Posted in America, Science, tagged America, Asteroids, Ceres, Dawn, NASA, Science, Science Fiction, Space, space exploration, Space shuttle program, Vesta on July 15, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
Although the space shuttle program is ending — more on that in a later post — U.S. space exploration efforts continue unabated through use of unmanned probes. Tomorrow one such probe, called Dawn, will begin to orbit Vesta, one of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Once it settles into orbit, Dawn’s mission will be to photograph the asteroid, deploy instruments that can detect the minerals and elements found on the asteroid, and gather data that will allow scientists to assess the geological forces that shaped the asteroid. After orbiting Vesta for a year, Dawn will move on to Ceres, an even larger asteroid.
For science fiction fans like me, the mineral composition of the asteroid will be of the most interest. Lots of good science fiction deals with asteroid miners and mining colonies, and potential exploitation of minerals is one of the reasons why space exploration may end up being of great interest to private concerns, too. If we learn that Vesta possesses a treasure trove of minerals, and Dawn proves that navigating among the asteroids can be safely accomplished, we may move one step closer to significant commercial interest in space — and in this era of tight governmental budgets, moving forward in space exploration and technology probably will require significant investment by private entities.
Read Full Post »
Posted in America, Food, Humor, tagged America, Eating Disorders, England, Food, Great Britain, Humor, Manorexia, Men, Weight on July 15, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
In England, there is concern about “manorexia” — that is, males dealing with anorexia and bulimia and other eating disorders. Apparently statistics show a 66 percent increase in the number of hospital admissions for males with eating disorders in the last decade, and it is now thought that one in five people experiencing eating disorders may be male. The experts believe that males are feeling increased pressure to look like male models and work out for hours every day to acquire “six-pack” abdomens.
In America — where I don’t know anyone who pays any attention to male models, much less wants to look like one — we don’t seem to have this concern. In fact, from the examples of manatomy I’ve seen walking around lately, I’d say we are dealing with the mantethesis of the problem. Sure, you see sweaty, shirtless guys running at lunch hour trying to showing off their ripped physiques, but for every one of those there are ten or twenty seriously overweight dudes huffing and puffing as they walk by. We could use more attention to diet and exercise, not less.
Nevertheless, if “manorexia” is a problem, I will do my part to fight this scourge. I will stoutly resist any impulse to look like a pale and underfed pencil-necked geek. I will work to maintain a beefy, florid-faced appearance. I pledge to forgo that leafy plate of greens in favor of a loaded meat and cheese pizza from Joe’s Place. I will sacrifice a gut-crunching two-hour daily workout in favor of more time in front of the home computer screen and TV set. I promise to drink beer and eat Frosted Flakes and cheeseburgers and fries in order to do my part.
Is anyone with me?
Read Full Post »