Roland Roberts's blog

Beautiful Morning

This morning I managed to drag myself out for a pre-dawn walk/jog and enjoyed the view of a thin waning crescent moon east (below) a brilliant Venus. Higher up was Jupiter. The jog was nice, and the view was a nice extra bonus.

Transit of Venus 2012, Clouded out in Brooklyn

A couple of dozen folks showed up in Shore Road Park hoping to get a peek at Venus transiting the Sun today, but the weather did not cooperate. After setting up shortly after 5pm, I had to cover the equipment due to some light rain which passed through. Eventually the Sun peeked through a thin spot in the clouds long enough for me to get the (filtered) binoculars pointed at it and several people were able to get a brief look before the Sun disappeared back behind the clouds. Alas, that was it for the day. Around 7:20pm, I packed up.

More Random Drupal Failures

Blech. Had to do some manual database maintenance. Gave up on default multi-site configuration as too painful, and turned off all caching. Things seem to be working, but we'll see.

Random Drupal Failures

I've been rather frustrated with my web site lately as I've been getting random Drupal failures telling me it can't find "settings.php." Utter nonsense; the file is there, permissions are correct, and it usually finds it just fine.So, if you've been confronted with a rather odd home page or link when navigating my site, I apologize. I think I may have worked around it, but seeing how it pops up randomly, it's hard today. It's gone right now, but we'll see about tomorrow....

M31 with a Meade DSI Pro II - redux

Okay, temptation overtook me again Wink. I pulled out the IR blocking filter and took an hour's worth of images, plus enough calibration frames that I should have been able to eliminate the flaws in the previous images. The results, below, are better, but there are a few nagging issues.

M31 with a Meade DSI Pro II

The weather was just too clear last night to avoid the temptation, so I dragged out my equipment and started taking pictures. Admittedly, almost anything done from here in Brooklyn, "pretty-picture" wise, has to be considered practice since it rarely works out unless its the moon or planets. But I thought I would try either the Veil Nebula or something in Cygnus with a deep red filter, which blocks most of the city lights, and use it as a black-and-white image.

Misleading Math, Fuel Economy, Public Transportation.

I'm listening to a radio commercial about the shuttle bus to Newark Airport. They want to claim 184 passenger miles per gallon. My minivan is not particularly fuel efficient, getting about 22-23 miles per gallon (note the missing "passenger" qualifier). On short trips around town, like a run out to Home Depot, I'm the only one in the car and that becomes 22 passenger miles per gallon.

Free Poster: 7 Myths about High School Physics

Well, they're really only free if you print your own, but you can do that by downloading the PDF from posters section on the APS web site.

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