Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Ethan Siegel a theoretical astrophysicist, gives a good and easy to follow explanation in his blog of how could a meteor explode. It was a question that bugged me a little since I was a child, as recounted on the Tunguska event (an explosion that occurred in 1908 in Siberia).
Worth reading. Now I understand!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
My friend, Alun Jones, Microsoft Security MVP, posted a nice reminder of the basic rules of dealing with everyday passwords.
- Don’t use the same password everywhere.
- Write down some of your passwords.
- Consider what passwords should be accessible to others.
- Plan to change your passwords.
- Change your passwords often enough, but not too often.
For more details on each of these points, read his full article.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The A2A Simulations J3 Piper Cub is a very detailed modeled aircraft. The Cub is a light airplane built by Piper between 1937 and 1947. It is one of the most sought-after light and simple aircraft and a joy to fly. A2A Simulations did an outstanding job with this airplane, built for FSX.
Version with Tundra tires
Regular yellow Cub with Australian registration
Parked at Boonah (YBOA), a small airfield south of Brisbane, Australia.
Friday, October 23, 2009
A beautiful BBC video of humpback whales battling for the right to mate with a female. The "battles" are not bloody - mostly pushing and shoving - but these are 40-ton creatures, so they have the power to kill one another. Voiced by David Attenborough in the BBC series "Life."
A few days ago I posted a video from an experiment in magnetic levitation from Ithaca College. One of my favorite science bloggers has written a wonderful explanation of how levitation works, and he shows how easy it is to make in school or at home, as long as you have a supply of liquid nitrogen! All kidding aside, I find this stuff fascinating. Scaled up, as it is already done in places, is a wonderful solution for transport.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I saw this captivating video in the Discovery Science Channel. If you have not heard, or don’t know the details about Ardipithecus Ramidus, also known as “Ardi”.
It took over then years of work to study this incredible find that revolutionizes what we know about anthropology and paleontology.
It is long, but worth watching here, if you did not catch the broadcast version.
From Ithaca College.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
A BBC program from the series Planet Earth, from the “Caves” episode (April 2007) on Lechuguilla Cave, NM, probably the most beautiful of all cave systems in the world. The video, voiced by David Attenborough, is outstanding. It took the BBC two years to get permission to film the cave, an event that will not be allowed again for the foreseeable future due to the fragile nature of the cave and its ecosystem.
Many years ago, I visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park, with its beautiful caves. Lechugilla is part of the park but it is only open to scientists.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
As many of you know, I like the realism of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Besides the excellent world-wide coverage of the sim, and the default planes, enthusiastic simmers have a lot of choices to improve the hobby, with freeware and payware planes and sceneries.
One of the usual producers, the OZx Team has just released OZx_AUS_v3.0, freeware for Microsoft Flight Simulator – FSX. It is a big download, in two parts, that covers the continent in 3Gb with over 5,000 files!
It has 20 new fields and heliports, 13 water landing ports and new VFR sceneries covering the Aussie landscape. This makes a total of over 300 sceneries plus oil rigs and farm silos. It provides wonderful flying opportunities, from the lush green landscapes of eastern Australia to the red outback, from farming areas in the west to the oil fields in the Indian Ocean.
As I do not know much of Australia (having never flown there), I decided to do a tour with a few hops a day, to get to know the terrain. This one started at Canberra (YSCB) going North, with Plan-G maps (beta) open on my second monitor. Very nice scenery, very well done. Plane is A2A's Piper Cub (payware), and excellent choice for model realism, if you like laid back, low and slow flying.
On to some screenshots:
1. Plan-G flight plan
(click on the images for larger size)
I like the realism of the plane, an excellent rendition of the venerable Piper J3 Cub, and OZx’s Australia scenery. The passenger is Heidi, and she talks and reacts to the kind of flying you do, so better be a good pilot.
I plan to continue flying hops around Oz and see what the land has to offer.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
This is an Online Color Challenge from Xrite. Not easy to do, and very interesting.
Post your scores and no cheating!
I got a 53 (Male, age group 50-59) which is worse than I thought I’d do. I guess I’ll stick to B&W photography!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
We all do computer post-processing in our digital photos to some extent, be it cropping for composition, improving light and contrast, or removing unwanted objects or subjects as too distracting. All of this is ok as photography is art, unless you do photojournalism; then you can get in trouble.
From their site:
With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of digital images is becoming more common. To this end, we have been developing a suite of tools to detect tampering in digital images. I will discuss two related techniques for exposing forgeries from inconsistencies in lighting. In each case we show how to estimate the direction to a light source from only a single image: inconsistencies across the image are then used as evidence of tampering.
Worth watching if you have the time. It gets a little technical in the middle but still interesting nonetheless.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
By The Register
Microsoft on Tuesday patched a record number of security holes in its Windows operating systems and other software, a haul that included at least one security flaw that was already under attack in the wild.
One of the updates fixed a vulnerability in Windows Media Runtime that allows an attacker to remotely execute malware by tricking a user into playing a booby-trapped audio or video file. A few hours after its release, a Microsoft spokesman said company researchers have "seen limited attacks trying to use the reported vulnerability."
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
It makes me smile to see a president that values science and encourages students to study science and math. That’s what this country needs to be ahead in the future.
He encouraged students to have a passion for science and maybe they will be the great discoverers of the future.
(Via Bad Astronomy blog)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sometimes pelicans come so close you can't fit them all in the camera!
I use prime lenses, not zooms usually, for their speed and image quality, but they have this drawback, that you can't zoom out when the bird approaches.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Christopher Hitchens, live in ABC Fora, hosted by Tony Jones (Australia). It is a rather long and a great presentation and interview. The presentation lasts for about 40 minutes, then the interview follows. See if what he says makes sense to you. It does to me.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Who would have thought that being conservative meant being un-American? At least it seems that (probably not all), but many prominent conservatives, the ones that wrap themselves in the flag, swore to defend the Constitution, profess to love our country yet, they celebrated when the USA lost their Olympic bid this time. Go figure. I’m amazed, and ashamed for these people.
Richard Dawkins talks about why it's time for a book setting out the evidence for evolution, and when calling someone ignorant is not an insult.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Combining science-fiction, mystery and horror genres, Serling created a classic that still endures and entertains.
It was one of my favorite TV shows. I have not seen it in a long while but still remember many classic episodes, with the one called “Time enough at last” my favorite. This episode, starring Burgess Meredith as a man who loves books, yet is surrounded by people that prevent him from reading them, until the end of the world comes through and now he has all the time in the world to read. Then something happens that ruins his dream.
You can see the full episode at CBS (26 minutes).
Karen Carpenter Drum Solo - 1976 First Television Special
Tom Lucas, a documentary director, in partnership with Space.com produced a beautiful documentary on huge black holes found in the universe. It is somewhat long but a must watch if you love science and astronomy.
(Via Bad Astronomy)
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Wonderful BBC footage with Stephen Fry where a photographer gets close to a bird. I should remember this. Hasn’t happened to me but I've been that close to wild birds before.