Posts

  • Tracing the 2017 Solar Eclipse [Link]

    When depicting an eclipse path, data visualizers have usually chosen to represent the moon’s shadow as an oval. By bringing in a variety of NASA data sets, visualizer Ernie Wright has created a new and more accurate representation of the eclipse. For the first time, we are able to see that the moon’s shadow is better represented as a polygon. This more complicated shape is based NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s view of the mountains and valleys that form the moon’s jagged edge. By combining moon’s terrain, heights of land forms on Earth, and the angle of the sun, Wright is able to show the eclipse path with the greatest accuracy to date.

  • The Death of Vera Rubin [Link]

    Vera Rubin, an amazing Astrophysicist who's research changed everything about galaxy formation and cosmology, died this week. If you study something larger than a collection of a few stars (like me), your research is impacted daily by her discoveries.

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  • Reaction of Restoration

    Last night my view of the world changed. I thought our nation was on the precipice of saying no to xenophobia and degrading “locker room talk.” I thought we would come together and support those who feel marginalized by main stream society. I felt like our nation would truly, unitedly, take care of the widows, orphans, and the aliens living among us.

    My faith is one built on a relationship with a God who died for me and loved me when I was his enemy. From this love, I am drawn to the commands of compassion for the poor and social outcasts. I thought I lived in a nation where these were also priorities. I have been proven wrong. But that does not change my resolve. I will continue to care for and protect those society tries to throw out. I will listen and empathize with all who feel unheard. . . .

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  • Therapy Dogs and Rabies Treatments

    With a therapy dog at a hospital you quickly notice the patients that are there for rabies treatments. After recently being attached by an unknown animal, they don’t like the surprise of a dog in the hospital.

    There are a few that are different. Recently one told the staff that they were looking forward to my visit. They petted Chance and had a nice visit. They had brought company with them, and they too enjoyed Chance. Then the nurses handed out some dog treat, as usual, and right on cue, Chance’s “lab-ervore” took over. I always expect it and I am always in control of him, but he starts darting around trying to find all the treats. He wound up getting a bit too close to this patient and I’m sure it triggered some flash backs.

    After a few moments, and a lot of comforting, everything was OK. They even . . .

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  • With dogs, there is no need to speak

    Having visited a hospital for around two years, Chance has met a number of patients who can’t speak for one reason or another. Chance does not miss a beat. He will say hello to anyone whether they say it back or not. There was one patient who loved dogs, but had a tube down their throat.

    They were excited when we came in and sat up to looked at him. This was not a wise move for them. So they could lay down, I picked Chance up and put him in bed with them. They were so happy, you could see them smile. You could also see them trying to mouth the words “Good Boy.” I told them that Chance just loves pets and did not need anything more. I saw the relief when they realized they did not need to speak.

    Recently we had a very sad visit; grief . . .

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  • csv2deluxetable

    I have written and released my first utility! It takes a csv file and converts it to a deluxetable used by AAS.

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  • 3n+1

    This was the math problem that got me interested in problem solving as a career. Even though I choose a career in Astrophysics rather than Mathematics, this problem still holds a place in my heart.

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