The thought of one day being able to see Mars out the window each morning fills me with hope for the human race – the only race on our planet. To ensure the survival of our species in the long run we need to get ‘off the rock’ on which we were born. As the only species on the planet that has achieved spaceflight so far, we should be focusing on this goal. Until we look at our long term survival as an opportunity to grow, and venture out there, we’ll have to rely on the creatives who are already out there.
I read a photography post recently on finding inspiration where you live. My photographs around home tend to focus on the human jungle around us. There are the beautiful eucalypt tree shapes and their long leaves, street lights, electricity (telephone) poles, TV aerials and the other manifestations of modern life such as the wires and insulators that deliver our internet and electricity locally. With the weather being what it is this summer (unpredictable) I’ve been able to get quite a few late cloudy sunsets. Last night was no different.
Here are three photos that I wanted to share. There are more notes on each photo.
The earliest of the three shots, the sun just below the visible horizon, the end of a long hot day. About 21:00 hours looking south west.
This time a focus on the criss-crossing nature of the wires that drive so much of human life today. Suffused with nature in the background. Again taken at 21:00 hours, near last light.
Taken at 21:00 hours near the end of twilight. Practicing depth of field through the human jungle toward the west and south.
While out and about today shooting video and images for the Ballarat Tramway Museum’s Horse Tram day, Mad Max came visiting the Lake Wendouree precinct.
I’m stoked that I managed to get these two shots. I’d just finished packing up my gear when I saw this coming down the road. Great catch. The car was immaculately presented and sounded just as fantastic.
I’ve added a new section for Electronics & I.T. projects. Currently there are two pages underneath that main heading:
As of today there are no Arduino projects, they are coming soon. In the meantime I’ve begun to add pages for the first Raspberry Pi project that I’m working on – A Windows Active Directory Domain Controller using Linux and SAMBA.
There are additional pages for tools and tips also and these are available from the GO main menu item. Let me know if you try any of these projects. I’ll keep them updated and add new pages as I finish the steps throughout the project.
It’s been a long haul for many ANZAC Vietnam veterans. Returning from serving their country in a foreign land, after fighting and dying for reasons not their own. On their return many found themselves anathema to the people they had fought for and served. Little support on the home front and less from the government who’d sent them overseas saw sickness and depression take its toll on otherwise healthy soldiers. It was not until 1987, some 15 years after the last of our troops returned from Vietnam that they were given a parade and the recognition of having fought for Australia at the government’s behest. They struggled to gain the respect of returned service organisations as well.
As we rapidly approach the 50th remembrance of the Battle of Long Tan (August 18), possibly Vietnam ANZAC’s greatest moment in that conflict I was very proud of our daughter and others in her school leadership team for representing their school at this important event. To all Vietnam Veterans, and veterans in general; thank you for your service, it is not forgotten nor taken for granted.
Lest we forget.
Leadership Team in the cold Ballarat weather before the ceremony
The South-East Asian War Memorial in Ballarat
Australian, New Zealand and US flags with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial flag
Ballarat veterans, and distiguished guests marching down Sturt St to the Memorial
Every 26 months, Mars is in “opposition” with the Sun. This means that the Sun is on one side of the earth with Mars on the other. Which means that scientists have a direct connection (not quite line of site but close) with NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) allowing for larger data transfers to occur. This month the MRO orbiter sent over 1000 new images. One such is shown below:
The MRO has sent data back from our planetary neighbour since 2005. Launched to look for signs of water on Mars the MRO has been sending back amazing high-resolution photographs from the surface that will help the process of mapping the planet.
There are two reasons for this post. Firstly I’m partway through the build of a 1:48th scale F-111E fighter-bomber. Secondly I’m also working on an edX course from the University of Queensland – UQx’s Write101x! English Grammar and Style. Who doesn’t want to write and use the English language with more flair?
Act in Haste, repent at Leisure is an aphorism. An aphorism is a pithy observation containing a general truth. Thus the story of my F-111E Boneyard Build – The Junkyard Dog – begins. It all started at the Modellers of Ballarat annual show on a cool April day a couple of years ago. Involving spare cash, a vague idea over-percolated in the back of my brain and an unloved F-111E kit in 1:48th scale sitting on someone’s pile of kits to trade.
First off, this model kit is neither good nor bad. The kit has build issues that in hindsight the model makers should have overcome to make a more buildable kit. All other issues aside the kit does a reasonable job of representing the real aircraft. During my research on the aircraft I’ve learned that there are many aftermarket parts available to doll the old girl way up should you want to do just that. My intention was to build the kit straight out of the box; giving me some time away from building and weathering railway models. Opening the box I noted no parts broken and that all the sprues were intact. This is always a good sign for a second-hand kit. The kit instructions were straightforward and the model appeared to be easy to build.
Starting the build
I started the build process by putting extra weight in the nose, using round fishing weights hammered to fit and attached with superglue, to make sure that the model would not drag its tail and leave the nose in the air. After putting in the wheel well and cockpit I glued the two nose halves together. My next step was to test fit the canopy. It was here where the original plan went out the window. Sun Tzu said that no plan survives first contact with the enemy and as I sat contemplating what next, I knew was taking enemy fire.
According to new research released by UCLA on January 29 the moon and the earth are made of the same stuff. Now you might not think that this is ground-breaking (dare I say earth-shattering) news, yet it is.
Many scientists thought the Earth collided with Theia (pronounced THAY-eh), a protoplanet, at an angle of 45 degrees or more in a powerful side-swipe (simulated in this 2012 YouTube video).
What the new data makes plain is that the earth and the moon are made from the same stuff. This was identified through oxygen’s chemical signature revealed in seven analysed rocks brought to the Earth from the moon by the Apollo 12, 15 and 17 missions, as well as six volcanic rocks from the Earth’s mantle — five from Hawaii and one from Arizona.
Edward Young, lead author of the new study and a UCLA professor of geochemistry and cosmochemistry, and his team used the latest technology and techniques to make extraordinarily precise and careful measurements, and verified them with UCLA’s new mass spectrometer.
The fact that oxygen in rocks on the Earth and our moon share chemical signatures was very telling, Young said. Had Earth and Theia collided in a glancing side blow, the vast majority of the moon would have been made mainly of Theia, and the Earth and moon should have different oxygen isotopes. A head-on collision, however, likely would have resulted in similar chemical composition of both Earth and the moon.
You can read more about this cool discovery by heading over to: