Tonight's full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It offers anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy-to-see features on the moon.
This being the first full moon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, a moniker dating back to Native American culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the full moon on cold winter nights. Each month brings another full moon name.
But why will this moon be bigger than others? Here's how the moon works:
The moon is, on average, 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. The moon's orbit around Earth – which causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days – is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. One side of the orbit is 31,070 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other.
So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee. Once or twice a year, perigee coincides with a full moon, as it will tonight, making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons during the year.
Tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year, according to Spaceweather.com.
As a bonus, Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight. Look for the reddish, star-like object.
Full moon craziness
Many people think full moons cause strange behavior among animals and even humans. In fact several studies over the years have tried to tie lunar phases to births, heart attacks, deaths, suicides, violence, psychiatric hospital admissions and epileptic seizures, and more. Connections have been inclusive or nonexistent.
The moon does have some odd effects on our planet, and there are oodles of other amazing moon facts and misconceptions:
* A full moon at perigee also brings higher ocean tides. This tug of the moon on Earth also creates tides in the planet's crust, not just in the oceans.
* Beaches are more polluted during full moon, owing to the higher tides.
* In reality, there's no such thing as a full moon. The full moon occurs when the sun, Earth and the moon are all lined up, almost. If they're perfectly aligned, Earth casts a shadow on the moon and there's a total lunar eclipse. So during what we call a full moon, the moon's face is actually slightly less than 100 percent illuminated.
* The moon is moving away as you read this, by about 1.6 inches (4 cm) a year.
The moon illusion
Finally, be sure to get out and see the full moon as it rises, right around sunset. Along the horizon, the moon tends to seem even bigger. This is just an illusion.
You can prove to yourself that this is an illusion. Taking a small object such as a pencil eraser, hold it at arm's length, and compare its size to that of the moon just as it rises. Then repeat the experiment later in the night and you'll see that the moon compares the same in both cases. Alternately, snap two photos of the moon, with a digital camera or your cell phone, when the moon is near the horizon and later when it's higher in the sky. Pull both photos up on your computer screen and make a side-by-side comparison.
Astronomers and psychologists agree the moon illusion is just that, but they don't agree on how to explain it.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Tonight's full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It offers anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy-to-see features on the moon.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
When Joz Wang and her brother bought their mom a Nikon Coolpix S630 digital camera for Mother's Day last year, they discovered what seemed to be a malfunction. Every time they took a portrait of each other smiling, a message flashed across the screen asking, "Did someone blink?" No one had. "I thought the camera was broken!" Wang, 33, recalls. But when her brother posed with his eyes open so wide that he looked "bug-eyed," the messages stopped.
Wang, a Taiwanese-American strategy consultant who goes by the Web handle "jozjozjoz," thought it was funny that the camera had difficulties figuring out when her family had their eyes open. So she posted a photo of the blink warning on her blog under the title, "Racist Camera! No, I did not blink... I'm just Asian!" The post was picked up by Gizmodo and Boing Boing, and prompted at least one commenter to note, "You would think that Nikon, being a Japanese company, would have designed this with Asian eyes in mind." (See Techland's top 10 gadgets of 2009.)
Nikon isn't the only big brand whose consumer cameras have displayed an occasional - though clearly unintentional - bias toward Caucasian faces. Face detection, which is one of the latest "intelligent" technologies to trickle down to consumer cameras, is supposed to make photography more convenient. Some cameras with face detection are designed to warn you when someone blinks; others are programmed to automatically take a picture when somebody smiles - a feature that, theoretically, makes the whole problem of timing your shot to catch the brief glimpse of a grin obsolete. Face detection has also found its way into computer webcams, where it can track a person's face during a video conference or enable face-recognition software to prevent unauthorized access.
The principle behind face detection is relatively simple, even if the math involved can be complex. Most people have two eyes, eyebrows, a nose and lips - and an algorithm can be trained to look for those common features, or more specifically, their shadows. (For instance, when you take a normal image and heighten the contrast, eye sockets can look like two dark circles.) But even if face detection seems pretty straightforward, the execution isn't always smooth.
Indeed, just last month, a white employee at an RV dealership in Texas posted a YouTube video showing a black co-worker trying to get the built-in webcam on an HP Pavilion laptop to detect his face and track his movements. The camera zoomed in on the white employee and panned to follow her, but whenever the black employee came into the frame, the webcam stopped dead in its tracks. "I think my blackness is interfering with the computer's ability to follow me," the black employee jokingly concludes in the video. "Hewlett-Packard computers are racist." (See the 50 best inventions of 2009.)
The "HP computers are racist" video went viral, with almost 2 million views, and HP, naturally, was quick to respond. "Everything we do is focused on ensuring that we provide a high-quality experience for all our customers, who are ethnically diverse and live and work around the world," HP's lead social-media strategist Tony Welch wrote on a company blog within a week of the video's posting. "We are working with our partners to learn more." The post linked to instructions on adjusting the camera settings, something both Consumer Reports and Laptop Magazine tested successfully in Web videos they put online.
Still, some engineers question how a webcam even made it onto the market with this seemingly glaring flaw. "It's surprising HP didn't get this right," says Bill Anderson, president of Oculis Labs in Hunt Valley, Md., a company that develops security software that uses face recognition to protect work computers from prying eyes. "These things are solvable." Case in point: Sensible Vision, which develops the face-recognition security software that comes with some Dell computers, said their software had no trouble picking up the black employee's face when they tested the YouTube video.
YouTube commenters expressed what was on a lot of people's minds. "Seems they rushed the product to market before testing thoroughly enough," wrote one. "I'm guessing it's because all the people who tested the software were white," wrote another. HP declined to comment on their methods for testing the webcam or how involved they were in designing the software, but they did say the software was based on "standard algorithms." Often, the manufacturers of the camera parts will also supply the software to well-known brands, which might explain why HP isn't the only company whose cameras have exhibited an accidental prejudice against minorities, since many brands could be using the same flawed code. TIME tested two of Sony's latest Cyber-shot models with face detection (the DSC-TX1 and DSC-WX1) and found they, too, had a tendency to ignore camera subjects with dark complexions.
But why? It's not necessarily the programmers' fault. It comes down to the fact that the software is only as good as its algorithms, or the mathematical rules used to determine what a face is. There are two ways to create them: by hard-coding a list of rules for the computer to follow when looking for a face, or by showing it a sample set of hundreds, if not thousands, of images and letting it figure out what the ones with faces have in common. In this way, a computer can create its own list of rules, and then programmers will tweak them. You might think the more images - and the more diverse the images - that a computer is fed, the better the system will get, but sometimes the opposite is true. The images can begin to generate rules that contradict each other. "If you have a set of 95 images and it recognizes 90 of those, and you feed it five more, you might gain five, but lose three," says Vincent Hubert, a software engineer at Montreal-based Simbioz, a tech company that is developing futuristic hand-gesture technology like the kind seen in Minority Report. It's the same kind of problem speech-recognition software faces in handling unusual accents.
And just as the software is only as good as its code and the hardware it lives in, it's also only as good as the light it's got to work with. As HP noted in its blog post, the lighting in the YouTube video was dim, and, the company said, there wasn't enough contrast to pick up the facial shadows the computer needed for seeing. (An overlit person with a fair complexion might have had the same problem.) A better camera wouldn't necessarily have guaranteed a better result, because there's another bottleneck: computing power. The constant flow of images is usually too much for the software to handle, so it downsamples them, or reduces the level of detail, before analyzing them. That's one reason why a person watching the YouTube video can easily make out the black employee's face, while the computer can't. "A racially inclusive training set won't help if the larger platform is not capable of seeing those details," says Steve Russell, founder and chairman of 3VR, which creates face recognition for security cameras.
The blink problem Wang complained about has less to do with lighting than the plain fact that her Nikon was incapable of distinguishing her narrow eye from a half-closed one. An eye might only be a few pixels wide, and a camera that's downsampling the images can't see the necessary level of detail. So a trade-off has to be made: either the blink warning would have a tendency to miss half blinks or a tendency to trigger for narrow eyes. Nikon did not respond to questions from TIME as to how the blink detection was designed to work.
Why these glitches weren't ironed out before the cameras hit Best Buy is not something that HP, Nikon or Sony, when contacted by TIME, were willing to answer. Perhaps in this market of rapidly developing technologies, consumers who fork over a few hundred dollars for the latest gadget are the test market. A few years ago, speech-recognition software was teeth-gnashingly unreliable. Today, it's up to 99% accurate. With the flurry of consumer complaints out there, most of the companies seem to be responding. HP has offered instructions on how to adjust its webcam's sensitivity to backlighting. Nikon says it's working to improve the accuracy of the blink-warning function on its Coolpix cameras. (Sony wouldn't comment on the performance of its Cyber-shot cameras and said only that it's "not possible to track the face accurately all the time.") Perhaps in a few years' time, the only faces cameras won't be able to pick up will be those of the blue-skinned humanoids from Avatar.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
If you’re single, travel for business, or just enjoy savoring a meal without small talk, you’ve probably had the experience of dining alone. This can be immensely pleasurable or incredibly daunting, depending on your temperament and overall approach. To ensure your next table-for-one adventure is as enjoyable as possible, BHG.com offers up these time-tested tips for dining alone.
For fine dining at home, try these delicious DIY bistro menu ideas from BHG.com.
1. Be Bookish. Always come armed with reading material. Having something to read not only keeps you from getting bored but also serves as a shield against waitstaff pity or unwanted conversational overtures from fellow patrons. Keep in mind that certain reading choices are better than others due to their portability and fold-ability (good: Sports Illustrated bad: War and Peace). In fact, frequent dining alone might be the real motivation for investing in a Kindle – although be wary of spilled beverages!
2. Try The Bar. For many would-be solo diners, the fear of being surrounded by lovey-dovey couples or raucous groups can be prohibitive. Requesting a seat at the bar is a good solution: Most restaurants will serve the full menu, bar seating is casual and low-profile, and you're likely to be surrounded by other content singletons.
3. Exude Confidence. Stride up to the host or hostess and proudly request your table. Never shrug or say, “just me” as though you’re apologizing. It takes guts to eat alone, and you should command the respect you deserve.
4. Eavesdrop. People in restaurants tend to be drinking, which often results in loud talking, over-sharing, bawdy jokes, or bitter marital brawls. Either way you can (discreetly) listen in on proximate tables and gain valuable insight into the human condition. Bonus points for detecting awkward first-time Internet dates.
5. Befriend Your Blackberry. Most of us are borderline addicted to checking our Blackberries or mobile phones. While it’s impolite to do this in the company of others, it's an absolutely acceptable activity when you’re dining alone: Reading the news, checking your Twitter feed, fondly reading old emails from loved ones, or scanning your secret crush’s Facebook page...the wireless possibilities are endless.
6. Go, Team! Even if you’re not terribly into sports, if there’s a game playing, become a fan for the evening. You’ll be surprised how an entranced gaze up at the screen now and then will give you a sense of purpose, as will a well-timed groan of defeat or hearty fist-pumping “Yes!”
7. Think Like A Food Critic. Pretend you are reviewing the restaurant. Observe the nuances of each course, take in the presentation, note the faults and strengths of the décor and keep a sharp eye on the service. This puts you in a position of judgment – always empowering.
8. Life Is Short, Enjoy The Steak. Finally, remember to relax, enjoy yourself, and focus on the positives of solo dining. Just think: There will be no quibbling over who pays, no awkward pauses, and no drawn-out discussions about your companion's relationship or work problems. You really can be your own best dinner date.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Three steps to take to protect your account data from getting into the wrong hands.
Whether by choice or necessity, American consumers are increasingly relying on debit rather than credit cards. Debit card spending has risen steadily, growing from 47.7 percent of purchases made with plastic in 2003 to 58.9 percent in 2008 and it is expected to surpass 67 percent by 2013, according to the Nilson Report, a newsletter that tracks the consumer payment industry.
When you use a debit card, the money is immediately taken from your checking account. While using debit guarantees that you pay as you go, these cards have downsides, including a growing appeal to thieves. "As economic conditions have worsened, there's been a noticeable increase in all types of card fraud," says Avivah Litan, an analyst specializing in fraud detection and prevention at Gartner Research in Stamford, Conn. "But ATM and debit-card fraud is the top area of concern we're hearing about from banks all over the world.".
Unlike credit-card thieves, who usually charge merchandise and then resell it to come up with money, people who create counterfeit ATM or debit cards by stealing your PIN and other account data can simply pull cold cash from your bank account. Using a technique known as skimming, they set up equipment that captures magnetic stripe and keypad information when you input your PIN at ATM machines, gas pumps, restaurants, or retailers.
Here's how you can protect yourself:
Don't Type in Your Pin at the Pump
Be especially vigilant at gas stations, Litan says. "Gas pumps are notorious for skimming because they're produced by only a couple of different manufacturers, and if someone gets the key to one from a disgruntled employee, they can insert a skimming device inside the pump where it can't be seen," she says. She recommends using a credit card rather than a debit card when you fill your tank.
If you must use a debit card at the gas pump, choose the screen prompt that identifies it as a credit card so that you do not have to type in your PIN. The purchase amount will still be deducted from your bank account, but it will be processed through a credit-card network, which will give you greater protection from liability if fraud does occur. This is because card issuers typically have "zero liability" policies for both debit and credit cards, but sometimes exclude PIN-based transactions from that protection.
Stick With ATMs Located at Banks
To reduce your risk at ATMs, use machines at banks rather than in convenience stores, airports, or any isolated locations, advises Darrin Blackford, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, which investigates financial crimes involving interstate commerce. "A thief has to be able to attach and retrieve a skimming device to use the data it's gathered," he says. "And that's more likely to happen in nonbank settings where there's less traffic and no surveillance cameras."
That doesn't mean that bank ATMs are immune, however. In August 2008, Wachovia Bank reported that several debit-card "identities" were stolen when a skimming device was placed on an ATM at a branch in Cape Coral, Fla.
"It's often hard to spot skimmers," Blackford says. "But if you notice a change at an ATM you use routinely, such as a color difference in the card reader or a gap where something appears to be glued onto the slot where you insert your card, that's a warning sign you'd want to report to the bank that owns the machine."
Closely Monitor Your Bank Accounts
Check them regularly—preferably online rather than waiting for monthly statements to arrive in the mail. Federal law limits your liability for fraudulent debit-card charges to $50, but only if you report the theft or loss of your card or PIN within two business days of discovering the problem. If you fail to report unauthorized charges within 60 days of the date the statement listing those charges was mailed, you could be liable for any unauthorized withdrawals afterward, including the full value of credit lines or savings accounts linked to your account for overdraft protection.
Visa and MasterCard have zero liability policies that go beyond federal law by exempting debit cardholders from liability in most circumstances when a bank investigation confirms that a transaction is fraudulent. But dealing with debit-card fraud can have a greater impact on your finances than credit-card fraud.
When you're a victim of unauthorized charges on a credit card, you won't be out any money while the disputed charges are being investigated. But when a thief steals money from your bank account using a counterfeit debit or ATM card, that cash won't be restored to your account until the bank conducts its investigation and classifies it as a case of fraud. Some victims of debit-card skimming scams who have contacted the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, about their experiences report that while banks in most cases replenished the stolen funds, some of them had no access to the money for several weeks while bank investigations were conducted.
The strongest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti on Tuesday, collapsing a hospital where people screamed for help and heavily damaging the National Palace, U.N. peacekeeper headquarters and other buildings. U.S. officials reported bodies in the streets and an aid official described "total disaster and chaos."
United Nations officials said a large number of U.N. personnel were unaccounted for.
Communications were widely disrupted, making it impossible to get a full picture of damage as powerful aftershocks shook a desperately poor country where many buildings are flimsy. Electricity was out in some places.
Karel Zelenka, a Catholic Relief Services representative in Port-au-Prince, told U.S. colleagues before phone service failed that "there must be thousands of people dead," according to a spokeswoman for the aid group, Sara Fajardo.
"He reported that it was just total disaster and chaos, that there were clouds of dust surrounding Port-au-Prince," Fajardo said from the group's offices in Maryland.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in Washington that embassy personnel were "literally in the dark" after power failed.
"They reported structures down. They reported a lot of walls down. They did see a number of bodies in the street and on the sidewalk that had been hit by debris. So clearly, there's going to be serious loss of life in this," he said.
Alain Le Roy, the U.N. peacekeeping chief in New York, said late Tuesday that the headquarters of the 9,000-member Haiti peacekeeping mission and other U.N. installations were seriously damaged.
"Contacts with the U.N. on the ground have been severely hampered," Le Roy said in a statement, adding: "For the moment, a large number of personnel remain unaccounted for."
Felix Augustin, Haiti's consul general in New York, said a portion of the National Palace had disintegrated.
"Buildings collapsed all over the place," he said. "We have lives that are destroyed. ... It will take at least two or three days for people to know what's going on."
An Associated Press videographer saw the wrecked hospital in Petionville, a hillside Port-au-Prince district that is home to many diplomats and wealthy Haitians, as well as many poor people. Elsewhere in the capital, a U.S. government official reported seeing houses that had tumbled into a ravine.
Kenson Calixte of Boston spoke to an uncle and cousin in Port-au-Prince shortly after the earthquake by phone. He could hear screaming in the background as his relatives described the frantic scene in the streets. His uncle told him that a small hotel near their home had collapsed, with people inside.
"They told me it was total chaos, a lot of devastation," he said. More than four hours later, he still was not able to get them back on the phone for an update.
Haiti's ambassador to the U.S., Raymond Joseph, said from his Washington office that he spoke to President Rene Preval's chief of staff, Fritz Longchamp, just after the quake hit. He said Longchamp told him that "buildings were crumbling right and left" near the national palace. He too had not been able to get through by phone to Haiti since.
With phones down, some of the only communication came from social media such as Twitter. Richard Morse, a well-known musician who manages the famed Olafson Hotel, kept up a stream of dispatches on the aftershocks and damage reports. The news, based mostly on second-hand reports and photos, was disturbing, with people screaming in fear and roads blocked with debris. Belair, a slum even in the best of times, was said to be "a broken mess."
The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) west of Port-au-Prince at a depth of 5 miles (8 kilometers), the U.S. Geological Survey said. USGS geophysicist Kristin Marano called it the strongest earthquake since 1770 in what is now Haiti. In 1946, a magnitude-8.1 quake struck the Dominican Republic and also shook Haiti, producing a tsunami that killed 1,790 people.
The temblor appeared to have occurred along a strike-slip fault, where one side of a vertical fault slips horizontally past the other, said earthquake expert Tom Jordan at the University of Southern California. The earthquake's size and proximity to populated Port-au-Prince likely caused widespread casualties and structural damage, he said.
"It's going to be a real killer," he said. "Whenever something like this happens, you just hope for the best."
Most of Haiti's 9 million people are desperately poor, and after years of political instability the country has no real construction standards. In November 2008, following the collapse of a school in Petionville, the mayor of Port-au-Prince estimated about 60 percent of the buildings were shoddily built and unsafe in normal circumstances.
Tuesday's quake was felt in the Dominican Republic, which shares a border with Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, and some panicked residents in the capital of Santo Domingo fled from their shaking homes. But no major damage was reported there.
In eastern Cuba, houses shook but there were also no reports of significant damage.
"We felt it very strongly and I would say for a long time. We had time to evacuate," said Monsignor Dionisio Garcia, archbishop of Santiago.
The few reports emerging from Haiti made clear the country had suffered extensive damage.
"Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken," said Henry Bahn, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official visiting Port-au-Prince. "The sky is just gray with dust."
Bahn said he was walking to his hotel room when the ground began to shake.
"I just held on and bounced across the wall," he said. "I just hear a tremendous amount of noise and shouting and screaming in the distance."
Bahn said there were rocks strewn about and he saw a ravine where several homes had stood: "It's just full of collapsed walls and rubble and barbed wire."
In the community of Thomassin, just outside Port-au-Prince, Alain Denis said neighbors told him the only road to the capital had been cut but that phones were all dead so it was hard to determine the extent of the damage.
"At this point, everything is a rumor," he said. "It's dark. It's nighttime."
Former President Bill Clinton, the U.N.'s special envoy for Haiti, issued a statement saying his office would do whatever he could to help the nation recover and rebuild.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti," he said.
President Barack Obama ordered U.S. officials to start preparing in case humanitarian assistance was needed.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said his government planned to send a military aircraft carrying canned foods, medicine and drinking water and also would dispatch a team of 50 rescue workers
Haitian musician Wyclef Jean urged his fans to donate to earthquake relief efforts, saying he had received text messages from his homeland reporting that many people had died.
"We must think ahead for the aftershock, the people will need food, medicine, shelter, etc.," Jean said on his Web site.
Brazil's government was trying to re-establish communications with its embassy and military personnel in Haiti late Tuesday, according to the G1 Web site of Globo TV. Brazil leads a 9,000-member U.N. peacekeeping force there.
Felix Augustin, Haiti's consul general in New York, said he was concerned about everyone in Haiti, including his relatives.
"Communication is absolutely impossible," he said. "I've been trying to call my ministry and I cannot get through. ... It's mind-boggling."
Saturday, January 9, 2010
You wear sunscreen every day, don't smoke, and spare no expense on skin creams and potions. But despite your best intentions, you may still be making errors that can lead to premature aging. Here are five common skincare blunders to avoid.
1. Over exfoliating
People with dry skin often think exfoliating can help by sloughing away flakes and dead skin cells. But over exfoliation can make dry skin worse by impairing your skin's ability to hold onto water, making it look dull, lifeless and older. I've seen patients exfoliate so much they get a rash that feels like sandpaper!
2. Using the same moisturizer year-round
Some skin types are oily in summer and dry in winter. This is because there is less water in the air in the winter and skin can easily become dehydrated. If you have oily skin, don't assume you should use an oil-free moisturizer all year--or that you can go without. Instead, use a serum or lotion when your skin is oily and switch to a richer cream when it's dry. Many companies include these options in their lines--try antioxidant-rich Topix Replenix Serum CF for summer and Topix Replenix Cream CF when the weather gets colder.
3. Using a harsh cleanser
People love the tight, tingly feeling they get after using foaming cleansers and bar soaps, but that feeling just means your natural lipids have been stripped away, leaving your complexion parched and more prone to premature wrinkling. Instead, I recommend an oil-based cleanser like Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil. If you can't bear putting oil on your face, you can always use good old Cetaphil.
4. Going green
I love organic products, but when it comes to retinoids and sunscreen, nothing can replace a chemical formula. There's no natural alternative to retinoids like Differin and Atralin, and they're the only products proven to diminish existing wrinkles. Organic sunscreens are just not as effective as their chemical counterparts, especially if you're going to be in the sun for prolonged periods. So my advice is to use an organic cleanser and moisturizer, but until better sunscreens and anti-aging treatments hit the market, stick with the nonorganic for now.
5. Mixing the wrong ingredients
Some ingredients are not compatible. For example, neither retinoids nor hydroquinone should be used in combination with glycolic acid, which renders them inactive. And you can only use hydroquinone and retinoids together if they're in a specially formulated product like Tri-Luma. All of these ingredients fight signs of aging and sun damage--but you have to use them correctly to get results.
Wishing you great skin!
We usually celebrating new year in party or crowded place, right ?
well, this year, I did something different.
I went to Rawa Kalong Bogor, and enjoy my new year celebration with some of my friends in peace...
This place is amazing... Huge, peace, clean & fresh air. We walk all around this place...
The room's fit for 150 people... we just 23 person... so we still have a lot of spare... :)
It was made me feel relax, after doing my routine job and activity. And also, the owner allowed us to picked some rambutan fruits. There's about 5 trees of them.
Clean & green environment...
Bridge to the 'Island'... in the middle of small lake...
View from the island...
Nice for outbound activity...
HAPPY NEW YEAR... Whishing you have a great year ahead... :)