Sunday, November 10, 2013

Passing the Torch....in Spaaaaace

Mission: Success
Laurie's Journal

A final!

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).




8,800,000,000 Earths

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 OUT

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 DRAINING BOARD.

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 1ST FLOOR.

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 WORK)

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 in Spacecraft

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

And finally...

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Have a great week!

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