worth precise study.

Some features are unique only to Mars. Visit this site for some high resolution satellite images of Mars. Scientists use simulated environments for studying them. These types of facilities are so expensive that just a few research centers and universities in the world own them. Visit one facility, the Mars Desert Research Station in U.S. Then go to NASA's SAM Mars Chamber for another example, but on a smaller scale. They have the same gravity, temperature, pressure and atmosphere as Mars.

What else are we studying other than Mars and its origin? How about Martian geomorphology? By learning more about how landforms look and evolve on other planets, we learn a lot about processes that also occur here on Earth. For example, we could test ideas about how gravity or air density plays a role in forming the landscapes. In addition, the geomorphological study of potential landing sites on Mars is one of the important factors to consider for planning exploration missions for a number of reasons, including landing hazard assessment. Knowing Martian geomorphology would also help in determining proper areas for surface or sub-surface sampling. 

To our best knowledge, Mars is the most Earth-like planet. Could it be the past or the future of our own Earth? We want to know the processes by which planets formed with the larger goal of revealing key questions about life and the potential habitability of other areas of our Solar System.
From early in human's history, Mars got more attention because of its apparent red color. There was a huge curiosity about the existence of life on the planet. By studying the features and decoding present landscapes of Mars scientists can reveal their history. This will give us valuable clues of existence of life on Mars. 

Water is fundamental to life on Earth. Searching for evidence of water will make us closer to the answering the question: Did life exist on Mars? Many surface features seem to be the result of fluvial processes. There are many features that have been interpreted by researchers as a sign of existence of water flow on Mars. Watch: Channels in Phlegra Montes and see what you think. The shapes, compositions and locations of ancient river deposits tell us about geologic processes and climate evolution on Mars. With such information, we are able to decode habitable landscapes through time.

These explorations lead us to further questions: If there were rivers on Mars, why don't we have them today? Where is that water? Currently, the existence of water on Mars is impossible due to low temperature and atmosphere. They are several opinions about where the water went. Did it evaporate out into space? Is there a thick layer of dust protecting the ice? There are still several hypotheses that exist. Only by gaining more information about Mars year after year can we become closer to answering this question: Are we alone in this universe?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Mystery of the Disappearing Pair of Glasses

It's either an alien abduction, or a vortex opened up in the house for a brief split second, just long
enough to suck hubby's pair of glasses from this level of existence into an alternative universe. Maybe its both, like in Star Trek Voyager, where  shape-shifting alien species 8472 from an alternate
universe  invaded our space time continuum. There is no doubt that no matter which one of these alternatives is the real reason for the disappearing pair of glasses, the hubby's pair of glasses are gone. Kaput. Finito. No where to be found within the bounds of the four walls of our house.

Let's start at the beginning. Hubby wears contact lenses and then when he removes them he requires glasses. This is not a new phenomenon. He has needed "corrective lenses" since he was in his late twenties. All that law book reading and late nights working. Honestly, I think he looks rather dignified when he wears his glasses as opposed to his contacts, but that is just me. Of course, having a little crush on the hubby probably has something to do with my glasses fetish.

Anyway, his routine is such that when he gets dressed in the morning he puts in his contacts.Then carries his glasses on top of his iPad down the stairs to his cubby where he then plugs in the iPad for recharging and places his glasses in the glassescase in his briefcase. Next he returns the glassescase to the briefcase. Then off he goes to work. It is rote and traditional by now.

Disconcertingly, yesterday at 2AM, trying not to wake me up of course, since hubby is nothing if not considerate, there was hubby with a flashlight looking all over our room; under the bed, behind dressers, in closets and because he is repainting the room, he looked in all the equipment that he has stored in a corner of our room awaiting when he gets the time to finish this project. He then branched out into the bathroom, hallway, stairs, cubbies, etc. He scoured the entire house for his glasses. He emptied his briefcase, which is more like a small suitcase, and if you saw how full that case is you would understand that that in and of itself is a major undertaking. No glasses.

He then pulled out a pair of older glasses that are basically useless and he tried to function for the rest of the time until he went to bed with lenses that made him blind as a bat. Waking up the next morning he had no choice but to put these subpar glasses on and attempt to get ready for work. Luckily he put his contacts in right away so at least he saw what tops and pants he was putting on and didn't have a fashion faux pas for work. (And yes I wold have stopped him before he embarrassed himself.)

After he went to work, I then went into action. I removed the bedskirt. Took off all the bedlinen. Checked the comforter and even the pillows. Moved the furniture around, including the boxes under the bed (the dust bunnies growing underneath our bedframe is a topic for another post. I obviously am not the best housekeeper.) I went through the laundry hamper. I took everything out of the drycleaner
basket. I went through the closets-his and mine (you never know if the glasses fell off the iPad where they may have landed). I then took my flashlight and went through the medicine cabinets, emptied the bathroom garbage cans (that was disgusting) and slowly walked down the stairs to the cubbies, always with my iPhone flashlight trained on the ground. (Yes know if the glasses were on the ground, we would have seen them without a flashlight, but I was getting rather desperate at this point).

I then went into the cubbies and emptied out the four cubbies (we each have our own). I found lots of things; books, fathers day cards, Bluetooth ear pieces, small flashlights, and papers I had given hubby to read years ago. But nope, no glasses. I went into the livingroom/den and put my hand under the couch cushions (that was interesting since you never know what you will come across under that circumstance) and under the back end of the couches. I had my oldest lift up the couches so we could get a good look underneath. I then went outside to check to see if for some reason, the glasses had fallen out of the briefcase and were laying unbeknownst to us on the stone stairs, the driveway, or mixed into the mulch. Nope nada.

I checked the younger son's room. Sometimes hubby goes in there to hang out watching TV with our son before the two of them go off to sleep. No glasses.

No glasses in either boys' offices.                                           

No glasses in the kitchen.

No glasses in the garage.

No glasses in any of the garbage cans (don't ask).

No glasses in any of the hampers.

I finally texted hubby and mentioned that he was going to have to empty his briefcase again and leaf through every page of paper. Maybe somehow the glasses had fallen out of their case and fell in-between papers or files.

Meanwhile, I have come to the conclusion that hubby is going to need new glasses. Obviously an alien invaded out home and sucked his glasses into an alternative universe or into another time-realm. Of course, a small part of me also thinks that a small blackhole could have also developed in our home, just on top of the glasses whereever he had laid them down as he dressed, and sucked them into that empty-gravity-dense-time drawing spacetime anomaly.


Maybe the alien invader will return hubby's glasses one day. It would be nice if an apology note was included.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: "The Devil's Bridge" by Linda Fairstein


Once again Linda Fairstein hits it out of the park. She combines New York City history, along with an exciting crime and legal drama to provide you with an interesting, seat of your pants, very enjoyable read. I opened Devil's Bridge and simply couldn't put it down.

Let's begin at the beginning. This is the 17th novel in Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper series. Our heroine is an ADA in the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office. A position Fairstein created in real life. She deals with the worst of the worst. Think Law and Order: Special Victims Unit on steroids. Cooper, or Coop, as her police-officer-buddy turned boyfriend, Mike Chapman, calls her, is a respected, well-known element in the world of finding justice for victims and bringing to bear the full force of the law on criminal perpetrators. She takes no prisoners when it comes to ensuring that the streets of New York City are safe from sexual predators. But then Coop disappears....enemies abound for Coop. So the intense and frightening question is where do the powers-that-be begin their search for the missing ADA.

That is when Mike Chapman and his partner Wallace Mercer, go into action. It's time to find Coop. It's take no prisoners time. While the question becomes who snatched Coop and why, in the end, it is the answer of course that will surprise you. Chapman's investigation leads the reader to the Statue of Liberty, the American Revolution, military history and a modern crime wave. It takes you on a whirlwind journey through a time in New York City history that many have conveniently forgotten...the bad-old-days of the 1970s and 80s, complete with Irish gangs, murder and mayhem.

Meanwhile, Fairstein draws on a huge cast of characters. If you pay attention to New York City, and even U.S. national politics, there is fun in identifying these miscreants. Check out the sleazy "Reverend" shyster with access to the mayor and even the White House; the District Attorney who is only really interested in his political standing and is willing to throw anyone under the bus to maintain his standing; the useless, feckless mayor and his questionable friends, cronies and power abusing spouse; additionally even the politics of policing in New York City comes into play. But in the end the men and women in blue do what they do best. Save lives and keep New York City safe.

And of course, it all comes back to the lore of The Devil's Bridge. Not only is it about dangerous spans built all over the world, but the intervention of Beelzebub and the price he demands for his help. In the end, it's simply a question of whether you too could trick the devil with flair and aplomb?

All the books in this series are fine as a stand alone mystery. Read it and enjoy.


I have been allowed to offer this book in a giveaway. Please leave a comment below to enter the contest. Unfortunately it is only open to people with a US address.  The giveaway ends Monday, August 24.

*I have received no financial reward for this review and giveaway.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Family is all we got......

Family comes in many shapes and sizes. Mostly it's made up of people who love you, not necessarily people who share DNA....In reality, most of us in this world create our own family.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Why did humans rise to the top?

From TED 

 Yuval Noah Harari, A lecturer in history at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari  asks what made homo sapiens the most successful species on the planet. His answer: We are the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in our imagination, such as gods, states, money, human rights, corporations and other “fictions,” and we have developed a unique ability to use these stories to unify and organize groups and ensure cooperation. In his next book, he'll explore the growth of inequality in human society. He asks, are we on the cusp of the next great divergence? 

Harari specializes in world history, medieval history and military history. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? Harari also teaches a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) titled A Brief History of Humankind