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Everything posted by efaardvark

  1. Ayreon - Age of Shadows The Age of Shadows Has Begun..
  2. Oh no!  Ed Stone just died!  Dr. Ed Stone was a former Jet Propulsion Lab director and chief scientist for the Voyager mission.  He was the only scientist to have worked on both the spacecraft that flew closest to the sun and the spacecraft that is furthest from it.  (The Parker Solar Probe occasionally flies so close to the sun that it flies through the upper part of the Sun's "atmosphere".  The Voyager 2 spacecraft, one of two that the mission launched in the 1970s, has left the solar system and is now over 24 billion km / 15B mi from the Sun in interstellar space.)

  3. Gotta get yer steps in! No I'm not one of those people. I prefer a good trail any day, and the only time I look at my phone on a trail is if I need help from GPS!
  4. DH 2.1 & Iris 1.7 are officially out for MC1.20.6. This is with released versions of both, plus the Bliss shader.. I'm going to have to re-tweak my settings though. The released versions are much better performers. With my current settings tweaked for the dev versions I'm allocating too much memory to Java for instance.
  5. Just saw an announcement that next official version of Distant Horizons mod for MC has dropped.. Clearly the devs have been working on efficiency for this release, based on the reduction of memory and database (hard drive) resources necessary. And now that this version is out we should shortly start to see much broader shader support as well since the API has been bumped to 2.0.0. Only thing missing now is a server version so low-LOD (level of detail) versions of terrain that is distant but visible can be provided to the client without the player having to actually go there. That will be tricky to implement without potentially bogging down the server with generating terrain. I'm not holding my breath while waiting but I'm glad that the devs are working on it. Something to look forward to anyway. Also this version is dropping Forge support. Only NeoForge and Fabric are supported going forward. Not going to get into the whole Forge vs NeoForge thing here but I expect we'll see more of this sort of thing going forward.
  6. Baked “grilled” cheese sandwich. (And yes, that’s the last of the popcorn from last week.)
  7. Been super busy this week but I finally got enough of a sit to watch the entire Starship reentry.  Quite a show!  But the vehicle held together and accomplished the mission perfectly.  I'm sure they got plenty of extremely valuable data from the intense reentry portion of the flight envelope, which was pretty much the entire point of the test flight.  Booster did it's thing quite well too.  SpaceX says they might have up to 7 test flights this year, including a ~70-80% chance of an attempted booster catch with the "chopsticks" back at the launch tower!

    I have to add that I am also (almost) equally amazed at the quality and continuity of the real-time video feed.  I am old enough to remember the live video of the Apollo flights.  4k HD all the way through (well, most of the way.. it did cut out for a bit here and there) reentry was amazing.



    1. efaardvark


      A moment of appreciation for the camera (circled in red in the X pic) and the starlink antennas that played a critical role in providing the video downlink.  The two rectangles in the unshielded part of the main fuselage to the left of the flap are the starlink antennas.  There's actually 4 of them, the two visible and two on the other side.  (Maybe a thin sliver of one is just visible around the curve of the fuselage in the pic.)


  8. I've always assumed that strawberries were created by the same drunken deity that created the platypus and the hallucigenia. The strawberry used to be a perfectly ordinary berry but one day for some unknown reason this deity twisted the poor berry through another dimension and suddenly it found itself with its seeds on the outside You can, just not for long. Maybe about half a second. Ask me how I know. Hey, at least I didn't try to lick my elbow! This time. (I'd heard that one before.)
  9. Some popcorn. Lots and lots of popcorn. <まんぷく> And a soda. (This is my contribution to a potluck at work tomorrow but I got an early start.)
  10. Same here. I have to go out of my comfort zone to get loud, or even interact with new or unfamiliar people. I can do it when I have to but it has taken me years of self-training to get to this point. I'm technically still "fifty-something" but I'll be 60 in Sept. which I'm pretty sure puts me -><- this close to "old person" territory too.
  11. I started a single-player hardcore minecraft game today. It used to be something of a tradition on each new release that I'd do this but I haven't for a while now. Usually I don't last too long but since my usual game/server is no longer available this time I'm going to make an effort to avoid being stupid and see how long I can make it last. Unfortunately the Distant Horizons mod hasn't yet been updated for the latest mc (1.20.6) so the hazy horizon beyond the built-in render distance is giving me a bit of that floating-island feeling but Iris/Sodium, textures, and shaders seem to be working otherwise. (Last I checked on the DH discord they're planning on an official release of the next version in a couple weeks.)
  12. Yeah I think I'm about the same way, introverted I mean. I feel like I am too nice to people sometimes when I shouldn't be. I used to be that way when I was younger too but now I'm old enough to realize that some people are just inconsiderate and need a kick in the pants. It seems like people used to be more considerate and that sort of thing didn't happen so often too, though maybe that's a bit of wishing for "the good old days".
  13. When that happens I just say "EXCUSE ME" loud enough to break into their conversation and make everybody else in the aisle look. Usually they get the hint. If they still don't move then I politely but firmly move their cart myself. Sometimes I get looks from the aisle-blockers at that point but I'm large enough (5'10"/~180cm) that that's as far as it goes. (It isn't like I get mad or shove their cart halfway down the aisle either. I just move it enough that it doesn't block the traffic pattern and I and others can get by.) It can get awkward if you meet them again in the next isle over though.
  14. Just when you thought it was safe, here comes that super-active region 3664 swinging back around towards Earth again. This last week has been relatively uneventful (unless you're into VHF/UHF radio comms or a GPS-dependent farmer trying to plant this year's crop) but it looks like things are picking up again. We'll have to see what next week's forecast looks like. Might get another good auroral display in the next week or two.
  15. I am sad. My brother has informed me that for budget reasons he is shutting down our minecraft server of several years. First KSP2 and now this.
  16. Not the last thing I ate but this reminded me. I found some jalapeno pepper cheddar cheese in block form at the store so I made some from-scratch mac-and-cheese with it this weekend. Tasty, and something I could handle even with my level-1 culinary skills.
  17. Also using GAIA and WISE data. Many of these space-based telescopes are wide-field and have taken images of huge - literally astronomically huge - numbers of stars. From those images have been generated large databases of various astronomical entities and their quantifiable properties, such as apparent brightness, temperature, their spectra, and a bunch of other data. Now all that data is being plowed through for all sorts of projects. This particular project is searching for Dyson spheres, which is a type of structure created by extremely advanced technology that completely surrounds a star, enabling the star's entire energy output to be captured and used. I love this stuff! Even if it doesn't find aliens, just going through the process generates new questions which can come up with surprising answers. https://phys.org/news/2024-05-astronomers-dyson-spheres.html also https://earthsky.org/space/dyson-sphere-alien-megastructures-infrared-heat-stars/
  18. Getting back to Kerbal Space Program. It's been a while since I played with my little green kerbonauts and now that KSP2 is definitely dead I wanted to make sure I've updated all the mods I have there and that everything is still in working order. (OK, maybe not dead-dead, or at least nothing that about $100M and a few years couldn't bring back to life, but realistically after seeing ShadowZone's "documentary" about KSP2's development so far there's no doubt in my mind that even if a company like RockStar had the desire, it doesn't have the skill set it would take to do it right. Sure they could call it Kerbal Space Program, but I'm equally sure that it would be a very different game.. and one that I wouldn't be interested in playing.)
  19. Mony Mony - Tommy James & The Shondells (the original.. it's been covered many times since, often by much bigger names like Billy Idol and Tiffany.) (for anyone interested in music trivia or commercial real estate...)
  20. ループ7回目の悪役令嬢は元敵国で自由気ままな花嫁生活を満喫する* a.k.a 7th time loop Kind of a different take on the "groundhog day" idea of repeating life until you have the skills and the knowledge to take charge and do it right. The MC was good but the antagonist was a bit of a paper target and the show wobbles a bit in the last few episodes. It never completely leaves the rails however and in the end I thought it worth the watch. (*What is it with the long-ash anime titles?)
  21. Our family has done this. I'm not a big fan to be honest. It is edible but usually only makes an appearance at special occasions like Thanksgiving, which means it's competing for plate space with other items that I find far more appealing so I tend to give it a pass. That said, chopped cranberries and/or maybe cranberry sauce can work. Unfortunately I do not know the recipe. The less time I spend in the kitchen the better for all involved. (I haven't killed or injured anyone, yet, but it may only be a matter of time. My skills definitely lie elsewhere.)
  22. Got a couple “metal Earth” models. These are like those precut flat-paper “insert tab A into slot B” type models only they’re made out of a thick metal foil instead of paper. One of the models is of the James Webb Space Telescope. The other one is of the Perseverance Mars rover. The rover includes the little drone / helicopter, Ingenuity. Now I just need to find the time to build them. There needs to be an "I understand completely" emoji.
  23. Bruce Hornsby & The Range - The Way It Is Bob Seger - Night Moves Harry Chapin - Cat's In The Cradle I may be doing a run of classic 70s this evening..
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