Saturday, May 31, 2008
Moonbow or Lunar Bow.
This image of a lunar bow was photographed by Thomas Thies of Gearhart, Oregon, after the sun had set on December 8th 2003.
The rainbow, which lasted for about 20 minutes, was out over the ocean with the moon rising behind the photographer. The bright yellow lights near the horizon are crab boats.
Just as sunlight produces rainbows during the day, moonlight can produce rainbows at night. They're rare because moonlight isn't very bright. A bright moon near to full is needed, it must be raining opposite the moon, the sky must be dark and the moon must be less than 42degrees high.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
To download a larger version this is the place.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
The spectrometer works by focusing a laser on a target object. Most of the beam scatters off the object at the same wavelength as the laser. A small part of the beam (one in 100,000,000 photons) interacts with the chemical bonds of the molecules inside the target area and scatters at different wavelengths. Reading these wavelengths scientists can distinguish the composition of any samples collected.
Sheri White has helped develop the Deep-Ocean Laser Raman In-Situ Spectrometer (DORISS). This is a precision laboratory instrument in a pressure-proof container designed to work on the seafloor where many materials exist only in unusual conditions and can't be brought to the surface to study. She had already helped build and test ALISS (Ambient Light Imaging and Spectral System) to measure the light emanating from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. White was able to determine that the energy from this vent glow came from thermal radiation produced by extremely high-temperature (approx 350 degrees C) vent fluids.
A major problem with DORISS is the fact that spectrometers only see the precise point where their laser beam focuses, an area smaller than a pinhead and then it has to be held absolutely still for minutes at a time, something impossible to do from a ship at sea level to a ROV aat the end of a 4,000 metre tether on the ocean floor. White's answer was to build a 3-legged lab bench - Precision Underwater Positioner (PUP). This device complete with rigid legs, camera, light and crossing lasers helps to position the laser probe precisely and stably on the small targets in the deep ocean.
Chip Brier is a postdoctoral fellow who developed the Suspended Particulate Rosette (SuPR) to collect samples from the deep ocean vents. SuPR can collect 24 separate 100 litre samples where other samplers collect a single 2,000 litre one.
White and Brier are working to integrate a raman spectrometer into the SuPR for a trial run through a hydrothermal vent plume effectively analysing the chemical and trace elements as they emerge before combining and transforming as they interact with sea water. Then by taking a succession of samples they hope to record what happens as the chemicals and particles (eg. iron, manganese) interact with sea water elements (eg. vanadium, chromium) forming new minerals.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
What Animal Were You In Your Past Life?
|You were a unicorn. You were mysterious and noble. You have fairytale traits, and other people can only dream in envy. Your nature is completely impossible to decipher and behind all that, you know that you shine bright, for only the luckiest people get the chance to know you.|
|Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com|
This is another of Copan's wonders. Underneath Temple 16, in the centre, archaeologists found the perfectly preserved RosaLila Temple. It was still covered in vividly painted stucco unlike the rest of the buildings and sculpture (intricate sculptures, just google) of Copan. It had been maintained and used for an exceptionally long time and when it was finally abandoned, the two storey, multi-roomed structure was carefully preserved and buried intact when a new temple was built.
Physical and Chemical Sciences PhD researcher Rosemary Goodall from the Queensland University of Technology used a new infrared analysis technique called FTIR-ATR (Fourier Transform Infrared-Attenuatted Total Reflectance) spectral imaging to study the red, green and grey paint applied to the stucco masks on the exterior of the building.
This technique has not been used for archaeology before and combined with Raman spectroscopy, Goodall found the chemical "signature" of each mineral in paint samples only millimetres in size. The advantage of FTIR-ATR is that while other techniques provided analysis of a microscopic area, it mapped a larger portion from which the recipe of paint could be more easily deduced.
Since the RosaLila Temple has more than 15 layers of paint and stucco, the mineral make-up of the pigments tells scientists what colours were painted on each layer. The stucco itself became more refined over time and changed in colour from grey to white. Ms. Goodall discovered a green pigment and a pigment of Muscovite mica. Mica is used in paints today to create a shimmer effect and the Maya may have used it to get a sparkle effect on the temple which is the only building found with the mineral. Mica isn't found near Copan so it was probably traded from other Mayan cities like Tikal in Guatamala while Copan was a centre for the obsidian market.
Ms. Goodall now wants to take a portable Raman spectrometer to Copan to do more paint analysis as these tests do not destroy any samples. The research will help stop any further damage to the Copan complex.
The temple has been re-constructed to scale and can be seen in the Sculpture Museum at Copan.
This building was used for a hundred years according to the opening and closing ceremonies dated precisely by the Mayan calendar. While the temple was repainted between 15 and 20 times, Goodall estimates the mica was only used every fourth or fifth repainting. Because the Maya had very regular calendar periods, the research team will look at the paint layers and try to determine if the frequency of use correlates to important dates in the history of Copan's Royalty. The calendar is based on a 20-year period called a Katun and the Katun endings were important times of ceremony in the life of the King.
But right now, as the international community meets in Dublin to ban them, the new Australian Government is going out of its way to frustrate the process. They're calling for their 'SMART 155' bomb to be excluded, and for rogue nations who persist in using cluster bombs to be permitted to do so. We've got just a few scarce days left before the fragile international agreement is drafted. Sign the petition today telling Kevin Rudd to ban the bomb: no loopholes, no exceptions.
Thousands of civilians have lost their lives and limbs, mainly children from Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. So much so that the international symbol of the campaign is a limb. Just last week the Pope took the unusual step of calling on the international community to outlaw the deadly weapons.
But our government has refused to accept that a total ban on cluster munitions has to prohibit countries from assisting other nations who use cluster bombs. They are also arguing that the Smart 155 is not a cluster munition, despite having no independent tests on its safety and refusing to provide any evidence to back up that claim.
The UK Prime Minister yesterday reversed his decision to exempt his own weapons, leaving Australia increasingly isolated. We should be encouraging positive international agreements to save lives, not hindering them. Tell the PM today - as this decision is being made right now - to ban the bombs.
I've already voted, click the link and add yours. Whatever Nelson gets now, he's got it coming after ordering these.
Friday, May 23, 2008
I sat outside on the fence from that time until 4.45 when I rang again on the mobile this time.
I sat there for another 15 minutes until I nearly froze my tits off. No joke, it turned freezing.
I went back inside and rang the operator, no problems there's one on the way.
At 5.25, I rang again. Was I sure the address was ...........? @#$%!!
At 5.55, I rang the supervisor who checked and said 5 taxi drivers had said the pick-up was completed. She was outraged and 5 taxi drivers were listed for a rocket. If I wasn't picked up in 10 minutes, I was to ring her again.
At 6.15, another call to the supervisor and the despatcher. The sixth driver was threatened with no more jobs for the night unless I was picked up.
In all this time, not one taxi was spotted in the street. Even when I went inside I was sitting in front of a six foot wide/tall window where I could see the street. When it was dark, I put all the outside lights on.
At 6.27, a taxi arrived and I was delivered home at 6.32. The driver looked like Professor Snape, so much so I checked to see if it was a full moon. No kidding, he had shoulder length black hair parted in the middle and was wearing a long black coat. He also had no sense of direction but he was polite.
At 6.40, I had the gin in the glass and had opened a packet of jellybeans for tea.
How was your day?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
It was a naked tart.
You wouldn't believe where she was holding a long stemmed wine glass.
It didn't have crystals and Bombay would never allow itself to be dragged down to that level.
I just can't stop thinking about all that money I'm saving. Here I was last week wandering around the Swarovski Crystal shop at Southland and thinking how expensive everything was and I didn't know I could afford these.
I wasn't overly impressed with the jewellery except for the pendant and that hit me right in the drool centre of my brain. It's called "Dementra". It has a sculpted-cut Copper crystal. Ceralun(TM) applied directly onto the facets and then set with light Colorado topaz, light smoked topaz, Golden Shadow and Fuchsia crystals. It really is a knock out, much better than the photo.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
These are his top 10 penny-pinching ideas.
1. Avoid your family. Christmas and Easter gatherings are expensive and psychologically damaging.
I'm trying hard but I can't see a thing wrong with this idea. Avoiding my family would have saved a giant amount of psychotherapy bills but it was also a good way of getting a free feed.
2. Limit your mates.
All my mates are internet mates so you're using your electricity to post on your blogs which I read. When I read, I'm eating and drinking alone so I don't share with you. You live a long way away so I don't have to visit and you don't get to visit me so I save on house-cleaning products. And if you don't really like me (Mr Squires says this happens) or I don't like you, we can turn each other off or I can leave you on and not hurt your feelings.
3. Ditch "friends" who are living beyond their means.
Hmm! People with Visa debt shouldn't throw plastic cards at others with bigger debts.
4. Don't fall for "special day" marketing, such as Mother's, Father's and Valentine's days.
Nothing about very big special birthdays in there. So all my 'living beyond your means' limited internet mates can still send me cyber wishes in July. I will then have a cyber party and youse can all get cyber pissed and I'll sit here eating a real cake.
5. Don't volunteer for committees. It can become a financial burden.
I'm right with this. I've done my time on the kinder, school, canteen, fete committees.
6. Don't buy jewellery.
I knew it, he's lost me. I love my shiny things.
7. Have a weekly black-out night to save on electricity.
I like candle light as well as the next person but read a book with my eyesight, oh laugh. What does the man do, go to bed at sundown? Of course if you have a 50 square house with 200 lights you probably could save a bit on the bill. I'll give this one a miss too. Although I could navigate by the light of the computer and the TV and the lights have gone out while I was in the middle of a shower so I know I can dry myself in the dark but still he's really getting pinchy here.
8. Buy a standard TV, not a home theatre package.
Right, I have two geriatric televisions, one hooked up to the DVD and the other's hooked up to the video but I don't have them going at the same time especially not on black-out nights. I didn't buy either of them, a plus and I didn't buy the DVD, a plus and the video is 10 years old, a plus and I tape movies instead of going out.
9. Dress your children in hand-me-downs.
Has this man tried to tell a teenager that they can't have the latest craze?
My father-in-law was great at this hand-me-down stuff. If anyone in his street died he was on the door step before the flowers wilted, shoes, reading glasses, anything. He'd have taken the pennies off the eyes if they still had viewings at the house.
10. Don't be super-sized. Avoid two-for-one deals.
I spend half my shopping time in the supermarket working out if I'm getting a good deal on two-for-one deals. I work out the cost difference divided by the time the goods will take to run out divided by how many pension days that equates to and when that's done, I'll buy it because it looks nice or smells good.
This is not good. I consider myself an excellent spendthrift but I'm heading towards penny-pinching in a big way.
But where's my $50,000?
Friday, May 16, 2008
Tuesday I left the oven on so high I set off the smoke alarms and had to open every door and window in the house. I just wandered off and forgot. Charcoal vegetables, good thing I'd had that vanilla slice for lunch and the cupcake for breakfast. I noticed tonight when I finally got around to washing the dish that it now has a lovely meandering crack across the bottom. That's one.
Now for two. My office chair has been wobbling like a clown on a spring so I had a look at the workings this morning. I seem to have created a crack in the steel base plate. I can't blame the workmanship, I've been sitting on this seat for a quarter of a century so it's seen some heavy duty service. I just have to sit very upright and still and be careful scooting along the carpet in case the wheels decide to come off as well. I've already been through the great lounge chair disaster. It's just that it's my chair. I bought it with the first real chunk of money that was mine.
And then there's three. I'm standing at the stove, currying up a storm and talking to Ma on the phone (multi-tasking) and I'm blind in one eye. I mean I'm seeing perfectly well out of the left eye but the right one is blurred but not hurting. Calm is restored when I swivel the left lens of my glasses and spot the right lens in the curry. The screw came unscrewed. It's really weird to be able to see clearly out of one side and not the other. Okay, so that's three and I'm counting them as three.
And while I'm here. Where do the news services (hah!) and current affairs shows ((double hah!)) get off making air time for a crappy criminal being brought home for justice and having another crim's wife giving a tour of criminal haunts in Melbourne?
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The way to shoot a diet down in flames is to have AustraliaPost deliver a cupcake to the door at 8.30 in the morning. It was from the Vintage Garden and Cupcake Cafe in Buninyong and it was just the best breakfast and worst diet thing ever. Thank you Dysthy.
Just to make sure I didn't do a diet right meal all day I finally made it to San Sebastian and their fabulous vanilla slice delight in Hampton. This is not just a vanilla slice, it's a meal but the chairs are a snug fit for a large bum. It's also expensive but worth it.
Then I had a flu shot, blood pressure which was 45 points lower than the last one and then I made it to the bus with two minutes to spare before the ticket expired. Now I call that a good day.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
This image from NASA showed the ash plume from the eruption had passed over Argentina to extend over the Atlantic Ocean.
Here the ash plume has soared 12 kilometres into the air. Scientists now believe the eruption is at the critical point where the ash column could collapse quickly, generating pyroclastic flows down the sides of the volcano or it might subside gradually and do little damage. The ash has already contaminated ground water across Chile and Argentina and the army has forcibly evacuated the civilian population from the possible fall-out area.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Crap to the public schools little bastards who ran off the bus taking the emergency window handle with them thereby setting off the alarm which stops the bus which is taking me home and makes me just a tad homicidal.
Congrats to the driver who when into the newsagent and came back with sellotape for a makeshift repair.
Remember those old comedies where someone would take an orange from the bottom of the pyramid and the whole lot would fall? I'd like to choke the supermarket packer who thought it would be a good idea to do the same with blocks of chocolates. By the time I managed to get 10 or so blocks back on the shelf, I was half looking around for a concealed camera recording for 'Funniest Home Videos'.
It wasn't a pyramid of chocolate more like a roman arch with one block as the keystone. Impossible to re-create so I shoved the leftovers in the nearby freezer.
As our Bwca would say, 'Bad man did it and ran away'.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
2. If you have to make them try to do it sober.
3. If you decide to get all arty and put in concealed pockets, don't cut out the pockets until you've cut out the wristbands.
4. If you cut out the wristbands properly make sure the back neck is going both ways not all the same way.
5. Don't panic when you can't find the scissors, you're sitting on them.
6. Don't cry when you realise you're cutting out fat dresses again from the fabric you were saving for the thin dresses you thought you'd be wearing by now.
7. Forget no. 2 and drink.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Channel 10 must be joking.
Or Channel 10 has discovered a way to remove a brain from a living person and turn them loose.
Channel 7 has put 'Stargate Atlantis' on so late that even I can't stay up to watch it.
And why? Because Channel 7 is showing 'Trinny and Susannah undress the nation'. A couple of pommie tarts who'd be right at home at BB are going to tell me how to dress. Two words, piss off.
My sister has a house guest who smokes (another rant). She smokes but always keeps the door open and tries to make sure the smoke doesn't blow over me.
House guest, who doesn't like BB so one point to him, is inclined to shut the door.
My lungs feel as though I've been smoking for years. My hair stinks. My dress, petticoat, bra and knickers are in the washing machine. My eyes feel raw.
I understand addiction, no cake shop is safe from my slavering jaws, but to feel like this every day is insane.
And just to round off the day, Mommie Dearest asked me to start looking for some new summer nightdresses to buy for her. Summer??? The only buying I had in mind was a ticket for the Orphans' Picnic.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
"And how are yours?"
"I don't know. No word, no photographs in twelve months."
Home to another email from another neighbour to let me know that a girl my son grew up with had given birth to a baby boy. She already has two girls, the eldest a year younger than my granddaughter. I haven't seen her for 10 or 12 years but it sounds as though she's happy and going well. And I swear and tear up because she's here and he's not.
I give myself a mental shake and remind myself that thinking like that is not fair to her. She's 35 and made it through anorexia, drug addiction, being pimped out by a boyfriend and getting Hep C but not HIV through good fortune. She's here because I helped her throughout her life.
I helped her on the day of the funeral when she wept in my arms. When she cried, "I'm nothing. I'm no use to anyone so it should be me that's dead. It should be me." But it wasn't and I want for her to be a wonderful mother with her life full of laughter.
So I dragged out the box of mementos and read the notice she'd put in for Euan.
Euan (tragically) died aged 24. I've know you since I can remember, and to think of all the things we got up to when we were kids and young teenagers. There's a never ending list; Pavlovas in the face, swimming lessons with you and all our birthday parties when we were young. I could go on forever. I'm just thankful I was the one who had the privilege to have grown up all my life with such a fine young man who was taken far too soon, and will live on forever in my heart and mind and memories over the past 24 years that can never be taken away. Rest in peace my little matey. All my love forever.
Iwant her to live in happiness forever, the bubbly blonde with the blue eyes who laughed and fought with him and loved him.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
It came out of the bottom of the space heater which was on.
It had a quick shufti around.
Spotted me and run back up the space heater.
Apparently it has flame retardant fur.
And no Bwca, I didn't see the whites of its ears.
I refuse to put a trap in the middle of my lounge room.
It'll probably die of hunger. Damn, I hate moral dilemmas.
Dr Susan K. Avery is the first atmospheric scientist and woman to lead the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in its 78 year history.
She is an atmospheric physicist and her research interests include studies of atmospheric circulation and precipitation, climate variability, water resources and the development of new radar techniques and instruments for remote sensing.
She earned her doctorate in 1978 and has been on field expeditions in Greenland, Antarctica and Australia but only on land so she's looking forward to her first expedition aboard a research vessel sometime this year.
"Understanding the ocean has never been more important to society," she said. "We depend on it for food supplies, minerals, energy resources, shipping, and recreation. It is host to diverse ecosystems and is tightly coupled to our climate and weather."
AND WHAT ARE THE MEN DOING?
Well, Roberto Cavalli has designed this pair of gem embellished sandals for a mere $1.449.00
Thursday, May 01, 2008
This mantis is the oldest ever found in Japan and one of only seven in the world from the Cretaceous period.
The late Cretaceous was a transition phase between ancient and modern worlds so the fossil has intermediate elements of ancient and modern mantises.