Archive for Technology

Caught on Google’s Aerial Image


I was casually looking at the Google™ satellite map of our neighborhood (actually an aerial photo mosaic, not taken from a satellite) when I noticed a couple of objects on our neighbor’s driveway. I zoomed in to have a closer look and the conclusion I came to was that the objects in question are us walking our dogs!

Our morning routine after breakfast: we feed and then walk the dogs. We generally walk them up the road to the west toward our neighbor’s house up the hill from us. In the image, the dark colored part of the road running to the left side is where we are. You can see our light colored cowboy hats, our shadows and the dogs and their shadows. Damsel is further up the road than I am by about 30 yards. The image below will clarify where we are in the top image.


I think it’s a funny coincidence that we happened to be out where we were when the aerial photo plane flew over. I estimate the time frame for the image is last summer. My clues are that the RV is not in the usual place as it was being serviced down in Avondale last year and the shadows are shorter on the north side indicating summertime.

Comments off

Hurricane Chris


This is an animated GIF from the GOES East Atlantic Coast region satellite imagery view. When this animation was taken, Hurricane Chris was putting on a show as it drifts slowly northeastward. There doesn’t appear to be any hurricane threat to the Atlantic Coast at this time.

I posted about the utility of the GOES East images on the Minstrel site earlier. Obviously, the satellite images can be used for news and entertainment as well.

Comments off

Alex Turns Three

Alex and his new cameraAlex, our eldest great grandchild (we have two total with another expected in November), was celebrating his third birthday today. Last May, when we were visiting the grandkids in Northern California, I let little Alex “borrow” my little pocket sized Canon A710IS. At 2½ years old, he managed to take a few good photos among the messed-up ones you might expect from a kid that age.

So, for his birthday today, we sent him a Kid Zoom Camera designed for kids 3 to 8 years old. The photo above shows him with his new camera just after opening it.

We will likely return to Northern California later this year to celebrate the arrival of Alex’s little brother. We shall see what progress Alex has made with being an expert photobug at that time.

Photo via FecesBook™ posted by my eldest granddaughter. Click on the image to enlarge.

Comments off

Happy PI Day

pi1.gifThe date 3/14 has lately become known as “PI Day.” For those of us that have worked in science and engineering disciplines, the constant relating to the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is ubiquitous and indispensable in a variety of applications.

The little animation above is a clever method of showing how the ratio π works. I found the graphic in the Wikipedia page on PI. Here’s some more interesting things about it:

Because its definition relates to the circle, π is found in many formulae in trigonometry and geometry, especially those concerning circles, ellipses, and spheres. Because of its special role as an eigenvalue, π appears in areas of mathematics and the sciences having little to do with the geometry of circles, such as number theory and statistics. It is also found in cosmology, thermodynamics, mechanics, and electromagnetism. The ubiquity of π makes it one of the most widely known mathematical constants both inside and outside the scientific community; several books devoted to it have been published, the number is celebrated on Pi Day, and record-setting calculations of the digits of π often result in news headlines. Attempts to memorize the value of π with increasing precision have led to records of over 70,000 digits.

Happy PI Day.

Comments off

Orville and Wilbur Day 2016

First Flight

Today marks the 113th anniversary of the famous Wright Brothers flights at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. Their first flights, however primitive, opened the door to aviation technology that has flourished since then.

From Wikipedia:

The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904–05 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

Comments (2)

NWS Weather Radar Limitation

Blank AreaThis is a screenshot segment of the National Radar Mosaic showing the remnant of Hurricane Newton over Arizona and New Mexico. I thought it strange that there should be a blank, almost rectangular feature in the radar echoes until I realized what it was. A quick look at the surrounding radar installations revealed that the blank spot, which is located almost entirely within the southwest corner of Catron County, New Mexico, is beyond the range of the four adjacent radar installations from which the composite is made. That area is unseen by the radars at Tuscon, El Paso, Albuquerque and Flagstaff.

The population of the entire County affected is a little over 3600 total, so there aren’t that many people affected by the lack of radar coverage, although Reserve, NM, the county seat appears to be in the blank area. I just thought the blank spot was amusing enough to post about it here.

Comments off

CB&D Website Changes Underway

Smartphone on WeblogNow that I have upgraded to a smartphone, it has become obvious to me that our websites are definitely not handheld mobile friendly. Shortcomings we have noted include small text size and flaky mobile application plug-in support for our various Flash® animations.

I have already taken the first step toward compatibility by replacing our animated banner with a static image. Next steps will be (as we get to it) replacing the little animated doodads with static images, or removing those that do not have a static equivalent, including the Never Forget animated tribute.

It troubles me to do away with this animation which has been a memorial to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on this site for over ten years, but the traffic count on the hit indicator at the right under the animation has been diminishing steadily. When the hit counter passed sixty million in February of 2010, the hits per hour were nearly 1300; when the counter passed ninety million, the hits per hour had diminished to 529. The current hits per hour is under 200, so it is time to phase the tribute out.

Image: How this site looks on my new Samsung Galaxy mobile

I will clean up the incompatible items on all of our sites over a period of time (read when I get around to it) and begin looking at ways to detect device type and to issue a compatible format. This latter effort may take a while since I use a very old version of Wordpress and I will have to customize things in the old code rather than upgrading to a new version incompatible with the current database structure.

It might just be too much work to convert the whole site, so I might incorporate a mobile only splash page that directs the mobile user to switch to a larger tablet or a full-size computer screen. I have only begun to research the changeover, so stay tuned.

Comments off

« Previous entries