Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Venus Transit

Yay, I saw the Venus transit this morning. At the solar eclipse five years ago it was so cloudy in Bonn that we were not able to see a thing, but this time around the weather was beautiful. The Venus was visible as a small black circle in front of the sun, and of course I had to go outside with my students so they could all take a look. We talked about the event in yesterday’s physics lesson, and the students were even interested in how you can figure out the distance between the sun and the earth during a Venus transit. In fact, this is probably the main reason why people were so interested in watching the transits in past centuries. (Nowadays you can measure the distance by radar.)

Lacking proper equipment, I didn’t take any photos of the event, so you’ll have to use your imagination or look at some photos here; links to more photos are here. Or check out the links in this MetaFilter thread.

Wireless internet

Several people (Scott, Hal, Jörg have commented on the new AirPort Express. I have to admit that it a piece of hardware that makes my inner geek drool quite a bit – and it looks like just the right thing for our new apartment (we’re moving in August) to avoid ethernet cables between living room and office. Websurfing on the balcony? Sounds good to me!


It looks like I need to take a closer look at those HexaHexaFlexagons. I’m a big fan of fun mathematics, especially if origami is involved. Some more info and at least another good link here (MetaFilter thread).


Lots of birthdays and anniversaries… A very belated happy birthday to Audrey (Hal’s wife), and not quite so belated to Susan! The day before Susan’s birthday was David and Diane Singer’s 27th wedding anniversary – congratulations!