I say this to myself often enough. January is almost over, but spring still feels an eternity away. It’s that feeling of desolation. Not that where I live is desolate, but that it feels like it is. It’s dark when I wake up, sometimes it’s dark when I come home from work.
At least I’ve found ways to deal with it, but every year it’s a chore.
Winter has never been my favourite time of year.
So, I believe I’ll throw myself into writing, or perhaps reading. Maybe a nap. I’ll see when I get there.
It rained yesterday, and it didn’t feel like a mid October rain, it felt more like a late spring or early summer rain. Especially the smell after it finished. But something else I noticed was how clean it seemed. When I got home, I had to snap a few pictures. Here’s what I saw in the late afternoon yesterday.
Friday morning, the weekend is almost here, and October is almost here. Environment Canada is predicting a high of 25 Celsius. And just because, here’s some photos of foxes I’ve found around cyberspace.
Random pictures of foxes! I am not the photographer of any of these pictures, those credits are below the photo with a link to the source where they were found.
We’ll actually start things off with a video that’s rather informative of the different calls foxes have. Some are downright eerie.
In this video, you will learn a few different fox calls and sounds, and what they mean. Foxes can make up to more then 40 calls and sounds; contact calls, and interaction calls. Foxes are normally quiet animals, and their calls are mostly heard durning the mating season when foxes are calling out to each other and fighting over territory. Fox cubs are very quiet, and only make sounds when they are playing, fighting, or nursing. Most of the time, fox calls are mistaken for the call of another animal.
And, just because, a wonderful photo of Caracal kittens.
NASA and its Commercial Crew Program announced new agreements with three American commercial companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years.
Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers.
SpaceX’s crewed Dragon will get more lift capability from the next-generation of Falcon rockets. The uncrewed version of Dragon recently made history as the first commercially built spacecraft to rendezvous and then berth with the International Space Station.
Sierra Nevada Corporation will advance its Dream Chaser spacecraft, which resembles NASA’s space shuttle but is smaller and based on improvements to the agency’s HL-20 lifting-body design. The company partnered with United Launch Alliance to launch its spacecraft atop an Atlas V rocket.
Boeing will continue to develop its CST-100 spacecraft, which underwent rigorous testing during two previous commercial crew development phases. It too will launch atop an Atlas V.
The latest Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Martian surface and has sent back the first images to NASA.
For more images sent by Curiosity, click here. As for the NASA Team, they were elated with the success of Curiosity.
There were even those who gave honourary tribute to the success of the mission.
Naturally, there was congratulations all around, even the President giving his own words of appreciation.
I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality—and I eagerly await what Curiosity has yet to discover. ~President Obama on last night’s rover landing on Mars (viabarackobama)
We’ll be watching and hoping that this will give new information about the mysterious red planet.
- Mars rover Curiosity lands on surface of Red Planet – Reuters (reuters.com)
- Photos: NASA Rover Curiosity Touches Down on Mars (abcnews.go.com)
- NASA Scientists Celebrate The “Curiosity” Mars Rover Landing (videogum.com)
- F*ck yes! Curiosity lands on Mars! (leilabattison.wordpress.com)
- NASA?s Curiosity Rover Lands Safely on Mars (wired.com)
- Nasa Curiosity Landing: as it happened (telegraph.co.uk)
- Curiosity Lands on Mars: NASA’s Behind the Scenes Images (mashable.com)
- First Photos of Mars from Curiosity [Mars Rover] (io9.com)
- NASA’s Mars Rover Crashed Into a DCMA Takedown (motherboard.vice.com)
- VIDEO: NASA’s ‘Curiosity’ Rover Makes Historic Landing on Mars (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Greetings From Mars! Huge NASA Rover Makes Daring Landing on Red Planet (space.com)
- Huge Mars Rover Set for Nerve-Wracking Landing on Red Planet Today (space.com)
About a week and a half ago, I got the bright idea to take photos with my new camera. Naturally, it was a sweltering 33 Degrees Celsius, with the humidex setting it around 47. This was obviously a good idea! (sarcasm). At any rate, here’s the photos I took along the river bank.
Looking north up the river. It’s a tad smokey thanks to the forest fires in Northern Alberta and Northern Saskatchewan.
Gulls on the water!
Okay, the Deep Purple reference would have been better for the last picture looking toward the old traffic bridge.
Gulls are a common sight around Saskatchewan, many of whom feast on massive amounts of grasshoppers. Here, they just seem to be kickin’ back and enjoying life on a sandbar on the river.
Looking south, toward the old traffic bridge. Much easier to see the smoke and haze that way.
Click the links above each photo for the original source.
I take no credit for this image, only finding it rather fitting.
- Hubble Sees Glittering Jewels of Messier 9 (spacedaily.com)
- Can You Find a Hubble Hidden Treasure? (universetoday.com)
- Hubble’s Anniversary Image Reveals Stars’ Birthplace (time.com)
I took the liberty of making a few changes to the proposed cover for Rocket Fox.
I added in a bit of shading to make it appear as though Senia was standing on an observation deck overlooking Vulpinia Prime. I also managed to cobble together a back cover as well.
I’m presently working on some stills to add to the book. I’d like each chapter to have a picture, such as a shot of Vulpinia Prime to begin chapter one, the logo of the Royal Vulpine Air Corps to start chapter two and a picture of Senia Felix to begin chapter three.
Just a bit of fun with Photoshop.
But I took a small writing break to create another cover concept for book one of Rocket Fox: Flight of the Nighthawk.
I consider myself a cat person, really I do. That is, unless that cat happens to be in a tree, outside my bedroom window, and making the god-awful sounds it makes when it’s mad and I’m trying to sleep at quarter to two in the morning. Then not so much. That sound is incredibly eerie and I’m only glad I woke up before the cat began making its maddening cries. I got up to shout at it and scare it away, but stopped because there wasn’t just a cat outside.
There was a deer.
The cat was hissing and spitting at a deer. Just one, then two more appear once the cat jumped down from the tree and sped off into the night. Good. At least it won’t be making noises outside my window.
I managed to get a few snaps of the deer. Now mind you, this is late at night, I don’t have proper equipment to take nature photos, but I still wanted to take a few pictures.
Another writing graphic, and one of the best things I’ve read about it came from author Neil Gaiman.
Actually I suspect you can skip the first 8 if you just do the last one.
Without further ado, here’s the infographic.
Today is mother’s day. A time to say thank you to your own mother, just as I will to mine. To commemorate the day, wonderful pictures of animal mothers with their young.
- Mothers Day Quotes And A Message From Hugh Jackman (juststopscreaming.com)
- Happy Mothers Day! (livinglifetoday93.wordpress.com)
- Happy Mothers Day To All Mothers! (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- It’s Mothers Day… and I wish a happy one to all you Mothers out there… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- Mothers’ Day (sabinianabalagtasbaliba.com)
- You’ll Always Be a Mother (Happy Mother’s Day) (formulamom.com)
- Happy Mother’s Day! (thoughtsfromtheoutdoors.wordpress.com)
- Mother’s Day (centennialhillslibrary.wordpress.com)
- Happy Mother’s Day: A Tribute to Celebrity Moms! (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Happy Mother’s Day! (cassiesperfectcookies.com)
This is the highest resolution image of Earth ever made, 121 megapixels. That’s an amazing 0.62 miles per pixel. It was taken by Russia’s latest weather satellite, the Electro-L, which is orbiting Earth on a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the equator, sending photographs of the entire planet every 30 minutes.
The image combines four light wavelengths, three visible and one infrared. The three reflected sunlight bands can simulate a conventional red-green-blue color picture. The near infrared channel (orange in the image) is a vegetation indicator, since plants reflect near-ir as well as green.
Download original image: 100 MB, JPG
All of these are from the video game Champions Online, where I’ve made the different characters of the story, Rocket Fox: Flight of the Nighthawk.
And, from the story Swift Fox and the Pirates of the Jackai.
- Ch-ch-changes… to Rocket Fox (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Make Your Own, Then tumblr submissions (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
I don’t wear stripes at all.
I don’t even wear polka dots.
I’m pretty much a solid colour kind of guy. And by that, I usually mean black, red, green or white. Sometimes, I get a little crazy and I do a colour combo of two of those. Sometimes, three. Though never combining red or green.
Some colour combos include green, black and white. This combination happens to be the commonly used colours in the Saskatchewan Roughriders team paraphernalia.
Others include red, black, white and a splash of gold, which so happens to be the colours of the Ottawa Senators, the NHL team I happen to cheer for.
There’s also red and black, which happens to be the colours of the Outlook Ice Hawks Senior Hockey Team that I happen to do the Public Service Address announcements for during their home games.
Often, I wear white and red, which will contain a maple leaf somewhere in the design scheme. This, naturally, shows the devotion I have to the country I was born in. Yes, we Canadians can be proud of our home and native land, and I just so happen to be one that will show it more than just on July 1st or during the Olympic Hockey tournament.
So there you have it, in a nutshell, just a few of my fashion tastes.
An incredible photo series from Discovery News.
Forty years ago this week, the crew of Apollo 16 captured this (top) image of Earth rising above the lunar landscape. The Apollo missions enabled us to see for the first time our planet as it appears from space.
“When I was orbiting the moon and could put my thumb up to the window and completely cover the Earth, I felt a real sense of my own insignificance. Everything I’d ever known could be hidden behind my thumb,” Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell said.
In the bottom image, Moscow is seen at night from the International Space Station, flying at an altitude of approximately 240 miles on March 28, 2012. A solar array panel for the space station is on the left side of the frame. The Aurora Borealis, airglow and daybreak frame the horizon.
Through the ages, humans have attempted to understand and portray the world around them. Here’s a look at the myriad ways people have attempted to understand.
Click the link to keep reading.
A long day at work yesterday and an early day at work today, makes for a very tired Tim.
There has been a definite lack of postings today. Even reblogs or likes.
So, I will make up for it with funny pictures.
This Herschel image of the Eagle nebula shows the self-emission of the intensely cold nebula’s gas and dust as never seen before. Each color shows a different temperature of dust, from around 10 degrees above absolute zero (10 Kelvin or minus 442 degrees Fahrenheit) for the red, up to around 40 Kelvin, or minus 388 degrees Fahrenheit, for the blue.
Herschel reveals the nebula’s intricate tendril nature, with vast cavities forming an almost cave-like surrounding to the famous pillars, which appear almost ghostly in this view. The gas and dust provide the material for the star formation that is still under way inside this enigmatic nebula.
Far-infrared light has been color-coded to 70 microns for blue and 160 microns for green using the Photodetector Array Camera, and 250 microns for red using the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver.
Figure 1 combines data from almost opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum. Herschel captured longer-wavelength, or far, infrared light, and the space telescope XMM-Newton imaged X-rays. The X-ray data show the hot young stars in the center of the cloud, which are sculpting and interacting with the surrounding ultra-cool gas and dust, seen in infrared. Both wavelengths would be blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, so space telescopes such as these are critical to our understanding of the life cycle of stars.
Both Herschel and XMM-Newton are European Space Agency missions. NASA plays an important role in Herschel. NASA’s Herschel Project Office is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel’s three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
From the actual wiki entry:
Claims have existed for many centuries that the Earth might possess other natural satellites besides the Moon. Several candidates have been proposed, but all such claims have proven false. The Moon is Earth’s only known natural satellite.
While several genuine scientific searches for “second moons” were undertaken in the 19th and 20th centuries, the field has also been the subject of several non-scientific proposals and possible hoaxes. These possible hoaxes, which were about objects of specific size and orbits, were poorly founded and all have been disproven.
Although the Moon is Earth’s only known natural satellite, there are a number of near-Earth objects with orbits that are in resonance with Earth. These can be mistaken for natural satellites and are sometimes glibly referred to as “second moons”. Quasi-satellites, such as 3753 Cruithne, orbit Earth in 1:1 resonance but also orbit the Sun. Earth trojans, such as 2010 TK7, follow the same orbital path as Earth, either trailing or following, in the vicinity of the Earth–Sun Lagrangian points. Small objects in orbit around the Sun can also temporarily fall into orbit about the Earth, becoming “temporary satellites”.
There have been large generic searches for small moons, actual proposals or claimed sightings of specific objects in orbit, and finally, analysis and searches for those proposed objects. All three of these have failed to confirm a permanent natural satellite.
- Earth Has A Second Moon, Astronomers Say (gizmodo.com.au)
- Blog – Earth Must Have Another Moon, Say Astronomers (technologyreview.com)
- Earth Usually Has Second Tiny, Temporary ‘Moon’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Earth Has a Second Moon? (foxnews.com)
- Earth Must Have Another Moon, Say Astronomers (disclose.tv)
On February 9, 1913, a unique procession of meteors was observed from Canada, parts of the US, and in one case, off the coast of Brazil. Several streams of brilliant meteors were seen moving relatively slowly across the sky; the event lasted too long for a regular meteor sighting, but too short for a regular meteor shower, and moreover, the meteors did not, like showers, radiate from a single point in the sky. Most of North America was cloudy that day, so out of the millions of potential observers, only hundred-odd reports were made, mostly from remote locations, but there is no doubt that it happened. The meteors were accompanied by a trembling sound.
Comparing eyewitness reports and making calculations of possible trajectories, scientists have proposed a remarkable possibility: that this event, called by some the Cyrillid meteor shower, was a short-lived natural satellite of the Earth.
Learning this kind of stuff is very cool.
No words needed for these.