Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Earth Like Planet Leaves Astronomers Breathless

WASHINGTON – Astronomers say they have for the first time spotted a planet beyond our own in what is sometimes called the Goldilocks zone for life: Not too hot, not too cold. Juuuust right.

Not too far from its star, not too close. So it could contain liquid water. The planet itself is neither too big nor too small for the proper surface, gravity and atmosphere.

It's just right. Just like Earth.

"This really is the first Goldilocks planet," said co-discoverer R. Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The new planet sits smack in the middle of what astronomers refer to as the habitable zone, unlike any of the nearly 500 other planets astronomers have found outside our solar system. And it is in our galactic neighborhood, suggesting that plenty of Earth-like planets circle other stars.

Finding a planet that could potentially support life is a major step toward answering the timeless question: Are we alone?

Scientists have jumped the gun before on proclaiming that planets outside our solar system were habitable only to have them turn out to be not quite so conducive to life. But this one is so clearly in the right zone that five outside astronomers told The Associated Press it seems to be the real thing.

"This is the first one I'm truly excited about," said Penn State University's Jim Kasting. He said this planet is a "pretty prime candidate" for harboring life.

Life on other planets doesn't mean E.T. Even a simple single-cell bacteria or the equivalent of shower mold would shake perceptions about the uniqueness of life on Earth.

But there are still many unanswered questions about this strange planet. It is about three times the mass of Earth, slightly larger in width and much closer to its star — 14 million miles away versus 93 million. It's so close to its version of the sun that it orbits every 37 days. And it doesn't rotate much, so one side is almost always bright, the other dark.

Temperatures can be as hot as 160 degrees or as frigid as 25 degrees below zero, but in between — in the land of constant sunrise — it would be "shirt-sleeve weather," said co-discoverer Steven Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

It's unknown whether water actually exists on the planet, and what kind of atmosphere it has. But because conditions are ideal for liquid water, and because there always seems to be life on Earth where there is water, Vogt believes "that chances for life on this planet are 100 percent."

The astronomers' findings are being published in Astrophysical Journal and were announced by the National Science Foundation on Wednesday.

The planet circles a star called Gliese 581. It's about 120 trillion miles away, so it would take several generations for a spaceship to get there. It may seem like a long distance, but in the scheme of the vast universe, this planet is "like right in our face, right next door to us," Vogt said in an interview.

That close proximity and the way it was found so early in astronomers' search for habitable planets hints to scientists that planets like Earth are probably not that rare.

Vogt and Butler ran some calculations, with giant fudge factors built in, and figured that as much as one out of five to 10 stars in the universe have planets that are Earth-sized and in the habitable zone.

With an estimated 200 billion stars in the universe, that means maybe 40 billion planets that have the potential for life, Vogt said. However, Ohio State University's Scott Gaudi cautioned that is too speculative about how common these planets are.

Vogt and Butler used ground-based telescopes to track the star's precise movements over 11 years and watch for wobbles that indicate planets are circling it. The newly discovered planet is actually the sixth found circling Gliese 581. Two looked promising for habitability for a while, another turned out to be too hot and the fifth is likely too cold. This sixth one bracketed right in the sweet spot in between, Vogt said.

With the star designated "a," its sixth planet is called Gliese 581g.

"It's not a very interesting name and it's a beautiful planet," Vogt said. Unofficially, he's named it after his wife: "I call it Zarmina's World."

The star Gliese 581 is a dwarf, about one-third the strength of our sun. Because of that, it can't be seen without a telescope from Earth, although it is in the Libra constellation, Vogt said.

But if you were standing on this new planet, you could easily see our sun, Butler said.

The low-energy dwarf star will live on for billions of years, much longer than our sun, he said. And that just increases the likelihood of life developing on the planet, the discoverers said.

"It's pretty hard to stop life once you give it the right conditions," Vogt said.

Wow this is really powerful stuff.

This is a 90 year old vet recounting an event of WW2.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My tattoos

My very first one was a clover I got when I was 18, I got it from a bulldog who I later found out was on crimestoppers...big mistake lol. this is after it healed, you can clearly see the scar in the middle, but what you cannot see is the the ENTIRE thing is just a big scar, he pushed the needle way too far in.

This is my second tattoo, well it's my first, but redone. Still not very good, but I like it a lot better.
And this is my third tattoo, my friend wanted to practice so I let him...I will have it covered pretty soon.
And here is my most current one,this is what it will look like when finished!
And here it is! (not completely done yet)

Courtesy of Carlos Rojas at black anchor collective!

Some Random and Very Pointless Facts!

Almonds are members of the peach family

Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs.

A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

When you sneeze, all your bodily functions stop even your heart.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

If you keep a Goldfish in the dark room, it will eventually turn white
A full-grown bear can run as fast as a horse.

The cells that make up the antlers of a moose are the fastest growing animal cells in nature.

A cockroach can live 9 days without its head before it starves to death.

A hippo can run faster than a man can.

Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they can't find any food.

A lion's roar can be heard from five miles away.

Flies jump backwards when they take off.

Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning

The fastest typist can type at 211 words per minute.

The song with the longest title is "I'm a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama Doin' Those Beat-o, Beat-o Flat-On-My-Seat-o, Hirohito Blues" written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1943.

The Hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards

The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 in China in 1910

On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year

Elephants can't jump. Every other mammal can.

The oldest business in the United States of America is the cymbal company Zildjian which was founded in Constantinople in 1623.

The letters of the alphabet in order of frequency of use are:

A quarter has 119 grooves around the edge.

Every year more people are killed by donkeys, than in aircraft crashes.

The first word spoken on the moon was Okay.

2,500 left handers die each year using products designed for right handers.

Your nose and ears never stop growing!!

All of the clocks in Pulp Fiction are stuck on 4:20.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.   "Cept Nurple" Kyle

The longest place-name still in use is:
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupoka-wenuakitanatahu, a New Zealand hill.

The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

A clitoris is a type of flower

Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

Money isn't made out of paper. It's made out of Cotton!

Many hamsters only blink one eye ata time!

One googol written out is:

If you sleep in a cold room, you are more likely to have a bad dream.

The average human eats 8 spiders in their lifetime at night.

The average woman consumes 6 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.

The average person has over 1,460 dreams a year.

The name of all the continents end with the same letter that they start with.

The word lethologica describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
Polar bears are left-handed.
The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses. No one in Greece has memorized all 158 verses.

Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesnt wear pants.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

When Coca-Cola began to be sold in China, they used characters that would sound like 
 "Coca-Cola" when spoken. Unfortunately, what they turned out to mean was "Bite the wax tadpole". It did not sell well.

It's impossible to sneeze without closing your eyes.

Czar Paul 1 banished soldiers to Siberia for marching out of step.

The male scorpion fly gets other males to bring him food by imitating a female fly.

WWI flying ace Jean Navarre attacked a zeppelin armed with only a kitchen knife!

there are more plastic flamingos in amercia than reall ones.

a snail can sleep for 3 years.

In Kentucky, it's illegal to carry an icecream cone in your back pocket

Pigs orgasms last 30 minutes

The Danish word for condom is 'svangerskabsforebyggendemiddel' (PB)


What kind of shoes do you wear?

Monday, September 27, 2010

5 Foremorly Feroucious Fuckups

1) Enteledont.
Sometimes referred to as "Devil Pigs," Entelodont was the first ascendant of the pig family, found in North America, Europe, and Asia, this bad boy went extinct about 20.9 million years ago. Entelodont could easily reach over 900 pounds and get over 7 feet tall at the shoulder! Apart from being massive and scary looking, they were omnivores which meant they eat meat and plants. Enteledont would travel in packs, so if you fought one Enteledont, you fought the herd... But why is it number one? Entelodont would often have to fight over its food with other predators so as a matter of security it would take a giant steamy shit on its meal just in case an unwanted visitor came over for dinner. YUCK!!!

 Now the living descendant of Enteledon is the mere pig... instead of traveling in packs, fending off predators, and looking badass, they have been reduced to this...I think they still shit where they eat though.
But why did it happen!?
They all died off because they were not getting enough food for the herd, less fighters in the herd equals less power for stealing a kill, no food means more die, and so on and so forth. 

2) Andrewsarchus(Andrew)
 Andrewsarchus Mongolianis is the kind of thing kids have nightmares about. Being twice as big as a Grizzly bear, Andrew was the definition of "Killing Machine" back in the day, it was almost 15 feet long, and about 4 feet of that was just teeth! It also had a very sophisticated brain for its time. It was the biggest mammalian terrestrial carnivore in the history of earth!
 That "killing Machine" that was what you had nightmares about, is now something people count on to FALL ASLEEP! That's right, its closest living relative is anything from a sheep to a goat...
But why did it happen!?
There's no way to jazz it up, the ice age wiped them out, now we live with the warm and cuddly versions of them!

3) Megatherium
Megatherium was the size of an African Elephant and, while a herbivore, still was able to fend off attacks from almost anything in the ancient world, including an entire pack of those sabre-toothed tigers. It had eight-inch claws on its foot for the dual purposes of defense and, we can only assume, bloody murder.
It often stood on its hind legs, rendering it twice as tall as the African Bull elephant. The folks at Wikipedia describe its skeleton as "Robust." We here at Cracked prefer the phrase "holy shit gigantic." Recent research suggests that Megatherium may have used its powerful claws to actually fight Smilodon for their kills when simple trees were not enough to sustain its monstrous appetite and apparent occasional craving for mammalian flesh.

Now it is just a sloth... They are about as threatening as France. Evolution has not been kind to these creatures, you know you have reached an all time low when you are world renowned for being slow. They even have a deadly sin named after them, really, they suck so much even god hates them!
But why did it happen!?
Uhhhhhhh, we take the blaim for this one, as soon as homo sapians appeared, we sluaghtered them all.
4) Hyaenodon gigas
This horse sized mamal weighed a quarter ton and had jaws longer and more powerful than the modern aligator! They had a very good sense of smell and traveled in packs, and while in these packs they could take down literally anything in their time.
From ferocious predator to cute and cuddly racoons. Now instead of chasing down an animal larger than itself and traveling in packs, these little guys hunt for that last bit of dust at the bottom of a cheetos bag.
But why did it happen!? 
They were overtaken by bigger animals with more muscles and more teeth, the little ones and smart ones ran and hid, and they evolved into cute little guys with poeple-hands. How cute!
5) Gastornis 
This fucking enormous bird which stood up to 7 feet tall went extinct around 45 million years ago. Its motto was take no prisoners, this thing ate everything, even us! Its beak could break bones like they were pretzels.
The once menacing bird has evolved into what is now known as the Rhea, want to know what they are known for most? Constantly running into walls! Moreover, these poor little guys are on the endangered list because of people building in their environment.
But why did it happen!? 
Pretty much what happened was they just could not breed fast enough or often enough to keep up with other animals, and on top of that the ice age wiped this feathered creature out while other warmer furrier mammals lasted.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Terrifying Prehistoric Creatures.

 1) Gigantopithecus
 It’s name says it all; it was a monstrous ape, closely related to the orangutan, that roamed the bamboo forests, jungles and mountains of China, India and Vietnam during the Pleistocene. It was a vegetarian, but scary nonetheless; it could grow up to three meters tall and weigh up to 550 kgs, that is 1210 pounds!! Its strength must have been extraordinary and probably kept it safe from most predators. It finally went extinct 300.000 years ago, possibly due to overhunting by early human species or as the result of climate change. Of course, all yeti and Bigfoot believers like to think that Gigantopithecus survived somehow in the most remote parts of the Himalaya, just imagine having that thing chasing you!
2) The Giant River Stingray.
This creature has withstood the test of time dating back over 100 million years and still running! The picture above isof a massive 55 stone (or 771 lbs) ray. Its body is 7ft long and 7ft wide and its tail measured 10ft. Its lethal venomous and serrated barb has been known to pierce through objects tougher than concrete with ease. They only live in rivers of the southern hemisphere, Moreover, they like to hide in very murky dark water. That is why I do not swim where there is fish.
3) Deinotherium
Deinotherium is one of the symbols of mammals’ dominance in the Cenozoic Period, filling the hollow left by dinosaurs’ extinction 65 million years ago. It was the 3rd largest terrestrial mammal of ever and surely the largest terrestrial creature of its time. We can consider Deinotherium as a gigantic far relative of modern elephants, but not their direct ancestor (although partially similar) because its genus formed a different evolutionary line, today died out. Some fossils of Deinotherium, found by the ancient Greeks, could have originated their mythology on Cyclops, giants and titans, especially observing the large nasal opening in a skull (at the base of the trunk), easy to mistake for the large single eye of a Cyclops.

 More to come soon so remember to follow and check back!