Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Placard I-0177-LF-225-6900

Placard I-0177-LF-225-6900 can be viewed in the Crew's Mess aboard USS Nautilus (SSN-571).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Harrat Khaybar

Harrat Khaybar, Saudi Arabia lies in the western half of the Arabian peninsula and contains not only large expanses of sand and gravel, but also extensive lava fields known as haraat (harrat for a named field). According to scientists, the volcanic field was formed by eruptions along a long north-south linear vent system over the past 5 million years; the most recent recorded eruption took place between 600-700 A.D.

The presence of tuff cones - formed by eruption of lava in the presence of water together with other volcanic features indicative of water - in the Harrat Khaybar suggest that the local climate was much wetter during some periods of volcanic activity. Today, however, the regional climate is hyperarid - little to no yearly precipitation - leading to an almost total lack of vegetation.

The image was taken by the Expedition 16 crew aboard the Inernational Space Station in March 2008.

Image Credit: NASA

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Comet C/2017 01

Please click HERE to view the track and location of Comet C/2017 01 in the 3D Solar System Simulator.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Young America in Literature: A Calvinist Assumption

A key theme in American literature is a play on a Calvinist assumption that people, and especially people with power, are up to no damn good. This theme comes to us from the Old Testament and St. Augustine, and from St. Thomas Aquinas on natural theology--though, in respect to Aquinas, the conclusion is essentially Calvinist; by way of example, see Thomas Jefferson in his opening remarks both to the Declaration and to The Virginia Act of Religious Freedom. Technical analyses of the idea can be found in Wittgenstein.  See, for example, On Certainty; though Wittgenstein's many circumspect remarks on the human condition, recorded in Ray Monk's biography and elsewhere, are rather more pertinent to the matter here.

In Moby-Dick, the theme is played out as Ishmael works through his youthful non-involvement, takes responsibility for himself, goes into survival mode, and brings to bear a mature skeptical attitude in an assessment of the people he finds himself with on board the Pequod: what an evil madman Ahab is, what an unaware cypher Mr. Flask is, what a moral coward (at bottom, and ironically) Mr. Stubb is, what a "bureaucratic" conformist Mr. Starbuck is, and what a lot of brutes the crew are... In "Benito Cereno", Melville plays on this theme as Captain Delano naively walks among the slaves who have taken over Cereno's ship, and how, after much narrative suspension, Delano finally figures out what's going on and takes control of the situation... In The Confidence-Man, Melville repeatedly plays on the theme, presenting a series of scenarios where people (with one or two exceptions) fail to see that they are being conned by the devil.

In The Scarlet Letter, it comes in the form of too-slowly identifying various "enemies"-- Chillingworth, the community, its moral foundations, its leadership, its theocratic system--and failing to take appropriate action.

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it comes in the form of the various misadventures experienced by Jim and Huck, and concludes with Huck heading out West as the appropriate response to the underlying fraud that riddles society, and so on.

Richard Basehart as Ishmael in Moby-Dick

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Online Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) Simulator

AGC was the main computer system of the Apollo program that successfully landed 12 astronauts on Moon. There was one AGC on each of the Apollo Command Modules and another one on each Lunar Module. There was also a second backup computer system called Abort Guidance System (AGS) on the Lunar Modules, which is simulated by Virtual AGC, but not the current version of Moonjs.
Astronauts interacted with AGC by using DSKY, a combination of 7-segment numerical displays, indicator lights and a simple keypad,

Please click HERE to enter data and toggle the controls.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Bishop James Pike and Philip K.Dick

A brief sketch on James Pike (narrated by Leonard Nimoy):

Pike is Philip K. Dick's subject in The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, which is not a science fiction novel, but rather an inquiry into the intellectual credulity and psychological weaknesses that led to the destruction of Pike and his family, and which is told against the backdrop of the dynamic social fracturing that characterizes Berkeley in the 1960s. Smart, skeptical, lucid, learned, humorous, philosophically comprehensive, sharply drawn--Dick unequivocally denounces Pike and the "New Age" phantasm into which Pike (and so many) had fallen, and which ultimately led to Pike's death.


The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is not (as the Amazon description states) part of the VALIS Trilogy.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Philosophy of Composition

In a composition there's always "room" for another part, another chop, another angle, another version, another layer, another interpretation, another expression, another suggestion, another perspective, another scale, another inversion, another translation, another conversion, another voice, another counterpoint, another change, etc.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Terrance Lindall Retrospective and Gala Dinner

The Terrance Lindall Retrospective 1962-2017
December 16, 2017- January 8 2018
Catalog available
Reception December 17th (Subject to change) 4-6 PM admission $10
Followed by “Dinner With the Devil”,
with musical interludes by Peter Dizozza and Bienvenido Bones Banez
A sumptuous dinner plus music and light entertainment, TIX $500

Dinner includes a guided visit to the rare book library and treasure rooms with a look at one of a kind rare treasures including a collection of over 400 17th c. English wax seals including that of King Charles I on a 1635 document regarding land that is now Edinburgh Airport, and a wax seal of Oliver Cromwell on the marriage contract of his daughter. Also, a 17th c. English beheading ax, a magnificent 17th. Torah scroll of the book of Genesis (23 feet long), a magnificent 17th c. French tapestry border depicting Mary, Jesus and John. Plus 17th c. Milton Books, and  afurst edition of Edward Young's Night Thoughts featuring William Blake's illustrations.

Please click HERE for complete information.