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Ralph Roberts
Works at Creativity, Inc.
Attended N.C. State University
Lives in Asheville, North Carolina
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Ralph Roberts

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Panathenaic Stadium: The Birthplace of Modern Olympics ... "The first modern Olympic Games was held in the summer of 1896 in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, that saw the participation of 241 athletes from 14 nations. It was the largest international sporting event till date, and the Panathinaiko Stadium, which had a capacity of 80,000 at that time, overflowed with the largest crowd ever. The main events of the competition were athletics, gymnastics, weightlifting and wrestling, with the highlight being the marathon, held for the first time in international competition, and won by a Greek and the only sporting event to be won by the host. But the stadium’s history goes far beyond the 19th century. Indeed, it is one of the oldest stadiums in the world.

The current Panathenaic Stadium is believed to be located on the site of an ancient stadium that hosted the Panathenaic Games, modeled after the ancient Olympic Games and held every four years in honor of the Goddess Athena. The games incorporated religious festival, ceremony and cultural events, aside from athletic competitions such as boxing, wrestling, mock infantry and cavalry battles, javelin throw on horseback, and a peculiar chariot racing where the driver had to jump out of the chariot, run alongside, and jump back in. These games started in 566 BC and continued into the 3rd century CE.

Originally the stadium was a small natural valley between the two hills of Agra and Ardettos, the slopes of which were fitted with wooden seating for the spectators. It was transformed into a proper stadium built completely with marble in 329 BC, by Lycurgus when he assumed responsibility for the finances of Athens.

Between 140 and 144 AD, the stadium was enlarged and renovated by Herodes Atticus, who spent part of his vast fortune on erecting splendid buildings in many sanctuaries and cities around the Roman Empire. Herodes changed the original rectilinear shape of the stadium to a horseshoe shape, characteristic of Greek stadia in Roman times, and installed rows of seats of white marble. A vaulted passage under the east retaining wall terminated at the back of the stadium. A triple-arched marble bridge spanning the the Ilissos River provided access to the stadium from the city. The whole space, and primarily the portico at the level of the sphendone, was adorned with statues of marble, bronze and even gold. The Athenians were justly proud of the Panathenaic Stadium, which was unrivalled in the world.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the stadium gradually fell into disrepair. It wasn’t until 1,500 years later that Greek philanthropist and businessman Evangelos Zappas provided the funds to excavate and refurbish the stadium as part of a goal to revive the Olympic Games. Panathenaic could not be made ready in time for the first Olympic Games in 1859, and it had to be held in a city square in central Athens. But by the time for the 1870 games, Panathenaic was restored with wooden beaches having a seating capacity of 30,000. The stadium went on to host the 1875 and 1888-89 games as well.

Unfortunately, Evangelos Zappas didn’t live to see any of the games at the Panathenaic, but the immense fortune he left behind made it possible for the Panathenaic to undergo a second repair. This time the wooden seats were removed and replaced with white marble, just like in the original stadium. The International Olympic Committee was created in 1894 and the first modern Olympic Games was held here in 1896. Panathenaic held its second Olympic Games in 2004. The archery finals took place here, and the marathon race terminated inside the stadium. It’s unlikely, that the Panathenaic will ever held athletic events as its running tracks are curved at awkward angles that doesn’t conform to today’s standards. Today, the stadium regularly holds musical concerts. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/05/panathenaic-stadium-birthplace-of.html
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Astronomers find galaxy 13.1 billion light-years away ... "Astronomers have spotted a baby blue galaxy that is farther away in space and time than any other galaxy ever seen. It is among the universe’s first generation of galaxies, from approximately 13.1 billion years ago.

Yale and University of California Santa Cruz scientists used three telescopes to spot and calculate the age of the blurry infant galaxy. By measuring how the light has shifted, they determined the galaxy, named EGS-zs8-1, is from about 670 million years after the Big Bang.
Because when astronomers look farther away from Earth, they are looking back further in time, this is both the most distant galaxy and the furthest back in time. It is 13.1 billion light-years away, in the constellation Bootes. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.

This beats the old record by about 30 million years, which isn't much, but was difficult to achieve, said astronomer Garth Illingworth of the University of California Santa Cruz, who co-authored the paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters announcing the discovery.
The photo they took was from a crucial time in the early universe, after what was called the Dark Ages, when galaxies and stars were just starting to form and the universe was only one five hundredth the mass it is now, Illingworth said.

This galaxy – larger than most of the others from that time, which is why astronomers using the most powerful telescopes can see it – was probably only about 100 million years also, but was quite busy, Illingworth said.

"We're looking here at an infant that's growing at a great rate," he said. The galaxy was giving birth to stars at 80 times the rate our Milky Way does now. "These objects would like nothing like our sun. It would look much, much bluer."

Yale astronomer Pascal Oesch was looking through Hubble Space Telescope images in 2013 when he saw a bright object. He then used the Spitzer space telescope to see it again. The hardest work was confirming the age and distance using the ground-based Keck Observatory in Hawaii to separate light waves. ..."

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/05/06/astronomers-find-galaxy-131-billion-light-years-away/?intcmp=latestnews
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Because the galaxy was emitting lots of energy in the highest frequencies at the top of the electromagnetic spectrum- X-ray and gamma is the only reason we can see it now.
Due to the expansion of the Universe, the light is so red shifted (stretched out to lower frequencies) that by the time it reaches us those high energy frequencies are "seen" by our instruments as radio waves, toward the bottom of the electromagnetic spectrum.

We are nearing the edge of what is possible to detect. Radiation from galaxies further out is red shifted below radio, at the edge of being gone.
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The Mysterious Lakes of Badain Jaran Desert ... "The Badain Jaran Desert occupies parts of China and Inner Mongolia covering an area of 49,000 sq. kilometers making it the third largest desert in China. Although not a lot of people are familiar with this desert, outside China, it is known for having the tallest stationary dunes on earth. Some of these dunes have been measured to reach heights of more than 500 meters. Badain Jaran has an extremely arid climate with an annual precipitation between 50-60mm. Nearly 40-80 times of the precipitation gets evaporated away before it falls as rainfall.

Despite these dry conditions, one of the most remarkable feature of Badain Jaran is the existence of nearly 140 permanent lakes that lie between the dunes. It’s these lakes that give the desert its name which in Mongolian means "mysterious lakes".

These mysterious lakes are believed to be fed by underground water springs that flow under the gravel deposits and appear between the dunes where the deposits become fine-grained and the water flow is blocked. The source of this water is precipitation and snowmelt in the mountains surrounding the desert hundreds of kilometers away. Runoff from these mountains flows through the fractured rocks and through gravel deposits beneath the desert, and emerge at scattered places giving rise to numerous lakes. Although the springs carry fresh water, most of the lakes are saline, which can be explained by their high rate of evaporation. Some of the lakes change color due to the presence of a large populations of algae, brine shrimp and minerals. Evaporation have also led some hypersaline lakes to form salt crust around the rim of the lakes.

The fresh water lakes provide the life sustenance in the desert supporting camels, goats and horses which are herded by nomads that travel through the desert. Most lakes also support a green ring of vegetation that populate the close vicinity around the lakes.
In recent decades, some of these lakes have shrunk or even disappeared, as a result of reduction in groundwater brought about by urbanization, irrigation, water diversion, and an increase in population. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/05/the-mysterious-lakes-of-badain-jaran.html
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Woahhh! Sugoi, ne?!!
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She asked for a potato cellar and over the next 23 years he gave her a network of holy caves ... "Lyova (Levon) Arakelyan, a builder by trade was already 44 when his wife, Tosya, asked him to create a potato cellar beneath their home in Arinj, Armenia. Yet by the time he passed away at the age of 67 he had dug a stunning series of caves beneath their home using nothing but hand tools, instinct, and a tireless work ethic.

Levon began chipping away at the earth back in 1985 when his wife requested he build a root cellar beneath their home where she could store potatoes, however once he started, he simply couldn't stop. Tosya has since said that her husband was motivated by dreams and visions in which a voice told him he must continue carving the cave. He worked every day, often for up to 18 hours with little rest and only his small hand tools to carve the hard rock, shunning traditional support structures or power tools. He included stairs, halls, twists, and multiple rooms going as deep as 70 feet beneath the house. He also created small shrines and artistic carvings all throughout the cave system, giving it a properly sacred feel.

In 2008 Levon passed away, still planning on working on expanding the caves. Today the widow Tosya runs a small museum devoted to his efforts out of their home and gives tours of the strange caves her husband created. A small room now acts as a makeshift museum, displaying artifacts, pictures, and publications dedicated to Levon's life of devotion to the cave. On the tour, his wife also notes one particular point in the cave which her husband claimed had special magnetic properties.

The late Levon's devotion to creation and stonework is also reflected in the stone mosaic portraits he embedded in the courtyard walls around his home, which in retrospect was also the man's greatest work.  ..."

MORE: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/levon-s-divine-underground
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Get real. He's been dodging her nagging with the digging.....:-)))))
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Curiosity Mars rover takes a rock along for the ride ... "Ever get a pebble stuck in your shoe? Curiosity knows the feeling. The rover used the camera at the end of its robotic arm to snap this picture yesterday of a Martian rock wedged between the grousers of its tire.

No need to fear, says Chris Roumeliotis, lead turret rover planner at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. They don't expect the rock to affect Curiosity's performance in any way, or cause any harm to the wheels, as the ground will usually give.

The team could try trenching the wheel to shake the rock off, but they'd rather wait. "It is better to let this fall off naturally," Roumeliotis says. ..."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27464-curiosity-mars-rover-takes-a-rock-along-for-the-ride.html#.VUd8z5OR4SR
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Go to my post page, you will see...what gives!!  The biggest secret of mankind!!(so close to home)
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Ralph Roberts

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Dinosaur-Like Dessert Delicacy ... "They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and the same should go for fruits. Take the cherimoya. This prehistoric-looking tropical fruit has thick, scaly green skin and looks more like a Jurassic Park prop than a yummy dessert choice. And yet it’s a symphony of sweetness. It’s no wonder why the Incas reserved it as a treat for royalty and Mark Twain called it “the most delicious fruit known to men.”

Native to the inter-Andean valleys of Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, cherimoyas grow in big, bushy trees and are very popular in Latin American cuisine. They’re easily found in street markets around the region — and under myriad names. In Brazil, people call them graviolas; in Mexico, poox; in Belize, tukibs; in Haiti, cachimans la Chine; and in Venezuela, chirimorrinons — quite a tongue twister. They come in hundreds of different varieties, with names like Deliciosa, McPherson and Chavez, and while they do well in tropical climates, they are also grown in places like the south of Spain and California.

Use a spoon to scoop out its squishy insides, and you won’t be disappointed.

What does it taste like? Well, it’s difficult to describe but resembles a mouthwatering cross of other exotic fruits, including banana, pineapple, papaya and mango. This odd combination makes it taste more like a dessert: custard, fruit pudding or even bubblegum. “It’s one of those very particular tastes that either you love or hate,” says Carmen Pons, a fruit vendor at a Barcelonian market. ..."

MORE: http://www.ozy.com/good-sht/dinosaur-like-dessert-delicacy/37993?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=INTL%20-%20All%20Clicks%20ALL%20Devices
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Towns of Twins ... "The University of Texas estimates that 32 out of every 1,000 people in this world are a twin or 16 pairs in 1,000, which translates to 3 percent of the population. This figure appears to vary by region, race and ethnicity. Certain ethnic groups produce more twins than usual. Others produce less.

While researchers agree that identical twins happen by sheer chance, having fraternal twins is hereditary. If someone else in your family had fraternal twins, then you are more likely to give birth to fraternal twins. If a mother herself is a fraternal twin, the chance of conceiving twins increases four-fold. These factors cause twins to usually run in families and in certain ethnic groups as a whole. In fact, race and ethnicity seems to play a major role in twinning. For instance, in the U.S., twins are most common among African-Americans (36.8 per 1000) and least common in Hispanic/Latino Americans (21.8 per 1000).

The highest rate of twin births has been observed to occur among the Yoruba community in southeast Nigeria centered around a sleepy farming town called Igbo-Ora. As many as 45 to 50 sets of twins are born here per 1000 live births. In other words, nearly 10% of the population are twins. The unusually large number of twin births in the region have earned the town the nickname of “Twin Capital of the World.”

While nobody has been able to prove medically, research has suggested that the multiple births could be related to the eating habits of the women in the region. It is possible that the high consumption of a specific type of yam containing a natural chemical may stimulate the ovaries to release an egg from each side. But then, the large number of twins being born here could also be a simple matter of genetics.

Either way, for this predominantly rural community, it doesn’t matter. Multiple births are celebrated here and have, over the generations, been regarded as a blessing from God. Many pregnant women in Igbo-Ora wish for multiple births. ..."

MORE: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/05/towns-of-twins.html
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Very happy to hear
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Astronomers find galaxy 13.1 billion light-years away ... "Astronomers have spotted a baby blue galaxy that is farther away in space and time than any other galaxy ever seen. It is among the universe’s first generation of galaxies, from approximately 13.1 billion years ago.

Yale and University of California Santa Cruz scientists used three telescopes to spot and calculate the age of the blurry infant galaxy. By measuring how the light has shifted, they determined the galaxy, named EGS-zs8-1, is from about 670 million years after the Big Bang.
Because when astronomers look farther away from Earth, they are looking back further in time, this is both the most distant galaxy and the furthest back in time. It is 13.1 billion light-years away, in the constellation Bootes. A light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.

This beats the old record by about 30 million years, which isn't much, but was difficult to achieve, said astronomer Garth Illingworth of the University of California Santa Cruz, who co-authored the paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters announcing the discovery.
The photo they took was from a crucial time in the early universe, after what was called the Dark Ages, when galaxies and stars were just starting to form and the universe was only one five hundredth the mass it is now, Illingworth said.

This galaxy – larger than most of the others from that time, which is why astronomers using the most powerful telescopes can see it – was probably only about 100 million years also, but was quite busy, Illingworth said.

"We're looking here at an infant that's growing at a great rate," he said. The galaxy was giving birth to stars at 80 times the rate our Milky Way does now. "These objects would like nothing like our sun. It would look much, much bluer."

Yale astronomer Pascal Oesch was looking through Hubble Space Telescope images in 2013 when he saw a bright object. He then used the Spitzer space telescope to see it again. The hardest work was confirming the age and distance using the ground-based Keck Observatory in Hawaii to separate light waves. ..."

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/05/06/astronomers-find-galaxy-131-billion-light-years-away/?intcmp=latestnews
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There is no End to space and time doesn't exist within it.
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Kuthodaw Pagoda And The World's Largest Book ... "Kuthodaw Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, located at the foot of Mandalay Hill in Mandalay, Burma. It was built during the reign of King Mindon Min who had the pagoda built as part of the traditional foundations of the new royal city of Mandalay in 1857. Worried that the teachings of Gautama Buddha may be lost to posterity with the invasion of the British to the region, King Mindon conceived the idea of preserving the entire text of the Tipitaka Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism, by inscribing them in huge stone slabs. Each slab is a meter wide and a meter and a half tall, and 13 centimeters thick, and there are 730 slabs in total. Each stone tablet is housed in its own shrine, called kyauksa gu, with a precious gem on top, and they are arranged around the central golden pagoda. These 730 slabs of marble are figuratively called the “world's largest book.”

The actual text of the Tipitaka Pali Canon consumes 729 tablets. The last stone tablet records how it all came into being, taking the count to 730. These are arranged in neat rows within three enclosures surrounding the pagoda. The last tablet stands at the southeast corner of the first enclosure.

Work on the book began in 1860 in a large shed near Mandalay Palace. The text had been meticulously edited by tiers of senior monks and lay officials consulting the Tipitaka kept in royal libraries in the form of palm leaf manuscripts. A scribe then carefully copied the text on marble for stonemasons to work on. Each stone has 80 to 100 lines of inscription on each side in round Burmese script, chiseled out and originally filled in with gold leaf. It took a scribe three days to finish a tablet, and a stonemason could finish up to 16 lines a day.

When the British invaded, they stripped away every piece of gold from the tablets along with the gems and other valuables. Today the writing are marked in black ink made from shellac, soot from paraffin lamps and straw ash. A few gems still exist. ..."

MORE PHOTOS: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/05/kuthodaw-pagoda-and-world-largest-book.html
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+James Jefferson Thanks, James.  It is interesting to know. 
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Curiosity Mars rover takes a rock along for the ride ... "Ever get a pebble stuck in your shoe? Curiosity knows the feeling. The rover used the camera at the end of its robotic arm to snap this picture yesterday of a Martian rock wedged between the grousers of its tire.

No need to fear, says Chris Roumeliotis, lead turret rover planner at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. They don't expect the rock to affect Curiosity's performance in any way, or cause any harm to the wheels, as the ground will usually give.

The team could try trenching the wheel to shake the rock off, but they'd rather wait. "It is better to let this fall off naturally," Roumeliotis says. ..."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27464-curiosity-mars-rover-takes-a-rock-along-for-the-ride.html#.VUd8z5OR4SR
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Ha, may be it gives rover a flat tyre. 
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Dinosaur-Like Dessert Delicacy ... "They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and the same should go for fruits. Take the cherimoya. This prehistoric-looking tropical fruit has thick, scaly green skin and looks more like a Jurassic Park prop than a yummy dessert choice. And yet it’s a symphony of sweetness. It’s no wonder why the Incas reserved it as a treat for royalty and Mark Twain called it “the most delicious fruit known to men.”

Native to the inter-Andean valleys of Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, cherimoyas grow in big, bushy trees and are very popular in Latin American cuisine. They’re easily found in street markets around the region — and under myriad names. In Brazil, people call them graviolas; in Mexico, poox; in Belize, tukibs; in Haiti, cachimans la Chine; and in Venezuela, chirimorrinons — quite a tongue twister. They come in hundreds of different varieties, with names like Deliciosa, McPherson and Chavez, and while they do well in tropical climates, they are also grown in places like the south of Spain and California.

Use a spoon to scoop out its squishy insides, and you won’t be disappointed.

What does it taste like? Well, it’s difficult to describe but resembles a mouthwatering cross of other exotic fruits, including banana, pineapple, papaya and mango. This odd combination makes it taste more like a dessert: custard, fruit pudding or even bubblegum. “It’s one of those very particular tastes that either you love or hate,” says Carmen Pons, a fruit vendor at a Barcelonian market. ..."

MORE: http://www.ozy.com/good-sht/dinosaur-like-dessert-delicacy/37993?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=INTL%20-%20All%20Clicks%20ALL%20Devices
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ok darling, am mexican and this fruit is known as chirimoya in the northern part of the country,  and yes it is delicious!
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Ralph Roberts

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Dinosaur-Like Dessert Delicacy ... "They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and the same should go for fruits. Take the cherimoya. This prehistoric-looking tropical fruit has thick, scaly green skin and looks more like a Jurassic Park prop than a yummy dessert choice. And yet it’s a symphony of sweetness. It’s no wonder why the Incas reserved it as a treat for royalty and Mark Twain called it “the most delicious fruit known to men.”

Native to the inter-Andean valleys of Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia, cherimoyas grow in big, bushy trees and are very popular in Latin American cuisine. They’re easily found in street markets around the region — and under myriad names. In Brazil, people call them graviolas; in Mexico, poox; in Belize, tukibs; in Haiti, cachimans la Chine; and in Venezuela, chirimorrinons — quite a tongue twister. They come in hundreds of different varieties, with names like Deliciosa, McPherson and Chavez, and while they do well in tropical climates, they are also grown in places like the south of Spain and California.

Use a spoon to scoop out its squishy insides, and you won’t be disappointed.

What does it taste like? Well, it’s difficult to describe but resembles a mouthwatering cross of other exotic fruits, including banana, pineapple, papaya and mango. This odd combination makes it taste more like a dessert: custard, fruit pudding or even bubblegum. “It’s one of those very particular tastes that either you love or hate,” says Carmen Pons, a fruit vendor at a Barcelonian market. ..."

MORE: http://www.ozy.com/good-sht/dinosaur-like-dessert-delicacy/37993?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=INTL%20-%20All%20Clicks%20ALL%20Devices
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✔ Verified - Author (over 100 books), publisher, producer, profilic and entertaining poster on G+
Introduction
Ralph Roberts is a decorated Vietnam Veteran and worked with NASA during the Apollo moon program. He built his first personal computer in 1976 and has been writing about them and on them since his first published article “Down with Typewriters” in 1978. He has written over 100 books along with thousands of articles and short stories. His best sellers include the first U.S. book on computer viruses (which resulted in several appearances on national TV) and Classic Cooking with Coca-Cola®, a cookbook that has been in continuous print for the past 17 years and sold half a million copies. He is also a video producer with over 100 DVD titles now for sale nationally on places such as Amazon.com. He has also produced hundreds of hours of video for local TV in the Western North Carolina area and sold scripts to Hollywood producers. Previously for Packt, Ralph wrote Celtx: Open Source Screenwriting and Google App Inventor by Example. Ralph and his wife Pat live on a farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina with two horses. Ralph recently finished GOOGLE PLUS FIRST LOOK.and is currently writing GOOGLE DART HEAD START.
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