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What interested or amazed you today?

#1 User is offline   obsolete toaster Icon

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:54 AM

We have topics on what made you happy, sad, etc. So I thought, we don't have one for what interests or amazes us today? Sometimes (even at my advanced age), I'll find or read some little new piece of information that'll just blow me away; you truly are NEVER too old to learn something new. Today, it was a story on YahooNews.com about a newly discovered brown dwarf star with a surface temperature of about 80o F (about 27o C). Wow! You could stand on this star and NOT be burned into free atoms! Amazing...
Yahoo News/Coldest Star Yet Found

Thanks to the WISE (wide field infrared space explorer) satellite for this discovery; only a few years ago, there was NO way to detect a star that gave off this minute an amount of energy.
The textbooks of astronomy have changed so radically since I was a kid; there are no longer 9 planets in our solar system (since Pluto's controversial downgrade, we're at 8 now), but we now have a whole new class of dwarf planets (of which Pluto and the asteroid Ceres are both members), we've discovered HUNDREDS of new planets outside of our solar system (the 'exoplanets'; the first of which were confirmed in 1995), we've had a FLEET of spacecraft exploring Mars, with landers and rovers that have confirmed the presence of water, climbed hills and driven to the rims and bottoms of craters. We've landed a spacecraft on the surface of Saturn's mysterious and exotic moon Titan and have had spacecraft orbiting both Jupiter and Saturn. Not to mention that the Hubble Space Telescope has REWROTE the book of astronomy from the first page up to the last...
It's a GREAT time to be an astronomy geek! That thought amazed me today... :D
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#2 User is offline   Locky Log Icon

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:11 PM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 25 August 2011 - 08:54 AM, said:

Today, it was a story on YahooNews.com about a newly discovered brown dwarf star with a surface temperature of about 80o F (about 27o C). Wow! You could stand on this star and NOT be burned into free atoms! Amazing...
Yahoo News/Coldest Star Yet Found

that is amazing! How heavy is that star? Makes one muse about "the little prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


what amazed me today ... got a chance to sit in with a coach/psychiatrist who deals with people of all walks of life. Watching people in stressful situations and how their body-language and verbal language structure can be a very potent source of information in conjunction with what they actually say.
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#3 User is offline   Nanouk Icon

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:14 PM

people measuring the amount of cytoplasm in a certain gyrus...
Its like they woke up one day and decided .. lets look into the difference in cytoplasmic volume!
Which is WEIRD! (but fyi musicians have more in certain brain areas than non musicians)
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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:32 PM

View PostNanouk, on 25 August 2011 - 02:14 PM, said:

people measuring the amount of cytoplasm in a certain gyrus...
Its like they woke up one day and decided .. lets look into the difference in cytoplasmic volume!


Yeah, I really think that's -- wait a second, huh?? :blink: :P

I swear, Nan... sometimes I feel like the village idiot after reading your stuff. :lol:

Posted Image This guy looks as dumb as I feel...




What amazed me?
That I can have whole conversations with people all over the world whenever I want to; via this site (for example), my overly active email account, etc.
Even some of my family and friends who live far away are now in contact with me all the time, thanks to ye olde internet.
This is TRULY the single best thing about the internet; the connectivity with people I enjoy! :hug:

It's AMAZING! :cylonclap:
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#5 User is offline   Nanouk Icon

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 02:52 AM

View Postobsolete toaster, on 25 August 2011 - 10:32 PM, said:

Yeah, I really think that's -- wait a second, huh?? :blink: :P

I swear, Nan... sometimes I feel like the village idiot after reading your stuff. :lol:

Posted Image This guy looks as dumb as I feel...





haha well no need for that.
This amazed me in a wtf way.
like they were smoking pod and decided 'duuudeee. you know what we should do dude?' 'whaaat?' 'measure the cytoplasm on that dead guy!' 'whaaat, no waayy!' 'waaaayy!'.
I still think it went that way :P
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#6 User is offline   maneth Icon

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 03:45 AM

Wow, that cold star is certainly amazing! I wonder what sort of atomic reactions are keeping it shining, admittedly weakly but it does emit more energy than it absorbs.

You listed a whole bunch of spaceprobes, but let's not forget the Voyagers that have passed beyond the solar system, still emitting data.
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Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:29 AM

View Postmaneth, on 26 August 2011 - 03:45 AM, said:

Wow, that cold star is certainly amazing! I wonder what sort of atomic reactions are keeping it shining, admittedly weakly but it does emit more energy than it absorbs.

You listed a whole bunch of spaceprobes, but let's not forget the Voyagers that have passed beyond the solar system, still emitting data.

TRULY going where NO ONE has gone before....

I just don't want to be around when they come back mutated and angry, looking for 'the creator'! :fear: :P :lol:

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Actually, when my wife and I toured JPL (for my birthday back in 2002) we saw the 'real' Voyager; a ground-based, full-scale engineering test model now in the JPL museum.
What struck (and amazed me) was it's size; it's somewhat BIGGER than the "V'ger" mockup seen in Star Trek-TMP. I'd say about 20-25% larger all around.
It was an awesome sight, and I'll never forget it! :bowdown:

Posted Image Not my photo; but close enough.
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#8 User is offline   Cylon-Knight Icon

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:26 PM

Hummmm What interested or amazed you today?

Answer: ME! HA! I'm AM AMAZING! :rolleyes:
"All base ships are now in range to attack the colonies."
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Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:28 PM

View PostCylon-Knight, on 26 August 2011 - 07:26 PM, said:

Hummmm What interested or amazed you today?

Answer: ME! HA! I'm AM AMAZING! :rolleyes:

And so modest, too... :P
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#10 User is offline   ensign edwards Icon

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:48 PM

I'm not sure this is the right thread for this, but what amazed me today is the state funeral for Jack Layton, Canada's official opposition leader.

I need to give some backstory here. Jack Layton was the leader of the New Democratic Party, a party long considered to have no real chance of mainstream success, but respected by many. The NDP has, in some circles, been called "Canada's conscience." Jack was the nice guy who finished last--until our last election.

In part because of the utter collapse of two of our other parties, the NDP experienced an unprecedented surge, going from a walking joke of a party to the official opposition, barely falling short of enough seats to threaten our ruling Conservatives. It was Jack Layton that led his party out of anonymity and into mainstream success, but a mere few months after this happened, he experienced a cancer relapse, and died within weeks, at the peak of his success.

And now his untimely death has been the top story for every Canadian news outlet for a week. His state funeral (which I'm watching over my shoulder as I type this) is dominating every channel. There has been an out-pouring of grief for him unlike anything I've ever seen from the Canadian people. At Toronto city hall, where he once served as a councilor, every available surface has been covered by chalk messages of grief, or respect--and all completely unprompted. All this for a man who was the butt of all political jokes this time last year.

Maybe it's a case of we don't know what we got until it's gone. I know it's true in my case. As much as I admired his party, I was never the biggest fan of Jack himself--I knew him to be a good man, but he always struck me as awkward, as trying too hard to be likable, especially during the brief period after the American election where he tried to convince everyone he was the white, Canadian Barack Obama. But now that he's gone, I'm learning more about him, and I realize he was a great man. Partly it's to be blamed on my youth; I wasn't alive in the 80s, so I had no idea he spent that time crusading for the rights of homosexuals and AIDS patients long before anyone cared about either group.

Jack as an idealist, and never shy about it. He argued in favour of peace, even with groups like the Taliban, no matter how unpopular that might be.

As impressed as I am with the man, I am equally impressed with his funeral. From O, Canada sung bilingually to the readings from religious books of three faiths to the First Nations blessing given at the opening of the ceremony, this is the embodiment of what is to be Canadian. Not out of many into one, but out of many into many, celebrating our diversity and the strength it gives as a people. This is a ceremony Jack would be proud of--he did plan most of it before his passing, after all--and that, more than anything, convinces me that he was a great man, and worthy of the heroic treatment he's been given in the last few days.

It's not often these days that I can take pride in my country, but today, I'm proud to be Canadian, and I'm proud that I voted for Jack Layton.

Au revoir, Le Bon Jack. One of the greatest prime ministers Canada never had. Orange crush!


Sorry for the long post, but I felt the need to get this off my chest.
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Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:44 PM

That was beautiful, mon ami! :cylonclap:
I read every word; very eloquent.

It's sad that the truly great among us (the silent, strong, underdog types) are the ones who often leave behind a legacy greater than themselves.
They sometimes don't blow their own trumpet loudly enough, but when they're gone you realize just how much of themselves and their work they've left behind.

Sadly, I don't think there are too many analogs to him in the United States right now; our political system (and congress) is so broken right now it's not funny.... :doh:
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Posted 27 August 2011 - 08:01 PM

What interested/amazed me today was this image of hurricane Irene from orbit (via CNN):

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It looks like just SOLID WEATHER. Terrifying and yet somehow awesome. Hard to believe humans can live through that.
Gives one pause on how easily nature can simply wash away humankind's achievements at any time...
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Posted 27 August 2011 - 10:53 PM

^ EPIC. Yes.
"All base ships are now in range to attack the colonies."
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Posted 27 August 2011 - 10:58 PM

To quote the late Charlton Heston, "It squashes a man's ego." :jawdrop:
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#15 User is offline   Bill Icon

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 03:01 PM

What amazed me today was how incredible stupid people have become. If the power is out and none of the traffic lights are working and all the stores are dark why would you think you could pump gas?

I passed several gas stations in my travels today and they all had 2 or 3 cars parked at the pumps with dumb-founded looks. Same with the Drive thrus at Dunkin Donuts. Duh, people really no longer comprehend how things work.
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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:52 PM

View PostBill, on 28 August 2011 - 03:01 PM, said:

What amazed me today was how incredible stupid people have become. If the power is out and none of the traffic lights are working and all the stores are dark why would you think you could pump gas?

I passed several gas stations in my travels today and they all had 2 or 3 cars parked at the pumps with dumb-founded looks. Same with the Drive thrus at Dunkin Donuts. Duh, people really no longer comprehend how things work.

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

I'm sorry; I know it's bad times for where you are Bill, and I feel for you. But the image of people during a power outage still trying to pump gas was just too funny.
It reminds me of what EE and I were discussing/debating in the 'what's on your mind' thread with the rise of stupidity in the world...
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#17 User is offline   sean Icon

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 08:48 PM

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 08:58 PM

:jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop:

View Postsean, on 28 August 2011 - 08:48 PM, said:

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:50 AM

I must be getting old, but I've seen 'the Leias' so many times at Comic Con, I look up now and go, 'oh yeah... nice. What's next?' :lol:


What amazed me today?
That hurricane Irene did NOT cause as much devastation as was previously thought. Thank goodness; the damage is already in the billions.
I read online that a lot of New Yorkers were kind of pi$$ed that they had to evacuate. All I could think was, "BE GLAD YOU'RE ALIVE, for gods' sake!"
Wouldn't you rather err on the side of caution and leave your home for a few days than risk getting drowned or impaled by a f**king tree branch??
When Katrina hit, everybody b!tched (and rightly so) that not enough was being done. Now we faced another hurricane as potentially deadly, and people are having a conniption fit that they had to leave home for a couple days to put them out of harm's way. Wouldn't you rather be safe than risk death? I'd rather the government or state officials OVERREACT to save my stupid a$$ than to let me float out into the Atlantic, along with what remained of my home...

It amazes me the utter ingratitude of some people.... :wacko:
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Posted 29 August 2011 - 07:56 PM

Read an article on Yahoo news about the discovery of a planet, about 4,000 light years away made of compressed carbon... diamond! :w00t:

Two thoughts came to mind; if 'warp' or 'jump' drives were possible?
Buying your wife/girlfriend a diamond would be no more exotic than buying her a bag of charcoal briquettes. :lol:

Or as a poster on another blog cleverly said, 'maybe it's Krypton'... :P

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"My son, you are the sole survivor of the planet Tiffany's...."

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