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May 17, 2020

Virtual drive


"Select a city to drive around."

You pick the car's speed and presence or absence of street noise.

A nice segue to Claude Lelouch's manic 1976 drive through Paris early one Sunday morning in August.

Free, the way we like it.

Just wait till Apple's AR glasses come out....

May 17, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The Newborn Child" — Georges de La Tour


When this painting appeared on my daily desk calendar I instantly knew it was by de La Tour (1593-1652) even though I don't recall ever seeing it before.

Painted in the late 1640s, its warm candlelight radiating out and illuminating the figures identifies his signature style.

The painting, oil on canvas measuring 30" x 36", is in the collection of the Musée des Beaux Arts in Rennes, France.

May 17, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shelter in place

May 17, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturn's hexagon has "sandwich-like" layers of hazy mists


From Space.com:

There's an extensive system of haze layers in the bizarre hexagon on Saturn, a new study has found.

"Saturn's Hexagon" is a swirling maelstrom at the planet's north pole that, as its name implies, has an odd, hexagonal shape.

The hexagon is an ever-present cloud pattern that "stands" 180 miles high, an enormous whirling tower on the planet.

The phenomenon was first discovered in 1980 by NASA's Voyager spacecraft and was later on imaged in exquisite detail by the Cassini spacecraft, which orbited the planet from 2004 to 2017.

Now in a new study, scientists with the Planetary Science Group at the University of Basque Country used images from Cassini and the Hubble Space Telescope to show that Saturn's hexagon is more than just a geometric oddity.

The feature has its own system of hazes layered on top of one another.


In 2015, Cassini's main camera snapped high-resolution images of Saturn that revealed the hazes above the clouds in the hexagon.

Fifteen days later, the Hubble telescope also took a look at the planet and its strange hexagon.

Using these images, the team was able to understand more about the layers of hexagon hazes spotted by Cassini.

"The Cassini images have enabled us to discover that, just as if a sandwich had been formed, the hexagon has a multi-layered system of at least seven mists that extend from the summit of its clouds to an altitude of more than 300 km [186 miles] above them," Agustín Sánchez-Lavega, a professor at the University of Basque Country who led the study, said in a statement. "Other cold worlds, such as Saturn's satellite Titan or the dwarf planet Pluto, also have layers of hazes, but not in such numbers nor as regularly spaced out."

The researchers found that each of these haze layers is approximately between 4.3 and 11 miles (7 and 18 kilometers).

The team thinks that because of the drastic freezing temperatures in Saturn's atmosphere (which range from minus 184 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 292 degrees F (minus 120 degrees Celsius to minus 180 degrees C), there are likely frozen crystalline particles made up butane, acetylene, or even propane in the cloud structure.

This wasn't the first time these hazes have been spotted and studied but, with this work, these researchers have not only studied these layers more closely, but they also suggest that the hazes are vertically distributed based on oscillations in density and temperature in Saturn's atmosphere caused by a gravitational pull.

"Gravity waves" like this happen on other planets too, even on Earth with jet streams traveling in the atmosphere.

This work is detailed here in the May 8 edition of the journal Nature Communications. 

May 17, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Nunchuck Travel Bottles

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From the website:

Nunchucks are the ultimate travel bottles.

Hang them over the shower handle, on a hook, or on the outside of your bag if they're wet.

When hanging the caps always face down so your shampoo, soap, lotion, or conditioner settles right where you need it.

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Nunchucks come with a set of four stickers to label your bottles.

Bonus: the silicone connector works with many other travel bottles.

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$7.95 (please note that bottles arrive empty).

May 17, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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