Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, December 10, 2009


Hubble still going where no man has gone before

It's been hobbled with equipment failures since going into orbit in April 1990, but the Hubble Space Telescope continues to awe—and to inspire.

New images captured by Hubble shows several thousand never-before-seen galaxies, which were formed 600 million years after the big bang and are some 13 billion light-years away.

The images were made possible by several servicing missions over the years, the most recent in May that included a new-camera installation by NASA spacewalking astronauts. Though fraught with technical and budgetary problems in its own life, Hubble has helped shed light on the age and evolution of the universe where before, there were black holes.



The postman cometh ... and then it will be Santa's turn

For many, holiday shopping has just—or not even—begun.

But those who have friends and family far, far away, important deadlines are fast approaching, if gifts on time matter.

Tomorrow is the sending deadline for priority and first-class mail to the Asia-Pacific area, as well as to APO/FPO military zones, the U.S. Postal Service advises.

Gift-givers with loved ones on the mainland can breathe a bit easier: The get-there-in-time cut-off date for parcels is Dec. 21.

Of course, there's always Express Mail or some other pay-for-speed service. Happy holidays.