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Calendar day; October 26, 2015

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Monday, the 26th of October, 2015 is the 299th day in 2015 and in the 44th calendar week.
General Events:
Intersex Awareness Day
October 26, 2015 in the World
Intersex Awareness Day is observed on October 26, 2015. Intersex Awareness Day (also spelled as Inter Sex Awareness Day or abbreviated as IAD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day designed to highlight the challenges faced by intersex individuals. IAD is an international day of grass-roots action to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children.
On October 26, 1996, intersex activists from Intersex Society of North America and allies from Transexual Menace held the first public intersex demonstration in Boston, where American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. Intersex is a variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, and/or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female.
Intersex infants with ambiguous outer genitalia may be surgically ‘corrected’ to more easily fit into a socially accepted sex category. Others may opt, in adulthood, for surgical procedures in order to align their physical sex characteristics with their gender identity or the sex category to which they were assigned at birth. Others will not become aware that they are intersex – unless they receive genetic testing – because it does not manifest in their phenotype.
Where is Intersex Awareness Day?
Worldwide
Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night
October 26, 2015 in the World
With Halloween only five days away, it’s only fitting that October 26 is Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night! We’re sure at one point in your life you’ve wanted to let out a giant howl at that celestial orb in the sky, so tonight is the night to release your inner wolf. This year, it’s not a full moon, but it’s getting close. Technically, the moon is waxing gibbous and won’t reach full until Monday, but that’s no reason to stop howling at it!
Wolves have been connected with howling at the moon for centuries. Images of wolves and moons have been traced back to the Stone Age, while Roman and Greek goddesses of the moon were also known for keeping dogs and wolves in their company. There were even some Native American cultures that believed wolves summoned the moon to rise every night.
Are wolves really howling at the moon though? Experts say this popular belief is not actually true. Wolves are nocturnal creatures, and because they travel in packs, they often howl to communicate with other members of their pack. While the way they hold their heads toward the sky makes it look as though these nighttime creatures are communicating with the moon, they do this because it helps their howls carry a further distance. The incredibly vocal wolf howl can carry up to 6 miles in wooded areas, and up to 10 miles in areas where there are no trees.
This connection between wolves and the moon helped to contribute to the popular mythical creature of the werewolf. Werewolves or “lycanthropes” are humans who have the ability to transform into a wolf or wolf-like being. In most werewolf mythology, this transformation takes place whenever there is a full moon.
After you’ve given a proper nighttime howl tonight, you can continue your celebration by watching any of the various werewolf movies or television shows.
Where is the event?
Worldwide
Angam Day 2015
October 26, 2015 in Republic of Nauru
Angam Day is celebrated on October 26, 2015. Angam Day is a holiday recognized in the Republic of Nauru. Angam Day is a day of celebration and a time of reflection for the Nauruan people. Twice in its history, the Nauruan population fell below 1,500, and the Nauruan ethnic group have been considered in danger of extinction. On both occasions the Nauruan population recovered. Upon eclipsing a population of 1,500, a number considered to be the minimum required for the survival of a race, Angam Day was declared. The first Angam was in 1932 and the second occasion in 1949.
Where is Angam Day?
Nationwide Republic of Nauru
October Holiday
October 26, 2015 in Ireland
October Holiday takes place on October 26, 2015. In Ireland, the October Holiday (sometimes called the October Bank Holiday) is observed on the last Monday of October. Usually, but not always, this is the day after the end of Western European Summer Time. It was introduced in 1977.
Where is October Holiday?
Nationwide Ireland
National Mincemeat Day
October 26, 2015 in the USA
National Mincemeat Day takes place on October 26, 2015. Mincemeat is a mixture of chopped dried fruit, distilled spirits and spices, and sometimes beef suet, beef, or venison. Originally, mincemeat always contained meat.
Many modern recipes contain beef suet, though vegetable shortening is sometimes used in its place. Variants of mincemeat are found in Australia, Brittany, Canada, northern Europe, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. In some countries the term mincemeat refers to minced or ground meat.
Mincemeat is frequently consumed during the Christmas holiday season when mince pies or mincemeat tarts are served. In the northeast United States, mincemeat pies are also a traditional part of the Thanksgiving holiday, sometimes served with a piece of Cheddar cheese.
Where is the event?
Nationwide USA
Historical Events on 26th October:
1387 – Amsterdam buccaneer Herman of Kuinre sign peace
1492 – Lead pencils first used
1795 – Pinckney’s Treaty between Spain & US is signed, establishing southern boundary of US & giving Americans right to send goods down Mississippi
1830 – Belgian rebels occupy Antwerp
1858 – Hamilton Smith patents rotary washing machine
1863 – International conference begins in Geneva aimed at improving medical conditions on battlefields – beginning of the Red Cross
1881 – Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday & Clanton involved in gunfight at OK Corral, in Tombstone, Az
1901 – First recorded use of “getaway car” occurs after holding up a shop in Paris
1905 – Union of Sweden & Norway ends
1916 – Margaret Sanger arrested for obscenity (advocating birth control)
1934 – While Wash player-mgr Joe Cronin honeymoons with Mildred Robertson owner Clark Griffith’s niece & adopted daughter, he is sold to Red Sox
1947 – The British Military Occupation ends in Iraq
1950 – Robert McClure sights the fabled Northwest Passage for the first time (from Banks Island towards Melville Island)
1950 – Mother Teresa founds Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India
1956 – UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency statute approved
1962 – Nikita Khrushchev sends note to JFK offering to withdraw his missiles from Cuba if US closed its bases in Turkey: offer is rejected
1967 – Shah of Iran crowns himself after 26 years on Peacock Throne
1976 – Trinidad & Tobago becomes a republic
1977 – The last natural case of smallpox was discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination
1984 – “The Terminator” directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton is released in the US
1987 – Head of Salvadoran Human Rights Comm assassinated by death squads
1994 – Jordan & Israel sign peace accord
1999 – Britain’s House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament
2001 – The United States passes the USA PATRIOT Act into law

 

Treat for moi

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Witches, Witches

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classic

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V A C A T I O N

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Yep! I’ve decided to take my vacation the week of Halloween! And so every day’s IOTD will have a halloween theme to it. I’ve also updated the blog background, etc. 😉

Today, I’m at work but come 20:01 I’m out and on vacation! WoooHoooo!

Yesterday was going to be a Star Trek: Enterprise boxed set marathon-but hubs vetoed that. lol 😛

So tonight guess what I’m doing? YEP!

then tomorrow time to drag out all the halloweenie type movies for viewing during the week!

I have another doctor’s appt on Friday.

and I hope to have results from the other day’s appt as well. Yeah, I skipped Friday and Saturday-was recovering.

but time to get in the mood!

IOTD *Halloween* countdown

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Interesting!

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An artist’s conception of a Dyson sphere, or megastructure.

unnamed

Image is public domain art by CapnHack

Did you see the stories late last week about the Kepler space telescope’s discovery of an oddly dimming star – some 1,500 light-years from Earth – hypothesized to harbor a potential, but far from definitely proven, alien megastructure? This week, according to Space.com, astronomers began using a radio telescope northeast of San Francisco – called the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) – to try to detect possible signals coming from the vicinity of this bizarre and now-controversial star, which is known to astronomers as

.

Here’s a Q & A about this story, which has captured so much attention and is still unfolding.

What is an alien megastructure? If we, as a civilization, could collect all of our sun’s energy, we’d do it with some sort of megastructure, otherwise known as a Dyson sphere or a Dyson shell. See the infographic at the bottom of this post to learn more about them. It was only a month ago that a Dutch astronomer released a statement saying in no uncertain terms that – since sensitive new telescopes now permit astronomers to detect waste heat expected from an advanced alien civilization known as a Kardashev Type III civilization, which would collect all the energy of an entire galaxy, and since no such waste heat has been detected – advanced civilizations using megastructures are very rare or entirely absent from the local universe. Taken together, the current story about a possible alien megastructure around a single star, and September’s story about the absence of megastructures on a galactic scale, don’t really add up to anything … but do help illustrate the fact that no definite sign of alien life has been detected here.

When and how did the story break about KIC 8462852? Professional astronomers analyzing data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope (a famed planet-finding telescope), and citizen scientists from the Planet Hunters crowdsourcing program, have been studying this star. They noticed it from among the 150,000 stars stars examined by Kepler, and noted that it is “strange” and “bizarre.” Tabetha Boyajian, a postdoc at Yale who oversees Planet Hunters, submitted a paper about KIC 8462852 on September 11 to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The paper passed mostly unnoticed until Ross Andersen published a story about it on October 13 at TheAtlantic.com. The story – titled The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy – started a scramble among science media outlets to publicize the strange case of KIC 8462852.

What has been found, exactly? The Kepler telescope looks for planets by seeking tiny dips in the light of stars. Such dips are often caused by distant, unknown planets transiting – or passing in front of – their stars. But the signal from KIC 8462852 is strange. The dimming events observed from this star were very strong. It appears that anywhere from a fraction-of-a-percent to around 20 percent of the star’s light is sometimes blocked. The astronomers thus rule out a planet – even a huge planet – crossing in front of the star as the cause. The scale is just too large for that. Ross Andersen wrote at TheAtlantic.com:

 The light pattern suggests there is a big mess of matter circling the star, in tight formation. That would be expected if the star were young …But this unusual star isn’t young. If it were young, it would be surrounded by dust that would give off extra infrared light. There doesn’t seem to be an excess of infrared light around this star.

 It appears to be mature.

So the uproar over a possible megastructure surrounding KIC 8462852 stems from just a dip in the star’s light, observed by the Kepler telescope. It is a very intriguing dip.

Could it be instrument error? The astronomers now say no, it could not. Something strange is going on here.

Why would astronomers link KIC 8462852 with alien civilizations? Astronomers don’t like to assign exotic explanations for processes that nearly always turn out to be natural and ordinary. In theSeptember 11 paper about the star, Boyajian and her colleagues explored some scenarios that might explain the pattern naturally, for example, an impact on a planetary scale, like the one that created our moon. They did not say “megastructure.”

But, later, another astronomer did say it. That astronomer was Jason Wright of Penn State University, who was quoted in the article at TheAtlantic.com as saying:

When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it      looked. Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.

Wright said he will be publishing an alternative interpretation of the light pattern, suggesting that it is consistent with a “swarm of megastructures,” perhaps light collectors aimed at the star itself, designed to capture the energy of KIC 8462852. This is clearly something our own civilization can’t do yet, although I’ve heard people say we are only a few hundred years from taking the first steps toward it.

What other explanations might there be? Let me emphasize again that astronomers, as a rule, do not like to go out on a limb and rarely prefer exotic explanations over simple ones. And indeed there are explanations unconnected with alien civilizations that could work to explain KIC 8462852’s weird light pattern. The best story I saw about this was from Ethan Siegel, writing in Forbes on October 16. He wrote:

 On the one hand, it could, of course, simply be aliens. But there are plenty of astrophysical explanations that could explain these light curves:

    This could be a young star with a protoplanetary disk still around it, full of dust and debris, that blocks the light at intermittent levels depending on the orientation of the disk and the star relative to our line-of-sight.

    There could be a series of giant planets with tremendous ‘ring’ structures that prevent a significant portion of the light from reaching our eyes when they pass across their star’s disk.

    This could be a star that’s undergone a significant mass-ejection event, and when a dense portion of that gas passes between our eyes and the star, a significant fraction of the light gets blocked.

    This could be an older, but violent solar system, where planets crash together and leave large amounts of debris around their star.

    Or it could be a result of a large number of comet-like objects swarming around the star, blocking large amounts of light at regular and/or irregular intervals.

He went on to say that the last two explanations are the most likely, in part because the star does appear to have a wide, binary companion. Other stories about KIC 8462852 agree that the leading hypothesis at the moment involves a swarm of comets sent hurtling toward the star by another star. In any case, so far, KIC 8462852 lacks the characteristic infrared signatures you’d expect to see if these truly were signs of alien intelligence.

What will astronomers do next? They’ll do what they always do … think, talk to each other, perhaps re-analyze some of the existing data, and try to collect and analyze more data. As mentioned at the top of this post, they began this week to peer at KIC 8462852 with a small radio telescope, the Allen Telescope Array near San Francisco. If they find something interesting, they hope to follow up with the Very Large Array (VLA) near Socorro, New Mexico.

Will they get the answer then? Will they be able to say for sure that KIC 8462852 is emitting radio waves from an alien civilization’s network of radio stations, much like those found on Earth? Or perhaps even find an intentional signal?

Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

More about Dyson spheres, or megastructures: http://www.space.com/24276-dyson-spheres-how-advanced-alien-civilizations-would-conquer-the-galaxy-infographic.html

 

Thank you very much, Skeen!!! 😀 

 

IOTD

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