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The Pentagon poo-pooed ‘Avengers’ teamup

 

You know all that military action that goes on in a lot of Hollywood blockbuster films? Well, the U.S. government usually likes to get involved to help filmmakers more realistically portray it.

This was not the case with “Marvel’s The Avengers.” The U.S. Defense Department pulled out because they deemed the film too unrealistic.

Perhaps it was the aliens. Or maybe it was the superheroes.

[Related: ‘Growing Pains’ child star’s ‘Avengers’ role]

Well, it was actually the ambiguity of secret military law-enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D., portrayed in the film, that did “Avengers” in.

From a recent Wired report:

“We couldn’t reconcile the unreality of this international organization and our place in it,” Phil Strub, the Defense Department’s Hollywood liaison, tells Danger Room. “To whom did S.H.I.E.L.D. answer? Did we work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? We hit that roadblock and decided we couldn’t do anything” with the film.

(Not to deviate from the topic, but doesn’t Strub have, like, the coolest job on the planet?)

[Related: ‘Avengers’ star Tom Hiddleston told Chris Hemsworth to really hit him]

One example of the U.S. military’s lack of involvement in “Avengers” is the fact that a few of the military’s latest stealth jets that appear in the film were actually added digitally by the studio — they were not real jets provided by the Pentagon, Wired further reports.

The Pentagon has greenlit military involvement, providing drones and jets for films including “Iron Man,” “Transformers,” and “Eagle Eye.” The secretary of the Navy even appears in the upcoming “Battleship,” starring Rihanna and Taylor Kitsch, in theaters May 18th.

But wait.

Like “Avengers,” “Battleship” also portrays an alien invasion. Isn’t THAT unrealistic? (Maybe the Pentagon knows something we don’t. *wink*)

 

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Light from Alien Super-Earth Seen for 1st Time

Light from an alien “super-Earth” twice the size of our own Earth has been detected by a NASA space telescope for the first time in what astronomers are calling a historic achievement.

NASA’s infrared Spitzer Space Telescope spotted light from the alien planet 55 Cancri e, which orbits a star 41 light-years from Earth. A day on the extrasolar planet lasts just 18 hours.

The planet 55 Cancri e was first discovered in 2004 and is not a habitable world. Instead, it is known as a super-Earth because of its size: The world is about twice the width of Earth and is super-dense, with about eight times the mass of Earth.

But until now, scientists have never managed to detect the infrared light from the super-Earth world.

“Spitzer has amazed us yet again,” said Spitzer program scientist Bill Danch of NASA headquarters in Washington in a statement today (May 8). “The spacecraft is pioneering the study of atmospheres of distant planets and paving the way for NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to apply a similar technique on potentially habitable planets.”

 

Spitzer first detected infrared light from an alien planet in 2005. But that world was “hot Jupiter,” a gas giant planet much larger than 55 Cancri e that orbited extremely close to its parent star. While other telescopes have performed similar feats since then, Spitzer’s view of the 55 Cancri e is the first time the light from a rocky super-Earth type planet has been seen, researchers said.

Since the discovery of 55 Cancri e, astronomers have pinned down increasingly strange features about the planet. The researchers already knew it was part of an alien solar system containing five exoplanets centered on the star 55 Cancri in the constellation Cancer (The Crab). [Gallery: The Oozing Planet 55 Cancri e]

But 55 Cancri e stood out because it is ultra-dense and orbits extremely close to its parent star; about 26 times closer than the distance between Mercury and our own sun.

The new Spitzer observations revealed that the star-facing side of 55 Cancri e is extremely hot, with temperatures reaching up to 3,140 degrees Fahrenheit (1,726 degrees Celsius). The planet is likely a dark world that lacks the substantial atmosphere needed to warm its nighttime side, researchers said.

And to top it all off, the planet is oozing.

Past observations of the planet by the Spitzer Space Telescope have suggested that one-fifth of 55 Cancri e is made up of lighter elements, including water. But the extreme temperatures and pressures on 55 Cancri e would create what scientists call a “supercritical fluid” state.

Supercritical fluids can be imagined as a gas in a liquid state, which can occur under extreme pressures and temperatures. On Earth, water can become a supercritical fluid inside some steam engines.

The previous studies of 55 Cancri e were performed by analyzing how the light from its parent star changed as the planet passed in front of it, a technique known as the “transit method.” In the new study, astronomers used the Spitzer Space Telescope to determine the infrared light from 55 Cancri e itself.

Spitzer’s new look at 55 Cancri e is consistent with supercritical-fluid waterworld theory. The planet is likely a rocky world covered with water in a supercritical fluid state and topped off with a steam blanket, researchers said.

“It could be very similar to Neptune, if you pulled Neptune in toward our sun and watched its atmosphere boil away,” said the study’s principal investigator Michaël Gillon of Université de Liège in Belgium. The lead author is Brice-Olivier Demory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

The research is detailed in the Astrophysical Journal.

NASA’s $770 million Spitzer Space Telescope launched in 2003 and is currently in an extended mission to study the universe in infrared light. During that extended mission, telescope engineers modified several settings on the observatory to optimize its alien planet vision, NASA officials said.

The space agency’s next major infrared space observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope slated to launch in 2018, could potentially reveal even more details about 55 Cancri e and other similar super-Earth planets.

“When we conceived of Spitzer more than 40 years ago, exoplanets hadn’t even been discovered,” said Michael Werner, Spitzer project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Because Spitzer was built very well, it’s been able to adapt to this new field and make historic advances such as this.”

Bangla jokes

Bangla poem by rabindranath tagore

Bangla poem by rabindranath tagore

Bangla poem by rabindranath tagore


Bangla Poems

বোঝাপড়া

-রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর

মনেরে আজ কহো? যে
ভাল মন্দ যাহাই আসুক
সত্যরে লও সহজে ||

যাহার লাগি চক্ষু বুঁজি

তাহারে বাদ দিয়াও দেখি
বিশ্ব-ভূবন মস্ত ডাঙ্গর ||

খুব খানিকটা কেঁদে কেটে
অশ্রু ঢেলে ঘড়া ঘড়া

মনের সাথে কোনরকম
করে নে ভাই বোঝাপড়া ||

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

Freedom

Freedom from fear is the freedom
I claim for you my motherland!
Freedom from the burden of the ages, bending your head,
breaking your back, blinding your eyes to the beckoning
call of the future;
Freedom from the shackles of slumber wherewith
you fasten yourself in night’s stillness,
mistrusting the star that speaks of truth’s adventurous paths;
freedom from the anarchy of destiny
whole sails are weakly yielded to the blind uncertain winds,
and the helm to a hand ever rigid and cold as death.
Freedom from the insult of dwelling in a puppet’s world,
where movements are started through brainless wires,
repeated through mindless habits,
where figures wait with patience and obedience for the
master of show,
to be stirred into a mimicry of life.

Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

Fool

O Fool, try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders!
O beggar, to come beg at thy own door!

Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all,
and never look behind in regret.

Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath.
It is unholy—take not thy gifts through its unclean hands.
Accept only what is offered by sacred love.

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore Biography

Tagore

Tagore (Photo credit: nemzetikonyvtar)

Born: May 7, 1861
Died: August 7, 1941
Achievements:Rabindranath Tagore became the first Asian to became Nobel laureate when he won Nobel Prize for his collection of poems, Gitanjali, in 1913; awarded knighthood by the British King George V; established Viswabharati University; two songs from his Rabindrasangit canon are now the national anthems of India and BangladeshRabindranath Tagore was an icon of Indian culture. He was a poet, philosopher, musician, writer, and educationist. Rabindranath Tagore became the first Asian to became Nobel laureate when he won Nobel Prize for his collection of poems, Gitanjali, in 1913. He was popularly called as Gurudev and his songs were popularly known as Rabindrasangeet. Two songs from his Rabindrasangit canon are now the national anthems of India and Bangladesh: the Jana Gana Mana and the Amar Shonar Bangla.

Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861 in a wealthy Brahmin family in Calcutta. He was the ninth son of Debendranath and Sarada Devi. His grandfather Dwarkanath Tagore was a rich landlord and social reformer. Rabindra Nath Tagore had his initial education in Oriental Seminary School. But he did not like the conventional education and started studying at home under several teachers. After undergoing his upanayan (coming-of-age) rite at the age of eleven, Tagore and his father left Calcutta in 1873 to tour India for several months, visiting his father’s Santiniketan estate and Amritsar before reaching the Himalayan hill station of Dalhousie. There, Tagore read biographies, studied history, astronomy, modern science, and Sanskrit, and examined the classical poetry of Kalidasa.

In 1874, Tagore’s poem Abhilaash (Desire) was published anonymously in a magazine called Tattobodhini. Tagore’s mother Sarada Devi expired in 1875. Rabindranath’s first book of poems, Kabi Kahini ( tale of a poet ) was published in 1878. In the same year Tagore sailed to England with his elder brother Satyandranath to study law. But he returned to India in 1880 and started his career as poet and writer. In 1883, Rabindranath Tagore married Mrinalini Devi Raichaudhuri, with whom he had two sons and three daughters.

In 1884, Tagore wrote a collection of poems Kori-o-Kamal (Sharp and Flats). He also wrote dramas – Raja-o-Rani ( King and Queen) and Visarjan (Sacrifice). In 1890, Rabindranath Tagore moved to Shilaidaha (now in Bangladesh) to look after the family estate. Between 1893 and 1900 Tagore wrote seven volumes of poetry, which included Sonar Tari (The Golden Boat) and Khanika. In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore became the editor of the magazine Bangadarshan. He Established Bolpur Bramhacharyaashram at Shantiniketan, a school based on the pattern of old Indian Ashrama. In 1902, his wife Mrinalini died. Tagore composed Smaran ( In Memoriam ), a collection of poems, dedicated to his wife.

In 1905, Lord Curzon decided to divide Bengal into two parts. Rabindranath Tagore strongly protested against this decision. Tagore wrote a number of national songs and attended protest meetings. He introduced the Rakhibandhan ceremony , symbolizing the underlying unity of undivided Bengal.

In 1909, Rabindranath Tagore started writing Gitanjali. In 1912, Tagore went to Europe for the second time. On the journey to London he translated some of his poems/songs from Gitanjali to English. He met William Rothenstein, a noted British painter, in London. Rothenstien was impressed by the poems, made copies and gave to Yeats and other English poets. Yeats was enthralled. He later wrote the introduction to Gitanjali when it was published in September 1912 in a limited edition by the India Society in London. Rabindranath Tagore was awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for Gitanjali. In 1915 he was knighted by the British King George V.

In 1919, following the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Tagore renounced his knighthood. He was a supporter of Gandhiji but he stayed out of politics. He was opposed to nationalism and militarism as a matter of principle, and instead promoted spiritual values and the creation of a new world culture founded in multi-culturalism, diversity and tolerance. Unable to gain ideological support to his views, he retired into relative solitude. Between the years 1916 and 1934 he traveled widely.

1n 1921, Rabindranath Tagore established Viswabharati University. He gave all his money from Nobel Prize and royalty money from his books to this University. Tagore was not only a creative genius, he was quite knowledgeable of Western culture, especially Western poetry and science too. Tagore had a good grasp of modern – post-Newtonian – physics, and was well able to hold his own in a debate with Einstein in 1930 on the newly emerging principles of quantum mechanics and chaos. His meetings and tape recorded conversations with his contemporaries such Albert Einstein and H.G. Wells, epitomize his brilliance.

In 1940 Oxford University arranged a special ceremony in Santiniketan and awarded Rabindranath Tagore with Doctorate Of Literature. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore passed away on August 7, 1941 in his ancestral home in Calcutta.