Quotation – February 27, 2013

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end … but not necessarily in that order.

Jean Luc Godard

Carpe Diem

Quotation – February 24, 2013

A man performs but one duty — the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.

Mark Twain

Carpe Diem

Quotation – February 20, 2013

Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths.  No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.

Mark Twain

Carpe Diem

Google’s Interactive Starmap Will Eat Your Day Whole

Google’s Interactive Starmap Will Eat Your Day Whole


 via GiantFreakinRobot.com


Want to wave goodbye to any chance of productivity for the rest of the day? Then step right up to 100,000 Stars, an interactive starmap from those mad geniuses at Google’s Creative Lab team. The map allows you to click, scroll, and otherwise explore a (mostly) accurate representation of our cosmic “neck of the woods.” It’s gorgeous, it’s fascinating, and it will absolutely force you to cancel any meetings you had planned for the rest of the day.

Here’s Google’s official description of the map:

Visualizing the exact location of every star in the galaxy is a problem of, well, galactic proportions. With over 200 billion stars, capturing every detail of the Milky Way currently defies scientists and laptops alike. However, using imagery and data from a range of sources, including NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), we were recently able to take one small step in that direction by plotting the location of the stars closest to our sun . . . The experiment makes use of Google Chrome’s support for WebGL, CSS3D, and Web Audio. Music was generously provided by Sam Hulick, who video game fans may recognize as a composer for the popular space adventure series, Mass Effect.

Oh Google, you already would have won my heart with the starmap alone. But then you have to take things a step further and hire the brilliant Sam Hulick to write an accompanying score? That’s just dirty pool, sir, but I love you for it.

Aside from giving you a jaw-dropping sense of scale by allowing you to zoom from an overall galactic view all the way down to our own little blue marble, 100,000 stars also provides detailed information about our interstellar neighbors. Going back to the Mass Effect tie-in again, it’s basically a way, way more detailed — and accurate — version of that game’s beautiful starmap. Just keep an eye out for Reapers while you’re seeing what’s out there.

Really, there’s nothing else I can tell you about 100,000 Stars that the map itself can’t do much more elegantly, so click on over there already. One proviso, though: you’ll need to have the Chrome browser to use the map, so click over and grab it if you haven’t already.

Quotation – February 19, 2013

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Mark Twain

Carpe Diem

via LifeScience.com

Ancient Temple Discovered in Peru

by LiveScience Staff
Date: 14 February 2013 Time: 02:58 PM ET

Archaeologists in Peru have uncovered what they believe is a temple, estimated to be up to 5,000 years old, at the site of El Paraíso, north of Lima.

Inside the ruins of the ancient room, which measures about 23 feet by 26 feet (7 meters by 8 meters), there’s evidence of a ceremonial hearth, where offerings may have been burned, archaeologists say. The temple also had a narrow entrance and stone walls covered with yellow clay, on which traces of red paint were found, according to a statement from Peru’s Ministry of Culture.

El Paraíso, located on the central coast of Peru, just north of Lima, is a site made up of 10 buildings stretching over 123 acres (50 hectares). It’s one of the earliest known examples of monumental stone architecture in the Americas, dating back to the Late Preceramic period (3500-1800 B.C.). The newly found building is thought to date back to 3000 B.C., which should be confirmed with a radiocarbon analysis.



The ruins of El Paraíso in Peru
CREDIT: Peru Ministry of Culture

Rafael Varón, Peru’s deputy minister for culture, said in a statement that the discovery of the temple “has particular importance because it is the first structure of this type found on the central coast.” It suggests that the Lima region had more religious, economic and political importance during this early period than previously thought, Varón added.

Previously, man-made mounds shaped like orcas, condors and even a duck were discovered in Peru’s coastal valleys, including at El Paraíso, by anthropologist Robert Benfer, professor emeritus of the University of Missouri, who spotted the mounds in satellite photos. One curious mound found in El Paraíso in the Chillón Valley was of a condor head whose burned-charcoal eye was likely the place where offerings were once burned. The condor was also positioned to line up with the most extreme orientation of the Milky Way as seen from the Chillón Valley. [See Photos of the Animal Mounds]

A second mound, right next to the condor, looked like a combination of a puma and alligatorlike cayman, Benfer said. That one was oriented toward the spot where the sun rises on the day of the June solstice, the start of summer.

Dating to more than 4,000 years ago, the structures may be the oldest evidence of animal mounds outside of North America, Benfer said last year. The previous oldest animal structures date to about 2,000 years ago, part of the Nazca Lines. These lines are simple stone outlines of animals decorating the Nazca Desert in Peru.

Follow LiveScience on Twitter @livescience . We’re also on Facebook & Google+.

Quotation – February 16, 2013

In the garden I tend to drop my thoughts here and there.  To the flowers I whisper the secrets I keep and the hopes I breathe.  I know they are there to eavesdrop for the angels.


Carpe Diem

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