An explosion on the Moon

“NASA scientists have observed an explosion on the moon. The blast, equal in energy to about 70 kg of TNT, occurred near the edge of Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Rains) on Nov. 7, 2005, when a 12-centimeter-wide meteoroid slammed into the ground traveling 27 km/s.

“‘What a surprise,’ says Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) researcher Rob Suggs, who recorded the impact’s flash. He and colleague Wes Swift were testing a new telescope and video camera they assembled to monitor the moon for meteor strikes. On their first night out, ‘we caught one,’ says Suggs.

Right: The red dot marks the location of the Nov. 7, 2005, meteoroid impact. Credit: NASA/MSFC/Bill Cooke…

“The object that hit the moon was ‘probably a Taurid’,. says MSFC meteor expert Bill Cooke. In other words, it was part of the same meteor shower that peppered Earth with fireballs in late October and early November 2005… The moon was peppered, too, but unlike Earth, the moon has no atmosphere to intercept meteoroids and turn them into harmless streaks of light. On the moon, meteoroids hit the ground–and explode.”

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Breakthrough reported in HIV research

“St. Louis scientists say they’ve determined how HIV invades healthy cells — and that could lead to improved drug therapies to fight the deadly disease.

“The researchers at the Saint Louis University Institute for Molecular Virology demonstrated the molecular mechanism by which the HIV virus infects, or integrates, healthy cells.

“Although scientists theorized two ends of the virus’ DNA must come together inside a healthy cell to infect it, until now investigators haven’t been able to illuminate the process.

“Many biological and structural aspects of HIV integration are undefined,” said Sibes Bera, one of the investigators. ‘Therefore, any insight into the molecular mechanism of this process is significant in developing integrase inhibitors.'”

Photo: HIV viron

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Joss Whedon announces the end of “Firefly”

Somehow I don’t believe that this is then end of the road for “Firefly”. That said, keep reading…

“When Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon looks back on 2005, he can take comfort in knowing that his film-directing debut, the sci-fi Western Serenity, resurrected his canceled-too-soon cult classic TV series Firefly, and was also one of the year’s best-reviewed movies. ‘I should say I’m above reading reviews,’ he says. ‘But I would be lying.’ Alas, Whedon’s fond memories are also tainted by Serenity’s status as a franchise nonstarter; despite Universal’s best marketing efforts, the film only mustered $25 million. ‘In the end, it was what it was: a tough sell,’ says Whedon, adding that it appears the Firefly saga has reached its conclusion. He has no regrets — and he’s moving on.”

The “Serenity” DVD goes on sale today.

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See “King Kong” – it’s amazing

King Kong

From Ty Burr at the Boston Globe: “Peter Jackson’s ‘King Kong’ delivers all you could possibly want from a modern popcorn behemoth: state-of-the-art special effects, epic scope and running time, rampaging dinosaurs, things majestically going ka-boom. It’s not so much a remake as it is a loving re-creation of the 1933 original on extra-strength steroids, with a side order of Botox. You’ve seen it all before but most assuredly never like this.”

9-month-old on “no fly” list of suspected terrorists

“Sarah Zapolsky was checking in for a flight to Italy when she discovered that her 9-month-old son’s name was on the United States’ ‘no fly’ list of suspected terrorists.

“‘We pointed down to the stroller, and he sat there and gurgled,’ Zapolsky said, recalling the July incident at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. ‘The desk agent started laughing…She couldn’t print us out a boarding pass because he’s on the no-fly list.’

“Zapolsky, who did not want her son’s name made public, said she was initially amused by the mix-up. ‘But when I found out you can’t actually get off the list, I started to get a bit annoyed.’

“She isn’t alone.”

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The top 20 IT mistakes to avoid

“We all like to think we learn from mistakes, whether our own or others’. So in theory, the more serious bloopers you know about, the less likely you are to be under the bright light of interrogation, explaining how you managed to screw up big-time. That’s why we put out an all-points bulletin to IT managers and vendors everywhere: For the good of humanity, tell us about the gotchas that have gotten you, so others can avoid them…

“We’ve distilled this glut of information down to the top 20 mistakes — instances in which wrong decisions can lead to costly project overruns, business disasters, and in the worst cases, lost jobs. Read on…”

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This guy is “39 Pounds of Love”

From the official web site: “39 Pounds of Love is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of a remarkable man and a remarkable journey.

“Ami Ankilewitz was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor’s prediction of life expectancy by 28 years. And counting.

“Ami, who weighs only 39 pounds, works in Israel as a 3D animator and creates his art despite the fact that his bodily motion is limited to a single finger on his left hand and in doing so, continues to redefine notions of a ‘limited’ life.

“The film follows Ami’s journey in search of the doctor who predicted his early demise. Along his journey, Ami attempts to come to terms with another major incident from his past and to complete a lifelong dream: To finally ride a Harley Davidson.

“39 Pounds of Love is an emotional roller coaster, a fascinating, humorous and truly inspirational ride through life with someone who embodies the very term, Carpe Diem (Seize the day).”

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