Sunday, 27 November 2011

Earth, Moon and Sky ... with a blog warning ...

Northumberland in 2010: this
snow and more spread South

Volcanoes erupt, the moonlight beams down, from a sky at this time of year that might release some snow flakes ...  England was almost snowbound a year ago ...

Let me deal with the snowflakes first ... beware tinselling up our blog with Christmas snow and other wonderful animations:

Chuck of has reissued his annual reminder ...

Real Unique snowflake (not a computer
generated potentially dangerous one)
Last week, I issued my annual reminder to blog owners, to consider their blog holiday decorations with care. That reminder mainly focuses on the more controversial issue of blog hijacks, and computer hacking. Besides the long term and subtle computer hacking, your readers, visiting your blog decorated with the latest animation, will have a more immediate and obvious problem to consider - browser freezes and other computer overload problems.

This is going to be a simple post favouring those who are tapping furiously towards November end and 50,000 words – plus or minus  a few ...
Map of Miyake Jema Volcano, Japan

Wired Science published some beautiful images of volcanoes – not your usual photos – stating that:  

It's not always obvious what it is that scientists find beautiful about a graph, microscope slide, soil sample or some other aspect of their work. It just looks like numbers, blobs or dirt to the rest of us. But sometimes a scientific result or product is so visually appealing, anyone would want to hang it on their wall as art.

I think you’ll enjoy the visual .. and perhaps look further across to the links and see the other ten volcanoes they graphically depict ...

Wired Science are rather enamoured with craters ... but this time it’s the moon – and I too could not resist passing on the visual and links:

Topographical Map of the Moon
Astronomers at Arizona State University have used NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to build this jaw-dropping map of the Moon. It’s the highest-resolution, near-global topographic image of our lunar neighbour yet.

Finally A History of the Sky – gleaned from another of my favourite sites Brain Pickings.

Since ancient times, the sky has been an object of fixation for humanity. Just recently, we’ve explored some delightful DIY guides to cloudwatching and stargazing, but artist Ken Murphy has taken it to another level. 

For the past 365 days, he’s pointed his lens to the sky, using a custom camera rig affixed atop the Exploratorium museum on the edge of San Francisco Bay, and captured an image every 10 seconds. 

The result is A History of the Sky — a mesmerizing mosaic of time-lapse movies, each containing a 24-hour period, synced and arranged chronologically in a (slightly more mathematically convenient than the 365-day calendar) grid of 360 total rectangles.

I have left the links in – in case you’d like to see more and read the original post ... I just feel the pictures can do their own talking ...

Good luck to all of you NaNoWriMos for the rest of the week, good luck to you dieters after Thanksgiving and us preparing for our Christmas superdelicious dinner ... and let’s hope the weather ‘us do not disrupt’ – can anyone tell us what the weather can do ..?!

Enjoy the photos –

The Real Blogger Status:  Chuck and his warning - First Post
The Real Blogger Status:  Chuck and his Second Warning: Blog decorations

Wired Science: Moon Topography 

Brain Pickings: A History of the Sky - a Mosaic Time-Lapse Visualization of the Sky for an Entire Year (Syncing the Celeste, or how to touch the fabric of time)

PS I hope the coloured text comes out ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Old Kitty said...

I'm sure I've already said this in a comment on another bloggie friend's blogs but it really annoys me when people can't load up very innocent graphics for Christmas etc without fear of being hacked. Good grief! Bah-humbug to all these hackers! LOL!

Anyway - the moon pic is amazing isn't it?

I can't even begin to understand the mechanics of the time-lapse pics of the skies but I just love the obsessive fascination by Ken Murphy with something as beguiling and ethereal as the skies.

Take care

Manzanita said...

That Moon is really "something." In my youth, I could never imagine a true picture of the Moon, and certainly not imagine that humans could actually walk on it. Oh me, oh my, what will humans be doing in another 80 years? Will they have a vacation house on the Moon? Who knows?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Old Kitty .. I totally agree - but felt the warning worth reprinting here ..

Those pictures are fantastic .. love them all. Your comment on Ken Murphy's skies totally rings true - 'beguiling and ethereal as the skies' ...

@ Manzanita - the Moon Map is just beautiful isn't it ..

I don't think any of us could all those years ago .. that first walk on the moon AND they got back to tell us about it ..

I don't relish a vacation house on the moon - but a trip around the skies would be amazingly informative ..

Good to see you both .. thanks so much for coming over - cheers Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Absolutely fascinating, Hilary. And so true about the freezes. I hadn't given that any thought until a first time visitor said she couldn't join my site because my blog took too long to download. I immediately did some housecleaning. She never came back so I'm not sure I fixed the problem. But it was a lesson well-learned.

Patsy said...

I love that picture of the moon.

Thanks for the warnings on decorations - think I'll restrict mine to a few suitable photographs.

Susan Scheid said...

The History of the Sky in particular caught my eye and reminded me of a similar project by Spencer Finch, "The River That Runs Both Ways."

Finch photographed the surface of the Hudson River once every minute and made a series of glass panes, each "based on a single pixel point in each photograph" and arranged them chronologically. (Here's the web address, if of interest:

Isn't it wonderful how such a (seemingly) simple and straightforward idea can yield such an extraordinary result?

Karen Jones Gowen said...

How did you know I gained a bit from Thanksgiving? Almost back down to where I was tho, so I'm not worried. Turkey soup does wonders for weight loss! And avoiding the pie LOL.

Hackers-- boo!!!

Rubye Jack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rubye Jack said...

Chuck has a new follower in me. It looks like he publishes a wealth of very useful information. Personally, I'd just as soon not have to deal with a bunch of bells and whistles when visiting a blog. I can understand why hackers get a kick out of going places they shouldn't be but don't get why they have to do damage to others.
Absolutely beautiful moon map!

g!oW said...

My pet peeve is some of the blogs that freeze and load very slow. I usually just leave and go to another blog. I don't have time to sit and wait for that kind of crap. (sorry for the slang)
Love the pic of the Moon.
I've been away for a year but hope to resume blogging again and visiting my blogger friends.
Oh..btw, I've changed my blog name. It is now "SunnGlo".
Come visit when you have time.
Let me know if it loads too slow ;)

Sylvia Ney said...

Such beautiful photos! Glad they didn't freeze up my computer ;-)


TALON said...

Cool shots, Hilary! Thanks for sharing those links.

November is racing swiftly, isn't it? Soon the sound of jingle bells over the snowy fields. The first snowfall is always so magical then I'm completely over it :)

Hope you and your Mom are well and thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts. So appreciated!

Slamdunk said...

Excellent shots Hilary.

I agree that you can't be too careful what decorations one sticks on their blog.

It is a good thing that my blog appearance's resembles a dusty table in the garage with today's newspaper on it. Or maybe that should be a kick in the pants to get me to update things...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - I think we forget .. I just decided my blog would be very simple - but equally as Slamdunk says ... mine too is a little dusty - and I must do something about it! Maybe your visitor will return in due course!

@ Patsy - thanks couldn't resist either the moon or volcano - those I love. Simple is better so often ..

@ Susan - how fascinating to read about Spencer Finch's similar project .. I will go over and have a look - thanks for the link.

I'm just amazed what they can do now using computer technology - and reproduce something we find just beautiful, useful and informative.

I've updated by Post on The Bible, Jane Austen, Stanford University .. to include the link for the Mapping of the Republic of Letters - which shows via computer imagery .. the 'Early Correspondence and Intellectual Community in the Early Modern Period (1500-1800) (2mins 29 secs) - fascinating!

Thanks Joylene, Patsy and Susan .. great to read your comments .. and find out about so much more - have good weeks .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen .. good guess about the weight gain - don't we all enjoy a little too much .. well done and Turkey Soup .. as you say a delicious bowl full .. and desperately trying to stay away from the pie.

Good comment - Hackers -- boo!!

@ Rubye .. glad you've joined Chuck - he gives us really good information .. just to keep up to date (vaguely in my case!).

I agree - peoples' perverseness in messing up our blogging lives is very frustrating.

Glad you like the moon map - ours was a waning crescent over the weekend.

@ GloW/SunnGlo - welcome back .. and good luck with returning to the blogging world.

Thanks Karen, Rubye and GloW - enjoy your week .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sylvia - I'm glad they didn't freeze your machine! That's so irritating .. thanks for coming by.

@ Talon - welcome and how lovely to see you again .. been thinking of you - and yes, Christmas time is upon us -well that long build up is. Snow - I'd prefer it kept away .. but who knows!

Mum and I are fine thank you .. it's good to know you're back with us after your loss ... with many thoughts.

@ Slamdunk - many thanks .. wish they were my photos (sadly no!).

Ah - I know the dusty table syndrome .. I haven't changed mine much since I started it - 3 years ago in Jan .... it needs an update. Great analogy - and I too need a kickstart .. to upgrade ..

Thanks GloW, Sylvia, Talon and Slamdunk - lovely seeing you all .. cheers Hilary

The Blonde Duck said...

I always wanted to take astronomy, but my dad wouldn't let me. I loved Earth sciences.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I went back to college late in life and had to take Earth Science. It was amazing. I think I enjoyed it more then than in high school.

Blogging dangers is ridiculous and yet there are people out there that have nothing better to do than attack blogs.

Great post!


Anonymous said...

That would be fun to see in person, all lined up on the wall.

Sure wish we could send a satellite up to map the dark side of the moon we never see. It would probably look the same as the side we see though.

And I've given up on Nano as this month has been so busy with this, that, and the other thing. But I'm having fun doing promo stuff and hopefully will see a spike in sales.

Have a great week!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Blonde Duck .. I think Earth Science would suit me too .. I loved Geography ... but now I'd have to add History with a vengeance to the course! Sorry your Dad curtailed your enthusiasm .. but you could do it now?!

@ Teresa .. I think I'd quite like to go back and take some courses .. we'll see - but as I mentioned above I'm sure I'd love Earth Science.

Well sadly the blog attacks are so real - if we give a warning perhaps people will be somewhat more aware .. as we suffer.

@ Stephen - the sky across one wall - would be superb .. Susan Scheid has linked across to the Hudson one - that is a wall of glass images - and it looks beautiful.

Does the moon not pivot too? Do we always see the same side .. I'll have to remember to ask someone brighter than me! I'm sure it's not different though ...

Sorry about chucking in NaNo - but you have a lot on your plate and much better to finish those projects and books off properly .. Good luck with the promo and sales .. excellent idea - signing your books ..

Thanks Blonde Duck, Teresa and Stephen .. looks like we're an Earth Science crowd ... Hilary

Chase March said...

Hi Hilary,

Thanks for cheering on all the NaNoWriMo participants.

As of right now, I am only 5,000 words away from reaching the 50,000 word finish line.

Thanks for the bit of distraction today. Cheers!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Thanks for the warning about the hackers. (Vile creatures!) Great pictures of the moon and the sky time-lapse shots. Pretty nifty.

As training for our support role with the National Weather Service, many amateur radio operators take NWS SkyWarn classes. Think of hours spent watching (and studying) slide after slide of cloud formations. Something tells me you would really enjoy those classes.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Stephen .. of course the moon goes round and we always see the same - hence Pink Floyds "Dark Side of the Moon" ... having a grey moment!

@ Chase - good luck almost there - well done for being only 5,000 away .. pleasure to cheer all NaNoWriMo participants ...

@ Susan - they are vile creatures .. Glad you enjoyed the pics and sky time-lapse shot ..

I would imagine it's a very interesting subject to become more appreciative of the sky and its hidden depths. Thinking of the peoples of long ago - who could recognise the weather to come so easily - we're losing more and more of those skills. I think I would enjoy taking the classes -fascinating ..

Thanks Chase and Susan .. lovely to see you here .. cheers Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

Thanks for the warning, Hilary.

Oh that snow. I landed in your first big downfall last year. It was a scary, bleak flight. A shock to my system after 5yrs of heat. I remember it snowed 20th Nov 1983 as I went into labour in the midst of a deep fall. Brrr,not a fan of the white stuff when outdoors.


Quite fascinated with the read Hilary. Really enjoyed the post.


Southpaw said...

The mosaic is gorgeous. So is the real snowflake!

I decorated for the holidays but with a simple graphic change. I hope people heed Chuck's and now your warning.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Thanks for the warning. I had no idea that could happen.

I loved the volcano photo...very cool. Thanks for sharing, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Glynis .. the warning is worth giving I think - as extras on peoples' sites can cause awful headaches for those with slow and older machines.

Were you here last year - the problem was it didn't go away did it .. and I get that snow was a shock to your system. I was in SA when you had the 1983 fall - on 20th Nov .. that was early.

White stuff is ok and very pretty .. but does disrupt things doesn't it ...

@ Yvonne .. glad you enjoyed the read

@ Holly .. thanks - the sky mosaic is beautiful isn't it .. but the real unique snowflake is superb - nature at its best.

@ Sharon .. just thought the warning was a good thought - those of us with not the most brilliant techie minds can fall into traps so easily.

Glad you liked the volcano .. I thought that was brilliant ..

Lovely to see you all - Glynis, Yvonne, Holly and Sharon - cheers Hilary

MTeacress said...

Cool pics. :)

Chuck is 100% correct about those animated blog things...I've met many a nifty blogger, but stopped visiting their site due to such problems associated with those add-ons.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Michelle ... thanks &

Glad you endorse my warning about "those animated blog things" ...

The simpler the better usually .. Cheers Hilary

Unknown said...

Blogs that are slow to load because of all the animation drive me nuts. I want to read the content not see flashing Santas dashing across the screen. So sad that warnings about hackers have to be issued though. I wish they'd get a life.

Fabulous pictures.

I do love the white stuff but even I got a bit fed up with it all last year. There's no pleasing some folk. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shirley .. I agree - I just switch off and don't subscribe. I too wish all spammers would get a life - what do they achieve out of it .. nothing!

Glad you enjoyed the pictures ..

Like you the white stuff is stunning - but so much, is so much isn't it - and last year (after 2009)it was just totally frustrating .. enough is enough ..

No - never is anyway of pleasing all folks!! Good to see you .. cheers Hilary

walk2write said...

Fascinating images! Thanks, Ms. Hilary, for giving us a heads-up on the pitfalls of animation.

Let's hope the snow makes a delightfully brief appearance for you this year. Cold weather has moved into our part of Florida, and this walker is not happy about it. Guess I'll just have to grin and bundle up.

Vicki Rocho said...

Love the sky images -- what a cool idea. I'd never have the patience to pull that together.

I limit the images on my blog partly to optimize loading and partly because of copyrights. Now I have to add hackers to the list. ugh.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ W2W - thanks .. the animation .. people get excited about the Christmas animations and want to put them up - without realising the potential pitfalls to themselves, let alone others .. so I thought it worth a note of caution.

I hope it's only a brief appearance this year - we had enough white stuff last year! But Friday the cold starts to come down from the Arctic ... it seems so strange that the cold has moved into Florida .. just don't think of Florida being cold. Yup that's all we can do - Enjoy your walks though ...

@ Vicki - great to see you here, thanks for visiting. The sky images and videos are quite extraordinary .. glad you enjoyed them - me too, I wouldn't have the patience.

At least you're aware of what does inhibit the loading of our blogs, or shut down of them ...

Thanks W2W and Vicki - have good weeks .. Hilary

amy@ Souldipper said...

Guess there are people who cannot stand others having a little sad. However, my eyes really don't like anything moving on the page while I read.

Isn't that a colourful moon. Really shows off the craters and mounds.

May we all have a very manageable winter, Hilary.

The Blonde Duck said...

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Amy .. good to see you - you're so right the people who just want to make others' life difficult are just very sad beings.

I too am not too keen on flash .. on blogs, websites etc ..

At least the moon is cheerful - and I hope we all have a 'normal' expected Christmas .. none of these unexpected snowfalls during winter.

@ Blonde Duck .. good to see you-

Cheers to you both - Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Has it really been a year since that snow storm? Hard to believe! I'm flying home to Canada on the 15th and crossing my fingers that the snow hold off!

The moon looks gorgeous...

jabblog said...

We live in a beautiful world and whether we look at the vastness of the heavens or a microscopic seed the wonders are there to behold.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talli .. yes one whole year! I hope too that the snow stays away .. but enjoy that visit home - wonderful to have a break and just enjoy family and friends ...

The moon has wonderful colours at times without its enhancements - but the colours are stunning ..

@ Janice - we do live in the most amazing world .. and see what appears into our horizons - we are all very blessed: exactly as you say ..

Thanks Talli and Janice .. cheers for now - Hilary

Inger said...

Your posts are so interesting. This time I enjoyed seeing the map of the moon, but even more the History of the Sky link. I have to visit. Good he picked a place where there's some action in the sky. Southern California skies would have been just blue and boring for most of the year.

Julie Flanders said...

Oh, I love the moon photo, and the sky mosaic is amazing. I never used to pay any attention to astronomy as the science is way over my head, but lately I've become so fascinated by stargazing and moon photos, etc. I suppose it's just interesting to look up in the sky and wonder about what else is there.

Thanks for the warning about holiday decorations, I hadn't thought about hackers but that is a real shame that it's an issue.

Great post!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger .. at least you're in the right place as the History of Sky is in San Fran - it'll be interesting to hear about it when you do get to visit. Glad you enjoyed the info ..

@ Julie .. those two are amazing aren't they - the volcano is my favourite though ..

Yes - looking up at that sky or being able to see the pictures we get of various places on earth ... that we're so lucky to be able to see now - open up wonderful dreamy 'what if' thoughts.

Thanks Inger and Julie - lovely having you here .. cheers Hilary

Lenny Lee said...

hi miss hilary! yikes! i didnt know blog decorating could be a big problem. for sure im gonna be real careful. i love that picture of the moon and that volcano is soooo cool. for sure i love the cloud stuff cause im a big cloud watcher and love seeing shapes in them. cool post!
...hugs from lenny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Master Lenny .. it is just so lovely seeing your smiling sun watching me! Blog decorating is a nuisance .. especially for us silver surfers, who are unsure of our way round and click wrong buttons without checking! Silly us!!

Aren't the photos great .. and like you .. just lying watching those puffy clouds float across is magical ..

Wonderful to see you and glad you enjoyed this post .. hugs back old pal - Hilary