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Photo: Ring of Water - F/A-18F Super Hornet hits speed of sound, water vapor in the air forms ring cloud around it

ring of water forms in the air as Super Hornet hits the speed of sound

(quote)

An F/A-18F Super Hornet hits the speed of sound. As the plane pushes air away, the temperature drops and water vapor in the air forms a ring cloud around it.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Christopher Pasatieri / Reuters

Original Source: Reuters and Time

Bill Turner treats Zebedee with total kindness, winning over a friend from Nature, going together to the pub for a pint

horse racing trainer Bill Turner learned to ride Zebedee in just two weeks

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A horse racing trainer loves to trot to the pub for a glass of Red Stripe lager - on his zebra. Dad-of-two Bill Turner bought 14-month-old Zebedee for £4,500 from a Dutch game reserve. Bill, 61, said: "He loves being ridden and it means I don't have to worry about being breathalysed."

Zebras are notoriously difficult to break in but the former jump jockey soon coaxed Zebedee to accept a bridle and saddle. In less than three weeks Bill was riding his new mount round his farm. Now Mr Turner rides Zebedee to his local, the King's Arms, for a pint after work.

Bill, who saddled 600 winners in 30 years as a trainer, said: "It's a mile and a half to the pub and Zebedee pricks up his ears every time we go. "The RSPCA says its OK to ride him." Bill's wife Tracy, 61, followed in a lorry on the first pub outing in case Zebedee tired and had to be driven back. But ten-stone Bill said: "He had no trouble and even cantered for a bit. The regulars got an incredible shock when I rode up."

zebras

It was the trainer's lifelong ambition to break and ride a zebra. Bill said: "I've broken hundreds of horses and wanted to try my luck with a zebra. "Very few are ridden in Africa - usually the only way to mount one is to put it in a river." Finally a livestock agent who Bill deals with in Belgium found the zebra for him. Bill said: "They say zebras are so hard to train because they don't have any brains and panic easily. Zebedee gave me a hard time at first, coming at me with his front feet and also biting.  read more »

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. - Author Unknown

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

— Author Unknown

Brief History of Hubble Space Telescope - undergoing final maintenance-and-repair mission before retiring in 2014

Hubble lifts off on board Discovery in 1990

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The $1.5 billion Hubble rocketed to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. It's named after Edwin Hubble, a pioneering American astronomer who furthered our understanding of other galaxies and demonstrated that the universe is continually expanding.

primary mirror, the Hubble Telescope

The Hubble's primary mirror, nearly eight feet across. A flaw in the mirror was discovered after the Hubble was in space; thanks to miscalibrated equipment, its glass had been ground slightly too finely at the edges. Though the imperfection measured just one-fiftieth of the thickness of a piece of paper, it distorted the Hubble's images. Astronauts fixed the problem in 1993.

Hubble Telescope orbits at a speed of five miles per second, 353 miles above Earth

About the size of a large school bus, the Hubble orbits at a speed of five miles per second, 353 miles above Earth. At that velocity it can cross the United States in about 10 minutes and circle the globe in an hour and a half.

Hubble Deep Field - our most detailed view of the universe  read more »

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take..John Burroughs

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

— John Burroughs

"Mutual fear brings Peace,/Till selfish loves increase;/Then Cruelty knits a snare,/& spreads his baits with care"

The Human Abstract

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor,
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.

And mutual fear brings Peace,
Till the selfish loves increase;
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.

He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the ground with tears;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.

Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head,
And the caterpillar and fly
Feed on the Mystery.

And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat,
And the raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.

The gods of the earth and sea
Sought through nature to find this tree,
But their search was all in vain:
There grows one in the human Brain.

— William Blake

Antarctic ice shelves (some intact for 10k yrs) loss may shift axis of Earth. Wilkins Ice Shelf diminished by 30%

the Wilkins Ice Shelf has been cracking in new places recently and images released by the European Space Agency show that it will probably very soon break off entirely. A 62 square mile piece broke off in May 2008

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The Wilkins Ice Shelf has been cracking in new places recently and images released by the European Space Agency show that it will probably very soon break off entirely. A 62 square mile piece broke off in May 2008.

Angelika Humbert of Muenster University stated, “During the last year the ice shelf has lost about 1800 square kilometers (694 square miles), or about 14 percent of its size.” The Wilkins Ice Shelf is currently about the size of Jamaica, though it has already been diminished by about 30 percent.

A seal swims by icebergs off the British Antarctic Survey's Rothera base January 23, 2009. Companies are getting more interested in research into Antarctic life, which has yielded patents helping everything from medicines to ice cream production even though a 47-nation treaty says all science should be made freely available  read more »

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