Canada Gets Pattent for Space Elevator…

Most especially if you live in Ontario, you might want to take a gander at this truly fascinating article!  In fact, it will be used for tourism as well and will also serve as a launching platform for low Earth orbit.  The test model will be built in 3 years and only extend a mile high.  That would still be the tallest structure ever built.  In five years, the real thing will extend 12.4 miles up…  That’s 20 kms. in Canuck talk!  I’m sure there will be a Mall up there.  Check the site for pictures and full details!  I never thought I’d live to see the day!

How to Capture Starlight


Many people who own DSLR’s are left in the dark when it comes to capturing starlight.  Their results vary from completely blurry, to light trails, to completely blank.  The object of this entry is to help you to capture some amazing shots of the night sky by using a few basic but key accessories.  I will give you these in list form.  All items that are absolutely essential will have an * at the beginning of the explanation.  I will also include instructions for proper post editing…

  • Use a tripod – * This is an absolute necessity because you can’t possibly hold the camera steady enough yourself, for the time duration it takes to capture enough light, and keep the star points concentric (round).
  • Exposure – The Earth is always moving, and the stars are moving as well.  So the I prefer 5 seconds, but can push it up to 8 seconds, and still get concentric star points.  This time frame is important because any longer and you’re going to get trails (movement), and any shorter, and you won’t capture as many star points.  The human eye creates a new picture every tenth of a second.  So leaving the shutter open for this amount of time will capture stars up to 3 more magnitudes than you can visually see!  This may not sound like much, but it is…
  • ISO – *  It’s advisable to set your ISO to 3200 to make the sensor as sensitive to light as possible.  If your camera only provides 1600 ISO max., adequate pictures can still be attained with 8 second exposures, though a reduction in size will be a must in the post processing stage…
  • F Stop – Again, you want the camera to pick up as much light as possible, so open your lens all the way to at least f 5.6.. If you can get it lower at f 4 or below, so much the better!
  • Lens – Contrary to popular belief, you may think the longer the lens in the telescopic range, the more starlight you’ll gather.  This is true, but your field of view is very limited.  So although you will see stars that are further away, there will be very few of them in your field of view!  Use as wide an angle lens as you have.  I used as 24mm to 105mm zoom lens set to 24mm to capture the most stars.
  • Focus – You’re not going to see a lot through your view finder.  To obtain clear focus, set your focus ring to infinity: that’s the sideways 8 shown on your lens.  Do this along with all of your other camera settings before you go out because it’s dark out there, and a flashlight will only blind you more! 
  • Cable Release – * This is an optional accessory that most people have to buy separately for their camera.  When you click the button on your camera to take a picture, this transfers any shake in your hand, to the image, producing ‘ghosts’ beside each star point.  A cable release is relatively inexpensive, and essential for every day use as well!
  • Mirror Lock – * Unfortunately, it’s essential that your camera has this feature!  Just before the exposure is taken, the mirror flips up, causing camera shake that is avoided of you have a ‘mirror lock’ feature.  This way, you set your camera to ‘bulb’, press the cable release once to lock up the mirror, wait 2 seconds, and then hold the button down for the duration of your exposure, and then let go: else-wise, your camera will try to focus on nothing, which is why you get those blank shots!  Alternatively, set your camera to ‘Manual’, and uncouple your exposure from your focus points on the camera, if your camera provides for that…  The newest cameras are now mirror-less to avoid the problem completely.
  • Black Mat – Not many cameras have this feature.  Mine does.  At 3200 ISO, artifacts, or ‘digital noise’ becomes a very real problem.  With this feature, a camera can take a black mat background shot first, and then superimpose the foreground on that, virtually eliminating all noise.  Though you may loose a few star points, I’ll show you a way to achieve something similar in the post processing phase.
  • Seeing – ‘Seeing is a term that describes the number of stars visible on any given night.  Sometimes you will see lots of stars, and on other nights, not so many.  I purposely picked a night when the seeing was poor, so I could show you only the tip of the ice-burg of what your camera is capable of!  The real name for the sensor that determines the number of mega-pix you can capture is called a CCD, or ‘charged couped device’.  Astronomers immediately switched from conventional emulsion film to CCD’s as soon as they came out.  This was long before commercial cameras were using them.  So you have the perfect astronomical instrument right there in the back of your camera.  CCD’s are far more sensitive to light than conventional film.  The catch is, if you own a cheap camera, you probably have a crumby CCD chip as well.  I paid $8000 for one of the best cameras there is, so I have everything listed above, including an excellent, full 35mm frame CMOS CCD chip…

Post Processing:

It’s best to shoot these in RAW format.  I then save it as a dng. extension which stands for: ‘digital negative.’  This retains the ability to still work with the image in your RAW utility without loosing data, except now, it’s an actual image that can be processed.  Next, I save a copy to png. format because it retains 16 mega-pix of data, and is presentable in WordPress format.  Jpgs. are only 8 bits which equates to presenting someone with an image capable of defining 65,000 colors, as apposed to 256 colors in jpg format.

24 Bits produces 16 million colors, and 32 bits introduces 22 million colors, which is the full extent of what the eye can discern.  So if you’re shooting for 64 bit pix., it’s over-kill…  Anyway, 16 bits makes for far more latitude in the post processing stage without the image deteriorating or developing artifacts…

At the bottom of your RAW utility window in Photoshop, you’ll see a statement highlighted in light blue, assigning 8 bits to your photo.  You don’t want this.  You want 16 bits until you intend to save a jpg. copy. By right clicking this ‘statement’, it will give you the option to convert images using 16 bit format.  This is where you need to be.  Select it, and leave it that way.

Temperature – Star colors used to be very hard to achieve without a high powered telescope.  Not anymore!  There is a trick to it though.  You’ll find, if you examine your ‘Histogram’, that all of the pixels in star shots are all slammed up against the far left hand side.  This is naturally where all your shadow content would be, and the favorite place for blue light. There’s a ‘temperature gage on the first tab in the RAW utility.  You will see it’s at the blue side of things.  Reset it to 5200 K. so that you will get the correct color of stars that aren’t apparent just yet.

Color – In the same tab, you’ll find a saturation control and a vibrancy control.  I set the vibrancy control to 45% and the saturation level to 40% and I still had to add 40% more saturation in Photoshop for star colors to become apparent!  Still, most of them are subtle differences because stars go from very faintly colored to extremely colorful on a scale from 1 to 9. The designations are: OBAFGKM.  

The sentence to remember the order is: ‘Oh be a fine girl, kiss me!’  ‘O’ stars are white. ‘B’ stars are progressively more blue: 1 being the faintest, and 9 being the most saturated.  ‘A’ stars are cyan. ‘F’ stars are Gold.  ‘G’ stars are yellow.  Our star is a G2 star. ‘K’ stars are orange and ‘M’ stars are red dwarfs.  Over half of all stars are red dwarfs.  Over half of all stars are double stars orbiting about each other  Castor in Gemini, is a six star system!

In one shot, on the bottom left hand side, near the tree, you’ll notice the big dipper, and that a couple of the stars on the handle show their double star companions.  The Big Dipper BTW is within the region of space in which we reside.  Because they’re so close, the ‘proper motion’ of these stars will radically change their position by 2050, so it won’t resemble its present shape at all…

You’ll notice subtle shades of purple and green, but you’ll have to look close!  Other stars will jump right out at you as beings deep blue or red or yellow…  Experiment with a 50 mm macro lenses you can stop down to f 1.2 in some cases.

Contrast – This is where I was telling you earlier, where you can take out the noise.  adjust your contrast in your Raw utility, to +40.  That should remove the noise, and leave the actual stars.  Do not adjust any other controls.

Get out there now and try your hand at this wonderful field of night time photography!  I took a picture here of a bright star, and to my delight, I captured an ‘Open Cluster’ of older, yellow stars beside it.  So you never know what surprises are in store!  Like I said before…  There were only a few of stars visible the night I took these pictures.  Imagine what you would capture on nights when you can see The entire Milky Way sprawled out above you!

In Conclusion:

Since the star points won’t be visible in the slide show, it’s important that you choose ‘view full size’ on the bottom of your slide show screen, and then click the photo with your little magnifying glass icon to view it full size.  Then to save it, right click and chose: ‘Save Image as’…

Observing Dark Matter


Everything in school came more or less naturally to me.  So I didn’t have to study at all to get good grades: you only have to tell me once.  I have the memory of a pack of pachyderms!  One of the things that came most naturally to me was physics.  And that’s because, as the term ‘physics’ suggests, most things can either be confirmed or denied by observing the physical world.  Yes our evaluations are biased because we live inside this bubble in space.  Yet the laws of physics effect matter everywhere to a greater or lesser degree, depending on mass and velocity. 

In this entry, I intend to dispute some common concepts concerning the nature of dark matter.  For instance, many Cosmologists believe dark matter to be inconsistent, and I believe it to be homologous.  Others are puzzled that if there’s greater and lesser densities in gases that form stars, then their distances from one another should be random, and yet they are not.  Except in globular clusters and open clusters, where stars are gravitationally bound, all stars are almost exactly four light years apart from one another in galaxy formations.  I also intend to prove that gravity is more of an effect than a law, which better explains why the universe continues to expand than does negative energy, or anti-matter.  I intend here, to answer these questions using direct observation.



The Andromeda galaxy with it’s two smaller conglomerates that orbit its central hub.  Andromeda is 2.2million light years away presently and heading right toward us.  In a few billion years it will actually collide with us, forming a much larger elliptical galaxy with a trillion stars or so: extra ones being formed from combining left over gases from both galaxies.  Well, they won’t actually collide.  It’s highly unlikely that any star from each will touch another…


Why are stars the distance apart?

It involves the homogenous nature of the dark matter scaffolding that holds galaxies afloat in space.  Ever since my Mummy introduced me do drugs at age six, in the form of caffeine, I’ve always loved to fold a slice of peanut-butter and bread in half, and dip it in my tea.  Today, it serves me will in replacing the dunking pleasure of donuts without the added calories.  I use twelve grain bread and noticed that the left over seeds and crumbs were always evenly spaced when I looked at the dregs.  This is what lead me to the contusion that it might just be the homogenous nature of dark matter that provides for the even spacing of stars regardless of mass or size.

This also lead me to conclude that the ‘Law of Gravity’ may be more of an effect as evident causation related to dark matter as an effect rather than a ‘law’…  This would neatly expanse why we can’t come up with a unified field theory: some of the math is missing!  And if the effects of gravity decrease with distance (and they do), how can it be regarded as universal a thing as a law?  With more mass, comes more gravity.  Yet not just via the mass of a heavenly girl or star, but the dark matter that surrounds it as well. 

Theorists contend that gravity is a universal effect.  This is only so because mass is universal.  Zero mass = zero gravity!  If it were a law unto itself, it wouldn’t have to depend upon mass to be relevant.  Mass is the law! Gravity is just the effect and should be examined independently  of mass to be fully understood.  As usual, we get the whole thing backwards…




How does it follow, dark matter is uniform?

Supernovas are uniform, always forming consistent geometrical patterns that would else-wise be random and inconsistent if dark matter was in clumps of varied density.  When I wake up (every second week), I always stare up at the oscillating fan above my head.  It spins very quickly!  And because the blades are uniformly spaced, there’s a kind of even invisibility revealing the ceiling behind it.  Galaxies also spin very quickly!  This could very neatly explain the homologous nature of dark matter, as well as it’s apparent invisibility to us. 

If galaxies were stationery, the dark matter that holds them up would suddenly be visible and would block the light of stars behind it.  And if dark matter weren’t uniform, than all the stars behind it would appear to be variable stars, which is NOT the case at all, seemingly!

The uniformity of dark matter leads me to conclude that it is not in fact heavier than visible mass as believed: that rather, the spin of a galaxy contributes to it’s ability to stay afloat in space in much the same way a spinning top remains upright, independent of gravity trying to topple the top off of its balance.  Spinning tops also form elliptical paths created by their spin rather than their weight, negating that dark matter is the only thing holding a galaxy up and must therefore be more massive than the matter within it.

These thoughts are naturally speculative on my part and not by any means set in stone.  I’m certain you must have queries of your own on the matter (the matter?)…  Naturally, I’m open to debate without prejudice, spitting, or telling you to jump up your own A-hole and die…  I hardly believe my milk and honey in tea coupled with peanut-butter sandwich crumbs will redefine the way we see the universe.  I merely wish to leave it open to question and cause you to think on the matter.  Perhaps with combined brain-storming, we can come up with a real hurricane!  If you think this confusing, I plan to ask you next why you think snowflakes are all unique :O)


Footnote hand typed:

Someone is trying to change the way my system works over The Internet.  See why I wanted to keep using Opera?  Anyway, I’ve taken to using Live Writer to compose entries and only coming online to publish them: one advantageous way Live Writer helps me to distance me from this Creep!  Another advantage is that Live Writer provides for white spacing, most effectual in stanzas between poem verses, and much easier on the eye of my beholders… For the time being, I may have trouble going to The Reader: at least until this Idiot finds someone else to pester…

Soft Backgrounds

Changing things up


On Don Charisma’s blog, he has a saying up right now that fits me to a: ‘T’, not to mention all the other letters of the alphabet…  It goes something like this: ‘You can never explore the ocean, until you have the courage to loose sight of the shore’ – Muriel Chen.  I’m just that kind of crazy hair pin that always wants to change things up!

Perhaps that’s why you’ll find me laying out instructions for you from time to time.  It’s not to boss you around, but to liberate you!  This entry must go into depth because it discusses braking free from a paradigm about blogging.  Now you can change up your backgrounds as readily as you do your shirt, but people seldom do, and always choose plain colored backgrounds so as not to distract the reader with fancy, deep colored backgrounds that distract the reader from the text. 

This is largely because very soft backgrounds are hard to find, and most of us work all day, so we just don’t have the time to hunt patterns down, download pattern files which all come in their own zipped folders.  Then place them all in Photoshop’s ‘Patterns’ preset folder, mark them all down so you don’t get them confused with the sets you already have loaded.  And then sift through them, deleting out all the frumpy looking ones, and finally changing them to very light, non-assuming web sized pages you can use.  Some even have to be cropped so they’ll tile vertically properly for you. 

Well I’ve done all that stuff for you, and it takes about 3 full days of work: and by full, I mean about 14 hours a day.  I’ve gone to great pains to make absolutely sure these will not distract from your writing at all: in fact, to make your blog look more crafted yet too subtle to be distracting at all!  Only the classiest have been chosen, and I have very good taste I might add!

Same old, same old…


Now I don’t know about you (Yes I do!), but I’ve been looking at the same, old theme on my blog for two years now, and I’m getting pretty tired of it!  So not only am I asking you to make the leap, I fully intend to do so myself.  Everything you have on the side of these, like categories, awards, links, feeds etc.. will stand out just fine.

All you need to know, is that they’re color coordinated, are all the regulation 1024 pixels width, and only 560 pixels long because you can choose to tile them vertically, which makes for very small files that load up lightning fast!  I fully intend to change them up as fast as my underwear (About every two weeks…).  Most hover between 50 and 85k which is next to nothing, and are high quality visually.

I started making these originally, to be unobtrusive backgrounds, screen size, in my case 1920 x 1080 for a project I’ll present to you later, also no charge.  Now these web backgrounds are all public domain, and even free to sell as long as you refer back to the designer.  They do the work, so I will refer you to the site I got them, at: ‘Deviant Art’. This way you can see how obtrusive they start out as… Others, I made myself and are not all that difficult to do, but that’s a separate tutorial altogether I’ll provide at a later date.

How to change your background


Go onto your Admin page and from the left hand column choose: Appearance/Backgrounds.  From there, you must first delete your original background: don’t worry, it’s probably still in your media folder.  Then just choose the new background from your drive, choose: ‘Center’ and ‘Tile Vertically’, and that’s all there is to it.  Think you can manage that?  It’s all pretty straight forward…

In another blog, I’ll give you the splash pages I’m making with these.  Well you wanted them, so at long last, here they are!  Be sure and download them all from the gallery so you’ll have lots of change ups, because I worked hard at them to get them just right, and because they really take up very little space.  Enjoy!  I know I will… Here are your soft backgrounds…  And if you’re nice little, girls and boys: cute little kiddies, I’ll even through in some matching Headers with some jazzed up quotes :O)

‘New’ Isn’t Always Better


A reasonable explanation

Women are here to help us understand chaos!  I’m sure that when Astronomers finally understood that the universe will one day fly apart, they also must’ve reasoned it must therefore be female…  Not that women don’t have some wonderful qualities.  I just can’t think of any off hand.  You can show them living proof, or at least a photo of why a certain thing isn’t so, and they’ll still deny it!  And some people still think Pluto is a planet.

I used to fool myself into thinking I could live with a woman forever, because it seemed to me that commitment what they wanted… And they got their wish…  I was committed!  LOL!  They just didn’t finish the sentence is all.  They wanted to live with me, forever in a mental institution!  I came home with real employment skills for weaving baskets, but that wasn’t good enough for her! She said what I truly lacked, was a PH.D in basket weaving!  Thinking just like Astronomers, they only expect you to know one thing really well…  And they always need their ‘space!’ 

When I was young, I thought by starting a fresh relationship, things would be different.  Now, the novelty wears off as soon as they speak!  Then, it was bad enough that they’d forget my name when I called.  Now they forget who I am after living with me too!  I get tired of being referred to as: ‘What’s his name?’  That’s how Galileo referred to Jupiter!

In the same way an asteroid may strike the earth for no apparent reason, she may strike you!  And you’ll never find out why because then she doesn’t want to talk about it.  That Tuskian Russian asteroid left no trace!  Women often leave you the exact same way:  everything around you is completely devastated, yet no implement of mass destruction is left behind!

Mercury has no atmosphere because it’s too close to the sun.  I feel the same way when a woman starts talking.  I get hot under the collar, and the room gets depleted of oxygen!  They resemble other heavenly bodies too.  If you sleep with one, it’s like why Uranus is tipped sideways: there’s less and less space around you, until you’re knocked out of orbit completely!

Never go shopping with a woman.  It’s like being sucked into a black hole:  time stands still, and all physical laws suddenly change to suit her!  You have to lie your face off: ‘Just because they call it a fright wig, that doesn’t mean you look like a clown!’  Else-wise, she’ll make you sit with her through three episodes of: ‘Coronation Street!’  And isn’t that kind of like being stranded on the moon?

It takes our galaxy 2 million years to make one rotation.  It takes her just as long to put her make-up on!  ‘Darling One?  Do you think 16 pounds of the lite lipstick, or 22 pounds of dark matter?’  You’ll get to the show just in time to see they’ve already turned it into a bowling alley…  Then they say it’s your fault for suggesting dark lipstick!  

So you tell me.  What’s more dramatic?  A woman or a super nova?  You don’t really know now do you?  That’s because they’re both the same!  They never get old, and they never go away…  So ‘New’ isn’t always better!

You’re Gonna Love This


About Me

You’re gonna love this!  I always try to give you the best that I can give.  Sometimes though, the best is given to me.  The information given to me was from a faceless person who showed up in answer to the post: ‘Do schools kill creatively’ in my ‘ideas’ category.  You might wanna give a boo there at all the fine comments from warm and giving faceless people.

There’s far more to this site than meets the eye!  It will help bring visitors to your blog if you set it up well.  It’s very user friendly, so that should be easy to do.  Just Google search: ‘about me’ and you should easily find your way there. When you’ve got yourself all set up, choose: ‘add apps’ at the very bottom of your page.  Click on it.  Then fill in your blog site URL in the dialog box it gives you, and a WordPress icon will appear beside it that leads people straight to your blog.  You’ll have to work on ‘collections’  there which you can create yourself, if you are adding someone’s page to it right away.  Else wise it won’t work.  I found that out…  

Under your name up top, you will find a choice called: ‘Edit Page’  There you will find a variety of tabs.  Choose the biography tab to say something about yourself, pictured in white on the image above.  The next tab over has three sections with a kind of fill in the blanks parts.  These are important because everything you put in there will be clickable and leads to pages from that topic that people occupy.  Only put in from the pop up list that will complete your entry as you start to write it in.

Typing in: ‘London’ for instance, will bring up a pop up list that has the selection: ‘London England UK’ there.  Choose it, and it will appear in your list, with the green writing in the image above, with sites from all people in London that belong to ‘about me’ to choose from.  The important thing to remember, is to always choose: ‘edit’ from the side of each category before you make your entries, or it won’t take.  Hit the ‘enter’ key after each one. Explore the other tabs at your convenience, to change the color of your font for instance.  You will literally be revamping my page to make your own!  You can create your own login or use your Facebook login and a couple of others… 

Free Sample


Once you have added the page to a collection, you must click on it to go to their site.  This page for U.S. citizens is just the place to go to to help you pick out the right University for the career minded among you.  It’s all simple enough to understand it once you explore your options…



This is just a beautiful picture of Earth from space!  If you don’t already have it, Stumbleupon is a unique web app that takes you to random pages concerning topics that you’re interested in.  It’s a fast way to surf the Net for what you want.  Once again, you may log in using your facebook account.  I always use the: ‘sRGB’ color space for web site pictures, and usually use medium for picture size, saving space for more…  My sincerest anticipation that you will find this all of worthwhile use to you.  I told you you’re gonna love this!  Cheers!