2019

Snapshots Sunday: Animal Friends 6.0

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Shots of the locals. ~Vic

Animal Friends 5.0

Turtles Sunning Image One
Just sunning themselves.
05-12-2018
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Bunny Image Two
Little bunny.
06-23-2019
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Cows Image Three
Moo!
09-04-2019
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Toad Image Four
Croak!
09-23-2019
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Deer Group Image Five
Just hanging out.
10-15-2019
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Squirrel On A Log Image Six
Cute squirrel.
04-04-2020
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FFTD: Orange Eye

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I had no clue about this one. Pl@ntNet certainly helps, assuming it is correct or that I chose properly. This is, possibly, a Buddleja Davidii or Summer Lilac and Butterfly-Bush. It is a flowering plant but, I thought the leaves were pretty, too. It’s native to Central China and Japan. ~Vic

Orange Eye Image
11-19-2019
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Flower for the Day

Tune Tuesday: The Hills 2015

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The Weeknd The Hills Vevo Image One
Photo Credit: YouTube

Switching things up a bit…~Vic

Five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, R&B/Hip-Hop and Canadian Hot 100 charts was The Hills by Canadian singer The Weeknd (Abel Makkonen Tesfaye). Released May 27, it was the 5th track from the album Beauty Behind the Madness and the second single released.

“When a song takes its hook from a horror film, Wes Craven’s 1977 cult classic The Hills Have Eyes, you know there’s bound to be trouble.

Brian Mansfield
USA Today
June 2, 2015

Certified Diamond (RIAA 2019)
♦ The song was featured in an Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium commercial featuring Zoe Kravitz.
♦ The song was used in the TV show Life in Pieces, Season One, Episode 21.

FFTD: Gated Tulips

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That’s not really a genus or a family but, they do look cute peeking through the iron gate. ~Vic

Tulips Through The Gate Image
04-10-2019

Flower for the Day

FFTD: Verbena

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There are several species of Verbena and this one is a Bonariensis or Purpletop Vervain, Clustertop Vervain, Argentinian Vervain and, good old fashioned Tall Verbena. It is not, however, a Brazilian Verbena. ~Vic

Purpletop Vervain Image
09-14-2019
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Flower for the Day

Song Saturday: Jamie’s Cryin’

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Van Halen Album Image
Image Credit: SoundCloud

**Edward Lodewijk Van Halen (January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020)**

“She saw the look in his eyes, and she knew better…”

This Saturday’s playlist submission is Jamie’s Cryin’ by American rock band Van Halen, formed in 1972 in Pasadena, California. The sixth track from their debut album Van Halen, it was released as a single on May 16, 1978 but, it never charted. Credit for songwriting is the whole band and the album peaked at #19 on the Billboard 200 on May 20, 1978 after its February 10 release. It was certified RIAA Diamond (10x Platinum) in sales on August 7, 1996.

After their 2015 North American Tour, they appear to be on indefinite hiatus. Eddie Van Halen has had some serious health problems.

American rapper Tone Lōc used the opening tom-tom and bass riff from this song on his 1989 hit Wild Thing and wound up settling out of court with Van Halen. He and Eddie Van Halen crossed paths some time afterwards and it wasn’t friendly.

I was in sixth grade when this song came out and I had no clue. I was all into disco back then. I didn’t know who they were until Dance the Night Away came out the following year. I didn’t buy an album of theirs until Diver Down. I have never been to a concert. ~Vic

Tone Lōc Talks About Debut Album & Eddie Van Halen (Billboard January 25, 2019)
America’s Songs III: Rock! Rock! (Google Books)
Van-Halen (Official Site)
Van Halen News Desk (Unofficial Site)
Gene Simmons Talks Lost Seventies Van Halen Demos (Rolling Stone March 22, 2016)
Eddie Van Halen’s Wife’s Positivity (Survivor Net September 8, 2020)

Lyrics

FFTD: Ruellia

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A member of the Acanthaceae family, this could be a Ruellia Simplex or Mexican Petunia, Mexican Bluebell or Britton’s Wild Petunia. It could be a Ruellia Tuberosa or Minnieroot, Fever Root, Snapdragon Root or Sheep Potato. Honestly, they look the same to me. ~Vic

Ruellia Image
09-14-2019
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Flower for the Day

Theodolite Thursday: Satellites Interfere With Astronomy

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Earth Satellites Image One
Image Credit: NOIRLab
NSF
AURA
P. Marenfeld
Science Magazine

“A report warns that fleets of new communication satellites in low-Earth orbit will spoil some astronomical observations, even if all known mitigation strategies are taken.”

Astronomers and the operators of new, thousands-strong […] low-orbiting satellites will have to work together to prevent them from having a devastating impact on ground-based observations of planets, stars and other celestial objects, says a [recent] report […]. Even then, there is no escaping some harm from the fleets of commercial orbiters.

“All optical and infrared observatories will be affected to some degree,” [stated] astronomer Anthony Tyson of the University of California, Davis, […] at a briefing on the report.

“No combination of mitigation will eliminate their impact,” added astronomer Connie Walker of the U.S. National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory.

The satellites, designed to provide internet access in remote areas, now number in the hundreds. [Following] the launch of the first batch by SpaceX in May 2019, astronomers were alarmed by how bright they appear in the sky. If all the planned [launches] go ahead, the number of satellites will grow beyond 100,000. Since last year, there have been a number of independent studies of [satellites’] possible impact. [The] workshop’s report is the first time the satellite companies, and those who would be affected (astronomers to the agencies that fund them and their telescopes), have pooled their results and worked out a strategy for the future.

NASA Satellite Image Two
Photo Credit: NASA on Unsplash

The satellite trails are very bright, and out of focus slightly, so they’re wide and cover several pixels on images taken with a test version of the (soon to open Vera C.) Rubin Observatory’s camera, notes Tyson. [Telescopes] that need to work during twilight will also run into problems. Because the satellites are in low orbits, they will often be seen close to the horizon and will be most visible when they are still in sunlight but, the observer is not. If, however, satellite operators choose orbits above 600 kilometers, the situation gets worse because, then, their spacecraft are visible for more of the night, and in [the] summer, all night long. Astronomers should also develop software tools to remove satellite trails from images and the companies should make accurate orbital data available for their orbiters so telescopes can try to avoid them.

The only measure the report could offer to totally eliminate the damage to astronomy was to launch fewer or no low-orbiting satellites…likely not an option given the financial investments the companies are making in the [satellites] and the lucrative market they foresee.

Tyson and his colleagues have been working with SpaceX engineers to modify their satellites to reduce their brightness. His team has also modeled trying to steer the Rubin Observatory telescope to avoid passing satellites but, Tyson says there are simply too many. Astronomers are already actively pursuing image processing solutions but, he says “the jury’s out” on how much that can help.

Daniel Clery
Science Magazine
August 25, 2020

Addtional Reading:
Report Offers Roadmap (American Astronomical Society)
SATCON Report (NOIRLab)
Satellites Could Spoil View of Giant Sky Telescope (Science Magazine February 27, 2020)

FFTD: Marsh Tickseed

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It took me a while to find this one. Even Pl@ntNet had trouble. At first, I thought it was a Coreopsis but, the petals didn’t match. Then, I thought it might be a Cosmos but, the petals still didn’t match. This is a Bidens Trichosperma. I think there has been some classification shuffling but, they are all in the Asteraceae family or Sunflower family. ~Vic

March Tickside Image
09-09-2019
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Flower for the Day