Saturday, January 31, 2009
Courtesy of: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Friday, January 30, 2009
This film was absolutely amazing. Won the Golden Globe for best foreign film and nominated for an Oscar in the same category. Easily one of the best films of 2008. And the soundtrack is unreal.
Some of my faves include: (FRIDAY) ghostland observatory, we are scientists, morrissey, dear and the headlights, noah & the whale, the airborne toxic event ; (SATURDAY) tv on the radio, fleet foxes, glasvegas, blitzen trapper; (SUNDAY) the cure, peter bjorn and john, lykke li, okkervil river, and friendly fires
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Starting this summer, the biotech firm Geron will treat a small group of spinal-cord injury patients using neurons derived from stem cells, marking the first time embryonic stem cells will be tested in humans.
The trial is designed to test the safety of the treatment, not how well it works. Nonetheless, it's a huge first step for the field.
"It signals to me that we have the primary regulatory authorities on board for embryonic stem cells," said Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a $3 billion state initiative to support stem cell research. "That really is a tremendous piece of news."
Under the Bush administration, stem cell research was slowed by an executive order, signed in August 2001, that (severely) restricted the types of stem cells and stem cell research that could be conducted. President Barack Obama is widely expected to lift Bush’s executive order, perhaps as soon as next week.
Working in a handful of medical centers around the country, Geron will treat eight to 10 recent paraplegics, who can use their arms but not their legs. The patients will receive an injection of neurons to the site of the damage, followed by a short treatment of anti-rejection drugs.
Previous animal studies suggest the new neurons will repair damaged neurons and secrete substances to help nerves function and grow.
Amy Rick, president of Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, a group of dozens of research institutions that support stem cell research, said the Geron trial is a milestone.
"It's hugely significant in the sense that it's the first approval of a human embryonic stem cell trial," she said. "In this week of hope and change, it feels even better."
While Geron scientists waited months for FDA approval of the stem cell treatment, they are reluctant to link the go-ahead directly to the inauguration of Obama.
A Geron spokeswoman said that the company had no evidence of political influence aiding their application.
“It’s just coincidental timing,” the spokeswoman said.
Karen Riley, an FDA spokeswoman, echoed that the timing was coincidental. "We make science-based decisions and politics is not a factor," she said.
But the new president surely didn't hurt matters. The chairman of Trounson's organization told the New York Times, "I think this approval is directly tied to the change in administration."
The approval is expected to the first of several trials involving embryonic stem cells. A recent CAMR report found that nine companies, including Geron, were in the process of developing human embryonic stem cell treatments.
Embryonic stem cells are like blank slates that can be transformed into different types of tissue. They've been hailed as the next big thing in medicine ever since University of Wisconsin scientist James Thomson showed their ability to regenerate in 1998. Since then, stem cells have been like a high school star turned NBA draft pick — talented and expensive but undisciplined and perhaps not quite ready for the glare of the big game. Like many biotechnology techniques, the lag between scientific discovery and clinical treatment can be decades.
Still, the Regenerative Medicine Institute’s Trounson, who was a stem cell scientist in Australia before heading the California institute, said that experimental treatments are outpacing his expectations.
"We're running an agency funding this work and I'm astounded at what's happening in this space,” he said.
Trounson said there’s evidence in animal trials that stem cells are effective in treating ailments as varied as diabetes, Alzheimers, multiple scleorsis and macular degeneration.
“It’s just fantastic,” Trounson said. "And I would expect some of these to enter clinical trials sooner, rather than later."
His agency expects to fund up to a dozen scientists who think they can submit their stem cell work to the FDA for clinical trial approval within four years.
From there, those so-called investigational new drugs will have to follow the path that Geron's treatment did. The company submitted its application early in 2008. It was then put on hold in May 2008 and kicked back to the company for further review. Seven months later, the company resubmitted the application and received approval Wednesday, the day after the inauguration.
That said, Obama's political influence is likely to invigorate a field that — despite impressive state-level and private efforts — has been ham-strung by Federal regulation and the specter of increased government regulation.
"With President Obama there, there will be a big change not only in government administration and the public sector, but I think it will encourage the pharmaceutical companies to be involved as well," Trounson said.
via: Wired Science
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Oren Lavie hails from Israel and he's in the vein of a more melodic Elliott Smith. This song was featured last year in a Chevy Malibu ad, as well. I guess it's one of those songs that soothes and makes you think dreamy thoughts. You can find this and other sweet, melodic tunes on his debut album, The Opposite Side of the Sea.
via: music snobbery
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
For those who are not privileged enough to have a Trader Joe's near them, I truly am sorry. Next time you are grazing the aisles of Trader Joe's, make a stop by the freezer section and look for a pink and white box. Two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream in between, and the ice cream is edged with mini chocolate chips. Purely evil. Okay, evil and tasty. Evil, tasty and addicting. Whatever you do, do not look at the calorie content.
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4707 begins on Jan. 26, 2009.
Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.
Click here to find out what Chinese year you were born in.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sierra Reed (23)
Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Sierra Reed wants to make it clear right off the bat that she has the ability to find her place in any situation, anywhere in the world, through her perseverance and strength. Despite the fact that she is strong-willed and determined, she is one who will wear her heart on her sleeve. Not intimidated by age, ("I'm 25 and if you're 45 that's great, but if we have differences, I'm going to let you know"), Reed will speak her mind, yet she does it with purpose and passion. She hopes that her tenacity will balance out her "strong nature."
This fashion student and model is no stranger to roughing it. After moving to Taiwan by herself at a very young age, Sierra is used to living in places with no running water and filled with grime and bugs. Sierra is a self-proclaimed adventure junkie who "loves to experience new things all the time" and she believes that those experiences make her a prime candidate for SURVIVOR.
Sierra claims she isn't a "very stereotypical model," because she doesn't do it for the notoriety; she does it because modeling can help facilitate new experiences and allows for travel to amazing locations which is something she enjoys tremendously.
Her modeling background has helped to shape her strategy for the game. Forced to deal with a variety of personalities all competing for the same goal is nothing new to her, having lived with five catty models vying for one spot. This experience will be to her advantage when forming alliances and making her way through the twists of the game.
Sierra is single and currently resides in Los Angeles, Calif. Her birth date is September 29
Check out her video:
FM 94/9 is pleased to announce that listeners will be able to access a full station stream on their iPhone or iPod Touch. In an ever-evolving world, FM 94/9 continues to innovate as the first station in San Diego to offer this technology to its listeners. The App puts FM 94/9 directly on the iPhone desktop, instead of being buried in a list with hundreds of other radio stations. With one tap of the finger, a listener can easily stream FM 94/9 anywhere they have wireless internet access, even when out of the range of the terrestrial signal.Get it here: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=302038267&mt=8
“We are excited to be able to provide this new listening application for FM 94/9 listeners. As a radio station that strives to be on the technology forefront, we believe that this will be a great way for our local San Diego audience to be able to take FM 94/9 wherever they go using the most popular mobile device,” said Garett Michaels, FM 94/9 Program Director.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Talent is his blood. Download one of his beautiful songs below (right-click). Check out his myspace page here.
Elvis Perkins - Shampoo
Bound Stems is an indie rock band with math rock influences from Chicago, Illinois. The band's members are Bobby Gallivan (vocals), Dan Fleury (guitar, actor), Dan Radzicki (bass, keys), Evan Sult (drums) (formerly of Harvey Danger), and Janie Porche (multi-intrumentalist).
NightWaves - In The Air Tonight (TNUC Video) from Binary Entertainment on Vimeo.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
As a result of the rotation of months and days in a calendar year, you can use calendars from past years. Spice up your wall with a little vintage fun. There are only 14 combination—including leap years—of months and days on the Gregorian calendar.
Calculating the matching years would be an arduous task, fortunately the web site TimeandDate.com lets you check which years are identical to the one your plug in. If you're looking to grab a vintage calendar for 2009, the chart below shows a few of the compatible years. If you're extra motivated you can even create little charts for several years into the future to keep in your wallet and always be prepared to snatch up any cool vintage calendars you come across. Some places to keep your eye out for calendars: garage sales, flea markets, eBay, Craiglist, and of course the garages and attics of your pack-rat friends and relatives.
1942 - 67 years before
1953 - 56 years before
1959 - 50 years before
1970 - 39 years before
1981 - 28 years before
1987 - 22 years before
1998 - 11 years before
(via Lifehacker, via WiseBread) (photo via Zawezome)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Dark Was The Night will be released on February 17th, 2009. Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National produced the album, and John Carlin, the founder of the Red Hot Organization was the executive producer. A total of 32 exclusive tracks have been recorded for the compilation. It will be available as a double cd/triple vinyl/download and will benefit the Red Hot Organization - an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Red Hot was founded on the premise that even without a cure, AIDS remains a preventable disease – and music is a great vehicle to raise money and awareness for it. This is the 20th year of Red Hot, and this is the 20th release!
THIS DISC (DISC ONE):
1. "Knotty Pine" - Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
2. "Cello Song" - The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
3. "Train Song" - Feist and Ben Gibbard
4. "Brackett, WI" - Bon Iver
5. "Deep Blue Sea" - Grizzly Bear
6. "So Far Around The Bend" - The National
7. "Tightrope" - Yeasayer
8. "Feeling Good" - My Brightest Diamond
9. "Dark Was The Night" - Kronos Quartet
10. "I Was Young When I Left Home" - Antony with Bryce Dessner
11. "Big Red Machine" - Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12. "Sleepless" - The Decemberists
13. "Stolen Houses (Die)" - Iron & Wine
14. "Service Bell" - Grizzly Bear + Feist
15. "You Are The Blood" - Sufjan Stevens
THAT DISC (DISC TWO):
1. "Well-Alright" - Spoon
2. "Lenin" - Arcade Fire
3. "Mimizan" - Beirut
4. "El Caporal" - My Morning Jacket
5. "Inspiration Information" - Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
6. "With A Girl Like You" - Dave Sitek
7. "Blood Pt. 2" - Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
8. "Hey, Snow White" - The New Pornographers
9. "Gentle Hour" - Yo La Tengo
10. "Amazing Grace" - Cat Power
11. "Happiness" - Riceboy Sleeps
12. "Another Saturday" - Stuart Murdoch
13. "The Giant Of Illinois" - Andrew Bird
14. "Lua" - Conor Oberst with Gillian Welch
15. "When The Road Runs Out" - Blonde Redhead & Devastations
16. "Love Vs. Porn" - Kevin Drew
On the MySpace page... they're streaming a different song every day until the release..
"Most of the keys are made from real Scrabble tiles that were all hand-beveled (truly an exercise in patience/masochism!) and built onto a USB, clicky, mechanical-switch keyboard. This keyboard was going into a Mac environment so I decided to use brushed aluminum for the casing and round all of the corners to keep with the sleek, simple Macintosh styling."
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A compilation/remix of the best songs ever... seriously. It will blow your mind. I'm still not over it. Obviously.
Go to his MySpace page and download the album for free!!
In 2001, he won an Emmy for playing the perversely charismatic serial killer William Hinks on The Practice. Apparently, perverse charisma is Michael Emerson’s calling; he’s since earned two Emmy nominations playing the prevaricating and perversely charismatic cult leader Benjamin Linus on Lost—a character that was never intended to be full-time, but, as viewers have come to learn, there’s no denying Ben Linus. Emerson talked with Michael Alan Connelly about the new season.
What’s changed for Ben in Season 5?
He now operates in the other world, off the island. He is less secure and less well fortified, so he has fewer resources. The stakes of his activities may be higher because of the desperation factor, and the quality of having to improvise. He’ll carry on what seems to be his calling or his life’s work or his war, whatever it is—I’m not sure exactly what it is.
That makes two of us. Do you feel the show loses any power now that the characters are off the island?
I think we had a smaller definition of the island than the writers meant. When the island disappeared, everywhere became the island. They’re playing around with the island as some kind of portrait of a thing, but not the thing itself. Wherever we go, it goes also. [Laughs.] Boy, that’s kind of a squirrelly answer. Maybe this is a better overarching image for the season: There’s a great push to reunite—to try to put things and partnerships back together that have fallen apart.
The Others stole away to a place called the Temple. Will we be seeing more of them and learning about the Temple?
Yes and yes. I think we’re going to find them to be less malevolent as time goes by.
If you could get the writers to answer one burning question, what’s at the top of your list?
I’d ask the same big question everyone has: What’s the real deal? Where are we really?
Ben is often reading or quoting authors. Do you take the time to read the books he does?
There are no accidents in the world of props on Lost—the books are carefully chosen. This season, there’s a scene where I’m reading Ulysses by James Joyce. It’s on my winter reading list.
You came to the show late. Did you fit right in?
Not really. It’s a tight-knit cast. The show has generations of actors—I think I’m the third generation, which is Ian Cusick, Elizabeth Mitchell, and me. We hang out a bit; ours is a more shared experience, not being one of the original lovable Lost-aways. I’ve had a solitary time in Hawaii [where the show is shot], which is consistent with my character.
What TV shows do you watch?
Battlestar Galactica, which, like Lost, balances science fiction, adventure, and metaphysics in a good way. And I was thrilled by Deadwood. I love shows where language isn’t just a medium of communication. Deadwood’s was more brutal than any I’ve heard on TV, but it was also more lyric.
Via: NY Mag
Published in Time just over a year ago, I have come to reference the scientific explanations of love and attraction this article has to offer. I really believe there's something to the connection between pheromones, MHC, a kiss and the mate selection process. Take it for what you will.
Below is only an excerpt from The Science of Romance: Why We Love
(I apologize for the length.)
The Love Hunt
If human reproductive behavior is a complicated thing, part of the reason is that it's designed to serve two clashing purposes. On the one hand, we're driven to mate a lot. On the other hand, we want to mate well so that our offspring survive. If you're a female, you get only a few rolls of the reproductive dice in a lifetime. If you're a male, your freedom to conceive is limited only by the availability of willing partners, but the demands of providing for too big a brood are a powerful incentive to limit your pairings to the female who will give you just a few strong young. For that reason, no sooner do we reach sexual maturity than we learn to look for signals of good genes and reproductive fitness in potential partners and, importantly, to display them ourselves.
"Every living human is a descendant of a long line of successful maters," says David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin. "We've adapted to pick certain types of mates and to fulfill the desires of the opposite sex."
One of the most primal of those desires is that a possible partner smells right. Good smells and bad smells are fundamentally no different from each other; both are merely volatile molecules wafting off an object and providing some clue as to the thing that emitted them. Humans, like all animals, quickly learn to assign values to those scents, recognizing that, say, putrefying flesh can carry disease and thus recoiling from its smell and that warm cookies carry the promise of vanilla, sugar and butter and thus being drawn to them. Other humans carry telltale smells of their own, and those can affect us in equally powerful ways.
The best-known illustration of the invisible influence of scent is the way the menstrual cycles of women who live communally tend to synchronize. In a state of nature, this is a very good idea. It's not in a tribe's or community's interests for one ovulating female to monopolize the reproductive attention of too many males. Better to have all the females become fertile at once and allow the fittest potential mates to compete with one another for them.
But how does one female signal the rest? The answer is almost certainly smell. Pheromones--or scent-signaling chemicals--are known to exist among animals, and while scientists have had a hard time unraveling the pheromonal system in humans, they have isolated a few of the compounds. One type, known as driver pheromones, appears to affect the endocrine systems of others. Since the endocrine system plays a critical role in the timing of menstruation, there is at least a strong circumstantial case that the two are linked. "It's thought that there is a driver female who gives off something that changes the onset of menstruation in the other women," says chemist Charles Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.
It's not just women who respond to such olfactory cues. One surprising study published last October in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior showed that strippers who are ovulating average $70 in tips per hour; those who are menstruating make $35; those who are not ovulating or menstruating make $50. Other studies suggest that men can react in more romantic ways to olfactory signals. In work conducted by Martie Haselton, an associate professor of psychology at UCLA, women report that when they're ovulating, their partners are more loving and attentive and, significantly, more jealous of other men. "The men are picking up on something in their partner's behavior that tells them to do more mate-guarding," Haselton says.
Scent not only tells males which females are primed to conceive, but it also lets both sexes narrow their choices of potential partners. Among the constellation of genes that control the immune system are those known as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which influence tissue rejection. Conceive a child with a person whose MHC is too similar to your own, and the risk increases that the womb will expel the fetus. Find a partner with sufficiently different MHC, and you're likelier to carry a baby to term.
Studies show that laboratory mice can smell too-similar MHC in the urine of other mice and will avoid mating with those individuals. In later work conducted at the University of Bern in Switzerland, human females were asked to smell T shirts worn by anonymous males and then pick which ones appealed to them. Time and again, they chose the ones worn by men with a safely different MHC. And if the smell of MHC isn't a deal maker or breaker, the taste is. Saliva also contains the compound, a fact that Haselton believes may partly explain the custom of kissing, particularly those protracted sessions that stop short of intercourse. "Kissing," she says simply, "might be a taste test."
Precise as the MHC-detection system is, it can be confounded. One thing that throws us off the scent is the birth-control pill. Women who are on the Pill--which chemically simulates pregnancy--tend to choose wrong in the T-shirt test. When they discontinue the daily hormone dose, the protective smell mechanism kicks back in. "A colleague of mine wonders if the Pill may contribute to divorce," says Wysocki. "Women pick a husband when they're on birth control, then quit to have a baby and realize they've made a mistake."
Less surprising than the importance of the way a partner smells is the way that partner looks and sounds. Humans are suckers for an attractive face and a sexy shape. Men see ample breasts and broad hips as indicators of a woman's ability to bear and nurse children--though most don't think about such matters so lucidly. Women see a broad chest and shoulders as a sign of someone who can clobber a steady supply of meat and keep lions away from the cave. And while a hairy chest and a full beard have fallen out of favor in the waxed and buffed 21st century, they are historically--if unconsciously--seen as signs of healthy testosterone flow that gives rise to both fertility and strength.
A deep voice, also testosterone driven, can have similarly seductive power. Psychology professor David Feinberg of McMaster University in Ontario studied Tanzania's Hadza tribesmen, one of the world's last hunter-gatherer communities, and found that the richer and lower a man's voice, the more children he had. Researchers at the University of Albany recently conducted related research in which they had a sample group of 149 volunteers listen to recordings of men's and women's voices and then rate the way they sound on a scale from "very unattractive" to "very attractive." On the whole, the people whose voices scored high on attractiveness also had physical features considered sexually appealing, such as broad shoulders in men and a low waist-to-hip ratio in women. This suggests either that an alluring voice is part of a suite of sexual qualities that come bundled together or that simply knowing you look appealing encourages you to develop a voice to match. Causation and mere correlation often get muddied in studies like this, but either way, a sexy voice at least appears to sell the goods. "It might convey subtle information about body configuration and sexual behavior," says psychologist Gordon Gallup, who co-authored the study...........
Click here for the rest....
(photos via LeLove)
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
In anticipation for this Wednesday's premiere... check out a brief commentary from MSNBC's Ree Hines "Back to the island: It's time to get 'LOST' again"
Just as viewers got to know their flashbacks from their flash-forwards, “Lost” upped the ante by revealing that time itself is flexible, and island time in particular is a thing of its own. This odd tidbit became clear when a freighter full of foes pulled up offshore and experienced lag time between their island crew and the gang on the ship, as in the body of one member washed ashore long before he met his final on-deck fate.
In addition to that, some members of the crew, as well as island regular Desmond, suffered from a time-based sickness. This out-of-nowhere and fatal-for-most condition was marked by the afflicted’s consciousness traveling throughout different moments of their own life. Their actions during these moments could even result in changing future events. Sound confusing? It was.A clue behind the displacement disease and time fluctuations came from one of the few friendly types from the freighter, Daniel the physicist. While treating Desmond, Daniel vaguely connected it all to an unspecified electromagnetic phenomenon, and as everyone knows, the island is a hotbed of electromagnetic activity.
Check out Molly's post tomorrow on Benjamin Linus!
If the inaugural luncheon menu sounded appealing (or you've really caught inauguration fever), the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is offering the recipes from the 2009 inaugural luncheon as a free download (PDF alert). If seafood stew, duck breast with cherry chutney, herb roasted pheasant with wild rice stuffing, molasses whipped sweet potatoes, and winter vegetables followed up with cinnamon apple sponge cake sound good to you, they're all just a few recipes away.
There’s an episode in the new season of Friday Night Lights in which Tim Riggins, the bad boy with a goldenish heart, visits New York with his wheelchair-bound friend Jason Street. The odd couple roams midtown in search of a decent suit for a job interview. Riggins is supposed to look like a Texas fish out of water—the local football star from the depressed fictional town of Dillon cut down to size by the big, slick city. And yet as he ambles through Times Square, surrounded by pedestrian extras, ridiculously hot even in his Hicksville plaid shirt, he just can’t help looking like a star.
When the actor who plays him walks into the lobby of the Tribeca Grand Hotel, it’s even more apparent. Knit cap pulled down low over his eyes, jeans professionally ripped just so, Taylor Kitsch is the picture of nonchalant New York chic. He jokes that he just got out of hair and makeup: “Some people would say I’m vain.” For a split second, there’s Riggins, the smart-ass, deadly charming underachiever of Dillon High School. But it’s a quick whiff; there’s not much Riggins in Kitsch—or at least no obvious signs of alcoholism or selfishness, and certainly no reticence. He talks about his role within the cast. “I’m the guy who throws curveball,” he says. “I like to break people.” I ask what that means. “You know how Riggins has sex with a lot of gals? So I’ll come up to Kyle [Chandler, who plays Coach Taylor] while we’re filming a game scene with some sexual itch as a joke and try to break him—make him laugh,” says Kitsch. And then he giggles, which, if you’re familiar with the brooding Riggins, is a little unnerving.
TV’s long tradition of the soulful, misunderstood loner is nothing new, but the ability to launch a career from such a role is rare: Johnny Depp (21 Jump Street) and James Franco (Freaks and Geeks) are notable exceptions. Peter Berg, who created Friday Night Lights, thinks Kitsch has the goods. “He’s a ridiculous, unreal mix of acting talent and outrageous good looks.” Or as one of my friends put it, “Riggins is sex.”
Kitsch is surprised (or does a good job of feigning it) when I refer to his legion of female fans. “Women want to save Riggins,” is his explanation for his popularity. “A child psychologist wrote and said she uses my character in therapy—the troubled kids can relate to him. It’s the most flattering fan mail I’ve ever gotten,” he says.
Very nice, but that’s not what got him a starring role alongside Hugh Jackman in 2009’s sure-to-be blockbuster X-Men Origins: Wolverine (in theaters May 1). “It was a fucking battle,” he says of landing ladies’ man–mutant Gambit. He flubbed his first reading because he was tired. “But I got my managers to get me back in because I knew I could crush the role.”
Kitsch, who is 27 to his character’s 18, grew up playing hockey in British Columbia and dropped out of a local college to pursue modeling in New York. “IMG told me they had an apartment for me, and I was like, ‘Shit, sweet, New York.’ So I came, and there were nine other guys living in the two-bedroom apartment with me. I slept in the hallway.” To pay the bills, he worked as a personal trainer and nutritionist. “I was so poor that at one point I was sleeping on the subway,” he says. Kitsch eventually got a role in the horror flick The Covenant, which led to the Friday Night Lights audition.
“I don’t know if I can really get much more out of the show, but I love it and I’m there as long as they want me,” says Kitsch, who’s happy the new season is reverting to the tone of the first after some unsatisfying attempts to lure more viewers with soapier plotlines. “Season 2 was kind of written off for me,” he says. “I’m reading it going, ‘Really, we’re going to put fucking shark in Jason’s spine and he thinks it’s going to work?’ ” Surely he’s also happy that his character will make football captain. Kitsch laughs. “Finally, he’s been on the team for, like, nine years!”
via: NY Mag
Monday, January 19, 2009
If we ever do find extraterrestrial life in the solar system, it's probably much more likely to look like a few cells than a walking-and-talking green man. Nonetheless, finding any kind of life beyond Earth would be extraordinary. Here are our best hopes:
The sixth-largest moon of Saturn has been called the most promising bet for life thanks to its welcoming temperature and the likely presence of water and simple organic molecules. The surface of the icy moon is thought to be about 99 percent water ice, with a good chance of liquid water beneath. Observations from the Cassini probe's 2005 flyby of Enceladus suggest the presence of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen — organic molecules thought to be necessary to develop life. And the moon seems to have a boiling core of molten rock that could heat the world to the toasty temperatures needed to give rise to life. (Image: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA)
Jupiter's moon Europa also seems a possible stomping ground for E.T. due to its potential water and volcanic activity. Though the surface seems to be frozen, many suspect that buried underneath is an ocean of liquid water. Volcanic activity on the moon could provide life-supporting heat, as well as important chemicals needed by living organisms. Microbial life could potentially survive near hydrothermal vents on Europa, as it does on Earth.(Image: Galileo Project, JPL, NASA; reprocessed by Ted Stryk)
As far as planets go, by far the front-runner for life is our next-door neighbor, Mars. The red planet is the most Earth-like of solar system planets, with a comparatively similar size and temperature range as our own planet. Large bodies of water ice lie on Mars' poles, and there's a reasonable chance of liquid water beneath the surface. The puny atmosphere on the planet is not strong enough to shield the planet against lethal solar radiation, though microbes could potentially exist beneath the surface. Evidence also suggests that Mars may have been even more habitable in the past. Geologic features imply that liquid water once flowed across the surface, and volcanic activity, now dead, once flourished, recycling chemicals and minerals between the surface and the interior. (Image: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))
Saturn's largest moon looks suspiciously like it might have hosted life, because its thick atmosphere is rich in compounds that often mark the presence of living organisms. For instance, Titan's air is filled with methane, which is usually destroyed by sunlight. On Earth, life constantly replenishes methane, so it might similarly be responsible for the methane on Titan. Titan is rather cold, however, and if liquid water exists, it must be deep beneath the frozen surface. (Image: NASA)
Jupiter's moon Io is one of the few solar system moons to support an atmosphere, and it contains complex chemicals promising for life. Volcanism on the moon also makes it warmer than many others — another good sign. Io is still a long shot, though, because its location inside Jupiter's magnetic field means it is constantly being pelted with lethal radiation. Its violent surface also seems inhospitable, with temperatures often too cold to support life, as well as molten hot spots that are equally deadly.(Image: The Galileo Project, JPL, NASA)