"And if you're rebuilding the Nerd Centre, you can make me a home gym too," said UniM. So I did.
Here's me trying to see the difference between an M10 65mm knob and an M10 70mm knob.
And here's the result: The Maxi Muscle Traning bench.
I don't know what it will do for UniM's muscles but I pulled 3 just dragging it into her salon.
...to keep us occupied till we find out what's really happened to ISON.
Spotted by David
Reports of the death of Comet Ison yesterday were premature! It appears the comet has survived:
COMET ISON LIVES: Cancel the funeral. Comet ISON is back from the dead. On Nov. 28th, Comet ISON flew through the sun's atmosphere and appeared to disintegrate before the cameras of several NASA and ESA spacecraft. This prompted reports of the comet's demise. Hours later the comet revived, sprouted two tails and rapidly brightened. It is now receding from the sun with a fair chance of becoming a photographic object in the morning sky as early as Dec. 2nd or 3rd.
Comet of the Century? Er no.
I spent a week poking my telescope out of the attic window looking for it, but only found Mercury:
And just when it was about to get really exciting.... it fell apart.
Space Weather News for Nov. 28, 2013
RIP, Comet ISON? Evidence is mounting that Comet ISON did not survive its brush with the sun on Nov. 28th. SOHO coronagraph images show the comet apparently disintegrating, while first-look images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory did not detect the comet moving along its expected path through the sun's atmosphere. Check http://spaceweather.com for movies and updates.
Following on from my MA success, I was once again left speechless by aonother of Alan R's comments
That is SOOOOOO impressive Iain. What a pity you weren't studying music.
well in fact, I AM studying music too, and to a very high level, as he will find out very soon. What is at the root of my ever-growing skills on the Mountain Dulcimer? Relentless practice of course, though this converstion with UniM this morning when I asked her what she thought of my playing doesn't bode well:
UniM: "You never stop to amaze me."
Me: "I think you mean 'you never stop amazing me,' heartface."
UniM: "I know what I mean."
But also, I am coming along in leaps and bounds because of this wonderful book:
It's a much sought after book and if you look for it on Amazon UK you can buy it for between £145 and £280. Instead I got it from America for.... 58p + £2.80 postage!
You know me, I despise self-promotion.
But sometimes the urge is too strong to resist.
Regulars will know I've been doing the MA in Philosophy for the last 2 years with the OU and my first year result was Distinction. I've been waiting anxiously for the second year result for the last couple of months and it arrived last night.
My essay marks for the year were 80%, 88%, 88% and 80%, giving an average of 84%; a cruel 1% below a Distinction. But 50% of the final mark (are you keeping up with this?) was based on the 5000 word essay at the end of the course, which I submitted back in September. And the result for that (the Overall Examinable Score) turned out to be... 88%, meaning a Distinction for the 2nd year too.
You have achieved the highest module result status possible.
I really, really wasn't expecting it, though UniM never doubted me for a moment and had the champers all ready:
On to the 3rd and final year now, which is the Dissertation, and best of all you pick your own subject (within limits). Consciousness here we come!
I bought a board game at the auction the other day for a few pounds, and it came with boxes of old plastic rubbish which I threw out straight away. I was just about to throw this in the bin when I realized what it was: a vintage 8mm film viewer with 2 films! I ha\ven't been able to identify it exactly yet, but it seems they were popular in the early seventies. Like many 4AoSers, I would have been the perfect age to appreciate such magic, but I don't remember ever seeing one.
Maybe it was only for the posh/rich kids. I bet Alan had one.
The cassettes have a large loop of 8mm film in them and you simply point at a bright light and wind the handle.
Here's my first attempt at filming the film. Music from the fantastic Kevin MacLeod, who allows his creations to be used for free. (credits at the end of the film)
I'd promised myself not to mention any more comets on 4AoS because immediately I do, it clouds over for the duration, but I can't resist it anymore since Comet ISON has dramatically brightened over the last couple of days to 10 times its previous brightness, and tomorrow and Monday are the best times to catch it for the next couple of weeks before it disappears behind the sun (hopefully to return even brighter in early December)
COMET ISON UPDATE: Comet ISON is now ten times brighter than it was on Nov. 13-14 when an unexpected outburst propelled the sundiver into the realm of naked-eye visibility. Observers around the world confirm seeing the comet as a faint smudge low in the eastern sky before sunrise. Backyard telescopes reveal a riot of gaseous streamers trailing behind the comet's brightening (and possibly fragmenting) core. With almost two weeks to go before ISON plunges into the sun's atmosphere, it is already one of the most beautiful and active comets in years.
Get yourself over to http://spaceweather.com/ for maps on where to spot it! Or just look at the horizon before the rising sun around 6.15 - 6.30am.
I bought these comet spotting bins a few years ago in a moment of weakness, but this is my first chance to use them:
20 magnification and 70mm objectives: marvellous!
Reports tomorrow, weather permitting
Good attempt on this one. The problem with the image was immediately clear to me, as soon as I read the errata slip tucked inside the book by the very embarrassed publishers.
Answer under the image
The low notes on a piano or harpsichord are on the left, and high notes on the right, which means the long strings are on the left and the short strings on the right, so the piano will always be curved on the right side as the strings get shorter.
In this case, they got the negative the wrong way round so the image is printed mirror image and nobody noticed till after publication!
Blimey, Alan R's done it again. I had to go 5000 miles to Venezuela to bag myself a Glossy Ibis:
but Alan picked one up just down the road in Abberton! And it pains me to admit it, but his images are far superior too.
See more great shots on his blog here:
Ah well, it gives me an excuse to post my video of another rather special Ibis species, the Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatu), which I was very lucky to pick up in the plains of Los Llanos this summer: