Archive | November 2016


Sphinx Main


The Editor:  What is a language saboteur, LL ?

English Only Cat:  It is someone who changes the meaning of words so that they sound softer/better/more confusing.

One of my favorites is changing war to kinetic military action.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Milky Way over Shipwreck
Image Credit & Copyright: Sergio Montúfar (Planetario Ciudad de La Plata)

Explanation: What happened to this ship? It was carried aground by a giant storm that struck the coast of Argentina in 2002. The pictured abandoned boat, dubbed Naufragio del Chubasco, wrecked near the nearly abandoned town of Cabo Raso (population: 1). The rusting ship provides a picturesque but perhaps creepy foreground for the beautiful sky above. This sky is crowned by the grand arch of our Milky Way and features galaxies including the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, stars including Canopus and Altair, planets including Mars and Neptune, and nebulas including the Lagoon, Carina, and the Coal Sack. The mosaic was composed from over 80 images taken in early September. A 360-degree interactive panoramic version of this image is also available. The adventurous astrophotographer reports that the creepiest part of taking this picture was not the abandoned ship, but the unusual prevalence of black and hairy caterpillars.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space


Sphinx Main


One of our staff members is becoming a cyborg today, unless you are a Godless Communist please pray for her.  She is getting a new knee.


The Editor:    What has the Pope done, LL ?

Ten Hail Marys Cat:   He wants to let the Red Godless Chinese Atheist Government select Bishops for the Catholic Church.    He is surely the Pope of Stupid.

They should send this banana picker back to Argentina, after he does his Hail Marys.

If Google wants to fabricate news and be political they should be broken up for being a monopoly.

Football is losing fans, maybe the fans/taxpayers are tired of paying for the billionaire’s new stadiums.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

W5: The Soul of Star Formation
Image Credit: José Jiménez Priego (Astromet)

Explanation: Where do stars form? Many times, stars form in energetic regions where gas and dark dust are pushed around in chaotic mayhem. Pictured, bright massive stars near the center of W5, the Soul Nebula, are exploding and emitting ionizing light and energetic winds. The outward-moving light and gas push away and evaporate much surrounding gas and dust, but leave pillars of gas behind dense protective knots. Inside these knots, though, stars also form. The featured image highlights the inner sanctum of W5, an arena spanning about 1,000 light years that is rich in star forming pillars. The Soul Nebula, also cataloged as IC 1848, lies about 6,500 light years away toward the constellation of the Queen of Aethopia (Cassiopeia). Likely, in few hundred million years, only a cluster of the resulting stars will remain. Then, these stars will drift apart.

Tomorrow’s picture: open space


Sphinx Main

The Editor:  What is going on, LL ?

Saint Cat:  American journalist can’t say enough good things about F. Castro, the recently dead dictator of Cuba.  From the news reports they want to make him a Saint,  and were almost ready to replace Pope Francis with him.   They neglect to mention the people he murdered, and political protestors he put in prison for protesting his dictatorship.

Maybe O or HRC can take his place.  There will be no Air Force One.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Arp 240: A Bridge between Spiral Galaxies from Hubble
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Space Telescope; Processing & Copyright: Chris Kotsiopoulos

Explanation: Why is there a bridge between these two spiral galaxies? Made of gas and stars, the bridge provides strong evidence that these two immense star systems have passed close to each other and experienced violent tides induced by mutual gravity. Known together as Arp 240 but individually as NGC 5257 and NGC 5258, computer modelling and the ages of star clusters indicate that the two galaxies completed a first passage near each other only about 250 million years ago. Gravitational tides not only pulled away matter, they compress gas and so caused star formation in both galaxies and the unusual bridge. Galactic mergers are thought to be common, with Arp 240 representing a snapshot of a brief stage in this inevitable process. The Arp 240 pair are about 300 million light-years distant and can be seen with a small telescope toward the constellation of Virgo. Repeated close passages should ultimately result in a merger and with the emergence of a single combined galaxy.

Tomorrow’s picture: star bazaar