It's been a while since I've done an update to my Mission: Success Journal, but I'm happy to report my second Science Fiction Romance novel has finaled in the Launching A Star contest sponsored by Spacecoast RWA in Florida. (Fitting, yes?)
I haven't been on the contest circuit for almost a year and a half, so it was a great feeling to get the good news. *clicks heels*
And in other random space or writerly related news:
Passing the Torch...in Spaaaaaace!
It's never been done before.
The tradition of carrying the Olympic torch is long and colored. It's passed through many countries, many famous hands, and been in many scenarios, but never before has the torch been passed...in spaaaaace!
On November 8th, a new crew to arrive at the International Space Station brought the red and silver olympic torch along, and just a few months before the 2014 Winter Olympic Games set for Sochi, Russia.
Mikhail Tyurin brought the torch aboard, and the nine occupants of the ISS floated weightless while they passed the torch from one to another, each having a little time to hold it and fly through the various station modules.
This is not the first time an olympic torch has been taken into space, with a previous torch carried by the space shuttle Atlantis in 1996 for the Atlanta summer games. But the torch being carried while in spacewalk is a first.
On Saturday, Ryazanskiy and and Kotov took the torch outside for the spacewalk and posed with Earth as a backdrop for the proud moment.
Now how are they going to top this in the future? Maybe an olympic torch passed on the Moon? Or on Mars? I'd sure love to see that!
The olympic torch was scheduled to return to Earth with a returning crew last night (Sunday).
That's the latest estimate of the number of planets in our own galaxy that might support life -- 8.8 billion potential earth-like worlds! According to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, this is based on calculations that 20% of the 200 billion stars in this galaxy are similar to our own sun, and 22% of those are similar in size to Earth and are in the habitable zone with an atmosphere that's not too hot or too cold to support life.
That's more Earth-like planets than the total population of Earth.
It means you could write a story every day for the next hundred years set on a different Earth-like planet, and you'd only have covered 36,500 planets.
But that's not all. If you also consider red dwarf suns in our galaxy, with potential Earth-like planets, the number may be more in the range of 40 billion Earths.
Yup. That's a whole lot of real estate.
You can read more about the study here: NPR
(Wrong) Turns of Phrase
As writers, we learn that choosing just the right word combinations can convey thoughts, feelings and images more effectively. Here's a collection of headlines that fell a little short, in sometimes hilarious ways, of conveying the meaning intended. Enjoy!
TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW
In a Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES
In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS
In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR
FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN.
In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE
Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR
WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
Notice in Health Food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS.
Spotted in a safari park:
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR
Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN'T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE
Notice in a farmer's field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.
Message on a leaflet:
IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS.
On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR - THE BELL DOESN'T
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfield Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
Have a great week!