The Wordnik Word of the Day for September 6, 2012 is
(noun) The act of biting.
‘Morsure’ comes from the Latin ‘morsus,’ biting, a bite.
The Wordnik Word of the Day for September 3, 2012 is
(noun) Nautical, a watch of two hours, arranged so as to alter the watches kept from day to day by each division of the crew. The first dog-watch is from 4 to 6 p.m., the second from 6 to 8 p.m.
'Dogwatch' probably comes from 'dog-sleep,' a light or interrupted sleep.
This composite image shows a superbubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way located about 160,000 light years from Earth. Many new stars, some of them very massive, are forming in the star cluster NGC 1929, which is embedded in the nebula N44, so named because it is the 44th nebula in a catalog of such objects in the Magellanic Clouds. The massive stars produce intense radiation, expel matter at high speeds, and race through their evolution to explode as supernovas. The winds and supernova shock waves carve out huge cavities called superbubbles in the surrounding gas. X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue) show hot regions created by these winds and shocks, while infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red) outline where the dust and cooler gas are found. The optical light from the 2.2-m Max-Planck-ESO telescope (yellow) in Chile shows where ultraviolet radiation from hot, young stars is causing gas in the nebula to glow.
A long-running problem in high-energy astrophysics has been that some superbubbles in the LMC, including N44, give off a lot more X-rays than expected from models of their structure. These models assume that hot, X-ray emitting gas has been produced by winds from massive stars and the remains of several supernovas. A Chandra study published in 2011 showed that there are two extra sources of N44’s X-ray emission not included in these models: supernova shock waves striking the walls of the cavities, and hot material evaporating from the cavity walls. The Chandra observations also show no evidence for an enhancement of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium in the cavities, thus ruling out this possibility as a third explanation for the bright X-ray emission. Only with long observations making full use of the capabilities of Chandra has it now become possible to distinguish between different sources of the X-rays produced by superbubbles.
The Chandra study of N44 and another superbubble in the LMC was led by Anne Jaskot from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The co-authors were Dave Strickland from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, Sally Oey from University of Michigan, You-Hua Chu from University of Illinois and Guillermo Garcia-Segura from Instituto de Astronomia-UNAM in Ensenada, Mexico.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra's science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.
Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Mich./S.Oey, IR: NASA/JPL, Optical: ESO/WFI/2.2-m
The Wordnik Word of the Day for August 30, 2012 is
(noun) A hypothetical primordial life-form or chemical precursor to a living organism.
(noun) An artificially-created creature; a Frankenstein's monster.
‘Eobiont’ comes from ‘eo,’ characterized by the earliest appearance of (which comes from the Greek ‘eos,’ dawn), and ‘biont,’ individual organism.
Q: Why do you like chocolate so much?
A: The answer, clearly, is because I've tasted chocolate.
The Wordnik Word of the Day for August 28, 2012 is
(noun) A rocky place or pit outside the walls of ancient Athens, into which criminals were thrown.
(noun) The abyss; hell.
(noun) Anything that swallows up or devours; the belly; an insatiable glutton or extortioner.
‘Barathrum’ is Latin in origin, and is also the name of a Finnish ‘black doom’ band.
Space Medal of Honor
Astronaut Neil Armstrong received the first Congressional Space Medal of Honor from President Jimmy Carter, assisted by Captain Robert Peterson. Armstrong, one of six astronauts to be presented the medal during ceremonies held in the Vehicle Assembly Building, was awarded for his performance during the Gemini 8 mission and the Apollo 11 mission when he became the first human to set foot upon the moon.
Armstrong died on Aug. 25, 2012, at the age of 82.
Image Credit: NASA
Check out this garden of decomposing books in Quebec.
We can only hope that some copies of the Secret Series are decomposing in such a beautiful way - and NOT being read!
The garden was designed by Berlin landscape architect Thilo Folkerts of 100 Landschaftsarchitektur and Canadian artist Rodney LaTourelle.
Books were piled up to create walls, rooms and seats which are slowly rotting to become part of the forest.
Click on the images to see and read more (though you won't be reading the books in the garden).
This question comes in from a Secret reader who also likes to write:
Dear Mr. Bosch. I wrote a book and I have given the characters aliases. I'd like to know, should I also use a pseudonym when I am done writing the book?
Mr. Bosch says, the short answer is:
Using a pseudonym depends on how good the fake names of your characters are. The better they are, the less you need a pseudonym (but still use one). But scrimp in one department and you'll have to overpay in the other.
The Wordnik Word of the Day for August 21, 2012 is
(noun) A bit of bread eaten by those who have been swimming, to prevent shivering or the chattering of their teeth with the cold; a shivering-bite. Also called chittering-crust and chittering-piece.
‘Chittering-bite’ is Scottish in origin.
This is a political catastrophe.
Reporting by Amy Friedman
This time, Alaska may have really found a way to fix American politics. The mayor of Talkeetna, Ak. boats sky-high approval ratings, a 15-year winning streak and, with over 6,000 subscribers, more friends than you on Facebook.
His secret? He’s a cat.
Fifteen years ago, the citizens of Talkeetna (pop. 800) didn’t like the looks of their candidates for mayor. Around that same time resident Lauri Stec, manager of Nagley’s General Store, saw a box of kittens and decided to adopt one. She named him Stubbs because he didn’t have a tail and soon the whole town was in love with him.
So smitten were they with this kitten, in fact, that they wrote him in for mayor instead of deciding on one of the two lesser candidates. Mayor Stubbs has held his position ever since.
Many citizens are genuinely happy to allow a kitteh to rule the roost. “He doesn’t raise our taxes—we have no sales tax. He doesn’t interfere with business. He’s honest,” said Stec, who converted her store into a part-time mayor’s office when Stubbs claimed victory. Not even the dogs seem to take issue with their new boss, even though there are reportedly more canines in Talkeetna than there are people. “I’ve never seen a dog mess with him,” a local business owner said.
If only our own resident cat, Cacao, would leave to go start a political career - elsewhere! I'd vote for Cacao to get that thing out of the house. -Quiche