Massive Black Hole at center of the Milky Way

Graveyard of Stars May Surround Milky Way's Monster Black Hole

Aloha – Today’s speculation of choice is related to a theory that the center of the Milky was is hosted by a massive Black Hole, 4.3 million times the size of our son.  Thousands of star may be shrouding the Black Hole, or perhaps it is spinning at a speed almost unfathomable.

Intriguing notion.  It certainly has some merit.  After all the Milky way is clearly spinning in a manner that suggests the billions of stars are being held in a pattern by some force.

As the characters in the Demeter series do not really approach the center of the Milky Way their opinions are of limited value, but here we go:

Ryder’s view is that the Milky Way does revolve around a giant Black Hole, but he is non-commital to the size.  He is supportive of theory that whatever it’s size it is spinning at speeds to fast to capture on film.

Cynthia is quoted as saying “I believe that God is at the Center of the Universe and it is through his will that all things live and exist.  I believe it is through his power that the Milky Way spins.

Debbie, Ryder’s sister responded, ‘I’ve no idea how big it is, but I intend to fly there and find out.  Want to come along?

Joel and Randy just shrugged and in tandem replied, “Who cares?”


Nine great places off the beaten path for star gazing

Aloha – Tired of the same old vacations?  How about a trip focused on some of the best views of the night sky in the world.  This might be a worthwhile bucket list of destinations.  For most of my readers at least one of these destinations is within reasonable access :o)  I discovered a great story on this:  “Dazzling Stargazing Destinations worth going off the grid for”

If you’d just like the short list:

  • Tenerife on the Canary islands
  • Atacama Desert in Chile
  • NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia
  • Aoraki Madckenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand
  • Mauna Kea in Hawaii (made it close to this one, but the fog was so bad that day I could barely see the road)
  • Nova Scotia, Canada (maybe this fall)
  • Jasper National Park in Canada (Okay, I’ve been to Jasper but only during the daytime… going to have to return)
  • Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania
  • Galloway Forest Park in Scotland

The areas on the list that I’ve been to, are a delight even without star gazing.  I have no problems planning a trip back to them.


Delightful viewing for Sky watchers


Aloha – The next few nights will be especially fruitful for stargazers.  Jupiter will be visible as the brightest “star” in the southwestern sky in the early evenings

If you have good binoculars, or a small telescope you’ll also be able to make out Ganymede, Europa, Io, and Callisto; four of the several moons of Jupiter.



Haumeah Covers arrive

Click for Options

Aloha – I received three versions of the cover art for Haumeah, volume 4 of the Demeter series this morning.  I’ve asked the designer to enlarge the back cover description text, but am otherwise satisfied with the cover.

The back cover reads (in case you can’t make it out :o):

William Ryder credited with saving Demeter from an alien invasion; building an alliance with the PerSians and now determined to set the Orion Spur free from the Ten Thousand Years War.  The first step to his plan is to build an alliance with the hostile mining world of Haumeah, that also supports the second of three way-stations between the Persean and Sagittarian Arms of the Galaxy.  But before that he has to face three unexpected challenges.  Returning to Earth he has to learn how to drive a car, meet Cynthia’s father, and make a life altering decision.

What do you think?  Does it draw you in?  I expect to have to book up and available on Amazon two weeks.

In other news, the final book in the series is in editing.  I think I may be changing the title.  The anthology for the Demeter series is also awaiting editing.  But I’m also starting work on a new stand alone novel.  More about that later.  I’ll share how I’m progressing on that one as I move along.  It is nice to get back to writing after two years of editing five books lol.


So long and thanks for all the fish

Aloha – Wasn’t it just last month that a Russian analysts suggested launching a single nuclear missile at Yellowstone creating an Armageddon effect destroying the United States.  Intriguing threat.  Then this month we get news that U.S. scientists have identified a hot magma chamber below Yellowstone large enough to fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over.

Regardless of whether or not the U.S. could survive a massive explosion at Yellowstone, I’m not so sure that Salt Lake City, Utah would.  If that is the case, then I’m out of here.  I’ll call the DDF and emigrate back to Demeter permanently.

Of course Demeter has its own problems with an ongoing war between two arms of the galaxy.  It’s a tough place to be when things heat up between those two superpowers.  They make the U.S. and Russia look like infants fighting over a rattle.

Maybe I’ll stay here and take my chances.


DDF Troubling Report about new exo-planet search for life


Aloha – Another troubling report by the DDF sent back to Demeter was intercepted.  As you may know the Demeter Defense Forces have thousands of former conscriptees who served in the exo-planet, Demeter.  For well over three hundred years, returning veterans from the 10,000 years war between Sagittarians and PerSians has raged within our Orion Spur.

Efforts to curtail Russia’s space program has been successful, but now NASA is assembling a team for the sole purpose of discovering life on planets outside our own Solar System.

“The trend is disturbing and we’re not sure how much longer we can create misinformation to dissuade the people from discovering our presence.  Thirty years ago, few people believed there were planets outside our Solar System, now they have discovered over 1800 planets outside the System and it is a given that there are billions more.  Within the last three years, scientists have been convinced that there is life outside the System and now they’re determined to find it.”

The report goes on to recommend ways to disrupt the research, but they are painting a grim picture of their potential success to keep Demeter and other intelligent supporting planets a secret.


5 Reasons + 5 Good Reasons to Colonize Mars

5 undeniable reasons humans need to colonize Mars — even though it's going to cost billions

Aloha – I ran across an interesting story today about why we should colonize Mars.

#1 Survival of our species.  Hmmm…. I think that is rather weak.  Survival from what?  The Sun going Nova?  I’m not so sure that Mars survives that one.  We’re discovering better deposits of water on moons of Saturn, Jupiter, and the Dwarf Planet Ceres.  For survival I think those may be better choices.  However,  I offer a different #1

#1A – Makes a great retirement community for retirees.  With lower gravity, us old folks will feel spry again.  Consider how it will reduce the cost of things like hip replacements.  That may save enough money from Medicare to launch the entire program.

#2 Discovery of life on Mars.  The perspective of discovering life around the Solar System is gaining momentum, but the quality of life is mostly interesting to microbiologists.  I’m not that interested in spending my billions to ship microbiologists to Mars.  Now sociologists and philosophers might be worth it.

#2A – A better choice, Search for evidence that Barsoom really existed or even exists today.  I’d really be interested in meeting John Carter.  Plus, they have that great atmosphere generator in the novels.  Now that could be valuable.

#3 Improve the quality of life on Earth, okay the idea of technologies and science expanding through such development is undeniable.  I’ll give them that, but….

#3A – If we colonize Mars with far right and far left politicians we will improve the quality of life on Earth.  Likewise, let every culture that has two multi-millenial wars going on flip a coin and have one side go to Mars and the other stay on Earth.  or perhaps simply give Mars to ISIS and let them kill and butcher all other life forms on the planet that are vaguely humanoid.  Then surprise them by sending no other life forms :o)

#4 Growing as a species.  NIce try.  It certainly can grow a very small segment of the Earth’s braintrust, but I don’t think we can generalize on this, however

#4A Put a McDonalds on every corner and get rid of everything but Supersize.  That can grow the entire population as a species.

#5 Demonstrate political and economic leadership ROFL

#5A I think a better solution to demonstrating political and economic leadership would occur if:

1. We arrest all newscasters who extort the truth.  That would eliminate all current newscasters who drive their political agenda and assume that all people of Earth are really sheep (sadly their efforts suggest that they may be right)

2. Shift to a democracy that is scaled so that we have concentric leadership circles with no person representing more than 5,000 people.  This means that we would have communities of 5,000 even within cities of huge populations.  Those representatives meet in their city or regional councils and each selects a representative for every 500 such communities. There is no such thing as representing the people, when you’re representing 20 million Californians.  Nobody can remember that many individuals.

So there you have it, 5 reasons followed by 5 ‘good’ reasons to colonize Mars.  Oops, #5A doesn’t really apply, but then political leadership is an oxymoron and has no means of providing a rational answer.

Best wishes,


Mercury falling

Aloha – Of late, I’ve been especially interested in the two NASA probes approaching the dwarf planets, Ceres and Pluto.  But I did not want to forget a 10 and a half year old probe that is about to end its journey.

In 2004, NASA launched a probe toward Mercury.  As the journey is a lot shorter than to the edge of the Solar System; it has been able to broadcast data back to the control center for the past four years.  Mercury is much like our Moon in that it always keeps one face pointed at the Sun and one face always dark.  As a result, there is of course a very hot side to Mercury, but also a very cold side as well.  It does hold a lot of ice on the dark side… enough to put a 2 mile thick ice field over Washington, or certainly enough to end the drought in California.

Mercury shows signs of containing organic matter, but the nature of the matter is unknown.  After four years of circling the planet, the probe will end it’s days crashing into Mercury on the toasty side.  Final maneuvers are slated for April 24th when the craft runs out of gas, and will orbit a while longer, until it gets drawn into Mercury for a final landing… at over 8,000 miles per hour.

Mercurians can then come back out of their underground bunkers and enjoy the weather or lack thereof.


Finalizing a cover for Haumeah – New Science Fiction

Aloha – Sometimes developing cover art for a book is as challenging as editing.  I have been working for two months via email with the person who has done the covers for the first three books in the Demeter series, for book 4:  Haumeah.  It helps me better understand the challenges of the whispering game :o)

We’re finally to a satisfactory cover.  It’s not exactly what I had in mind, but we’re up to close enough.  Of course when a graphic artist is trying to visualize a story from perhaps half a chapter of information it makes sense that we would sometimes have challenges; especially when my artistic abilities in art are trying to make a stick figure.

The following was what I sent the artist on the third iteration:

Let’s see.  (1) the domes are grounded inside the asteroid.  (2) there are ways to walk between the domes, but they are buried.  It actually comes up at one point where the locals find it humorous that visitors have to keep suiting up to move between the domes, when they actually have tunnels.  These would not be visible from the surface.

Scale seems to be a challenge here, so let me make some assumptions that might help:
1.  Assume that the interior of the asteroid is pretty much hollowed out although not evenly, so there would be rocky crags and so forth, but basically empty space.  
2.  There is no atmosphere, so the domes are a necessity
3.  Think about the interior of the asteroid as about the size of Idaho, in other words a couple of hundred miles inside the asteroid
4.  the domes themselves within that scale are mostly bunched adjacent to each other.  Most domes would be about a mile or so in diameter.  The Capital dome itself would be three to four times larger than the other domes. 
5.  All told there are a dozen larger domes plus the capital dome.  There would be several others in the general proximity of the capital, but probably no more than two dozen.  
Does that help?

I will say this for the artist, she is diligent and patient with me.  The close enough art work is satisfying if not exactly what I had in mind.

We’re up to the verbiage for the back cover.

 In book 4 of the Demeter series, William Ryder credited with saving Demeter from an alien invasion;  building an alliance with the PerSians and now determined to set the Orion Spur free from the Ten Thousand Years War.  The first step to his plan is to build an alliance with the hostile mining world of Haumeah, that also supports the second of three way-stations between the Perseus and Sagittarius Arms of the galaxy.  But before that he has to face three unexpected challenges.  Returning to Earth he has to learn how to drive a car, meet Cynthia’s father, and make a life altering decision. 

I expect to release Haumeah on Amazon within the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, if you have not had a chance to read any of the Demeter series, the first three volumes are available as e-books on Amazon.  You can read the first couple of chapters for free :o)  Doc