Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lisp Prolog and Evolution:

Via @HNTweets.

Sami Badawi writes about how LISP, Prolog, and programming languages since then.

Kitty and Spider

I learned something new about spiders.

The cat was chasing something around the living room floor that I expected was probably a spider.  When the chase finally took the kitty behind the armoire, my daughter took a picture of him back there with her phone.

As usual, it was a picture of a cat with eyes glowing brightly from the flash.

I remarked that it would be really funny if you could, in fact, see the spider's eyes glowing, too.

Looking at the picture, she replied, You can!

So there they were, a kitty and a spider, both with glowing eyes.  I had no idea that spider eyes did that!  (Or at least some part of a spider).

We could even stand there,  sight along our phone flashlights aimed directly at the spider and see the little reflections, very distinct and bright.  It looked like there were two of them even though I was pretty sure that arachnids have eight eyes.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Helioseismology from Kepler

In light of the Kepler space observatory's malfunction, which may bring the mission to an early end, here's a nice overview of some of Kepler's contribution to stellar astrophysics from Sky and Telescope.

A 90-Second Image of M13

From @makapala

@darkskyman took this 90 second snap of M13 at @TheAstroCamp a few weeks back http://flic.kr/p/ehSg4U

Amazing!  90 seconds!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Moon Over Andromeda

One of my favorite bits of information about the sky is how HUGE the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is.  The thing about galaxies is that they are terribly dim.  Think about it.   We're inside the Milkly Way galaxy and yet, except for the nearby bright stars, we can barely see it unless we go to the darkest spot we can find.

In fact, the apparent size of Andromeda is serveral times the apparent size of the moon.  This photo where the moon is superimposed shows this clearly.

Even when you do see M31 with the naked eye, which you can from a dark location, it doesn't look this big.  Objects have to be bright to look large.  In the same way, the Pleides is much larger than the moon, but they look tiny on the sky.


Image credit: REU program, N.A.Sharp/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Interesting Career Advice

For College Grads From LinkedIn's Billionaire Founder 

via @HNTweets

Friday, May 10, 2013


So long, Posterous.  I enjoyed using the service.