Empire Stizzle

February 24, 2008

I forgot to put this up when I found it, and that sucks because it’s the best site ever: what color is the empire state building.

Saturday Links

February 23, 2008

A great article listing 10 unfortunate facts of life/10 things every adult should know.

Real interesting shit explaining why eating a big mac is cheaper than eating a salad.

Finally, it’s Frankie’s new favorite website: Damn Interesting. Just look at this description of it, found on MSN’s Top 10 Web Sites You’ve Never Heard Of:

If you ever find yourself sucked in by the occasional History Channel special, you’ll quickly get lost in Damn Interesting, a blog that writes long-form historical summaries of just about anything that’s, well … damn interesting. Read about the bizarre saga of the Trans-Siberian Railway, or the story of the failed invention of wireless electricity. If you’re in need of an engaging academic time-waster, you’ve found it.

Mother Moon Dances Tonight!

February 20, 2008

             Unless you’ve been living under an un-nerdy rock of late, you should know that a total lunar eclipse will be on display tonight for almost all of North America. Since it will be the last opportunity you have to see one for another three years, I would seriously advise you to take out them binoculars and telescopes, and peer out into the Eastern sky between 10 and 11 this evening.  

          Even those of us living in super-light-polluted New York City will be able to join in on the fun. Here is a schedule of the eclipse and its phases, as provided by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York:

        There’s a big event coming up – a total lunar eclipse – on Wednesday evening, February 20. The partial phase begins at 8:43 PM, totality runs from 10:00 to 10:52 PM and the partial eclipse ends at 12:09 AM. Both Saturn and the star Regulus will be near the Moon.

Phases of the eclipse (see below for times):

1. Penumbral eclipse begins. The penumbra is the region where Earth partially eclipses the Sun. There is a slight darkening of the leading edge of the Moon. Not very dramatic.

2. Partial eclipse begins. The Moon enters the umbra of Earth’s shadow, where the Sun is totally eclipsed. There is a dramatic reduction in light in the umbral region, and the boundary of the umbra is easily seen. For over an hour more and more of the Moon enters the umbra.

3. Total eclipse begins. The entire Moon is now in the umbra. The Moon is not totally dark, but usually appears somewhat reddish. This occurs because while not receiving light directly from the Sun, some light passes through Earth’s atmosphere and reaches the Moon after being refracted (and reddened). For Wednesday’s eclipse, this phase will last 52 minutes.

4. Total eclipse ends. The phases now appear in reverse order. The leading edge of the Moon exits the umbra. The eclipse is once again partial.

5. Partial eclipse ends. All of the Moon has left the umbra. Only a penumbral eclipse remains.

6. Penumbral eclipse ends. The Moon is restored to its usual brightness.

Penumbral Eclipse Begins 7:35 PM
Partial Eclipse Begins 8:43 PM
Total Eclipse Begins 10:00 PM
Middle of Total Eclipse 10:25 PM
Total Eclipse Ends 10:52 PM
Partial Eclipse Ends 12:09 AM
Penumbral Eclipse Ends 1:17 AM

WHERE TO GO

We’ll have telescopes and binoculars set up at a number of locations. These include:

Carl Schurz Park in Manhattan: At the east end of 86th Street. We’ll be set up overlooking the East River (map and directions at http://www.aaa.org).

Floyd Bennett Field: We have made arrangements with the National Park Service to have an extra observing session at Floyd Bennett Field. We will view the lunar eclipse on Wednesday, Feb 20. This will be at our usual meeting place, the Model Airplane Flying Field. The event will start at our usual time, 8:00 PM. Early arrivals are welcome. We will be able to stay later than our usual quitting time should conditions permit. We will have several instruments set up. Handouts will be available. People attending should remember that they need to go around some orange barriers in order to get to the Flying Field. These barriers are there to restrict the people going to the Aviation Sports complex. We have permission to go onto the runways (map and directions at http://www.aaa.org).

Park Slope, at the corner of 7th Avenue and 9th Street.

Northern Boulevard and 82nd Street (in front of the firehouse), in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Also, feel free to learn about how a lunar eclipse saved Christopher Columbus.

Real Cool Shit

February 17, 2008

No doubt: An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar. A description from the series follows:

In An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar, Taryn Simon documents spaces that are integral to America’s foundation, mythology and daily functioning, but remain inaccessible or unknown to a public audience.

Also, an excerpt from the series follows:

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Because I can still run a blog from California, though I am unable to call friends back while here, I present you with a way of determining what color is the empire state building at any time. Frankly, a really awesome site, and one which Francis and I have conversed about often times.

The brave writers at The Onion explore the question on the minds of nearly every American during this election period: “Do We Really Want Another Black President After The Events Of Deep Impact?”

Truly heroic journalism.

This should be tight; O.J. Simpson’s agent of 18 years, Mike Gilbert, will be releasing a book in April called “How I Helped OJ Get Away With Murder.” Should be pretty interesting. Apparently, he will be revealing the following:

Gilbert, who claims to have represented Simpson for 18 years, will “detail OJ’s late-night confession” and offer new evidence showing that Simpson did kill his ex-wife and Goldman.

Gilbert also promises “information on Gilbert’s crucial role in obtaining the not guilty verdict and why he stayed silent for so long.”