The Canon 5D MkII/Canon 200mm prime lens combo gives a field of view that can grab the whole of the constellation Delphinus in one go!
Altair (centre), Tarazed (with Barnard’s “E”) top and Alshain (bottom) – the main stars in Aquila. Imaged using the Canon 5D MkII and the Canon 200mm prime lens at f#4. ISO 400, 4-minute subs, 24 subs in total – 22/07/2014. Expertly processed by Noel Carboni.
Very interesting. Did a very quick and simple IQ test I found on the Internet (expecting it to be completely useless) and it came up with the same number from a “professional” test that took well over an hour. Obviously worth a go if you want to know and you’re short of time.
We are it seems surrounded by trouble and strife. What I have written below came into my head almost complete – in one go. I don’t believe it came from God But it might have
I live in the south of the U.K. and I am defined by the Government of the day as English. Do I, together with the millions who live with me in England actually “own” this land? Already I hope you can see what a stupid question this is, and where it is leading. Of course you do not “own” the land. For the moment you are a mere squatter on the piece of dirt where you were dropped by your mother and that’s about it. If you are extremely lucky you might be allowed to squat on your patch for around 80 years or so, not much more, and the way most of you go about business, it is likely to be a helluva lot less. But don’t you at least “own” the house you live in, the one that you have bought and paid for? Well you might think so, but does the house? When you peg out and the house belongs to someone else will they now “own” the house, or will they like you just be squatting there for a short time?
You do not own the patch of land you and your neighbours are squatting on, you are (very) temporary custodians, and to be frank, you’re making a pretty shit job of it on the whole. No land, country or house within a country actually belongs to you – you are simply a temporary squatter, get used to it.
Second in the list. We have a group of Philosophies that create anything but the peace and goodwill they claim to champion, we come to Religions. Don’t know if you’ve managed to work this one out for yourself yet (personal observation says that you haven’t) but every Religion on the planet is man-made. Do you get that? Every faith that you follow has been cobbled together by a man or a group of men. There is NOTHING that can be pointed to that has come “directly from God”. A man writes down words that he says God spoke to him. There’s a name for people that hear voices. A man claims that God has written “His thoughts” in stone, in metal sheet, on papyrus – you name it, God has written on it. You actually believe that? You don’t think for a nanosecond that the bloke that produces these wondrous relics actually wrote the stuff himself? Let me have your name and address – I’d like to do business with you. There may well be a God, but if there is, He does not intervene in your everyday life and He does not count the fall of every sparrow. It is now long overdue for you to start growing up – you need to start taking responsibility for your own actions – and that’s very painful.
Lastly, your ever so finite lifetime. Your one glimpse through the extremely narrow window to have a peek at what’s going on around here. The full window stretches to 4.5 billion years into the past, and quite a few billion years into the future, with or without Homo Sapiens treading the Earth, almost certainly without I would say the way things are going. You have this infinitesimally small window of a few decades (at best) that you are allowed to glimpse through and yet you act on a daily basis as if you have an infinity of time stretched out in front of you. Sorry but you don’t. The afterlife is something made up by the people in charge that don’t want their workforce going nuts on them. There are Indians in the Amazonian rain forest who on their deathbed will wail and scream before just death, Christians think this is atrocious and attempt to placate them with their Religion. Bloody right you should wail and scream before death because that’s the end of your all too brief time on this wondrous world, your allotted span has come to an end and you will not be around to see how things turn out. A finite lifetime is a stinking trick, a pretty sick joke, and we’re all the comedians.
Now tell me again what exactly you are fighting about and what you are so ready to lay down your (very short) life for.
You come into this world with nothing, and you leave it likewise. The only thing you do have any control over is how much harm, or good, you do during your watch.
It does not diminish the beauty of a sunset to know a little bit about it.
In 1968 we were living at the top of the Sir John Soane’s museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, London having just returned from 2 years in New Zealand. Believe me, the museum was the spookiest of places at the best of times.
However, I decided to take a hot bath one evening and settled in for a good soak. Something very strange happened that night. Something that I will never forget. Something that has stayed with me, clear as day for the past 46 years.
The water in the bath started to build up into waves, waves with a period of about a second. The amplitude of the waves increased very quickly over maybe 10 seconds or so, and they were so high at the walls of the bath that they actually collapsed over just like a wave in the sea. As you can imagine this was a bit unsettling for a 14 year old kid who just wanted a soak, and I sat up with a start. The waves stopped!! A bit shaken I laid down in the bath again, and no sooner had I sunken myself in my nice hot bath again – the waves started up! Big waves, breaking on the walls again – shit! Sat up again, and they stopped. This was weird. Even I could see this was weird. And at 14 with a highly active imagination and no Physics background – this was Supernatural and something spooky was going on in the Museum that night. I laid down in the bath again – same thing happened. This was all too much, got out and pulled the plug out – pretty shaken.
That evening stayed with me for quite a while. I think I told my parents who I believe told me I was talking rubbish, and that’s how it stood for maybe 20 years or so until I thought about it again – this time armed with a First Class Honours Degree in Physics, Maths and Astronomy from the University of Sussex. The Supernatural event became a natural event, but probably a very rare event. I must say that in the few baths I took since that day (preferring showers nowadays) I have never been able to repeat the observation – but this is what I think happened.
By pure luck (bad luck?) I had filled the bath to the point where it was in resonance with my heartbeat pumping the blood around my body. I had created a resonant cavity and the little “pushes” into the water caused by my heartbeat pumping the blood around were at resonance with the bath/water “cavity”. As for any resonant system, when pumping energy into the system at the resonant frequency there is a rapid build up in amplitude, whether it’s a voltage, or a wave amplitude. Very quickly the waves built up in the bath until they were splashing off the walls like a mini-storm at sea.
So that’s what I think happened with my increased Physics knowledge and my scientist hat on. But it could have been a Ghost of course
Jul 09 2014
Yesterday’s “Pointless” programme on BBC1 had me more than a little confused and I just looked up the life of Marie Curie to try and sort out my confusion.
One of the question categories was on Marie Curie, and two of the questions in the category were:
(1) What element did she discover? (2) What subject was her Nobel Prize in?
I thought I knew both answers. For the first I knew the element was Polonium, named after her native Poland. However the contestant answered Radium and that is the answer that “Pointless” had as well. Turns out that Marie Curie discovered BOTH Radium and Polonium – how about that then!!
For the second question I knew she had a Nobel Prize in Physics, but the female contestant wasn’t sure if her Nobel Prize was in Physics or Chemistry. “Pointless” gave the answer as Physics. Once again the correct answer is BOTH!!!!! She got the Prize in Physics in 1903 and the Prize in Chemistry in 1911. The only other person to receive 2 Nobel Prizes in two separate disciplines was Linus Pauling who won the Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and the Peace Prize in 1962. You may be wondering about John Bardeen. John Bardeen also got two Nobel Prizes, but both were in the same discipline – Physics. In 1956 he got the Prize for semiconductor and transistor theory, and in 1972 he got the prize for his part in the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory of superconductivity.
Now ain’t that all interesting?