… and a little bonus
9 May 2013
… and a little bonus
18 Apr 2013
Legend has it that Queen Matilda, the wife of William the Conqueror, commissioned a 230-foot-long tapestry which is a pictorial narrative of the events leading to the Norman conquest of England, culminating in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Known as the Bayeux Tapestry, it depicts fifty scenes with captions in Latin, called tituli, embroidered on linen. It was likely commissioned and made in England in the 1070s.
This scene, for example, depicts the death of Harold, King of England, grasping an arrow lodged in his eye with the caption, “Harold Rex interfectus est (King Harold is killed).”
Then I find this piece of nerdy awesomeness inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry. Jibasse on deviantART came up with a scene depicting the iconic climax of The Empire Strikes Back.
Pretty neat! Here is my explanatorily slavish translation of the tituli.
hic. Darcus Vadorus. – This is Darth Vader
luxgladium tenet. – He has a lightsaber (light-up sword)
non. ego sum pater tuus. – No. I am your father.
hic. lucius caeliambulus. - Here is Lucius Skywalker (Luke in Latin is Lucas. See the Vulgate Bible: e.g. Mattheus, Marcus, Lucas, Ioannes).
imo. non est verus. - No (immo is a contradictory particle used at the beginning of a sentence that can be translated as “on the contrary” or used to go beyond what was just said). It’s not true.
Until next time, sit Vis vobiscum!
27 Feb 2013
I’m not a success, I’m a sensation.
Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn, Jr.
July 12, 1934 – February 27, 2013
18 Feb 2013
It’s fascinating when something one creates becomes so popular and saturated in the minds of, well everybody, that it becomes a verb. We all know what is meant by the verbs to xerox or to google or to photoshop. That last one is especially interesting because even people who have never used Adobe Photoshop in their lives understand what is meant by photoshopping. And, as far as lexicographers and common everyday speakers of the English language are concerned, one doesn’t even have to use the actual Adobe Photoshop software product to photoshop. Any photo editing software will suffice.
This verb has even made its way into the dictionary (Merriam-Webster online dictionary, 2012):
pho·to·shop, transitive verb, often capitalized \ˈfō-(ˌ)tō-ˌshäp\
to alter (a digital image) with Photoshop software or other image-editing software especially in a way that distorts reality (as for deliberately deceptive purposes)
This all goes back to the late 1980′s to a University of Michigan graduate student Thomas Knoll, who wrote a program for the Macintosh to display grayscale images on monochrome displays. Working with his brother John, Thomas eventually developed a full-fledged image editing program called ImagePro. Thomas eventually named is program Photoshop, and with that a new word was born.
After demoing his program to Apple and Adobe, Adobe decided to purchase the licence to distribute Photoshop and in 1990 Photoshop 1.0.1 was released and the rest is history.
History, indeed, as the great Computer History Museum (if you have never been, you must go), has just released all 128,000 lines of code for Photoshop 1.0.1, all coded by Knoll himself. If you are into such things, check it out.
17 Jan 2013
Narrow-angle false color composite taken on 2006-03-22 using infrared (IR3), green and ultraviolet (UV3) filters. Because the far infrared filter was used, at wavelengths in which Saturn is less bright than in the green filter, the saturnlit portion of Enceladus looks greenish here.
The rings present their unlit side with the F ring showing a brilliant white color while the main rings are darker and more brownish. A hint of the G ring can be seen beyond the F ring.
14 Jan 2013
As some of you know I’ve been studying Mandarin. I came across this funny video for “lazy American” to learn tones. Even if you’re not interested in Mandarin, it’s still worth checking out.
13 Jan 2013
Well, needless to say, the White House has nixed the idea. Paul Shawcross, the White House’s Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the Office of Management and Budget, responded in a cleverly entitled post, “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For.”
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
Shawcross goes on to highlight humankind’s recent achievements in space.
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
4 Dec 2012
As of this writing there is a petition at the White House’s website with 2,582 signatures, petitioning the Obama Administration to build a Death Star by 2016.
By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.
Although we know this isn’t going to happen, it’s fun to think about. I wrote a post a few months ago about about this. Economists at Lehigh University figured it would take one quadrillion tonnes of steel and it is unlikely we could even extract that much steel from the earth’s crust. The estimated cost would be about $852 quadrillion, which is 13,000 times the world’s GDP.
Good luck with that.
4 Dec 2012
30 Nov 2012
The ever elucidative Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles the question, “Does the Universe Have a Purpose?”