Saturday, December 31, 2005

A winter wonderland

It's not often that we get such a peaceful beautiful snow during the hard winter months of December, January, and February. But we've been blessed with warmer than normal temperatures, and the snow fell with virtually no wind, here's the result (click to enlarge).

What we woke up to this morning..
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And how it looked tonight...
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Friday, December 30, 2005

Bird's eye view

Some notable astronaut quotes about earth from space:

"It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."
Neil Armstrong

"The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day we were aware of only one Earth."
Sultan Bin Salman al-Saud

"Now I know why I’m here, not for a closer look at the moon, but to look back at our home, the Earth."
Al Warden

"During the eight days I spent in space, I realized that mankind needs height. Primarily to better know our long suffering Earth — to see what cannot be seen close up. Not just to love her dearly, but also to ensure that we do not bring the slightest harm to the natural world."
Fan Twan

"We were flying over America and suddenly I saw snow, the first snow we ever saw from orbit. I have never visited America, but I imagined that the arrival of autumn and winter is the same there as in other places, and the process of getting ready for them is the same. And then it struck me that we are all children of our Earth."
Aleksandr Aleksandrov

"When I circled the moon and looked back at the Earth, my outlook on life and viewpoint of the Earth changed. You don't see Los Angels, or Boston, or even New York. You don't see boundaries or people, no Whites or Blacks, Christians, Jews or Muslims. The Earth looks completely uninhabited and yet you know that on Spaceship Earth there lives over six billion astronauts - all seeking the same things from life. We are all the crew of Spaceship Earth. Just like Apollo, the crew must work and learn together and manage the resources of this world with new imagination. The future is up to you."
Jim Lovell

since there is no chance of getting everyone of earth's 6 billion inhabitants into outer space to see that deeper/higher level truth, all we need now is a Martian attack. You know what I'm talking about, all these Hollywood movies when earth is on the brink of oblivion on the hands of some invading alien force, how peoples of the world unite to fend off the danger threatening their mother planet.

Best wishes for a happy and peaceful new year for all the people of the world.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Columns of light


The picture above is not of a laser show nor is it of spotlights pointed to the sky, it's one of a northland oddity. When the right conditions are present; a cold night, calm winds, ice crystals in the atmosphere cause every light source to shoot out a vertical beam into the sky.

Taken at 7:33PM CST/0133 GMT, Temp: 6.8 °F/-14.0 °C, Humidity: 79%, Wind: 8.1 mph/13.0 km/h

Friday, December 16, 2005

Al-Jazeera and Yaser Za'atreh are at it again

A friend of mine has alerted me to an analysis on Al Jazeera written by the same author who wrote about Al Qaeda's blunders in the Amman explosions, I pointed to the article in my post about Zarqawi's message after the explosions.

Mr. Za'atreh comes back with an analysis about the recent Fateh elections this time. The peculiar thing about both of these analyses, and the reason for this post is the signature of Za'atreh at the end of both articles, in the analysis about Zarqawi and the Amman explosions he's a Jordanian writer. In the analysis about the Fateh elections, he's a Palestinian writer.

Excluding the remote possibility that Al Jazeera has two Yaser Za'atrehs working for them, one Jordanian and one Palestinian, leads me to believe that the nationality of Mr. Za'atreh is chosen based on the story, and the affiliation that gives the story more credence is used. Quite shameful. My curiosity got the best of me and I did a search for Za'atreh on Al Jazeera's website, I checked the signature at the end of his articles, turns out he's only a Jordanian writer when he talks about Jordan or Zarqawi, all other articles about other issues, including Iraq, he's a Palestinian writer.

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