On Dec. 10th, ESA announced the latest important discovery regarding comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Rosetta spacecraft orbiting the comet has found the water vapor from its target to be significantly different to that found on Earth.
The advent of open access (OA) publishing has lead to a proliferation of journals which offer a peer reviewed publication venue for a nominal charge.  Some of these journals are associated with scholarly associations.  Such as Physical Review X.  Others are not, such as a journal I published in called the International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics (SCRIP) or the journals published by Elsevier, and other such companies. 
Not So Smart Money

In modern English the term 'smart money'  is most commonly used in reference to money invested in the course of business or gambling by people presumed to be knowledgeable about the investment.  Less formally, the term is used to show that one statement is more likely true than another:  "some people say A, but the smart money is on B."

The modern meaning of 'smart money' dates from 1926, according to Merriam Webster's dictionary, prior to which the meaning was entirely different.

'Smart' can mean 'hurt' as when, after being slapped, the skin smarts.

Congress provided a historic victory for the legal marijuana industry with the massive government-funding bill passed Saturday night, December 13. The bill will end the federal government’s ban on selling or using pot for health reasons in states where it’s legalized. Within the $1.1 trillion spending measure are protections for industrial hemp and medical marijuana companies in states where they are legal.


Mars is a very harsh and hostile environment for future human explorers and like any other known planet it has no breathable air.
For several years I felt the desire to give readers a positive message around this time of year, as it is the most depressive for many. Alas, as you can tell from my writing ever less, I have little to say. Mostly because I understand now that my writing is too difficult and dark. I actually kept writing much, enough for a hundred good posts, but I keep revising, unable to let the light I seem to be seeing shine through the words.
Oceanlab Scientists Film Supergiant Amphipod and Deepest Fish

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have set a new record for the world's deepest fish, a species of snailfish, which was filmed in the Mariana Trench this year.

The new finding was just one of several new species discovered, as well as the first footage of a living supergiant amphipod.

Ah, Cuba

Ah, Cuba

Dec 18 2014 | 1 comment(s)

Ah, Cuba. My father’s college roommate’s mother – are you following so far? – was a travel agent, and had gone on one of these agent junkets to Havana. She danced with the dictator Batista at a formal ball, and returned to the US with stars in her eyes. When my parents married, nothing would do, she insisted, but for them to honeymoon in Cuba.