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A) WordPress got kind of fancy, no? Or at least the editing page underwent a slight metamorphasis. This shall be explored greatly, Friends.

B) I watched Magnolia last night in quite wonderful company. And aside from forgetting that the movie was 3+ hours long, its roots have carried through making today a most interesting one to live through. I’m not expecting frogs or anything, though I believe in the next few days we are expecting an 82% chance of rain. Exodus?

C) Matt found this website today and for any and all ex, current, future baristas, it sounds like it could potentially be an excellent idea.

D) informs us of two very important events, Cadets:

When the sun goes down tonight, step outside and look west.  Weather permitting you’ll see a slender equinox crescent Moon hanging above the rosy glow of sunset.  Framed by the cobalt blue of early evening, the Moon reveals its “da Vinci glow” or Earthshine, a pale impression of the full Moon inside the vivid crescent–a beautiful sight.

Consider it an appetizer for Tuesday. On April 8th, the still-slender crescent passes almost directly in front of the Pleiades star cluster.  Also known as the Seven Sisters, the dipper-shaped Pleiades are visible to the naked eye even from urban areas and they look wonderful through binoculars.  Tuesday evening’s delicate conjunction of Luna and the Seven Sisters should not be missed.

Eyes to the skies, Kiddos.

E) I seem to posess an insatiable craving for Matar Paneer.


Got this article zapped over to me by my good friends over at NASA.

And upon reading it, I couldn’t help but feel like it was oddly demeaning and sexist.

Maybe I’m just overreacting.

John’s right, guys.

Apparently, they did it. And it worked?

No, that’s not true. Probably not at all. There never was a satellite. There’s something infinitely bigger going on here, guys.

On it.

I heard about this nice little dose of irony a few weeks ago.

A U.S. spy satellite was fated to come hurling down towards Earth. And all I could do was laugh. Because that’s just brilliant. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. Then, when they discussed the possibility of blowing it out of the sky, I laughed and fondly remembered the presentation of such an event that my father, brother Clayton and I saw at the Air Show at Edwards AFB in October of ’06. No one had ever written comedy gold of that caliber.

Well, tonight’s the night. The US Navy is going to make not one, but two attempts, to shoot this bastard satellite out of the sky.

“Adding to the difficulty of the shootdown mission, the missile will have to do better than just hit the bus-sized satellite, a Navy official said Tuesday. It needs to strike the relatively small fuel tank aboard the spacecraft in order to accomplish the main goal, which is to eliminate the toxic fuel that could injure or even kill people if it reached Earth. The Navy official described technical aspects of the missile’s capabilities on condition that he not be identified.”

Oh, but wait! There’s more!

“Also complicating the effort will be the fact that the satellite has no heat-generating propulsion system on board. That makes it more difficult for the Navy missile’s heat-seeking system to work, although the official said software changes had been made to compensate for the lack of heat.”

Cool! So, let’s send a heat-seeking missile to something that DOESN’T EMIT HEAT. Awesome. Genius. Software change? Yeah, okay, Boss.

So, who wants to join me tonight for some Pacific Ocean caught seafood, since I’ll never friggin’ touch it again.

See ya around, Hawaii. It was nice knowin’ ya.

(Also, the category of this post is “I believe in Science.” Because I do. I do not, however, believe in the US Government.)

I think I’m especially fascinated by this because I’ve been on this crazy Jurassic Park kick recently and spend half my day with an Allosaurus skeleton, but still, check it out!!!

Because it’s seriously crazy. And kind of gross.

Let’s chat about insects. The last time I truly studied insects was in Mrs. Saylor’s third grade class. We had this project where we’d have to get a milk carton and half a pantyhose and create some sort of habitat for an insect we were supposed to bring into class. Now, I’m going to be completely honest with you when I say that my insect was practically the largest and most bad ass moth you’ve ever seen. Mothra-esque, to say the least. We found it the morning I was supposed to bring it in to school and it was, to this day, the biggest insect I’d ever seen and it lived the longest of any in the class. I’m still not entirely convinced it wasn’t actually Mothra. Moving on.

In any event, I really am not up and fresh on my insect knowledge and I wish that I was. For today, when I went to my outside storage closet to deposit of a few items, I noticed something stuck to the inside of the door. Behold my photographic evidence:

It appears to me that it’s a butterfly in some sort of “cocoon” phase and that one day I will open the storage closet and hundreds of butterflies will spill out. There is, of course, the chance that it isn’t even this at all, but something totally terrible and terrifying. Like locust. Or snakes. But I don’t even know if there is a hint of accuracy or logic in that reasoning. Time will tell, I suppose.

So put on your entomology hats, Interns. Let’s I.D. this son-of-a-gun.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated and will be further investigated.

Total last minute heads up, Interns! Sorry!

I love meteor showers, and if you’ve never caught one, or if you like ’em, too, tonight is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, which according to some sky gazers in the UK and farther East, has been truly awesome. Summer meteor showers are the absolute best and this is probably going to be a good one. So! If you find yourself awake at some absurd hour of the night, go outside and look up! You may see something!!! And please report back here if you do!! I know I will.

 UpdateHere’s the official NASA page on the shower. They’ve got tips for an optimal viewing experience!!

Woah, woah, woah, Chuck. Slow it down, son. You mean the entire food industry… of the WORLD?!?!?!? Say it aint SO!!!

Check out what my weekly SpaceWeather e-mail shot over today:

These are photographs taken of every full moon for the past two years to show that no two full moons are ever the same. Totally amazing and cool. We’ve got a full moon right now, guys, and last night it was absolutely gorgeous. Get out there and take a look. AND! June is supposed to be a blue moon this year!

Just before dawn on Sunday morning, you may be able to catch some meteors as Earth enters a dust stream from Halley’s comet.

Don’t forget the Sun, too. There’s been some hyper-activity up there these past few months including some rapidly appearing sunspots. What that means is that the sun is essentially entering a new solar cycle and there are some absolutely wicked storms going on up there. This usually happens every 15-ish years and when it does it means the polarity of the Sun is switching (The sun has a lot of sunspots, which are kind of like giant storms, and these are polarized North to South. When the poles switch, new sunspots appear that will have the poles of the sunspots switched. So where you might have a sunspot N-S next to one that is N-S, the new one that appears would be S-N, with the switched poles. The first that appear for this are usually more intense storms and release a lot more energy that greatly affect the Aurora Borealis, something I have yet to see but absolutely must.).
ANYWAY, this is an image of a microflare (I just learned is also called an Ellerman Bomb), which is a magnetic explosion about a millionth the strength of a solar flare. The microflare is the itty bitty white spot in there and though it looks small, it is mighty. To put it in perspective, one of those dots releases the energy of about 10 million atomic bombs. Totally incredible.

And okay. This is PERHAPS THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER GOTTEN FROM SPACEWEATHER. But. You need 3D glasses. I don’t have any. But I’m going on the hunt shortly. Don’t you worry. Anyway, grab yours and check out this 3D Image of the Moon. Beautiful. Insane. Crazy.

I heart space.