Sanden Totten from KPCC brings us this story on Jupiter's red spot. Uh oh! It's shrinking. Here's what Sanden tells us about the famous mark:
It's a powerful storm on the gassy planet's surface that's been observed continually since the 1800s, though it's likely much older than that, and has become the planet's most identifiable feature. But researchers now say the iconic spot is disappearing. Fast.
"It's at its smallest size ever," said Amy Simon, lead researcher of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Great Red Spot is a hurricane-like weather pattern that blows 500 mph winds and swirls clouds of ammonia and ammonium hydrosulphide.
In the 1800s, the GRS, as it's known, was estimated to be 25,500 miles across. Today it's less than half that size.
While it's always been shrinking, Simon said that the process has speeded up dramatically in recent years.
Using data gathered by the Hubble telescope, she calculated the GRS is diminishing by about 580 miles a year.
"People have asked me, 'Is it going to disappear?' But we don't know that yet," Simon said. "It'll be interesting to follow over the next few years and see what it does."
As for the cause, Simon said that small eddies feed into the storm, and they may be changing its internal dynamics, causing the rapid shrinkage.
The real mystery, though, is how a single storm has lasted hundreds of years.
Simon said NASA scientists have tried to recreate the storm in a computer using mathematical models. But even their best efforts weren't able to replicate the longevity of Jupiter's distinctive red spot.
By observing the storm as it shrinks, Simon thinks her team will learn a lot more about how weather works on our solar system's largest planet.
BAD MAGIC comes out September 16. Until then, you can look at sneak peeks at the artwork done by Gilbert Ford.
We love Gilbert! We'll be posting some of his drawings. You can check out more about him on his website.
What is going on. An elevator ... A group - what's going on?!? We want to see more, Gilbert!
Wordnik Word of the Day for May 16, 2014
Nautical, a showery sprinkling of sea-water or fine spray swept from the tops of the waves by the violence of the wind in a tempest, and driven along before it, covering the surface of the sea; scud.
Spoondrift is the kind of thing you'd see at a tempestuous sea, as featured in BAD MAGIC. Look out!
Wordnik Word of the Day for May 15, 2014
A buzzing or whizzing sound.
To combine both definitions, the zizz of bees could wake you from your zizz.
And if you like bees and naps, stay tuned for BAD MAGIC.
We recently received this alarming missive:
Hello, Mr. Bosch.
I just sent a letter to the M.S.
What's that? You think that I'm being incredibly careless and idiotic?
Very well, call an ally that. You'll regret it when that baseball doesn't miss and I have to take the bullet for you.
I know the Secret.
And I'm waiting for the next to come.
Mr. Bosch, I know that September is not too long away (IT IS WHEN YOU'RE WAITING FOR A ESPECIALLY GOOD BOOK TO COME OUT), I felt I must have contacted you and tell you that I will give up my chocolate for just another look at what's gonna happen to Cass, Max-Ernest, and Yo-Yoji.
As well as telling you that the Midnight Sun--
THEY'VE FOUND ME! THEY'RE COMING AFTER YOU!
I'm running right now, Mr. Bosch. Save yourself while you can! They know I'm contacting you!
Now I'm in a crate. Hiding. I hope I don't get sent to a casino in Las Vegas.
I need to tell you-- I was the one who took your Ultimate Chocolate Bar Recipe and I'm REALLY sorry! I also would like you to have the rest of my chocolate supply. DON'T LET MY BROTHER HAVE ANY.
Mr. Bosch, please tell me you will reply… I have no other forms of entertainment in this crate, and my Wi-Fi is running out of ti--
And it was mysteriously (and accurately) signed: The Chess-loving Most Maddening Fan.
We're not at all certain why they would write to the Midnight Sun! We hope others learn from this lesson.
As for the book coming in September ... Wherever did you hear such BAD MAGIC?
The Moomin cafe - based on the characters from the Moomin books - a favorite series with Team Bosch. Who wouldn't love these eccentric little animals.
And they're so kind! They won't let you be lonely.
“Guests to Moominhouse are welcomed by the Moomin family ... the oddly-named characters Sniff and Stinky are also available to share your table with.”
Wordnik Word of the Day for April 24, 2014
A riddle; specifically, a riddle formed by the arbitrary or confused mingling of parts or elements, which have to be recombined in proper order for the answer.
This word comes from the Greek 'logos,' word, plus 'griphos,' fishing basket, riddle.
A VERY BAD COVER… FOR BAD MAGIC (COMING SEPT 16)
Cover and glorious illustrations by Gilbert Ford.
Sometimes it works best to hide in plain sight. Happy April Fool's Day!
See you in September!
Wordnik Word of the Day for April 01, 2014
A supposed discovery which turns out to be a hoax; something grossly absurd.
A confused multitude of things.
To discover mare's nests; make absurd discoveries; imagine that one has made an important discovery which is really no discovery at all, or is a hoax.
Happy April Fool's Day!
Wordnik Word of the Day for March 21, 2014
A piece of mail matter which cannot be delivered, either because no post office exists at the place to which is it addressed, or because there is no place of the name mentioned in the designated State, Territory, or the like.
Team Bosch likes to put its secret lair in places where mail can't reach us - that's why it sometimes takes so long to respond to letters.
The Word of the Day for March 19 is:
orthography \or-THAH-gruh-fee\ noun
1 a : the art of writing words with the proper letters according to standard usage
"It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word!" That quote, ascribed to Andrew Jackson, might have been the motto of early English spelling. The concept of orthography (a term that derives from the Greek words "orthos," meaning "right or true," and "graphein," meaning "to write") was not something that really concerned people until the introduction of the printing press in England in the second half of the 15th century. From then on, English spelling became progressively more uniform and has remained fairly stable since the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (with the notable exception of certain spelling reforms, such as changing "musick" to "music," that were championed by Noah Webster).
So we have Samuel Johnson to thank for the rigid way that spelling tests are graded!
No wonder maverick speller Andrew Jackson made it on to the $20 bill.
The Word of the Day for March 18 is:
verboten \ver-BOH-tun\ adjective
: forbidden; especially : prohibited by dictate
"Verboten," which first appeared in English in 1916, is used to describe things that are forbidden according to a law or a highly regarded authority.
Wow - what a strong word. Luckily we are allowed to share it with you.
Agent LO sends us these pictures of thsee Indonesian versions of some secret books.
Thanks Agent LO. As our agent in the field we rely on you to send us images of these dangerous books as they spread throughout the globe. Thanks!
Agent C shows us this sighting:
What a smart look! Thanks for staying secret.
discovery.com brings us this:
Whale waste is rich in iron so it stimulates the growth of phytoplankton, which then serve as carbon traps that remove some 400,000 estimated tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year.
Since carbon has been linked to greenhouse gases, sperm whales likely reduce global warming.
Sperm whale waste isn't much to look at -- a diarrhea-like substance with a few squid beaks floating around -- but new research has found it removes carbon from the atmosphere, helping to offset greenhouse gases that have been tied to global warming.
There you go! That diarrhea-like substance with squid beaks ... it helps the environment. So leave it there! Don't try to bring it home.