Phil's blog

Through a combination of luck and good fortune, Kaz and I have three different Canon cameras - a venerable 20D DSLR, an ultra compact IXUS 70 and most recently the G9. Phil wants to know how much he sacrifices when he takes the G9 cross country skiing instead of the 20D and Kaz wants to prove that the G9 she chose to keep (after Phil won it) is really better than the IXUS 70.

26
Oct

Life Imitates Art

via Calculated Risk:

Greenspan and The Simpsons (20 seconds):

Greenspan and Casablanca (19 seconds):

23
Oct

Phil Learns to Ski (again)

The last ski of the season and Phil learns to telemark, sort of.

21st September, 2008 on the sunny slopes of Mt McKay (Falls Creek). Here's the mess we made:

10
Oct

The Bill for our Party is now due

There's no easy way to summarise why we are where we are today (other than the word 'greed').

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock has a few thoughts though:

Global Recession Headed Our Way

The world is heading for a global recession and a sure bet is that it will be blamed on a subprime crisis in the US. The reality is the greatest liquidity experiment in history is now crashing to earth.

13
Sep

Cloud Forecast Accuracy

This set of images compares the actual infrared satellite image for midday Saturday 13th September 2008 with forecasts made on the same day and up to 5 days ahead. The forecasts made up to 2-3 days ahead are quite accurate, so that a reasonable estimate of the astronomy prospects for a Saturday night could be made on the Thursday beforehand. While the general trends are still correct in the 5 day forecast, the details for a particular location become much less accurate.

07
Sep

Cloud Forecasts for Victoria, Australia

Edit Oct 2009: Since I originally wrote this article, SkippySky has become available. It uses the same US GFS weather model data so the discussion about accuracy is still relevant, but SkippySky is a much more convenient way to access the cloud forecast data, with great maps for all of Australia among other places.

Check out Cloud Forecasts for Astronomers for the story behind some of this and how to generate your own cloud forecast maps using US GFS model data.

Also see Cloud Forecast Accuracy for comparisons of the forecast charts with actual satellite images.

Melbourne




Explanation Key:



06
Sep

Cloud Forecasts for Astronomers

Edit Oct 2009: Since I originally wrote this article, SkippySky has become available. It uses the same US GFS weather model data so the discussion about accuracy is still relevant, but SkippySky is a much more convenient way to access the cloud forecast data, with great maps for all of Australia among other places.

Astronomers want good weather forecasts. In particular, they need to know about cloud. When you're deciding whether to travel two hours to a dark sky site for the weekend, an accurate forecast is invaluable.

Saturday 13th September 2008
1 Day Ahead Forecast

The 'Clear Sky Clock' is available via the web to amateur astronomers across North America, and includes not only cloud forecasts but also estimates for transparency and seeing. For those of us in the rest of the world, there are several other options:

15
Jun

How Technology Increases Oil Production

How can you double something and still have ten times less than you started with?

The answer to this question will help us reassess claims that advances in oil field technology will postpone the peak in global oil production. The question itself arises from a case study of Enhanced Oil Recovery in the Handil Oil Field in Indonesia.



01
Jun

The Oil Drum



Observant fans may have noticed a lack of new stories here recently (although new astrophotos are being added to the Gallery).

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