Pandora is the fourth of Saturn's satellites (moons). It was discovered by S. Collins and others as late as 1980 because of its small size. It was actually discovered when studying photographs from the Voyager probe.

It has a mass of 0.0013 x 1020 kg, and spans 114 km x 84 km x 62 km. Its mean density is 420 kg/m3, and it has a visual geometric albedo of 0.9, i.e. quite reflective. It orbits Saturn with a period of approximately 0.63 Earth days, at a distance of 141,700 km.

{ Moons of Saturn }
Discovered by            S. A. Collins, D. Carlson
Date of Discovery        1980
Distance from Saturn     141,700 km
Radius                   55.0 × 44.0 × 31.0 km
Mass                     ???
Orbital Eccentricity     0.004
Orbital Inclination      0.0°
Orbital Period           0.6285 day
Rotational Period        ???
Density (gm/cm3)         ???

This icy, irregularly shaped moon is fourth in distance from Saturn. It is the outer shepherding moon for the F ring. This means that its gravitational effects limit the extent of the ring. Prometheus performs this function on the inner edge of the F ring.

Very little is known about Pandora except that it is heavily cratered. It was discovered from imagery from Voyager 1.


Like the Bible, Greek mythology has its own story of Creation, full of similarities and contrasts to its Christian counterpart. According to the ancient Greeks, Pandora was the first woman to ever exist, and her story is a sad one. Although it has been around for centuries, the story has failed to survive an ongoing game of "telephone", in which events and people have been distorted to the point that it is hard to tell what the original story actually was. For this reason, please forgive me if my version of the story is inconsistent with what you may have read before.


Before the realm of heaven was created and the earth and sea were formed, the everything and nothing of the Universe was in a state of Chaos. God reached into this Chaos and helped form the realms of the planet: earth, sky, sea and air. The Titans existed on earth long before Man did, and Zeus gave them the job of creating all of the planet's living things. Epimetheus made Man out of mud, helping him to stand upright so that he would be the only animal on earth to gaze upward towards heaven. Epimetheus bestowed gifts upon all of earth's creatures, giving wings to some and qualities such as cunning or strength to others. By the time he came to Man he was out of gifts and went to his brother Prometheus for help. Athena carried Prometheus to the chariot of the Sun, where he lit his torch and brought fire down to earth as a gift for mankind.

Zeus was so outraged by Prometheus's theft of fire, something that was only supposed to exist in heaven, that he created an elaborate punishment for Prometheus and his brother. In Hesiod's version of the Pandora myth, Zeus says to Prometheus: ". . . you are happy that you stole the fire, and outwitted my thinking; but it will be a great sorrow to you, and to men who come after. As the price of fire I will give them an evil, and all men shall fondle this, their evil, close to their hearts, and take delight in it." The first woman was created in heaven and given gifts from all of the Olympian gods: beauty from Aphrodite, persuasion from Hermes, music from Apollo, etc. She was named Pandora, which means "she to whom all gifts were given." Pandora was given to Epimetheus, who had been warned by his intellectually superior brother never to accept gifts from the gods. Epimetheus, being simple-minded, took Pandora as his wife anyway.

In one version of the myth, Pandora is given a locked box and its key by Hermes, who tells her that she can do whatever she likes with the box besides opening it. In another version, the evils of mankind had been long ago sealed away in a jar which was given to Prometheus and Epimetheus for protection. The former myth tells of Pandora being a devious bitch, who knew the box was filled with horrible things, and deliberately unleashed them into the world, saving Hope at the bottom of the box as a cruel torture. This myth portrays Pandora, and all women, as a plague upon mankind; she is seen as beautiful on the outside, but rotted out and ugly on the inside.

The latter myth sees Pandora in a somewhat more favorable light. Zeus had given Pandora the gift of curiosity; when she saw the sealed jar inside the house of her keepers, she could not stop herself from opening it just to see what was inside. Before she could seal the jar again, all the evils of the world were unleashed into the air, unable to be captured again. Pandora sealed the jar just before Hope could escape, saving mankind from total despair in times of struggle and hardship.

The story of Prometheus and Pandora is the ancient Greek version of Adam and Eve, with a pretty big twist. Eve was supposed to ease Adam's suffering on earth, while Pandora was meant as a punishment for the sins of Prometheus. However, in both stories women are portrayed as objects that can be used to serve men, and to fulfill their desires. In fact, Pandora is seen as a box herself; one of the messages shown throughout Greek mythology and throughout history itself is that women are mere containers for the desires of men. They are containers for sex, for sperm, and for babies. One website quotes, "she was to a large extent herself seen as a container - for the sperm, for the child, who spent most of her life in a container (house) designed for the purpose of allowing no unauthorised person to open the box." Once Pandora has spent her entire life as a container living within a container, she will die and be placed into another container until her body rots and she is no more.

Despite the fact that women bring life into the world, throughout mythology they have been seen as bringing death and destruction. Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and Pandora opened the jar; both actions causing suffering and death in the world were committed by women. Hence, although men are seen as the warlords and the violent sex of humanity, women are blamed for forcing the stronger of the two sexes into endless battles for peace, driven by Hope. Men are taught to be wary of the beauty of the female form, for it is deceptive, and to fall in love with a woman is the same as accepting death.

In "Myth and Body: Pandora's Legacy in a Post-Modern World", Polly Young Eisendrath Ph.D., states that the Pandora myth still exists to this day as a double-bind for modern females. Women want to possess beauty which will cause men to fight for them. The men fight for these beautiful women because their beauty has a power over them, and the men want to bring this power under their own control. The women who possess such beauty are seen as beautiful but empty, but are undesirable without it. To spend too much time worrying over physical appearance leads to the neglect of other more important qualities; to neglect the physical appearance turns the woman into an outsider with little or no hope of finding a male partner.

The image of Pandora has become an archetype for women, forcing them to alter themselves in ways which they believe will make them more desirable to the opposite sex. Eating disorders run rampant throughout the world, with young women becoming thinner and thinner as they strive to look more like Calista Flockhart and the newly emaciated Geri Halliwell than healthy people such as Kathleen Turner or the size 14 Marilyn Monroe. Breast implants, facial reconstructive surgery and liposuction are some of the weapons women use to battle physical imperfections, with commercials telling women that their blemishes are "unsightly" and need to be covered up with makeup that "lasts beautifully." Growing older is seen as a disease, with hundreds of creams advertised to get rid of wrinkles that wouldn't show up on a beautiful young woman.

Modern women have a difficult task in today's world, since they are not only working against a common male image of females, but they are also working against each other. The story of Pandora has influenced men to think of women as cruel and heartless beneath their sweet exteriors; Pandora has made women resent each other for the same reasons, recognizing their own faults inside other women, and feeling forced to compete for the prize of the "best woman." Girls think, "If this boy likes me, it must mean I'm pretty enough." Personally I'd like to think that guys like me for the fact that I'm not afraid to fart in front of them, not because I've dyed my hair platinum blonde and my breasts have suddenly grown from A to D overnight. Women are cruel to one another, constantly assessing and comparing their own faces and bodies to those of other women. Jealous ex girlfriends make up stories about the new girl; sisters sleep with each other's boyfriends; best friends say things like "you look thinner in the longer skirt." All of this is just stuff that makes girls feel better about themselves, but it is also stuff that perpetuates the Pandora archetype. Women are told that they are wily and devious. This makes women want to prove that they are different from most women who obviously are wily and devious, since so many men say so. In order to prove this, women become devious by saying things about other women to prove that only those females are the devious ones.

All of this stems from Pandora, who in the more popular version of the myth did not realize she would end up doing something so horrible, and was later chastised for it by everyone she'd ever known. She was blamed for all the cruelty and suffering in the world, and seen as a worthless, empty-headed creature who was only good for sexual satisfaction. Being the first woman was a lot of pressure for her, and she must have thought she failed miserably. The modern Pandora needs to learn to embrace her many diverse gifts. Unless women find the balance between such qualities as integrity and jealousy, they will forever be caught in a cycle where the most important thing in their lives is sexual attention, instead of trying to advance themselves and make a difference as strong, independent females.


A delightful little comic strip featured in Kerrang! magazine, shown in the Letters section. Drawn by Ray Zell, it tells the story of uber-rocker chick Pandora and her quest to twist and turn current news stories that adorn the magazine into something humourous. A very funny strip that fits into the Kerrang! pages nicely.

Guest stars are a regular sight, as pretty much everything that Kerrang talk about are the stars. This also makes for some seriously funny goings, for example when Pandora couldn't decide whether to make fun of Alec Empire's furniture or Jacoby Shaddix's waistline due to lack of space, she took the "easy" option and opted for Alec Empire's 10 foot high chair, which was flipped on to it's side so it would "fit". Two birds with one stone.

However, some of the jokes just don't plain work or aren't funny. Generally, your only going to enjoy them if you had read the prevous Kerrang! magazine.

Almost worth buying the magazine for. Almost.

She was also recently voted as the best female of the year in the Kerrang! reader's poll 2002, funnily enough.

Want to discover new music? Been listening to the same genre - or even the same bands - for years? The Music Genome Project will rock your socks.

For five years, the geeks at the Music Genome Project have been meticulously creating a database of commercial music in which every song has hundreds of attributes - details about the vocals, the beat, the tempo, everything. Artists also have entries which record the attributes that characterize their music. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever.

So far this might not sound too exciting unless you're a musicologist. Sure, it's good to have a database that can tell me things like "The music of The Postal Service features electronica influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, a vocal-centrist aesthetic, major key tonality and prominent use of synth". But geez guys, I could have told you that anyway. No, what really makes the Music Genome Project exciting is the addition of something called Pandora.

Pandora is described by its creators as a 'music discovery service', and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Pandora is a web-based software tool that begins by asking you for the name of a song or artist that you're fond of. It then accesses the Music Genome Project's massive database to discover what the musical qualities of the song or artist are, and creates a playlist of musically similar material. It then plays it to you over the internet. For free.

The interface of Pandora is smoooooth. You can minimize it to a small browser window which displays the currently playing track, the last few played tracks, and links to various features and information. By entering a track or artist you like, you created what Pandora calls a "Station" - effectively, it displays each playlist as a radio station customized to your desires. You can have up to one hundred stations, at which point you have to delete one to get more (if, like me, you've experimented with some embarrassing artists, this won't be difficult).

Another great thing about Pandora is that unlike many free ways to get music over the internet, it's 100% legal so long as you're a resident of the United States (a US zip code is required upon creating an account, although this is open to abuse). The music industry is starting to catch onto the inevitability of forced change brought about by the internet, and this is one great example of its adaptability. Pandora's licence has but few limitations - it can't play a specific song on request, and it won't let you repeatedly skip dozens of songs in the same hour. The idea is that you can't just skip straight to the song you want.

So like the radio, you might have to weather the occasional song you don't like. But what separates Pandora from the radio is that it wants to create as personalized an experience as possible. Hence, it gives you the option to signal disapproval of a certain song. If you don't like it, you can banish it from a particular station. The station that adjusts its settings to take into account your preferences. In this way, each station gets gradually more sophisticated as it comes to know your likes and dislikes better. You can also signal that you think a particular song is great and want to hear more like it.

There are a few other limitations. Classical music is not included in the Music Genome Project but is in the pipeline. Latin music is in the process of being integrated as we speak. The free version of Pandora is also set to display advertisements soon, although these can be banished for a subscription of $36 a year. Of course, there are links on the site to allow you to buy an album if you like a particular song that you hear. However, these links are in contextual menus that only appear when you click on a song - they're totally unintrusive.

One final feature is worth mentioning before I finally give you the URL. The creators of the Music Genome Project made it stupid in one clever way - it doesn't know there's such a thing as genre. It's more sophisticated than that, and so it's not just going to play you any old random country music when you enter "Johnny Cash". No, it rather works off the hundreds of data fields stored about every song and artist. This means you will often be surprised by what you're played, and so far for me the surprises have nearly always been pleasant.

Visit with no delay!

The Pandora is a new handheld game console with some secondary Netbook functionality. Unlike most game consoles which come from some big, well-heeled corporation, and are intended for mass production and mass marketing, the Pandora is produced by hackers for hackers. A small group of people in the United Kingdom are behind this undertaking.

The unit itself is still in initial production, and none have yet been shipped, but it's rather unlike any currently produced handheld game console. It's about the size of the classic Nintendo DS, in a clamshell form factor. The upper half holds an 800x480 touchscreen, while the lower half has the gaming controls and keyboard. For gaming controls, it includes two analog sticks, a D-pad, four standard fire buttons, three auxiliary buttons and two shoulder triggers. It also includes a reduced QWERTY keyboard below and a row of 12 function keys above the gaming controls.

The heart of the system is a Texas Instruments OMAP-3 ARM system-on-a-chip, consisting of a 600MHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU, a DSP and a PowerVR SGX 530 3D accelerator. This is coupled to 256MB of low-power DDR SDRAM and 512MB of onboard Flash. It also includes 802.11g Wi-fi, Bluetooth, two high-capacity SD slots and a high-speed USB 2.0 EHCI controller. It will run a variant of Angstrom Linux, or the ARM port of Ubuntu.

Eventually there will be a library of native games for the Pandora, but unlike most new consoles, it already has quite a few. Most, if not all free games for Linux will run acceptably on it, and it's also a fantastic platform for emulation. Currently the following systems can be emulated well:

  • IBM PC, all the way up to low-end Pentium-level performance
  • Apple Macintosh 68k variants, up to 68040-level performance
  • Commodore Amiga up to a 68010 with ECS chipset at full speed, or a 68020 with AGA at near full speed
  • Atari ST
  • Most 8-bit machines
  • Acorn Archimedes systems

Besides being a game console, the keyboard allows it to function as a useful mini-netbook. It can run most open-source Linux applications, including Abiword, Gnumeric, the Xchat IRC client, Pidgin, Firefox or its slimmer cousin Fennec, and even BitTorrent clients. The biggest drawback is that the keyboard is relatively cramped. It's bigger than the keyboard on devices like the T-Mobile Sidekick, but not much. It wouldn't be bad for a quick node or two, but I wouldn't want to use it to write a book.

All in all, it's quite an interesting device, both as a gaming machine and as a very light computer for travel. It's not very expensive, either, at about $350 - which, all things considered, is a fantastic price for so much power, especially when the company can't take advantage of economies of scale to any great extent. Pre-orders are expected to open up again in late December - keep an eye out!

Sources:,, Wikipedia.

Pandora is also the name of an internet radio service utilizing the Music Genome Project. The service is free to all users because of the revenue generated from ad space on the site.

The Music Genome Project was started on January 6, 2000 and has the goal of classifying all songs using over four hundred different attributes referred to as genes. These attributes range from "a smooth male lead vocalist" to "major key tonality" to even "a prominent harmonica part". Each song is defined by anywhere from 150 genes for rock songs to 500 genes for classical pieces which are then plotted in space to create a 'vector' for that song.

Like traditional radio, Pandora plays music by organized stations. To create a station, users input a song title or the name of the artist. Pandora then plays songs 'nearby' to the vector which defines that input by using a distance function. Users are then given the option of giving a song a thumbs up or a thumbs down which influences which songs are played on a station. If a song is given a thumbs down, Pandora skips the rest of the song and plays fewer songs with genes shared with that song. Likewise, if a song is given a thumbs up, Pandora selects more songs which share genes with it. If a station becomes too repetitive or selective in its music, you also have the option of adding another artist to the station.

Personally, I love Pandora. I have stations with music from Samuel Barber, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, and Led Zeppelin as well has half a dozen others. The great thing about Pandora is its fusion of the information age with old school radio: it plays music in a random order that you may not have heard of before and introduces you to new sounds free of charge. If you like a song enough, you even have the option of buying it via several online services like or the iTunes Music Store. So it you're ready to put away the antenna and the vinyl and god forbid the 8-tracks, I'd say that Pandora is the way to go.

Pan*do"ra (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. Pandw`ra; pa^s, pa^n, all + dw^ron a gift.]

1. Class. Myth.

A beautiful woman (all-gifted), whom Jupiter caused Vulcan to make out of clay in order to punish the human race, because Prometheus had stolen the fire from heaven. Jupiter gave Pandora a box containing all human ills, which, when the box was opened, escaped and spread over the earth. Hope alone remained in the box. Another version makes the box contain all the blessings of the gods, which were lost to men when Pandora opened it.

2. Zool.

A genus of marine bivalves, in which one valve is flat, the other convex.


© Webster 1913.

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