Author Archives: Troythulu

Caturday’s Astrophenia: 2014/07/26


G’day, and happy Caturday. Something has been missing from this post lately, and I’ll address it now: Beginning this week, I am putting ze cats back into ze Caturday, as though there wasn’t enough mischief afoot from the ebil Feline Overlords this week!

Also, just last evening, I got word of the completion of the art featuring the cute mini-Cthulhus to be used on The Unspeakable Blogs hub page which links to this site and nine others. I’ll be updating the hub, and be redoing the headers for all ten blogs accordingly sometime this weekend. *muppet flail*

So, here are the links, and without further delay, the kitty pics!

Photo on 6-30-14 at 14.28 #2

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A Solar Filament Erupts

Spacecraft Rosetta Shows Comet has Two Components

Cave with Aurora Skylight

IC 4603: Reflection Nebula in Ophiuchius

ALMA Milky Way

Cosmic Crab Nebula

NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe

Images of the Week:

Spiral Galaxy M74
Source: Hubblesite.org
Galaxy Triplet Arp 274
Source: Hubblesite.org

Weekly Astrognuz:

Having Fun with the Equation of Time

Asteroids: Two space rocks named after science communicators

“Mars” Crew Emerges from Simulation after 120 days

Lego Hubble: Let’s get this model made

Astronaut Spots Violence over Gaza, Asks what Extraterrestrial would Think

Earth from space: What is the object in this astronaut photo

Video: Warp into a Star Nursery 3,000 Light Years Away

Falcon 9 reuseability:  Video of splashdown after successful launch

Mapping Dark Matter 4.5 Billion Light-Years Away

Kepler 421b: Exoplanet with the longest orbital period found

To Help Mars Rovers Phone Home, NASA Asks for Ideas to Close Looming Communications Gap

Cycloid Motion: An illusion based on spirographics

Apollo 11 Splashdown 45 Years Ago on July 24, 1969 Concludes 1st Moon Landing Mission

The Antennae: Rolf Wahl Olsen photo of colliding galaxies

How Do We Terraform Venus?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Still fighting the wrong fight

Wil Wheaton and the Science of Star Trek:

Weekly Stellar Picks:

Confirmed Exoplanets

Keith Cowing and the ISEE-3 Rebooters | Planetary Society.

The Diversity of Habitable Zones and the Planet | SETI Institute

Space Images | Planetary Society

NASA Mars Spacecraft Prepare for Close Comet Flyby | NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Friga’s Day Fiction: Dirge: Chapter 4


With this entry, I’m bringing back the weekly fiction installments. Here is another chapter draft for my short story “Dirge.” In future installments, I’ll continue where I left off on the Journal of Sergei Romanova entries, and then there’ll be a change of pace with doctor, war vet and inquirer into Weird Things, Francesco Novella. ~Troythulu

Chapter 4: An Unpleasant Surprise

A bright blue nimbus of light flickers, and the Suthidruu are here. The Elder Worms. Ancient, powerful, insane, and heavily armed the lot of them. The sane ones are always culled from the gene-pool, leaving only the zealots to survive and thrive.

Theirs is a society run like a strict authoritarian ecumenical hierarchy which crushes all dissent by killing it before it spreads. Terran sectarian fanatics would be envious at the apparent success of this model. It’s also stagnated their science and technology for billions of years, even as advanced as it is.

Oh, Cosmos.

My blood runs cold. There, among the Worms, is a familiar sight. Dasaelos Gurao. Well, no, that’s not his real name, just the best approximation possible with human vocal equipment. Add a bass rumble to the vowels, a staccato boom on the hard consonants while simultaneously coughing and hissing like an angry cat and crocodile performing a duet, and you have something close to how it’s really pronounced…

He’s a physical giant of his normally squat species, Pseudoreptilias tenax, the Rj’lt’ai, also known locally as the Dragons. He stands in at three meters tall, and masses about eight hundred kilograms of reinforced muscle, bionically augmented bone and connective tissue, and heavy prosthetic armor plates nano-woven into the skin.

The Dragons are a conservative species, given to a society in which harmony and order is valued over individual social mobility and justice. They take a dim view of social change, though their philosophy admits the need to adapt to a changing universe to survive — their conservatism doesn’t blind them to reality. Still, change is ill-regarded when not forced.

Dasaelos is a seasoned leader, and a veteran of more wars than I remember having years in my own far too long life. A cybernetic hand tips Dasaelos’ left arm, and it is well known that it can do much more than simply punch, crush, lift, or manipulate objects. It’s a piece of nanotechnology, made up of billions of microscopic systems and circuits that can rearrange into any one of several useful weapons, shifting from one configuration to another, visibly flowing between shapes like some kind of liquid metal.

Dasaelos is a revolutionary by his race’s standards, a military officer who rose to become the warlord of his species until a certain someone brought him down for declaring war on humanity. Needless to say, I took offense at that.

You see, I happen to like humans.

They’re both silly and brilliant, given to both senseless brutality and astonishing compassion. I see them as potentially the greatest agency for both good and evil there is. They have their shortcomings, but it’s their ability to alter the course of history that matters.

Collectively, they can work wonders. It’s always struck me as baffling why such a fantastic species would waste its time crediting its own success instead to the billions of gods it invented from whole cloth.

No wonder the older species fear humans so much. After all, they’re cousins to the Kai’Siri. What strikes me most about them is the capacity to heal their emotional wounds when injured and move on.

Isn’t it funny? I can bring the Moon down from the sky…blast it from orbit…but I can’t mend a broken heart. I envy humans.

The giant looks far out of place with the Suthidruu. What the hell is he doing here? I’m curious to find out.

I self-consciously adjust my field uniform’s half-cloak, taking stock of my surroundings. I consult my ‘shard’s visual overlay, and stride casually over to meet the aliens, looking more sure of myself than I feel.

This had better work.

Cat Thursday — Rockykins Vs. Mr. Eccles


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Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It’s all for the love of cats! Enjoy!

Who knows what darkness smirks in the hearts of cats?… Rockykins knows, as the official fluff-angst driven arch-foe of the diabolical Mr. Eccles! He even has his own Twitter account at @RockyTheFlufCat. Rocky must work out the issues of being so fluffy that we’re all gonna die (like plush unicorns in Despicable Me!) and foil Mr. Eccles evil plans for glossy-furred world domination. But time is running out, and Eccles is up to his dastardly tricks again! Can Rockykins wake from his nap and stop him before it’s too late?

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Wordless Wotan’s Day: 2014/07/23


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Fractal of the Week: a gift 4 @Uncomprehendme


With this edition, I’m releasing an image suitable for wall hanging for a friend of mine on Twitter, Kari, whose blog of awesome poetry and observations is at Kari’s 10 Words. The file’s full size is at 4320 x 2592 pixels. This is necessary because uploading it through social media has proven ineffective in preserving the original file size. Here we go… *tentacles crossed*

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