Keep an eye on the Madeira Islands. They’re aiming to set a new world record for the world’s largest fireworks display. They took the prize with their 2006/2007 New Year’s display and this year are attempting to re-break their own record. It should be a party!
Update: If you missed seeing it live, here’s the show from YouTube.
Families crowded around black-and-white television sets in 1969 to watch Neil Armstrong take man’s first steps on the moon.
Now, they’ll be able to watch the Apollo 11 mission recreated in real time on the Web, follow Twitter feeds of transmissions between Mission Control and the spacecraft, and even get an e-mail alert when the lunar module touches down. Those features are part of a new Web site from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum commemorating the moon mission and Kennedy’s push to land Americans there first.a href=”http://news.bostonherald.com/entertainment/arts_culture/view/20090712web_site_recreates_apollo_11_mission_in_real_time/srvc=home&position=recent”> (Boston Herald)
This virtual space launch is scheduled for Thursday morning at 9:32am Eastern time. The site will go “live” at 8:02am, 90 minutes before launch time. In the mean time, the virtual rocket sits on its virtual launch pad and offers photo galleries as well as listen to a pretty realistic soundtrack of birds, helicopters and pre-launch chatter.
Spend a little time while you wait listening to one of John F. Kennedy’s speeches that has gone down in history as one of the most stirring ever offered.
For CNN junkies, you’ll be pleased to know that Miles O’Brien has another gig. For the rest of you, this is probably the closest you’ll get to a shuttle launch without coming to Florida. For myself, I think I’ll be at the beach. There’s nothing quite like an almost-night launch. As the shuttle rockets off into space, the contrail rises up past the grey line and goes from a darkly clouded column of steam at its base to beautifully lit with sunset colors. I wish I had a good camera so I could try to get a picture to share of Endeavour blasting off tonight, but pictures really don’t do the sight justice.
As money gets tighter and people get more worried, we’re all looking for ways to become more self-sufficient. Here’s a great website offering some supplies that will allow you to do just that. Now, fermentation is not just about wine and beer (though that’s cool in and of itself). It’s also about pickling and canning, too. And all of these are ways to stretch a dollar, if you have a little room to plant a garden.
Ok, I’ll admit it. All of this is just a way to lead into linking to a really cool show that kind of flew under the radar here in the states. It’s a bit dated, but still damned funny.
While you’re waiting for the space shuttle to launch, be sure to check out NASA’s new streaming video from the ISS. When they don’t actually have video streaming, it shows the flyover path so you can get an idea if you’ll be able to see it pass overhead. If you can’t watch the video, for whatever reason, you can still listen to the mission audio.
As promised, here’s another pretty cool webcam that I’ve followed over the years. It’s a live video feed of a stork nest in Vetschau, Germany. It’s a little early yet, to feature this cam, as the birds have not arrived back in Europe from their winter grounds in Africa.
Once the birds arrive, this cam will allow you to watch their mating rituals, hear their bill clattering (which is really the only vocalization these birds make and is quite unusual) and perhaps watch the chicks hatch. Over the summer, the chicks will grow and eventually leave the nest for their annual migration. Once they reach sexual maturity, they will migrate back from Africa to start their own families and will continue to pilgrimage annually throughout their lives.
I have not yet managed to catch a hatching, but I have seen first flights and fall leave-takings. I’ll be watching again this spring in the hopes of catching the elusive hatching experience.
Webcams are about as numerous on the interwebs as porn sites these days. And generally, if you watch them, you see a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes you might catch some puppies playing, but frequently all you’ll get is video of them taking a nap. Not exactly riveting stuff.
But now and then you get lucky. Anyone watching the webcams at Mt. Asama the other night got quite a show.
And because there are a couple of pretty darn cool webcams out there, I’ll treat you to another one tomorrow.
Back to science again….sort of. Maybe it’s art. I’m not entirely sure if the visuals in this are actual scientific experiments (some of them, anyway) that demonstrate solar flares and coronas and whatnot, or if it’s all animation based off how these things look. I know that the soundtrack of buzzing and popping is actually a recording of space noise, not something we’d normally hear. But still, it’s pretty nifty.
I will rarely bring politics to this blog, because generally speaking, that’s not what I want this blog to be about. But the fact that we’re inaugurating our first African American President today is pretty damn cool. So is the hub on CSPAN. I’ll be tuned in most of the morning from work to see history happen. Whether he was your candidate or not, I hope you’ll tune in with me.