You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded.
To the question, “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, “Why not?”
Atheist: Natural Morals, Real Meaning, Credible Truth

24 September, 2008

The Politics Test

I thought so...

You are a

Social Liberal
(75% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(38% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

21 September, 2008

I got it!

The space station flew overhead this evening and I tried to set up to photo it. I had the star chart all set and planned where to shoot it. It was going to go right by the center star of Cygnus. But at 7:22 pm. I thought it would be darker. I could barely see Deneb at 7:20 and Liz could see it coming. Crap. I had set the focus on Jupiter so decided to do the best I could tracking it with the finder scope and firing the shutter whenever it was in the field of view. I had the shutter release in my hand while I was guiding the telescope and camera. I fired off over 60 shots. At ISO 1600 and 1/2000 shutter speed, I guess the motion of me moving everything didn't matter too much.

Cannon XTi mounted on a 1540mm Maksutov-Cassegrain (5 inch) telescope.
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19 September, 2008

Hypothesis and Testing

Quotes from SGU 5x5 #37
Hypothesis: A model of how the universe works that successfully makes predictions.
Testing of hypothesis must predict information that isn't already known.

15 September, 2008

Byron 9/14/08

Waiting for 81C to return.

John and Monique gossiping.

Monique getting advice on her ticket.
5 tows. Not a hard day for 16Y.
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Unemployment with Bush

Unemployment during the Bush years.  Notice the decline during the Clinton years.  Now on third Bush unemployment rise.

Of course the national debt is nearly $10T and on the rise against the GDP.

Michael Reiss's big mistake

There is to be no sympathy given to bad ideas.

10 September, 2008

Phil Plait - May 2005

I know a place where the Sun never sets.

It’s a mountain, and it’s on the Moon. It sticks up so high that even as the Moon spins, it’s in perpetual daylight. Radiation from the Sun pours down on there day and night, 24 hours a day — well, the Moon’s day is actually about 4 weeks long, so the sunlight pours down there 708 hours a day.

I know a place where the Sun never shines. It’s at the bottom of the ocean. A crack in the crust there exudes nasty chemicals and heats the water to the boiling point. This would kill a human instantly, but there are creatures there, bacteria, that thrive. They eat the sulfur from the vent, and excrete sulfuric acid.

I know a place where the temperature is 15 million degrees, and the pressure would crush you to a microscopic dot. That place is the core of the Sun.

I know a place where the magnetic fields would rip you apart, atom by atom: the surface of a neutron star, a magnetar.

I know a place where life began billions of years ago. That place is here, the Earth.

I know these places because I’m a scientist.

Science is a way of finding things out. It’s a way of testing what’s real. It’s what Richard Feynman called "A way of not fooling ourselves."

No astrologer ever predicted the existence of Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto. No modern astrologer had a clue about Sedna, a ball of ice half the size of Pluto that orbits even farther out. No astrologer predicted the more than 150 planets now known to orbit other suns.

But scientists did.

No psychic, despite their claims, has ever helped the police solve a crime. But forensic scientists have, all the time.

It wasn’t someone who practices homeopathy who found a cure for smallpox, or polio. Scientists did, medical scientists.

No creationist ever cracked the genetic code. Chemists did. Molecular biologists did.

They used physics. They used math. They used chemistry, biology, astronomy, engineering.

They used science.

These are all the things you discovered doing your projects. All the things that brought you here today.

Computers? Cell phones? Rockets to Saturn, probes to the ocean floor, PSP, gamecubes, gameboys, X-boxes? All by scientists.

Those places I talked about before? You can get to know them too. You can experience the wonder of seeing them for the first time, the thrill of discovery, the incredible, visceral feeling of doing something no one has ever done before, seen things no one has seen before, know something no one else has ever known.

No crystal balls, no tarot cards, no horoscopes. Just you, your brain, and your ability to think.

Welcome to science. You’re gonna like it here.

08 September, 2008

Busy Weekend - Sept 08

Had a busy weekend... two houses were on fire down the street in Ben Lomond when I got home from work on Friday.  Very worrisome with the dry brush and trees around.  Cal Fire and BLFD were on it quick!
Flew 3 loads of kids for Young Eagles on Saturday and then flew up to Susanville.
On Sunday, Evan and I flew around for over an hour with him at the controls most of the time. He did great, for 98! My camera was dead so no pictures of that.
   Monday I few home slowly... some kind of headwind made it take 20 minutes longer to get home than going up. Then it was a bit foggy at WVI not enough to keep me out. Overall a great weekend.
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02 September, 2008

Goofy Large Hadron Collider Stuff

"Those hadrons are hard to hide sometimes. You'll be sitting at work, bored out of your mind, and next thing you know you've got a hadron in your pants. The worst part is you've got a meeting to go to you're already late for."