1) Pictures found on the Net today:

Tel Aviv, Israel: A child plays in a fountain at a park on a hot day.


Playing and hot day are two words that don’t go together for me now.  That child is still inside me.  I need to find a way to bring him out more, except on a hot day like today.  🙂

When was the last time you let your inner child come out and play?

Picky Eater

That was me as a child.  I refused to eat my veggies, and would sit at the table for over an hour rather then give in.  Take away the hair, add a few pounds, and wrinkles, and this is still me 60 years later.

Where you a picky eater as a child?

2) Science

a. A researcher at the University of Sheffield has discovered the most massive stars ever found, using the European Southern Observatory´s (ESO) Very Large Telescope. Found within two young star clusters, NGC 3603 and RMC 136a, the stars weigh up to 300 times the mass of the Sun, a figure which doubles the previously accepted limit of solar mass.

The link below is to a Guardian picture that compares this massive star, R136a1 to our solar system:


From the University of University of Sheffield press release:


“A team of international astronomers led by Paul Crowther, Professor of Astrophysics from the University of Sheffield´s Department of Physics and Astronomy, used the ESO Very Large Telescope and data from the NASA/ESA (European Space Agency) Hubble Space Telescope to study the two clusters of stars. The research, which is funded by the STFC (Science and Technologies Funding Council) may provide an answer to the question as to how massive stars can be.”

“NGC 3603 is located 22,000 light-years away from the Sun, and is a cosmic factory within which stars form quickly from the nebula´s ring of gas and dust. RMC 136a (more commonly known as R136a), another cluster of young, hot stars, is found within the Tarantula nebula, itself within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way.”

“The most massive star ever found, R136a1 within the R136a cluster, has a current mass of 265 solar masses, and it is thought its birthweight was as much as 320 times that of the Sun. It is also the most luminous star ever found, close to ten million times that of the Sun. Within R136, only four stars out of an estimated 100,000 stars in the cluster weighed more than 150 solar masses at birth, yet they account for nearly half of the solar wind and radiation in the entire cluster.”

b. A Vaccine-Delivery patch with dissolving microneedles has been developed that eliminates “sharps”,  waste. and improves protection

From Georgia Tech press release:


“A new vaccine-delivery patch based on hundreds of microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin could allow persons without medical training to painlessly administer vaccines – while providing improved immunization against diseases such as influenza

Patches containing micron-scale needles that carry vaccine with them as they dissolve into the skin could simplify immunization programs by eliminating the use of hypodermic needles – and their “sharps” disposal and re-use concerns.  Applied easily to the skin, the microneedle patches could allow self-administration of vaccine during pandemics and simplify large-scale immunization programs in developing nations.”

“Just 650 microns in length and assembled into an array of 100 needles for the mouse study, the dissolving microneedles penetrate the outer layers of skin.  Beyond their other advantages, the dissolving microneedles appear to provide improved immunity to influenza when compared to vaccination with hypodermic needles.”

“Another advantage of these microneedles is that the vaccine is present as a dry formulation, which will enhance its stability during distribution and storage,” said Ioanna Skountzou, an Emory University assistant professor.

Pressed into the skin, the microneedles quickly dissolve in bodily fluids, leaving only the water-soluble backing.  The backing can be discarded because it no longer contains any sharps.

“We envision people getting the patch in the mail or at a pharmacy and then self administering it at home,” said Sean Sullivan, the study’s lead author from Georgia Tech.  “Because the microneedles on the patch dissolve away into the skin, there would be no dangerous sharp needles left over.”

Does getting a injection from a needle bother you?

I am a complete wuss, and have to look away.