Starmus, 2014

Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Event, NASA Space stuff, Observatory, Space Travel, Telescope | 0 comments

Starmus, 2014

I love my “job.” As one who deals in astronomy education it is my sworn duty to go to any odd corner of the world in search like-minded types. And so I undertook a torturous journey to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, owned by Spain but not too far to the east from Morocco. It was on these islands, that the first Starmus conference was held in 2011. The Canaries were chosen as the organizers live there and due to the large number of observatories that take advantage of the excellent seeing. The “mus” stands for music, and “Star” stands for…you...

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Weird Movie Crap in Mike’s Place

Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Fun, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Weird Movie Crap in Mike’s Place

Beside astronomy and software design, I am also a movie buff. I typically prefer the ones from the 30s and 40s, but of course, love many of the offerings since then. And good ones I’ll watch several times, study the lighting, composition, visuals and how they all dovetail into a single unified presentation.   One such film was Cameron’s Titanic. It was the troubled child of Paramount, dragging on for months due to its complicated and overwhelming use of CG. It seemed like it was shaping up to be the perfect “director runs wild” story in the...

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Still more Weird Crap in Mike’s place

Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Essay, Event, NASA Space stuff | 0 comments

Still more Weird Crap in Mike’s place

Since we’re in the High Holy week for space nerds everywhere as this being the 45thannivearsary of Apollo 11, my Weird Crap is a pair of handrails from a lunar module. They don’t look like much, but they’re FREAKING HAND RAILS FROM THE FREAK’N LUNAR MODULE! I wasn’t sure on how to display thembut then did this as the “porch” to the inner sanctum, the second floor...

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No, I didn’t eat chili in Chile

Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Astronomical Event, Education, Observatory, Telescope | 0 comments

No, I didn’t eat chili in Chile

At the end of May, took another one of my slightly wacky vacations, this time to Chile and Peru. The first week in Chile was dedicated to visiting various observatories and other astronomy related sites. Due to some of the best seeing in the world along with the dry, stable climate in the Atacama Desert, Chile is gravid with observatories. Collectively these sites form the European Southern Observatory, www.eso.org. Besides visiting all of these places, my main goal was to get spherical panoramas of the various sites for future versions of...

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More weird crap in Mike’s place

Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Essay, Space Travel, Uncategorized | 1 comment

More weird crap in Mike’s place

Growing up in the 60s, I was a bit too young to get into the officially approved rockhippieantiwar-run off to the Height and Groove all Night-scene. That duty was relegated to my sister who was 4 years older and part of the prime demographic for VW Bugs, beads and Patchouli incense. And we were only about 35 miles south of The City. My job was to follow the moon program. So odd to think that as I write this, it is 45 years since the One Small Step. A scant 45 years before the moon landings it was 1924, the middle of Prohibition, silent...

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Distant Suns (max) 3.4.9: In-app purchase issues

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Announcement, Distant Suns App | 0 comments

Distant Suns (max) 3.4.9: In-app purchase issues

Some have reported store-problems with the in-app purchase of the new Hubble Guide Star catalog. It might be an Apple issue, as things worked fine in final test. I’ll be digging in tonight though. Update: This has now been fixed.

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Modern simulations of NASA’s classic spaceflights

Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Education, Space Travel | 0 comments

Modern simulations of NASA’s classic spaceflights

Simon Plumpton uses the moniker “lunarmodule5” on YouTube. Not many people would get that, but those who do are grateful for the remarkable work he’s been doing to make the spaceflights during NASA’s golden age feel real and present again. Lunarmodule5 didn’t have those experiences first hand, the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975 being his earliest memories. But that started a fascination in him such that he at one time hoped to become a science and space journalist, such as James Burke (the host of the BBC’s Apollo coverage). When that...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

Posted by on March 23, 2014 in Essay | 0 comments

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place, #5

In 1968  Popular Science magazine ran an article on a new film by the always enigmatic but brilliant director, Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick was known for taking on  very few projects, but the ones he did would force people to sit up and take notice. Serious notice. His latest “picture” (as Kubrick and indeed directors of old would refer to their medium), was as enigmatic if not more so than Kubrick himself. Based on a short story by noted science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke, the picture, er, film titled ‘2001-A Space Odyssey’ burst on the...

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Charging stations

Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Announcement | 2 comments

Charging stations

< This is most people’s charging station. This is my charging station. And from behind. Any questions?

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #4: Soyuz Control Panel

Posted by on January 19, 2014 in Essay, Fun, NASA Space stuff, Space Travel | 1 comment

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place #4: Soyuz Control Panel

Growing up during the prime of the space-race oriented my nerdling interests for the rest of my life. As all cravings of sorts, I can either exercise my rather pedestrian will, or cave and feed it. In this case I chose to feed it against the better judgments of my bank account. So I collect NASA artifacts from the earliest days of the space program and even before. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Sotheby’s auctioneers had an event dedicated just to materials from the Soviet space program. Things such as prototypes of space suits for moon...

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