Earthrise

I had no idea that one of the most iconic images of the 20th Century was seen and captured on film by accident. Check out this link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/dE-vOscpiNc

Borman’s quote about what he saw is famous. But when I see that image of the Earth coming over the dead lunar horizon, I always think of a passage from a favorite sci fi novel: “A sapphire. Yes, another stone; but this one is a precious jewel, because it holds beings who are aware.”

Thanx to my buddy John Williams for bringing the video to my attention!

That’s One Way to Move In!

There’s a new apartment building going up on Walnut Street in San Carlos, just north of San Carlos Avenue. That in and of itself isn’t unusual…but the way it’s being built is, at least for San Carlos.

That’s because it’s being assembled out of modules that are built off-site and trucked to the construction site. I’ve been told this may very well be the wave of the future, because it allows for economies of scale that are hard to achieve otherwise. Particularly since most multi-family dwellings aren’t built out of uniquely different units; they tend to draw from a set of plans, perhaps unique to a site, that reoccur within the overall building design.

Here’s a video of one of the units being installed (click to enlarge):

Apartment Module from Mark Olbert on Vimeo.

Early in the video, if you look carefully behind the crane’s boom you’ll see one of the engineers giving hand signals to the crane operator, to move the module into position. Towards the end, if you look at the right side of the video, you’ll see a contractor tightening bolts to warp the module into its final position (warp being an ancient nautical term not having anything to do with antimatter, dilithium crystals or Zefram Cochrane :)).
 

There’s Usually an Easier Way

There was a UK TV crime show back in the early 90s that I used to watch. It only lasted one season (1994), and, while it was enjoyable, the theme song was what stuck with me. In fact, I made an audio recording of the theme — manually, as this was l-o-n-g before consumer audio recording and editing software! — which has been part of my music collection ever since. It’s part of my “gym collection”, on my iPod Shuffle.

Yesterday I decided to see if I could find a digital version of the piece. I had, however, long forgotten the name of the show.

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Cruising at 5 Miles per Second

This past Sunday morning I got up a little before 6 AM to see the International Space Station cruise over San Carlos. It was one of the better displays, going from the western horizon to the eastern horizon, and passing very close to straight overhead. So it was visible for almost 10 minutes, outshining everything in the pre-dawn sky.

I waved at them, too. But I doubt they noticed me :).

It being Sunday I then went back to bed, waking up for good around 8:30 AM.

By which point the ISS was just about completing it’s second lap around the Earth since I’d watched them pass out of view.

Now that’s fast!

Now This Is Way Cool!

I’m sure many others have already had this experience, but it’s a new one for me. WiFi and internet access while cruising over Northern California at 34,000 feet doing 500+ knots!

Sure, the connection gets a little slow at times. But the amazing thing about the singing horse isn’t how poorly he sings, but rather that he sings at all :).