Monday, March 22, 2010

Ancient Galactic Black Holes

You're no doubt aware of how powerful the Spitzer Space Scope is. NASA can take alot of credit here. Astronomers have discovered what seem to be the earliest, most supermassive black holes known to mankind. Whew....

What they've basically found - and what it means to understanding our own origins - are ancient quasars born in a dust-free universe - the earliest stages of evolution. (A quasar is what you get when matter interacts with massive black holes. It gives off radiation and more light than any star) The universe didn't have any dust at its inception which tells astronomers that quasars from that time should also be dust-free. But no one has seen one - UNTIL NOW! Spitzer has identified two, the smallest on record, about 13 billion light years from earth. O yea. Here's a quasar over 3 billion light years from earth; isn't it beautiful?
Below is an image caught of a supermassive massive black hole as it eclipses in its galaxy NGC1365 (NGC=New Galactic Cataloge)So think about it: these supermassive black holes existed around the time the early universe did not yet have the ability to form dust, about a billion years post Big Bang. The picture below is of a system containing two quasars about 4.6 billion years away. Now that's pretty amazing since the scientific age of earth is 4.6 billion years old. You're looking at something just as it appeared when earth was still forming out of colliding asteroids, comets, etc.
We're gazing back at the beginnings of time and space - nothing less.
Now for your jaw-dropping viewing pleasure, this is the image taken by Hubble of "The Veiled Black Hole". The left is the x-ray image and the right shows the galaxy it is interacting with. That's right - black holes are not black.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Re-tickling Your Brain

Yes I realize I've put this to you before, but humor me. I dare you to furrow your brow and really think about your answer:






If you've thought awhile, by now you're in a quandary. I'll make up an example of what the statement is asking:






Like, something that can only tell the truth says "You are red". And something that can only lie says "I agree" then is the 2nd something red? Remember, it lies.

Hope I've tickled your brain a bit. Have a good think! Not everything is either true or false is it lol. In fact here's a little science (ho hum but what the heck it's cool): What you're doing when using your brain to work out these statements, is exercising it the best way possible - not by repetitive acts but by giving the brain something NEW to use. You know how people say "I do a crossword puzzle everyday to keep my brain sharp!"? Well they're actually stagnating that brain, this organ which can literally contemplate itself, this incredible mass of tissue which only learns by getting new input, new stimuli. It already KNOWS how to do a crossword, that person is just wasting time and getting old doing it. If you want to keep your thinking ability sharp and in tune, do things you've never done before - like finding if there's a reality behind these statements and if so, what. I'm having a great time reading your answers! Clever. =========================

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Memory of Paradize

I've been so sick,
So really wretched - but
I'm finally able to sit up at this machine and talk to you, my long-neglected Constant Reader.

Back a few weeks ago, 2 of my insanely sweet sisters and I went to the Dominican Republic for a week. It couldn't have been more memorable right from the get-go. We'd never been anywhere before, just us 3, and our other sibs placed bets on who would be the first to get arrested for sibling-cide. Surprise surprise, we had a hellova time!

Probably because of my cane, security put me in a wheelchair and with the sibs in tow, wheeled us to the front of every line we encountered. They swore from now on they'd take me everywhere they go to bypass those intolerable lines. I concur.What amazed me first was how no one talked about Haiti, the human suffering going on only miles across our border. It's understandable for the tourist industry but even the sunbathing tourists wouldn't mention the "H" word, it was so surreal. Almost as if talking about it would mean we might have to actually HELP those people anyway we could - like using gift money to put in a fund or something - but lo and alas, there WASN'T any such thing.
In the meantime, I was swept away by the unnameable shade of turquoise the Caribe was, and the sky which changed by the hour. Many English-speaking folks, alot of Canadians, some Germans, but mostly pampered Americans. Friendly, but had a kind of "I'm entitled" attitude. It was ok though. Everyone was open and easy to engage.You might remember my old "Thelma and Louise" post a few years back where I had my first experience walking on sand with this nutty neuropathy. So I was expecting to fall softly which was actually fun, but it was the Caribbean Sea that put me in paradise. For the first time in over 15 years I wasn't aware of my legs, no pain, no weight, no fear of falling, no nothing - the lack of gravity took all that away and with the help of a sister I just floated on my back with no sensation of that damn left leg. It's so difficult to explain unless you've felt it, but suffice to say I ascended to heaven escorted by angels.

We bought our requisite postcards but when we got to the door for stamps they wanted $3 each, so we mailed them from home LOL kinda takes the thrill out of getting a postcard but what the heck I wasn't going for that little rip-off.And I noticed alot of them, but it was easy to find bargains if you looked. Most of the place was set-up to pamper and please, which they did - I sometimes wondered how the "help" really felt about tourists though they seemed very genuine and happy to just have a job. We went deluxe all the way - why not, this kind of thing doesn't happen often, in fact NEVER till now.
I never flew before (except when 3 and don't remember it) and never been out of the country (except when 14 to Canada and definitely don't remember that lol) so there were alot of firsts.
I'm planning our next excursion before we get too old. Maybe the mountains? I already have my "walking stick" LOL.
Note: These stock photos are very close to the real thing, my sister is uploading all the pix, she took close to 700 - and the other sister's camera broke the first day lol o unpredictable life!