Friday, February 24, 2017

Discovering TRAPPIST-1 and Testing Out the XP-Pen Star 05

NASA Reveals a Massive ExoPlanet Discovery

Space, it’s considered by many to be the last untraveled frontier in our exploration of life. Our Planet earth is only a small part of a vast Solar System and even then, our system is nothing compared to the ever spiraling Milky Way Galaxy and what lies beyond it. For as long as mankind has existed we’ve imagined and hypothesized the starry wonders beyond our atmosphere. Over the centuries and even more so recently Humanity has made some incredible discoveries regarding the galaxy. Last Wednesday marked another amazing discovery by one of NASA’s Telescopes. So space and science are definitely topics I’ve never talked about on here before but hey it interests me and a lot of you as well so why not? As a long time fan of the great beyond I might as well introduce space as a topic on here. You could say I have a lot of SPACE on here for it. Okay I’m not going to say that one again, forgive me.

Credit to NASA/JPL-Caltech

Anyway on Wednesday 22nd, 2017 NASA announced via a livestream that through their Spitzer Space Telescope they have discovered the first known planetary system (This system being dubbed the TRAPPIST-1 System) to have SEVEN Earth-size exoplanets (Planets that orbit a star not classed as a Sun.) orbiting around it’s sole star, at least three of these planets (possibly all of them.) are confirmed to be in the habitable-zone. The TRAPPIST-1 System itself is not a new discovery, being discovered by Astronomers in 2015 by the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (Hence the name TRAPPIST.) located at the La Silla Observatory in the Coquimbo Region of Chile. They had only discovered the Star and three of its planets before last Wednesday so it’s still a massive discovery.

What is the Habitable-Zone you ask? This zone means their orbit around the star (The power and size of the star as well as the size of the planet also factor in here.) are in the perfect locations for being habitable. Now if these Exoplanets have a sufficient atmospheric pressure they could support liquid water and in turn, life. That’s pretty awesome, right? This marks a brand new record for the amount of habitable-zone exoplanets found in a star system. Even cooler is the possibility that all seven of these planets are habitable and sustain water. Still in regards to the habitable ness of these planets, TRAPPIST-1 (The name of the star.) is actually an Ultra-Cool Dwarf Star. This meaning it’s much smaller in size and produces a lower temperature of heat compared to our Sun, TRAPPIST-1 putting off a temperature 2550 K (Kelvin, which is pretty hot all things considered.) compared to 5,778 K from our Sun. So these planets would have to be a lot closer to the star in order to feel the same temperatures that Earth does. TRAPPIST-1 is also approximately 500 million years old compared to our Sun which is about 4.6 billion years old. So TRAPPIST-1 is still quite a young system and due to it’s low luminosity this star could live for up to 4-5 trillion years.

Another strange but very likely possibility regarding these planets are that they might actually be tidally locked to their star. Basically one side of these planets will always be facing the star as it orbits around, which is completely identical to how our Moon works. If this is true then Weather on these planets could be drastically different from our own. NASA’s Hubble Telescope and Hubble Team are currently assessing and scanning the Planets and will do so over the upcoming months to confirm that these planets are Rocky in nature and not gaseous planets like Neptune and Jupiter.

Imagine if these planets all end up being able to support life, wouldn’t that be crazy? Who knows maybe these planets already contain life. Maybe they’re all under the control of the Klingon Emperor and we’re about to meet Michael Dorn’s Klingon counterpart. (That might be a bit farfetched.) Either way right now is a very exciting time in space research. The past two years have seem to of become a new space age, with discoveries of Pluto, Space X and it’s awesome self landing Rocket, Astronaut Scott Kelly’s 1 year on the International Space Station, as well as many other awesome space events.

As you can see I got a little excited about all this space stuff so let’s add that to our topics shall we? I actually really loved writing that, you can read more about what’s being discovered at and for more about TRAPPIST-1 as well as some amazing concept art artists drew of the planets go to

Distinguishing a Yarn Ball form a Yarn Skein (And Hank?)

As a follow up to Wednesday’s blog, which for the most part was a blog related to me learning more about knitting through this Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Book, I’ve been learning even more about knitting lately in the form of Yarn Ball types. Thanks to Lisa Shroyer from for writing this article I’ve learned a lot about different yarn ball types and how to handle and knit from them. (Even the unraveled type.) It’s called “Lisa’s List: 12 Yarn Ball types and How to Knit with Them.” 

Credits to Lisa Shroyer and Interweave

This is a very informative and well written (As well as humorous) article. Her information comes from yarn experts (You know, the ones who make the yarn.) and knitting experts so give it a read! I now know what to call yarn barfs… Hankensteins. I actually had no idea the word Hank even existed within the knitting vocabulary and was under the impression myself that twisted unballed yarn, or any unballed yarn for that matter was called a skein. Learn something new every day, eh? Thanks, Lisa!

Speaking of creativity! I’ve been working on something *TOP SECRET* graphic related for ZAK Entertainment in Paint Shop Pro while refreshing and teaching myself some techniques. Since starting up the blog I’ve been using this program 10xs more to edit my photographs and make graphics for the blog such as the banner. Can’t tell you what I’m working on yet but it’s going to be used in an upcoming, possibly weekly segment on the blog. As you’ve noticed I’ve been playing around with some new segments, putting sub headings within my blog. I’m not sure if it’s making my transitions too jumpy or making them just right but I’m enjoying how this site’s running so far. I really enjoy what I’ve been writing for you all, it’s been about some really great topics and I got a huge upcoming blog that’ll be released on Monday, it’s Pokemon related and also related to #PokemonDay so keep an eye out.

Trying out the XP-Pen Star05 Wireless Art Tablet & Pen

Remember that XP Star05 Tablet & Pen I show to you guys? I found this pen while trying to find Mum a new tablet for her brand new laptop she recently obtained.

Well we’ve been doing computer upgrades all around (Not me, yet. I’m still good for now.) and my Sis also obtained a new laptop with Windows 10. This XP-Pen Mum order ended up going to my little sister with Mum ordering a new one for herself. Reason for this being her old Wacom Intous 5 Tablet would not operate on her new Windows 10 laptop. I guess old being the primary reason behind this; it actually caused the computer itself issues instead of just not working. So Ann retired the ol boy and took over the brand new XP Star 05. Awesome part about this Tablet is the fact it’s WIRELESS! Of course you do have to charge it (Which takes about 2 hours.) but once it’s charged via USB you unplug it and it operates completely wirelessly. It’s supposed to last about 14 hours but we’ve not tested that fully quite yet, stay tuned, I’ll let you all know. Setting it up had a few hiccups, don’t use the drivers off the disc they’re actually out of date for Windows 10 It seems, though no biggie just go onto their website to download the newest drivers. You probably should do this with all products with drivers lately; the discs always seem to be out of date compared to the ones you get off the website. After setting it up you can easily change it for Left Handed uses, which my sis is a lefty herself (You’re okay with me saying you’re a lefty, right sis?) so I know it does well for left handed artists.

Actual photo of my Sis using the pen.

With the tablet’s 2048 pressure levels this tablet can do everything the Wacom can and more, while being way cheaper then any comparable Wacom product. Sis has tested the pen out on all her art programs, which are pretty much the norm in art lately, such as Krita, Paint Tool Sai, even Photoshop. So yeah it’s doing her great and I think she loves it, as well as her new and pretty powerful laptop computer. You heard it here first this Tablet is a success so far and is still only $69.99 on Amazon so I recommend it if you’re considering getting a new tablet & pen but you're also looking for a cheaper solution to Wacom (Which isn't wireless.) while still getting a professional art tablet.  Luckily I noticed this but the Tablet won’t actually be back in stock until March the 1st. You can still order it but your order won’t be shipped until March 1st, which is not that far away because February is that odd month where we only get 28 days.

For more of my sister's awesome artwork and photography check out her blog at

I’m not an artist in the same sense as my sister but I have use for Krita, Krita can actually do Pixel Art which I’ve always been a fan of. It also does vectors and I’ve learned while I can’t draw amazing drawings like my sis I’m not so bad when it comes to using a mouse with vectors. (Maybe I’ve been suppressing this inner ability, who knows.) So I’ve been playing around with Krita learning how everything works. Also decided to do a vector drawing of a character I’ve been developing from a story that’s been floating around in my head for over 6 years now. She’s taking quite a few different turns over the years but I want to introduce this character and the story itself to you guys in some shape soon. I’m thinking of making it a novel so I’m not exactly sure how to go about getting the story out on ZAK Entertainment without taking away the feeling from reading the novel I want to write. I’ll figure that out I guess, maybe I’ll do some short stories related to it, short stories seem to work well on blogs.

Before I wrap just want to mention I’m working on a new video! Got some super lucky shots of some wild life and I’m going to be making a compilation of it all to shoot it up online for you guys to watch. I’m also trying to work out this gaming channel idea so that’s something to look forward to.

That’s a wrap folks!

See You Space Cowboy…

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