A new dawn

So long Discovery…your wings have touched the heavens and made many children dream of going where no man-or woman has gone before…..let’s see what the next 20 years of space exploration shall bring.

Science beautiful…

It’s amazing our world…isn’t it?

The secrets of life are all around us..embedded in science, from the very small (atomic particles) to the very large…the universe. Think about the energy to create and the cosmic power to destroy…our lives are  filled with truly amazing finds….right in front of us–the raw nature of our world as we journey to the edge of exploration…ever curious to unlock the secrets…science propels my curiosity always forward.

Albert Einstein
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Origins of the universe

Since I was a child my eyes have scanned the stars….seeking to unlock it’s celestial secrets.  I have always been fascinated by the world around me, what made the planets, where the universe came from, how did we get here?  Many questions for even we, human beings are as timeless as the heavens above:

This theory was born of the observation that other galaxies are moving away from our own at great speed, in all directions, as if they had all been propelled by an ancient explosive force.

Before the big bang, scientists believe, the entire vastness of the observable universe, including all of its matter and radiation, was compressed into a hot, dense mass just a few millimeters across. This nearly incomprehensible state is theorized to have existed for just a fraction of the first second of time.

Big bang proponents suggest that some 10 billion to 20 billion years ago, a massive blast allowed all the universe’s known matter and energy—even space and time themselves—to spring from some ancient and unknown type of energy.

The theory maintains that, in the instant—a trillion-trillionth of a second—after the big bang, the universe expanded with incomprehensible speed from its pebble-size origin to astronomical scope. Expansion has apparently continued, but much more slowly, over the ensuing billions of years.

Scientists can’t be sure exactly how the universe evolved after the big bang. Many believe that as time passed and matter cooled, more diverse kinds of atoms began to form, and they eventually condensed into the stars and galaxies of our present universe.

Origins of the Theory

A Belgian priest named Georges Lemaître first suggested the big bang theory in the 1920s when he theorized that the universe began from a single primordial atom. The idea subsequently received major boosts by Edwin Hubble’s observations that galaxies are speeding away from us in all directions, and from the discovery of cosmic microwave radiation by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson.

The glow of cosmic microwave background radiation, which is found throughout the universe, is thought to be a tangible remnant of leftover light from the big bang. The radiation is akin to that used to transmit TV signals via antennas. But it is the oldest radiation known and may hold many secrets about the universe’s earliest moments.

The big bang theory leaves several major questions unanswered. One is the original cause of the big bang itself. Several answers have been proposed to address this fundamental question, but none has been proven—and even adequately testing them has proven to be a formidable challenge.

For our origins are just as mysterious as how it all began……

origins-nasa-0301771-tp

Journey to the edge of the universe

journey-factsAn excellent presentation of what’s out there beyond the stars, a breathtaking panorama of nature’s engineering:

JOURNEY PAST THE STARS

Beyond the comforts of our home planet Earth, is a vast and mysterious world. Learn more about our galaxy and the secrets it holds.

  • Venus, the goddess of love, is the solar system’s brightest planet.
  • Although similar in size and gravity as Earth, Venus’ atmosphere is full of deadly sulphuric acid.
  • Covered with a thin veneer of rock, Mercury is a huge ball of iron and has a powerful gravitational pull for its size.
  • The strongest magnet known in the universe is a magnetar, a rare type of neutron star. To date, there have only been about ten discoveries of a magnetar.
  • The sun is so far away that if it burned out we wouldn’t know about it for eight minutes.
  • The red planet, Mars, has no ozone layer and has nothing to protect against the sun’s ultra-violet rays. This makes it unlivable for humans.
  • By dating the meteorites found on Earth, we can tell the planets were born 4.6 billion years ago.
  • Jupiter is spinning at an incredible rate, whipping up winds to hundreds of miles an hour.
  • Saturn is a giant ball of gas; so light it would float on water.

Saving our planet

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

According to Sustainable Travel International, the greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature that the Earth experiences because certain naturally occurring gases and gases emitted as a result of human activities are released into the atmosphere including water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, which become trapped on the ground. Because these gasses stay below the earth’s atmosphere, they warm the Earth causing disastrous effects on the Earth’s natural ecosystem. The combination of these effects is referred to as greenhouse gases.

Seems to me that economic benefits are currently outweighing the future of this planet. As the earth’s resources are quickly becoming tapped out due to overpopulation and mishandling of current resources, Mother Nature is violently striking back.

In the news we are seeing more and more disasters. Everything from earthquakes, to melting polar icecaps to cyclones are becoming front page news….as they should be. This planet is on loan.

Countries like India and China are promising as far as experiencing an economic boom at what cost? Is the government going to apply the necessary regulations to maintain a safe environment? According to Cnn, China is regarded as a developing nation, it is not required (???) to curb emissions. Instead, it would be eligible to earn credits by setting up emission-reducing projects and other so called clean development mechanisms. I know that the USA is not perfect in this regard but gains have been made as far as reducing gas house emissions.


According to the Evidence of Accelerated Climate Change:

…we’ve already reached greenhouse gas atmospheric levels equivalent to 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide, the point at which the IPCC says we risk slipping into “dangerous climate change.” While the IPCC assessment acknowledges carbon dioxide-equivalent levels are around 455 parts per million, it assumes the actual climate impact is still below the danger point thanks to the cooling effects of atmospheric aerosols and pollutants. The Climate Institute report notes those aerosol levels are dropping — thanks to pollution-control efforts — while greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

Of course we have to look at the other side and discover why they think that our planet is not suffering from this climatic change:

Climate change computer models that predict warming often rely on assumptions and simplifications that raise questions about their reliability. Example: one model effectively moved the Earth’s orbit 2 million miles closer to the sun.

  • Models do not accurately account for the influence of important climate factors, such as the behavior and effect of clouds and oceans.

There are shortcomings in the data. Example: temperature records over the last century may incorrectly suggest warming because many weather stations are close to growing cities.

  • Temperature observations over the last century are inconsistent with the predictions of global warming theories.
  • A competing theory, based on the hypothesis that solar activity may be the major factor in climate change, is more consistent with temperature observations in the northern hemisphere during the last century.

In summary, I feel that as a society and as an individual, we should take responsibility over our own pollutants. We should strive for a better planet, reduce emissions and population overgrowth for many many reasons besides the global warming theory. I believe there is solid evidence out there regarding the warming of our planet. I believe that with the melting of the polar icecaps we human beings are partly responsible for the disappearance of this treasure. Everyone is, of course entitled to their opinion and I just like voicing mine.

(Still under constructive thought)

Websites:

http://www.planetsave.com/
http://www.sustainabletravelinternational.org/documents/op_carbonoffsets_about.html#q2
http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA233.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissions_trading
http://www.whitehouse.gov/ceq/global-change.html
http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/BG896.cfm
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686
http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/qthinice.asp

My blog will be referenced

I received an email from Catherine Morgan, who is a contributing editor to Blogher: http://blogher.org/blog/catherine-morgan & also at http://informedvoters.wordpress.com/2007/10/04/a-list-of-100-women-blogging-on-politics/

(I am a novice and write what I feel stirs my heart. I hope to entertain and inform those readers who click unto my blog. Perhaps contribute to my rants and feel free to post whatever you think is relevant to the subject matter at hand.)

I feel honored that my blog will be mentioned. I honestly feel that the advancements of medicine are sorely lacking in regards to women’s issues. MILLIONS of dollars could have been better spent in regards to both genders than coming up with yet another erectile dysfunctional product. Imagine if if those same $$$$$$$$$$$$$ were spent on finding a faster cure for breast cancer and other serious issues plaguing women today. I personally cannot equate the importance of a drug like Viagra to discovering a cure for ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, sexual health and fitness (among a list of many other ailments). Look how long it took to develop a vaccine regarding cervical cancer????!!!!!

A virus that causes cervical cancer??? If more research and development money could have redirected with finding this vaccine imagine how many women could have been saved??? The statistics is mind bloggling!

Some good links:

http://www.lifewatch-eap.com/poc/center_index.php?id=176

http://www.libov.com/info/heart/index.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/26/AR2007022601584.html

What is your life worth?

Ever the advocate for women’s health and the pursuit of advancing women’s issues in medical science, I was reading Self Magazine’s article bought today while flipping through the stacks of magazines to buy while contemplating what to make for dinner (okay I digress……) in regards to the journey of several women plagued with cancer and the expensive drugs out there being sold to save their lives.

Some women forgo extending their lives a few months (usually done in hope a cure is found or a better drug to prolong their existance) because they cannot afford the treatments.

Usually there is some kind of co-pay that a patient has to fork over, sometimes insurance will not cover certain treatments (so it behooves you all to take a closer look at your insurance policies)…..I know I will. I have included some information regarding this article. Okay, okay I am all for capitalism and generating that all too precious bottom dollar but when is enough…well….enough? Place yourself in these women’s shoes…or if you are a woman, place yourself in their sickness….would you rather forgo the medicine because you simply cannot afford it would you like to find a way some way to tell these companies to quit pirating their wares to the needy and drop their prices on these drugs.
I used to work at Pfizer while an intern in college and I understand the costs of research and development and keeping the product sterile….to a point about making a profit (after that it is a free for all and I think profits are way inflated)….while the industry makes billions in profits each year, wonderful women and mothers to boot are loosing their battle with cancer because the simply cannot afford the cost of saving their own life. The health industry is booming and at the price of people’s lives. Again, I understand making a profit but when (like the oil industry) does profit become abject greed??????????????????

How much is a life worth?
Revolutionary new cancer drugs offer hope where there was none. But the price tag may be too high for some to bear.
By Roxanne Patel Shepelavy
From the October 2007 issue (page 1 of 4)
Michelle Diekmeyer lay awake in the dark, trying not to panic. It was a struggle she seemed to be losing more and more every sleepless night in July 2005. Seven months after being diagnosed with stage IIIB inflammatory breast cancer, 37-year-old Diekmeyer had spent nearly 100 days in doctors’ offices or the hospital near her Ohio home. She’d had five surgeries, with another scheduled for September; slogged through more than three months of grisly chemotherapy; suffered the indignities of baldness and violent nausea. After all that, she still didn’t know if she’d survive the year. But Diekmeyer had another, more immediate, fear keeping her up nights. Because of mounting medical bills, she was worried she might lose her home.
Already, Diekmeyer owed her oncologist more than $10,000, debt that had escalated since May 2005, when she started taking Herceptin, a cutting-edge cancer formula. Produced by Genentech, a leading manufacturer of biotech drugs in South San Francisco, California, the new medicine was her best—perhaps her only—hope of beating the disease. It was hope that came with a steep price: Every three weeks after her IV infusion of Herceptin, her insurance company paid her doctor 70 percent of the cost of treatment. The rest—about $1,500—was supposed to come from Diekmeyer. But she and her husband, Randall, a networking manager for an architectural engineering firm, had already depleted their modest savings on her medical bills; they’d cut out even small luxuries, like the daily newspaper. Diekmeyer was too sick to go back to her job as a church secretary. And she faced 10 more months of Herceptin and an unknown future of other treatments. Still, Diekmeyer had no choice. She either took the Herceptin or faced an almost certain death.
“How do I put a price on my life?” Diekmeyer wondered, not for the last time. “I can’t. I just hope my doctors are patient about my bills. There’s nothing else I can do.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb faced congressional hearings over plans to charge up to $6,000 for a six-month treatment of Taxol, then a groundbreaking ovarian cancer drug. Now new biotech cancer drugs routinely cost $25,000 to $50,000 a year, with some running close to $100,000. The cost of cancer-fighting drugs went up 27 percent in 2006, compared with less than 2 percent for other drugs, according to the most recent Medco Drug Trend Report. And many of the new medications are being tested in combination, so patients may be faced with not one but two or even three drugs that cost $50,000 each. That’s the case with ImClone’s Erbitux and Genentech’s Avastin, two of the priciest commonly used cancer drugs on the market, which are being tested together for colorectal cancer.

The Outdoors

I grew up in the country–so I try not to take the outdoors for granted. Unlike some women, I do love camping and boating. Just not hunting or fishing. I love the stillness, the perfume of flowers and pine…the chirping of the birds, scurrying on animals.
When I took my mom and daughter to the gardens it was nice. I felt at peace. All the wonderful colors of nature. So extraordinary. Nothing can compare to God’s beauty.
I wish that people would take better care of this wonderful planet of ours. I think we all, even me, can take things for granted here. I wish that there was someway to convey to the human race the sanctity of our world…how precious it is and that there is only one of it. I can see global warming everywhere with our winters becoming more scarce, the polar caps melting, the ozone layer becoming thinner. I found this info on global warming and feel that people need to take this more seriously and preserve what God gave us in trust:
I think that big corporations look more to profit than the future of our children. Why?? Just look at what these corporations have done in regards to plant resources, finding the bottom dollar. American, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, all these countries should be held accountable for the way that they disregard our most precious resource. Being resourceful also begins at home. Do not use the a/c if you really do not need it. Use a fan instead. Conserve your electricity. Try to make all your runs for the store etc…in one fell swope. Recycle, recycle, recycle….

Scott Air Force Base Air Show

The military has and always be close to my heart. I visited Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, about a half hour drive, to ck out the hardware there. Was totally awesome. Here I am standing in front of the B-2 Bomber. Looks like a spaceship. Worth millions of dollars.

Here are some stats on it:
I was totally awed by the symmetry of this aircraft and reminded me of the possibilities of the human mind when it comes to technology.