Welcome from the Ugly Shire!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's Fun, It's Free, It's Folding Bossy Bear

Fun Fun Fun

I just found this cool Folding Paper Art on Uglyblog. If you click here and click the pic you can download this Bossy Bear folding art project. Plus, Shin Tanaka has other wonderful creations to download and fold.
Be sure to poke around on Shin Tanaka's website to see his amazing creations. Paper Art is so appealing and interesting. This is new to me. Hey, maybe I found something to collect in addition to Uglydolls.

I mean, just look at THIS! Who could resist? Not me.

A special Thank You to David Horvath for the introduction to Shin Tanaka's art.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Comet Lulin: A Smudge Worth Seeing

Well, now my neck is frozen, and my fingers are all in a knot.
But, I SAW Comet Lulin with my binoculars. Woot! Woot!
It looked as if someone put their thumb in some white powder and thumb smudged the sky. I found it between Saturn and Regulus. It has yet to reach Regulus.
It was well worth the effort. Thrilling.
If you divert your eyes slightly from the Comet, it helps to see the tail. Very dim indeed with binoculars.
I took my Uglydoll, Rocket, who is a blue Wedgehead with me. He stayed on his back on the dashboard with his eye skyward. He's still enjoying the warm glow of our new sighting. Me too.

Comet Quest

My hands are frozen, my neck tied up in knots. The thrill of questing for comets through cloud-covered skies on cold winters nights comes with a price. The Pacific Northwest is hardly a stargazers paradise. My attempts to see Comet Lulin this week have consisted of dashing in and out anytime I suspect I see a hole in the clouds. Sometimes there is a perfect, but small opening, like a portal to the stars. Through this fleeting window I can see the heavens from a few seconds up to a minute before my portal collapses. I realize it is very optimistic of me to hope that Comet Lulin will appear right in the frame of one of these tiny windows. So far, it hasn't.

And that is one of the reasons I adore, a group of remote control observatories located in less cloudy parts of the planet. Between dashes outdoors into the frigid starless night, I sit comfortably in my office seeing such amazement's as this.

I snapped this beauty of Comet Lulin with the telescopes easy-to-use camera system.

Comet Lulin is still up there. If our weather forecast for Sunday holds out I may be able to view it through my binoculars. Rather than the green tailed marvel it is in the photo, it will appear as a largish, white fuzzy cotton ball. Though not as spectacular as the Slooh telescope, there is something undeniably satisfying in a first hand encounter with the cosmos. So I will be there, binoculars in hand, looking up and Southeast, following a line from Saturn to Regulus where the Comet will be exiting our lives.