Archive for October, 2008

New Flickr layout

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Flickr just changed the layout of every users home page. Some of the changes are good and some are good or bad depending upon what you like. One change that bothers me, personally, is what they have done with what used to be the “Everyone’s Photos” setion. It is now a more general Explore section with randomly rotating topics – one of which is the old “everyone’s photos” I’ve grown to love. I would like to have the option of what appears in the Explore section. While some may like the rotating feature, I personally just like to have “everyone’s photos” be there – always. Other users have expressed the decision to mix the comments we have made on the photos of others with the comment others have made on our photos. The old way kept them separate – which again, I liked.

Web 2.0 is all about the user & their experience. What this means is that we should get to choose what things look like. Flickr, don’t impose changes on us, just give us more choices. We like choice. Choice is good.

Eyeball Astronomy

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

It is a pretty rare event when I go out to the observatory and just look through the eyepiece. My eyes are not what they used to be and even if they were, there is just no comparison with the sensitivity of digital imagery. Tonight we had some out of town guests over for dinner. Afterwards, the guys went out to the dome for a quick tour of the sky. It was a beautiful calm night with a full Moon, but excellent seeing. I had the C-11 on the mount and we had a quick look at the Moon. It was way too bright even at 350x. So I moved over to Jupiter. WOW! The bands and belts had easily observable structure and strong color. Io was just about to go behind the planet. It was a nice crisp disk with excellent orange color. We moved over to the globular cluster M13 and enjoyed the mass of resolved stars. M57 – check, M27 – check. Then I wanted to have a look at Uranus. The pointing was a bit off as was the focus. I tuned the focus on a star and was greeted by a nice Airy Disk and complete and stable first diffraction ring. Found Uranus – it was a crisp disk with a lovely blue-green color. Obviously not a star. Neptune was also a clear disk, although considerably smaller. Color was not strong. I think my guests were just as blown away as I was.  I thought long and hard about switching over to the digital imaging gear, but I fought that urge and will happily live with the memory of sharing an exceptional night with friends.

Debate #2

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Voter: “Senator McCain, How would you … ?”

McCain: “My friend, I know how to get things done.” Followed by attacks.

And so it went for 90 minutes. I thought the town hall format was supposed to be his best event! At this stage I need to know specifics. Ideas. Why I am going to vote for you, not why I have to vote against the other guy. At least I can take some comfort in the fact that there is now less than 4 weeks until this turkey is done.

‘nough said.