siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Oct. 17th, 2017 11:57 pm)
It was just brought to my attention that per the date traditionally held to be the one on which Luther nailed the 95 Theses to a church door, this Hallowe'en is the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Oct. 17th, 2017 03:01 am)

Yellowstone_Nocni_Pano3_Airglow_1500px (1)

Photographer: Petr Horálek 

Summary Author: Petr Horálek 

Just five days after the Great American Total Solar Eclipse, I was witness to another spectacular astronomical phenomenon. While returning from viewing this eclipse I decided to take a photo of the night sky from Yellowstone National Park and specifically from Grand Prismatic Spring. The Milky Way, at far right, was breathtaking, but what really surprised me were the intense bands of airglow that appeared high over the colorful hot springs. Because the sky was so dark, the airglow was actually visible with the naked eye. Note that the spring itself is the azure colored oval in the mid-ground at right center -- it's responsible for the fog layer (steam fog) lying just above it. Panorama taken on August 26, 2017.

Photo Details: Canon 6D IR Baader modified camera; Samyang 24 mm lens; f2.8, ISO 1000, 28 shots, each with a 15 second exposure; camera mounted on tripod. 

 Guatamala_Panorama1 2048 EPOD (2)

Photographer: Cesar Cantu
Summary Author: Cesar Cantu

Featured above are the volcanoes Agua, at left, and Acatenango at right. Behind Acatenango is  Volcán Fuego. In his compendium of the history of Guatemala City, Domingo Juarros states that the population was unable to prosper because of a formidable torrent of water from Agua (the Volcano of Water) on September 11, 1541. "The torrent brought with it great rocks that destroyed part of the buildings and mistreated the rest."

A second city of Guatemala was founded, today called Antigua, but in 1737 during the prelude to eruptions of Fuego (the Volcano of Fire), strong earthquakes caused significant damage, which again forced the relocation of Guatemala City to its current location. Photo taken from hillside in San Cristóbal, just west of Guatemala City, on July 30, 2017.

Photo Details:  Camera Model: Canon EOS 6D; Lens: EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM; Focal Length: 35mm; Aperture: ƒ/10.0; Exposure Time: 0.0025 s (1/400); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows). 
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
([personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev Oct. 15th, 2017 11:24 pm)
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Oct. 15th, 2017 03:01 am)


Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published October 11, 2002.

Provided by: Pam Parker

Summary author: Pam Parker

The gorge of Samaria on the island of Crete, said to be the second longest in Europe after the Gorges du Verdon in southern France, is about 16 km long, starting at an altitude of 1,250 meters and descending to the Mediterranean Sea. The gorge extends from the White Mountains of western Crete to the southern coast. Its narrowest portion, referred to as the iron gate, was an imposing barrier to invading armies. For scale, note the size of the hikers at the bottom of the iron gate.

The gorge was created during the Quaternary Period by a combination of erosional and tectonic processes. Most all of the rock formations in the Samaria Gorge area consist of dolomite. It is now one of the last remaining shelters of the mountain goat of Crete, known as the kri-kri. In addition, it is home to dittany (scientific name Origanum dictamus or Dictamus creticus), a Cretan endemic plant reputed to have therapeutic properties in healing wounds. [Revised September 2017]

Related Links:

In selecting this picture I became completely distracted by trying to figure out what Daphne Ashbrook (the actress who played Grace in the Dr Who TV Movie) is standing in front of. I mean, the TARDIS obv., but what is that thing on top of it? It can't be an actual TARDIS prop (because of the thing, unless there's some Big Finish publicity which involved a thing on top of a Tardis) which makes me think it must be a genuine Police Box. But I'm fairly sure this photo was taken some time in 2004 and I'm also fairly sure there weren't any police boxes still around in 2004 (outside Glasgow, where they don't look like that anyway). So I'm guessing maybe this is a genuine police box that some Who fan managed to get hold of?
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Oct. 14th, 2017 03:01 am)

River Dream (2)

Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: David E. Cartier, Sr 

Summary Authors: David E. Cartier, Sr; Jim Foster

September 2012 Viewer's Choice The photo above featuring a dazzling aurora over Whitehorse, Canada and reflected on the calm waters of the Yukon River was observed the night of September 2/3, 2012. This magnificent chartreuse display was the result of a huge coronal mass ejection (charged particles) released from the Sun's upper atmosphere two days earlier. The aurora pattern was seen to change again and again but the mesmerizing drapes and folds were nearly always aligned with the magnetic field lines of Earth's magnetosphere. With recent episodes of increased solar activity, look for more aurora displays, some visible in the mid-latitudes, during the coming months.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D; Aperture: f/0.0; Exposure Time: 8.000 s; ISO equiv: 800; Software: Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery14.0.8081.709.

xela: Photo of me (Default)
([personal profile] xela Oct. 13th, 2017 01:22 pm)

It's almost a pleasure these days to hear someone in the media says something utterly baffling — and that person isn't the President of the United States. In this case, a reporter for France 24 English, in a YouTube video entitled "Video: Dried-up Aral Sea springs back to life"

Up until the 1950s, it was a sixty-eight thousand kilometer square mile lake.

Yeah, it makes me feel a little guilty to make fun someone presumably not a native speaker for a bit of fractured English. But it's not just the on-air guy: This is the polished product of a news network. With English in their name. I think that makes it fair game for pointing-and-laughing. A cheap shot, yeah. But at fair game...

([syndicated profile] epod_feed Oct. 13th, 2017 03:01 am)

Picket fence aurora over Osoyoos (2)

Photographer: Debra Ceravolo  

Summary Authors: Debra Ceravolo; Jim Foster

Shown above is a picket fence aurora as observed from near Anarchist Mountain in British Columbia, Canada. The camera is facing north. This type of an aurora, recently referred to as "Steve," shows up below the primary auroral band, 10 to 20 degrees equatorward, extending in a relatively narrow arc for hundreds of miles in an east to west direction. Picket fence auroras can be very localized as photos of the same aurora taken the same night but shot from more northerly latitudes, show it in the opposite direction in the sky. They tend to be quite faint, typically requiring exposures of 10 seconds or longer to bring out their green and red/purple colors. Click here to see a video of this aurora. Photo taken on September 15, 2017, at 10:05 p.m.

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 6D; Lens: 20mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art 015; Focal Length: 20mm; Aperture: ƒ/1.4; Exposure Time: 30.000 s; ISO equiv: 800; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 (Windows). 

siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Oct. 12th, 2017 01:23 pm)
I have a domain for which I don't have any sort of privacy protect - it's for my business, so I have my business info attached to it and am happy to have it public (free advertising!).

But when at the commandline I do whois mydomain.tld the record that comes up is very terse, and has no information about me or how to contact me at all:

   Domain Name: [mydomain.tld]
   Registry Domain ID: [REDACTED]
   Registrar WHOIS Server:
   Registrar URL:
   Updated Date: 2015-10-[REDACTED]
   Creation Date: 2011-10-[REDACTED]
   Registry Expiry Date: 2021-10-[REDACTED]
   Registrar: eNom, Inc.
   Registrar IANA ID: 48
   Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
   Registrar Abuse Contact Phone:
   Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Name Server: [REDACTED]
   Name Server: [REDACTED]
   DNSSEC: unsigned
   URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form:

That's what I get from both my mac terminal and the shell at my hosting company.

Adding "--verbose" doesn't change anything.

When I go elsewhere, say to, I get the whole record I expect to see.

What's going on here, does anybody know? Is there some way to convince my local whois to return more full records?
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Oct. 12th, 2017 03:01 am)


Photographer: Thomas McGuire

Summary Author
: Thomas McGuire

The 117 National Monuments in the U.S., include historic locations, unique and unspoiled wilderness areas, and even protected marine regions. The U.S. Antiquities Act gives presidents the ability to establish National Monuments. President Obama established the 1.3 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in 2016. This new Monument is mostly a remote wilderness area of southeastern Utah between the Colorado River and agricultural lands about 50 miles (80 km) to the east.

The photo above shows the Bears Ears, two sandstone-crowned buttes, for which this monument was named. Currently, there's a debate concerning the future of Bears Ears and how this land should be best used; it's a classic clash among environmentalists who want to preserve unique wilderness areas, Native Americans who want to protect their sacred lands and local residents who want recreational access and economic benefits in mining and other local jobs. Unfortunately, this debate is likely to be decided by the court system.

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS REBEL T5; Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II; Focal Length: 55mm; Aperture: ƒ/9.0; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0 Macintosh. 

siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Oct. 12th, 2017 02:52 am)
If you want input into Dreamwidth's API, it's under discussion over on [site community profile] dw_dev for imminent development work.

If you have an interest in that, go check it out immediately, and chime in.
siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Oct. 12th, 2017 12:47 am)
Years ago, I came across a passage that I seem to recall was attributed to Einstein, from a private letter written to a young mathematician, about how the world is filled with more seductive scientific/mathematical problems than a person can tackle in a lifetime, so one has to be careful to chose the right problems to work on.

I cannot find it; it doesn't seem to be in the books that I had thought I'd seen it in. I'd like to find it again. I tried googling "einstein's letter to mathematician" and discovered that he apparently carried on a voluminous correspondence with every living mathematician at the time. Brute force searching isn't going to work.

Does anybody happen to recognize this passage by description?
MonarchandMilkweed_DSCN2717 (1)


Photographer: Rob Sheridan 
Summary Author: Rob Sheridan 

Milkweed species provide critical fuel and shelter in support of the Monarch butterfly’s (Danaus plexippus) miraculous, multigenerational migration to Mexico and back. Adults drink the nectar and lay eggs on the leaves that the larvae consume. But milkweeds face many threats, from habitat loss to invasive parasites. The same milkweed plant pictured in an Earth Science Picture of the Day featured last year, rescued from invasive aphids with a with non-toxic soap insecticide, has grown to maturity and is now playing its critical role in support of Monarch migration.

Pictured is a male Monarch (sex discernible by black spots on lower inner wings) in a meadow near Squantum, Massachusetts, feeding on nectar from the flowers of a common milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca). This male must have barely escaped a bird predator that left a bite mark on its right anterior wing. Also pictured are wasps feeding (and pollinating) on the same milkweed flowers. Life is tough for the dwindling numbers of persistent Monarchs who hazard hunger and predators to complete their incredible life cycle. Cultivating milkweed may help preserve this inspiring and beautiful animal. Photo taken on July 16, 2017.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: NIKON; Camera Model: COOLPIX P900; Focal Length: 143.0mm (35mm equivalent: 800mm); Aperture: ƒ/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 100. 
momijizukamori: Grey tabby cat with paws on keyboard and mouse. The text reads 'code cat is on the job', lolcats-style (CODE CAT)
([personal profile] momijizukamori posting in [site community profile] dw_dev Oct. 10th, 2017 10:29 pm)
So my workplace gives us a chance twice a year to work on anything we want for a few days, work-related or otherwise, and I thought I'd use some of my time to actually get the new API into a state where we can make it live. With that in mind! What endpoints would you like to see implemented? We're making this Swagger/OpenAPI-compliant, so everything takes JSON as arguments and return JSON formatted data. Stuff already on the list to do or partially done:

/api/v1/users/{username} - GET, shows info about the user (specific info TBD; subset of profile, probably?)
/api/v1/users/{username}/icons - GET, lists icons
/api/v1/users/{username}/icons/{iconid} - GET, returns icon data
/api/v1/users/{username}/journals - GET, returns list of journals with write access.
-- for now, returns only user's primary journal
/api/v1/journals/{username}/accesslists - GET, list of access lists for journal
/api/v1/journals/{username}/tags - GET, list of tags for journal
/api/v1/journals/{username}/xpostaccounts - GET list of xpost accounts
/api/v1/moods - GET list of moods
/api/v1/commentsettings - GET list of allowed comment settings
/api/v1/journals/{username}/entries - POST new entry, GET list of recent entries
/api/v1/journals/{username}/entries/{id} - POST edit entry, GET specific entry
/api/v1/journals/{username}/files - POST new file
/api/v1/spec - GET, returns a description of the API

(Mark and D, as usual, get the final say - some stuff people want may end up being security/privacy risks in non-obvious ways)
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Oct. 10th, 2017 03:01 am)

P_Cygni_annotate_EPOD (1)

Photographer: Greg Parker

Summary Author: Greg Parker

I’m particularly interested in ultra deep-red carbon stars and have managed to image quite a number of them over the years. Additionally, I’m also interested in very large, and or very luminous stars, which includes a hypergiant, luminous blue variable (LBV) known as P Cygni, one of the most luminous stars in the galaxy.

As shown above, P Cygni (center) as well as carbon stars BC Cygni (lower left) and SAO 69636 (over the Crescent Nebula) all appear here within the same frame – in the direction of the constellation of Cygnus. P Cygni is so massive and energetic that it’ll exhaust its nuclear fuel relatively quickly. In its short lifetime of just a few million years it will end its life in a supernova explosion.

I was previously aware of BC Cygni but didn't think at the time I made this image that it was particularly important. But of course it was. Coming back to the image several months after taking it and tracking BC Cygni down using a planetarium program, I discovered that it’s a red supergiant star, with a (variable) magnitude near 8.42. The magnitude of BC Cygni varies from +9.0 to + 10.8 over a period of 720+/-40 days. The B-V color index of B C Cygni is a massive 3.64, making it very red indeed, as can be seen in the image. Although it doesn't appear particularly large here, it’s in fact between 1140 and 1230 times larger than our Sun. So if it was placed in the position of our Sun it would actually encompass the orbit of Jupiter.

SAO 69636, also known as R S Cygni, is also a variable star with a magnitude of 7.61 and a B-V index of 3.59. Thus it’s red, though not quite as red as B C Cygni. I find it quite remarkable that three such exceptional stars are present in such a relatively small region of space.

Photo Details: Image was taken using the mini-WASP array at the New Forest Observatory in the U.K., using 18 sub-exposures at 10-minutes per sub, with the image sensor at -20C. 

xela: Photo of me (Default)
([personal profile] xela Oct. 10th, 2017 02:32 am)

I'm floored — totally floored — by this TED talk. I just finished watching it and now I'm sharing it immediately — without taking time to think analytically about it or write a considered introduction. I never do that. But I feel compelled to share this immediately. If you're an adult with ADHD, watch it. I wasn't able to pause it or take my eyes away or be distracted by anything around me. I don't even think any distractions got enough conscious attention while I was watching it for me to be aware of pushing it aside.

And now I'm going to go to sleep and let my unconscious mind roll it around awhile.

EiffelTower_Journée pluvieuse à Paris (2)

Photographer: Bertrand Kulik

Summary Authors: Bertrand Kulik; Jim Foster

The photo above shows multiple, miniature views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris as observed through water drops. It was taken, using a macro lens, through the window of my apartment following a rain shower. Because the drops act as simple lenses, the refracted image, the view we see with our eyes, is upside down. I rotated the scene so that it's now right side up. The effect of gravity on the drops gives them a somewhat flattened appearance. Note that the larger and more spherical shaped drops provide the clearest views. Colorful fall foliage can be detected in the foreground of the drop-scapes.

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; Lens: MP-E65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo; Focal Length: 65.0mm; Aperture: ƒ/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 800; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 (Windows). 

Via [personal profile] conuly: "We Don't Do That Here", by Aja Hammerly:
I have a handful of “magic” phrases that have made my professional career easier. Things like “you are not your code” and my preferred way to say no: “that doesn’t work for me.” These are tools in my interpersonal skills toolbox. I find myself uttering phrases like, “right or effective, choose one” at least once a week. This week I realized I had another magic phrase, “we don’t do that here.” [...]
Short, highly recommended.
There's a class of questions where I don't ever want to know the actual answer. Like, what do you call m/m bandfic featuring the Guns N' Roses lead guitarist?