luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Star Wars Against Hate)
Reading this article made me quite sad.

I am still writing up my account of the partial solar eclipse (partial where I live) for my professional blog.

The boy toy and I are planning to go to Harpers Ferry tomorrow. I haven't been to that historic town in a number of years. It's having a "bread festival" this weekend.

Speaking of history ... today would have been Leonard Bernstein's 99th birthday. Tomorrow will be Katherine Johnson's 99th birthday.
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
Five things make a post....

1. My grad-school adviser has cancer and is not doing too well. This news comes from yesterday's email blast from the astronomy department chairman. Further correspondence with the chairman (who still remembers me) is that Mike (my adviser) is not quite up to visitors, but cards would be welcome. I have a hard time imagine Mike under the weather -- he is a tall force of nature, with a busy white beard that makes him look like a New England sea captain, and when he's not bashing human-made objects into comets, he goes sailing on the Chesapeake. Still, Wikipedia says he is now 76.

2. I may have some additional freelance assignments. Two offers of potential work landed in my inbox on May 9 within five minutes of each other. One was from a resume I sent in to a freelance-job ad back in January or February. I'd honestly forgotten about it.

3. My church has a candidate for the position of settled (permanent) minister. It was touch and go there for a while, and I was fervently hoping that we would not have to get another interim minister when our current interim's two-year contract ends next month. I don't know the name of the candidate yet, only that she has been referred to as "she." Fingers crossed that's she's great....

4. Don't know what to add about the fast-moving events surrounding the Giant Lying Russian Stooge and his cronies, except to state that I really want to compare the current timeline to that of the Watergate scandal. We're getting a special counsel very close to the 44th anniversary of the appointment of Archibald Cox, for what that's worth.

5. Lately I have been seeing puddles of plain water around the toilet. My current cat has no interest in the toilet bowl, so it's something else. As far as I can tell, the shut-off valve underneath the toilet is the source of the leak. The boy toy put an old pot under the valve to catch the water and then put green food coloring in the toilet tank. So far, the water that drips into the pot is crystal-clear, but since the boy toy pretty much dumped the entire bottle of green food coloring into the tank, the bowl keeps filling up with brilliant green water every time we flush. It's our space-alien toilet.
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
Choices, choices!

I wish I could go to Baltimore for the 7 p.m. astronomy lecture at Space Telescope Science Institute. I adore hearing about new astronomical instrumentation! And I might even run into a friend from Massachusetts!

But my body desperately needs the water aerobics class at my town's indoor pool from 6 to 7 p.m. I haven't been to a class there for about six weeks, thanks to the major renovations at the indoor pool.

Can't do both. The pool and the institute are at opposite ends of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which always gets jammed up at rush hour.

luscious_purple: Stop SOPA and PIPA (No SOPA)
I have way too many browser tabs open, so let me get rid of a few here.

A new model of the origin of the Earth-Moon system:

Steampunk podcast:

Sixth-century manuscript decoded by spectroscopy:

Wikipedia recently featured Wells Cathedral, one of the places I've visited in England:

Comcast plans to turn its paying customers into free hot spots:

Just before the world marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Sir Winston Churchill's last living child died. She was quite the badass in her day:

Stupid password tricks:

What things are like for young people today:

What the hell is wrong with America?

Current politics of the ISS:

Forget universal preschool -- we need a 13th grade:

What ever happened to LiveJournal, anyway?

This week Republicans killed Elizabeth Warren's plan to ease Americans' crushing student loan debt:

Growing partisan rancor:

This town's local friendly maker club:

A private browser thing I might want to try:

Some career thing to read later:
luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
Note to my American friends: For the current article I've been working on, I've Skype-interviewed scientists in Edinburgh (Scotland) and Newcastle upon Tyne (England). In those cities, around this time of year, sunrise happens between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. and sunset is between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m.

Soooo ... if you think YOU never see the sun....
luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
Today was full of science in ways both big and small.

This year I was asked to make my homemade creamed corn gluten-free because of a couple of guests who can't have gluten. Yesterday I posted on Facebook about this and got various suggestions. The only thing I needed to replace in the recipe was 1/4 cup of Wondra flour. I ended up using cornstarch because I could find some amid all the disarray in the kitchen area.

While watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (yay, I got to see the UMass Minuteman Band on national TV!), I thought of Comet ISON and its close encounter with the Sun. I was lucky enough to find the NASA Google+ Hangout devoted to the Sun-grazing. I'm not sure the comet survived, and scientists aren't either, but it was certainly interesting to follow along as the creamed corn cooked itself in the crock-pot. (And, of course, I thought of how excited Pedro would have been.)

Finally, even though I've been criticizing the big-box stores for opening on Thanksgiving Day, I raced home from my Thanksgiving at T.H.'s after dessert so I could do a Skype interview with an engineering professor in Melbourne, Australia (which is 16 hours ahead of us right now). Hey, when you're a writer interviewing people all over the planet, you usually have to get them when they are available. So she and I (notice I said "she") had a nice chat about optical wireless communications.

I hope everybody in the U.S. had a great Thanksgiving!


Oct. 9th, 2011 09:12 pm
luscious_purple: Snagged on LJ (great news)
I took a late-afternoon walk around the condo complex. After observing a beautiful monarch butterfly grazing on a neighbor's flowering bush, I rounded the corner of the building and saw a small telescope sitting next to the trash bins.

I looked at it ... it was a bit dusty, but it and its tripod did not look banged up on the exterior. So I went to get the boy toy, mainly because I felt a twinge of guilt at grabbing it, in case it really did belong to someone.

But the boy toy allowed that it wouldn't be next to the mini-Dumpsters if it wasn't intended to be thrown out, so he carried it back to the house for me.

It's a Tasco Luminova refractor, 60-mm aperture, non-motorized mount. Now, I realize that Tasco does not have the greatest reputation among serious amateur astronomers. Still, it's a basic telescope. It looks something like this or this. It's got a basic diagonal but seems to be missing an eyepiece, so it's rather hard to evaluate the optics, other than to say, "Hmm, there seems to be some dust in the finder scope."

Perhaps I ought to ping Pedro and see if he could look at it, or maybe I could bring it to a future gathering of the local friendly astronomy club. (IF they don't laugh their heads off at the brand name to begin with.) Borrowing an eyepiece might help me figure out whether this telescope is worth keeping for planet- and moon-gazing or whether I should donate it to the astronomy club for spare parts.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
Congrats to my grad-school adviser, Mike A'Hearn, and his EPOXI team for another spectacular close encounter with a comet!


Mar. 25th, 2010 12:15 pm
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
I just stumbled across a blog called Women in Planetary Science. I like the tag line: "Women make up half the bodies in the solar system. Why not half the scientists?"

September 2017

3456 789


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 11:11 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios