At some point, you’ve probably heard or seen commercials from utility companies advising people to “call before you dig!”, so that when Johnny DIY decides to dig a new post hole for his mailbox, he doesn’t nick a gas line and blow up the neighborhood or, worse, hack through a fiber optic cable and fuck up everyone’s internet. A Briton by the name of Luke Irwin was laying some electrical cables to his barn so his kids could play table tennis and while he may have checked with the utility companies, he failed to consult his local Roman Historical Records.
Luke was digging a trench for the cable when he found some tiles that looked to belong to a long-buried mosaic. He took a picture of it, sent it off to some historians (who everyone in this article seems to be able to get ahold of with surprising speed), and they responded by excavating his entire backyard. What they found was not just an astonishingly well-preserved Roman mosaic, but an entire freakin’ Roman villa, thought to be one of the largest and most intact villas ever discovered in Great Britain.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star.
Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.
The TRAPPIST-1 system contains a total of seven planets, all around the size of Earth. Three of them around the parent star TRAPPIST-1: e, f and g – dwell in their star’s so-called “habitable zone.” The habitable zone, or Goldilocks zone, is a band around every star (shown in last pic in green) where astronomers have calculated that temperatures are just right – not too hot, not too cold – for liquid water to pool on the surface of an Earth-like world.
The system has been revealed through observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope.
At about 40 light-years (235 trillion miles) from Earth, the system of planets is relatively close to us, in the constellation Aquarius. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets.
Click on the photos to view their captions for more information.
British actor Jason Isaacs, perhaps best known in America for playing Draco’s dad in the Harry Potter franchise, has signed on to play Starfleet’s newest captain in CBS All Access’ upcoming Star Trek Discovery.
All we know so far about Isaacs’ character is his name: Captain Lorca. Oh, and we know what his chair will look like.
The cast also includes The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green as Lorca’s second in command and 30 Rock’s Maulik Pancholy as a Starfleet medical officer. Other roles include Terry Serpico (Army Wives) as a high-ranking Starfleet admiral, Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as another captain and Mary Wiseman (Baskets) as a cadet who will be assigned to Lorca’s ship, the USS Discovery, after graduation.
It’s time for #TrilobiteTuesday! Some of us may imagine that all we need do to find a museum-worthy trilobite is stroll by an appropriately aged sedimentary outcrop. After all, trilobite fossils are omnipresent remnants of creatures that appeared in prodigious numbers throughout the Paleozoic era—a time that traversed more than 270 million years of earth history. But it’s not that easy! The fact is that discovering a trilobite usually takes quite a bit more effort than some may realize, and sometimes it requires a little bit of luck. Perhaps the “classic” example of this occurred when renowned paleontologist Charles Walcott stumbled upon the legendary Burgess Shale in British Columbia during the early years of the 20th Century. Story has it that while traversing a narrow path through the mountains in his search for fossil sites, he got off of his horse to examine the animal’s injured foot. While looking down, he saw a fossil-bearing chunk of matrix, possibly containing a Kootenia burgessensis, pictured here, which had conveniently tumbled down the cliff-side before coming to rest in prime viewing position. Its discovery motivated Walcott to begin extensively exploring the adjoining mountainside until he found the narrow band of Middle Cambrian rock from which the original trilobite had emerged. The rest, as they say, is history.
While Sisko begins on DS9 as a Commander (he is the Commanding Officer of Deep Space Nine the whole time, but doesn’t make Captain until season 3), no Star Trek show has focused on a First Officer becoming a Captain. Casting Sonequa Martin-Green as a Lieutenant Commander and making her the show’s lead is, I think, a big clue about what the show is about.
So, here’s my theory…
I think Isaacs, who plays Captain Lorca, will in some capacity become unable to lead and Lt. Cmdr Rainsford (Martin-Green) will find herself, our lead, as acting Captain. I think the show will, in many ways, be about her learning the role and learning how to command a starship, the tough decisions, the loneliness, the pressure… I think Discovery, as a title, may be about more than space discovery, I think it will be about Rainsford discovering how to be a Captain.
I have a million other theories based on very little, but I think this is likely to be the case. Each Trek has sort of a core conceit that differentiates it (What is Starfleet like on a station instead of a starship? DS9. What if a starship was cut off from the Federation? Voyager.) and I think Discovery will be about learning who you are when circumstances call on you to assume a new, tougher role.
In short, I’m pretty fucking excited about this how!
(My other theories revolve around the show being pretty political and Isaacs’ and Yeoh’s ships are sent on a joint mission to somewhere dangerous and Isaacs becomes a prisoner of war or is somehow abducted. Or, perhaps, he’s a Vulcan captain who’s actually a Romulan spy and maybe is actually the show’s main antagonist. Perhaps Martin-Green doesn’t take command till the season 1 finale, but I think it’s more likely she will become the captain early on in the show. I think something big, a la Battlestar Galactica’s pilot for example, will happen that puts Discovery in a jeopardized position in need of a new Captain and that’s when we see Rainsford step up and have to deal with a ton of crazy intergalactic stuff!)
Rabbit people live in big colonies deep under the soils of Albarda. They use Farmots, giant burrowing creatures to move from one colony to the next. When travelling underground, there is no faster means than riding a Farmot.