Friday, March 30, 2012

IBC Classrooms

The new classrooms at the International Bible Church are almost finished.  Here is now they looked this week.  Walt says that the floor space is about 1/4 that of the main meeting room.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Washington Park

They are fixing up the roads in Washington Park.  The roads are still pretty bumpy, but they are actually much improved.  Well, at least from the entrance as far as Slag Bai.  The road back out of the park is still full of ruts from the rainy season.
The cows were chowing down, not as close to the road as the last time I rode by.  A cute calf has been added to their number.  It was right in the road a few weeks ago.  I was worried that its mother would take exception to me as I rode by.  I saw a few teeny tiny baby goats this week too.
There were still a few Pelicans hanging out by Bisé Morto.  They've been there since mid Feb.
Slag Bai was looking nice.  You can see the road grader that's been cleaning up the roads at the left edge of the shot.

Moon and Planets

It has been amazingly cloudy for weeks and weeks.  That's great for working outdoors and for bike riding.  But not so good for stargazing.
We lucked out tonight and had a nice view of the moon right next to Venus, with Jupiter loitering below, right above the trees.
You can also just barely see the Pleiades a little to the upper right of the moon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Close Up images of the Moon

One question I often hear in connection with my public astronomy sessions or my astro photos is, "can you see the flag the astronauts left on the moon" or variations on that theme.   Well.. no ground based telescopes can see details that small on the moon, but the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite can.

NASA has just released some images taken from about 25km above the moon's surface that show the flag, the astronauts footprints, the lunar rover etc.

I did some searching around to see if I could find hi rez versions of the images and came across the University of Arizona's LROC Operations Center web site.  It has all sorts of interesting stuff.
Here is a link to a page with press release images.  Click on these helpfully labeled press release images to see them larger.  Click on March 5 and March 6 on the calendar to see Apollo landing sites.

This browse gallery page has larger images.  They are in long narrow strips that recorded the lunar surface as the orbiter passed over it.  You can zoom in on these images to see the details shown on the press release images.  And you can download these huge image files as well.  I'm going to try cropping some of these images to create hi-rez lunar desktop wallpaper for my computer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cutting Edge Communications

TWR Unveils New Digital System
Whether you call it a digital warehouse for the Kingdom, a tool for leveraging Christian media content or simply a game changer, LinguaDMS is all about revolutionizing the way ministries deliver their message to a global audience.

The cloud-based system is aimed at providing TWR partners and other ministries with a cost-effective tool for managing, archiving, re-purposing and enabling distribution of digital files, including videos, audio, images or text. Content can be stored, called up, and readied for presentation in formats compatible with any of the communication technologies already in use around the world – from websites and smartphones to Internet radio and terrestrial broadcast outlets – and new devices can be added to the mix as they are developed.

More formally described as a customizable digital-asset-management solution, LinguaDMS grew out of a desire to mine TWR’s vast store of media content – nearly 60 years of Christian broadcasts in more than 200 languages. Although TWR has increasingly broadened its outreach to incorporate the Internet in recent years, LDMS also enables TWR to assist other ministries with their digital asset management and in delivering their content to multiple media platforms.

You can learn more by visiting the LinguaDMS site.

This technology is already working in the background to supply the audio files and program scripts for the Project Hannah Website and iPhone app.
English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese content is up and running now.  The Project Hannah team is working on getting the Papiamentu version of the Women of Hope radio program online soon.

EOZ Official Opening

The EOZ works with students who need special tutoring and guidance before being slotted back in a standard classroom setting.
The EOZ have spruced up the former TWR office wing very nicely, and have been working with kids for some months now.
Today was the official opening, with speeches and presentations, and refreshments.

They also unveiled a couple of great flags.
You'll need to click on the pix to see the flags better.

A really talented group of kids provided music for the festivities.

The building in the background is the office wing where the EOZ is located.  The building on the left houses the TWR studios and offices.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sleeping Dogs and Couch Potatoes

Our dogs love vegging out with their owners while we watch TV.
You may wonder, do they shed hair all over the place?  Yup.  But the tile floors are easy to clean.  Last year, Sandra brought a new puppy back from Florida as carry on baggage.  We then used the dog carrier as a dog crate, since he liked it so much.  Then he outgrew the carrier and Ethan built us a puppy pen.  The puppy kept growing.   So now we are on PuppyPen Mark II, and he's not a year old yet.  He still likes his personal space, and even goes in there to sleep on his own.  Notice the open door.
Speaking of watching TV.  Yesterday and today there was not One, not Two, but three International cycling races on our TV system here.  Whoo whoo.  It was a great feeling, Saturday, to be splatted out in classic couch potato fashion, chowing down on carbs and nuts, while watching the riders on TV peddling their legs off.  Didn't feel guilty at all, having already put in three and a half hours in the saddle myself, riding out to and around Washington Park, and then back home on the main East road.

The riding in the park was great, with overcast skies (no sunburn) and a cooling wind.  However, on the way out of the park it started pouring down rain. Between the park and Rincon, the rain was so fierce that it was stinging my face and arms.  I took the paved road home from Rincon because the rain soaked dirt roads would have been like peddling through mashed potatoes.  When I got home, Sandra reported that it hadn't rained a drop in Hato!

In addition to the great bike racing, a major TV highlight today was the "Serie A1" pro volleyball match from Italy.  The number one team, Trentino, started their 6 second string players against the number two team, Cuneo.  And they managed to win the match!  It was epic stuff.