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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

A sensitive video camera on a summit of the Vosges mountains in France captured these surprising fireworks above a distant horizon on June 26. Generated over intense thunderstorms, this one about 260 kilometers away, the brief and mysterious flashes have come to be known as red sprites. The transient luminous events are caused by electrical breakdown at altitudes of 50 to 100 kilometers. That puts them in the mesophere, the coldest layer of planet Earth's atmosphere. The glow beneath the sprites is from more familiar lighting though, below the storm clouds. But on the right, the video frames have captured another summertime apparition from the mesophere. The silvery veins of light are polar mesospheric clouds. Also known as noctilucent or night shining clouds, the icy clouds still reflect the sunlight when the Sun is below the horizon.

Photo by Stephane Vetter

James Bryce (1839 -1922) Irish-born academic, historian, jurist, Liberal politician and British Ambassador to the United States.

Source: From a 1909 speech before the Fifteenth Annual Conference on International Arbitration on the subject of "Allegiance to Humanity" held at Lake Mohonk, NY   

And on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, declaring: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." .........Read more

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Stars are forming in Lynds Dark Nebula (LDN) 1251. About 1,000 light-years away and drifting above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the dusty molecular cloud is part of a complex of dark nebulae mapped toward the Cepheus flare region. Across the spectrum, astronomical explorations of the obscuring interstellar clouds reveal energetic shocks and outflows associated with newborn stars, including the telltale reddish glow from scattered Herbig-Haro objects seen in this sharp image. Distant background galaxies also lurk on the scene, buried behind the dusty expanse. This alluring view imaged with a backyard telescope and broadband filters spans about two full moons on the sky, or 17 light-years at the estimated distance of LDN 1251.

Photo by Ara Jerahian

Grilling season is upon us. Are you ready for America’s summertime grilling favorite—the hamburger? Click the image below to see Summer Miller's - Easy, flavorful and balanced recipe at Simply Recipes 

I walk at night.
I walk alone,
On my way,
without my phone.
There is no distraction.
No music to hear,
As I face my worries,
While acknowledging my fear.

A fear of failure now,
As your slow decline
Of memory loss,
Increases the damage.
Increases the cost
Of caring for you.
In a manner of good
For you my sweet one,
It must be understood,
For you can't help yourself,
On this Summer Day.
When you talk to me,
Upon rising and you say,
"What do I do next?"

So there I was,
talking out loud,
it was because,
I was in a crowd.
A crowd? Wait one,
I must admit,
the quiet has been nice,
but not at the
cost of the life
of others, of who I read.
No longer with us,
so many are dead.
Say what you will.
Do what is right.
How in the World,
do you sleep at night?

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

The Old Astronomer's Milky Way arcs through this peaceful northern sky. Against faint, diffuse starlight you can follow dark rifts of interstellar dust clouds stretching from the galaxy's core. They lead toward bright star Antares at the right, almost due south above the horizon. The brightest beacon in the twilight is Jupiter, though. From the camera's perspective it seems to hang from the limb of a tree framing the foreground, an apple tree of course. The serene maritime nightscape was recorded in tracked and untracked exposures on June 16 from Dover, Nova Scotia, planet Earth.

Photo by Kristine Richer

"Just start writing,"
He said to me.
"Let your thoughts go
and you will see,
the words coming forth,
like weeds from the ground
and jump to the paper,
for now they are found
to be unrestrained,
nothing in the way."
Writing, keep writing
until your hands cramp
and your brow becomes
annoyingly wet, as
I try to pull words
from my head or mouth,
to keep the flow coming,
by not going "South"
away from it all, if you please.
Get thee down on your knees,
pray to the Lord, not in vain,
calling forth all by their name.

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Has your world ever turned upside-down? It would happen every day if you stay fixed to the stars. Most time-lapse videos of the night sky show the stars and sky moving above a steady Earth. Here, however, the camera has been forced to rotate so that the stars remain fixed, and the Earth rotates around them. The movie, with each hour is compressed to a second, dramatically demonstrates the daily rotation of the Earth, called diurnal motion. The video begins by showing an open field in Namibia, Africa, on a clear day, last year. Shadows shift as the Earth turns, the shadow of the Earth rises into the sky, the Belt of Venus momentarily appears, and then day turns into night. The majestic band of our Milky Way Galaxy stretches across the night sky, while sunlight-reflecting, Earth-orbiting satellites zoom by. In the night sky, you can even spot the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The video shows a sky visible from Earth's Southern Hemisphere, but a similar video could be made for every middle latitude on our blue planet. Almost Hyperspace: Random APOD Generator

Video by BartoszWojczyński

I knew everything would be alright,
for it was love, at first sight.
The curve of her body, long and thin
and I must mention the color of her skin.
The color was dark; black not blue,
I am certain that would move quite a few.
Her voice had a rumble. Nice to hear,
with a sound so pleasant to my ear.
Why does my blood rush this far
when I'm looking at a new car?

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