Friday, April 10, 2009

Spacecraft, Spring, Stars, Trekkies, and Turbans

Enough Space

Measuring sea level, gravity field fluctuations and more.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 8, 2009) — GOCE’s highly sensitive gradiometer instrument has been switched on and is producing data. The spacecraft has an ion propulsion device to keep it in a perfectly steady orbit and accelerometers, (Like the one in this Macbook), that can detect the slightest fluctuation in earths gravity.

Gris Gris In Your Pocket

Happy Phil adds background vocals in living room.
Zombie Reggae
I made time today to experiment with the new MXL microphone. It fulfilled it's expected purpose and then some. It responded well to a variety of vocal and mechanical techniques, and embedded the results with presence and dynamics in the recordings. So far, the nuances and qualities have been able to withstand the digital processing required to converting to various formats. Speaking parts retained an intimate quality and the singing retained physical and harmonic dynamics.

Spring Has Sprung

Rose along the driveway at the Treehouse Apartments.

Each day brings more beautiful sights and smells.

Spock Shows New Star Trek Movie


Surprise, surprise.

Leonard Nimoy showed the new Star Trek movie to a group of Trekkie's in Austin, Texas, Monday. The Star Trek fans thought they were going to see a special showing of "Wrath of Kahn". Imagine their delight when, "Spock", announced they would be getting an advanced showing of the new Star Trek film. Rave reviews were, "all a twitter".


A star making galaxy, billions of light years from here.

After two years spent analyzing data from the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope (BLAST) project, an international group of astronomers and astrophysicists from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. reveals April 8 in the journal Nature that half of the starlight of the Universe comes from young, star-forming galaxies several billion light years away.

Yo Ho Ho

Pirates everywhere

The coastal region of Puntland is booming.

The port of Eyl, is where most of the hijacked vessels are kept by the well-armed pirate gangs.

People wear ties and smart clothes. They drive land cruisers and carry laptops.

Fancy houses are being built, expensive cars are being bought - all of this in a country that has not had a functioning central government for nearly 20 years.

Observers say pirates made about $30m from ransom payments last year - far more than the annual budget of Puntland, which is about $20m.

What I find interesting in the news about pirates, is what isn't in the news about pirates. Pirating and collecting ransoms has been the economic engine of the Muslim world for hundreds of years. Nations throughout history have been ponying up payoffs to Islamic Pashas, Imams, and Sultans, for safe passage. To learn more about the role of pirates in history, type, "Pirates", in the blog search box at the top of the page.

Ask An 8 Year Old


"You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids."
-- Derrick, age 8

Todays Relatively Appropriate Song;

Zombie Reggae
Of Course.

Be Kind

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