‘Norbit’ chews up ‘Hannibal’ at box office

first_img“He wasn’t that visible on marquees in huge hits for a while. Then suddenly, every time you turn around, it’s `Wow, what a surprise. Eddie is great,”‘ said DreamWorks spokesman Marvin Levy. The year’s biggest opening so far, “Norbit” still was not able to lift Hollywood out of a box-office funk in which revenues have fallen for six straight weekends. The top 12 movies took in $91.3 million, down 10.5 percent from the same weekend in 2006, when “The Pink Panther” and “Final Destination 3” both debuted in the $20 million range. “Norbit,” the 14th No. 1 opening for Murphy, came in well above the expectations of distributor Paramount, which had projected that the movie might pull in about $25 million over the opening weekend. The movie was trashed by critics, but the lure of Murphy again handling multiple roles, as he did in “Coming to America” and “The Nutty Professor” flicks, proved irresistible for audiences. Murphy plays mild-mannered Norbit, his grossly overweight and overbearing wife and a Chinese orphanage owner who raised him. “Dreamgirls,” a Paramount-DreamWorks release, also remained in the top 10 with $3.1 million, lifting its total to $97.1 million. Murphy also has another sure hit coming in May with DreamWorks’ animated sequel “Shrek the Third.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Movie fans were eager to get three Eddie Murphys for the price of one. Murphy’s comedy “Norbit,” in which he plays three wildly different roles, opened as the top weekend movie with $33.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. “Norbit,” a DreamWorks production, easily beat the debut of the MGM-Weinstein Co. thriller “Hannibal Rising,” a prequel about “The Silence of the Lambs” serial killer Hannibal Lecter that came in at No. 2 with $13.35 million. Murphy had not had a starring role in a movie since 2003’s “The Haunted Mansion,” but “Norbit” benefited from the huge acclaim and publicity he has received for “Dreamgirls,” for which he is expected to win the supporting-actor Academy Award. last_img

Father pushing for law to curtail cyberbullying

first_imgPROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ryan Patrick Halligan was bullied for months online. Classmates sent the 13-year-old Essex Junction, Vt., boy instant messages calling him gay. He was threatened, taunted and insulted incessantly by so-called cyberbullies. In 2003, Ryan killed himself. “He just went into a deep spiral in eighth grade. He couldn’t shake this rumor,” said Ryan’s father, John Halligan, who became a key proponent of a state law that forced Vermont schools to put anti-bullying rules in place. He’s now pushing for a broader law to punish cyberbullying – often done at home after school – and wants every other state to enact laws expressly prohibiting it. States from Oregon to Rhode Island are considering crackdowns to curb or outlaw the behavior in which kids taunt or insult peers on social Web sites such as MySpace or via instant messages. Still, there is some disagreement over how effective crackdowns will be and how to do it. Cyberbullying is often limited to online insults about someone’s physical appearance, friends, clothing or sexuality. But some cyberbullies are more creative. In Washington state, a bully stole a girl’s instant-message user name and used it to send out insulting messages. In New York, two high school boys were accused of operating an Internet site that listed girls’ “sexual secrets.” Prosecutors decided not to charge the boys because of free-speech concerns. Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, said it will be difficult to draft a cyberbullying law that doesn’t infringe on free-speech rights. “The fact that two teenagers say nasty things about each other is a part of growing up,” he said. “How much authority does a school have to monitor, regulate and punish activities occurring inside a student’s home?” In Arkansas, the state Senate this month passed a bill calling on school districts to set up policies to address cyberbullying only after it was amended to settle concerns about students’ free-speech rights. States are taking different approaches to the problem. A South Carolina law that took effect this year requires school districts to define bullying and outline policies and repercussions for the behavior, including cyberbullying. One school district there has proposed punishments from warnings up to expulsion for both traditional bullying and cyberbullying. Some of Oregon’s most powerful lawmakers have lined up behind a proposed bill that would require all of the state’s 198 school districts to adopt policies that prohibit cyberbullying. Some local school districts aren’t waiting for the state to take action: The Sisters school district in Central Oregon adopted rules that allow it to revoke cyberbullies’ school Internet privileges, or even expel a student in egregious cases. Other schools are also being proactive. Rhode Island’s McDonough sent both public and private school superintendents information and resources on cyberbullying. One school is designing lesson plans to help stop cyberbullying and protect children from Internet predators. “I think it would be a good idea if there was a law, but I really believe it has to start at home,” said Patricia McCormick, assistant principal of the private St. Philip School in Smithfield, R.I. McCormick said all the teachers in the school have been trained on Internet safety, and students now receive at least 15 classes on the subject, which includes cyberbullying. But she said stopping the problem will require parental participation. “Cyberbullying isn’t going on in school,” she said. “It is going on at home, and I think there needs to be more programs to educate parents about the dangers.” News Corp.’s social-networking site MySpace prohibits cyberbullying and tells users to report abuse – to the company as well as to parents and law enforcement, according to a statement issued by Hemanshu Nigam, the company’s chief security officer. John Halligan, whose son’s suicide has turned him into an advocate for broader cyberbullying laws that would allow victims and their families to pursue civil penalties against bullies, said something must be done to stop the problem. “I didn’t simply want it to be Ryan’s school that agreed to do something,” he said. “At the end of the day this wasn’t just a problem in Ryan’s school.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The kids are forcing our hands to do something legislatively,” said Rhode Island state Sen. John Tassoni, who introduced a bill to study cyberbullying and hopes to pass a cyberbullying law by late 2007. But others argue that legislation would be ineffective. George McDonough, an education coordinator with Rhode Island’s Department of Education, concedes that the Internet has become an “instant slam book” but questions whether laws can stem bad behavior. “You can’t legislate norms, you can only teach norms,” he said. “Just because it’s a law they don’t necessarily follow it. I mean, look at the speed limit.” The Internet allows students to insult others in relative anonymity, and experts who study cyberbullying say it can be more damaging to victims than such traditional bullying as fistfights and classroom taunts. Legislators and educators say there’s a need for guidelines outlining how to punish cyberbullying. They say the behavior has gone unchecked for years, with few laws or policies on the books explaining how to treat it. last_img read more

North Peace Fall Fair going on this weekend

first_imgThis year’s North Peace Fall Fair will be held this weekend. A wide range of activities are planned including a tractor pull, heavy horse pull, and pancake breakfasts Saturday and Sunday just to name a few.There will be a parade on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. with Sunday’s parade featuring classic cars.After an extended absence to the fair lineup the log sawing and spike driving competition will return.- Advertisement -The talent show will be held on Saturday with cash prizes up for grabs, and that evening the family dance is scheduled.There will also be bouncy castles on site for children.The cost to enter is $10 per day for adults, and $5 per day for seniors and children. Weekend passes can be purchased for $20 for adults, and $10 for seniors and children. Camping is also available for $40, however those wanting to do that are asked not to come prior to 5 p.m. today.Advertisementlast_img read more

Conte concedes ‘unstoppable’ City too good for Chelsea

first_imgChelsea’s fourth defeat in five league games left Antonio Conte’s reigning English title-holders five points adrift of the top four.And the Italian’s negative approach came under scrutiny after the visitors failed to register a shot on target after he again opted to start without a recognised centre-forward by leaving Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench.“Today they showed the difference between them and us in this moment,” said Conte.“Twenty-five points is a big gap and I think that we can have a regret for the other games but not for this one.“The effort of the players was an important effort. When you play against Manchester City, this type of team, they are showing fantastic quality but also fantastic mentality.“When you match quality with mentality, you become unstoppable.”City now need a maximum of four wins from their last nine league games to seal the title and even manager Pep Guardiola admitted he is surprised by the extent of City’s dominance.“No way. Who could believe it?” Guardiola said of his side amassing 78 points from 29 games. “I think if you ask the players, the players neither.”Guardiola celebrated wildly at the full-time whistle as he senses his first Premier League title is now a matter of weeks away.And he hailed his players’ relentlessness not to let up despite their mammoth lead.“I think we made an amazing performance because (it) is against Chelsea, the last champion.“We were aggressive, we had desire, we had commitment to show we want to do it again and again, and that’s why we won.”– Sane stands out –Just as in a 3-0 win at Arsenal on Thursday, Leroy Sane was the inspiration for much of City’s best attacking play.Sane created the hosts’ first big chance 21 minutes in when he slalomed past three Chelsea defenders before feeding Bernardo Silva, whose shot dipped just too late and dropped onto the roof of the net.The German thought he had opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark when he caught Kevin De Bruyne’s cross flush, but Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta bailed out his side with an excellent goal-line clearance.So anonymous were Chelsea as an attacking threat that their own fans sarcastically cheered when a rare foray forward earned a corner just before the break.However, Conte’s contain and counter-attack game plan was undone within a minute of the second period when Sergio Aguero’s reverse pass picked out David Silva and his namesake Bernardo knocked the ball into the ground and over the helpless Thibaut Courtois for his seventh goal of the season.Thereafter, City were quite content to keep possession as Chelsea still refused to abandon their cautious approach.Conte eventually introduced Giroud with 12 minutes remaining, whilst Chelsea’s club-record signing Morata had to wait until the final minute to get on.But even then it was top scorer Eden Hazard who was sacrificed and the Belgian cut a frustrated figure as he trudged off in the pouring rain.The visitors could, though, have snatched an unlikely point in stoppage time only for Marcos Alonso’s mishit strike from the edge of the box to dribble wide.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Bernardo Silva’s second goal in as many matches moved Man City another step closer to the title © AFP / Anthony DevlinMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 4 – Chelsea manager Antonio Conte conceded his side were powerless against an “unstoppable” Manchester City who opened up an 18-point Premier League lead with a 1-0 home win on Sunday.Bernardo Silva scored the only goal of the match 35 seconds into the second half at the Etihad Stadium when he prodded home at the back post from David Silva’s low cross.last_img read more

‘Wait until Flamini is used as a striker!’ Arsenal fans meltdown over Welbeck injury

first_img1 Danny Welbeck will spend months on the sidelines following knee surgery Arsenal announced a knee injury would keep Danny Welbeck out for a ‘period of months’ and some fans were soon in meltdown.The Gunners failed to sign any outfield players during the recent transfer window and they are now one man down up front.Karim Benzema and Edinson Cavani were two names linked with moves to north London, but now it’s just Olivier Giroud up top, though Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell are capable of filling in.There were some Arsenal supporters, however, who could do nothing but simply laugh at the whole situation…last_img

GAA NEWS: NAOMH COLMCILLE RESERVES BEAT AODH RUADH IN INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP

first_imgThe reserves defeated Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon in the Intermediate championship playoff at Convoy on Friday evening. The seniors had no fixture this week.The reserves took on Aodh Ruadh under lights at Convoy in the championship playoff on Friday, and after a terrific performance emerged victorious on a full time scoreline of Aodh Ruadh 1-12 4-08 Naomh Colmcille. The lads now take on Naomh Brid.The U16s lost out to Naomh Columba in the all-county semi-final on Sunday. The minor board held a fun evening for all U8, U10 and U12 kids on Friday in the clubhouse. Well done to all the kids and thanks to everyone for attending and to the local businesses for providing the raffle prizes.The club are holding a Night at the Races fundraising event on Saturday 1st November. Race cards are now being distributed, and horses (€10) can also be got from any committee member.The minor board AGM takes place on Wednesday Nov 12th at 8:00 pm in the club house. Coaches, parents and anyone else are encouraged to attend.The dinner dance is scheduled for Saturday 22nd November at the Radisson. More details to follow. The club is now registered for the Lucozade ‘Kit Out’ promotion. Codes are printed on promotional bottles under the plastic wrapper – please note these codes so they can be entered online on behalf of the club to try and collect gear or equipment.Check out the club’s new Facebook page (Naomh Colmcille CLG – Donegal) for latest updates on training, match times etc.Training and Match Schedule.Information here is correct at the time of compilation of the weekly notes. Check the Training Schedule section on the club website for latest updates on training for all age groups. The page will be updated regularly throughout the week. Updates also on the club’s Facebook page.Subscription of €2 per player (up to and including minors) per week for training. Please make sure you bring your full kit (shorts, track bottoms, boots, sports top/hoodie/coat, drink). Remember a mouth guard is needed for training sessions as well as matches. Seniors and reserves. Training on Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 pm. See website and Facebook page for updates during the week.U18. See Facebook for further updates.U16. See Facebook for latest updates.U12. See Facebook for updates during the week. U10. See Facebook for updates during the week.Girls U12-16 Gaelic. See Facebook and website for updates during the week.Reminder that the use of mouthguards is now compulsory for all players.Naomh Colmcille Weekly Lotto.This week’s numbers and winners will appear in next week’s notes. Next week’s jackpot €6,500.The Lotto is the main regular source of fundraising for the club so if you can spare some time to help out it would be greatly appreciated. Contact Breda Friel if you’re able to help.The Club would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support of the Lotto as it gives the club the essential means of continuing to give our local kids and adults the chance to avail of a great and healthy pastime.GAA NEWS: NAOMH COLMCILLE RESERVES BEAT AODH RUADH IN INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP was last modified: October 28th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalNaomh Colmcille GAA noteslast_img read more

RUGBY STAR MULDOON DOESN’T HAVE TO ‘TRY’ HARD IN BALLYBOFEY!

first_imgLarissa is surrounded by staff at Jackson’s HotelDonegal rugby star Larissa Muldoon didn’t have to try too hard during her first visit back home after scooping the women’s Six Nations Championship recently.Larissa dropped into Jackson’s Hotel with her family to show off the silverware.And owners Margaret and Barry Jackson were only to delighted to welcome Larissa and the Grand Slam trophy. Margaret and Barry Jackson welcome LarissaRUGBY STAR MULDOON DOESN’T HAVE TO ‘TRY’ HARD IN BALLYBOFEY! was last modified: May 8th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Jackson’s HotelLarissa MuldoonRUGBYlast_img read more

Bad Knight for St. Paul

first_img Notre Dame led at halftime 28-6 and had run just nine plays (not counting five penalties). The Knights had amassed 332 yards, 222 of the on the ground and 146 of those on just three plays by quarterback Garrett Green. On the other side of the ledger, St. Paul had totaled 234 yards of offense, including 117 rushing yards by Nicolas Grigsby, and held an 11-5 edge in first downs, but had only Michael Thomas’ field goals of from 28 and 35 yards to show for their efforts. SANTA FE SPRINGS — The Sherman Oaks Notre Dame football team defeated St. Paul High 49-6 in a Mission League game Friday ight, and the game wasn’t that close. A combination of the visiting Knights’ tremendous speed and the Swordsmen’s inability to tackle that is, when the opportunity presented itself turned it into a one-sided exercise. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week For Notre Dame, it was an evening of big plays. Rodney Glass negated Thomas’ first field goal by racing 58 yards for a score on the Knights’ second play from scrimmage. Then it was Glass going 92 yards after Thomas’ punt had backed the Knights up. Green added a 35-yard run, Mike Stanton and Green combined on a 90-yard pass play to complete the first half. Glass raced 33 yards to start the third quarter, then added a 68-yard TD sprint and capped the scoring with an 8-yard sweep into the end zone. Grigsby finished with 165 yards on 26 carries, while Swordsmen quarterback Pete Gonzales completed six of 15 passes for 91 yards. center_img Green completed his only two passes for 110 yards, and Glass added 217 yards on eight carries, including 141 yards on four second- half trips. Roger Murray can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3046, or by e-mail at roger.murray 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

BOSSES MAY BE BREAKING LAW BY SNOOPING ON FACEBOOK – DONEGAL EXPERT

first_imgJames Arnold Head of EVBI in LetterkennyIrish company bosses may be breaching the Data Protection Act by checking out applicant’s social media pages, a Co Donegal expert has warned.Employment Vetting Bureau of Ireland boss James Arnold says there is a major difference between personal and professional browsing of people on-line.The practise of employers checking out the Facebook and Twitter accounts of potential employees to see their likes and pastimes is widespread. But Letterkenny-based Arnold warned that employers secretly scanning social media pages and forming negative opinions about new job applicants may be breaching the Data Protection Acts.James who is M.D. of EVBI says ‘The problem is quite serious because of two issues – consent and relevance. For what is publicly viewable to an employer in Social Media may not in fact be be useable by an employer to make judgement without the knowledge and consent of the applicant. And what an employer may view may not at all be true.“To form an opinion based on what is seen could be detrimental to a job applicant. An employer’s judgement on a very innocent but inappropriate comment or photo for example, or on what the applicant likes or dislikes can cause an employer to judge the applicant and an applicant’s social life being the conduit for such decision. They may lose out quite unfairly.’He explained that the practise is widespread and in his opinion, sneaky. The applicant is unaware of what is being researched and any opinion being formed if bad, may not be relevant to the employment on offer.Such intrusions can be detrimental to an applicant are conducted without the specific written consent of the applicant, he said.It is estimated that up to 70 % of employers around the world are scanning social media pages without an applicant’s permission to assist their pre-employment screening methods.But unlike many other countries, Ireland’s Data Protection laws have been tightened up since 2014 and those practising what applicants call ‘Snoopy Bosses’ in Ireland may find themselves in serious hot water in the future.Mr Arnold added ‘The need for background verifications is essential for any employer but they have to be done the right way and the background checks must be relevant to the specific employment. “Media/Social Media screening was hardly heard of until 2001 and has been growing exponentially by the massive rise in the use of social media by private users of such media. Besides, the problem is not just about new job applicants but about existing employees earmarked for promotion.“It is perhaps time for employers engaging in such activities to ask themselves if what they are doing is truly ethical. Does it embrace the core values of their organisation?“The Irish Data Protection Commissioner is very tough on compliance and is observing very closely what is going on around employment issues.’EVBI is the Employment Vetting Bureau of Ireland based in Co. Donegal. It conducts independent pre-employment checks and security clearance services for new job applicants on behalf of employers all over Ireland.James who is M.D. of EVBI says ‘The problem is quite serious because of two issues – consent and relevance. For what is publicly viewable to an employer in Social Media may not in fact be be useable by an employer to make judgement without the knowledge and consent of the applicant. And what an employer may view may not at all be true.“To form an opinion based on what is seen could be detrimental to a job applicant. An employer’s judgement on a very innocent but inappropriate comment or photo for example, or on what the applicant likes or dislikes can cause an employer to judge the applicant and an applicant’s social life being the conduit for such decision. They may lose out quite unfairly.’He explained that the practise is widespread and in his opinion, sneaky.The applicant is unaware of what is being researched and any opinion being formed if bad, may not be relevant to the employment on offer.Such intrusions can be detrimental to an applicant are conducted without the specific written consent of the applicant, he said.It is estimated that up to 70 % of employers around the world are scanning social media pages without an applicant’s permission to assist their pre-employment screening methods.But unlike many other countries, Ireland’s Data Protection laws have been tightened up since 2014 and those practising what applicants call ‘Snoopy Bosses’ in Ireland may find themselves in serious hot water in the future.Mr Arnold added ‘The need for background verifications is essential for any employer but they have to be done the right way and the background checks must be relevant to the specific employment.“Media/Social Media screening was hardly heard of until 2001 and has been growing exponentially by the massive rise in the use of social media by private users of such media. Besides, the problem is not just about new job applicants but about existing employees earmarked for promotion.“It is perhaps time for employers engaging in such activities to ask themselves if what they are doing is truly ethical. Does it embrace the core values of their organisation?“The Irish Data Protection Commissioner is very tough on compliance and is observing very closely what is going on around employment issues.’EVBI is just one of a number of organisations which helps employers to fully comply with the Acts.EVBI offers an independent pre-employment screening service for new job applicants -a system whereby a job applicant’s approval and written consent is sought and given.’ said James Arnold.EVBI is a registered Data Processor with the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland.BOSSES MAY BE BREAKING LAW BY SNOOPING ON FACEBOOK – DONEGAL EXPERT was last modified: July 27th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

New Titan Ethane Theory Proposed

first_imgThey wonder where the ethane went (see 09/14/2006 and its links).  The case of the missing ethane on Titan has only gotten more puzzling since the Huygens Probe landed last year and found almost none, when oceans a mile deep were anticipated.  In Nature last week,1 D. M. Hunten (U of Arizona) posited a new idea.  It went into smust.  Smust, like smores but not as tasty, is a contraction of the words smog and dust.  Instead of falling as rain, the ethane molecules globbed onto smog particles and slowly descended to the surface, where they piled up instead of liquefying.  That’s where the sand for the dunes (05/04/2006) came from, he thinks.Titan, has a dense atmosphere of nitrogen with a few per cent of methane.  At visible wavelengths its surface is hidden by dense orange-brown smog, which is produced in the stratosphere by photochemical reactions following the dissociation of methane by solar ultraviolet light.  The most abundant of the products of these reactions is ethane, and enough of it should have been generated over the life of the Solar System to form a satellite-wide ocean one kilometre deep…. Here I explain the mysterious absence or rarity of liquid ethane: it condenses onto the smog particles, instead of into liquid drops, at the cold temperatures in Titan’s atmosphere.  This dusty combination of smog and ethane, forming deposits several kilometres thick on the surface, including the observed dunes and dark areas, could be named ‘smust’.  This satellite-wide deposit replaces the ocean long thought to be an important feature of Titan.In a note added in proof, Hunten speculated about the ethane cloud at Titan detected by Cassini last month (see 09/14/2006).  The ethane molecules in the cloud amount to only a tiny fraction of the total, he said.  His thoughts did not rely on any tangible evidence; only that “their presence may be compatible with the smust particles discussed here.”It is entirely reasonable that these few molecules would not reside on the smust particles.  A possible difficulty is that this small amount of ethane vapour would be unable to condense.  On the other hand, if more ethane were available one would expect the cloud particles to grow larger; probably the attachment of most of the ethane to the smust particles is necessary to prevent this.Another view on the methane that could be the parent of ethane comes from New Scientist.  David Shiga interviewed Cassini scientists in Pasadena who believe there is evidence for volcanic calderas on the large moon.  Some of the radar images have features that resemble liquid-filled calderas with rounded edges, but others feel meteor impacts could be responsible.  Volcanism could belch out methane from the interior, perhaps, but this does not explain where the ethane went.    The reporter seemed more interested in the idea that volcanism means heat, and heat means liquid.  To an evolutionist, that means life can’t be far away: “What with the methane lakes, perhaps some type of exotic exobiology might not be completely out of the question,” said one.  Shiga took this one suggestion by one scientist as inspiration for the title of his article: “Slushy volcanoes might support life on Titan…. The heat and chemicals associated with these possible volcanoes could provide a niche for life on the frigid moon.”  The bulk of the article was about volcanoes, not life.1D. M. Hunten, “The sequestration of ethane on Titan in smog particles,” Nature 443, 669-670(12 October 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05157.It’s fair to propose an explanation for something, but a little unfair to propose one when it cannot be tested for a long time.  It may be well into the 2030s before another probe returns to Titan, and even then, it may be a blimp-like device incapable of digging several kilometers into the surface to measure the deposits.  What if Hunten’s mechanism works somewhat, and a lander detects these smust particles on the surface, but cannot determine if the layer is only inches deep?  One could not know that there is enough of it to explain the missing billions of years without extremely difficult and costly efforts.  Additionally, it is very difficult to simulate Titan conditions on Earth.  The only lab evidence Hunten mentioned did not support his theory:It would be desirable to verify in the laboratory the attachment of ethane molecules to smog particles, here deduced from their behaviour on Jupiter.  Such particles, with their fluffy structure, have, however, not been produced in experiments, which instead generate a dense deposit on the walls of the vessel.  It will be a challenge to reproduce this structure along with a realistic composition, and then to expose the particles to ethane molecules.In other words, this is just an airy, fluffy suggestion on his part.  Even if the particles formed and fell as he suggested, what would keep them from liquefying on the surface after they compacted?  The fact is, Titan was not the oceanic planet that the best scientists predicted.  Speculating after the fact what happened to the missing ethane is not science till verified.  While no one would deny Dr. Hunten his right to speculate based on his own assumptions about the age of Titan, his little story should not be put forth as “the answer” to this huge problem.  Speculation is no substitute for openmindedness that one’s assumptions could be vastly in error.    As for the relentless suggestions that liquid water or ethane mean the possibility of life, this is so silly it is tiring.  Here’s a better form of entertainment that’s realistic.  For a wild ride down to the surface of Titan aboard Huygens, based on actual photos and measurements, download the animations from the Huygens CD-Rom available from the European Space Agency.  For the download page, click here.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more