Rosetta Spacecraft, 6.4 Billion Kilometers Later

Back in 2004, the European Space Agency launched a spacecraft named Rosetta on a journey to study a distant comet. The comet referred to as “comet 67P” has an elliptical orbit around the Sun that takes 6 and half years to complete. In August of 2014, Rosetta finally reached its destination. Today the spacecraft is orbiting the comet and looking for a landing zone for its “Philae” lander which will take samples of the comet’s surface.

In recent years, Scientists have discovered the crucial role that comets play in the formation of planets and possibly even life. The arrival of Rosetta at comet 67P is a landmark accomplishment that has never before been achieved. ESA claims that it will decide on a landing spot in three days on September 15, 2014. Scientists are eager to begin exploring the surface of this comet as it may contain clues to the origin of life on Earth.

A journey that has spanned more than 6 billion kilometers since its start is now at the cusp of unveiling some of science’s most coveted secrets. I will be following the news on this expedition and updating you on any new discoveries that are made in the near future. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sources
http://www.esa.int
http://www.nasa.gov

Dinner with a Twist at Barley and Swine

Barley&Swine - Mac-n-Cheese

Barley&Swine – Mac-n-Cheese

Located in Downtown Dadeland, this Gastro pub has earned the title of best croquetta’s in town! Recommended to us by our good friend Kelci, Barley and Swine is a new spot that serves up its own brand of American Comfort food. With Latin and Asian flavors fused into every dish, this spot is great for trying things with a twist. Jessica and I had a great time at this restaurant and this is what we ordered.

Barley&Swine - Croquetas

Barley&Swine – Croquetas

Croquetta’s – serrano ham, manchego cheese, guava sauce and parmesan cheese. Hands down, best Croquetta’s I’ve ever had. Each bite was both pure joy and pure sadness. Pure joy because of its perfect combination of flavors and pure sadness because of its ability to disappear so quickly. I highly recommend these to anyone who’s willing to step outside of their comfort zone. You won’t regret it.
Barley&Swine - Wine and Beer

Beer – American Bourbon Ale and Wine – House white wine. Being a gastro pub, a large selection of beers could always be expected. This one in particular was delicious. Jessica got the house white wine which came chilled and was great too.

Barley&Swine - Fried Green Tomatoes

Barley&Swine – Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes – pimiento cheese, crispy bacon and pimiento aioli. The presentation of these fried green tomatoes was unfortunately better than their actual taste. While the pimiento aioli was a great addition to the fried green tomatoes, the breading was too thick. This resulted in a mushy tomato with a crunchy exterior which was not terrible, but I wouldn’t order it again.

Barley&Swine - Mac-n-Cheese

Barley&Swine – Mac-n-Cheese

House Mac & Cheese – large shell pasta – house blended cheese. Wow. I mean Wow. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to enjoy Mac & Cheese from anywhere else ever again. This dish of Mac & Cheese is served in the same cast iron skillet that it is cooked in. While in the picture you may think that the tops of the shells were charred and burnt, you would be incorrect. Those seemingly burnt shells were just as good as the ones on the bottom making this dish an absolute winner in my book. I highly recommend this one to all food lovers as well.

Barley and Swine is definitely a great place to try both new and classic dishes. I will be coming back for an order of those Croquetta’s and I may stay for another Mac & Cheese when I do. Thanks for stopping by!

Casual Miami Dinner at the Pincho Factory

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries

Pincho Factory is a small casual restaurant with a big reputation in the Miami area. Known for their pincho’s and burgers, Jessica and I decided to give the burgers a shot. (I’m becoming slightly concerned at how often I order burgers. Leave it to blogging to realize you’re a burger addict!) After placing our order and taking a seat, we could not help but realize the diversity of the crowd around us. People from all walks of life gathered under a small roof to enjoy some really great food. It doesn’t get much better than that. So here’s what we ordered…

Mimosa and Heineken

Mimosa and Heineken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First order of business is always ordering a drink. I went with an ice cold Heineken (Right) and Jessica went with a fresh Mimosa (Left). Who says Mimosas are only for brunch. We enjoyed both drinks.

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries (Left) Toston Burger (Right)

Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar Fries (Left) Toston Burger (Right)

Next comes the Pincho Burger and Bacon Cheddar French Fries (Left). Obviously this isn’t a meal that I would recommend anyone eat often, but when you feel like taking a break from the healthy stuff this sure does hit the spot. The Pincho Burger was cooked to juicy perfection with lettuce, tomato, potato sticks and their special sauce. The Bacon Cheddar fries came with a ranch dressing on top. Each bite was both delicious and depressing. Delicious in taste but depressing in that I could tell it was a calorie bomb. Another and perhaps more renowned dish is the Toston Burger (Right) which Jessica ordered. Sandwiched between two tostones (fried plantains) comes a well-cooked burger with jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and a homemade cilantro sauce. If I return to the Pincho Factory I might consider ordering that burger instead. With the innovative toston buns and that amazing cilantro sauce, this burger is in a category of its own. Keep in mind though that the burger is super filling and likely to be too much for one person. Jessica could attest to that.

2nd Round

2nd Round

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desert ended up being a second round for us. After such a filling meal, it was all that we could bare.

My favorite part of our dinner was honestly the bill. Great prices and really unique food are always a great combination. For anyone thinking of going to the Pincho Factory I would strongly recommend doing so on a day that you’re starving. The burgers are very heavy and a side of bacon cheddar fries might put you in a food coma. Aside from that, I really enjoyed our dinner and plan on trying their Pincho’s next time. Thanks for stopping by!

Smell Text Messages with the oPhone

The oPhone Duo

The oPhone Duo

oSnap app screen shot

oSnap app screen shot

Have you ever had the desire to send your friend a scent via your smartphone? No? Me either. However that’s aside from the fact that now you actually can! Sending a scent is now possible with the all new oPhone. Harvard professor David Edwards and co-inventor Rachel Field have invented the first device that is capable of sending and receiving scents via an app on your phone. oNotes would be the equivalent of say text messages. The idea is to take a picture, tag it with oNotes and send it to a friend with an oPhone who can then smell your message. 

After going on their website I found that you could be the proud owner of an oPhone for just $149.00. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s a steal or a rip-off. The mobile app oSnap is already available for iPhone users to download which consists of a collection of scents and smells that users could send to one another. Apparently capturing a scent and sending it is still out of reach at the moment. For now users could use multiple oNotes to identify the smell of whatever they are tagging. Eventually oSnap wishes to boast a more comprehensive oMedia library filled with a broad range of scents.

Edwards believes that the future of mobile communication lies in attaching scents to our pictures and creating oFilms capable of capturing a range of aromas throughout a video. I’m not sure if this technology will be as revolutionary as Edwards believes it will be but at the very least, it brings a new sense to the world of mobile communication. I would love to hear from someone who owns one of these. If you own an oPhone and have used oSnap to send oNotes, please let us know what you think of the technology and if it is as innovative as its inventor’s make it seem. Thanks for stopping by!

Solar Freakin Roadways

Above is a video titled “Solar Freakin Roadways”, which is the campaign kick starter by Indiegogo that was intended to capture the attention of big time investors. With a goal of one million dollars to get an initial prototype project underway, the campaign was flooded with more than two million dollars and over 48,000 supporters in just a couple of months. Needless to say, these solar powered roadways, sidewalks and parking lots are pretty amazing. Aside from providing energy solutions, these roadways could open up a new market for job creation and also generate income from an unlimited supply of renewable energy.

As you watch the video, you’ll notice that the benefits of having solar powered roadways are countless. The installation of these roadways would call for an underground electrical channel which could be used in conjunction with each cities electrical infrastructure to remove the use of power lines. Heated solar roadways would also prevent the buildup of snow during the winter months which would result in less corrosive damage from salt, safer travel and savings from minimizing snow plow costs. Regular streets have to constantly be repaved and patched up wherever potholes appear, another possibly obsolete problem solved with solar roadways.

Each of the solar panels is lined with a high impact resistant material to prevent damage and also with LED lights which could be used in a number of configurations. For instance, let’s say there’s an accident up ahead, the LED lights could signal for you to slow down or merge lanes. Parking lots could be rearranged as needed in seconds because with the LED lights in place, painting the space will not be necessary. Like I said before, the benefits are seemingly endless so it’s best if you watch the whole video. I myself was a little skeptical at first, but the video convinced me otherwise. I believe this stuff could change the world one day and it could make our country an energy independent nation if taken seriously. So enjoy the clip and thanks for stopping by!

Delightful Dinner at Miracle Mile

Inside of Swine

Inside of Swine

Miami is a great place to try new restaurants and experiment with different foods. Recently there has been a Gastro-Pub revolution in the Miami area. With a more intimate vibe, unique drinks and menus that reflect a Chef’s creativity, they are all the rave. This is why we chose to go to Miracle Mile in Miami, an area that’s known for its shopping, bars and most of all its trending restaurants. Saturday, Jessica and I went to a relatively new Gastro-Pub named Swine. Here’s what we had.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes at Swine

Fried Green Tomatoes at Swine

Fried Green Tomatoes. These delicious little green tomatoes won us over from the first bite. The flavors were so fresh and Earthy that we almost ordered seconds and ditched our meals. Ingredients: FL Tomme, pea shoots and tomato chow chow. I don’t quite know what those things are by themselves, but together I know that they are the best fried green tomatoes I have ever had!

 

(Left) Orkney Skull Splitter (Right) Homestead Bound at Swine

(Left) Orkney Skull Splitter (Right) homestead Bound at Swine

Orkney Skull Splitter Ale and the Homestead Bound. Probably the most creative and refreshing drink I have ever had in my life, of course ordered by Jessica. The Homestead Bound ingredients: Absolut Vodka, Veev Acai, fresh strawberries, orange, lemon basil and mint. This delightful amalgamation of fresh ingredients and properly mixed alcohol is a game changer to say the least. I will definitely order that again when I return. The beer that I ordered was really great too, packed with rich complex flavor that anyone should expect from a good ale.

 

The Swine Burger

The Swine Burger

The Swine Burger. Ingredients: Short-rib, brisket and smoked pork blend, homemade dill pickle, thick-cut house smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, American cheese and Swine’s special sauce. The burger was a great choice as all of the ingredients could be savored individually and no single ingredient overpowered another. The lettuce and tomato was fresh, the bacon was crispy and the meat was cooked to perfection.

 

Cookies&Milk at Swine

Cookies&Milk at Swine

Cookies and Milk. Ingredients: White chocolate stuffed homemade Oreos, ice-cold bourbon spiked milk and a dark chocolate dipping sauce. I should say that I’m lucky to have Jessica by my side because if not for her then I would have never tried this desert. The cookies and dipping sauce were warm and the spiked milk was super cold. Every bite was just as delicious as the last leaving you wanting more. Initially skeptical about the spiced milk, we were shocked to find that the subtle hint of bourbon gave the milk just the right amount of flavor to make it perfect.

 

For those of you who are looking for a restaurant with a unique personality and a world class chef, go to Swine. This Gastro-Pub nestled in Miracle Mile Miami is my new favorite restaurant hands down. A relaxed ambiance with dim lighting and creative décor make this restaurant everything that a Gastro-Pub should be. We had great service and we could tell that the staff was as excited about the food as we were. We felt like we were among friends who wanted us to enjoy this experience with them. Swine is a definite winner in my book and I recommend the spot to anyone who is willing to try something new. Thanks for stopping by.

China Brings Jobs to the U.S.?

Suntech Power Holdings factory in Phoenix, Arizona

Suntech Power Holdings factory in Phoenix, Arizona

Suntech Power Holdings factory in Phoenix, Arizona

Suntech Power Holdings factory in Phoenix, Arizona

 

Americans (myself included) can’t remember a time when we weren’t the most powerful nation in the world. Being the most powerful nation in the world is a title that comes with special responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is job creation. The U.S. has long been known for its ability to keep unemployment rates down and its salaries reasonable. However, over the past decade, the U.S. has been slipping on its job creation responsibilities. Unemployment has been on the rise, the middle class has been all but wiped out and the gap between the rich and the poor is at its greatest. In the most unlikely of twists, the country that’s now creating jobs in the U.S. is none other than China.

Last year an estimated 14 billion dollars were invested in the U.S. by Chinese companies, employing over 70,000 U.S. citizens. Who would have thought that China, of all countries, would be investing in the U.S. and creating jobs? After decades of U.S. companies moving their operations to China, Chinese investors are now looking to do the same here in the U.S. by promoting more Chinese American business investment. From the Southern states of Alabama and Mississippi to the Western state of Arizona, these states are offering cheap real-estate and a strong workforce. Suntech Power Holdings, a Chinese solar panel firm, is a prime example of Chinese investment in the U.S. as the factory is located in Phoenix, Arizona.

Chinese investors are purchasing struggling U.S. companies and also purchasing abandoned factories and converting them into profitable modern factories. With competitive wages and the necessary infrastructure to move large sums of products already in place, it’s likely that the U.S. will only see an increase in Chinese investment. While I’m not entirely comfortable with the thought of Chinese companies employing our citizens, I was less comfortable with the idea of sending U.S. jobs overseas to China. Hopefully this new era of Chinese investment in the U.S. will remind our own companies of how valuable U.S. employment can be.

I would love to hear from you guys about this new era of U.S. investment. Do you think that China’s investments in the U.S. is a good thing or a bad thing? Let me know what you think and thanks for stopping by!

China and its Neighbors

China and its Neighbors