Quotation – April 30, 2012

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.

Anais Nin


Quotation – April 27, 2012

If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

Toni Morrison

W is for the WOW Signal

W is for the WOW Signal  (A to Z Blogging Challenge)

From Wikipedia:

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal detected by Dr. Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977, while working on a SETI project at the Big Ear radio telescope of The Ohio State University then located at Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory, Delaware, Ohio.[1] The signal bore expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-Solar System origin. It lasted for the full 72-second duration that Big Ear observed it, but has not been detected again. The signal has been the subject of significant media attention.

Amazed at how closely the signal matched the expected signature of an interstellar signal in the antenna used, Ehman circled the signal on the computer printout and wrote the comment “Wow!” on its side. This comment became the name of the signal.

Computer Printout


Signal location


















The location of the signal in the constellation Sagittarius, near the Chi Sagittarii star group. Because of the design of the experiment, the location may lie in either one of the two red bands, and there is also significant uncertainty in the declination (vertical axis). For clarity, the widths of the red bands are not drawn to scale; they should actually be narrower.

The Big Ear telescope was fixed and used the rotation of the Earth to scan the sky. At the speed of the Earth’s rotation, and given the width of the Big Ear’s observation “window”, the Big Ear could observe any given point for just 72 seconds. A continuous extraterrestrial signal, therefore, would be expected to register for exactly 72 seconds, and the recorded intensity of that signal would show a gradual peaking for the first 36 seconds—until the signal reached the center of Big Ear’s observation “window”— and then a gradual decrease.

Therefore, both the length of the Wow! signal, 72 seconds, and the shape of the intensity graph may correspond to a possible extraterrestrial origin.

However, the signal has not been detected again.

Jerry Ehman

Quotation – April 26, 2012


To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom.
Only the person who risks is free.


V is for a space Vacuum

V is for Vacuum  (A to Z Blogging Challenge)

CleanSpace One is being built by researchers in Switzerland to help rid space of thousands of pieces of floating space junk.

Space junk is an enormous problem.  A piece of debris that comes into contact with, for example, a working sattelite can create thousands of new pieces of space junk.

CleanSpace One is not exactly a vacuum cleaner in space.  The Swiss scientists plan to cosy up to a large piece of junk (for example, an old satellite that is not being used), and then use a claw-like instrument to seize the space junk and force it back through the atmosphere.  At that point, the space junk will be destroyed by the heat of friction with the air.


Quotation – April 25, 2012

We sometimes get all the information, but we refuse to get the message.

Cullen Hightower

U is for Universal Translator

U is for Universal Translator  (A to Z Blogging Challenge)

A Microsoft researcher, Frank Soong, is close to creating a real Universal Translator.  After about an hour of training, the technology can translate between any pair of 26 languages.








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