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Archive for May, 2005

New planet discovered ?

New Planet

The planet (left) is about five times the size of our Jupiter. European and American scientists say they have photographed a planet outside the Solar System for the first time. The European Southern Observatory group said the red image is the first direct shot of a planet around another star. The planet, known as 2M1207b, is about five times the size of Jupiter and is orbiting at a distance nearly twice as far as Neptune is from our Sun. The parent star and planet are more than 200 light-years away near the southern constellation of Hydra. There has been a lot of competition among astronomers to secure the first direct picture of an exoplanet. When the ESO group first released the picture last September there was doubt over whether the star and planet were gravitationally bound. But follow-up images taken at the Very Large Telescope facility in Chile show the two objects are moving together. “Our new images are quite convincing,” said Gael Chauvin, an Eso astronomer. “This really is a planet - the first planet that has ever been imaged outside of our Solar System,” he added.

Tough task

It is extremely difficult for current technology to detect exoplanets - let alone get a clear shot of one. All of the 130 or so exoplanets so far discovered have been found using indirect methods - looking for changes in the properties of stars (their brightness or way they move) that can be explained only by the presence of a planet. Now we have a direct observation, the Eso team says. The star has the uninspiring catalogue number 2M1207A. It is a brown dwarf, or “failed star” - an object whose mass of hydrogen and helium has failed to trigger the nuclear reactions that would make it shine brightly like normal stars. At the time of 2M1207b’s discovery, it was impossible to prove that the red speck caught in the original images was not a background object, such as an unusual galaxy or a peculiar cool star.

The new observations show with high confidence that the two objects are moving together and hence are gravitationally bound. “The two objects - the giant planet and the young brown dwarf - are moving together; we have observed them for a year, and the new images essentially confirm our 2004 finding,” said Benjamin Zuckerman, a University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) professor of physics and astronomy. Anne-Marie Lagrange, another member of the team from the Grenoble Observatory in France, looks towards the future: “Our discovery represents a first step towards one of the most important holy grails of modern astrophysics: to characterise the physical structure and chemical composition of giant and, eventually, terrestrial-like planets.”

Brown dwarf

Dr Chauvin added: “Given the rather unusual properties of the 2M1207 system, the giant planet most probably did not form like the planets in our Solar System.” “Instead it must have formed the same way our Sun formed, by gravitational collapse of a cloud of gas and dust.” As a consequence, there are bound to be some scientists who will still question if 2M1207b really is a planet. Lynne Hillenbrand, an assistant professor of astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, told the Associated Press news agency: “The claim of an object being a planet is subject to one’s definition of planet, and there are different camps on what that definition is.” What everybody wants is a direct image of a rocky planet like Earth circling another star. But this will not come until we get the next generation of super-telescopes capable of resolving such small, faint objects. The latest research has been accepted in Astronomy and Astrophysics, a premier journal in astronomy.


Read it on Live Journal :


Je straalt als je me ziet aan komen
En je lacht als ik met je praat
Je bent mijn vader.

Samen reizen we over de wereld
En samen herinneren wij de dingen die ons oh zo dierbaar zijn
Je bent mijn vader

Als ik het moeilijk heb,
Dan ben jij daar,
Dan ben jij mijn vader…

Maar soms wil het niet zo als wij het willen
Maar komen we er toch door heen
Want je bent mijn vader

Na regen komt zonne schijn,
Ookal lijkt het soms dat er geen eind aan komt
Je bent en blijft mijn vader…
En ik je dochter

Esther van de Zande.

Ooit hebben esther en ik eens over de dood gesproken. Sinds dat gesprekje weet Esther tot op de dag van vandaag dat op mijn begrafenis iedereen mag luisteren naar Alphaville met Forever Young. En ik weet zeker dat zij daarvoor zal zorgen…..



let’s dance in style, lets dance for a while
heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies
hoping for the best but expecting the worst
are you going to drop the bomb or not?

let us die young or let us live forever
we don’t have the power but we never say never
sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
the music’s for the sad men

can you imagine when this race is won
turn our golden faces into the sun
praising our leaders we’re getting in tune
the music’s played by the madmen

forever young, i want to be forever young
do you really want to live forever, forever and ever

some are like water, some are like the heat
some are a melody and some are the beat
sooner or later they all will be gone
why don’t they stay young

it’s so hard to get old without a cause
i don’t want to perish like a fading horse
youth is like diamonds in the sun
and dimonds are forever

so many adventures couldn’t happen today
so many songs we forgot to play
so many dreams are swinging out of the blue
we let them come true

View clip Alphaville – Forever Young

This text will be replaced

(Note: Video and audio hosted on Yotube.)

Weired Stuff part eight

Shadow Robot

The Shadow Robot Company is now publicly offering the world’s most advanced Dexterous Hand. The Hand is equipped with 186 force sensors and joints controlled by pairs of Air Muscles that are matched in opposing directions like the human hand.

Watch the hand twist a off a cap. :con11:


QWERTY is simply inefficient and backwards. Dvorak is a better, but not quite there yet. Using an evolutionary program written in 1000 lines of C, we now have the most efficient keyboard layout; in theory. It turns out Dvorak is winning the race so far, but it may just be a matter of human bias. Or maybe a champion QWERTY typist will throw the whole race off?

Source : IlliGAL

Very Small Objects

The Collier Classification of Very Small Objects is a system created by E.O. Wilson to catalogue the world Nelipart Machapplielectro greneroundeshiniplantliks and Onliwhol Porchecrecrawli brownecurvecruncaniliks. Add your own findings to the growing database.

Protest in Bolivia

Bolivian Woman

LA PAZ (CNN) — If you’re close enough, you can hear their sandals cut from old car tires slapping on the asphalt. If you’re several blocks away, the protesters announce their approach with the blast of dynamite. These men and women have been toughened by years of hard labor harvesting potatoes and herding llamas on the high-altitude plains or toiling deep in Bolivia’s veins — the nearly exhausted tin, gold and silver mines. Most are Indian — Aymara or Quechua. Look deep into their dark eyes and you can see their roots stretch back to before Inca times, long before the Spanish invasion some 500 years ago. They call themselves the “original ones.” Indian musicians spur on their fellow marchers with tunes from traditional instruments — the banjo-like sound of the charango, a small guitar usually made from an armadillo shell, or the zampona, a reed flute that seems to echo the wind blowing across the Andes. Many walked for seven days from far-flung villages. Their feet, as tough as boot leather they will never be able to afford, have swelled and blistered. Yet they press on. They say they’ve covered more than 100 miles. But just two blocks from their target — the national congress building and the presidential palace — their way is blocked by riot police – the so-called Special Security Group, or GES in Spanish. The demonstrators are rallying to a call by leftist labor unions and community organizations for the Bolivian government to nationalize the country’s natural gas industry and toss out multinational corporations.

Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia

But their fight runs much deeper — it’s a fight against the free-market economic policies and globalization. Two-thirds of Bolivians survive on less than $500 a year, according to independent analysts.

This is a battle between the haves and the have-nots, between the downtrodden and desperately poor Indian and mestizo majority against the political and economic elites, a fight some analysts say could be contagious across Latin America.

Bolivia 1 , on the advice of Harvard-trained economist Jeffrey Sachs, activated some of the most radical free-market reforms anywhere in Latin America in the 1980s.

And as I look at the wooden sticks and dynamite fuses of demonstrators on one side and the riot shields and helmets of police on the other, it is clear this is the frontline of the fight back.

But thoughts of the wider war are reduced once again to the here and now when demonstrators lob two dynamite charges behind police lines. Police reel momentarily from the deafening blast. Then the battle is on.

Mesmerized by the camera viewfinder as tear gas canisters stream down La Paz’s 1 narrow streets, I forget to pull on my gas mask. I’m soon suffering the same pain as hundreds of Indian protesters and some of the police, who have been issued gas but no masks.

CS gas burns so fiercely it blinds you for several minutes. Even in a normal city it seems to make your throat and lungs contract so hard that you heave and wretch to try and suck in enough air to make it to the next second. But La Paz 1 sits at almost 13,000 feet. The effort of climbing the narrow streets on any given day seems like moon walking for beginners.

Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia

So suck in as much tear gas as you can, close your eyes, then sprint to try and stay ahead of the stampede. You’ll know what it feels like to suffocate.

The ensuing street fight is an uneven contest. It’s a fluid confrontation. Clashes erupt in alleys and around corners and are lost and won in seconds.

Protesters rain down rocks and stones from slingshots. Police duck for cover. Then the crack of more rounds being fired into the air and fresh volleys of tear gas drive the mob back.

The demonstrators’ most effective weapon is the dynamite charges the miners bring along. But the miners seem to have pulled out of the fray early.

San Francisco Plaza, site of a peaceful protest rally Monday, fills with clouds of tear gas. A handful of street traders are caught in the crossfire and are overcome. They sob as they explain they’re just trying to make enough money to feed their family for the day.

The police wrest back control of the plaza and break up into small squads — some on foot, some on motorcycles. They foray down sidestreets like marauding gangs and disperse small crowds before they can really mass again.

The smell of victory is the acrid stench of tear gas.

The security forces may have won today’s battle but according to most political observers, Bolivia’s war against globalization is far from over.

Some pictures from my Bolivian travel website :

Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia
Protest in Bolivia

  1. Also have a look on my travelsite about BOLIVIA… [back]


Need I say more ?? :


*The only way to have a friend is to be one
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

* Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

* The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

* You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
(Dale Carnegie)

* Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

* Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
(Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

* Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success.
(Oscar Wilde)

* If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
(Mother Teresa)

* I will speak ill of no man, and speak all the good I know of everybody.
(Benjamin Franklin)

* Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.

* Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
(Mark Twain)

* Thus nature has no love for solitude, and always leans, as it were, on some support; and the sweetest support is found in the most intimate friendship.

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  • "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It's the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead."
    ~ Albert Einstein (1930)."
  • "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
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