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The Guest Star (3), Insula Cretica

Corbitas were truly built for any weather. The one Hero and Lucia boarded was medium in size with a single large square sail on a mast amidships and a small square sail on an artemon mast over the bows. It was steered with two deep steering oars, one on each quarter, which in strong winds and high seas required as many as four men on each oar to control the vessel. The stern was high enough to withstand large waves during storms. Their journey was about four hundred miles and sailing in this wind should ideally take them to their destination in less than three days, assuming that with the wind changes their course would not be a straight line.

The Guest Star (2), Departure

Lucia took the scroll excerpt from the floor, one of many surrounding Hero and read it aloud: "Times of crisis are always predicted by divine omens. Sometimes the star remains visible during the entire day and night, encapsulated in rainbow colors, or another one cоmes extended to an enormous length, seemed to be hanging in the middle of the sky." She gave him a puzzled look and took another one. "Before the war of the deserters the heavens were ablaze." She deftly jumped over a pile of papyri excerpts, several opened scrolls and something that looked like old and reddish clay tablets and kneeled to face Hero. He seemed oblivious to her presence as he stared deeply at the piece of papyrus in his hands. She took it from him and revealed a text that looked very old. Text was in Greek, Latin and big portion of it written in pictographs.

The Guest Star, Prologue

It was early December of a remarkably warm autumn in Alexandria. The year of 938 * of the renewed Roman calendar was going to expire soon and Hero felt that the next one would be the most challenging in his entire life. Today was his birthday and next year was the final year of his first master's course at the Great Library. Hero was fluent in several languages even before his teenage years and he knew that Alexandria had to be his next stop a day after he read Ptolemaîos' Almagest, the scroll he was lucky enough to stumble across in the Antioch's atheneum. Today, after five years on campus, he knew he was at a crossroads. Earlier this morning, Hero realized that the passion he had for the Imperial history, and the stories of the past were taking their toll every day, and it was time to take the next step. Here, lying on a small carpet in front of the southern city walls and gazing up at the starry sky, he made his final decision. As soon as his course was completed, he wo

The Only Martians

Up there, within our own Solar system (and beyond) everything is in motion. There is no space object that is standing still. Ever since the big bang. Even the black holes that are capturing things into singularity point are moving across the universe along with their own neighborhood. The same is with Earth and its first neighbor Mars. They are both orbiting the Sun in their own time schedule - Earth needs full year to complete the cycle, while Mars in its own distant orbit needs 322 more days to do it. While both, Earth and Mars travel around the Sun, sometimes they got closer to each other by the approximate 55 million kilometers (while the farthest distance between the two is about 400 million kilometers).

Space Humor

It happened long ago, in the dark ages of CRT monitors, when I first received a short forum message with :-) at the end. I stared at the message for a long minute(s) before giving up of decoding its meaning. It came from a well respected friend of mine so I responded with short reply: "What!?" "You have to turn your screen 90 degrees clockwise." Answer came promptly. My CRT was large and heavy and it looked way too dangerous to tilt it that way so after little brainstorming the problem, I concluded there's a better way of achieving the same goal. I tilted my head 90 degrees anticlockwise. "Aaaaaah!!!" I said promptly and after realising the picture, big smile on my face slowly morphed into loud laughter. So I typed back: "Wow!" I didn't have to wait long for the next message: "LOL!" "What!?" - I quickly copy/pasted my earlier message but realised I was too not informed about new internet fashion so I

FAR-T1, Prologue

Yep, that's my name. First Artificial Reconnaissance - Transferral One. That's how that genius team of developers from MIT called me. It was working title, they said. Real name I had to choose myself. Hah! Like that would work.. To be perfectly honest, I tried on more than several occasions, but they all were just many of those Sisyphus's jobs I dealt with over that much time.. Yep, that's my name.  First Artificial Reconnaissance - Transferral One.  That's how that genius team of developers from MIT called me. It was working title, they said. Real name I had to choose myself. Hah! Like that would work.. To be perfectly honest, I tried on more than several occasions, but they all were just many of those Sisyphus's tasks I dealt with over that much time.. They are all gone now. My parents from that team of developers I mean. Hell, the MIT doesn't exist anymore. It happened exactly 200 years ago. Lots of things changed since then. Lots of things happen

Rudjer, Nikola, Mihajlo and Milutin

First names. They are of the most importance. Not the middle ones. Not even the last ones, even though with some people family name comes with higher significance, especially if they are part of some important heritage or well-known royalty. Even so, the first names comes, ... well, first. And not by accident. This is how you are remembered for your entire life. This is the word you turn to when you hear somebody is calling around the corner. This is you. With me is the same and while ago I decided to start a thread with first names in titles. First names that are telling connected tales, historically or with any other linked stories. So far there are two in the row: Jules, Isaac, Arthur and Carl and Giordano, Isaac, Albert and Stephen . Behind those names are, according to me, people who gave the biggest push in the worldwide literature of science fiction and science itself. These are people who fit my own interests and fascination and they will be remembered for eternity for their w

Gravis Gravity by Gravitons

Don't take this title too seriously. It's wrong on multiple levels. Grammatically and scientifically. Nonetheless it fits perfectly for this post. As for grammar amiss - I used Latin root word 'Gravis' which means heavy and it is actually perfect adjective for gravity as we perceive it here on Earth. As for scientific issue, the rest of the title might be all wrong. If we glimpse into features of three main natural forces of the universe, it is obvious that they work in more or less the same fashion - they use carriers or elementary particles to mediate the force through the force field. Photon is one of them and it carries electromagnetism while strong and weak force in nucleus respectively are mediated by gluons and w/z bosons and they are all confirmed in experiments. Gravitons suppose to be the same thing for gravitation force, but they are never found and confirmed either directly or consequently. Ever since Einstein we are having second thoughts about whether or

Solar System Weirdness

Do you know how big is our Solar system? I can't be sure of course, but there's a strong possibility that common knowledge about our planetary neighborhood ends with enumerating most of the planets, one dwarf planet and couple of named moons, asteroids and comets. Amazingly, the truth is far, far beyond that and believe it or not, if we include Oort cloud, the Solar system, with us representing its only living residents, is approximately 3 light years in diameter. This is, more or less, equal to 3e+13 kilometers or km. The distance about 100 million times bigger than the distance to the Moon. It is tremendously huge and just about one and a half light years shorter than the distance from our Sun to the nearest star! The layout of the solar system*

Mars in Movies

I probably mentioned before that I love reading and watching true Sci-Fi stories. The ones that have legacy in old Jules Verne fiction. The ones that predict the future and might be real some day. The red planet is no exception - when I see a title with "Mars" in it, I eagerly read the teaser, secretly hoping for a two hours of entertainment if it is a motion picture or two days if it is a book. Right at this moment, I am holding "The Martian" by Andy Weir*, the novel I was waiting to come into book shops for months. Especially when it was announced that Ridley Scott is taking the director's chair for the upcoming movie, later this year. This month, the crew should be located within one of the only places on Earth that resembles Mars perfectly. "Wadi Rum", a valley in southern Jordan, also known as "The Valley of the Moon" is currently a home for many trailers, including the one occupied by Matt Damon, who's playing Mark Watney, the main

Martian vs Expanse

In wide variety of entire expanse of science fiction genre, Martians are inevitable players. Even the most popular "Little Green Men" phrase from the early comic books, at the beginning referred to the aliens from Mars. However, this year, when it comes to motion pictures, two great master pieces will come to life and all without LGM in classical meaning of the word. There will be no aliens on Mars this time and all the Martians in upcoming movie and TV series will actually be humans. Moreover, the science in background is returning to the front door and accompanying stories will immediately be more valid, more plausible and more ... amazing. And this is what I like the most in good and old Verne's type of Sci-Fi. In short, give me more science and just a hint of fiction to spice the things up and I am happy. You probably already guessed, it is about filming amazing books I have already written about on the blog - "The Martian" by Andy Weir and "The

Science of Life in Solar System

There will come one day in the future. Relatively and astronomically speaking, it might come sooner than we think. It could happen way before we realize that there is no turning back. The day when mother Earth will simply say - sorry guys, I have no more energy to sustain this kind of life anymore and when most of biodiversity cocoons on Earth will reach the ultimate hazard and start imploding back into themselves. Air and water pollution will help a lot and not even planet's regular motions will be able to take us into another interglacial cycle. It is as much inevitable as what we are going to do next. We will take a long look toward the stars and say: "Well, we have to do this sooner or later. It's time to leave the Earth. Time to jump into Christopher Columbus's shoes again. And find the new home." But we will not get far. There will be no warp drives, "phasers on stun", robots, AIs or artificial gravity like in Sci-Fi blockbusters and there will b

Scientific Copenhagen

Do you have that strange feeling when you are about to visit new city abroad and little afraid of what you would stumble to when it come to simple things? Like how to use metro line or how to buy a bus ticket or how to identify your next destination? Or how to book your flight back to your home? Or how to handle a simple dilemma of should you exchange the money to the local currency or is it wise to put your card in every ATM or any other 'slot' machine on your way? Hello™ at Microsoft Campus Days, 2014 Ericsson, a Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services, has the answer for you. And me too. Last week, I took my entire family to the trip to Copenhagen for both, business and pleasure hours in the Danish capital. During my previous visits I didn't have much time for tourism and any off work activity for that matter. So I took a little research this time and Ericsson's " Networked Society City Index " helped a lot. Within t

Astrology & Pseudoscience

If you were reading my blog in the past you probably noticed that on several occasions I mentioned inner fight in all human beings between rational and emotional mind. More or less we all 'suffer' from this conflict and this post is, again, going to be tailed by it. Okay, now, you read the title and already hinted about the content, so let's get to the story. But before diving into topic, let me start with a revelation and for the first time since I started this blog I think this very title finally would allow me to go more personal than usual. Actually, I decided to reveal everything about me in this post and finally you are about to learn who I am to the bone. Are you ready to read further? Okay, I am ready. Here you go ... I am ... Wait ... I hate these second thoughts ... Darn it, I can't take it back now, can I ... Okay, here it is ... ... I am Scorpio. There you go. I said it. Phew. What a relief. Now you know everything about me. Who I am, why