Thursday, September 29, 2011

Designing The Dorm Room Will Be Fun

Living in a dorm can be a great deal of fun but setting up the perfect dorm room can present challenges especially when you and your roommate diverge on styles and colors that you each prefer. Of course, sharing such a small space with an individual that you don't know will most definitely come with a few hurdles, only the first of which will lie in decorating your dorm room. By learning to work together before you even meet and coordinating your dorm room together you can start off on the right foot in creating a relationship with one another.

Making this transition a pleasant one for you both will require a little bending and finding some common ground in your decorating styles. Usually you won't meet your roommate face to face until moving day so it is best to use all the modern tools available to coordinate the plans for your dorm room. The internet can really help to bridge any communication gaps that may exist and help you to show pictures back and forth to make sure that you are both on the same page.

On the internet you will find many retailers of dormitory supplies and decor items. This can really help you to get an idea of what your new roommate likes and you can bounce ideas off of each other before you begin purchasing your bedding and decor items. More than likely you won't want the same bedding items but shopping online can enable you to color coordinate the room decor and this can make for an overall more pleasing environment for you both in the long haul.

This type of synchronization can also be a bonding experience allowing you and your roommate to take on a project together and start getting to know and understand each other. Coordination can also help to avoid bringing duplicate items along with you which can help to minimize clutter and unnecessary expenditures as well.

On the whole online shopping provides you with the availability to synchronize decor items with a long distance roommate, help save you money, and can help you to locate those hard to find items. When you order online you can also have the items you bought shipped directly to the campus which can also help to save you the time and money of either shipping these items or transferring them on your own. No matter what type of college or roommate you have if you follow these few simple tips you will have everything organized and a dorm experience that will not only meet but exceed your hopes.

When you are searching for dorm essentials to use in your college dorm room, click on today. They have specialists to help you sort through their large selection of dorm stuff and can also help if you have questions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Associate's Degree Might Be A Good and Flexible Option For Some Students

An associate's degree is a great option for the person who has a busy work schedule or otherwise not enough resources to obtain a bachelor's degree. This degree is flexible and affordable and will benefit the person who chooses to take steps to earn an associate's degree.

There are two types of associate's degrees someone can choose to earn. An occupational degree prepares a person to enter directly into the work world. A transfer degree will give a student the ability to transfer credits to another school in order continue their education, so if a student decides that later they would like to advance their degree, they can use what they've already earned during their associate's degree to meet that goal.

Employment rates are higher for someone who has earned their associate's degree than for someone who has a high school diploma. An associate's degree will make you more qualified to perform a job and therefor give you more job security.

An associate's degree is also more affordable than heading right into a bachelor's degree, so it is a great option for someone without the money to fund a bachelor's degree at the time but still with a desire to eventually earn one. It is more affordable because credits are less expensive for that type of degree. Also, since this degree is typically earned at a local college, students will save money on the commute and room and board because they will be able to live nearby.

Two years is the average amount of time it takes to complete, however, it can be stretched out over a longer period of time if the student does not have the ability to dedicate this much time to the degree at this time. The amount of courses required for this degree is usually about twenty, which translates into sixty credit hours.

Job security is not the only benefit. Someone holding an associate's degree is likely to earn about $500,000 more in their lifetime than someone who has a high school diploma. A higher starting salary is often awarded to the person holding any type of degree at the beginning of a job.

The application materials required when going to earn this degree are pretty straight forward. Applicants will want to have an official copy of their transcripts from high school sent to the college they are applying to. Also, many schools will ask for a personal statement explaining what you want to do and why you want to do it, as well as your standardized test, or SAT, scores.

Earning an associates degree online is a very accessible way for someone to enhance the quality of their life and career. Colleges understand that not everyone can be a full time student, so they make the class schedule flexible for students who need to take night classes as well as offering affordable prices to people entering into a degree program. Job security and income could also increase.

Monday, September 26, 2011

An Exploration of the History of Ecuador

As you might imagine, the history of Ecuador is rather vast and complex as it can be traced back over 9000 years. Before you attend Spanish classes in Ecuador, it is a good idea to learn something about the country's history. As a result, you will have a more enriching experience and get more out of visiting museums and various cultural landmarks. The history of Ecuador is often broken up into 5 periods: the Pre-Columbian period, the Conquest, the Colonial Period, the War of Independence and the Republican Era. Let's take a brief look at these periods to prepare you to learn Spanish in Ecuador.

In Ecuador's Pre-Columbian period, the native peoples were invaded and conquered by the Incas. This conquest began in 1463 under the leadership of Pachacuti Inca Ypanqui. His son Tupa commanded the army and led the takeover. They quickly colonized the region. Of course, many native tribes fought hard to resist the Incas, in particular, the Canari. This Inca Empire was called Tawantinsuyu. The Emperor really liked Quito and made it one of the capitols of Tawantinsuyu.

The next period in Ecuadorian history was the Conquest, as Spanish landed in Ecuador in 1531 and sought to defeat the Incans. In addition to the fighting, disease also played a role in destroying the Incan empire. Although there were far more Incans than Europeans, the Spanish had better weapons and tactics. Due to their technological advantage, the Spanish quickly captured the Incan Emperor.

The Spanish Colonial Era commenced as the Incans were defeated and more and more Spanish colonists arrived. The country was one of Spain's colonies between 1544-1563. The Spanish had a very paternalistic attitude and adopted a system called encomienda so that they could "take care" of the native people. Basically, they divided all the natives up amongst the colonial estates. The Spanish instructed the natives in Spanish and Catholicism. In return, they asked for labor as well as gold. Encomienda was considered to be quite unfair and many viewed it as enslaving the native people of Ecuador. Throughout the 18th century, there was an economic depression in the country. Even the elites became very poor by 1790.

The next historical era was the War of Independence, when those in Spanish-controlled America revolted against colonial rule. Citizens began organizing juntas. In 1811, the Juntas demanded a congress and declared that the area should be free of all governments based in Spain. However, the Viceroyal of Peru stopped this rebellion in 1812. Later in 1820, another junta declared independence. Stronger military forces were organized to support this movement. The natives met with a series of victories in battle. Even after the country was liberated from Spanish rule, they ended up in the middle of a fight between Peru and Gran Colombia over border issues.

The Republic of Ecuador started off with 15 turbulent years that included a great deal of fighting. One of the country's significant leaders from this time period, Gabriel Garcia Moreno, was considered to be Ecuador's best nation builder. He saved the country from falling apart in 1859 and then ruled it with an "iron fist." In the period leading up to 1890, the exports from the country grow tremendously. Since that time, there have continued to be a variety of political upheavals and changes to and from democratic rule.

If you decide to learn Spanish in Ecuador, you will have the opportunity to gain a better understanding for the country's complex history. If you read the newspapers and listen to the radio, you can even gain tremendous insight into the political climate today. It is interesting to note that currently a social democrat is president of the country. When you attend Spanish classes in Ecuador it also makes sense to spend time visiting museums and various historical landmarks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Advice for Adjusting to University Life and How to Be Successful in Further Education

So it has come to one of the most important times in your life, choosing weather you should go to university/college. Well it is a nerve racking time for anyone, you have to weigh up so many different costs and benefits of enrolling at a university/college. If you do choose to go to university/college the key to doing well is to preparing! Here are a few tips for anyone looking to go to university and to help you with the transition from high school to university.

Studying comes first.

Sure up till now you may have managed to get through school with a decent grade and have put in hardly any work, well that stops now. Most drop-outs say that the main reason for leaving college was the change in the workload. At university you are expected to learn outside the classroom, and study of your own accord. Many other college students get caught up with their social activities and neglect their work. If you want to succeed at university you need to put your studies first!

Take a light course load.

In your first year of college you should try to be easy on yourself and give yourself some time to settle in. Try to take courses that you are familiar with, and try to keep your course-load to a minimum. This will give you time for getting adjusted to your new environment, and remember it is always better to have a few courses which you do really well in rather than having tons of courses that you do really badly in.

Make use of Resources.

Before I joined university I had never even taken out a book or sat in my school library or even asked a teacher for help. That all changed once I flew the coop. Colleges pride themselves on the resources they provide for their students, they are there to be used! Keep on good terms with your lecturer/tutors and do not be afraid to ask them questions. Use your colleges facilities, including both sports and academic offerings.


Before going to university it may be worthwhile just taking a week or two to familiarize yourself with content you have covered in the past. Try to read around what your degree is about, so you have a general idea of what sort of work you will be doing. Remember if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Keep in touch.

Stay in touch with your family if you are moving away! People often forget that their family is there to support them and encourage them, almost like a support net. Talk to your family and friends about what you are studying, it helps you get motivated to do well.

Learn to use Computers.

You do not have to be a complete geek, but computers are a very important part of university life. You use computers to write your essays as well as read course material you have missed or to interact with other students. If you are not too computer-savvy check to see if there are any introductory computer courses offered by your college, there is a very high chance there will be.

Take care of yourself.

Remember health is wealth. There is no point getting a really good grade if your well-being is compromised. Take care with what you eat, many college students end up eating a diet filled with fast-food and takeaways, which is not only not good for your body, but it is not good for your mind too. Remember to eat as many fresh fruit and vegetables as you can and try joining a gym!

Factors to Consider When Buying A Telescope

When you first become interested in buying a telescope, it can be somewhat of a daunting task. What kind of telescope do you really need? There are so many different kinds to choose from and a very large price range too. What do you want your new telescope to do, and do you really need all of the bells and whistles available? You don't want to pay good money for a telescope that won't give you a satisfactory experience, but neither do you want to pay for features that are just not necessary for what you need.

Here are a number of tips to keep in mind when you are thinking of buying a telescope.

Type of Objective - There are basically 2 kinds of telescope objectives available for home use. These are:

1. Refractor telescopes - these telescopes use a series of lenses to focus light onto the eyepiece. These telescopes are very rugged because they are a closed system and there are no mirrors to adjust so there is virtually no maintenance involved. These models produce some of the sharpest images available, but can be much more expensive to get a really good one.

2. Reflector telescopes - these telescopes use a series of mirrors to focus light onto the eyepiece. These telescopes are usually much more economical, but they are an open tube, so dirt and dust can collect on the mirrors. The mirrors will also need to be periodically aligned as well. However, you can get the most for your money with one of these if you don't mind the maintenance.

Aperture Diameter - The telescope's main function is to gather light, therefore the diameter, or at least the proportion of the objective's aperture is very important. The telescope's light-gathering strength is proportional to the objective's surface area, so bigger is not necessarily better unless the proportions are correct. A good rule of thumb for aperture width is about 3 inches (8 cm) for Refractors, and 4 - 8 inches (10 - 20 cm) for Reflectors.

Eyepiece - One of the most important things to check out when buying a telescope is the eyepiece. If you can afford it, get an eyepiece that is adjustable so that you can adjust the magnification - or at least get a telescope that has interchangeable eyepieces. A good steady focuser is also very important as you don't want the telescope to shake while focusing.

Magnification - Most beginners think that the most important feature in a new telescope would be high magnification, but that is not always the case. If the telescope's light gathering ability is insufficient, all the magnification in the world won't help. A magnification of 40X to 60X per inch of aperture is usually sufficient. The ability of the scope to enlarge an image and keep it sharp mainly depends on the lenses used and the focal length of the telescope.

Mounting - Last but not least, consider how your telescope will be mounted. Will it be mounted rigidly or will it be a portable mount? Make sure whatever mount you get has a low center of gravity so it won't tip over, and that it is the right size for the telescope you get. Mounting it at the right height as to avoid back fatigue is also very important.

Buying a telescope can be very exciting and challenging. Really the most important thing to do is to do your due diligence and research before you buy. Looking at the stars and seeing our planets up close and personal is one of the most incredible experiences a person will have, so you want to make sure you do it right. These tips should point you in the right direction when you consider buying a telescope.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why Can't We Take Biology 101 to a Higher Level to Keep the Student's Interest?

Let me ask you something? Are we selling our kids short with the No Child Left behind Act? Shouldn't we be pushing our kids to think, reason, and adapt? Shouldn't they be using the information which we force into their heads through rote memorization in positive ways? There are many programs which NASA is doing in our local schools around the country. When it comes to such difficult subjects such as biology, I say we take it all to a higher level. How high you ask?

How about as high as we can get, how about space?

"Why Can't We Take Biology 101 to a Higher Level to Keep the Student's Interest?" How so you ask? Well, for instance why can't our high-schools talk about NASA's Astrobiological Research and ask the students the tough questions and have them do real inquiry and research, perhaps look stuff up in the latest scientific journals. Let me give you an example;

Solar Radiation is a problem for Private Space Flight, future space hotels, moon base due to no atmosphere if it the buildings are on the surface, which might be wise due to Moon Quakes, out gassing, etc - should we worry about Solar Maximum periods, and plan to set up our construction during a time of solar minimum?

12-year solar maximum/minimum cycles, we are in a maximum cycle, so should we get everything ready to go now, so it can all be built during the next minimum, or do we wait one more full cycle, which is pretty far out time wise and hope that new materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene coatings can solve these challenges, even while we build?

Do we build on the back side of the moon, and then live underground when the Sun shines, which isn't often, but of course it does occur - if we build on the back side of the moon, perhaps for mining or other reasons, what about shielding for meteorites during construction? How do we reduce the oxygen needs, something we will have to produce there from other compounds already there? How do we keep humans healthy in less-gravity?

How about; Sports in Space? Interestingly enough, teenagers would love these topics as they play sports, and it is right up their alley and amongst their interests. In fact, I had once nearly completed an eBook on that topic, still in progress somewhere on my old computer in fact, but consider the discussion of human performance in zero or low gravity dwells, now that's absolutely a cool biological thought to think on for the future.

Why don't we challenge our younger generation in a way that we ourselves were never challenged? Perhaps they can rise to the occasion, we shouldn't count them out, we shouldn't consider them stupid, and we shouldn't retard their minds with frivolous nonsense and silly tests. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

GCSEs - Exploring Your Options

In the United Kingdom, GCSEs are the main qualification that children between the ages of 14 to 16 years take up. If you want to know more about GCSE as a prospective student or as a parent, details are explored below.

GCSE or General Certificate of Secondary Education is a qualification that is highly valued by schools, colleges and employers. Your academic future is determined by this course and you can study it full-time at school or college, taking five terms to complete. Now, depending on your grade, you can do GCSEs at levels 1 and 2 on the National Qualifications Framework. The framework is a way of determining how various qualifications match up based on the demands they place on learners.

There are many types of GCSEs as they are available in more than 40 academic and nine 'applied' subjects. When we say applied subjects, we mean subjects related to a broad area of any profession. So it can be engineering or tourism that you can take up as applied subjects depending on what sort of career you want. There are many short course GCSEs available as they are taken in half the duration of a full GCSE course. Students usually team up a short term GCSE with extra subjects like a second foreign language.

When it comes to choosing GCSE subjects, you can take guidance from your school or college about the subjects available to you. Do a little research to find out the courses and qualifications available in your area. However, you must know that while pursuing GCSE, it's compulsory to study some subjects as part of the National Curriculum.

Once you are clear on the subjects you want to take, you start with regular classes following the course of your curriculum. Then comes the time of assessment, where you will be assessed mainly on written exams. In the case of certain applied subjects like art and design, you will be assessed on your coursework more.

Usually GCSEs involve exams at the end of course. Now, there is a single level exam for some subjects; but in the case of some subjects you have exams of two levels. These levels are: 'higher' or 'foundation' level exams. Usually your teacher will decide what tier of exams suits you more, but you will get a different range of grades for each tier. Exams are normally held in the months of January and May/June.

You will be graded A*-G and U (unclassified). The grades A*-D are obtained after higher tier exams, whereas with foundation tier exams, you get grades C-G. Once you have cleared your exams, there is a plethora of opportunities waiting for you. You can either work, or study further or sign up for an apprenticeship.

Students choosing to further their education have the option of moving on to other courses at levels 1 or 2 after completing GCSEs at level 1. After completing GCSEs at level 2, you can take up other level 2 courses and level 3 courses of all types. For taking up an A level course in a certain subject, you need to have a GCSE in the same subject.

If higher education and universities are your goal, then you need to take up GCSE courses in certain subjects and should have five GCSEs grades A*-C, including English and Math.

The writer of this article recommends Chelsea Independent College, one of the leading sixth form colleges in London. The college offers GCSE and A levels and also train students for a GCSE retake.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Human Biology and Space Radiation Issues

Sometimes natural disasters remind us of just how fragile human beings really are, and then afterwards we realize how resilient humans can be, as we find inspiration to rebuild and not give up - it's just amazing to me really. Although they may not seem so at the time, natural disasters here on Earth are not the end of the world. If you have a few moments I would like to discuss this with you from a philosophical standpoint, and offer some guidance on what we can learn by studying and doing research on these things for the future.

You see, after the giant Japanese Earthquake, I'd written an interesting piece titled; "We should study the radiation effects of the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami Fukishima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster and Apply What We Learn for Future Space Missions." Why you ask? Simple really, in space our astronauts and travelers will be subject to a massive amount of space radiation.

An individual reading that article gave me some positive feedback for which I thanked them profusely and I added that; indeed, I would say that our discussion on this topic is more than apropos to the current solar flares which are happening, and the biological effects for those at the international space station. Our astronauts will be subjected to space radiation, and the X-Flares which ensue during the solar maximum period. We should be studying these things, and understanding the biological effects.

One thing that folks are not talking about is the challenges to human eyesight. In fact we might someday find out that folks who have gone on space missions have severe challenges with their eyesight when they get back from the radiation of space. Long-term spaceflight is quite serious, especially within our solar system close to our Sun, outside of our solar system we do not know yet how much space radiation there will be, we cannot assume that it will be void of such radiation, in fact it could be much worse, and there could be challenges to severe cosmic frequency bombardment.

Humans returning to Earth may end up blind by the time they get here. Living inside of a space capsule, they will eventually know where everything is, and even if they do go blind they can probably deal with it. They may need to have special goggles which they will have to wear all the time to protect their eyesight, and perhaps other types of protective clothing to protect other sensitive organs. These are things we must study for the future if we are to boldly go. Please consider all this and think on it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Radiation Therapy Schools - How to Select One?

Radiation therapy is the science of getting rid of cancerous cells from the body. The ionizing radiation produced is focused on the affected area. This causes the tumor to shrink and finally disappear. This therapy also proves useful as a preventive measure, since a tumor is known to reappear in the future and radiation therapy helps check such malevolent growth. A radiation therapist can expect to make 70 to 80 grand per year. Besides, strong and consistent growth in the number of radiation therapist jobs is expected in the future.

What Courses Qualify You To Work As A Radiation Therapist?

A bachelor's degree in radiation therapy is an employer's most preferred degree, even a two-year associate program holds good acceptance. You can also pursue a degree in radiography and augment it with certification. There are about 100 radiation therapy schools in this country. These need to be granted recognition by the American Registry of Radiology Technologists or ARRT in short. Before applying to any one of these, please check if they have the necessary accreditation. You may also want to find out which are the top radiation therapist schools in this country.

What You Learn?

What are the courses taught in radiation therapy schools? Apart from courses imparting the knowledge of modus operandi of radiation therapies and the theories behind its working, a student also needs to study of body's structure and composition, computer science, math and so on. A student must know how to ensure protection from radiation, guarantee excellence, have sound knowledge of medical concepts pertaining to radiation oncology, setting up and conducting a treatment. You need to master how to calculate exact doses of radiation that a patient will be subjected to. Besides, a radiation therapist should be good at communication skills and this is essential to be able to educate patients about the process. Cancer patients are sick and emotionally weak. Thus, at times, you will need to provide emotional support to cancer patients.

After passing from radiation therapy schools, you will need to pass the ARRT exam. This may vary from state to state. As a rule, you should check what norms are in force in your state before opting for this course. In addition, you need to address the possibility of getting job in a different state than from the one where you went to school.

Nowadays, one can also study through online radiation therapy schools. This option is for those who cannot find time to attend school due to work or home duties. Studying online grants you the flexibility of studying at your own pace. A few things you ought to consider here are verify all the subjects and inclusive program of study before enrolling into any such program. Various schools offer diverse choice of syllabi, for that reason one must always make a comparison with other online programs. Check for all the indispensable requirements in the prerequisite area of the course description. You should hunt for the best online programs and check out reviews and testimonials by other students. However, if you have the time, it is better to opt for a traditional and time-tested mode of formal schooling.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Popularity And Importance Of College Today Is Evident Through The Various Education Options

As job markets are becoming increasingly competitive things are getting more and more muddled. The recession caused many highly qualified professionals to lose their jobs, and they are currently forcing less skilled workers to upgrade their resumes with advanced training. This can be taxing and confusing, and in several ways can make the average employee feel trapped, within their job or within the system itself. This point of view is incredibly detrimental though, and there are so many new and exciting things to consider instead!

For this reason, many campus-based and online colleges are introducing more Ph.D. programs, as well as many other options. What's even better is that many of these programs are in fields that did not traditionally require such advanced degrees, though they may now. However, they are helping job seekers become more competitive in lucrative and exciting career fields. Things may seem bleak but there are ever expanding reasons not to let yourself get despaired.

As many people say now, college is the new high-school. But in a very serious way this may be the truth. In the past many individuals may have argued for perhaps forgoing college all together because the costs outweigh the means, but this is no longer true. The options that are provided by schools these days are boundless anyway, and the choices for funding are also nearly as diverse.

For example, many schools are now offering doctor of business administration (DBA) degrees. A New Jersey-based business school recently began offering the degree, which is designed to help mid-level professionals take their careers to new levels, according to the Press and Journal. This is lucrative new option in a world with an ever-increasing demand for health-care and health professionals.

Master's degrees were formerly the gold standard in business, and practically guaranteed career advancement, or at least a higher degree of desirability. However, in today's competitive job markets, professionals are finding it necessary to return to school for even more advanced degrees such as Ph.D.'s and the like.

Returning to college may seem like no easy task these days, especially for those who are already in the job market. With lower wages and longer hours it may seem like a daunting task to consider. A Ph. D. may seem even further out of reach than a Masters. If an individual already has a job they may feel trapped within it, not even considering higher education. Grasping on to whatever you can get is not the best option though, and flexibility is a worthwhile skill to have in many ways.

There are countless options to consider though, especially now-a-days. Cutting yourself off from further education is the quitter's way of seeing things anyway. With many colleges growing, and university systems raising the online options, a busy professional who's dedicated and cunning can use these new tools to get that Ph. D. degree. In this way they can also make themselves better equipped to fill positions, and to expand their horizons.

Individuals who earn Ph.Ds in business may have many career opportunities, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that they may be eligible for executive positions at companies or teaching jobs at universities. With that in mind, start your research on doctorate degree programs online today. There is certainly a college or university that will accommodate your education preference.

What You Need To Know About Telescope Optics

The main function of a telescope is to gather light, magnify it and focus it so that you can see more than you can with your naked eye. Telescopes have been around for centuries and although great improvements have been made in the quality of the telescope optics (and in how they perform) and in the electronics and software available, the telescope optics have remained virtually the same over the years. There are really four main things to know about your telescope optics. These are the aperture, the magnification, the focal length and the focal ratio.


Probably the most important telescope optics feature is the aperture diameter. This is related to the size of the lens (for a refracting telescope) or the mirror (for a reflecting telescope) and gives you the ability to focus the light gathered. In general, you should try to buy as much aperture as you can afford as this will give you the sharpest image. However, bigger telescope optics mean a bigger telescope so you have to consider just how big and heavy the telescope will be if you will be needing to transport it to an area with less background light. Usually a 3 inch (80 mm) aperture is considered good for a refractor telescope and a 4 to 8 inch (100 to 200 mm) aperture for a reflector telescope is about right.


Most people think that magnification in the thousands is necessary for telescope optics, but this is not the case. All the magnification in the world will do you no good if your image is not sharp and that depends on the amount of light you can gather and how you focus it. Usually it is desirable to be able to have about 40X to 60X magnification per inch of aperture. It is also nice to get a telescope that either has an adjustable eyepiece or one that has interchangeable eyepieces so that you can change the magnification.

Focal Length

Focal length is defined as the distance from the optical center of a lens (or mirror) to its point of focus. Since focal length is a linear measurement, a conventional telescope must be at least as long as its focal length. This is not the case in some compound telescopes as they have folded light paths and can be in a much shorter tube. Basically, a telescope with a shorter focal length will be shorter and have a wider field of view. One with a longer focal length will be bigger and have a narrower field of view and will usually be lower in price.

Focal Ratio

Focal ratio is the feature of telescope optics that refers to the "speed", or the brightness and field of view of the telescope and is found by dividing the focal length by the aperture size. This is usually called an f-stop and is expressed as f/#. A telescope with a focal length of 480 mm and an aperture of 80 mm would be an f/6 ratio. A small focal ratio means less magnification, wider field of view and a brighter image. Fast ratios (f/6 and below) are best for deep space viewing while slower ratios (f/10 or higher) are best for looking at lunar features or planetary viewing. A good all-around focal ratio is about f/8.

These are the most important telescope optics to consider when shopping for a home telescope or even one for the biggest observatory telescopes as well. Although it always seems that bigger is better, remember that your telescope will probably not be mounted permanently unless you live on the top of a mountain somewhere. You will have to cart it around with you and you want that to be a pleasant experience - not a chore. So you will have to make a few decisions about what is most important for your individual astronomical viewing experience. Whatever you decide we wish you happy viewing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Biological Systems Predicting Earthquakes as Well as Technologically Advanced Sensors

The other day, I was talking to a fellow intellectual thinker on the topic of biology. Whereas they were busy in school studying from their textbook all the required reading, which is all well and good, I wanted to take it to a higher level. So, jokingly I stated; okay so, yes, let's pick another topic - "Biology for $1200 Bob" - and we will see why a human is still valuable next to "Watson" the IBM Jeopardy Super Computer!

Then I asked a question, one which probably doesn't have an answer, or it doesn't have an answer that we know of;

"Why are Elephants and other animals able to predict Earthquakes? Is this real, myth, and if so, how can we use this?"

A few years back, I sat in a lecture once where a gentleman had "running mice" which were bred for running after subsequent generations. I asked him if they ran more the night before an earthquake, he didn't know. But perhaps they do, I would guess they do, but cannot prove it without empirical evidence, and there are good applications for knowing the answer to this question, for instance, using frequency to steer various species away from human populations, or to safety, even send ocean mammals away from beaching. Do the elephants run because the rats and underground rodents scurry about, they don't like mice or rats, they seem to have a phobia which is innate.

Or, is it because they are flat footed and they can easily feel the vibrations running up their legs, or due to their big ears which pick up vibrational sound waves, for instance the "S" or surface waves, or the deep "P" waves? If so, wouldn't humans also be able to do this, not modern day humans in their New Balance and Nike shoes, but bare-footed tribal humans closer to nature? Do locust swarms also have something to do with "Earthquake" type vibrations + shortage of water and food supply? If so, can we steer locust swarms away from farm areas using vibrational directed energy?

How can we interface our technologically advanced society with biological systems, not just human beings interfacing with their computers in social networks, but rather other life-forms and species on the planet? And why wouldn't we? And why shouldn't we ask these questions, and explore the potential answers? Indeed, I will leave you with that thought, and I hope you will please consider all this and think on it at your earliest possible convenience.