Friday, 19 December 2014

British Actor ‘Outed’ by Guardian Blunder

Guardian columnist Jane Czyzselska, writing for the newspaper's companion website, mistakenly 'outed' Shakespearean actor and 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' star Patrick Stewart as being gay.

In a column celebrating 'Inception' actress Ellen Page actually coming out as gay, Czyzselska wrote "some gay people, such as Sir Patrick Stewart, think Page's coming out speech is newsworthy because a high-profile and surprisingly politically aware young actress has decided not to play by the rules that so many closeted Hollywood actors are advised to follow if they are to enjoy mainstream success,"

It just so happens that the 73-year-old Shakespearean actor, best known for his roles as Professor Charles Xavier in the 'X-Men' movies and as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the TV series 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and its companion films - isn't gay.

In fact, Stewart has been married - to Women - three times, most recently in September of last year, when he married American jazz singer Sunny Ozell. He also has two children from a previous marriage.

The Guardian rushed to correct its mistake, adding an addendum at the bottom of the page, but Stewart didn't seem to mind a bit.

"It makes a nice change" tweeted Stewart in response to the 'outing'. "At least I didn't wake up to the Internet telling me I was dead again". At the time of writing, that post has been 'retweeted' 1,181 times.

For those who don't know, Sir Patrick Stewart is a huge supporter of LGBT rights. He vocally supports gay marriage and was even given the 2013 'Straight Ally of The Year Award' from PFLAG.

Fellow 'Star Trek' star William Shatner joined in the fun, Tweeting, "I never get that kind of coverage! I'm jealous!"

The confusion may have arisen because Sir Patrick's best friend is openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen. If that was the case, Stewart tweeted this response: "I have, like, five or even SEVEN hetero friends and we totally drink beer and eat lots of chicken wings!" Is it just me, or is it impossible to read the above quote without hearing Captain Picard's voice in your head?

On a more serious note, Stewart has often spoken about civil rights, he once said, "From my earliest years as an actor I have always been proud of the support the creative community gives to all forms of human and civil rights,"

In fact, Patrick Stewart is no stranger to fighting the good fight, the actor has been a vocal opponent of domestic violence (working with Amnesty International) and he is also a patron for Refuge, a UK-based charity for abused Women.

... And no, he isn't dead.

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Could we now have found possibilities of life from another planet?

A team of British scientists believe that they have discovered organisms in earth’s environment that originate from space.

As hard as that could be to believe, Professor Milton Wainwright, the team’s leader, insists that this is definitely the situation.

The team, out of the University of Sheffield, exposed the little organisms (misleadingly known as ‘bugs’ by a great deal of demanding journalists) living on a probe balloon that was sent 16.7 miles into our environment through last month’s Perseids meteor shower.

According to Professor Wainwright, the minuscule creatures couldn’t have been passed into the stratosphere on the balloon. He said, "Most people will imagine that these biological particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it’s generally accepted a particle of the volume found can't be lifted from Earth to heights of, for instance, 27km. Really the only well-known exception is by a violent volcanic explosion, none of those occurred within three years of their sampling trip."

Wainwright maintains that the only most important end is these organisms originated from space. He went on to mention that “life isn’t restricted to the planet also it nearly certainly didn’t originate here”

However, not everyone seems to be so convinced. Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project said, “I’m very skeptical. This claim has been made beforehand, and dismissed as terrestrial contamination." The team responds to this by saying they were thorough when they prepared the balloon before the experiments began.

Yet, they do acknowledge that there might be an unknown reason for those organisms to reach such altitudes. It should also be renowned that microbal organisms discovered within the 1980’s and 1990’s and called ‘extremophiles’ stunned the scientific community by living in environments that will instantly kill the majority of life on earth.

These creatures have always been observed living deep under Glacial ice and even 1900 feet below the ocean floor. In March of that year, Ronnie Glud, a biogeochemist at the Southern Danish Uni in Odense, Denmark was quoted as saying "Inside the most secluded, inhospitable places, you are able to actually have higher activity than their surroundings," which "Yow will discover microbes all over the place - they're enormously adaptable to surroundings, and stay alive wherever they are," so it seems more plausible that either the team is in error, or that this is just another case of microscopic life showing up in an unusual place.

In addition, it is not the 1st time this unique team has come under fire for stating such statements, either. Back in January of this year, astrobiologist Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe reported that ‘fossils’ found inside a Sri Lankan meteorite were testimony of extraterrestrial life, an assertion that is widely criticized by scientific community.

Other scientists have complained that there frankly isn’t enough proof to make this type of claim, as a theory this vital would require a sizable body of proof to prove its authority.

What that claims to the reporter is that microbes can exist basically anyplace which it simply is not good science to leap to wild conclusions like aliens each time a more plausible explanation is most probably present. Science should not be subject to such wild leaps of fancy. Imagination is a good aid to science, however it isn't a science in and of by itself. Sadly, Dr. Wainwright and his group appear to be seeing what they need to observe.

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