Sunday, December 31, 2006

Top Ten Astronomy Images of 2006

I've been bringing you samplings from Dr. Phil all year. Now, he offers his wrap-up of the top astronomy images from the past year. So I offer these to you, my loyal readers, along with my warm wishes for a smashing year ahead. Happy New Year everyone!

Bad Astronomy Blog - The Top Ten Astronomy Images of 2006

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Saturday, December 30, 2006


Large plasma tube at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

And So It's Done

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ghost In The Heart

Inside the Giant Heart exhibit at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Looking For A Good Story?

This is a story that deserves national exposure since it is so rare we see such displays of largess. Robert Kern, founder and recently retired CEO of Generac Power Systems, gave bonuses to his former employees out of his own pocket. This was done without an announcement, press release or any media trapping whatsoever.

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.

I add here that I was an employee of Generac (in the portable generator division) for a short time before my division was sold just prior to Y2K. I only had limited encounters with Mr. Kern, but anyone you talked to that knew him always spoke of his loyalty to his employees. Much was made about the fact that the company did not lay off employees in hard times. Mr. Kern himself never sought attention, even inside the company. While he preferred to tinker with product design, he was a brilliantly shrewd businessman, timing his sale of the portable generator division perfectly before the market went through the floor after Y2K. Sure this news surprised me, these stories are so rare. But in the analysis, it was just Mr. Kern returning some loyalty. Read more at the link below.

Merry Christmas to everyone from This Blog Title For Sale.

JS Online: Generac Workers Get A Holiday Surprise

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dome Ceiling

In the Franklin National Memorial, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tree Lot

Rancho Cucamonga, California.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another Piece Of My Childhood

Joseph Barbera died today at the age of 95. He and partner William Hanna teamed up at MGM studios to bring "Tom & Jerry" to the screen, and 7 Academy Awards. Later, they founded Hanna-Barbera Studios and were responsible for animated classics like "The Flintstones", "Jonny Quest", "The Jetsons", and later, "Scooby Doo". Contemporary animators today owe a debt of gratitude to these pioneers. They may be gone, but their art will live on.
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Monday, December 18, 2006

Optical Delusion

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.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

There Is Change Just Beyond The Door

Savannah, Georgia

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Tribute

Actor Peter Boyle died last night at the age of 71. Here he is in a scene from "Young Frankenstein". Super duper!

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Looking Down Through History

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.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

In Memoriam

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.

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Show of Hands

An interactive exhibit at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Random Thoughts

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.

An Alltime Classic Match

I will maintain to my grave that Socrates was offside and that Beckenbauer was completely useless.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

School Out Of Water

Adventure Aquarium, Camden, New Jersey.

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Liquid Water On Mars!

And now with more news on today's announcement, let's go to the Bad Astronomer. Phil?

Bad Astronomy Blog - LIQUID WATER ON MARS!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

NASA Announces(?) Lunar Plans

NASA today announced updated plans for the return (Dr. Phil suggests the word "colonization") of the moon by the year 2020. To be sure, it's a controversial plan both inside and outside the scientific community. It's one thing to harbor a romantic view about space travel and planetary travel, it's another thing entirely to imagine just exactly how society will benefit (or dare I say profit?) from it. For this, and much more, click the link to read Phil Plait's analysis of today's announcement.

Bad Astronomy Blog - NASA's lunar plans

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Tree Day

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.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Puppy In Peril

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.

Patton's Odyssey

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Friday, December 01, 2006

A New Winter

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.

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