Space Alien Gazette

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Space Alien Visits the Museum of Contemporary Art

Because of the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), a brunch with friends at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) to which Your Editor had been invited had to be cancelled.  

But the Space Alien, being a creature of fantasy, and whose passion is modern art, decided to make a fantasy visit to this important museum.     


Loyal Readers may recall reading about the Space Alien's earlier visit to Chicago's Art Institute.  
http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-space-alien-studies-astronomy-at.html  
So this trip to yet another leading art museum was very special for the Space Alien. 

First the Space Alien enjoyed a lovely fantasy meal with fantasy friends at MCA's exquisite Marisol Restaurant. 
Next, adequately nourished, the Space Alien toured some of the famous artistic works in the quiet galleries. 

The Space Alien admired a portrait of an old friend.  
"It's a perfect likeness!" exclaimed the Space Alien.

Visitors,  young and old, listened attentively as the Space Alien helped the MCA staff by leading a fantasy guided tour (since real people would never stand in such close proximity given the current public health situation!). 

At the Museum Store the Space Alien picked up a can of soup.  "I'm not sure why they are selling soup here, or why someone left a candle in it" said the Space Alien, "but it will be nice to have a can of soup in my pantry to enjoy some cold winter night!"

"And one more thing!" thought the Space Alien placing some purchases on the checkout counter.
"This is my gift for every single one of my Loyal Readers!"  
Hopefully the day will not be distant when Loyal Readers can safely enjoy this and so much more at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.   More information is here:
https://mcachicago.org     
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Note: Now that Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art is closed, a Loyal Reader responded with this URL with addresses for online tours of some great art museums all over the world!  The Space Alien plans to digitally visit them all!
https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours?utm_source=emailshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-share-article&utm_content=20200314

Note: On March 20, 2020, Your Editor received news from the Art Institute of Chicago (now closed) about their new "Interactive Features" which you may enjoy online!  
https://www.artic.edu/interactive-features?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=base&utm_content=base-interactive-feature-03-20-20

Note: Added March 23, 2020, another sign of the times from the Art Institute of Chicago:



Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Space Alien Struggles with New Directions

The Space Alien's long-planned winter holiday was recently waylaid.   Despite carefully made plans to spend a week on a sunny Caribbean beach sipping non-alcoholic Mai-Tais, the Space Alien, traveling at customary velocities exceeding the speed of light, wound up in a dingy hamburger joint in freezing Chicago drinking a stale root beer.  

"How could this happen?" wondered the Space Alien.  "This is not the winter getaway I planned!  I followed my compass so carefully!  How could I have gotten so lost?"

The Space Alien soon noticed this article in a copy of the prestigious science journal Nature that another patron had left behind on the greasy counter.   

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00007-1

NEWS 
"Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why.  Erratic motion of north magnetic pole forces experts to update model that aids global navigation."

The Space Alien quickly set aside the stale root beer and began reading this article with alarm: 

"Something strange is going on at the top of the world. Earth’s north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron sloshing within the planet’s core."

Then the Space Alien turned a few pages and found this diagram:  


"Oh my goodness," thought the Space Alien.  "If the magnetic poles are moving, this must be why my compass doesn't work!   Without my compass, how will I ever find my warm, sunny vacation spot?" 

The Space Alien picked up a cell phone to do some research and saw that even Forbes had reported this movement of the earth's magnetic field!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2019/02/05/earths-magnetic-north-pole-has-officially-moved/#7ff08f2d6862 
"Earth's magnetic North Pole is quickly moving from the Canadian Arctic toward Russia."

Newsweek had also reported this at: https://www.newsweek.com/earth-magnetic-field-northern-pole-noaa-wmm-navigation-1318159

"Earth's northern magnetic pole is moving at an unexpectedly fast rate toward Siberia. Scientists discovered the pole was not where it should be in September last year, and, as a result, had to update the model that tracks its movements."

The Space Alien was flabbergasted by this news.  "What will happen to all the snowbirds heading for happy vacation trips to Florida or points south?" wondered the Space Alien. "They will have to unpack their swimsuits and pack Russian dictionaries instead!"

Then another post flashed on the Space Alien's cell phone:  
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160401075118.htm
Science News 

The Moon may play a major role in maintaining Earth's magnetic field

April 1, 2016  Source: CNRS  
Summary:
The Earth's magnetic field permanently protects us from the charged particles and radiation that originate in the Sun. This shield is produced by the geodynamo, the rapid motion of huge quantities of liquid iron alloy in the Earth's outer core. To maintain this magnetic field until the present day, the classical model required the Earth's core to have cooled by around 3 000 °C over the past 4.3 billion years. Now, astronomers suggest that, on the contrary, its temperature has fallen by only 300 °C. The action of the Moon, overlooked until now, is thought to have compensated for this difference and kept the geodynamo active.
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The Space Alien, momentarily stunned by new words like "geodynamo" and the possible role of the Moon, did a quick Google search to read about the effects of movements of the Earth's molten core upon the geomagnetic field. https://websites.pmc.ucsc.edu/~glatz/geodynamo.html .

"This is all much too complicated for me," thought the Space Alien, and immediately picked up the phone to book a  seat on the next commercial airline flight to Miami.
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020 from the Space Alien

The Space Alien wishes all Loyal Readers a Happy and Healthy New Year!  


Once again the Space Alien invites you, wherever you are, to join in a toast of sparkling grape juice to welcome the New Year with joyous celebration!    

May the year 2020 be one of great and beneficent vision for our leaders and for each one of us as well!  
  

The Space Alien also urges Loyal Readers to consider those whose holidays may not be as joyous.  Chicago's Food Bank, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, does this now and each day of the year!   Learn more here:
http://www.chicagofoodbank.org.

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Friday, December 20, 2019

The Space Alien Celebrates Three Holidays

The Space Alien glanced at the calendar on the wall and had to take a deep breath to calm down!
Some exciting holidays that occur close to each other will be at the SAME TIME this year!
Christmas, based on the Gregorian solar calendar,  would fall on December 25th as always.  
In 2019, Hanukkah, based on the ancient  Jewish lunar calendar, would begin on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, or at sundown on the evening of December 22.  
And Kwanzaa would be celebrated on December 26.

The Space Alien always looks forward to these holidays that brighten the darkest days of winter.   And the prospect of their occurring so close together leaves the Space Alien dizzy with excitement. 

The beautiful lights of this season never fail to spark joy in the Space Alien who often admires them during flights over our nation's capital! 

So many wonderful memories of years past!




The The White House Christmas Tree would be in place, and the National Christmas tree as well!
But there was even more!  The Space Alien could not resist memories of earlier days in the White House.



The First Lady, with family and friends, would light the White House Menorah! 






And the First Family would celebrate Kwanzaa! 
How busy the President and First Lady would be at this time of year with all these duties, thought the Space Alien.

The Space Alien loves the wonderful holiday customs, and especially the delicious food!

-- Fruitcakes loaded with sweet fruit and nuts, and  sometimes soaked in rum that makes the Space Alien just a bit silly, but not in a bad way!


-- Crispy potato pancakes fried in oil commemorating the miracle of the oil for the lamps of Hanukkah, loaded with sweet applesauce and rich sour cream and generously sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar!  






Chocolate Santas and tiny bags of chocolate coins!  





And for seven days of Kwanzaa the Space Alien celebrates family, community and culture with gifts and feasts! 



And for all of these wonderful holidays there will be thoughtful gifts for everyone! 












What a special time this is!
The Space Alien loves to play dreydl, 
spinning the little top to win a prize!
Even Santa joins in on the fun! 






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Best of all are the Miracles! 

There is nothing the Space Alien loves more than a good miracle, and this season is full of them!     

A very special birth in dangerous circumstances! 

 


A victory of a small group of people over a mighty ruler who would deny their religious freedom! 




 Loyal Readers will recall that the Space Alien (along with your Editor) sings each year in Chicago's great Do-It-Yourself-Messiah, lending assistance by moving swiftly from section to section to help faltering singers with their parts. 

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-space-alien-applies-for-holiday-job.html  

And of course the Space Alien always helps Santa bring gifts to boys and girls (of all ages)!
https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-space-alien-helps-santa.html

On Christmas Eve, the Space Alien loves to join carolers on the streets of the city, wearing warm, colorful clothing, and going from door to door bringing holiday cheer. 
Soon the Space Alien will light the first Hanukkah candles to shine through windows to brighten dark streets, and then join friends to play dreydl and sing lively Hanukkah songs to celebrates the courage of the Maccabees and their heroic fight for religious liberty! 

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-space-alien-celebrates-hanukkah.html

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-space-alien-hanukkah-visitor.html

The Space Alien is delighted to know that when winter is the darkest, the lights of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will brighten our homes and neighborhoods, while delicious food and lovely gifts, enjoyed together with beloved family and friends, bring joy to all.  "That's the best miracle of all!" exclaims the Space Alien!  

The Space Alien and the entire Editorial Staff of the Space Alien Gazette wish Loyal Readers much happiness and some truly special miracles during this holiday season and in the coming year!
  
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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Space Alien Prepares for Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving 2019 will be a busy one for the Space Alien.  So much to do, especially since Your Editor has not been performing customary tasks at her usual warp-speed efficiency.  

But never fear!  The Space Alien insists Your Editor will not lose her job at the Space Alien Gazette, as her help is still needed with spelling and punctuation.

The Space Alien is making a list of things to be thankful for, and urges Loyal Readers to do this too!  

Here's the the beginning of the Space Alien's list:


Your Editor is thankful that she will be with her family for Thanksgiving, and she and the Space Alien and the entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette wish all our Loyal Readers a peaceful and loving Thanksgiving.  



Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Space Alien Addresses the Newspaper Ban

Hallowe'en was approaching and Your Editor asked the Space Alien about this year's costume.

"This Hallowe'en I'll be dressed as a United States Senate Page!" announced the Space Alien.  "In fact, I'm even working undercover right now disguised as a Senate Page in Washington, D.C.!"


"What?  Who appointed you, and why?" 

"Several Washington officials who preferred not to be named asked me to serve and I'll be on a special mission for them."

"What do you mean?"  

"Well, you know the President has banned government subscriptions to the New York Times and Washington Post."

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/10/donald-trump-times-post-subscriptions

"Yes," said Your Editor, "I read about that!"  


"So, with my easy access to federal buildings disguised as a Senate Page,  I'll be carrying the usual load of documents, but hidden among them will be copies of the New York Times and Washington Post.  And I'll also have flashlights for White House staffers who prefer to take no chances by reading their copies secretly in bathroom stalls!"   


"You will be very convincing!" agreed Your Editor, examining the Space Alien's disguise as a Senate Page.  

The Space Alien, cleverly disguised as a 
Senate Page, brings the New York Times & Washington Post to Federal buildings where subscriptions were recently banned.
"I thought so too," said The Space Alien. "And this will be a twofer because besides smuggling these major newspapers of record to places that may no longer receive subscriptions, I can wear the same costume and go dressed as a United States Senate Page to Hallowe'en Parties as well!"

"Very practical," agreed Your Editor.


And so, Loyal Reader, if you attend any Hallowe'en parties and encounter someone dressed as a United States Senate Page, that is likely to be the Space Alien!  Just ask, and perhaps there will be an extra copy of the New York Times or Washington Post for you as well!  


All of us here in the unbelievably busy offices of the Space Alien Gazette wish our Loyal Readers a Happy Hallowe'en!  

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Editor's Note:  Your Editor would like to remind Loyal Readers that when you read the Space Alien Gazette you may not even need the New York Times or Washington Post.

Editor's Note: A Loyal Reader asked about the real Senate Page who let the Space Alien wear her suit as a disguise.  We are happy to report that she was able to take the day off, put on a pretty flowered silk dress and join friends for lunch at American CafĂ© near the Capitol. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Space Alien Welcomes 5780

Your Editor found the Space Alien surrounded by newspapers from all over the world.


"What are you doing?" she cried.  "Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown September 29 this year.  That's this Sunday evening!   I thought you would be baking a honey cake or practicing your shofar, as you always do at this time of year!"

The Space Alien looked up sadly.

"I know, but I'm so worried about something else!"

"What is that?" asked Your Editor.

"You know that Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Creation of the World, a wonderful world, with so much beauty and life-giving support!"

"Of course," answered Your Editor.  "And you have reminded us of this before!"  

And here, Loyal Reader, if you have mislaid it, is an example:  

http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-new-year-for-space-alien.html

The Space Alien continued:

"Now I'm reading that because of Man's thoughtlessness, we may be destroying our life-giving world!"

"What do you mean?" cried Your Editor.

"Well, you know I've been concerned about Climate Change for a long time!"

"I know!  You nearly left Earth for good because of that, but you decided to stay and fight it."

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-space-alien-considers-move.html

"Well, it's much more serious than I thought even then!" said the Space Alien.  "And I'm not alone in this!  On September 20, young people (and many of their elders as well) marched in cities all over the U.S. and all over the world to call attention to the devastation resulting from this man-made disaster.  I did all I could to support them."  

https://news.yahoo.com/skip-school-strike-students-across-114236428.html


Your Editor shook her head.  "You know that some people think that Climate Change is just a hoax!" she said.

"Sad but true," answered the Space Alien. "But overwhelmingly, responsible climate scientists understand that this is a very real threat and some believe that we may even have passed a point of no return." 

The Space Alien scurried to a nearby computer and quickly found more information about Climate Change in hopes that Loyal Readers would do so as well.  

Since many Loyal Readers may spend time in thoughtful reflection over the next ten days, here are some more sources that might be of particular interest:  

1. Climate Change; a Jewish Issue:  
https://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/Climate-change-is-a-Jewish-issue-597230

2. Published for a different occasion but equally applicable here:   https://orjewishlife.com/SHOULD-AVERTING-A-CLIMATE-CATASTROPHE-BE-A-JEWISH-PRIORITY-ON-TISHA-BAV/

3. How could we invest our resources?  One example:
https://www.jta.org/2018/04/17/united-states/brooklyn-synagogue-pulls-money-chase-bank-promote-climate-change-will-others-follow-suit

4. Concern in Israel today:
https://www.jta.org/2017/06/02/united-states/israels-government-is-right-wing-but-its-taking-climate-change-seriously

5. Innovation in Israel:
 https://www.israel21c.org/tel-aviv-museum-explores-creative-answers-to-climate-change/

"What a meaningful list!" exclaimed Your Editor. "You truly did a mitzvah compiling it!"

"I tried my best," answered the Space Alien.
"And, this year, in addition to reflecting, as I always do, on how I can be a better, kinder, more helpful Space Alien, I will also consider how I can do my part to keep this wondrous creation, our planet Earth, safe and livable!"

The Space Alien, Your Editor, and the Entire Editorial and Production Staff of the Space Alien Gazette wish You and Your Dear Ones a Good, Sweet and Healthy Year!


************

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Space Alien Bids Farewell to Summer

As summer draws to a close the Space Alien enjoys sailing on Long Island Sound where crowds of spectators gather on the shore to watch yacht races where the Space Alien excels as skipper at the helm of a specially designed schooner.       

The Space Alien also loves to frolic in the waves!   When open water seems too tame, the Space Alien scurries to Chicago's Art Institute for more exciting adventures in the surf!

But there is nothing more refreshing than a relaxing sunset swim off Chicago's fashionable Oak Street Beach!

The Space Alien hopes Loyal Readers -- whether boating or swimming -- have enjoyed many delightful days on the water this summer!  
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