January 20, 2013 |
We were at the other end of the world, literally. The opposite spot on the planet from Philadelphia (known by map geeks as the antipodal point) is Perth, Australia. We were 12,000 miles from home, as far away as we could possibly be. Going a mile in any direction would actually bring us closer to Philly. As we relaxed on the beach watching the sun melt into the Indian Ocean, we pondered that great distance. It was easy to leave the comforts of home, because we no longer had a home.
January 13, 2013
Yoga teacher and medium Alaine Portner of Medford facilitated a human pod of 20 dolphin lovers in late September on her second annual retreat in Bimini for a week of snorkeling, yoga, breathwork, bodywork, and spiritual mediumship sessions. Each activity supports a feeling of harmony, enhancing a sense of wonderment at the mysteries of life, and even afterlife. The group gathered in Florida, and took a chartered flight 50 miles from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini. The Bahamian destination is actually three small islands, all surrounded by warm, clear turquoise waters that attract sea seekers from around the globe.
January 9, 2013 |
Some of the most active advocates for peace have been scientists. Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Linus Pauling, and Albert Schweitzer were among the scientific luminaries who worked tirelessly for global harmony. Perhaps their understanding of Earth's preciousness as the only known planet with life helped inspire their efforts. This season, when night is longest and darkest, offers ample opportunity to reflect on our place in the universe, and to share in the sense of humility that has motivated many thinkers to contemplate ways to bring unity to Earth.
November 18, 2012
Cleve Duncan, 78, whose soaring tenor voice as lead singer for the Penguins helped propel the 1954 doo-wop ballad "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" to rock 'n' roll immortality, died Nov. 7 in Los Angeles. "Earth Angel," which has sold more than 10 million copies, was the Penguins' only hit. But its rhythmic, wailing plea to an idealized young woman captured the spirit of the just-emerging rock generation. Rolling Stone magazine placed it on its list of the 500 greatest songs ever, and films like Back to the Future have used it to conjure an era. Cleveland Duncan was born July 23 of either 1934 or 1935 in Los Angeles, and learned to sing in his church choir and glee clubs.
November 9, 2012
Fallacies of climate-change skeptics Thank you for helping to give climate change the visibility it deserves ("Climate change an issue again," Monday). However, mentioned in your editorial without comment is one of the many fallacies used by climate-change skeptics. According to Mitt Romney, "there have been many times in the Earth's history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now. " That is true, but completely irrelevant to our current crisis. It is equally true, but irrelevant, that 650 million years ago glaciers covered the Earth from the poles to the tropics.
October 29, 2012 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - An unmanned space capsule carrying medical samples from the International Space Station splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, completing the first official private interstellar shipment under a billion-dollar contract with NASA. The California-based SpaceX company gently guided the Dragon into the water via parachutes at 12:22 p.m., a couple of hundred miles off the Baja California coast. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station used a giant robot arm to release the commercial cargo ship 255 miles up. SpaceX provided updates of the journey home via Twitter, including a video of the Dragon separating from the space station.
October 25, 2012
THE PRESIDENTIAL debates had no questions about the environment. I did hear about the future of our families, but Earth is shaping up with no future. Drilling for oil was a pretty big discussion in one debate, but only more drilling. Bacteria and virus are thriving, droughts are becoming more severe, temperatures are rising at an alarming rate, yet no candidate wants to discuss these issues. Studying to become an environmental scientist in college, I know my job outlook is good, but for all the wrong reasons.
October 15, 2012
ROSWELL, N.M. - Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner landed gracefully on Earth after a 24-mile jump Sunday from the stratosphere in a daring, dramatic feat that officials said made him the first skydiver to fall faster than the speed of sound. Baumgartner came down safely in the eastern New Mexico desert about nine minutes after jumping from his capsule 128,100 feet, roughly 24 miles, above Earth. Brian Utley, a jump observer from the International Federation of Sports Aviation, said figures show Baumgartner reached a maximum speed of 833.9 mph - Mach 1.24, which is faster than the speed of sound.
August 21, 2012 |
THE TAMPA BAY RAYS made Felix Hernandez's perfect game look even more impressive by roughing up the visiting Los Angeles Angels during an impressive four-game series sweep. Matt Moore (10-7) shrugged off home runs by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols on Sunday to win his fourth straight decision, and the Rays beat the fading Angels, 8-3. Tampa Bay tagged Zack Greinke (1-2) and outscored the Angels 37-14 in the series - setting a franchise record for runs in a four-game set. "I really believe that's a testament to our players and the way they are able to put things in the trash can immediately afterwards if something bad happens," manager Joe Maddon said.
August 6, 2012 |
NASA has dubbed the Mars landing planned for early Monday morning the "seven minutes of terror" because that's how long the craft has to slow from 13,000 miles an hour to zero. The entry starts with a parachute, then rockets, and, finally, a novel "sky crane" with a cable that will lower a rover the size of a car gently onto the planet's surface. Though previous craft have landed on relatively gentle terrain, this is the first aimed at a precise spot close to more hazardous topography.