Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lost and Found: The Valentine’s Edition

Hi all, today is one of the first Blogfests for 2016, this one called Lost and Found: The Valentine’s Edition brought to you by these fine sponsors: Arlee Bird, Guilie Castilol-Oriard, Elizabeth Seckman, Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey, and Alex Cavanaugh.

Do you remember that special feeling of love found? And who hasn't experienced the emotional experience of love lost? Some of you might have even lost a love only to find that person later for another go around. Tell your story about love lost or found in our special Valentine's blogfest. 

Your post can be a short fiction, an essay, poetry, or even a song--let your imagination run free. Any genre is fair game, be it romance, historical fiction, memoir, or even science fiction. After all there are no limitations when it comes to love. Post your entry, along with the badge, and visit other participants on Monday! 
Rubino’s Medium with Pepperoni and Sausage

Pizza Good ol’ fashioned pizza from a single family-owned pizzeria serving the best damn pizza around. Domino's? Pizza Hut? Papa Johns? Fuggediboutit! I’ll spend the extra ten dollars and get a real manly-man pizza pie oozing with lots of homemade sweet and spicy sauce and real mozzarella cheese and whatever meats or fresh garden toppings I’m in the mood to eat. 
Ciao's Large Pepperoni

My two favorite such places are Ciao’s Italian on Balboa Island and Rubino’s in Mission Viejo. Sure, a large two topping pizza is $20.00 with tax. But you know once you take your first bit into the steaming hot slice of pizza where the extra money went and that it’s worth every dime! 

Question What is one of your Lost and Found?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A New Planet? The Kuiper Belt, Jupiter Rising, and More Zombies!!!

Ninth Planet? A decade ago Mike Brown helped get Pluto demoted from a “planet” to a mere “dwarf planet.” Now the astronomer and one of his CalTech colleagues may have plotted the orbit of a new ninth planet in our solar system, dramatically larger than Pluto and much, much farther away in the Kuiper Belt. 

This new planet would be roughly 10 times the size of the Earth and would take as much as 20,000 years to make a single orbit around the sun. Its theoretical size — between the size of the Earth and Neptune — is unlike any other body in our solar system, but fits into the most common size of exoplanets detected in other systems. Reference 

Jupiter Rising On January 27th watch the moon and Jupiter shine together throughout the night depending on where you live. Get those binoculars our or go by a cheap telescope. You won;t want to miss this!

Did You Know The Kuiper Belt is an elliptical plane in space spanning from 30 to 50 times Earth's distance from the sun, or 2.5 to 4.5 billion miles (4.5 to 7.4 billion kilometers). The belt is similar to the asteroid belt found between Mars and Jupiter, although the objects in the Kuiper Belt tend more to be icy rather than rocky. 

The Kuiper Belt and its compatriot, the more distant and spherical Oort Cloud, contain the leftover remnants from the beginning of the solar system and can provide valuable insights into its birth. 

Fun Fact Scientists estimate that thousands of bodies more than 62 miles (100 km) in diameter travel around the sun within this belt, along with trillions of smaller objects, many of which are short-period comets. The region also contains several dwarf planets, round worlds too large to be considered asteroids and yet not qualifying as planets because they’re too small, on an odd orbit, and don’t clear out the space around them the way the 8 (or possibly 9) planets do. Reference 

What I’m Reading I downloaded a copy of David Power’s The Undead Road over the weekend and will start reading it this week. Released earlier this month the book already has fifteen top reviews and is holding a high Amazon ranking. 

Synopsis Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Beretta. 

And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her. After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment. 

Download a copy of The Undead Road by Clicking Here

Question What do you think if our amazing solar system and all the amazing surprises yet to be discovered? Have you checked out David's cool zombie book?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Five Planet Alignment This Week, Supernovas Rule! and Incoming Space Junk

From Northern Hemisphere
A Planetary Party January 20th - February 20th All five visible planets will sit in a line from the horizon to the moon - for the first time since 2005. According to Dr. Tanya Hill, senior curator at the Melbourne Planetarium, there will be another chance to view the planets lined up in August, but then not again until October 2018. Venus and Jupiter will be easiest to see and Mars, while a little harder, will have a distinctive red glow to look out for. Saturn is also in the mix.

“The big challenge will be Mercury,” said Alan. Because Mercury is so close to the horizon, there is only a small time period when it has appeared before the sun comes up. Tall buildings and trees could also block your view of the final planet. 

From Southern Hemisphere
Viewing Tips 

• The alignment will be visible to the naked eye about an hour and a half before sunrise. 
• Hold your arm up in a straight line from the horizon to the moon and the planets should fall along that line. 
• Try to find a flat horizon and a dark sky. 
• Don’t give up! It may take more than one early morning to see the full alignment. 

Supernova 1987A in Large Magellanic Cloud
Supernovas Rule! An international team of astronomers may have discovered the biggest and brightest supernova ever. The explosion was 570 billion times brighter than the sun and 20 times brighter than all the stars in the Milky Way galaxy combined, according to a statement from The Ohio State University, which is leading the study. Scientists are straining to define its strength. 

A supernova is a rare and often dramatic phenomenon that involves the explosion of most of the material within a star. Supernovas can be very bright for a short time and usually release huge amounts of energy. Tune in this Thursday at the Blogging A to Z Challenge for my post on Supernovas. You’ll be glad you did! 

Space Junk
Did You Know According to NASA more than 500,000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” are tracked as they orbit the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. 

Man-made objects orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function. Such debris includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked. 

Not So Fun Fact Sometimes Space Junk re-enters our atmosphere and falls to the Earth with and without warning. Check out this quick clip of falling space junk just last week. Reference

Question Are you excited about this rare five planet lineup? Are you going to look for it? Get a set of binoculars or even a cheap telescope and you’ll be in for a real celestial treat!

And if you like this post feel free to give it a Tweet!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

IWSG, January Celestial Calendar and StarTracker App

Hey everyone, welcome back and hope you all had a safe and happy Holiday! And what better way to kick off the New Year than with a post with the Insecure Writers Support Group, brought to you by Alex Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Shari Larsen, J. Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace. Be sure to stop by and give them some love as being a co-host for IWSG is a lot of work. 

My IWSG: Re-edits. Arrgghh! I released Salem’s Daughters in October 2015. I thought I had all my edits finished. But it was brought to my attention by an Amazon Reviewer that my overuse of “...” made him think there were missing words and wondered if it was an author or an upload problem. The usages of “...” was meant to show broken dialogue when a character stuttered or was interrupted. Examples:

“What the ...” was all Bob could mutter, as he realized what was unfolding. 

“Wait a minute. Phil, you promised. You ... my father worked here.” 

“I did better than that. I quit. And I’m so happy. I feel so ... I’m not sure."

I did a search and there were about a hundred such usages. I see now it’s awkward so I went through and go rid of all but about three. And I found a few more typos and corrected them. Reads much better now. 

2016 Sky Watching Events: This year has so many amazing astronomical events on top. Many you can see with the naked eye, a good set of binoculars, or a cheap telescope from your backyard (as long as the night time skies are clear). Here are January’s amazing and awesome celestial events: 

Jan. 3-4 Quadrantid Meteor Shower This annual sky event is known for being the first major meteor shower of the new year. 

January 6th Venus, Saturn and the Moon A close grouping of two planets and the moon in the dawn sky. The following morning, the moon will have moved to the other side of Venus and Saturn. 

January 9th Venus and Saturn A rare chance to view two planets in the same telescopic field in the dawn sky. 

January 20th A Planet Party Ask any sky-watching enthusiast and they'll tell you it will be pretty cool to see Venus and Saturn as close together as they will be on Jan. 9. Once they've drifted apart later in the month, however, they'll have company. Mercury, Mars and Jupiter will also appear in the early morning sky starting around January 20th. 

January 24th Full Moon

January 27th Jupiter and the Moon Both are close in the sky, and rise together around 10 p.m. local time. 

Very Cool App Go to Google Play or the iTunes and check out StarTracker Mobile Sky Map for your phone or tablet. For a demo Click Here.

Question How was your holiday? Are you glad it's over?