Brand New Chumby – flashback to December 2007

Chumby, the One Laptop Per Child XO laptop, and Delia the Maine Coon cat.

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Curiosity Spotted on Parachute by Orbiter

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From NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory:

NASA’s Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from the rover. Curiosity and its parachute are in the center of the white box; the inset image is a cutout of the rover stretched to avoid saturation. The rover is descending toward the etched plains just north of the sand dunes that fringe “Mt. Sharp.” From the perspective of the orbiter, the parachute and Curiosity are flying at an angle relative to the surface, so the landing site does not appear directly below the rover.

The parachute appears fully inflated and performing perfectly. Details in the parachute, such as the band gap at the edges and the central hole, are clearly seen. The cords connecting the parachute to the back shell cannot be seen, although they were seen in the image of NASA’s Phoenix lander descending, perhaps due to the difference in lighting angles. The bright spot on the back shell containing Curiosity might be a specular reflection off of a shiny area. Curiosity was released from the back shell sometime after this image was acquired.

This view is one product from an observation made by HiRISE targeted to the expected location of Curiosity about one minute prior to landing. It was captured in HiRISE CCD RED1, near the eastern edge of the swath width (there is a RED0 at the very edge). This means that the rover was a bit further east or downrange than predicted.

The image scale is 13.2 inches (33.6 centimeters) per pixel.

HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter’s HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona, Original Image

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Some Great Images

These are great images but this post is actually a test of the image gallery on this page. (Combination of NextGEN Gallery and FancyBox for WordPress.)

  1. Image thumbnails shown in the correct order
  2. Thumbnails correctly sized, not full sized scaled down
  3. Images show full size, or if the browser window is too small, scale to the screen
  4. Navigate from image to image using the arrow keys
  5. Press the Escape key to close the image.
  6. Number of thumbnails per row responsive to browser window width
  7. Image captions correct (from EXIF metadata)

[nggallery id=6]

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Public Input Needed for Coastal Erosion Plan

Public Meetings in San Francisco on July 12th and Pacifica on July 19th

The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup invite the public to attend a meeting, on July 12th in San Francisco or on July 19th in Pacifica, to provide input on a Coastal Regional Sediment Management Plan, which is being developed for areas located between Fort Point in San Francisco and Point San Pedro in Pacifica.

The focus of these meetings will be to:

  • Describe erosion issues affecting ocean beaches and coastal infrastructure, such as parking lots, highways, structures, storm drains, and sewage outfalls
  • Present implementation options (proposed solutions, such as beach nourishment, multi-purpose reefs, armor, allowed erosion, and managed retreat) and concepts for a regional plan
  • Solicit public comments on plan concepts

The public has the opportunity to attend one of the following meetings:

Thursday, July 12, 6:00-8:30pm
SPUR 2nd Floor Public Assembly Hall
654 Mission Street, San Francisco
Exhibition opens at 6:00, meeting begins at 6:30


Thursday, July 19, 7:00-9:00pm
City Council Chambers
170 Santa Maria Avenue, Pacifica

Please RSVP to Athena Honore: or 510-622-2325.

See the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) website for more information:

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

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Need to Know

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The Hokey Pokey Shakespeare style!

O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke,
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from Heavens yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke — banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, ’tis what it’s all about.
— by “William Shakespeare”

By Jeff Brechlin

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How It Feels

Some truth, thanks to Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal!

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White Babies Outnumbered

From Matt Bors, White Babies Outnumbered.

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Best of the visualisation web… February 2012 part 1

Visualising Data

via Best of the visualisation web… February 2012 part 1.

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Esplanade Ave from the Air – April 3, 2012

To see all sizes of these images, go to the Flickr set at:

To see all of the pictures I took on our flight from Half Moon Bay airport to the Golden Gate see:

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

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Annular Solar Eclipse – May 21, 2012

Links and Credits:

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Visualization – 2012 State of the Union

These visualizations represent the frequency of the top 75 significant words from tonight’s State of the Union Address, as reported in the Washington Post. The visualization was prepared using the Wordle web service.

See the full text of the speech below.


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