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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 17, 2017 8:49 am 
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What Happened To Former 'Mummy' Star Brendan Fraser?

Amid a wave of scathing reviews for the new Tom Cruise film "The Mummy," there’s never been a better time to ask: What in the world happened to Brendan Fraser?

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The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise

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Brendan Fraser

The former star of the original franchise is noticeably absent from the Tom Cruise-led reboot. In fact, Fraser’s been generally absent from movies for quite a while now. The 48-year-old actor enjoyed years of success following his breakout role in 1992’s "Encino Man," but his career has taken a nosedive in recent years after a few bad movie choices.

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In the early to mid-’00s, Fraser was riding high on the back of box office hits like "Bedazzled," "The Quiet American," "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "George of the Jungle."

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But in 2008, he chose to do the third "Mummy" movie titled "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." It was a big mistake.

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The movie was widely panned by critics, and put a dent in Fraser’s previously stellar reputation.

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But the real kicker came when he was dropped from "Journey to the Center of the Earth 2" in favor of Dwayne Johnson that same year. What followed for the actor was a few independent movies, along with some voice parts in animations — and it’s now been four years since Fraser appeared on the big screen.

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But it’s obvious fans still have love for the original "Mummy" star. Last year, a change.org petition called "Bring Brendan Fraser back into film/television" amassed more than 46,000 signatures. Luckily, the signatories appear to have gotten their wish: Fraser will next appear in director Danny Boyle’s new series "Trust" alongside Hilary Swank and Donald Sutherland, to be released in 2018.

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FX series: Trust

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 18, 2017 8:44 am 
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“God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it .. Dad”

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 18, 2017 11:26 am 
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Skylodge Adventure Suites Are Transparent Pods Dangling High Above Peru's Sacred Valley

Sometimes you want to get dirty in the wilderness during the day, but kick back in luxury at night. For that, Natura Vive Skylodge Adventure Suites are just the ticket. The suites are transparent pods suspended along the mountainside 1,300 feet (400 meters) above the ground of Peru's Sacred Valley. Talk about a bird's eye view!

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The Skylodge is owned and operated by two entrepreneurs who also happen to be seasoned climbers, so it comes as no surprise that you need a sense of adventure to get there. They're only accessible by a 1,300-foot (396-meters) climb or a zipline-assisted hike. The same goes for the descent. But once you get inside, it's all luxury.

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Each pod has beds with cotton sheets and down comforters, a dining area, and a separate bathroom. There's a platform above the pods where you can have breakfast, and you can even have a gourmet dinner and a bottle of wine brought to your pod. It'll certainly be your most luxurious experience on top of a mountain. (In your face, glamping!)

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The pods are 24 feet by 8 feet (7.3 meters by 2.4 meters) and made of aerospace aluminum and weather-resistant polycarbonate. Because they're see-through, guests can enjoy stunning 300-degree panoramic views of the valley below and the stars above, and also watch condors (or what the hosts refer to as "your sky neighbors") fly by. The accommodations are also considerably eco-friendly, with interiors that are lit by solar power and bathrooms with dry, eco-friendly toilets.

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There are only 3 suites that, together, can accommodate 8 total guests, so I'd advise booking ahead.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 18, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Regarding fathers:

:love: My Dad's been gone for 14 years. I still think about him everyday. I was his little girl. :love:


Thanks so much for continuing to post, Henry. Very educational and touching.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 18, 2017 1:22 pm 
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aspenleaf wrote:
Regarding fathers:

:love: My Dad's been gone for 14 years. I still think about him everyday. :love:


Ditto here. Thanks for the kind words. :hugegrin:

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 19, 2017 8:47 am 
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12-Year-Old Rajgauri Pawar Has A Higher IQ Than Einstein

What makes someone a "genius"? According to the British Mensa IQ test, the magic score is 140. In April 2017, a 12-year-old girl named Rajgauri Pawar beat this benchmark by a whopping 22 points. Yep—Pawar earned a score of 162, which is two points higher than the scores of both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

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Rajgauri Pawar (center) and “friends”

It's no easy feat to join the British Mensa IQ Society—your IQ must score in the top 2 percent. But Pawar ranks among the top one percent of test takers, and, according to the Independent, she scored "the highest possible IQ for someone who is younger than 18." If that's not impressive enough, Pawar is one of only 20,000 people to achieve a score of 162 worldwide.

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This young lady isn't just smart, she's also humble. When compared to Einstein and Hawking, Pawar replies: "I'm a bit happy, but I don't think I should be compared with them because they're, like—really great, and I don't think I am." Her father, Dr. Surajkumar Pawar, attributes some of his daughter's success to the support of her teachers at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls. Because of them, Dr. Pawar tells the Times of India, Pawar "enjoys every day at school."

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Inspiration at its finest.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 20, 2017 8:53 am 
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Earth Twinkles From Space, And Now We Know Why

Twinkle twinkle little... Earth? Yep, our planet does indeed sparkle from space—just like stars. But why? This question has perplexed many scientists for years, including famed astronomer Carl Sagan. That is, until now. In a May 2017 study, a team of NASA researchers explained the source of Earth's shimmer: horizontal ice.

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The globe's glitter was first mentioned by Sagan in his 1993 paper about the discoveries of the Galileo spacecraft. Sagan noticed that the shimmers appeared over the oceans, which makes sense, since the water's surface reflects light. But they were later documented by the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DISCOVR) satellite, a spacecraft tasked with keeping tabs on mass coronal ejections from the sun that began making observations in 2015. The DISCOVR images saw glimmer over land, as well.

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It turns out that the common denominator wasn't bodies of water—it was wispy cirrus clouds full of ice crystals. Alexander Marshak, a NASA research scientist and lead author of the May 2017 study, explained how these glints work to the New York Times: when they're oriented just so, tiny ice particles floating high within clouds can reflect sunlight and give off a dazzling reflection. In a way, Sagan was correct when he pointed to water as the Earth's sparkling source—it's just that the water was frozen, and located many miles above the ocean.

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It's worth noting that stars shimmer for a much different reason—it's due to the way our atmosphere refracts the light coming from them, showing us an ever-shifting light source. As far as planets go, however, this new discovery could mean big things in the search for other water-rich planets. If spacecraft like Galileo can see glints from our planet from that far away, we may be able to see the shimmer of ice crystals on alien worlds, as well.

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Ceres

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 21, 2017 8:37 am 
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Emmy Noether's Place

If you're a diehard music fan, you can always stay in a rock 'n' roll themed hotel. If you're Disney-obsessed, you have your pick of Mickey-centric resorts.

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Disney themed resort attraction

But what if you just love math and science?

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Accommodations for that particular passion have been hard to come by—until 2017, that is, when Hotel EMC2 opened in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. The space isn't just STEM-themed; it's entirely designed to honor Emmy Noether, one of science and math history's most overlooked influencers.

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Emmy Noether

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Emmy’s theorem on display at EMC2

If you were ever confused about which hotel you walked into, Hotel EMC2 makes sure you know the moment you get a glimpse of the lobby. Greeting you is a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci: "Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses—especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else."

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Those words go beyond just being inspirational—they're the essence of the interior design. The Marriott Autograph Collection hotel actually commissioned The Scientist in Residence at The Art Institute of Chicago, Eugenia Cheng, to be the Scientist in Residence at Hotel EMC2. Her influence can be seen throughout the hotel, especially in chalkboard art pieces that tell the stories of her life and work. One series uses brilliant color and easy-to-follow diagrams to explain the laws of symmetry, Noether's crowning achievement. In others, you learn more about the woman and mathematician in vibrant detail.

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Eugenia Cheng

Born in Germany in 1882, Emmy Noether didn't study mathematics as a child, preferring to focus on learning foreign languages. Her father was a math professor at the local university, however, so it was no surprise that at 18, she expressed a wish to take college math classes. Although there were rules against women enrolling in college, Noether stormed ahead and eventually received her PhD with a dissertation on abstract algebra.

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When she came to the United States from Germany, she collaborated with some of math's most important figures. One of those was none other than Albert Einstein, who she helped develop the general theory of relativity—the same equation that inspired this hotel's name. It's no wonder, then, that she is widely considered the most important woman in math history.

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Despite being described by Einstein as "the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began," Emmy Noether's name remains in obscurity. But that could be changing today—at the very least for all the people who stay at Hotel EMC2 and feel inspired to share her story.

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Post Posted: Jun 22, 2017 8:34 am 
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Juneteenth Is The Important American Holiday You May Not Have Heard Of

Between Memorial Day and Independence Day is another important American holiday. And, no, its main features don't include fireworks and six packs. The holiday is Juneteenth.

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It lies on June 19th and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. As described by Juneteenth.com, "Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free."

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Gen. Gordon Granger

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Emancipation announced

Note that this announcement came a whole two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, the document that freed the slaves and became official on January 1, 1863.

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Emancipation Proclamation

So why the delay? As Juneteenth.com explains, "The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger's regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance."

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Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant

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The headline

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Post Posted: Jun 22, 2017 7:22 pm 
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The primary function of the vocal cords is not to speak, but to cover the trachea so that food is not aspriated into the lungs.

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Post Posted: Jun 23, 2017 8:59 am 
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It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Stratolaunch!

As AC/DC once sang, "It's a long way to the top if you want to rock 'n' roll." Replace "rock 'n'" with "rocket," and you'll get a sense of the challenge long facing engineers and scientists: how to most efficiently move rockets the huge distance from the Earth's surface into the stratosphere.

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The question has become even more pressing as commercial space travel and permanent human colonies in outer space move out of the realm of science fiction and become an inevitability. Entrepreneur and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Stratolaunch represents the next step in that journey: it's a massive aircraft designed to make launching rockets into space easier and more practical.

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Allen has spent the last six years developing the Stratolaunch in pursuit of making low Earth orbit—the "first step" into outer space and where the bulk of space research has occurred—more accessible and routine. In the early-2000s, he joined Scaled Composites (the company owned by retired aerospace Engineer Burt Rutan) to build SpaceShipOne, a reusable space plane designed to carry three humans (including a pilot) into the Earth's atmosphere. In 2004, the aircraft made its maiden voyage as the first privately funded spaceflight. Its success won its creators the 2004 Ansari X Prize, including a sum of $10 million dollars.

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Encouraged by the project's success, Allen soon set his sights on something much bigger. The jaw-dropping Stratolaunch has six 747 aircraft engines, weighs in at 500,000 pounds dry (and has a maximum takeoff weight of 1.3 million pounds), and travels over the ground using 28 wheels.

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Perhaps the most visually impressive is the aircraft's 385-foot wingspan—by comparison, a National Football League field measures 360 feet. The Stratolaunch's massive size adds to its functionality, since it will eventually be able to carry three rockets to a takeoff point 30,000 feet into the sky. While this feat may sound incredible to industry outsiders, the Stratolaunch has already brought in one customer—Orbital ATK has commissioned it to launch its Pegasus XL rocket to send satellites into orbit.

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Stratolaunch with Pegasus XL attached (artist’s conception)

Most people think of rockets as a modern day technology, but their history dates back centuries. The first recorded rockets were made in China in the 1200s, where they were initially used for fireworks, and later warfare.

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As technology advanced over the next three-quarters of a millennium, rockets were made to be bigger and more effective. By the early 1900s, liquid-fuel rockets were being developed in Russia, Germany, and the United States—and were eventually used by the German army to bomb other countries in World War II.

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V-2

Thankfully, the 20th century also saw the development of rockets for progress rather than destruction: during the height of the "space race" in the 1960s, NASA sent astronauts such as John Glenn and Alan Shepard into space using rocket technology and in 1969, United States astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history when they landed on the moon in a Saturn V rocket.

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Saturn V

In the 21st century, rocket technology is becoming more complex (and built on larger scales) than ever before as scientists and researchers explore how humans might one day establish colonies in space. Even by these modern standards, Allen's Stratolaunch is impressive. Now that is has been rolled out, the team will spend the next few years on testing at Mojave Air and Space Port, building towards an anticipated first launch in 2019.

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Post Posted: Jun 24, 2017 8:45 am 
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The Man Who Planned A 17th Century Moon Landing

Dr. John Wilkins, warden of Wadham College at Oxford, was a natural philosopher who lived from 1614 until 1672. While he was an accomplished intellectual who had the freedom to pursue any number of scientific endeavors, Wilkins was fixated on getting to the moon and meeting the inhabitants who surely lived there.

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Dr. John Wilkins

As a clergyman and theologian, Wilkins believed that anything as roomy and Earth-like as the moon must have been created by God for living beings (called Selenites), and he was determined to meet them—despite the fact that he was three centuries ahead of his time.

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17th Century of the moon

In the 1600s, the scientific understanding of gravity and outer space was limited, to put it mildly. Wilkins believed, like many 17th-century scientists, that there was no difference between the atmosphere of Earth and the conditions in space, and that Earth's pull was due to magnetism. It was only reasonable, then, that Wilkins believed a winged chariot with enough speed could lift high enough off the ground to break free of the Earth's magnetic pull and reach the moon.

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With the launch figured out, Wilkins moved on to more pressing issues: how would travelers feed themselves during the journey? He theorized that the main cause of hunger was simply the act of working against gravity, so getting to the moon without being burdened by it would be doable. He also referenced something that echoes to modern ears like deep-space hibernation: "If animals can hibernate, why not humans?" he asked. "Epimenides is said to have slept for 75 years." There was some knowledge at that time about the fact that air gets thinner and colder the higher up you go, but he had a fix for that too: "moistened sponges might help us against its thinness."

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Discourse

How did he do it? He didn't. By studying the way in which birds fly, which also happened to be part of the studies that led to planes and rockets centuries later, Wilkins put his theory to the test with the help of a colleague, Robert Hooke. Neither of the two ever recorded their attempts, just that they performed experiments, so it's somewhat safe to say that it didn't work out. Hooke himself may have been the reason he gave up hope, in fact, since he was part of the team that discovered space wasn't breathable, but was instead a vacuum devoid of oxygen.

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From our modern vantage point, it's easy to ridicule Wilkins' plans as the ignorant ramblings of an overconfident old timer. But his ideas were revolutionary, if only because he was arguably the first to have them. As Oxford's Allan Chapman writes, "As a perceptive young man of twenty-six, as he was in 1640, John Wilkins lived at the 'honeymoon stage' of the scientific revolution, when the old learning was being overthrown, while the possibilities of the new seemed exciting and as yet unbounded." Who could blame him for dreaming big?

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