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  I lose a staring contestJul 31, 2018 11:34 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:For the last month or so I've been noticing particularly piercing baby bird cries coming from somewhere in the tops of some of the very tallest pine trees around town. Walking toward one in my neighborhood yesterday, out of the corner of my eye I saw a large winged form swoop down to land in the uppermost branches. I figured it must be one of the hawks I've seen cruising over the area. As I watched in rapt attention and the baby bird cries hit a new crescendo, the parent reared up, and I suddenly found myself fixed in the steely gaze of a bald eagle. It was quite a look, even from 60 or so feet up. I took the hint and proceeded on my way. : o
 
 
 
 
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  Thank you A* voters! : DJul 30, 2018 9:13 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:I haven't said it in a little while, so, thank you to everyone voting for A* on the TopWebcomics ("TWC") site each day! It may sound like a little thing, but it leads to more people finding the comic, which is a huge thing for a webcomic. So thank you very much for taking the time to do that each day, I really appreciate it! =D
 
(The TWC voting link can always be found as a little widget on the right side of the social media toolbar beneath the comic, as well as on the "about" page. :)
 
 
 
 
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  You need retro glasses for the futureJul 27, 2018 11:22 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Here's a sketch I sent to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :
 
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Yay! Thanks everyone for your support, you make this comic possible. : )
 
 
 
 
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  A* stretches a star's lightJul 27, 2018 1:15 AM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, the source of a radio signal designated Sagittarius A*, made the news today! New articles from the BBC and the ESO (thanks to a reader for that link : ) describe how the ESO's observations of the star, called S2, as it whipped around A* at nearly 3% the speed of light—it does this every 16 years; last time, observations of its incredible acceleration gave the proof of A*'s existence!—showed its light being subtly stretched, or redshifted—an effect which can only be due, once other factors such as the star's velocity are accounted for, to the intense gravitational field of the supermassive black hole.
 
So, this is the first observation of gravitational redshift due to the gravitation of a supermassive black hole, something Einstein's theory of General Relativity predicted—quite precisely, as it turns out. It means that light escaping from the gravitational field is reddened—more specifically, the frequency of the light is reduced (red light is lower frequency than blue light). This is due to gravitational time dilation: "if one is outside an isolated gravitational source, the rate at which time passes increases as one moves away from that source. As frequency is inverse of time (specifically, time required for completing one wave oscillation), frequency of the electromagnetic radiation is reduced in an area of higher gravitational potential"—so time is, in effect, speeding up for light escaping from a black hole; it is able to complete fewer oscillations per the faster periods of time it encounters as it gets farther away from the hole's gravitational pull, which means it has a lower frequency, which means it shifts toward the red (lower frequency) end of the spectrum. I think. : o
 
Anyway, good job, A*! : D = oo (I may need to start using more red watercolor. : o)
 
 
 
 
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  Martian brine?Jul 25, 2018 11:02 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:According to a new BBC article, the European Space Agency think they may have discovered a supercooled, highly briny, "probably not very large lake" of liquid water, perhaps 12 miles across and likely over 1 meter deep, buried 1.5 km beneath the southern polar ice cap of Mars: radar from their orbiting satellite bounced off something down there, and the signal that came back is most likely indicative, as far as they can tell, of a body of water.
 
Conveniently enough, liquid water is what scientists have been searching for on Mars for decades now, since life as we know it pretty much requires water—so if they find liquid water, the chances of finding alien life there are thought to be much higher.
 
If the detection of water can be verified, the big trick would be working out a way to reach the buried water and check it for signs of life.
 
 
 
 
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  Can I just get out the doorJul 24, 2018 9:18 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Had a surprise visitor to the studio this morning!
 
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: o I hope they got home okay! And there was also this lively critter:
 
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Once I actually got out on my morning constitutional, what did I come across down a little slope in the front yard of a house on a relatively busy street across town but another deer! And a fawn. : o And they stood there looking at me in some surprise, as if to say "Why on Earth is this human here, and what is going to be done about it?"
 
 
 
 
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  Just do that half turn thingJul 23, 2018 9:53 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign! : D Monthly sketches go to folks supporting the comic at the lofty $10/month, and there are other rewards at other levels, but you can help me out with as little as $1 a month if you want! It's a huge help!
 
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Thank you very, very much! I couldn't make this comic without youuuuu!
 
 
 
 
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  Eye seeJul 21, 2018 12:23 AM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Finally realized the low overhead lighting in my new apartment is kind of killing my eyes, OOk! Gonna have to go hunting for some small, dimmable directional lamps or something. Or there's my back-up plan of what I'm doing right now, which is turning my drawing table lamps sideways to bounce off the walls at the far end of the room. ^_^
 
 
 
 
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  I even cleaned a teensy weensy bitJul 18, 2018 9:51 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:My brother and his family will be stopping by for a visit tomorrow—the first visit I've had in my new studio!—so it's possible that fun and frivolity will prevent me from getting a page done for Thursday.
 
But! It's the last such disruption until at least October, according to my social calendar...so I'll have to think up other excuses after this. ; )
 
 
 
 
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  Let it flowJul 17, 2018 9:12 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:I tend to get a little uptight when it comes to painting Selenis, so I'm trying to let myself go at it with a little more gusto!
 
 
 
 
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  Might goof off on ThursdayJul 16, 2018 9:56 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:My brother and his family will be stopping by for a visit as they pass through town on Thursday, yay! : D So it's possible I won't get a page done that day, depending on how things shake out. But maybe we'll go get ice cream! : D
 
 
 
 
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  Out for a driveJul 13, 2018 9:10 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Thanks to everyone helping me bring you new pages each weekday by supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign! : D Even $1 a month is a big help to me, and those able to pitch in at higher levels can even get unique A* rewards sent directly from me each and every month! F'r'instance, here's a sketch I got to send to a reader one recent month for their support at the $10 level:
 
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Thank you all very much! I couldn't make this comic without you!!
 
 
 
 
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  Neutrino from supermassive black hole foundJul 12, 2018 10:25 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:The IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica uses scores of optical sensors buried 2 km under the ice to look for flashes of light caused by highly charged particles moving through the ice at faster than the normal speed of light in that medium, a phenomenon known as Cherenkov radiation.
 
These flashes that far below the surface almost certainly result only from impacts of high-energy neutrinos, which are capable of passing right through the Earth without hitting anything at all—but once in a while, one does, and a new BBC article describes how, last year, IceCube detected the trail of a very high energy neutrino that scientists have now tracked all the way back to a 100 million solar mass supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy 4 billion light years away, "just off the shoulder of the constellation Orion."
 
It's the first direct evidence showing high energy neutrinos can come from supermassive black holes!
 
 
 
 
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  Too much funJul 11, 2018 10:45 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:I may not have had enough fun while drawing today's page in pencil, so I had to have twice as much fun while painting it! : o
 
 
 
 
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  Kinda tired nowJul 10, 2018 10:14 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Sleepy time sleep sleepy! =P
 
 
 
 
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  Now accepting art commissions : oJul 09, 2018 10:23 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Okay I'm currently accepting art commissions—the link for that is in the site's main menu, as well as that big baby blue "artwork commissions" link under the social media bar on the comic pages.
 
All the details are on the commissions info page itself; the short version is that I charge $25/hour. But do read the commissions page if you're really interested, it talks about how communication, shipping, and other probably necessary stuff will be handled.
 
I only have so many spare hours per week (like, 2-ish?) to spend on commissions, so if I somehow get more than a few people commissioning me at once I'll switch the commission page off again until I can clear up my work load. You'll be able to tell at a glance on the front page if commissions are closed, because the "commission me" link in the site menu under the comic will be crossed out, and the big blue "artwork commissions" link under the social media bar won't be there!
 
 
 
 
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  Friday Future FashionJul 06, 2018 10:27 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for the help they send me easily and automatically every month through my Patreon campaign ^_^:
 
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At the $10 level you get a new sketch from me each month! But even just $1 a month is a big help. : ) Thanks everyone who's helping me out through Patreon!
 
 
 
 
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  It's a tough lifeJul 05, 2018 10:00 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Having Wednesdays off is kind of nice. Oh well back to work for just two days. ^_^
 
 
 
 
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  3rth of JulyJul 03, 2018 8:57 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:I'm off for the 4th of July holiday here in the States tomorrow, where we celebrate our freedom from tyranny, and remember what it takes to preserve that freedom!
 
 
 
 
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  Went to the big parkJul 02, 2018 9:31 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:On my morning perambulation today I saw goats, llamas, horses, ducks, turtles, and a hawk! : D
 
 
 
 
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