12 June 2010

Book Review: Dead in the Family. Southern Vampire Series #10 Spoilers!

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10) Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After the last book ended on such a dark note, this one starts out that way and pretty much maintains the atmosphere throughout, but there are some highlights as Sookie heals from her horrific torture and reconnects with her remaining friends and family members. The highlights are her continuing romance with Eric, her growing friendship with Pam and the deed she does for Bill that finally frees him from their tumultuous past.

Like the other books, Harris left you with wanting more, but again like the last book, the future isn't so bright. While you're hopeful for Sookie's future, her dark thoughts seem to be foreshadowing her ultimate fate as for the first time she serious considers what life as a vampire would be like.


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25 May 2010

In Honor of Geek Pride Day...

Rachel's a big old geek herself. Go Copernicus!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


30 April 2010

If this isn't proof that NASA is full of Geeks...

Ya gotta love it. First NASA names their first shuttle Enterprise, now they name their first "robonaut" R2 and it kinda looks like Boba Fett. I'll bet Mr. Lucas is happy.

Of course, you can't help but notice the blatant product endorsement.

R2 takes off for its permanent home on the ISS on Discovery's STS-133 flight scheduled in September.


15 February 2010

Tony Bourdain: Traveling Sell-Out

No Reservations is a travel channel program hosted by bad boy misanthropic chef Tony Bourdain, who is famous for his feuds with Food Network chefs. His sarcastic commentary is refreshing and amusing and he is a joy to watch.

Until now.

I just caught the rerun of the Istanbul episode. Tony and his guide were eating at a restaurant, commenting on the food and finally Tony says, "Here, let me get this." And the camera zooms in on Tony's hand holding a Chase Sapphire credit card.


Is this a joke, Tony? Did Chase pay you extraordinary amounts of payola because your image would generate this kind of backlash in the theory that even bad publicity is good publicity? No matter what the case, it still stinks.

Mario Batali, Sandra Lee, Rachel Ray...meet your new best friend, Anthony Bourdain.

12 January 2010

A Canyon Within a Canyon

This photograph of the Mars Juventae Chasma canyon shows the different color variations in layered deposits of opaline silica and iron sulfates. The canyon is part of the large Valles Marineris rift which runs nearly 1/4 the way around the planet. The rift, so far the longest known in the solar system, is over 4,000 km long, 200 km wide and up to 7 km deep. By comparison, the Grand Canyon is 446 km long, 29 km wide and 1.83 km deep.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

09 January 2010

News of the Odd

A funeral home in New Mexico is being sued by the family of a woman they buried...well, almost all of her. Apparently the home sent the family the woman's personal effects and someone accidently left her brain in with them.

Scientists at Charles Darwin University in Australia were disappointed when their study to track the movements of tree frogs by implanting them with radio transmitters. Turns out the frogs had other ideas and moved the transmitters to their bladders and then pissed them out.

A Washington couple is raising funds for their July 31st wedding by collecting aluminum cans. Their goal is to collect 400,000 cans, or about 5 tons of aluminum, worth about $3,800 when recycled. Their effort can be read at Wedding Cans.

A Pomeranian named Sadie dropped out of the sky in the middle of a road. Fortunately the driver stopped in time only to notice a very large and very hungry owl landing in the road to retrieve its meal. The driver chased the owl and returned the dog to her owner.



07 January 2010

Got Nova? NASA Don't.

Scientists have been predicting for decades that as a massive star's nuclear fuel runs out, it begins to collapse under its own weight and the resulting pressure causes it to explode. Well, seems that's not the case and something is missing from the equation because what actually happens is that gravity takes over and the star collapses with a fizzle instead of a bang.

Novae of smaller suns are understood, but in order to find out what really happens with larger, massive stars, NASA is beginning work on a new space observatory they hope will help them find the missing data. Named NuSTAR or the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, scheduled to launch in 2011 on a Pegasus rocket, its mission is to look inside a supernova as it explodes to observe the high-energy X-rays emitted. This will allow them to figure out what is happening inside the star and not merely on the outside.

NuSTAR's optics has special coatings and configurations that allow it to reflect X-ray energy on to new sensors that can tolerate the high energy of high-intensity X-rays. As an added bonus, NuSTAR will also be able to focus on the X-ray emissions of supermassive black holes and blazars.

Keep tuned to Mystical Musings for more news here on Earth and beyond.



Source: Science@NASA
NuSTAR Mission Home Page

06 January 2010

Just a Wee Bit Stiff

As previously commented on in Mystical Musings, cold-blooded iguanas have a charming habit of going into hybernation during cold temperatures and falling out of trees or lying like corpses along canals and lakes until the sun gets high enough to get their blood moving.

Last night, the temperatures here were in the low 30s and there stiff iguanas all over the place! As reported by CBS4 news, "Rescue workers from the SPCA Wildlife Care Center in Fort Lauderdale rescued at least two iguanas, one of which was 'stuck' halfway in and halfway out of the water at the edge of the lake. The iguanas were wrapped in towels in order to help warm them up."

Okay...the question is why is the SPCA spending valuable resources to rescue iguanas when they are an invasive species to Florida, have no business being here and cause all kinds of problems and headaches? State law claims it's legal to kill iguanas as long as it's done humanely. Letting them die from an unusual cold snap would definitely constitute a humane way to die.

So please...I understand wanting to save animals on the verge of death, but unless you're going to round up all the iguanas and take them back to where they belong, then let nature take its course. If it's too cold for them, that's too bad. Some will die, but most will make it. Don't waste time and money trying to help something that will continue to harm our environment in the long run.
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