Latest Xanadu Stories

2008-07-04 06:00:44

By The Miami Herald Jul. 4--Critics panned Xanadu when it hit theaters in the summer of 1980. "Where else can you see Olivia Newton-John skate around in rags with lightbulbs on her knees?" sniffed one scribe at the time. Then a strange thing happened. Xanadu, which featured Gene Kelly in his final movie role and Michael Beck, who went on to read John Grisham audio books, developed a cult following. A new Broadway version even scored Tony nominations. Xanadu has been on DVD in a...

2008-06-27 15:02:39

The whimsical Definitely Maybe (Universal, $29.98) twirls on a romantic mystery as an about-to-be-divorced father spins a twisty tale for his 10-year-old daughter in which she tries to figure out which of the several women in his life turned out to be her mother. He disguises the names of all the women he has loved so she -- and we -- must wait until the end of his story to discover the true identity of her mom. There's the blond beauty he left behind in Wisconsin to join the 1992 Clinton...

2006-09-02 09:35:00

Scientists knew Saturn's giant moon Titan would be interesting, perhaps containing organic compounds that are the building blocks of life. But the discovery of methane lakes and a "methanosphere" raises a question: is a frozen moon orbiting a giant gas planet Earth's closest analog in the solar system? NASA - Saturn's moon Titan seems to have little in common with Earth. At just 93 Kelvin, the giant moon is beyond ice cold, and its atmosphere is dominated by methane rather than nitrogen and...

2006-07-19 12:35:00

New radar images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal geological features very similar to Earth on an Australia-size, bright region on Saturn´s moon Titan. In one radar strip over 4,500 kilometers (2,796 miles) long, Cassini provided a virtual goldmine, telling the region's complex geological story. Radar images show that the region, named Xanadu, is surrounded by darker terrain, reminiscent of a free-standing landmass. At the western edge of Xanadu, dark sand dunes give...

2005-10-10 06:27:08

Arizona -- A 300-mile-wide patch that outshines everything else on Titan at long infrared wavelengths appears not to be a mountain, a cloud or a geologically active hot spot, University of Arizona scientists and Cassini team members say. "We must be looking at a difference in surface composition," said Jason W. Barnes, a postdoctoral researcher at UA's Lunar and Planetary Lab. "That's exciting because this is the first evidence that says not all of the bright areas on Titan are the same. Now...

2005-05-25 14:40:00

NASA -- Saturn's moon Titan shows an unusual bright spot that has scientists mystified. The spot, approximately the size and shape of West Virginia, is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini spacecraft. The 483-kilometer-wide (300-mile) region may be a "hot" spot -- an area possibly warmed by a recent asteroid impact or by a mixture of water ice and ammonia from a warm interior, oozing out of an ice volcano onto colder...

2005-05-25 07:50:00

How old is Titan's surface? For years, Saturn's moon Titan was thought to have mastered the cosmetic surgery of the cosmos, with barely a mark or wrinkle to betray its true age. Close-up views provided by Cassini instruments show that Titan is nearly as flawless as it seems from a distance, with only two impact craters found so far. A world with a more youthful surface may be more likely to harbor life. Astrobiology Magazine -- Thanks to a thick veil of orange smog, the surface of Titan has...

2005-03-09 12:45:00

NASA -- Saturn's largest and hazy moon, Titan, has a surface shaped largely by Earth-like processes of tectonics, erosion, winds, and perhaps volcanism. The findings are published in this week's issue of the journal Nature. Titan, long held to be a frozen analog of early Earth, has liquid methane on its cold surface, unlike the water found on our home planet. Among the new discoveries is what may be a long river, roughly 1,500 kilometers long (930 miles). Scientists have also concluded...

2004-12-16 07:59:25

The close approach of the Cassini probe, now flying by Saturn's moons, Dione and Titan, reveals a complex atmosphere with clouds hovering over what may prove next month to be continents and even oil-rich oceans. Astrobiology Magazine -- The map of Saturn's moon Dione, generated from Cassini images taken during the spacecraft's first two orbits of Saturn, illustrates in the banner image, the imaging coverage planned during Cassini's first Dione flyby on Dec. 14, 2004. Colored lines enclose...

Word of the Day
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.