What are your true colors?

What are your true colors? The palette that brings out your natural beauty     
Just because you love a color, that doesn’t mean it loves you back. The fact is some hues complement your features better than others. A refined makeup palette can enliven your eye color, refine bone structure and reinvent your all-around beauty. Pair your made-up face with a complementary dress and you’re Golden Globe-ready. It’s the kind of classified information relegated to wealthy celebrities, their stylists, and Leatrice Eiseman. As director of the Pantone Color Institute, Eiseman’s job is to consult with industry leaders in fashion, design, and marketing to choose colors that will best enhance their brands.    Her expertise also extends to individuals. Eiseman's "color-time" system uses mother nature to decode flattering palettes for every skin type.

“The best way to judge your coloring is to think in terms of how color appears in nature at various times of the day,” says Eiseman, author of the palette-pleasing color guide More Alive With Color. She divides skin tones into three categories: sunrise, sunset, and sunlight. The color range reflected off the sun at different times of the day dictate which hues are most flattering for each skin tone. That, in turn, informs your wardrobe and makeup choices. To check which category you fall into, look at the veins in your wrist. If they’re green consider yourself a "sunset", if they’re blue you’re a "sunrise". If you’re a mix of both you’re in the "sunlight" palette.

Sunrise: “In the morning, the sunrise palette colors are clear, clean and crisp,” says Eiseman. “Primarily blue undertones evolve into jewel tones.”
Coloring: Fair-skinned, dark-haired brunettes; fair-skinned silver-haired women; fair-skinned cool blondes; dark, blue-black skin tones with dark hair; and olive skin with dark hair.
Palette: Shimmering jewel-tones like emerald, sapphire, aquamarine and amethyst.

Sunset: An earthier, darker selection of colors reflect the waning day.
Coloring: Tawny redheads with fair to medium skin; golden blondes or brunettes with golden skin-tones; brunettes with mocha-colored skin.
: Warm gold, russets, hot pinks, red-violets and twilight blues.

:“Between the two extremes is the sun-drenched palette, when sun or reflected light is strongest and colors are very subtle, muted and soft,” explains Eiseman.
Coloring: Light to mid skin-tones with hair that is medium in hue.
Palette: Peony pinks, hazy violets, placid blue and cameo greens.



Fossilized Bird Brains May Yield Secret of First Flights

By reconstructing the brains of extinct birds, researchers could shed light on when birds evolved into creatures of flight.

Overwhelming evidence suggests birds evolved from dinosaurs some 150 million years ago, but one of the missing pieces to the evolutionary puzzle is how such birds took to the air.

Scientists in Scotland are focusing on changes in the size of a part of the rear of the brain. This part of the cerebellum, known as the flocculus, is responsible for integrating visual and balance signals during flight, allowing birds to judge the position of other objects in midflight. [ 3-D Image of Raven Brain]

"We believe we can discover how the flocculus has evolved to deal with different flying abilities, giving us new information about when birds first evolved the power of flight," said project leader Stig Walsh, senior curator of vertebrate palaeobiology at National Museums Scotland.

In collaboration with the University of Abertay Dundee, investigators are scanning fossils of at least a half-dozen extinct species and the skulls of roughly 100 modern birds in unusual detail. "Unlike medical scanners, which take a series of slice images through an object that may be up to 1.5 millimeters apart, the 3-D scanner at Abertay University can be accurate up to 6 microns," Walsh said. (The width of a strand of hair is about 100 microns.)

[Photos: More incredible images of dinosaurs and fossils]

When it comes to the modern birds, "we are particularly interested in species that are closely related where there are flying and flightless examples, such as cormorants, pigeons, parrots and ducks," Walsh told LiveScience.

This could reveal whether the flocculus became smaller with the loss of flight.

In addition, the researchers are investigating birds that are particularly fast fliers, such as peregrine falcons; those with acrobatic talents, such as swifts and house martins; those that can hover through powered flight, such as kingfishers; and birds that can fly backward, such as hummingbirds.

The extinct birds the researchers are scanning include recently vanished species such as the dodo, which died out in the late 17th century, as well as fossils of three species from the lower Eocene roughly 55 million years ago, a flightless sea bird from the Cretaceous Period around 100 million years ago, and the oldest known flying bird, Archaeopteryx.  
Those prehistoric fossils, which retain their original shape, are extraordinarily rare, since most bird fossils are flattened by the earth under which they are buried.

[Related: Fossil records reveal 'explosion' of life]

The researchers are looking for a link between a larger flocculus and a greater ability to process the visual and balance signals during flight. If the relationship is proven, it could mark a major step forward in understanding bird evolution, and even might help resolve the controversy over whether some ancient bird-like fossils were truly those of dinosaurs or simply of birds that lost the power of flight.

"With the heated debate about these animals, this would be an excellent finding, though I'm sure the debate won't end there," Walsh said.

The project is scheduled to run until early 2012.




Top 10 Most Common Makeup Mistakes

Ever spot a serious makeup mistake and think, "I wonder if she knows?" Chances are she doesn't, and she'll walk in to her next corporate meeting or parent/teacher conference totally oblivious to her makeup faux pas. Don't let that blurred vision of beauty become you! Review the top ten ugliest and goofiest makeup mistakes women make and give yourself an honest grade. Then share your new found information and make the world a prettier place.

Concealer/Foundation Confusion

Cruise the Internet long enough and you will come across all sorts of advice on this subject; concealer and foundation application. Never before have so many women got such bad advice and it shows. The real key to good concealer and foundation coverage is to start with a moisturized face. Then dab yellow concealer sparingly on brown or red spots. Don't worry about blending it in; it's concealer. Then apply your foundation. Do not put concealer over mineral powder or cream to powder makeup—it won't blend! You'll end up with an obvious patch job. Ugh!

Wrong Foundation Shade

Okay "summer girl" let go of the dark foundation. Your tan is gone and there is no sense in pretending. Let go of your summer foundation shade and embrace a paler, prettier you. Something to remember when shopping for foundation shades—color match to your jawbone, not your hand. Your hand skin is always darker than your facial skin.

Excessive Concealer

I hate watching my favorite all chick talk shows and seeing the show host wearing obvious white circles under her eyes. Girlfriend! Lay off the excessive under eye concealer or at least invest in one that does a little better job matching your skin tone. White is alright but too much of it will give you the reverse raccoon look.

Heavy Handed Eyeliner

I (sadly) am old enough to remember burning the tip of kohl black eyeliner before applying it to the inner rim of my eyelid. In the eighties, we liked our hair big and our eyeliner dark. Fortunately, style-wise, those days are over. Don't ring your eyes excessively, instead focus on using attractive colors in a flattering way.

Over Frosted Eye Shadow

Some may disagree with me but too much frosted eye shadow looks well... cheap. A bit of shimmer under the brows, a touch on the lid, these are pretty effects. However covering your eyelid from top to bottom with unblended, globbed on eyeshadow is unattractive. Go easy on the frosting!

Dry Face

No matter how much makeup you apply, you can't hide a dry face. After your morning cleanse, moisturize your skin. This will make your makeup application smooth and silky looking. Without moisture, makeup looks cracked and unflattering.

Wacky Eyebrows

Your eyebrows matter! Over penciled or super thin eyebrows are a mistake. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you'll find the gal who has never used a tweezer in her life. I hope you fall in neither category. Visit a professional stylist who can give you a good base waxing. He or she will shape those brows and give you a great template to maintain.

Dark Lip Liner

For a brief time in the nineties dark lip liner over light lipstick may have been fashionable. If it was, the fad is now over. Please toss away the black lip liner and use a more flattering color.

Blending Your Makeup

Sometimes we get a flawless finish but forget to blend. This common mistake will leave you looking like you are wearing a mask. Buy a cosmetic sponge and blend, blend, blend!

Mascara Marks

Occasional mascara marks are expected, we all get in a hurry. However, chronic mascara prints may have your friends and coworkers snickering. The problem may result from trying to apply mascara without your glasses. If that's you, the solution is simple. Buy a tabletop magnification mirror. You won't need your glasses to get perfect mascara.    


Wanted for Theft: Sun Stole Its Comets From Other Stars

It turns out our sun may be a cosmic thief that's stolen most of its comets from other stars, a new study suggests. 

Comets are small icy bodies that flare up when they near the sun as solar radiation vaporizes their ice to create a glowing tail.

New computer simulations of the billions of comets crisscrossing the solar system suggest that most of them originated beyond our local neighborhood, but got grabbed and pulled in by our sun's gravity later.

Such a scenario goes against the long-standing model for comet evolution, which holds that most of our local comets come from the same region where the sun and its planets formed. This region, known as the Oort cloud, encircles the solar system and extends far beyond Pluto.

According to researcher Hal Levison, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., however, "the standard model can't produce anywhere near the number of comets we see."

"This model says the comets are dregs of our own solar system's planetary formation and that our planets gravitationally booted them to huge distances, populating the cloud," Levison explained. Such a process would likely have occurred around other stars as well, with each giving rise to their own cloud of comet debris.


But stars may not have held on to their initial clouds.

Like many other stars, the sun was birthed in an open star cluster that disintegrated over time. These clusters, typically containing between ten and a thousand stars jammed into a tiny space, have an average radius not much different from the present day Oort cloud. The close proximity of stars within these clusters could have allowed stars to "steal" fledgling comets from one another.

And a star wouldn't have had to have been the biggest in order to be the most successful thief. If a comet moved far enough away from its parent star and close enough to the sun, for example, the sun's gravity could trap it even if the parent star was significantly more massive.

When it doesn't add up

The distance of the Oort cloud from Earth makes it difficult to observe – much less pin down the exact number of comets it contains. The amount of comets that exist there must be inferred from observations of those comets that light up as they pass near the sun.

But based on this data, Levison and his team say there seem to be around 400 billion comets hovering just beyond Pluto. In comparison, the conventional model predicts only 6 billion.

"That's...a huge discrepancy," Levison said. "Too huge to be explained by mistakes in the estimates. There's no way we could be that far off, so there has to be something wrong with the model itself."

The orbits of many long-period comets seem to support that finding. Their highly oblong orbits take them far out into the depths of space.

"So they couldn't have been born in orbit around the sun," Levison said. "They had to have formed close to other stars and then been hijacked here."

Comets are generally regarded as excellent snapshots of the early solar system, because they spend much of their lives encased in ice. But if some of these comets come from outside our solar system, then they can tell us about their parent stars, as well.

"We can study the orbits of comets and put their chemistry into the context of where and around which star they formed," Levison said. "It's intriguing to think we got some of our 'stuff' from distant stars. We're kin."



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Early Christmas treat: 2010's total lunar eclipse

LOS ANGELES – 'Twill be nights before Christmas and high overhead, the moon will turn orange or maybe bright red. The Earth and the sun with celestial scripts will conspire to make a lunar eclipse

Weather permitting, sky gazers in North and Central America and a tiny sliver of South America will boast the best seats to this year's only total eclipse of the moon. 

The eclipse will happen Monday night on the West Coast and during the wee hours Tuesday on the East Coast. Western Europe will only see the start of the spectacle while western Asia will catch the tail end. 

[Man-made spectacles: The best Christmas lights near you

The moon is normally illuminated by the sun. During a total lunar eclipse, the full moon passes through the shadow created by the Earth blocking the sun's light. Some indirect sunlight will still manage to pierce through and give the moon a ghostly color. 

Since the eclipse coincides with winter solstice, the moon will appear high in the sky — a boon for skywatchers. While there have been recent volcanic eruptions, scientists on Monday said there's not enough dust in the atmosphere to dim the eclipse. 

NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland predicts the moon will appear bright red or orange.

"It will be interesting to watch," he said. 

North and Central America should be able to view the entire show, which is expected to last 3 1/2 hours if skies are clear. Total eclipse begins at 11:41 p.m. PST Monday or 2:41 a.m. EST Tuesday. The totality phase — when the moon is entirely inside Earth's shadow — will last a little over an hour. 

"It's perfectly placed so that all of North America can see it," Espenak said. 

The Griffith Observatory perched on the south slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles will host an eclipse party Monday evening although rain is forecast. Telescopes will be set out on the lawn for the public and astronomers will give free lectures on the eclipse's various stages. 

If clouds or rain set in, the observatory plans to stream live video of the eclipse from the Internet. Among the various outfits that will show the eclipse live is NASA, which has a camera mounted at its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. 

"Our event will go on rain or shine," said Griffith Observatory astronomer Anthony Cook. 

Unlike solar eclipses which require protective glasses, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye. 

U.S. Naval Observatory spokesman Geoff Chester finds solar eclipses more exciting than the lunar counterpart. But solar eclipses tend to occur in remote parts of the world while lunar eclipses are usually visible from an entire hemisphere. 

"If you get skunked by bad weather, all you have to do is wait a few years for the next one to come around," Chester said. 

There are two total lunar eclipses in 2011 — in June and December. North America will miss the June show and witness only a part of next December eclipse.


AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter in New York contributed to this report.



NASA eclipse page: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html

Griffith Observatory: http://www.griffithobservatory.org    


New Alien Planet Discovered By Qatar-Led Team

A new gas giant alien planet was discovered by an international team led by an astronomer from the Arab nation of Qatar. 

The find represents a significant success for Qatar's science research program, and demonstrates the power of science to cross political boundaries and increase ties between nations, the study's leaders said in a statement. 

The new planet, which orbits an orange type K star 550 light-years away, is dubbed Qatar-1b. It joins the ranks of over 500 alien planets that have now been found beyond our solar system. [ Gallery: Strangest Alien Planets

"The discovery of Qatar-1b is a great achievement -- one that further demonstrates Qatar's commitment to becoming a leader in innovative science and research," said Khalid Al Subai, leader of the Qatar exoplanet survey and a research director of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. "This discovery marks the beginning of a new era of collaborative astrophysics research between Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United States," he added. 

Subai teamed with scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., and other institution to make the discovery. 

The Qatar exoplanet survey is an ongoing project that hunts for stars that "wink," dimming slightly every time an orbiting planet creates a mini-eclipse by crossing in front of the star as seen from Earth. Transit searches like this must sift through thousands of stars to find the small fraction with detectable planets.  

"The discovery of Qatar-1b is a wonderful example of how science and modern communications can erase international borders and time zones," said CfA team member David Latham. "No one owns the stars. We can all be inspired by the discovery of distant worlds." 

To find the new world, Qatar's wide-angle cameras (located in New Mexico) took images of the sky every clear night beginning in early 2010. The photographs then were transmitted to the United Kingdom for analysis by collaborating astronomers at St. Andrews and Leicester Universities and Qatar. That analysis narrowed the field to a few hundred candidate stars. 

The researchers then followed up on the most promising candidates, making spectroscopic observations with the 60-inch-diameter telescope at the Smithsonian's Whipple Observatory in Arizona. Such observations can weed out binary-star systems with grazing eclipses, which mimic planetary transits. They also measured the stars' dimming more accurately with Whipple's 48-inch telescope. 

Qatar-1b is a gas giant 20 percent larger than Jupiter in diameter and 10 percent more massive. It belongs to the hot Jupiter family because it orbits 2.2 million miles from its star -- only six stellar radii away. The planet roasts at a temperature of around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,100 degrees Celsius). 

Qatar-1b circles its star once every 1.4 days, meaning that its year is just 34 hours long. It's expected to be tidally locked with the star, so one side of the planet always faces the star. As a result, the planet spins on its axis once every 34 hours -- three times slower than Jupiter, which rotates once in 10 hours.

A paper announcing the discovery has been submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society for publication. 


Saturn's rings: Leftovers from a cosmic murder?

WASHINGTON – One of the solar system's most evocative mysteries — the origin of Saturn's rings — may be a case of cosmic murder, new research suggests.

The victim: an unnamed moon of Saturn that disappeared about 4.5 billion years ago. 

The suspect: a disk of hydrogen gas that once surrounded Saturn when its dozens of moons were forming, but has now fled the crime scene.

The cause of death: A forced plunge into Saturn. 

And those spectacular and colorful rings are the only evidence left. As the doomed moon made its death spiral, Saturn robbed its outer layer of ice, which then formed rings, according to a new theory published online Sunday in the journal Nature. 

"Saturn was an accomplice and that produced the rings," said study author Robin Canup, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. 

The mystery of Saturn's rings "has puzzled people for centuries," said Cornell astronomer Joe Burns, who wasn't involved in the study and said Canup's new theory makes sense.

One of the leading theories has been that either some of Saturn's many moons crashed into each other, or an asteroid crashed into some of them — leaving debris that formed the rings. The trouble is Saturn's moons are half ice and half rock and the planet's seven rings are now as much as 95 percent ice and probably used to be all ice, Canup said. If the rings were formed by a moon-on-moon crash or an asteroid-on-moon, there would be more rocks in the rings. 

Something had to have stripped away the outer ice of a moon, a big moon, Canup said. 

So her theory starts billions of years ago when the planets' moons were forming. A large disk of hydrogen gas circled Saturn and that helped both create and destroy moons. Large inner moons probably made regular plunges into the planet, pulled by the disk of gas. 

These death spirals took about 10,000 years and the key to understanding the rings' origins is what happened to them during that time. According to Canup's computer model, Saturn stripped the ice away from a huge moon while it was far enough from the planet that the ice would be trapped in a ring. 

The original rings were 10 to 100 times larger than they are now, but over time the ice in the outer rings has coalesced into some of Saturn's tiny inner moons, Canup said. So what began as moons has become rings and then new moons. 

This helps explain Tethys, an odd inner moon that didn't quite fit other moon formation theories, she said. Saturn has 62 moons — 53 of them have names. New ones are discovered regularly by NASA's Cassini probe. 

But this doesn't explain rings on other planets in our solar system, such as Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus, which probably formed in a different way, Canup said.

The rings and ice-rich inner moons are the last surviving remnants of this lost moon, "which is pretty neat," Canup said. 

Burns said Canup's theory explains the heavy ice components of rings better than other possibilities. Larry Esposito, who discovered one of Saturn's rings, praised the new paper as "a very clever, original idea." 

"I would call it more like cosmic recycling," Esposito said because the moon became rings which then became moons. "It's not so much a final demise, but a cosmic effort to reuse materials again and again."



Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature

NASA on Saturn's moons: http://tinyurl.com/28rn3ln    


World’s hottest pepper is ‘hot enough to strip paint’

Fiery food mavens seeking to one-up each other now have to gear up for a whole new test of culinary bravado: the world's hottest chili pepper.

Yes, the Naga Viper, the latest claimant to the world's-hottest-pepper crown, outdistances its predecessor, the Bhut Jolokia, or  "ghost chili," by more than 300,000 points on the famous Scoville scale of tongue-scorching chili hotness. Researchers at Warwick University testing the Naga Viper found that it measures 1,359,000 on the Scoville scale, which rates heat by tracking the presence of a chemical compound. In comparison, most varieties of jalapeño peppers measure in the 2,500 to 5,000 range -- milder than the Naga Viper by a factor of 270.     

You might think the Naga Viper would hail from some part of the world with a strong demand for spicy food, such as India or Mexico. But the new pepper is actually the handiwork of Gerald Fowler, a British chili farmer and pub owner, who crossed three of the hottest peppers known to man -- including the Bhut Jolokia -- to create his Frankenstein-monster chili.

"It's painful to eat," Fowler told the Daily Mail. "It's hot enough to strip paint." Indeed, the Daily Mail reports that defense researchers are already investigating the pepper's potential uses as a weapon.

But Fowler -- who makes customers sign a waiver declaring that they're of sound mind and body before trying a Naga Viper-based curry -- insists that consuming the fiery chili does the body good.

"It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down," he told the paper. "It can last an hour, and you just don't want to talk to anyone or do anything. But it's a marvelous endorphin rush. It makes you feel great."



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Neptune Finally Makes First Orbit Around the Sun Since Discovery

This story has been corrected to reflect that Neptune will actually complete its first orbit around the sun, since being discovered, in 2011.

The planet Neptune will be in opposition — when the sun, Earth, and a planet fall in a straight line on Aug. 20. The planet will be exactly opposite the sun in the sky, being highest in the sky at local midnight. Usually this is also the point where the planet is closest to the Earth.

This opposition is special because Neptune will be returning close to the spot where it was discovered in 1846, marking its first complete trip around the sun since its discovery. Neptune is close, but still not quite at the finish line of its first orbit since being discovered yet. That will occur in 2011, according to NASA.

Coincidentally, opposition in 1846 also fell on Aug. 20, although the planet wasn't actually spotted until over a month later, on Sept. 23.

This Neptune sky map shows where to find the planet as it completes it hits opposition this year.

Strange path to discovery

The discovery of Neptune has an interesting prehistory.

The planet Uranus was discovered more or less by accident in 1781 by Sir William Herschel, in the course of his search for deep sky objects. As time went by, Uranus' position wasn't quite what astronomer's predicted, and mathematical astronomers began to suspect that there was another planet out there whose gravity was influencing Uranus' motion.

In the mid-1840s an Englishman named John Couch Adams and a Frenchman named Urbain Le Verrier independently calculated where this new planet would have to be located to have the observed effect on Uranus, but both had trouble getting observational astronomers interested in looking for it.

Finally the German astronomer Johann Galle actually looked at the predicted location and discovered the tiny blue-green disk of the planet that eventually came to be known as Neptune. The date was Sept. 23, 1846. This led to a drawn out battle between French and English astronomers as to who pointed to Neptune first; in the end, a three-way tie was declared and Adams, Le Verrier, and Galle share the honor of discovering Neptune.

Ironically, Galle was not the first person to observe Neptune. That honor goes to none other than Galileo Galilei, who twice observed Neptune but mistook it for a star, on Dec. 28, 1612, and Jan. 27, 1613. Galileo had two strikes against him: first, the small size and poor quality of his telescopes, and secondly he happened to observe Neptune when it was stationary, as happens to all planets from time to time because of the relative motions of the planet and Earth.

For nearly a century Neptune was the planet farthest from the sun, only losing that honor when tiny Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Now that the International Astronomical Union has downgraded Pluto's status, Neptune is once again the farthest known planet from the sun — at least in our solar system.

Because of its great distance from the sun, 30 astronomical units out (1 AU is the distance from the sun to Earth), and its relatively small diameter (30,800 miles/49,500 km), Neptune is a dim and tiny object in amateur telescopes. While Uranus can just be glimpsed with the naked eye under perfect dark sky conditions, Neptune requires binoculars or a small telescope to be seen.

Finding Neptune now

For somewhat seasoned backyard astronomers, this Neptune map can help to locate the planet.

Around 1 a.m. this week look for the large but faint triangle of Capricornus, to the left of Sagittarius and the Milky Way. The two stars at the left end of the triangle point the way to Neptune, just a little bit short of and above the star Iota in the neighboring constellation Aquarius.

In a small telescope, Neptune will look just like a star; what gives it away is its distinctive blue-green color.

Although tiny in a telescope and dwarfed by giants Jupiter and Saturn, Neptune is still four times the diameter of the Earth. Like all the gas giant planets, it shows only an atmosphere, in this case fairly featureless. When the Voyager 2 passed by in 1986 it photographed a huge "Blue Spot" in Neptune's upper atmosphere, perhaps similar to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. Like all the gas giants, Neptune has a system of rings, but these are far fainter than Saturn's famous rings.

Although Neptune's face appears serene, its atmosphere boasts winds which travel almost at supersonic speeds. Its 13 moons range in size from what are little more than boulders up to Triton, 1,680 miles (2,700 km.) in diameter.    

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