Archive for November 20, 2010

Online Telescopes

November 20, 2010 2 comments

Astronomy has always been amongst my top hobbies, ever since I was 6-7 years old. It is hard to do good astronomy if you live in, or near, a large city due to light pollution. However inexpensive, and free, remote-controlled telescopes that can take pictures of objects or specified regions of the sky are easy to find.

Many good paid sites situated in the south-west of USA and a few others in Chile offer incredible value for yearly fees of less than a hundred bucks. Of course, your observation time is usually less than 15 minutes per day. But a 15 minute CCD exposure with a computer controlled 14-16 inch Cassegrain-Schmidt or Makutsov type instrument at almost any time of the year is totally worth it.

The Bradford Robotic Telescope on Tenerife is a good free robotic telescope to find out if you like the whole concept. Since it is free and very busy, it may take up to two weeks to receive a picture of the object you want. You have to create a free user account to use it.

However you always have the option of viewing recent images of the object/ area of the sky you asked for. So, I guess it is not that bad. I would also strongly recommend you to read about image processing and enhancement techniques for raw CCD shots of astronomical objects. It is totally worth it.. IF you are into astronomy and astrophotography.


Categories: Uncategorized

The Most Important Reason behind Obama’s Ineffectiveness

November 20, 2010 2 comments

The blogosphere has no shortage of opinions about the real reasons behind Obama’s ineffectiveness as a president. While he came to power on the crest of a great wave of ‘hope and change’, he has delivered neither. So what went wrong?

My take on this issue is different from most commentators. OK.. Ask yourself a few simple questions.

1] Would Lincoln have been elected if people knew about his mental illness (depression) and reasonably probable homosexual experiences?

2] Would FDR ever be elected if people knew about the severity of his post-polio disability?

3] Would people have ever elected JFK if people knew about his personal life and health status?

Now think about the absolutely crucial role played by these three leaders in US history. In each case, they were willing to take unpopular positions and stick to them, and history vindicated their controversial choices.

The world we live in since the late 1960s is so saturated with media and full of self-righteous people, that any capable but somewhat “flawed” person would never be elected to any important office.

We now have a situation where only spineless liars, corporate whores, nutjobs, zealots and photogenic people have any chance of being elected to office.

We have a system where only people like Obama, any pro-business republican or democrat, Palin, tea party nutters, Christine ‘i am not a witch’ O’Donnell etc have ANY chance of being nominated let alone elected. So who is responsible for this situation? We can partially blame CONservatives and LIEbrals, but aren’t average voter attitudes the most important reason for our inability to nominate and elect competent candidates.

I am willing to bet that many CONservatives would vote against Jesus if he ‘came back’ and ran for office in 2012 as a democrat.

You see, self-righteous and moralistic people are their own worse enemies. In previous eras the lack of easy public information about the personal lives of candidates made if possible for people to be judged by their competence, rather than personal lives. We cannot roll the clock back on media scrutiny, and our only hope now lies in adapting to the new information environment.