Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Horizons

Technically I've got an hour left till deadline, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
If you ever have the chance to go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, especially with the one you love, do it. This is not your usual fare. Avocados in an egg roll. Moroccan chicken. Red velvet cheesecake. Steak Dianne. Madira Chicken. It was delicious. For Valentines day the wife and I wanted to go some place that didn't serve happy meals. I'd say we succeeded.
After that, we saw Monument Men. Even better, we enjoyed the movie. The open captions worked this time throughout the movie. Bravo, Regal Cinemas for bringing up your average to .50
Often times I say it's a good time to be alive. At the same time I pity the people who complain that they're bored. We humans are actually in better shape than we were in the past. Our life expectancy is up. Diseases that killed off hundreds of thousands are now being eradicated. We are exploring our deepest oceans and farthest reaches of space.
Want to know something that will blow your mind? In 2007, Timothy Brown had HIV and Leukemia. Sounds like he rolled snake eyes in the game of life, doesn't it? The thing is, while undergoing treatment for his leukemia, the HIV went away. Yep, seems he had a very expensive and life threatening bone marrow transplant. As of this writing he is coming up HIV positive only part of the time. Scientists have yet to recreate it, let alone figure out what the hell happened. This is a big step in the right direction. Now the men in white coats have to figure out that they did and how to do it again. I'm watching you guys...
The New Horizons spacecraft will be visiting Pluto this time next year. Up to this point we know zilch about the ninth planetary body that makes up our solar system. A quick review:
Pluto was discovered with math. In the 1840's Urbaine le Verrier noticed Uranus was orbiting erratically. Using Newtonian Mechanics, he predicted where we might find Neptune. But Neptune was acting strangely too. The common belief in the later part of the 19th century was there was another planet out there. They didn't find it until 1915. Funny thing was they didn't know they had discovered it. Percival Lowell went to his grave thinking he hadn't found it, but in looking back at pictures taken, he in fact found a lot of stuff, but didn't recognize what he was looking at. It was too far away to make an accurate observation.
I'm just going to say this now. What Voyager did for Jupiter, New Horizons is going to do for Pluto. A lot of books are going to have to be re-written.

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