In this Place

Every now and again I like to dabble in the fine art of writing poetry.Tweet - I am at my most creative...

I am by no means an E. E. Cummings, Maya Angelou or William Shakespeare, but I do enjoy the word play and literary expression of emotion.

As alluded to in the above Tweet, my latest poem was inspired by the music of Ulrich Schnauss, which I find to be beautifully dream worthy. With that said, the poem is not about anyone in particular.

If you are interested, my latest poem is featured right after the jump.

Moon… Kaboom!

So let me get this straight… NASA are set to anal-probe the dark side of the Moon, in order to discover the possibility of the presence of water?Moon - Sattelite & Rocket

I am not sure when the idea of molesting the Moon became a good idea, but this has the potential to end rather disastrously. To make my point even clearer, NASA is not even denying that ‘big surprises’ lie in wait:

"We’re not 100 percent sure what will happen, and big surprises are possible" ~ Brian Day of the NASA/Ames Research Center in California

As if the myriad of blockbuster movies detailing the end of the world was not enough, along with the most recent ramblings of 2012 being the end, courtesy of those blasted Mayans; how on Earth does this seem like a good idea?

Moon - The MoonMoon - Breaking








Several possible outcomes exist from this scientific endeavour.

  • The scientists will discover water on the Moon; resulting in copious geekasm’s.
  • The scientists will not discover water on the Moon; resulting in a potential rise in suicide’s.
  • The Moon will be knocked off orbit or into a rotation of some kind; resulting in the end of the world.
  • The Moon may crack and shatter; resulting in the end of the world.
  • The aliens may declare this ‘scientific experiment’ as an ‘act of war’ and in direct violation of the Intergalactic Space Federation’s peace clause, due to the unlawful battering of a celestial body; resulting in the end of the world.

Well, whatever the outcome, I will be sure to reserve my front row seat to this ambiguous ‘surprise’ laden event. For those who are interested, the Moon is set to be violated today at 13:30 (GMT+2). You may watch the event unfold online here or watch it ‘live’ below.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Interested to know more?

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!


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Happy ‘Zeroless Pandigital’ day?!

Today we will all be fortunate enough to experience a ‘once in a lifetime event’. At one point today, around midday, clocks and calendars will give a combined consecutive numerical reading of 12:34:56 07/08/09 – Which is believed to only occur once every 100 years.

Thus, at 34 minutes and 56 seconds past 12:00 hours (12 pm), on Friday the 7th of August 2009, we will experience a centennial moment in time in which the first zeroless pandigital number can be used to precisely pinpoint the exact date and time.

In layman’s terms: all nine numerical digits, which hold a value greater than zero and which make up all arithmetic equations, will present themselves at a single point in time, in numerical order from smallest to largest, via the most well known sequence of numbers in existence: 123456789.

12:34:56  07/08/09

12:34:56 07/08/09 = 123456789

Personally I find this to be incredibly interesting. Particularly because I do have an inclination and mild obsession with numerical sequences and geometric symmetry. Consequently, I found a few interesting facts and figures concerning this first zeroless pandigital numbered sequence. For those who do not know, a pandigital number is in fact “an integer that in a given base, has among its significant digits, each digit used in the base at least once” (, 2009).

In most instances, the number ‘777’ is considered to be one of luck. It is also considered to be a symbol of absolute perfection. As it so happens, this number has an evenly symmetrical number of solutions, in both descending and ascending order, using the numbers 123456789 and by only ‘adding’ and ‘subtracting’. The solutions are (Martin Gardner, 02 June 2009):

Ascending                                                          Descending

– 12 – 3 + 4 + 5 – 6 + 789 = 777              – 9 – 8 + 765 – 4 + 32 + 1 = 777

– 12 + 3 – 4 – 5 + 6 + 789 = 777               98 + 7 + 654 – 3 + 21 = 777

Have you ever wondered what it would look like to display all the numbers from 1 through to 9 on an abacus? Well, here is your answer:

How the Chinese represent 123456789 with an Abacus!

How about displaying this ascending zeroless pandigital sequence in Roman numerals? Here we go:


Here are a few interesting facts relating to numbers 1 through 9 courtesy of Richard Phillips’ book ‘Numbers’:

  1. The letters A, B, C, D, E, M, T, U, V, W and Y all have one line of symmetry.

  2. The number 2 is a prime number and is the only even prime number.

  3. There are three barleycorns in an inch, three feet in a yard, and three miles in a league.

  4. The word four has four letters. In the English language there is no other number whose number of letters is equal to its value.

  5. TetronimoThere are only five possible tetrominoes. A tetromino is a shape made by joining together four squares. The game Tetris is based on the assembly of tetrominoes.

  6. There are six feet in a fathom. A fathom is a unit of length used mainly by sailors. It equals 1.8288 metres.

  7. The Seven Deadly Sins are avarice, envy, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth and wrath (listed in alphabetical order).

  8. In the game of pool the Eight Ball is a black ball with the number 8. The expression `behind the eight ball’ means to be in a difficult or baffling situation.

  9. There are nine major planets in the solar system, Beethoven wrote nine symphonies, and a cat is said to have nine lives.

I wish you all a very numerically filled and happy zeroless pandigital day!

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!


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Send your name to Mars, be discovered by aliens…

NASA has recently gone all gung ho with plans to examine, terraform and eventually massacre populate our solar system’s much publicised and enigmatic red rock, the planet Mars.

Mars: As seen from the Hubble Telescope.

In an attempt to gain the support and interest of today’s youth, as well as the media, NASA have resorted to using social media to reach the masses. As a result, a variety of Twitter accounts now exist so one can follow the journey of astronauts in space, the launching of new rockets and satellites, and be privy to the latest discoveries and developments regarding the deepest reaches of space.

In an added attempt to further spur interest in this newest of space races, NASA are giving individuals the option to add their names to a list that will be placed on a chip and sent off to Mars on NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover in 2011. In other words, this is your infinitesimally small chance of being discovered by aliens and inviting yourself to be anal probed becoming a part of human space exploration history. Besides, registering lets you download this “cool and ultra exclusive certificate”:


Hans Haupt's NASA Certificate of Participation

  • To add your name to the list and, as NASA likes to remind you, ‘become a part of history’ *rolls eyes*, click here.
  • To follow the progress of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover on Twitter, click here.
  • For more about NASA’s attempts to reach Mars, click here and here.
  • To learn how to make a smashing ‘Little Green Man from Mars’, click here.

If you are curious to know more about the fourth planet from the Sun, read on, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is also referred to as the "Red Planet" because of its reddish appearance, due to iron oxide prevalent on its surface.

Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polar ice caps of Earth. It is the site of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain in the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, the largest canyon.

In addition to its geographical features, Mars’ rotational period and seasonal cycles are likewise similar to those of Earth.

Still, of all the planets in the Solar System other than Earth, Mars is the most likely to harbour liquid water, and perhaps life. Radar data from Mars Express and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed the presence of large quantities of water ice both at the poles (July 2005) and at mid-latitudes (November 2008). The Phoenix Mars Lander directly sampled water ice in shallow Martian soil on July 31, 2008.

Mars is currently host to three functional orbiting spacecraft: Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. With the exception of Earth, this is more than any planet in the Solar System. The surface is also home to the two Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) and several inert landers and rovers, both successful and unsuccessful. The Phoenix lander recently completed its mission on the surface. Geological evidence gathered by these and preceding missions suggests that Mars previously had large-scale water coverage, while observations also indicate that small geyser-like water flows have occurred during the past decade. Observations by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor show evidence that parts of the southern polar ice cap have been receding.

Mars can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. Its apparent magnitude reaches −2.9, a brightness surpassed only by Venus, the Moon, and the Sun, although most of the time Jupiter will appear brighter to the naked eye than Mars.

 Until the next time “Milieunairs”!


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Earth Day – Our World, Our Future!

Today is Earth Day, 22 April 2009, the global event which celebrates our beautiful world by acknowledging the fact that we need to keep our planet healthy for now and, more importantly, for future generations. It is a day in which “People from across the world come together to reduce waste, recycle, plant trees, and promote awareness about the environment and what we can do for it” (Ben Parr, 2009). Coincidentally, Earth Day 2009 falls on the same day as the 2009 South African “free and fair” democratic elections.

As a matter of fact, everyday is Earth Day. Why should only one day a year be dedicated to the protection of the only known planet capable of supporting life? Our planet. Without the Earth we would simply cease to exist. As a result it is incredibly important that we, the human race, take steps to protect our world, the only habitable world in our solar system capable of supporting organic carbon based life forms.


To find out more about Earth Day I Googled the cause as well as our planet. To my surprise, and in true Google fashion, I noticed that Google had created a new ‘doodle’ specifically for Earth Day. I think it is brilliant and just one of the many reasons why Google is still so cool. I had to screen capture it for you all, just in case someone missed it. Anyway, I eventually came across this very cool website with immensely interesting facts about our planet. Some of the information was so interesting that I could not resist reproducing it here on my blog, all for you of course.

Interesting facts about our planet, Earth (Universe Today, 2009):
  • Earth is almost a perfect sphere
    The Earth’s shape could be described as an oblate spheroid. It’s kind of like a sphere, but the Earth’s rotation causes the equator to bulge out . What this means is that the measurement from pole to pole is about 43 km less than the diameter of Earth across the equator.
  • 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water
    When astronauts first went into the space, they looked back at the Earth with human eyes for the first time, and called our home the Blue Planet. And it’s no surprise. 70% of our planet is covered with oceans. The remaining 30% is the solid ground, rising above sea level.
  • The Earth’s atmosphere extends out to 10,000 km
    The atmosphere is thickest within the first 50 km or so, but it actually reaches out to about 10,000 km above the surface of the planet. This outermost layer of the atmosphere is called the exosphere, and starts about 500 km above the surface of the Earth. As we said, it goes all the way up to 10,000 km above the surface. At this point, free-moving particles can actually escape the pull of Earth’s gravity, and be blown away by
    the Sun’s solar wind. But this high atmosphere is extremely thin. The bulk of the Earth’s atmosphere is down near the Earth itself. In fact, 75% of the Earth’s atmosphere is contained within the first 11 km above the planet’s surface.
  • Earth has 1 moon and 2 co-orbital satellites
    As you’re probably aware, Earth has 1 moon (
    The Moon). But did you know there are 2 additional asteroids locked into a co-orbital orbits with Earth? They’re called 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29. We won’t go into too much detail about the Moon, I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. 3753 Cruithne is 5 km across, and sometimes called Earth’s second moon. It doesn’t actually orbit the Earth, but has a synchronized orbit with our home planet. It has an orbit that makes it look like it’s following the Earth in orbit, but it’s actually following its own, distinct path around the Sun. 2002 AA29 is only 60 meters across, and makes a horseshoe orbit around the Earth that brings it close to the planet every 95 years. In about 600 years, it will appear to circle Earth in a quasi-satellite orbit. Scientists have suggested that it might make a good target for a space exploration mission.

Who knew about the two ‘co-orbital’ satellites? I sure did not know. The Earth is amazing hey? Disney seems to think so too. Walt Disney studios have produced, via ‘Disneynature’ (I wonder when they created this subsidiary?), a movie called Earth, which is supposed to have been released today. Apparently the movie follows three different animal families (polar bears, elephants, and whales) on their journeys across the planet and is supposed to serve as a reminder of how precious life on Earth is.

I also came across this rather concise and informative video, which explains what Earth Day is about. I embedded the video with a green border just for Earth Day! You know you love it! Besides, I am cool that way *geeky snigger*.


Learn About Earth Day


There are many ways to help our Earth, least of all trying to reduce your carbon footprint – checkout Louisa’s post on Earth Day, she uploaded a rather funny comic strip about carbon foot prints. Needless to say I am already reducing my carbon foot print, albeit temporarily. How? Well, you all know I broke my arm ‘right’? Well, because of that I will not be driving for the next eight weeks. I will also be eating less, since I cannot exercise, and thus I will be expelling less gas… well, that is debatable *smirks dryly*.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!