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Friday, January 28, 2011

1,040 MPH

You may not feel it, but the Earth is spinning at 1,040 miles per hour.


Sources: bestanimation.com; universetoday.com

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Our little terraquious globe"

I came across this video with the narration of American cosmologist Carl Segan.  The words are from his book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.   As the Voyager 1 ventured outside our Solar System, NASA's spacecraft turned its camera towards the earth.  The photo showed Earth as a tiny blue dot




Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Writer's Block

I’ve always wanted to write a story; a sci-fi story, to be more precise. The story would begin 300 years or so in the future. Either the planet has encountered visitors or our nations have collaborated to invest in interstellar exploration. I doubt the latter since it seems our nations are sometimes at odds when it comes to space exploration and technology.

The ships mission is to find a new planet humans can call home. Earth’s resources are depleting.

I’m sure you’ve read or watched this story before. That’s what is probably giving me writers block. Perhaps it’s because I just can’t wrap myself into the story’s plot. Maybe I’m lacking dedication.

When I was a teen, I was a big fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. I watched them religiously.
I recall thinking that I could write something similar to Star Trek. Perhaps I could write a story and send it to Star Trek’s producers. Maybe I could get my own episode. Then I imagined reading my name on the end credits.

I remember developing my characters and designing my own starship—I even named it, Charioteer. Corny, I know.

I thought-through the space traveling. I considered placing my crew under suspended animation as they travel in lightspeed to their destination.

What would be the plot? A premature awakening, attacking life-forms, a war, or a miscalculated voyage?

All these things were thought of and then ignored. I left the story alone and never returned to even begin.

How can I motivate myself to begin this story?

Maybe I’ll attempt on writing this and hope that I don’t loose focus.

Oh...look at the butterfly.  Damn, I lost focus...again.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Freaking FCC

I couldn't stop laughing when I watched this episode of The Family Guy. 



Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jelly + Fish = Jellyfish

"Take some jelly.  Take some fish.  Look at that sandwich.  Delish.  Just make sure you don't eat a real jellyfish... or you'll DIE!  Jellyfish."



You can see more of Julian Smith's stuff on his website: http://www.juliansmith.tv/.

Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Star Trek Voyager

Freedom fighters and the Federation working together to find their way back home 70,000 light years away, was the plot for Star Trek Voyager.   The pilot "Caretaker" aired on January 16, 1995, and the series ran for seven seasons on UPN.

It was the first of the Star Trek series to show a female captain in a major role.  Captain Kathryn Janeway leads a crew that includes former Marquis members through the Delta Quadrant before returning home.

Chakotay, the USS Voyager's first officer, was perhaps my favorite crew member.  After a couple of years watching Voyager, I stopped.  Perhaps it's because I was in college and finally focusing my time and energy on education.  It's unfortunate because I missed the whole Seven of Nine rave.    



Source: wikipedia

Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Megacities

It's absolutely breathtaking when flying into New York City, especially at night when the lights can be seen for miles and miles. 

New York City is considered a megacity.  The Big Apple is the seventh largest megacity in the world, according to citypopulation.de.  Megacities are metropolitan areas with more than 10 million people.

Imagine all the people that live in megacities, such as New York City.  The things that are sometimes overlooked or just taken for granted.  What makes a megacity function?

From a public administration standpoint, there are countless challenges these megacities face--primarily focused on infrastructure such as roads, water, wastewater, etc.

Freelance business writer Sarah Fister Gale explores this challenge in her article, which appeared in PM Network, a project management magazine.  The challenge is that many megacities don't have the infrastructure budget to keep up with urban sprawl.    

The article can be found here.

Below are megacities ranked by size as provided by citypopulation.de:
1.  Tokyo, Japan (34 million)
2.  Canton, China (24.2 million)
3.  Seoul, South Korea (24.2 million)
4.  Mexico City (23.4 million)
5.  Delhi, India (23.2 million)
6.  Bombay, India (22.8 million)
7.  New York City, USA (22.2 million)
8.  Sao Paulo, Brazil (20.9 million)
9.  Manila, Philippines (19.6 million)
10. Shanghai, China (18.4 million)

Sources: Sarah Fister Gale, "Urban Overload," PM Network, August 2010, p.8-9
Thomas Brinkloff, The Principle Agglomerations of the World, http://www.citypopulation.de/


--
http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 14, 2011

The difference 10 years can make

io9, a Gawker Media science and sci-fi blog compiled data that compares of our earth in 2000 to 2010.  What's astonishing is the amount of power China consumed in 2010 than in 2000.  Another interesting factoid is the amount of earthquakes experienced in the U.S. 


Source: http://io9.com/5720871/2000-vs-2010-how-the-world-has-changed

Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nina Paley's creative work challenges copyright

Cartoonist Nina Paley questions when "derivative works" infringes upon copyrighted material with the video below of works exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

You can read more of her argument here.  You can also visit her blog here.



Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Old Genesee County Poorhouse

Established in 1826, the Genesee County Poorhouse provided residence to paupers and the mentally ill.  

Old Genesee County Home

Over 1,200 residents died while at the asylum, including young orphans and elders. Their bodies are buried around the property in unmarked graves.  A memorial site was created recently by Genesee County to honor those who died at the home. 

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The facility was closed in 1974 and unoccupied for over two decades.  In 2002, the property was purchased by Jeff and Lori Carlson and renamed Rolling Hills.  Recently, Sharon Coyle became the owners of the property (you can listen to the audio interview here).

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Supposedly, the former asylum is haunted.  Several sources say they have seen shadows or felt presence while visiting the home.  Syfy's Ghost Hunters as well as the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures (a must watch) have recently visited the old poorhouse.   Others such as the New Jersey Paranormal Research group have visited this place and recorded their findings.

As mentioned in Ghost Adventures, a power substation across the street from the old asylum may explain the paranormal activities at the home--spirits feed off energy.
Sources: Wikipedia; Genesee County website; Hubpages

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hate waiting in traffic?

With a population of over 22 million people, it comes to no surprise Beijing experiences traffic congestion.

The citys latest solution for handling traffic congestion is something that looks straight from a sci-fi novel. 
The "straddle bus" will be able to transport approximately 1200 passangers over traffic.  So while traffic is moving or NOT the megabus will swiftly move overhead.

It's expected that the bus will reduce traffic by 30 percent and reduce carbon emissions at a low cost.

You can view a video presentation of Beijing's straddle bus below.



Sources: PM Network, November 2010; Mobile Magazine, August 4, 2010; Slash Gear, August 4, 2010 

Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good-bye American-made vehicles

I've had a history with American brand vehicles. My first car was a Pontiac Sunbird.  The car was a two door coupe that could drive between cars with no problem.  It was standard too, so driving was exciting.

My second car was my dad's Pontiac Firebird.  It had a V6 and drove incredibly fast.  I loved that car and was sad to see it totalled after a wreck. 

I made the mistake of going car shopping after my accident.  I needed a car and the car dealers knew it.  I ended up paying a lot more than I could afford on a Grand Am.  Because it cost me a lot, I called him Money.  Ironically, Money lived up to his name.  After paying the vehicle off, I managed to spend over $4000 on Money in needed repairs.  I had enough and ran Money to his death.

My wife once asked me why I liked American vehicles.  I told her that I liked the idea that I was helping America's workforce--you know, the blue collar worker that makes pennies to support families by building vehicles we take for granted. 

Before Money's demise, I decided my next car would be a Toyota, since my wife had one and it works great.  I was interested in the Camary or the Rav4, but the price was a bit too high for me.  I settled for a Corolla and quickly embraced it after finding my car in the lot. 

She is an absolute beauty.  The black goddess is stunning at first sight.  She has a delicate gray trim along her side--nothing too profuse to dilute her beauty. 

It may sound perverse, but she handles like a pro.  Every turn she takes is familiar. I am more terrified of driving her than she can handle.  Her surround sound system reassures me with comfort; she is absolutely in control. 

Now, my task is to give her a proper name.  Something fitting, of course.  A name that defines her handling and my dependency.

Black beauty (A name my son came up with after watching Myth Busters)?  Mystique (named after U2's Mysterious Ways)? May Day (After Grace Jones in James Bond's "A View to a Kill")? Or something else.  Any suggestion will be welcomed. 

IMG00111-20110104-1843


Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Monday, January 3, 2011

DS9

Is it possible? Has it been 18 years Deep Space Nine premiered on January 3, 1993? Indeed it has.

The Bajorans had won their battle against the Cardassians and asked the United Federation of Planets to help govern Deep Space Nine, a Cardassian space station located near the Bajoran wormhole.

The series, which ran for six years, introduced us to a different type of Star Trek stories that mostly took place in DS9 and revolved around the relationship between the UFP, Bajorans, and Cardassians.

Since being hooked on Star Trek: The Next Generation, it was easy for me to involve myself into the DS9 storyline, especially since the series included two TNG alumni--Miles O'Brien and Worf. And I quickly became a fan of the Trill, the symbiotic life form, who was DS9's chief science officer. 



Source: Wikipedia

Visit my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tips to beat bloating

It's that time of year again.  Yes, I've been there too, and I'm making my New Years resolution to trim down and keep in shape. 

I came across an insert in the August 2010 issue of Cosmopolitan that provides tips on how to flatten the tummy.  Their source is from New York City Nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, founder of Middleberg Nutrition.  So the tips listed must work, right?

The three tips highlighted in this 2 x 3 inch card include: drink 2 liters of water in 24 hours to boost metabolism and flush out sodium; eat small portions such as "an iPhone-size serving of protein...a fist-size serving of carbs, four dice worth of cheese or other high-fat food, and one piece of fruit"; and load up on fiber.

From past experience, I do have to agree that eating apples or strawberries does increase yoru metabolism.  Also, drinking lots of water during the day does help cleanse your system.

Stephanie Middleberg's website, http://www.middlebergnutrition.com/, provides other helpful times on how to live a healther life. 

I'll definately be visiting her page and trying out some of her suggestions.

Source: Cosmopolitan August 2010; middlebergnutrition.com