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jueves, febrero 26, 2009


Pygmy Seahorse, originalmente cargada por alukii.

The pygmy seahorse, Hippocampus bargibanti, is a seahorse of the family Syngnathidae in the western central Pacific. It is tiny, no larger than 2.4 cm. There are two known color variations: grey with red tubercles (on gorgonian coral Muricella plectana), and yellow with orange tubercles (on gorgonian coral Muricella paraplectana).

This species is known to occur only on gorgonian corals of the genus Muricella, and has evolved to resemble its host. The tubercles and truncated snout of this species match the color and shape of the polyps of the host gorgonian, while its body matches the gorgonian stem. The camouflage is so effective, the original specimens were discovered only after their host gorgonian had been collected and placed in an aquarium.

The pygmy seahorse is found in coastal areas ranging from southern Japan and Indonesia to northern Australia and New Caledonia on reefs and slopes at a depth of 10-40 m.

A pygmy seahorse found at a depth of around 32 m at Tulamben near a shipwreck.

On the lower portion of the abdomen, males have a brood pouch in which the female lays her eggs. They are fertilized by the male, and incubated until birth.



100th DIVE!

100th Dive!, originalmente cargada por alukii.


miércoles, febrero 25, 2009


wisdom tower - monad, originalmente cargada por sanchezdot.

; ) The Tower further symbolizes that moment in Trance in which the mind actually changes the direction of the force of attention from alpha condition (pointed mindward) to theta condition (pointed imaginal stageward) Theta Condition (Especially in waking versions of Theta states) is that moment when information incoming to the ego mind overwhelms external or sensory stimulus, resulting in what might otherwise be called a "Vision".


martes, febrero 24, 2009


Hot Comet Lulin, originalmente cargada por amadeusmusicinstruction.

Comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin), also known as Comet Lulin, is a non-periodic comet. It was discovered by Ye Quanzhi and Lin Chi-Sheng from Lulin Observatory. It peaked in brightness and arrived at perigee for observers on Earth on February 24, 2009, at magnitude +5, and at 0.411 AU from Earth.[3] The comet also appeared to pass near Saturn on February 23, and is predicted to pass near Regulus in Leo on February 26 and 27, 2009. It is expected to appear to pass near Comet Cardinal on May 12, 2009. It currently lies 0.412 AU from Earth, appearing at magnitude +5.2 in the constellation Leo. The comet became visible to the naked eye from dark-sky sites around February 7. It passed between Earth and the double star Zubenelgenubi on February 6, between Earth and Spica on February 15 and 16, between earth and Gamma Virginis on February 19 and is predicted to pass between Earth and the star cluster M44 around March 4 and 5.

C/2007 N3 (Lulin)
Discovered by: Ye Quanzhi, Lin Chi-Sheng[1][2]
Discovery date: July 11, 2007[1][2]
Alternate designations: Comet Lulin
Orbital characteristics A
Epoch: 2454656.5
(July 9, 2008)[3]
Aphelion distance: 269391.899 AU[4]
Perihelion distance: 1.212128714036556 AU[3]
Semi-major axis: -5333.165975608617 AU[3]
Eccentricity: 1.000227281265871[3]
Orbital period: 49435956 Julian years[4]
Inclination: 178.3729945601338°[3]
Last perihelion: January 10, 2009[5]
Next perihelion: Unknown


The comet was first photographed by astronomer Lin Chi-Sheng (林啟生) with a 16-inch telescope at the Lulin Observatory in Nantou, Taiwan on July 11, 2007. However, a 19-year old student, Ye Quanzhi (葉泉志) from Sun Yat-sen University in China, identified the new object from three of the photographs taken by Lin.

Initially, the object was thought to be an asteroid, but new images taken a week after the discovery revealed the presence of a faint coma.

The discovery occurred as part of the Lulin Sky Survey project to identify small objects in the Solar System, particularly Near-Earth Objects. The comet was named "Comet Lulin" after the observatory, and its official designation is Comet C/2007 N3.


Astronomer Brian Marsden of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory calculated that Comet Lulin reached its perihelion on January 10, 2009, at a distance of 113 million miles (182 million kilometers) from the Sun.

The orbit of Comet Lulin is very nearly a parabola, according to Marsden. It is moving in a retrograde orbit at a very low inclination of just 1.6° from the ecliptic.

Disconnected tail

On February 4, 2009, a team of Italian astronomers witnessed "an intriguing phenomenon in Comet Lulin's tail." Team leader Ernesto Guido explains: "We photographed the comet using a remotely-controlled telescope in New Mexico, and our images clearly showed a disconnection event. While we were looking, part of the comet's plasma tail was torn away."

Guido and colleagues believe the event was caused by a magnetic disturbance in the solar wind hitting the comet. Magnetic mini-storms in comet tails have been observed before—most famously in 2007 when NASA's STEREO spacecraft watched a coronal mass ejection crash into Comet Encke. Encke lost its tail in dramatic fashion, much as Comet Lulin did on February 4.





Comet Lulin - February 24, 2009, originalmente cargada por 2lazy7.
Comet Lulin flies past Saturn this morning. And did it ever fly! When I processed the stacks for this I did one for the stars and one for the comet. If I get ambitious I'll post the shot without the star trails corrected. They look like morse code because I had to battle clouds during the entire imaging session.


lunes, febrero 23, 2009


La Torre Agbar, originalmente cargada por MorBCN.

Construction work of Torre Agbar, 11 April 2004

The Torre Agbar, or Agbar Tower, is a 21st-century skyscraper at Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm b720 Arquitectos and built by Dragados. It opened in June 2005 and was inaugurated officially by the King of Spain on 16 September 2005. The Torre Agbar is located in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona and is named after its owners, the Agbar Group, a holding company whose interests include the Barcelona water company Aigües de Barcelona.

Torre Agbar façade


According to Jean Nouvel, the shape of the Torre Agbar was inspired by Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona, and by the shape of a geyser rising into the air. Jean Nouvel, in an interview, described it as having a phallic character. As a result of its unusual shape, the building is known by several nicknames, such as "el supositori" (the suppository), "l'obús" (the shell) and some more scatological ones. It is also somewhat similar in shape to Sir Norman Foster's 30 St. Mary Axe in London, often called "the Gherkin". It has 30,000 (323,000 ft²) of above-ground office space, 3,210 (34,500 ft²) of technical service floors with installations and 8,351 (90,000 ft²) of services, including an auditorium. The Agbar Tower measures 144.4 m (473.75 ft) in height and consists of 38 storeys, including four underground levels.

Details of the LED luminous devices

Its design combines a number of different architectural concepts, resulting in a striking structure built with reinforced concrete, covered with a facade of glass, and over 4,500 window openings cut out of the structural concrete. The building stands out in Barcelona; it is the third tallest building in Barcelona, only after the Arts Hotel and the Mapfre Tower, both 154 m (505.25 ft).

Torre Agbar, 6 January 2007

A defining feature of the building is its nocturnal illumination. It has 4,500 LED luminous devices that allow generation of luminous images in the façade. In addition, it has temperature sensors in the outside of the tower that regulate the opening and closing of the glass blinds of the façade of the building, reducing the consumption of energy for air conditioning. It will house the head office of the Aigües de Barcelona Group (Spanish: "Aguas de Barcelona", English: "Waters of Barcelona").

Torre Agbar by night, 30 April 2007



miércoles, febrero 18, 2009


The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was published by the University of California Press in 1968 as a work of anthropology. It was written by Carlos Castaneda and submitted as his master’s thesis in the school of anthropology. It reportedly documents the events that took place during an apprenticeship he claimed to have served with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, don Juan Matus, between 1960 and 1965. The authenticity of the book, along with the rest of Castaneda’s series, has been a topic of debate since they were published.

The book is divided into two sections. The first section, The Teachings, is a first person narrative that documents Castaneda's initial interactions with don Juan. The second, A Structural Analysis, is an attempt, Castaneda says, at “disclos[ing] the internal cohesion and the cogency of don Juan’s Teachings.”

The 30th anniversary edition, published by the University of California Press in 1998, contains commentary by Castaneda not present in the original edition. In addition, it contains a foreword by anthropologist Walter Goldschmidt, who was a professor of anthropology at UCLA during the time the books were written, and an introduction by the author.






martes, febrero 17, 2009


Geohintonia mexicana, originalmente cargada por hinton.jennie.

Geohintonia mexicana was discovered on September 24, 1991, and described as a new genus in the family Cactaceae. The genus was named after or its discoverer George S. Hinton.

As its specific name suggests, the plant is found in Mexico (Nuevo León), where it grows on gypsum hills near Galeana.

Picture by George S. Hinton

The species has one form: Geohintonia mexicana f. cristata.

Geohintonia mexicana

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Cacteae
Genus: Geohintonia
Glass & Fitz Maurice
Species: G. mexicana
Binomial name
Geohintonia mexicana
Glass & W.A.Fitz Maur.



The frilled shark, Chlamydoselachus anguineus, is a prehistoric shark species, the only member of the family Chlamydoselachidae in the order Hexanchiformes. The Southern African frilled shark is a proposed new species from the Southern African range. These two species are very different from the other hexanchiform sharks, and it has recently been proposed that the two frilled sharks should be given their own order: Chlamydoselachiformes. Additional extinct types are known from fossil teeth; thought to be extinct itself, it was only discovered in Japanese waters in the 19th century. On January 21, 2007, a specimen was found alive off the coast of Japan near the Awashima Marine Park in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo. The shark was captured but, being in poor health, died shortly afterwards.


A preserved specimen

Superficially, the frilled shark resembles a dark brown or grey eel, but the six gill slits identify it as a shark. The tissue of the gill slits protrudes somewhat, thus inspiring the common name. Its dorsal fin is small, anal fin large, and the caudal fin (tail fin) is highly asymmetric, the dorsal part almost unnoticeable. Its teeth are small, tricuspid, and very sharp. Mature males can grow to be 1-1.1 m (3.2-3.6 ft) in length, whereas females can grow to be 1.4-1.5 m (4.4-4.9 ft). It has been recorded at up to 2 m (6.5 ft) in length.


Distribution is worldwide, but they are very rarely found in shallow water. They have been reported in all oceans but are mainly found near Norway, South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile. The sharks are usually found at depths of between 50 m and 1,500 m. They typically eat squid, other sharks, and deepwater bony fish. The frilled shark is sometimes referred to as a living fossil partially because the species has changed little since pre-historic times.


sábado, febrero 14, 2009




Atman - monad, originalmente cargada por sanchezdot.

The word Atman (pronounced as Atma in Sanskrit) is interpreted as the Main Essence of man, his Highest Self. A in this word is a negating particle. Tma means darkness. The word tamas — ignorance, spiritual darkness — has the same root. Therefore A-tma or Atman means opposite to darkness, shining.

In essence, Atman is the best, Divine part of everyone’s multidimensional organism.

Atman is the Brahmanic Fire, when we become this Fire, and the Atmic energy kundalini — the precious content of the “money-box”, where the best of us, which has been accumulated in all previous incarnations, is stored.


lunes, febrero 09, 2009

愛 L O V E 愛

The traditional Chinese character for love (愛) consists of a heart (middle) inside of "accept," "feel," or "perceive," which shows a graceful emotion.

Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affectionand attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. The word love is both a verb and a noun. Love is not a single feeling but an emotion built from two or more feelings. Anything vital to us creates more than one feeling, and we also have feelings about our feelings (and thoughts about our feelings). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.

As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love[2] to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.




COROT-Exo-7b is an exoplanet orbiting around the star CoRoT-Exo-7. It was detected by the French-led COROT mission in 2009. It is the smallest exoplanet to have its diameter measured, at 1.7 times that of the Earth. Its mass is estimated to be 5–10 earth masses. It orbits very close to its star with an orbital period of 20 hours. The star, in the constellation Monoceros, is 390 light-years (120 pc) away and is slightly smaller than the Sun.

The planet has a high surface temperature, between 1000 to 1500 °C. Due to the high temperature, it may be covered in lava or water vapor. The composition and density of the planet are still being examined, with one possibility being that it is rocky like Earth. It may also belong to a class of planets that are thought to be made up of water vapor and rock in almost equal amounts.

The scientists are unsure whether it is an ocean planet, a kind of planet whose existence has yet to be proven so far. In theory, such planets would initially be covered partially in ice and they would later drift towards their star, with the ice melting to cover it in liquid.

With an orbital period of just 20 hours, the planet has the shortest orbit yet seen in an extrasolar planet.

According to Suzanne Aigrain, a researcher at the University of Exeter who is part of the CoRoT team, the planet is much more earthlike than previously found exoplanets and probably has a solid surface somewhere.

COROT-Exo-7b was found by the observation of a brightness change of its mother star, originating in a transit of the planet in front of the star (as seen from Earth). The exact knowledge of the brightness difference, together with a size estimate for the star, allows one to calculate the planet's size.

The discovery of CoRoT-Exo-7b was announced on 3 February 2009, during the CoRoT Symposium 2009 in Paris. It will be published in a forthcoming special issue of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics dedicated to results from CoRoT.

The planet's current name is derived from the COROT mission, which stands for "COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits". It is led by the French Space Agency CNES with involvement by the European Space Agency, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Brazil.

COROT has found the smallest terrestrial planet ever detected outside the Solar System. The amazing planet is less than twice the size of Earth and orbits a Sun-like star. Its temperature is so high that it is possibly covered in lava or water vapour.

About 330 exoplanets have been discovered so far, most of which are gas giants with characteristics similar to Jupiter and Neptune. The new find, COROT-Exo-7b, is different: its diameter is less than twice that of Earth and it orbits its star once every 20 hours. It is located very close to its parent star, and has a high temperature, between 1000 and 1500°C. Astronomers detected the new planet as it transited its parent star, dimming the light from the star as it passed in front of it.

The density of the planet is still under investigation: it may be rocky like Earth and covered in liquid lava. It may also belong to a class of planets that are thought to be made up of water and rock in almost equal amounts. Given the high temperatures measured, the planet would be a very hot and humid place.

One of the methods for detecting exoplanets is to look for the drop in brightness they cause when they pass in front of their parent star. Such a celestial alignment is known as a planetary transit. From Earth, both Mercury and Venus occasionally pass across the front of the Sun. When they do, they look like tiny black dots passing across the bright surface. Such transits block a tiny fraction of the light that COROT is able to detect. Credits: CNES

Very few exoplanets found so far have a mass comparable to Earth’s and the other terrestrial planets: Venus, Mars, and Mercury. This is because terrestrial planets are extremely difficult to detect. Most of the methods used so far are indirect and sensitive to the mass of the planet, while COROT can directly measure the size of its surface, which is an advantage. In addition, its location in space allows for longer periods of uninterrupted observation than from ground.

This discovery is significant because recent measurements have indicated the existence of planets of small masses but their size remained undetermined until now.

The internal structure of COROT-exo-7b particularly puzzles scientists; they are unsure whether it is an ‘ocean planet’, a kind of planet whose existence has never been proved so far. In theory, such planets would initially be covered partially in ice and they would later drift towards their star, with the ice melting to cover it in liquid.

“Finding such a small planet was not a complete surprise”, said Daniel Rouan, researcher at the Observatoire de Paris Lesia, who coordinates the project with Alain Léger, from Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (Paris, France). “COROT-Exo-7b belongs to a class of objects whose existence had been predicted for some time. COROT was designed precisely in the hope of discovering some of these objects,” he added.

COROT (planetary convection, rotation and transits) is a mission led by the French Space Agency (CNES), with contributions from ESA, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Brazil. It is a telescope placed in Earth orbit that was launched in December 2006 carrying a 27 cm-diameter telescope designed to detect tiny changes the brightness of nearby stars. The mission’s main objectives are to search for exoplanets and to study stellar interiors.

"This discovery is a very important step on the road to understanding the formation and evolution of our planet," said Malcolm Fridlund, ESA’s COROT Project Scientist. “For the first time, we have unambiguously detected a planet that is 'rocky' in the same sense as our own Earth. We now have to understand this object further to put it into context, and continue our search for smaller, more Earth-like objects with COROT," he added.

This discovery benefited from complementary observations made thanks to an extensive European telescope network operated by various institutes and countries. The European Southern Observatory at Paranal and La Silla (Chile), the 80-cm telescope at the Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute, and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii (CNRS, CNRC, and University of Hawaii).

The findings will appear in ‘Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission VII. COROT-Exo-7b: The first super-earth with radius characterized’ by A. Léger , D. Rouan , J. Schneider , R. Alonso , B. Samuel , E. Guenther , M. Deleuil , H.J. Deeg , M. Fridlund, et al. to be submitted to Astronomy and Astrophysics.



viernes, febrero 06, 2009


Loon san - monad, originalmente cargada por sanchezdot.


* In Chinese painting, the color violet represents the harmony of the universe because it is a combination of red (yang) and blue (yin).


* Psychics who claim to be able to observe the aura with their third eye report that those who are practicing occultists (magickal thaumaturgists) often have a violet aura. It is said that people with violet auras are forward looking visionaries who may be in occupations such as performance artist, photographer, venture capitalist, astronaut, futurist, or quantum physicist.


* Violet is the liturgical color of Advent and Lent in many western churches.

* The Invocation of the Violet Flame is a system of meditation practice used in the "I AM" Activity and by the Church Universal and Triumphant. It is believed to be invoked from Saint Germain and practicing it is part of these religions' devotion to Saint Germain.


jueves, febrero 05, 2009




Cave Pearls from Gruta De Las Canicas,
Tabasco, Mexico

Cave pearls are relatively common in caves, but are typically present in very low abundance. Gruta de las Canicas, a cave system developed in Cretaceous carbonates in Tabasco, Mexico, is highly unusual in that it contains a tremendous quantity of pearls (estimated 200 million pearls found on the cave floor to a depth of a meter or more). The mechanism for the formation of this vast quantity of pearls has not been determined. Here we provide the first report of the mineralogy, texture and chemistry of the Canicas pearls. The pearls were studied using standard optical petrographic and geochemical methods (electron microprobe and stable isotopes). The pearls can be subdivided into three distinct zones based upon cement texture, presence of impurities, and porosity. Clay-rich zones are enriched in clay-sized non-carbonate material, and typically contain little to no porosity. Cement-rich, non-porous zones contain mainly radially oriented spar, with lesser amounts of microspar, and also have little to no porosity. Cement-rich porous zones are similar to the non-porous zones, but contain up to 50% porosity, with the pores elongated in a radial manner parallel to the radial spar crystals. The three zone types alternate concentrically in an apparently random manner. Electron microprobe analysis indicates that the carbonate is extremely pure low-Mg calcite (99.4 – 99.8 % CaCO3), with only minor substitution of Mg, and to a lesser extend Mn, Fe, and Sr for Ca in the calcite structure. A microprobe traverse detected no statistically significant variation in elemental composition from pearl center to edge. Microprobe analysis of the non-carbonate clay sized material in the pearls shows that a variety of minerals are present, including quartz and apatite. The abundance and distribution of porosity suggests that a more soluble phase (e.g., aragonite, organic matter) was removed by dissolution.


"Las Canicas" Cave

Spectacular caverns full of little and rounded stones like spheres. They are made of calcite.
To visit you need to have a special equipment and to contact a specialized guide.



Municipio de Viesca, Coahuila, México


miércoles, febrero 04, 2009


Gooey Galaxy, originalmente cargada por AzRedHeadedBrat.

What? Doesnt everyone sit at their desk looking for things to take pictures of at 3 a.m.? *rubs eyes* Please enjoy the fruit of my insomnia and boredom :)

(Can you guess this concoction?)
*hint* It's known to kill 99.9% of it victims ;)



Dr. Jesús Estudillo López

Jesús Estudillo López is Professor Emeritus of ornithology at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM). A renowned expert on avian conservation, he is credited with the discovery of an exceptionally rare species of cracids, which are now known as Crax estudilloi in his honor. Dr. Estudillo López is the only person who has successfully bred resplendent quetzals in captivity.

The Quetzal, a bird native to the cloud forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama, undoubtedly possesses a profound symbolic significance: the Maya considered it a sacred bird, kings wore headdresses made from tail feathers, such as the one used by Moctezuma.

Until a few years ago it was believed that by its nature, Pharamachrus mocinno-the quetzal’s scientific name, which means "large throat" - could not survive in captivity; however, a Mexican ornithologist, specializing in the diseases and physiology of birds and currently director of Programa de Conservación de especies de la Universidad Nacional de México (Program for the Conservation of Species of the Universidad Nacional de Mexico) has proven otherwise. After a long time of investigating the metabolism and behavior of these birds, Jesus Estudillo Lopez was able to hatch and rear several individuals in captivity, with this perhaps preventing the extinction of the species.

The first step was to break with a series of speculations about the impossibility of their survival outside their natural habitat. This was assumed because their relationship to their natural habitat was unknown. Because of their extreme fragility no mistakes could be allowed. Since they become stressed very easily, they require an extensive site where they can fly and feel protected.

In a greenhouse 50x40m and 8m high, Estudillo, created a replica of the Chimalapas a forest located between the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, where a few individuals still live. Some plants were introduced from the region such as bromeliads, orchids, tree ferns and lichens. Here the quetzals share space with other species that live in areas with the same natural conditions such as pavón, a native of Chiapas, and the imperial dove from New Geneva, among others.

The hand of the Mexican ornithologist Jesus Estudillo feeding one of the quetzals in captivity, taken on "La Siberia", a 25 acre farm which has the largest private aviary in the world, home to approximately 600 bird species.

The research carried out by the scientist concluded with the following observation: the quetzals drink water that accumulates in bromeliads and orchids; they never leave the jungle and almost never drink water from the ground- only in times of drought when it accumulates in the hollows of the leaf covered ground when the water contains tannin, also known as tannic acid, that acts as an iron neutralizer.

It was decided to suppress the iron from their diet, occasionally adding a few drops of tannic acid to the water and to compensate the necessary proteins by the consumption of grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, infant mice and seasonal fruits such as guava, mango , papaya, etc.

The fundamental causes threatening the quetzal with extinction are attributed to its low rate of reproduction, and to the fact that they are very fragile. The chicks have a short period of incubation-between 18 to 19 days- thus, they are born in a precarious condition, without feathers and their eyes taking from 8 to 10 days to open. During this time they are fed by their parents and are very exposed to natural enemies such as the toucan and magpie. The adult quetzal has neither a strong beak nor claws to defend their young.

With the increase of predators and the changes that man has brought upon their environment in recent years, the quetzal population has notably diminished.

However, Jesus Estudillo, is optimistic: although the challenges are great, the results obtained so far are positive.

It is worth the effort, for their great beauty and for all that they represent. And remember that among the Maya and the Aztec quetzal feathers were used as an emblem of royalty and majesty. He who dared to kill a quetzal was punished by death. The tail of the male quetzal was more valuable than gold. It definitely possesses an incalculable cultural value.



Translation by G. S. Hinton H.