Friday, November 29, 2013


Something of comet ISON actually survived the trip around the sun! Yesterday during the Google+ Hangout session with NASA scientists the outcome looked bleak. In fact many of them predicted doom but justified it by saying that "comets are notoriously unpredictable". That may be... but the pictures don't lie. Something made the passage. Now it remains to be seen if anything is out there for viewing come the first few weeks of December. If so look to the same eastern skies before sunrise.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Comet ISON

Tomorrow we eat turkey (in the USA). But our sun may eat comet ISON when it makes its close approach. Will it survive? Will ISON break up? We'll see. By the way... there are actually two comets in this video. The smaller second one is comet Encke.

And for those of you in the USA traveling today to see family and loved ones... be safe and have a great holiday!

Wordless Wednesday

Something from right here close to home... Enjoy!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Play Chess... Properly

How to play chess... just watch a video and learn. What could be easier?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Night Movie

A young boy's curiosity about a bird eventually lures him to danger in, "Tuurngait". Enjoy!

Tuurngait from Tuurngait Team on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 & Windows XP Finally Divorce

If you hadn't seen this yet the following is something you may need to know:

Microsoft® has announced the discontinuation of support for Microsoft® Windows XP operating system. Since Autodesk is aware that a large number of AutoCAD users continue to use Windows XP, they have begun notifying customers about the impact to AutoCAD software products.

AutoCAD® AutoCAD® 2014 will be the final version of AutoCAD software* that will run on the Windows XP operating system. This is important if you will continue to be using a computer with XP as the operating software:
  • AutoCAD 2014 is the final release that can be installed on the Windows XP operating system.
  • AutoCAD 2014 is the final version of AutoCAD that will be supported on Windows XP. 
  • If you have a currently supported version of AutoCAD on Windows XP, Autodesk will continue supporting your AutoCAD software through the "support life" of the product (Autodesk support is limited to the most current version and previous three versions of AutoCAD software). 
AutoCAD® isn't the only program that will be affected.  All of the AutoCAD® verticals are going to be included.  So be sure to visit this page to get the full impact of the new policy.  You'll find more information there including detailed frequently asked questions.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nuclear Testing

This should give us all a moment of pause. It's a graphical diary of every nuclear explosion that has been set off from the first Manhattan Project "Trinity" test in 1945 through Pakistan's tests in 1998. The only ones missing are North Korea's three alleged tests this decade. How many confirmed blasts have there been so far in total? A: 2,053.

Produced by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Night Movie

This week we're going into the archives... 45 yrs deep all the way back to 1968... to revisit a classic from the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. Here Johnny stars with everyone's favorite big city cop of the time, Mr. Joe Friday, aka Jack Webb, of "Dragnet" fame, in the "Copper Clapper Caper".


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pixelstick Light Painting

Have you ever tried light painting a photograph? Have you ever wanted to? If you have a few hundred bucks burning a hole in your 2013 Christmas gift budget a couple of enterprising Kickstarter guys have something that just might just take your photography, "I'd like to be able to do that", wish list to a whole new level.

Deadline for ordering now is Dec 13, 2013. Estimated delivery is May 2014. Every Kickstarter project is a risk, but I've been involved in five (5) so far and every one has delivered exactly what I expected. YMMV.

For more information be sure to visit the Kickstarter pixelstick - Light painting evolved webpage.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Geospacial Revolution

As a civil engineering student I took just about every surveying course that was offered including six weeks of summer school in the mosquito infested forests of northern Wisconsin and a 12-week stint the following summer as an instructor. About the only surveying course I can think of that I didn't take back then was one on remote sensing, and in retrospect I wish I had taken that too. I also wish I'd had the money to hang around for a master's degree after getting my B.S. because almost surely I would have continued with some branch of advanced surveying.

In the early 1970's the technologies related to remote sensing were just getting going. Photogrametry was the primary tool used at the time to determine geometric properties (elevations, locations, etc) of ground objects from aerial imagery, but it required many man hours, expensive and complex equipment with glass plates. Global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) then, given the status of computer systems, were but a dream. But it was all on the horizon and we dreamed of the possibilities... and now most all of it and more is really here.

The following series of outstanding videos done by Penn State University provide a wide range of information about how important GPS and GIS have become in our modern world and how much we depend on them in integrated ways to manage our businesses, respond to emergencies, conduct warfare, and generally improve life in so many myriad ways.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I find this stuff incredibly exciting. I hope you will too. Enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday