Bad Astronomy Blog - The Top Ten Astronomy Images of 2006
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Large plasma tube at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.
Inside the Giant Heart exhibit at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.
Jeff Dries has worked at the company for nine years and said he got a check for about $10,000.
"People had gone home for lunch and checked their mail like they normally do," Dries said. "They just got broadsided" by the checks.
Dries said he and his wife plan to use their gift as a down payment on a house.
"I know it's going to change a lot of people's lives," he said of the gifts.
In the Franklin National Memorial, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This is a piece of optical art from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. It's a type of lenticular image, such that as you move from side to side, the image changes. So therefore, no two photos of this piece will ever be the same.
Actor Peter Boyle died last night at the age of 71. Here he is in a scene from "Young Frankenstein". Super duper!
In a historic city such as Savannah, Georgia, the pavement you look down at has seen far more history than you'll ever know, and all it had to do was lie there.
A special tribute to my mother and father on the anniversary of my father's death. For more information, click here to read the article from last year.
Anytime you see your name on somebody else's page you get jazzed up. To hear it on their podcast, as Mark Peacock did on his "TravelCommons" podcast, you get double jazzed up.
A couple of new faces on the blog roll to the left are "Pharyngula", by PZ, who is similar to Dr. Phil, but just a bit on the far side of crazy.
And the other is "Frick's World", by Frick, another traveler who stays in many more hotels than I do.
I will maintain to my grave that Socrates was offside and that Beckenbauer was completely useless.
At the beginning of December, in either the first or second weekend after Thanksgiving, we make the annual (some would call it ritual) trip to the local tree farm to select our Chrismahanukwanzika tree. I could call it a Holiday Tree, but I would do so at my own risk.
The snow was a good thing. It meant that we wouldn't be scraping 3 pounds of mud off our boots before getting back in the truck. And once I got it to the house, and cut 2 more feet off the bottom, it shaped out to be a fine tree. As usual.
Our pooch Patton (featured earlier in This Blog Title For Sale) was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and requires surgery. My wife started a blog to chronicle his experience, with the objective of providing information which may prove useful to other pet owners facing a similar procedure. So if you, or somebody you know, has a pet with hip dysplasia, or just want to learn more about a really cool puppy, check out the blog at the link below.
A fast moving snowstorm with near blizzard conditions passed through southern Wisconsin today, though you wouldn't know it from the gorgeous sunset this evening.
Stained glass ceiling from the Missouri State Capitol, Jefferson City.
Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park, Maine.
Best wishes and a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my loyal readers.
The connecting corridor between the rental car garage and the old Terminal A at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is a mundane affair. Strictly utilitarian; not much to see. Taking the escalator up from the tunnel on the ground floor of the terminal, something caught my eye, and I stopped suddenly.
The painting was hanging on a wall several paces from the walkway, itself confined and not very well lit. The height was curious too, more appropriate for someone in a wheel chair. There was no placard with title or artist. I got the distinct feeling that this was not the original location of the painting. It had been moved here.
The painting was created in early 2002, that much I could tell. I tried to transport myself briefly back to that time. Things seemed to be much more focused in the months after the terrible tragedy. It was a rare time in this country's history that there was this much unity of purpose.
Now, looking at the heroic imagery (notice the POTUS with the bullhorn), I'm saddened. The current administration milked as much as they could, thinking that all they had to do was evoke these images and everything would be alright. But it wasn't alright. And by using the tragedy as currency, and squandering the currency, it has cheapened those who were honored in this very portrait. And I'm suddenly jolted back to 2006. Maybe the caretakers at the airport felt the same way.
The Navy-Marine Memorial, Washington, D.C. For more information about the memorial, click here.
During the summer, hundreds of thousands of visitors come here to Devil's Lake State Park to boat or fish in the lake, or to climb the bluffs surrounding the lake. So to have the park almost by yourself in the fall seems like a guilty pleasure.
A different view of historic downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The Battle of Chancellorsville was fought April 30 to May 6, 1863. The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, led by Gen. Robert E. Lee, outnumbered by more than 2 to 1 by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's Union Army of the Potomac, won an audacious victory through a masterful division of forces. This is the view of Hazel Grove, site of vicious fighting during May 3 and 4. For more about the battle, click here.
Please take a moment this weekend to remember the contributions of the men and women of our Armed Forces.
You see a picture, full of stars. But that's not the whole picture. Dr. Phil has a look at a galaxy cluster, and describes how you need to look beyond the light. And what you don't see can be just as beautiful.
Bad Astronomy Blog
Technorati Tags: science, astronomy, galaxies, cool stuff, bablog
Recognize the name? If the sounds of a calliope and the roar of the lion echo in your memory, then you've got it figured out. The Ringling Brothers, of circus fame, were residents of Baraboo, and even after attaining worldwide fame, lived their lives in this small town north of Madison.
At the same time the Ringling Bros. were gaining their fame, Baraboo was fast becoming a popular resort area. With Devil's Lake two miles south, and Wisconsin Dells 11 miles north, the area was becoming very popular with vacationers from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis seeking a break from the heat of summer. And many brought their taste for culture with them.
In his later years, Al. Ringling decided to give a memorial to his adopted home. And he did it in grand style, commissioning the theater that bears his name today. Built in seven months at a cost of $100,000, "The Al." has been open continuously since its opening in 1915, showing movies, live music, and stage shows.
Unfortunately, Al. Ringling enjoyed his gift to the city only very briefly, passing away the following year. Now run by a non-profit organization, the theater remains a jewel in a small town.
You know where you're at even before you exit the jetway. The smell wafts down the ramp like a muse. It wraps its tendrils around you like a yoke and pulls you toward it's smoky essence. That's right. You're in Memphis International Airport and it's time for some barbeque.
Memphis International Airport reminds me of "bicentennial" style of buildings built in the '60s and '70s. Brown brick faced walls, earth tones all over the place. The main terminal is a wide open space, but the gate concourses are narrow and packed with traffic. To their credit, the airport operators have focused a lot of energy into improving the traveler's experience with recent renovations to Concourse B. Especially when it comes to my favorite subject: food.
December 13, 1862. Site of one of the important battles of the Civil War and certainly General Lee's greatest victory. General Ambrose Burnside had just been given command of the Union Army of the Potomac and was under pressure to produce results before the end of the year. A victory at Fredericksburg would open the way to Richmond and a quick end to the war. Problem was, Burnside took his time, allowing Lee's Army of Northern Virginia ample opportunity to build a defensive stance on terrain any general could love. For more information, click here.
My loyal readers know I'm a sucker for meteorological phenomena. This particular effect is called a glory. For more information, click on the photo.
"Spirit has been displaying some anomalous behavior," said Project Manager John Callas, who noted the rover's unsuccessful attempts to flip itself over and otherwise damage its scientific instruments.
Deep below the terminals and aprons at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport is an exhibit of contemporary African art. If you take the train between Concourse A and the Main Terminal, you will miss it entirely. It's an oasis of creativity in an otherwise utilitarian structure. I had an opportunity during a recent visit to spend some time examining these exquisite sculptures.
"Welcome Baby", by Agnes Nyanhongo, Zimbabwe.
"The Peacemaker", by Gedion Nyanhongo, Zimbabwe.
"Generation Pyramid", by Gedion Nyanhongo, Zimbabwe.
"Woman Showing Traditional Salute", by Edronce Rukodzi, Zimbabwe.
Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers on winning the 2006 American League Championship and a place in the World Series. The folks over at River Rant were there and have the first person video to prove it. See more here.
River Rant: World Series Bound!
Technorati Tags: baseball, detroit tigers, champions, ALCS, detroit
I had some free time yesterday before my flight back to Milwaukee, so I found a park just off the end of Runway 19 at Reagan National Airport. In order to land on DCA's southbound runway, pilots had to follow the path of the Potomac River and make a steep turn shortly before landing, in a procedure called the "River Visual." It was a perfect place to do some planespotting.
Last week I had the pleasure of being seated on the left side of the plane and caught this image of the National Mall just prior to landing.
I took a break from hotel life to visit the Rockdale County Fair at the Georgia International Horse Park (site of equestrian events during the Atlanta Olympics). The horse park itself was intriguing in that while it was state of the art 10 years ago, it was clearly showing the classic signs of the neglect that you would find in an underutilized white elephant.
For us folks in the midwest who are accustomed to the county fair with the animal barns and exhibits and judged competitions and tractor pulls and concerts, the Rockdale Country Fair was a drab disappointment. It was just a carnival, with none of the trappings of a traditional county fair. And while all of the standard rides were there, they all were showing signs of age. And the crowds were tiny the evening I went. Maybe it just wasn't the busy night, but the whole atmosphere was counter to what you would expect from a carnival.
And no one wanted to ride the kiddie train.
Just when you thought you'd seen the coolest space pictures ever, Saturn comes along and steals the show. As Phil Plait puts it:
I say this a lot, but it bears repeating: what else is out there, what things are there to know, what things are there to experience, that we have not yet discovered?Bad Astronomy Blog > Best. Saturn. Picture. EVAH!
A carnival ride at the Rockdale County Fair, Conyers, Georgia.
Buck O'Neil was the consummate ambassador for baseball. Never harbored a grudge, never once expressed bitterness over the racism that kept him out of the Major Leagues. Inexplicably overlooked for induction by the Hall of Fame. He will be sorely missed.
ESPN.com - MLB - Former Negro Leaguer O'Neil dies
Technorati Tags: sports, baseball, people, o'neill
Just as railroads made the country smaller, airplanes made the world smaller. You never think twice about it, but if it wasn't for the humble "moving sidewalk", airports would have a hard time moving the numbers of people that they move now.
Of course they don't. Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) passes along his thoughts on this year's winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
The first results from COBE were announced at the 1990 American Astronomical Society meeting. When a plot showing the CMB radiation was displayed, it got a standing ovation. This was solid evidence supporting the Big Bang model, and so it was huge news. I was at that meeting (it was my first one, actually) and I kick myself to this day that I missed that session. It was a piece of history!
General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee.
Chicago will pay a $33,000 fine for illegally tearing up Meigs Field airport without proper notification. And the city will have to repay $1 million of airport funds that Mayor Richard M. Daley illegally diverted from O'Hare and Midway airports to give to the destruction contractors.
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Technorati Tags: aviation, chicago, meigs, airport, faa, aopa
Indianapolis International Airport.
Twin Falls, Idaho. From the archives, April 2004.
The Perrine Memorial Bridge over the Snake River Canyon marks
the northern entrance to Twin Falls, Idaho. At 1500 feet in
length, the longest span bridge in the United States' west stands 486 feet above the Snake River.
The Bridge has particular significance for B.A.S.E jumpers as it is possible to jump there every day of the year, legally. With an excellent landing area and the services of a boat crew to retrieve you after each jump, it's B.A.S.E jumping paradise and the perfect place to learn.
Today one of my regular viewers sent me a message complimenting me on my Bar Harbor pictures, and then she showed me a few of her own. They were so good that, with her permission, I bring one of them to you. So here is a guest contribution by D. Belian. Enjoy!
Acadia National Park, Maine.
Technorati Tags: maine, acadia national park, bar harbor, coast