The Galaxy Just Got a Little Smaller

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The Associated Press

Posted August 24, 2006, 10:17 AM EDT

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.

After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. The new definition of what is -- and isn't -- a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.

Although astronomers applauded after the vote, Jocelyn Bell Burnell -- a specialist in neutron stars from Northern Ireland who oversaw the proceedings -- urged those who might be "quite disappointed" to look on the bright side.

"It could be argued that we are creating an umbrella called 'planet' under which the dwarf planets exist," she said, drawing laughter by waving a stuffed Pluto of Walt Disney fame beneath a real umbrella.

The decision by the prestigious international group spells out the basic tests that celestial objects will have to meet before they can be considered for admission to the elite cosmic club.

For now, membership will be restricted to the eight "classical" planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Lex Luthor Man of Steel

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It's been about 3 months since I first heard about the Lex Luthor Man of Steel trade paperback, last Friday I was finally able to pick it up. The first thing that immediately caught my eye is the unique art style of the book. Every panel has a surreal haze to it giving the drawings an almost photographic feel. Also the level of detail is absolutely mind blowing It too really helped in establishing the mood of the book and pulled me, the reader right into Lex Luthor's Metropolis.

The story, as the title suggests this time around is told from Lex Luthor's point of view. For the first time you get some in site into Lex's motivation for his many schemes to destroy Superman over the years. You very quickly realized he may not be the tyrannical power monger he is sometimes depicted as and perhaps... He is right in thinking the city of Metropolis, should maybe reevaluate its dependency on this super powered being from another planet as it's savior.

The book does an amazing job of showing Superman as no book has before, a juggernaut agile, powerful, nearly invincible and quite frightening. His glowing eyes see all... he is a phantom, in a streak of red and blue he is seemingly everywhere at once. Just imagine what could happen if he ever turned against the human race.

Fortunately, the city of Metropolis still has one last line of defense. A lone patriot who is working tirelessly to protect the citizens of Metropolis and the rest of the world from this still unacknowledged threat, this... so called super man. He is Lex Luthor our savior and the true “Man of steel”.

Busy but Productive Weekend...

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Wow, what a weekend I can hardly believe it, this was one of the most productive weekends I have had in a very long time... The weekend was kicked off on Friday, Isa and I had to run a few errands in preparation for her first day of school, followed up by a trip to the bookstore where I picked up a few titles for some client research, a couple books for the kids and both The Lady in the Water and a comic book for myself. Lunch followed and then a trip to the sitter to pick up Oli. I still had a couple hours of work to attend to once we finally arrived home So I did that, made dinner and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Saturday even more busy, I had a shoot down in Phoenix for “The Road Less Traveled 2 & 3” from 9am – 6pm. Home, dinner, playtime with the kids and I managed to read the Lex Luthor Man of Steel TP I bought the previous day.

Sunday, another shoot in Phoenix “The Road Less Traveled 3” from 9am – 1pm, followed by Lunch with my good friend Joey and then back home again. Maria and the kids were out when I got there so I thought the quiet would be a good environment to get some some drawing done so I sketched about 100 gestures before finally calling it a night.

Sony slashing prices for holidays?

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According to industry analysts, Sony is going to make one of its gaming platforms very affordable this holiday season. Unfortunately for next-gen gamers, they're not talking about the PlayStation 3.

Analysts believe that a price cut for the PSP is inevitable sometime later this year, reports CNN/Money. The PSP's current suggested retail price is $199, but American Technology Research's P.J. McNealy believes the handheld's price will fall to $149.

"There is a price cut coming in the second half of the year," McNealy told CNN. "[The PSP] has lost momentum. Nintendo has had a great run since it launched the DS Lite and Sony needs to regain some ground."

Besides the need to compete with Nintendo's DS Lite this holiday season, McNealy points toward Sony "apparently stockpiling finished gaming hardware" as a sign that a price cut is imminent. The price drop could also be tied into a game's launch, such as October's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the follow up to one of the PSP's biggest hits.

The PSP's price was dropped from $249 to $199 in March, and another price drop this holiday could help Sony make a dent in Nintendo's DS Lite momentum. CNN/Money puts the PSP at 20 million units shipped worldwide, while the DS, in large part thanks to the release of the redesigned DS Lite, has sold 21 million units. The DS Lite currently retails for $129.

The Afro Samurai Comicon Trailer is online...

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The official website for Spike TV's Afro Samurai, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, has launched with the new trailer, which was shown at the San Diego Comic-Con.

The five episode series is the tale of a black samurai in futuristic, yet feudal Japan who is on a mission to avenge the wrongful death of his father. "Afro" is a warrior who travels a solitary path encountering a myriad of enemies, friends and challenges beyond imagination.

The series, produced in Japanese animation, blends samurai style with hip-hop, creating a kind of action that American audiences have never seen before.

Afro Samurai is a creative collaboration between Jackson, Takashi Okazaki and Japanese animation company Gonzo, a division of GDH, who is also acting as series producer. The concept of Afro Samurai was created by graphic designer, illustrator and artist Takashi "Bob" Okazaki (Spider-Man, Blade: Trinity).

Phoenix Serial Shooter Caught. Maybe...

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Last night police descended upon the Windscape Apartments in Mesa, AZ and arrested two men in connection with the person or persons they are looking for, known to Valley residents as the Serial Shooter. The Serial Shooter is believed to be responsible for killing 8 people and wounding 18 people since May 2005. The police took weapons from the apartment and confiscated a vehicle. The apartment complex, located at Mesa Drive and McKellips Road, is under lockdown at this time while police question neighbors and look for more physical evidence.