10m Meteor Hits Atmosphere!

I can’t believe this news didn’t make it to my eyeballs earlier this month:

A large meteor exploded over Indonesia with the force of a small atomic weapon. No reports of injuries were available in the news I read about it.

Rings You Didn’t Expect

Saturn has rings. Big news eh? Well, sort of. That’s because there’s a humongus ring around Saturn that went undiscovered until just recently because it’s not visible to the human eye, not even through a standard telescope. And the artist’s conception of it makes an excellent computer background.


Some of my library connected friends may find these retorts funny as well as rude.

Star Trek under the stars looking Up

Tonight was the cap to the orientation at the UofR, and the movie night on the Green was well done. There was one technical glitch during the showing of “Up” [8/10], but “Star Trek” [10/10] ran smoothly.

Star Trek was awesome under the stars. Saw two shooting stars tonight, and the ISS. I announced its appearance to the crowd, but few were interested it seemed. It went overhead at 8:30, and the little kids there saw it, but the one at 10:02 was less impressive, barely making it over the RIC building before blinking out of sight. It flies over again, brightly, at 8:52 PM Saturday night in Regina.

400 years of the far away being nearby

The telescope is 400 years old now. Google let me know with a clever graphic (like they often do for big events and holidays).

(I got popups when I opened the following link.)

[…]Just over 400 years ago, Galileo–then chair of mathematics at Italy’s University of Padua–got word that Dutch glass makers had invented a device that allowed viewers to see very distant objects as if they were nearby.

The mathematician soon acquired a Dutch instrument, and on August 25, 1609, he presented an improved, more powerful telescope of his own design to the senate of the city-state of Venice. The government officials were so impressed with Galileo’s telescope that they rewarded the professor with a higher salary and tenure for life at his university.

At the time, Galileo was touting the telescope for commercial and military applications, such as watching ships at sea. But in the fall of 1609 Galileo turned his telescope to the heavens, setting into motion a new kind of science: telescopic astronomy.

–Victoria Jaggard

Northern Lights in July

Lara and I got a treat on the balcony last night. Besides sampling the local honey brown micro-brew, the sky lit up and confirmed that it was northern lights (aurora borealis) that I’d seen overhead earlier. It’s hard to tell until it really gets going, because the light pollution from Regina is very bad.

Northern Lights in Regina

It’s unusual, because there are no sun spots visible right now. NLCs are being seen a lot recently too.

40 Years Ago The Moon Was Closer

I wish I’d seen it. It disturbs me that there haven’t been humans on the surface of the Moon in my lifetime. Not since the early-1970s has a human set foot on the largest and closest natural satellite around Earth. Imagine what we could do now in exploring the Moon first hand?

Since I was about 11, I was captivated by the grainy video footage from our 2X CD-ROM drive and Grolier CD Encyclopedia footage of the moon landing of Apollo 11. That was in Windows 3.1. Sadly neither lunar exploration nor Windows have advanced as much as I’d like.

International Space Station with Space Shuttle Endeavour

Tonight I showed a neighbour walking by, that the Space Shuttle and ISS were flying overhead. He asked me how I knew, and this is the answer.

And we could do so much more in our celestial neighbourhood.

Taser the Moose

Police don’t phone someone before tasering a human, so why call before shooting a moose with a shot gun. Why not use the service revolver? You know, that weapon that uses a deadly projectile, instead of electricity?

It just doesn’t make sense. Here’s how I imagine the conversation police on the scene had with their supervisor:
“Uh, Sarge? There’s a moose on the road and it’s been torn limb from limb by the business end of a car. Should we put it out of its misery, or hope they offer reconstructive moose surgery at the Pasqua Hospital? [pause] Okay, so you want me to shoot it multiple times with an imprecise scatter shot, instead of one or two shots to the head? You got it.”

Are they afraid that PETA will eat them for breakfast for shooting a moose? Is that why they let a gutted moose live half a life on the highway while they were on the phone getting advice on what to do? How could they be so hesitant to shoot a moose, but they’ll shoot a First Nations PERSON in a heartbeat? Do lawyers, human rights tribunals, inquiries, and the FSIN scare them less than PETA or the Humane Society (although I think the Humane Society would actually have people who understand when it’s time to euthanize an animal)? Note that a large crippled/dead animal can be as deadly to be around as a human with a knife.

A friend with a relative who has a mole problem at Fort Saskatchewan asked me if there was a solution to a mole digging up potatoes. I suggested the farm boy solution that starts with the number 22. Do you want potatoes, or do you want a mole. Does anyone have any other ideas?


See the International Space Station from Regina tonight:
Date Mag Starts Max. altitude Ends
Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
15 Jul -3.3 22:44:58 10 WNW 22:47:55 80 N 22:50:22 14 E
16 Jul -1.6 00:20:18 10 W 00:21:48 22 WSW 00:21:48 22 WSW

ADDED: If you want something to do outdoors tomorrow, head to Outlook, SK and take in the event. CSIDC is putting one one.

Oh gosh, the kid next door is screaming again. At least it isn’t 12:30AM this time. And it’s a kid, not a baby.

Volcanoes from Space ; Toronto garbage

Astronauts like to take pictures, and they go onto the Internet. I like the Internet.

A cupola is going onto the ISS too.

Hat tip to Space Weather


The garbage (and other services) strike in Toronto looks to me as if it will go on for some time. The city can’t help but to be arrogant, when there are so many clueless taxpayers (I was going to write “citizens”, but many probably wouldn’t qualify in the sense that they contribute positively to the country) complaining about unions on newspaper comment sections. The profound ignorance and greed is tough to bear. They propose things that are illegal, and frankly stupid.

The steady stream of negative comments come from people claiming not to belong to a union, and they make less money and have fewer benefits than the city workers they see as beneath them. Go figure eh? And unions aren’t good because they give their members better benefits and wages, and protection from employers who are abusive?

These people feel so strongly that the city is trying to cheat them and beat them down, that they are going WITHOUT PAY to protest and protect collective bargaining and the spirit of democracy. Sure, they could just quit and get other jobs, but then they leave one of the clueless commenters at the Star to get hired and stepped on by a declining salary and benefit package. So the complainers may get just what they want… a city without unions, and lower paying jobs for city workers, and they’ll get those jobs. Goody for them!