sábado, 27 de agosto de 2016

Pluto, 10 facts you should know about the former planet

Nowadays, we have already found there are more than eight planets. Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto.  However, Pluto was once considered out of this list for being viewed as a dwarf planet by the astronomers. Last year, New Horizons reached Pluto and took new measurements and found out new things that can help scientists understand this planet better. Now, ten facts you should know about this planet that still remain as a mysterious object in our solar system.

1.      Baptizing while having breakfast: Pluto was discovered in 1930, since then there had been endless discussions regarding the name of that planet. Nobody was able to nail it. But one day, a girl whose name was Venetia Burney, a 11 year-old girl, was having breakfast with her family just like all kids do in the morning in England. She had been learning about the planets and their distances from the sun. She had also been reading upon Greek mythology, so we can say this girl was learned enough as to name anything. During breakfast time, she was then in company with her family when she tossed the name around: “Pluto could be a good name for the planet”. After this remark, her grandfather went to one of his best friend’s place, (Herbert Hall Turner , a professor of astronomy at the University of Oxford) and talked to him about the suggested name. Then, Turner telegraphed a message to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff stating Pluto could be considered as a potential name for the planet. Once the name was let known and suggested, they loved it and that was how Pluto was baptized.

The name was also taken because they it was Percival Lowell’s initials.

2.       Weird Small world: Pluto is the smallest planet of the Solar system. Even smaller than Mercury. There are other moons which are larger than Pluto. They are: Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, Io, Europa, Triton, and our Moon. Nonetheless, it was believed that Pluto was much smaller but recent researches revealed that it is smaller than Earth’s moon but larger than previously thought based on the new measurements taken by New Horizon, a probe sent into space in 2006.

People think  this has been the reason why Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Contrary to this belief, Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet for being considered a member of the Kuiper belt

3.       Not the last all the time. Due to the eccentricity of its orbit, Pluto passes to be the eighth planet of the solar system for twenty years out of its 248 year- orbit around the Sun, meaning that during 20 years, Pluto reaches its closes distance from the Sun. Neptune becomes the ninth planet for this period of time. Therefore, whenever you read a book that assumes Pluto is the ninth planet.

4.       Pluto was named after the god of the Underworld, Charon. Pluto is not alone indeed. Charon, its companion and its massive moon, was named after the ferryman who carries the dead souls across the river Styx. Its other moons are Nix, Styx, Hydra and Kerberos. Pluto and Charon form a binary system due to Charon’s size which makes it possible.

5.       A satellite or a planet? : This question regarding Pluto has been around in forums for many years. In fact, the planet is believed to be one of the Neptune’s moons which escaped and made its own orbit. Additionally to this, it is known that Pluto’s orbit is unpredictable. The scientific community has managed to calculate its orbit for the next 10 or 20 million years, but not beyond that limit.

6.       Too cold. 5 hours to see the sunlight in that odd world. Nevertheless, Pluto sometimes has its atmosphere. This phenomenon happens when the dwarf planet is at its closest relative distance from the Sun thawing its atmosphere which is basically formed by nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide.

         Clyde Tombaugh into space: he was the scientist who discovered this planet. He died in 1997, two years before the New Horizon’s launch. His final request was that of his ashes being sent into space. His ashes are now travelling on board of the probe New Horizon on its way to the asteroid Kuiper belt that is a disc-shaped zone beyond Neptune’s orbit populated by tiny icy objects.

8.       Rock as Rocky. Pluto seems to have a rocky core, as per some studies and researches. It is believed to be composed of a rocky core, a mantle of water ice and a surface covered with methane ice and frosty nitrogen. However, owing to the distance, it has been hard to ascertain what exactly comprises Pluto.

9.       Pluto is retrograde. Its rotation is retrograde, it means, it rotates from east to west just like the planets Venus and Uranus. It completes one rotation in a period of time of six Earth days. There are also extreme variations in its seasons because of its tilt.

10.   Pluto is red, not grey. Pluto turned out to be red, like his brother Mars. Charon, its main moon is grey instead. This is a sign that both objects are composed of different materials.

miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2016

Different uses for home safes

Different Uses For Home Safes

When many people think of home safes they are drawn to thoughts of Hollywood movies, scenes where the villains break into homes of the rich and find safes hidden behind large paintings, behind moving panels or other ornate objects. Many people, because of this, blow off thoughts of getting a home safe thinking that those are for the rich and wealthy. This however, is simply not true. Home safes are for everyone who owns a home and has something important that they believe needs to be kept safe. Here is a look at different things you can use a safe at home for.

Surprisingly when people consider home safes they usually think of Hollywood motion pictures, scenes where the scoundrels break into homes of the rich and discover safes taken cover behind paintings, behind boards or other luxurious articles. Numerous individuals, as a result of this, turn away from thinking of getting a safe imagining that those are exclusively for the rich. Yet, this is not true at all. Home safes are for everybody who owns house owners and has something critical that they believe should be kept safe. Now let’s take a look at what things can be kept in those safes.
Jewelry and family heirlooms

When it comes to thinking of having a safe, it seems everybody tends to think safes are only for jewelry as it is known this is a common item kept in them,  especially if the pieces have any value. Jewelry can have value or not, or may be part of a family heirloom which usually includes pieces of art work or small antique pieces.

Important documents

Home safes are good when it comes to keeping some papers protected. Important documents like security cards, birth certificates and passports are things that shouldn’t be lying around your house, but should be kept in a home safe instead. There are other documents to be kept in a safe despite the fact they don’t have a value but are also important anyway. They are: insurance policies including auto, home, life and others. Marriage licenses and divorce papers, will, power of attorney papers, titles of properties that belong to you and important medical papers.

Computer hard drives and other computer data components

If you have a computer and you have saved private information on it, it is time to consider having a backup and store in a safe just in case. You might as well have a back up for other documents or photos. Besides this, there are some safes designed to hide other computer components that can fit into your home or even a college dorm. This is a precaution you could take bearing in mind that computers and laptops are one of the thieves’ favorite items, so considering keeping all the important information under lock.

As it is known, many people currently own guns and firearms. But having them unprotected can turn out to be a dangerous decision. So, home safes are an alternative, remember this can be a lifetime investment and other than that, you will also be protecting your children. By keeping your firearms in a safe, you will be putting them away from burglars, since this is a hot ticket item for them too.

Coins or Other Types of Collections

A home safe is appropriate to protect coins and other type of collection. Coin collections can have a good value, so keeping them in a safe is a good way to get them out of burglars’ sight.


Last but not least: Money. Money can be kept in a home safe in case of emergencies. Keeping a stash is always a good idea. Not many people would consider keeping some money there, so this action will probably minimize the chances for theft. 

martes, 23 de agosto de 2016

The frustrated article writer who once was a taxi driver

I’m not a night owl at all, it was 9 pm that day and I was still at the airport after 3 hours. I had arrived at the airport and had been waiting for someone to give me a ride home as I ran out of money because I had bought something special for my mom and I started to dread the worst scenario. I had been waiting for my uncle but he never arrived. Nonetheless, I thank God for that because when I thought that everything was going to be worse, I ran into a taxi driver from whom I took in a lot after a pleasant conversation.
That taxi driver I mentioned had been a landscaper formerly, but now he was driving a taxi as a part of his retirement. I could see in his face he didn’t like that job that much but it was the way he could pay his way and support her old wife financially.

The conversation began with a remark about politics. It seemed that man was good at remembering dates and names and he surprisingly came up with a remark that really set the tone for that night. He said he wanted to write. I got surprised at that remark as it was very strange to hear such thing from a taxi driver and a former landscaper but then he continued and said: “I would like to write a book on landscaping”.
After those words, I understood what his passion was. His passion was still landscaping but it appeared he was in the wrong place behind a steering wheel. Then, I asked him why he didn’t take the little risk of leaving the steering wheel to go home and start writing but the old guy answered back to me and said he had failed as a writer several times. Other than that, he added he had somebody to support financially. I had to stray onto question why he wasn’t living with his wife but that question never had a clear answer.
Afterwards, I could realize the passion he felt towards writing when a tear came out of one of his eyes. It was a very deep sensation what I felt on looking at that tear running down his face. I wanted to wipe it, and give him a hug to feel his frustration. I wanted to feel the way he felt in that moment too. In that moment, I had already forgotten where I was, I had already forgotten I had to go to my mom’s, I had already forgotten I had been stood up by my uncle. In those seconds, the only thing that was running through my head was that horrible sensation of frustration. That feeling of not having able to succeed in something you have always wanted to succeed. I saw his face, and could notice his age. He was around 75 years and he could never be a writer, instead, I could feel deep inside he never did what he had always wanted to. I could also see that sensation of deep sadness he noticeably reflected. I finally shook his hand and tapped his right shoulder and said firmly to him: “You are still alive, so it is never too late to restart”.
Those words seemingly gave our conversation a twist and he finally invited me into his car. I got into his car but once I did it, he told he wasn’t going to take me home yet, instead, he made clear he wanted to drink some beers with me at a pub to continue the conversation. I accepted and we drove to the nearest pub then.
On arriving at the pub, he ordered some beers and the conversation went on. I firstly asked him why he had always wanted to become a writer and if there were concealed reasons stopping him from doing that. He said:
“I’m now inside a car. My thoughts have disappeared. Whenever I grab a pen to write, I can’t write as my mind goes blank. Any advice?”.
“Yes” – I said.- The only thing you need is inspiration. “Honestly, if you have the knowledge and the inspiration, the rest of the work will be done itself.”
“I would like to become an article writer, a unique article writer about landscaping. But I’m already old and my mind fails to remember inspiring words for my article. The article I’m writing now. The one I have in my pocket. That’s why you are here with me”.
Apparently, what that man really needed was a prod. A prod that could prompt him to continue his article.  He was not looking for somebody to guide him how to write. Instead, he was looking for emotion. He was looking for something different that could cause a change of heart in him. Something unique and an original remark that could make him take up what he once began.
I slowly took the piece of paper he gave me. When I started to read, I didn’t understand his manuscript so much but I could cop onto the fact that the guy who was standing in front of me at the pub was a master in what he once used to do. The lexicon in that manuscript combined with the inspiration that his words suggest was a perfect match. I gave the paper back to him. I was shocked because I didn’t understand his real reasons to feel down, to feel frustrated, feel like a cipher.
“What you needed was a prod to cheer you up. Hold your chin up. You are talented. Stop fishing for compliments. Be yourself. I didn’t understand your article so much but judging the form it is written, to me, you are a master. Keep at it.”
The old man stared at my eyes, and keeping mum for a second, he replied: “When I was a child, my family never backed me when I insisted on being a writer. Then, after 15 years I got married, I had two children. At the dinner table, we once were having dinner, I brought up this point about writing in the conversation with my children, and I didn’t feel the support from my own family either. I used to go to this very pub to hang out with my lifelong friends, we used to drink some beers and then go home but when I came up and said I wanted to be a writer, they scoffed up. I didn’t have their support either. You have been the only one who has backed me in this decision and it’s enough. Thanks. I’ll finish my article tonight”.
The man then knocked back the bottle, took his keys and said: “I knew something was going to turn my life around today. I was not wrong. I’ll drive you home”.

After all that, I could fathom something. Sometimes, you think you are not talented enough to do a certain task. When it comes to writing, even a farmer can leave you dumbfounded. You never know. This man I came across didn’t know what he owned. Instead, he did himself down. Like him, I guess there are millions writers wanting to write but they don’t dare do such thing because they think they are not gifted. Or maybe, they just have taken too much notice of people’s remarks, and for that, they’ve given up their dreams. So, don’t give up. It is never late to restart your life article. Life is like an article which can only be redacted by you. Thus, don’t ever let that opportunity slip, give it a good end.

sábado, 20 de agosto de 2016

Rats and myths to be debunked

When you see a rat in the kitchen, what is the first thing that springs to mind? Perhaps you think the kitchen needs cleaning, or you have been such a bad housewife. Rats are seen as demons, diabolical creatures that only exist to cause diseases and chaos. Maybe you are the kind of person who believes those animals shouldn’t exist in the planet you belong to. But… they exist in the same realm where we are. Actually, they are closer to us than any other animals. We have dogs close to us, even cats live on our roofs but when it comes to rats, most people don’t even want to envisage the fact that rats are all around us. Yes, we are certainly surrounded by them. We are surrounded by rats, roaches, ants but rats tend to be scarier to many due to the fact they are bigger and supposedly more dangerous.

As a norm, there are myths about all animals. Bad and malicious myths aimed at discrediting ´them for any reason. Maybe historical reasons or events associated with the animal in question. There is no doubt people can get easily misled when it comes to choosing to believe anything about an animal. In this case, people have chosen to believe according to what they have reportedly always seen.  And what have they seen about rats? They’ve seen these animals live in sewers and then they deduce hastily these animals are dirty. They’ve seen rats on cadavers and then they jump to the conclusion they only live on dead meat. And to put the lid on, they’ve also seen rats in movies, depicting them as animals which only live in the dirt, contaminating everything they touch and if you watch documentaries, you will also learn about their dark past related to the Black Death during the fourteenth century, giving rats a criminal record which appears to be worse than the one of other animals, at times, considered even worse than  the mosquitoes’ which are indeed, the most dangerous creature ever in proportion to the number of deaths caused throughout history.

The reality is that rats in general have a bad reputation. Reputation that has even handed down to their cousin, the hamster, for which the skin of some individuals crawl when they see this fluffy creature.  However, what is a fact and what is a myth in this case? Evidently, there are many things, myths and beliefs to be debunked regarding rats.

The first myth has to with how hygienic rats are. As mentioned, rats are viewed as dirty things which live in the very dirt no less. And this is truth. Rats are found in sewers and in dirty places. But does this fact mean they are filthy? To be fair, no, this is not true. In fact, they are animals which live in the dirt, but they also spend time cleaning themselves. We can say rats are finicky groomers because they are always cleaning themselves. They do this even more often than cats.
Myth 1: Rats are Dirty

Many people imagine rats as being filthy creatures that live in the sewers. Yes, some wild rats live in the sewers, but just because they live in an environment that isn't appealing to us doesn't mean that they are dirty animals. Both wild and domestic rats are fastidious groomers, and spend much of their lives cleaning themselves. In fact, a rat will spend more time a day grooming itself than a cat!

Beside this, there is a fact that you possibly ignore. Have you ever wondered where rats go when they want to relieve themselves? Well, this is a question you should ask yourself before judging. Rats actually choose their own place when it is time to go to the bathroom. And this place is necessarily away from their food. Yes, they try hard not to eat near their own excrement. This is contrary to the common belief that says that rats eat on their stool.