The Power of Google and this Blog

Having gotten a comment on my book review of Elemental, and a mention on Naomi Novik’s LJ about my review of her book, its clear that the power of Google does allow my Book reviews on BJS to have a wider audience than they might already have.
It doesn’t mean that I am going to turn into the next Harriet Klausner and post positive reviews for every book I read in the hopes of getting hits and readership. If you read my last entry about Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, you will see that I am not afraid to say that I didn’t like a book–no matter how many awards it wins or how much praise it gets.
Readership can be a very idiosyncratic experience, and one man’s favorite novel can be drivel for another. (The Lord of the Rings is the best example I can think of with this phenonemon).

Names for Pluto’s two new moons

HubbleSite – Full story about “Pluto’s Two Small Moons Officially Named Nix and Hydra”
Pluto’s two newly discovered Moonlets now have names. And, in keeping with mythological tradition, the names for the new moons are Nix (the Greek Goddess of the Night) and Hydra (the monster with many heads that Heracles defeated).
I’m sort of disappointed. Nix is fine and dandy, but honestly, as someone interested in Greek Mythology, while I know of the Hydra-underworld connection, when I think of the Hydra, I think of Heracles, not of Hades.
Cerberus (Cerberos), the three headed dog that guarded the entrance to the Underworld, would have been a far better choice, I think.
And, don’t forget about Persephone! Only one of the planets are named after a woman, an 8-1 imbalance. I think she should get in on the action, too, but for a full planet.

The Milky Way’s Spunky Kid sister

Via Cosmic Log : The Milky Way’s little sister
Many of you have heard of Andromeda, the larger twin to the Milky Way Galaxy, 2.2 million light years away, or so. Or at least you’ve seen pictures. Being the closest large galaxy, there are lots of photos of Andromeda. And, heck, its even in a Star Trek (TOS) Episode.
But have you heard about the Milky Way’s spunky kid sister? M 33, the spiral Triangulum Galaxy, lies a little further away than Andromeda, 2.4 million light years away. It probably has about 10-40 billion stars, which sounds like a lot, but is really only about 5-10% of the Milky Way’s 200-400 billion, and a lot less than the estimated 1 trillion stars of Andromeda.
A thumbnail of M33 which has a link to a larger picture to it is in the extended entry. Go take a look at the Miky Way’s spunky kid sister!

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