A Little Humor for Your Day – A Fairy Tale for Assertive Women

A Fairy Tale for Assertive Women

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.

The frog hopped into the Princess’ lap and said: “Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome Prince, until an evil Witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young Prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and setup housekeeping in yon castle with my Mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so.”

That night, on a repast of lightly sauted frogs legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled to herself and thought: “I don’t think so.”



Turok’s Cabana

Astronomy Picture of the Day – The Antlia Cluster of Galaxies

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 October 18

The Antlia Cluster of Galaxies
Image Credit & Copyright: Rolf OlsenExplanation: Galaxies dot the sky in this impressively wide and deep image of the Antlia Cluster. The third closest cluster of galaxies to Earth after Virgo and Fornax, the Antlia cluster is known for its compactness and its high fraction of elliptical galaxies over (spirals. Antlia, cataloged as Abell S0636, spans about 2 million light years and lies about 130 million light years away toward the constellation of the Air Pump (Antlia). The cluster has two prominent galaxy groups – bottom center and upper left — among its over 200 galactic members, but no single central dominant galaxy. The vertical red ribbon of gas on the left is thought related to the foreground Antlia supernova remnant and not associated with the cluster. The featured image composite, taken from New Zealand, resulted from 150+ hours of exposures taken over six months.

Earth Sky News for October 18 – 19: Moon occults Aldebaran October 18-19

Moon occults Aldebaran October 18-19
By Bruce McClure

Tonight – October 18, 2016 – features the bright waning gibbous moon close to the star Aldebaran or occulting (covering over) Aldebaran. The two luminaries rise over the eastern horizon by mid-evening tonight at mid-northern latitudes – and at late night at southerly latitudes. Last night, on October 17, a larger waning gibbous moon shone closer to the Pleiades star cluster. With the moon shining so close to Aldebaran, the fiery eye of the Bull, it might be hard to spot Aldebaran in the lunar glare. If so, try blocking out the moon with your finger, and then look for the star Aldebaran. The Pleiades star cluster – also known as the Seven Sisters – will probably be even harder than Aldebaran to see in tonight’s moon-drenched sky, but you’ll enjoy them, too, if you can pick them out.

After the moon, Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster rise tonight, the threesome goes westward across the sky for rest of the night. From temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, the moon, Aldebaran and Pleiades probably won’t rise till after bedtime, in which case you can view the moon, Aldebaran and the Pleiades before dawn on October 19.

The moon will actually occult – cover over – the star Aldebaran for a portion of the night tonight (October 18-19) from much of the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and southeast Canada. Aldebaran will disappear behind the lit side of the moon and reappear on the moon’s dark side.

We give the occultation times for various North American localities in their respective time zones. No need to convert from Universal Time to local time!

Halifax, Nova Scotia (October 19, 2016)
Occultation begins: 2:08 a.m. Atlantic Daylight Time
Occultation ends: 3:06 a.m. Atlantic Daylight Time

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (October 19, 2016)
Occultation begins: 1:41 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Occultation ends: 2:48 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time

Austin, Texas (October 19, 2016)
Occultation begins: 12:04 a.m. Central Daylight Time
Occultation ends: 1:03 a.m. Central Daylight Time

Santa Fe, New Mexico (October 18, 2016)
Occultation begins: 10:44 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time
Occultation ends: 11:46 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time

San Diego, California (October 18, 2016)
Occultation begins 10:15 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time
Occultation ends: 10:36 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Click here to find out when the moon occults Aldebaran at many, many other localities in the occultation viewing area. The listed times on this page are given in Universal Time and must be converted to local time. The occultation begins when Aldebaran slips behind the lit side of the waning gibbous moon, and the occultation ends when this star comes out again from behind the dark side of the moon.

To convert from Universal Time (UT):

Newfoundland Daylight Time: UT – 2.5 hours
Atlantic Daylight Time: UT – 3 hours
Eastern Daylight Time: UT – 4 hours
Central Daylight Time: UT – 5 hours
Mountain Daylight Time: UT – 6 hours
Pacific Daylight Time: UT – 7 hours

If you live along the white line on the map near the top of this post, you can watch a grazing occultation, which means the star will flit in and out of view along the moon’s limb. Click here for more graze maps and information.

Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster return to the same place in the sky about 4 minutes earlier every night. The moon, on the other hand, rises an average 50 minutes later daily. So several days from now, after the moon has left Taurus, be sure to see the starlit Bull in all his majesty, and the star Aldebaran plus the beautiful Pleiades cluster in a moon-free sky!

Bottom line: The moon is near Aldebaran on the night of October 18, 2016. You’ll recognize the Pleiades as a tiny misty dipper. It’s sometimes called the Seven Sisters. Aldebaran will be the bright, reddish star nearby.



Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky’s popular Tonight pages since 2004. He’s a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.

Article originally published on EarthSky

Your Daily Planet Tracker for Oct. 18th: Mercury in Libra, Now Until Oct 24, 2016







Mercury in Libra

Now Until Oct 24, 2016

Mercury, the communication planet, should be feeling comfortable in the sociable air sign of Libra. The air element is very much about the mind and communication, so it fits very nicely with Mercury’s meaning. Libra is about building bridges and overcoming differences. It recognizes that there is more than one side to any question and seeks to harmonize opposing points of view. Diplomacy, then, is likely to be featured at this time, both in the larger public arena and in our personal lives.

Mercury in Libra can soften speech to ensure peaceful relationships. It’s necessary at times to bring down the noise level so that both sides can be heard. This is, therefore, a good time to heal wounds caused by misunderstandings or different views of reality.

The challenge of this period is that the tendency for being nice can sometimes overwhelm the necessity of being truthful. Being kind then becomes a barrier to real communication. Ideally, we can recognize (in Libra’s well-balanced manner) that there are many ways to connect with one another, and that agreement is not the only one. Expressing opposing points of view with respect and openness is a terrific way to strengthen any relationship. It is about being fair enough to yourself and others to both listen and be heard.

Famous folks born with Mercury in Libra include singers Bruce Springsteen, Olivia Newton-John, Cass Elliott, Art Garfunkel and ultra-charming Julio Iglesias. Actors Jeremy Irons, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Reeves, Richard Harris and Susan Sarandon are part of this group.

Sports stars Doug Flutie, Brett Favre and Scotty Pippen were born with Mercury in Libra, too. Writers Carrie Fisher, Stephen King, Michael Crichton and Ken Kesey have entertained us with their thoughts. David Copperfield has shown sleight of hand, Evel Knievel a crazy kind of courage and Larry Flynt more than we really want to see. Mercury in Libra is also found in the charts of artist Peter Max, comedian-activist Dick Gregory, director Penny Marshall and poet-statesman Vaclav Havel.


Part of the Daily Insight Group

Your Charm for October 18 is the Greek Vowels

Your Charm for Today

Today’s Meaning:
This aspect will be influenced by a sudden strong stroke of good fortune. This good fortune will be unpredictable and will last only a short time. It will bring with it good health, happiness and success.

General Description:
This talisman was a great favorite in olden times, and was composed of the Seven Vowels of the Greek Alphabet. The desired favours were supposed to be granted upon the correct utterance of the forty-nine different sounds of the Seven Vowels, each vowel having seven distinct methods of expression. Of the many benefits supposed to be conferred were – good health, happiness, wisdom, fortune, foresight, success in all undertakings, complete protection from moral, as well as physical ills, and control over the powers of darkness. The ancients thought that there was an affinity between the seven vowels and the seven planets which they believed kept this earth in existence.