Archive for January, 2009

Nine years

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Six days ago, this weblog turned nine years old. I briefly thought of it, but the last two weeks have been very busy at school (lots of end-of-term stuff), so I didn’t get around to posting. Now I’ve been reminded of the anniversary by Jörg of Schockwellenreiter fame who always remembers these things. Danke!

Nine years ago I was a student, living in Bonn and apparently having a lot of free time to write (almost) daily postings. I started a weblog just to try out the software my then-boyfriend worked on. I had no idea that I would keep this up for such a long time.

Well, I’ve moved twice in the real world and once online since I started this weblog, I’m now a teacher with a lot less free time to write (almost) monthly postings. Yet some of you still visit my weblog or read my RSS feed – and have been doing so for nine years. Thanks!

This weblog has allowed me to talk to people living around the world via comments or e-mail and to meet friends who live several thousands of miles from here on another continent, namely Garret and Sandra, and Hal and his wife and son. I still remember this occasion very fondly and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks very much, you really helped making this day unforgettable!

Change.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Fortunately, here in Germany we are six hours ahead of Washington, so I was able to watch the inauguration live online. By the way, it’s really amusing to hear the BBC’s reporter ask a couple their names and then say “pleased to meet you!” So very British. 😉

I have to say that I was really moved. I felt like I have witnessed history in the making, live. This might be one of those moments that you later talk about, starting with “I remember exactly where I was when…”

I’ve felt that way once before, and that was on November 9th, 1989. I was fourteen years old. When I came home in the evening, I heard on TV that the GDR government had opened the borders. It was hard to believe what I saw on TV that night and the following days. Even weeks before noone would have thought that to be possible, and yet it happened.

I bet that a lot of people in the US also believed that it would be a very long time before a non-white president would be elected, and yet it happened last November.

Edited to add:

Take a look at The Big Picture – 48 photos of the inauguration and of people around the world watching it.

Moon Images and Panoramas

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

NASA offers a lot of photos taken on the moon via their site NASA Images.

Virtual reality images of the moon is a collection of panoramas made from high-resolution photos the twelve astronauts who walked on the moon took. (The rest of Panoramas.dk is worth checking out as well, by the way. Quicktime is required to view the panoramas, though.)

From Panoramas.dk:

“Experience the moon just as the astronauts did – almost as you were there. View interactive QuickTime VR Panoramas in full-screen from the 6 Apollo Missions who landed on moon.
The links to the panoramas opens in a new fullscreen window which resizes to your screen.
All panoramas include original audio clips. Most of these are from the minutes around the time for the pans. On the Apollo 11 you hear the famous moment when Armstrong stepped down on the moon.”

If you want still more images of the moon, check out Google Moon!

About Google Moon:

After over three decades, we’re finally getting ready to go back to the Moon.
To help you prepare, and to whet your appetite for exploration, we teamed up with scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center to bring you this collection of lunar maps and charts. This tool is an exciting new way to explore the story of the Apollo missions, still the only time mankind has set foot on another world.

Moon Machines

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

There are some great documentaries about spacesuits, the Lunar Rover, navigation computers, the Lunar Module and Saturn V on Youtube, each in five parts. They were aired on the Discovery Channel during Space Week. I’ve only watched the first two documentaries (not enough time for all of them today) and found them very interesting. Enjoy!

Links via MetaFilter.

My favourite physicist

Monday, January 5th, 2009

There’s a great Feynman thread at MetaFilter with links to lots of videos of him. I watched Richard Feynman – The Last Journey Of A Genius last night. The film is mainly about Feynman’s and Ralph Leighton’s obsession with Tuva and was filmed in 1988, just a few days before Feynman died. There are links to a lot of other films worth checking out in the thread, too.