When anything is blocking my head or there’s worry in my life, I just go sit in Mars or something and look back here at Earth. All you can see is this tiny speck. You don’t see the fear. You don’t see the pain. You don’t see thought. It’s just one solid speck. Then nothing really matters. It just doesn’t.
—  Heath Ledger 

Beyond sniff tests and five-second rules.

Today countless children and grown-ups will conduct an internal debate over spilled pretzels and cookies—To eat or not to eat? While klutzes can get away with rolling the dice, our food suppliers can’t be so cavalier. That’s why Mars and IBM Research are teaming up to form a global consortium that will help safeguard the food chain from farm to table. They’re mapping and analyzing ingredients at the genomic level, keeping us all safer from stomach-churning abnormalities—The kinds you can’t detect with the “sniff test.” Give the podcast a listen

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Occasionally a scientific advance or discovery can be as everyday as finding something that was misplaced.  But in this case the thing misplaced was the Beagle 2 Mars lander costing over 50 million pounds and lost on the surface of another planet a hunded million miles from Earth.  Launched June 2, 2003 and landing on Mars on December 25, 2003, the Beagle 2 failed to check in, and Mission scientists spent the month of January 2004 trying to find a signal or traces of the landing.  Early in February, the mission was declared lost.  Until two weeks ago when the HiRISE camera on NASAs Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter found the Beagle 2 not far from its intended landing site, with what appears to be a small debris spread, though mission specialists are careful to say that this is not a crash site.  

The Beagle 2 was named in honor of Charles Darwin’s ship, the HMS Beagle, launched on May 11, 1820 by the English Royal Navy at a cost of 7803 English pounds.  The HMS Beagle did not see active service for several years, and its second mission carried a young Darwin around the world.  The Beagle was decommissioned in 1845 and broken apart for scrap in 1870.  The contribution made to science by the Beagle is immense, launching the career of Darwin and changing the face of biology.  It was not uncommon for the British Navy to name a ship after a dog-of the six survey ships commissioned, all had fanciful or animal names: H.M.S. Barracouta was the 1st and was the Beagle’s sister ship, but also the Chanticleer, Fairy, Saracen and Scorpion.  Legend says that William the Conquerer brought the beagle to England from France, and although the word begle first appears in 15 century without precedent, the word is though to derive from the French becguele meaning a noisy person (mouthy), for the dog’s bay and bark.  

This post for my friend Tina Chiu and of the Chiu family in honor of Lani.  A good Beagle is hard to find!

Artists conception of the Beagle 2 deployed on Mars courtesy Beagle 2.  Visit their website for more.  

Image of the HMS Beagle via wikipedia from HMS Beagle at Tierra del Fuego (painted by Conrad Martens). HMS Beagle in the seaways of Tierra del Fuego, painting by Conrad Martens during the voyage of theBeagle (1831-1836), from The Illustrated Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, abridged and illustrated by Richard Leakey ISBN 0-571-14586-8.

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Horoscope for Thursday *01/29/15*

Crystals for the day: Golden Tiger Eye & Nephrite Jade.
While yesterday’s internal influence is diminished, the extroverted energy of Mars and Uranus picks up speed to carry you forward. You not only see the necessity and the benefits of bringing change into your life, but you are ready to actively and progressively go after it.