Amazon Vella Platform is Live

The Amazon Vella platform has been released. This platform brings writers together with their readers, one episode at a time. My collection of shorts is called End Of Days. I was kicking back with a friend and we got to talking about life, and what if it was our last day on Earth. One of my friends is convinced she is going to be taken out by a Walmart truck. That story, The Price Of Always, will be released next week. I would love to hear what your End Of Days would be–who knows, it might appear here.

If you like the story, select it as your FAVE and I will enjoy your feedback.

Space Tourism starts on July 11th, 2021

One of my favorite reads was “THE SPACE TOURIST’S HANDBOOK” by Eric Anderson, who on April 8th, 2001, blasted off in a Soyuz rocket for an eight day ride to the ISS and became the 415 person to enter space and the first person to pay to get there. His account and advice are written in this incredible handbook–– a must read for anyone wanting the see the blue dot from above.

Fortunately, the technology has advanced exponentially since 2001 and going into space with Virgin Galactic makes things a lot easier.

Super Flower Blood Moon

This Wednesday (May 26th) will be a Super Flower Blood Moon, a must see if you have yet to experience this astronomical event–– it does turn blood red before your eyes. It is an early riser so set your coffee makers on timer and get out there. For all my friends in Florida, I know you will have been up for hours. LOL.

The May Full moon is known as a Flower Moon. Blood Moon refers to a moon passing through the shadow of Earth. Super Flower Blood Moon a Full Moon, larger than normal because it is closer to the Earth, In May, passing though Earth’s shadow.

The map below (image only) shows what areas will be in totality or shadow. Use This link to find your exact location.

If you can’t make it outside, due to clouds then click below to watch it live

Space Tourism – The Next Frontier

Talk to any rocket engineer and they will say, ‘you need a plane that looks like a rocket and not a rocket that looks like a plane’. If you subscribe to that way of thinking, then you have not read Moshe F. Rubinstrein’s – The Minding Organization: Bring the Future to the Present and Turn Creative Ideas into Business Solutions.

Space X or Blue Origin are said to dominate the Space Tourism Industry, but if you bet on their approach then you will loose.

Understanding Mr. Rubinstein’s philosophy is why Apple dominated the smartphone market and why Microsoft failed.

Would you rather be sitting above a cylinder that is exploding below you for a brain rattling ride straight up into space or take your time to climb to 45,000 ft, then rocket much more smoothly for 40 seconds and glide though space before heading back back down to Earth in comfort? There is one thing Richard Branson understands and that is Tourism. He has brought the future to the present.

Let X=X

I share the Zodiac sign of Gemini with Laurie Anderson, listening to her music since the 70’s, re-wiring me forever thereafter as being, well, unusual when it came to my taste in music and obsession of taking the path less traveled.

Laurie Anderson not only shaped my choice in music, but my outlook of the future, a future that would be synthetic, creative–– a blur between flesh and machinery.

SPACE WEATHER ALERTS

I subscribe to NOAA Space Weather Alerts, because….. This is what came across this morning, an alert of K-7, which is pretty high on the scale and considered a STRONG storm.

I use a couple of sites to see what is going on after receiving an alert:

Space Weather Live

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

For Further information about the K-index, SWPC provides a short summary of it’s characteristics, and please visit the official Kp index web page(link is external) at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).

The K-index quantifies disturbances in the horizontal component of earth’s magnetic field with an integer in the range 0-9 with 1 being calm and 5 or more indicating a geomagnetic storm. It is derived from the maximum fluctuations of horizontal components observed on a magnetometer during a three-hour interval. The planetary 3-hour-range index Kp is the mean standardized K-index from 13 geomagnetic observatories between 44 degrees and 60 degrees northern or southern geomagnetic latitude. The label ‘K’ comes from the German word ‘Kennziffer’ meaning ‘characteristic digit.’ The K-index was introduced by Julius Bartels in 1938. SWPC has used the K-index since the forecast center began operations.

Amazon’s Kindle Vella On The Horizon

Amazon will be introducing a new platform for writers and readers called Kindle Vella. If you are familiar with WattPad, it is very similar, allowing the author to release episodes one at a time, while interacting with their readers. This methodology has proven very effective for new writers on WattPad, including me, but add to this, the robust Kindle authoring platform of Amazon.

The idea is this: The author can release one episode at a time , from 500 – 6,000 words, of a Work In Progress (WIP) and add notes to the end of the episode, facilitating early feedback. The reader gets an early adoption of works by authors they follow. Sounds like a win-win. There is a catch (Being Amazon). The reader can read the first three episodes for free, but to unlock additional episodes, the reader is required to purchase a pack of tokens. The token packs seem pretty incidental

  • 140 tokens (2+ episodes) for $1.99
  • 368 tokens (7+ episodes) for $4.99
  • 770 tokens (15+ episodes) for $9.99

I have not figured out the significance of those numbers, but I’m sure a gazillion was spent on the research of big data and captured user content to arrive at those magic click baits.

There will be an IOS application coming out on Amazon in the upcoming months (as of this writing: 4/21/2021) it is not yet available)

I have already uploaded my first short story (Mylar) under the series title: “End Of Days.” Come back here and look for updates when this becomes available to all.

This is the first story in a series that got me thinking.  How would my family and friends feel about their last day on Earth?  Would their last day be as complacent and torturous as mine? That I can’t help.. I love a twist to a good ending.  Would they be angry or have regrets? Would they feel compassion, love?  Would they have a sense of being cheated or fulfilled in life?  Could I make this into a series of shorts?  So I asked them:  Where would you like to be?  Who would you like to be with?  How do you think you would feel?  But there was one catch–– I choose what takes them out.

My Love For Europa

There is no hiding the fact that Europa is my favorite object in the solar system–heck! It was the supporting protagonist in my novella, From Europa With Love (see excerpt below). As a former Marine Biologist, fascinated with life surrounding Earth’s deep sea vents, I had always thought that Europa was our greatest chance at finding extraterrestrial life in our solar system.

So when I read the article on Space.com “Heat gave Jupiter’s icy moon Europa layers. That may be good news for the search for life, I can’t help but feel excited by the possibilities.

Excerpt : From Europa With Love

He was regretting coming back here, “All I had to do was ignore the goddamn distress signal and I would be sitting in my bay right now, feet up, staring out the window with a GODDAMN TUMBLER OF ARDBEG IN MY HAND!”

Predictably, there was no response from Otto.

“Are you capable of praying Otto?” Kulcin goaded, not expecting a cognitive response from a machine. “Because if you are, then start praying.” he said, angling the nose of the shuttle upward. Firing a quick succession of bursts from the remaining FN2 thruster, he brought the craft down hard where it rocked forward onto its nose and came to an abrupt halt. Kulcin held his breath, knowing that if he could count to three he might be safe: one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two… then a sharp crack resonated throughout the hull, and the nose plunged beneath the ice as the shuttle listed forward, the water rushing furiously against the cockpit windows.