Saturday, January 16, 2010

For Crying Out Loud

Arctic permafrost leaking methane (=powerful greenhouse gas)@ record levels. Rapidly rising Arctic temperature 2 blame
This has to be one most aggravating articles I've ever read with regards to global warming...
"Such Arctic soils currently lock away billions of tonnes of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, leading some scientists to describe melting permafrost as a ticking time bomb that could overwhelm efforts to tackle climate change."
Now wait a second ... isn't it the evil US gas-guzzling SUV owners that are the problem? 
First of all, you have should know a little background info on what the Arctic really is. It isn't all about cute little penguins (that is sarcasm because another news outfit out of the UK reported on Arctic penguins just late last year so I haven't found that UK reporters can be relied on anymore than the US media).
The "Arctic" is places like Barrow, Alaska. It is -24°F in Barrow, Alaska as I type. It has been cold all winter. In fact, it will be cold all spring, summer and fall as well. The high daily temperature is above freezing on an average of only 109 days per year. There are freezing temperatures on an average of 324 days per year. (Wikipedia)
Another way of looking at that is there are only 41 days of warm enough weather to be a problem to release methane in the low-end of the Arctic. Basically, what these scientists are telling us is that they know that increasing that to just a few days each year is A BIGGER PROBLEM THAN THE ENTIRE HUMAN EFFORT.

Posted via email from Annalee Blysse @ posterous

Friday, January 15, 2010

Glow Show Postcard

Postcard at Zazzle featuring a photo of the early morning glow off at The Great Reno Balloon Race - Dawn Patrol in northern Nevada. I've also included one of my favorite videos on YouTube featuring a cool time lapse video of the Dawn Patrol in September 2007. #reno #nevada #photography

Posted via email from Annalee Blysse @ posterous

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Butterfly Nebula Print

Butterfly Emerges from Stellar Demise in Planetary Nebula NGC 6302

From Wikipedia: NGC 6302 (also called the Bug Nebula or Butterfly Nebula), is a bipolar planetary nebula in the constellation Scorpius. It is one of the most interesting and complex planetary nebulae observed. The spectrum of NGC 6302 shows its central star is one of the hottest objects in the galaxy, with a surface temperature in excess of 200,000 K, implying that the star from which it formed must have been very large.

The central star has never been observed and is surrounded by a particularly dense equatorial disc composed of gas and dust. This dense disc is postulated to have caused the star's outflows to form a bipolar structure (Gurzadyan 1997), similar to an hour-glass. This bipolar structure shows many interesting features seen in planetary nebulae such as ionization walls, knots and sharp edges to the lobes.

Link to poster on Zazzle: Butterfly Nebula Print

Butterfly Nebula Print print
#NASA #hubble #posters

Posted via email from Annalee Blysse @ posterous

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

I'd read a post at Holy Kaw! about Avatar is Pocahontas in Space referring to the not-so-original plot line of the major money maker. While I was watching the movie yesterday for my first time, I had a handful of Holy Kaw moments!

I couldn't help but note the striking similarities not with Pocahantas but with my own novel Starlit Destiny that was published years ago ... so many years ago you can't buy it new at Amazon anymore. Starlit Destiny is still available in print and download at New Concepts Publishing.

Starlit Destiny and Avatar both have a soldier hero from a technological society that arrives to meet a heroine on a backward world ... and the backward planet needs saving. So, Avatar has the same overall plot as my novel. That isn't suprising. The notion of technology versus tradition has been used over and over again by writers.

There is a difference in how I carry out the overall plot in my novel. In Starlit Destiny, the hero doesn't stay to learn how to get green and go native. Instead, it is the heroine that will leave her planet Lyask so that she will be the first of her kind to understand the technology. To me, it seems more realistic to use the off-world laws and technology to save the planet. But, well, I haven't made a billion dollars so what do I know?

Also, the heroine is human. In my story, mankind left earth and some colonists got cut off and lost. The hero was among the first to rediscover the planet Lyask after thousands of years separation. The hero in Starlit Destiny was a soldier, but he went AWOL before he met the heroine because he had that I-didn't-sign-up-for-this-shit moment like the woman pilot in Avatar.

Which brings me back to another big, big similarity that freaked me out. The planet Lyask is a rainforest-style world too ... but in a temperate zone. In my story there are massives trees on Lyask that even glow in the dark! The trees in my novel are connected via roots ... not just to each other, but they connect the entire planet of Lyask in a WWW of sorts. Just like in Avatar, the heroine can tap into this network. But, she doesn't connect via hardwire though through a funky ponytail. The heroine in my novel's connection with the spirit trees is psychic. Basically, the essense of the spirit trees on Lyask is spiritual and not biological. They glow in the dark, but it is an aura that is glowing and not something physical in the trees.

Also different is that the trees in my book can hide their aura from people they don't want to communicate with. So, the hero can see them, but others off-worlder can't see the tree's lights and only think of the forests as kinda spooky. Not all the people of Lyask can tap into this connection and communicate with the trees, or use them to communicate with others across their planet. Why? Because, not all the people of Lyask are nature gurus. There are bad guy Lyaskans. (In other words: I'm Native Alaskan, and have experienced that some of my friends and relatives are just as good as trashing up the environment as whites.)

Like in the movie Avatar, there are areas of the planet Lyask in my book that technology doesn't work around the forests, and can also be repelled. In my novel the trees can protect themselves. So, the aura is a field of energy that can deflect the energy in futuristic weapons. So, that is a big difference. When people fire a weapon at the trees, the trees bounce the energy back. This is an important part of the final battle scene in my novel.

Avatar, the technological society wants is a rock with special qualities that is found beneath a sacred tree. Once again, same as in my book. In Starlit Destiny there are deposts if a gem with fantastic properties that the technological society want at any cost. The deposits (I call them nodes) tend to be found beneath trees. One difference though is that the off-worlders in my novel haven't found all the largest deposits though because if technology doesn't work in the forests thay can't find them. They can only assume the deposits are there. In my novel the gems with special qualities are amber-like fossilized tree sap. So far, in my novel, the off-world visitors have only found gems that have been washed ashore from deposts under the sea where ancient forests that are no more were once located.

Another similarity that James Cameron could have never known about is that there are flying dragon creatures in the universe of my novels. But, my dragons live on another planet and are shape-shifting human beings. I mostly finished one short story featuring those dragons ... but never did try to get it published. And, I had started the third novel in series which the heroine's of Starlit Destiny's twin sister meeting her dragon hero.

One of the reviews of my novel Starlit Destiny from when it was new said my story reminded them of Star Wars. Back then I was thinking ... huh? Star Wars? How did they get that? To me there were few paralells and I'd taken no inspiration from Star Wars at all. I basically wrote a story of cowboys versus Indians in space. The opening scene with hero is on desert planet in a cowboy hat, when he meets the heroins she is in an animal skin dress. The reviewer should have accused me of copying Pocahantas. But, I really didn't. The theme remains important to me because I'm Native Alaskan and White European. Environment versus technology. My whole life has been about wanting a bit of both cultures.

Anyway, at least the reviewers can't accuse me of copying Avatar because I wrote my novel years ago. I just didn't make a billion bucks doing it. Ah, gee.