A mess o' dorks...

music, wtf?, berkeley, photos

a dorky model holding a slew of faberge eggs on the cover of a classical music album So Michelle was gifted a bunch of records a while back from a previous coworker. And there's some really dorky album covers in the mix (See "Vinyl Motherload" from NQB v0.1).

There are levels of dorkiness, even. From just dorky enough to catch your attention, to enough to drive you hysterical. On the attractively dorky end, there are albums like this classical record entitled Pops Caviar (Arthur Fiedler leads the Boston Pops Orchestra) which seems to depict a model with a fluffy russian hat and an armful of faberge eggs. Wait, it gets better...

an image of a dorky british 80s guy Mick Ronson playing guitar on the cover of his album play dont worry Of course, it is difficult to imagine dorkiness much dorkier than this. This is some British chap named Mick Ronson ... and he seems to think that playing guitar will cure your ailments. What the hell is he wearing? It looks home-made. His necklace seems to be a strip of leather tied to a bathroom fixture and he's got more strips of leather wrapped around (only) his right arm. The fact that he doesn't seem to be wearing pants leads us to believe that he's wearing a leotard (slightly disturbing). Wow ... super dorky. You would think that it's hard to get much dorkier than this... and you'd be wrong.

a picture of a Berkeley student in a Windows XP hat This is some Berkeley student waiting in line, like myself, for his AC Transit Class Pass (which allows Berkeley students to ride the bus in the Easy Bay for free). Yes, he is wearing a hat advertising Microsoft Windows XP. I didn't have the interest to actually ask him why he chose to advertise for the one company that is the least in need of such exposure. Even if Berkeley is the best public school in the U.S. and the second best University in the world, we're not immune to the occasional dork.

Happy slappers

wtf?, photos

UPDATE [2005-04-28 15:19:29]: All of you coming from Google will want to go here.

This is a disturbing new trend in the use of digital media... voyeuristic violence towards strangers recorded on camera and video phones.

Alert on "happy slappers"

A VIOLENT craze in which thugs slap strangers across the face and record it on video phone is sweeping Britain.

The so-called "happy slappers" attack while an accomplice captures it to post on the internet or send to another mobile. [...]

The weird part is that the ends of the activity - the picture or video - would serve as evidence of assault and battery.

UPDATE [2005-04-26 12:09:38]: I'm getting a lot of hits to this page from Google... sorry to disappoint, I don't really know anything more about this phenomenon than this. If you do know more, please leave a comment below.

Methane rain "on the rocks"...

space, astrophysics, research

Too cool. We have weather, houston (from "Titan's Streams Like Earth's"):

Many of the same processes that helped shape the Earth are in effect today on Saturn's smoggy moon Titan, a team of international scientists revealed on Friday. [See: "Seeing, touching and smelling the extraordinarily Earth-like world of Titan" and "Islands, rivers and methane springs - latest images of Titan".]

Relying on data gathered directly from the atmosphere and surface of Titan last week by the European Space Agency's Huygens space probe, the scientists said they were able to conclude that a regular pattern of precipitation and erosion is carving out streambeds and leaving behind a layer of "dirt" on the giant moon.

"There is liquid that is flowing on the surface of Titan," said planetary scientist Toby Owen,of the Institute for Astronomy, during an ESA-sponsored press conference. "It's not water -- it's too cold -- but liquid methane. And it flows in the same way it does on Earth."

Some good news...

system, elections, certification/testing, reform, standards, family, research, policy

Sorry for the light posting as of late... School has started and things are busy. Two new items of news:

Huygens coverage stinks... where the real data is.

open source, secrecy, space, astrophysics, photos

So, I've been really really disappointed in the NASA/ESA coverage of the descent of the Huygens probe. We got a few badly processed images and very little text or non-imaging data.

This is likely a sciency version of propriety... that is, they don't want you to have a stream of raw data so that they can publish a packed issue of Science or Nature. However, there is no competition with the data (that is, no one else has the same data and is rushing to analyze it). So what gives? Is there no funding for outreach and education? Why is there no Huygens data blog where researchers give you bits of insight into what they're doing to analyze the mounds of data they have?

Well, good thing that the data is, by default public domain. Amateurs have been processing the data, "Enthusiast compositions of the Huygens images", and stitching together the raw images into their own panoramas that are far, far better than anything released by NASA or ESA yet. Check these puppies out:

colored image of Huygens landing site on Titan

black and white image taken from above of Titan during descent

UPDATE: Mr. Liekens is upset that some people are inline linking to his images so he's begun to move his images around. I'll disable the links to the larger images since they no longer point anywhere.

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