Every Hubble picture ever taken

For those who are fans of space photography (stars, planets and everything in between) the Hubble space telescope has long been a mainstay for images of high clarity. Now you can see every Hubble image ever taken at Hubblesite’s gallery.  It’s an amazing collection of photographs and composite images from the earliest days of the project until the present.  Here are just a few of the thousands of pictures available there.  Click on each one to be taken to its Hubblesite page. A “Rose” Made of Galaxies Centaurus A galaxy Composite Image of Jupiter Storms The Colorful Demise of a

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A ski shop – in the Sahara desert???

My mind boggled a bit when I read this report. Around 30 years ago, an entrepreneur from Niger spotted a gap in the market that he thought nobody else could fill – a ski-hire shop in the Sahara desert. He is still in the ski-rental business to this day even though he has no customers. . . . This is Agadez, a dusty marketplace in Niger surrounded by the Sahara desert, not Courchevel in the French Alps. The temperature here rises above 45C and when there is a bit of air it feels like somebody is holding a hairdryer right

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Quite a player!

I’m obliged to C. W. Swanson for putting up this video of a remarkably talented Polish street musician, Mariusz Goli. I was so impressed with his talent that I looked for more information about him. Digital Guitar Player had this to say. Every so often as we look or inspiration we find talented guitar players that we feel are “Up and coming”.  For our February 2014 “Up and coming” guitarist of the month we choose Mariusz Goli.  He is a street artist born in Poznan, Poland and according to his website has been playing guitar since he was 15. We

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A compelling story from aviation history

Not many people today are aware that the Soviet Union copied the US B-29 Superfortress after World War II to produce its first strategic bomber, the Tupolev Tu-4.  It was based on three B-29’s that landed in far eastern Russia after raids on Japan in 1944-45, and were interned there (their crews being returned to the USA). The story of how the Russians copied the plane is explained in detail in Air & Space magazine.  Here are a couple of excerpts. Stalin had made three overtures to the United States under the Lend-Lease Act, a U.S. program launched in 1941

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A worthy first effort

A few weeks ago I wrote about John Lott’s efforts to found the Crime Prevention Research Center, in particular to counteract the biased, inaccurate propaganda of anti-gun lobbying groups. His new organization has just produced its first report, a very useful perspective showing how difficult it is to ‘profile’ mentally disturbed individuals and use that as a tool to prevent gun violence. You can find it here.  I highly recommend reading it in full, if only to equip yourself to answer the simplistic and biased harangues of those who seek to use tragedy as a means to achieve their political

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Periodic Tables of Food

I’m sure we all remember the Periodic Table of Elements from chemistry studies in school.  Courtesy of Epicurious, we learn that there are several other Periodic Tables, these ones related to food. The last two links, for beer types and storing produce, no longer work, so I looked those up and provided new ones.  The tables are: Periodic Table of Dessert Periodic Table of Condiments Periodic Table of Cupcakes Periodic Table of Candy Periodic Table of Beer Styles Periodic Table of Storing Produce Amazon carries periodic table posters too Fun stuff, particularly for younger cooks who need entertainment. Peter

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Memorial Day 2014

Many words have been and will be written about today.  I won’t add to them with a new screed, because I think what I said on this anniversary in 2012 is still valid.  Please click over there and read it, if you feel so inclined. While you’re doing that, please say a prayer for the souls of the veterans who died in recent months and years because some Veterans Administration officials cared more about covering their bureaucratic asses than about doing their jobs.  Perhaps, this Memorial Day, we should celebrate by firing everyone concerned – a ‘firing party’ many veterans

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Around The Blogs 2014-05-25

Let’s start this week’s roundup with a mail-in steampunk shooting competition. Click over to Brigid’s place for the details. # # # Massad Ayoob writes trenchantly about the California mass shooting, and points out the fallacies inherent in so much of the emotional hand-wringing going on. While on the subject of progressives making anti-gun hay out of this tragedy, Ed Driscoll notes that ‘the modern left appear to be soft, sensitive Eloi, but underneath their freshly powdered skin and ubiquitous tortoiseshell Smart Glasses, they’re pure Morlock, ready to devour anyone who deviates even slightly from the day-to-day definition of political

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Concrete bombs

An anonymous commenter at my previous post mentioned the use of concrete-filled bombs by US aircraft in the Middle East to strike pinpoint targets while causing minimal ‘collateral damage‘.  I was aware of this;  there have been several articles discussing it since the technique was first revealed in 2009.  Here’s a useful one giving more information if you’re interested. I thought I recalled a National Geographic program that mentioned the subject, and a quick search on YouTube revealed that I was right.  Here’s a short excerpt from their ‘I Didn’t Know That‘ series.  It’s a bit oh-gee-whiz and over-the-top, but

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