Courtney Hadwin

For the record I don’t spend much time watching network television. That said, rare idle moments find shows like America’s Got Talent airing in the background. Why? Because the likes of 13 year old Courtney Hadwin might blow my mind. Ponder these clips. The girl is 13 years old!

Results of America’s vote aired tonight. Fear not  – Courtney made it to the semi-finals.


Pondering ALMA Timelapse

Ponder the Atacama Large Millimeter/Sub-millimeter Array ( ALMA ), a ground level array of 66 radio telescopes commanding Chile’s Atacama Desert at an elevation of 16,000 feet. Operational since 2013 with cooperation from the U.S., Europe, Canada, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Chile, ALMA is our largest ground based telescope array. Mission – ” to provide insight on star birth during the early universe and detailed imaging of local star and planet formation. ”

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Lose yourself in ALMA timelapse –


Burning Tears Of Saint Lawrence

Tonight through August 13 the Perseid meteor shower promises to deliver peak sightings. According to science – “In 1835, Adolphe Quetelet identified the shower as emanating from the constellation Perseus. In 1866, after the perihelion passage of Swift-Tuttle in 1862, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli discovered the link between meteor showers and comets.“. Seems over zealous astronomers neglected to ask the church were Perseid originated.

Martyred Christian deacon Saint Lawrence was put to death August 10, 258 AD by Roman emperor Valerian. According to legend Lawrence was grilled to death over hot coals. Before succumbing to his death deacon Lawrence is said to have told his torturers he was “done” on one side and to turn him over. ( reason National Geographic claims made Lawrence the patron saint of chefs ) History documents Catholic observance of Saint Lawrence martyrdom on August 10 since the fourth century.

Somewhere in the annuals of early Catholic history Perseids became the fiery tears of Saint Lawrence. Clearly the only explanation for a annual event coinciding with grilling the patron saint of chefs.

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A Perseid meteor crosses the night sky over a statue of Jesus Christ in a Belarusian village on August 13, 2016.

The annual Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a stream of dust from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, as shown in this orbit diagram.

Go to for tips on watching Perseid.

2018 Perseids

Every year between July 17 and August 24 Earth orbit crosses paths with debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Swift-Tuttle follows a long exaggerated oblong orbit, a journey of 133 years to complete one lap from beyond Pluto when farthest from the Sun, to inside Earth orbit when closest to our Sun. Swift-Tuttle’s behemoth debris tail is a product of solar warming – every time it passes through the inner solar system, solar energy loosens particles of icy comet releasing tiny particles into the debris stream. Particles which smack our atmosphere at 210,000 km/hour to deliver the Perseid Meteor shower.

This year, Perseid 2018 coincides with a near moonless sky on August 11, 12 and 13. Recommended viewing typically suggests observation points away from city lights between midnight and dawn. Dark skies help but don’t give up if you aren’t a night crawler or can’t escape light pollution. Be sky aware, gaze upwards and if you’re lucky a spectacular earthgrazer ( slow, colourful meteors traveling along the horizon before midnight when the radiant point of comet debris is close to the horizon ) might just make your day.

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Image result for astro bob perseid

Earth encounters debris from comet, via Astro Bob.

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Image result for perseid meteor 2018

Image result for perseid meteor 2018

Petunia and The Vipers

Ponder Petunia & The Vipers –

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From Petunia & The Vipers Facebook page –

Louis Armstrong was once asked what his favorite kind of music was, and his response was simple; “Good music”. Petunia & the Vipers’ sound may not sit comfortably in one certain genre, but “Good Music” describes it well. Hank Williams on acid… Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie’s Hobo junction… Avant-Country night club scene music… One of the best bands in the world today, of any kind… hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show… A new music that springboards off of music of the past and jumps into the present day, left with only echoes of the past… Something in between 1920’s and steam punk. It’s good for your mind… These are just a few of the words uttered by folks around the globe trying to pin down a description of all that is Petunia & The Vipers.”

Petunia & The Vipers make me smile. Enjoy –