August 4, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Earth once had two moons, astronomers suggested Wednesday. But in a spectacle that might have beguiled poets, lovers, and songwriters if only they had been around to see it billions of years ago, the smaller one smashed into the other in a "big splat. " The result: a single bulked-up and ever-so-slightly lopsided moon. The astronomers came up with the scenario to explain why the moon's far side is so much hillier than the one that is always facing Earth. The theory, outlined in the journal Nature, comes complete with computer-model runs showing how it might have happened, 4.4 billion years ago, as a small moon that trailed behind a much larger one got pulled in by gravity at 5,000 m.p.h.
July 31, 2011
The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History By Ben Mezrich Doubleday. 308 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by Ben Tarnoff In the summer of 2002, three young NASA employees stole a quarter-pound of moon rocks and tried selling them online to a Belgian collector. He alerted the FBI, and together they orchestrated the sting that led to the robbers' arrest. The rocks were returned - lunar samples from the Apollo missions, valued in the vicinity of $20 million - and the ringleader, 25-year-old Thad Roberts, went to prison for eight years.
April 27, 2011 |
The U.S. Department of Energy has come up with a clever rhetorical way to muster support for solar energy. Dubbed the SunShot Initiative, its program has the goal of cutting the cost of solar energy by about 75 percent before 2020. The name recalls the "moon shot" speech of President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Affordable solar energy is the "moon shot of our generation," said Arun Majumdar , the agency's acting undersecretary for energy, at a solar-power conference at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia on Tuesday.
April 7, 2011 |
A bit of a shuffle is underway in Manayunk. Saturday will be the final night for Mango Moon , the exotic Thai street-fooder that Moon Krapugthong opened in late 2008 at 4161 Main St. In the fall, Krapugthong plans to open Yanako , a Japanese-themed concept, up the street at 4410 Main St., where Mainly Shoes was. Yanako's food will be fresh and healthy with heavy (traditional) Japanese accents but served very simply/delicately, she says - "like the Japanese version of Chabaa Thai ," her other Thai restaurant, at 4371 Main St. in Manayunk.
March 31, 2011
SOME 30 years ago, you could have gotten Duncan Jones' attention by using his childhood name - Zowie Bowie. Jones is singer David Bowie's son, and while he loves his dad, he's worked hard to distance himself professionally from the family name, to make it on his own as a movie director. (David Bowie's real last name is Jones; he changed it to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees.) So Duncan is justly proud that his gig directing Jake Gyllenhaal in "Source Code" has nothing to do with Spiders from Mars, and everything to do with "Moon.
February 27, 2011 |
I figure, if something happens once every 372 years, it's worth staying up to see. At least, that was my logic at 3:17 a.m. the night I stood at my window and peered up at the lunar eclipse. Dec. 21 was the first time a lunar eclipse occurred on the winter solstice since 1638. To take you back to eighth-grade Earth Science for a minute: The winter solstice - in December in the Northern Hemisphere, June in the Southern - is the longest night of the year, when the earth is tilted as far from the sun as possible.
January 31, 2011 |
The Little Prince - beloved by many over the course of its 67 years - is a gentle, sweet fantasy that magnifies human behavior through the lens of existentialism. It's filled with metaphors, with many adult characters who represent some aspect of the human condition. The original story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry seems made for puppetry, as a new version with actors and puppets clearly demonstrates, in a technically pumped but strangely distant production at Bristol Riverside Theatre.
January 28, 2011 |
THIRTY-THREE (and a third) years ago, Brian Eno famously proposed a style (and album) of soothing, ambient music that he thought would be the perfect balm for weary travelers at the airport. Now Tom Moon , a musician/critic best known from his long stint at the Philadelphia Inquirer , is casting out a similar net to the stressed-out brand of road warrior who "huddles over their laptops" in hotel lobbies and also brings the work home. He's doing it with an energized yet easy-on-the-ears contemporary jazz group dubbed the Moon Hotel Lounge Project and a crafty debut album, "Into the Ojala" (Frosty Cordial Records)
January 11, 2011 |
A portentious release date like 1/11/11 doesn't come along often. So what does today's haul deliver? A goodly share of sonic magic from jazz man/critic Tom Moon and nu-folkster Abigail Washburn, plus fresh slices of Cake, Edie Brickell and a ghostly nod from Tim Buckley. MOON HORNS IN: It's often said of critics that those who can't do, write about it. Yet Tom Moon, former music critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer , NPR correspondent and author of "1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die," is also a jazz saxophone player who toured in his youth with Maynard Ferguson.
November 16, 2010 |
Logan Pszalgowski can't believe his eyes. "I can see the whole moon," exclaims the 7-year-old Mount Laurel resident, his wonder-struck little voice rising into the night sky. Logan, his twin brother, Aidan, and their mother, Bonnie, are exploring the heavens through Steve Mattan's 80mm refracting telescope at a Star Watch sponsored by the Willingboro Astronomical Society. Mattan, 50, a software-development manager from Edgewater Park, is among about 20 amateur astronomers gathered in an open field near the Batsto Historic Village Visitor Center in Wharton State Forest.