Einstein was Right and Continues to Enlighten Understanding of Universe #physics #maths #science

I’m fascinated by cosmology and quantum physics. Although I don’t speak Expanding universe since the Big Bangenough math to truly follow the science, I ran across a post that actually gives me an intuitive feel for Dark Energy – the almost mystical stuff that makes up a large part of the universe if we accept measurements of mass density wave-patterns.

Relativistic effects explain the observations evidencing the existence of Dark Matter around galaxies and galaxy clusters. When energy passes closer to galaxies it “slows down” due to gravitational time dilations.

The accumulative effect is a substantial increase in energy density when seen… far from the center of galaxies and that… is imperceptible for an observer within the galaxy. Gregorio Baquero

Visit Baquero to see the math, or just to read his narrative. He concludes:

There is no need for particularly special particles forming Dark Matter substance or even parallel universes’ escaped gravity to account for the extra gravity existing around cosmic structures. In a way, Dark Matter is just traveling energy.

I can get that – it makes sense to me. The speed of light is constant but the shape of space varies with mass. Gravity is the shape of space, thanks to energy interactions.

He doesn’t post his credentials or name collegeues, and I’m not competent to judge the math, but I admit I’m emotionally draw to Baquero‘s concluding sentence, which I paraphrased to title this post. Einstein hasn’t been left behind by quantum physics – not yet.

I’ve tried to capture my feelings in rhyme: Gravity Fights Dark Energy

On a completely different topic: Going to Amazon today? Click over there now on my link.

August Eclipse Will Be Awesome – but astronauts get best view #eclipse2017 #science #astronomy

Eclipse viewed from space - NOAA/JapanI’ve got my trip to watch the eclipse planned (here’s wishing for clear skies!) But I’ll never have a view like astronauts do from space. Click on the image or here to view the video. The image I posted is just a screen shot. The time-lapse video is so cool. Check it out.

Your Cat Journeyed for 9000 Years to Arrive at Your Sofa #nature #cat #cats #pet #domestic

Wild cats still roam Europe

This European wildcat would look equally at home on your sofa. Luc Viatour www.lucnix.be

Cats joined humans about the time we started farming – and creating excellent mouse habitats where we stored our grain. Rodents can be a plague in any age – I had to replace $700 worth of mouse-eaten wiring in my pick-up not long ago. So I don’t doubt farmers immediately recognized the value of cats. As wild humans became domesticated so did the animals most able to tolerate us, to travel with us – and, for a special few, to love us.

The cat’s ancestors “lived in Europe as early as the late Pliocene. Fossil remains of the wildcat are common in cave deposits dating from the last ice age and the Holocene.” wikipedia

Accumulating evidence shows us when the cat joined forces with humans.

Researchers extracted mitochondrial DNA (which is passed down the maternal line) from more than 200 ancient cat remains that came from Viking graves, Egyptian mummies and Stone Age sites.

DNA evidence shows cat domestication began about 9,000 years ago in the Near East, where farming started…

A second wave of cat domestication happened in ancient Egypt. Cats spread to Europe during the Roman era and went even further during the Viking period. Egyptian cat DNA was even found in a Viking port. BBC

Some ancestors of our domestic cats escaped us and their lines survive today, still wild, across a wide swath of Earth – Africa, Europe, and Asia. Their domestic cousins have colonized the rest – every island and continent except Antarctica.

It seems odd to me that no one’s smuggled a kitten into an Antarctic research station. Most of us no longer need a cat to manage the mouse population in our barns, no longer need a dog to guard the flock, and no longer need horses, llamas, or any of the animals we keep as pets. But we want them – spend a lot of time and money to acquire and keep them. They comfort us in ways our fellow humans cannot.

Most domestic animals have undergone a lot of conscious selective breeding.

There was very little breeding and selection going on in cats up the

Kate Rauner's cat Harvey

My own tabby waiting for breakfast

19th Century [dang those Victorians! Kate] in contrast with dogs,’ said Dr Geigl. ‘The cat was useful from the very beginning – it didn’t have to be changed.’

But of course.

For all you dog-lovers out there, I haven’t ignored our canine companions, probably the first animals that helped us invent domestication: Humanity belongs to the dogs, a poem.

My orange tabby, Harvey, was the model for the first

The new cover 🙂 How do you like it?

cover of my science ficiton novel, Glory on Mars. But people told me the cover was too quirky, so I’ve got a new one now – hopefully more science fiction-y. What do you think?

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August Eclipse May Be Most Crowded Ever #solar #summer #travel #solareclipse #camping

I’ve never been a fan of crowds, so I’ve been planning my eclipse trip as a

Pick your spot

self-sufficient campout. Traditional camping venues are full but some private landowners are opening up for a fee – often with added enticements like live music.

Rural areas may be overwhelmed. Consider Oregon.

The first place to experience total darkness as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth will be in Oregon and Madras, in the central part of the state, is expected to be a prime viewing location. Up to 1 million people (!) are expected in Oregon for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in 99 years and up to 100,000 could show up in Madras and surrounding Jefferson County. Officials are worried about the ability of the rural area to host so many visitors and are concerned about the danger of wildfire from so many people camping on public lands…

In this vast expanse of ranches and farms, rural, two-lane roads could mean traffic jams of cosmic proportions. Every hotel in Madras is booked, some residents are renting their homes for $3,000 a night, and campers are expected to flood the national forests and grasslands during peak wildfire season… first responders will prepare to respond as they would for a natural disaster. Cell towers could be overwhelmed, traffic will be gridlocked, and police and fire stretched to the max managing the crowds… businesses are being told to use cash only, to avoid bringing down the wireless network.

As a volunteer firefighter I appreciate the danger – something most people won’t be familiar with. “Just driving off-road – having that contact with a hot muffler or a catalytic converter – could start an ignition. And in these fine fuels, it could spread very quickly.”

Even if you’ve already got reservations, plan to be as independent as possible – pack food and water. And toilet paper.

It’ll be worth it.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about – look here.

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Total Solar Eclipse Amazing Treat for North America #solareclipse #astronomy #nature #travel

Solar Eclipse Path Aug 2017 Yee ha N America!

Have you planned your trip to the center line? A total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017. The path will cross the mainland United States and I’ll be traveling across three states to reach it. Motels, RV parks, and campgrounds are already full, but I like to be mobile to chase clear skies anyway. Hello BLM land 🙂

This will be my third total eclipse – I had to travel farther for the first two.

As the great day approaches, expect to see more articles on eclipses. There will be the usual warning not to look directly at the event with your unprotected eyes – and you should never stare directly at the sun anyway! You risk eye damage if you do. The eclipse isn’t special this way. It’s just that the glare and pain usually keep people from trying.

Space.com has a contribution this week. Temperatures will drop in the shadow of the moon as it blocks the sun – a larger drop than you might expect from a passing cloud – about the difference between noon on a clear day and sunset.

During a total eclipse i 2015, researchers recorded the temperature

… at a height of about 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the ground, and found that the lowest daytime temperature occurred 2 minutes after the end of totality…The Earth’s atmosphere is a good insulator, meaning it doesn’t exchange heat easily… This delayed transfer of heat could explain the slight delay in the cooling of the air during totality.

Expect lots more stories over the summer, and view the eclipse in person if you can. It’s a great thing to stand in the shadow of the moon.

IKEA in Space – Spinoffs from Mars and We Aren’t Even There Yet in Person #Mars #NASA #colonization

Humans have set foot on the Moon

We’ve all heard about the technology spinoffs from NASA to our everyday lives. Things like memory foam, freeze-dried food, firefighting equipment, emergency “space blankets”, DustBusters, cochlear implants, various computer and medical technologies, turning trash into oil, and putting better bubbles in our beer. (Oddly enough – not some things you’ve often heard mentioned – not Tang, Velcro, or Teflon.)

In this age of budget cuts, NASA wants you to know these spinoffs contribute to America’s economy by generating billions of dollars in revenue and creating thousands of jobs.

Now IKEA, the maker of cheap and chic furniture, is sending some of its designers on a trip to the Mars Society’s simulation habitat in Utah.

Truthfully, this sounds more like hype than research. The designers will only spend three days playing colonists. If they really want a feel for living in cramped quarters with little privacy or comfort, I’d recommend at least a month. But maybe contemplating a few conveniences for future explorers will help today’s apartment dwellers.

Less trendy but more important spinoffs are coming too – exploring farming on Mars may help us get more nutritional bang for our energy buck in drought-stricken regions on Earth. In the meantime,

…if IKEA can design a clothing storage system that works well inside a Martian habitat, it can certainly design a clothing system that works well inside your horrible apartment in Brooklyn.

Watch for their new collection in 2019.

Until humans step foot on the Red Planet, science fiction is your only route to Mars. Try my on Mars series – the first colonist take a one-way trip in the near-future. Start with Glory on Mars – Emma wants to explore and make a home on Mars with the first dozen colonists, but something is terribly wrong on the Red Planet.

You’ll also find paperbacks at Create Space and all major digital formats at Smashwords.

Absolutely Amazing UFO But Not Why You Think #ufo #citizenscience #skeptic #video #ufos

A Chilean chopper spotted something unidentified on November 11, 2014, and the search for an explanation began.

If the object had a prosaic explanation, then you would certainly expect such a group of experts to be able to identify it—or at least provide a plausible explanation… CEFAA could not figure out what it was, and after two years they made an announcement declaring it a genuine unexplained phenomena. They released the video. csicop.org

That’s when something fascinating happened. Five days later, the case was solved. All the details of possibilities considered, rejected, and finally identified are here: the UFO involved persistent aerodynamic contrails and some incorrect assumptions made in the original investigation.

A group of experts could not identify this UFO after two years of study. So how could a few people on the Internet possibly figure it out in five days? Because while no panel of experts can possibly include an expert in everything – the internet can and does. Remember that, and remember that assume is spelled ass-u-me: Assume makes an ass out of you and me.