Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Picture of the Week #92



Recreation of a photo of the Mercury 7 astronauts. From the "To The Moon" exhibition, April 2009.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Picture of the Week #91



Painting of Galileo with a replica of one of his telescopes. From the "To The Moon" Exhibition, April 2009.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picture of the Week #90



Another composite image of M33 (which I posted a different version of back in 2008). AASTRA participants took the images and then I combined them into the final color image you see here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Another visit to the Main Building

After never setting foot the President's office in my nearly 20 years at UT, I found myself there again last Friday and will be there again next week (making that three times in the space of a month). Friday's visit was a reception to cap off Staff Appreciation Week where we got a chance to hang out with President Powers in his office, drink wine and nibble on hors d'oeuvres (very yummy hors d'oeuvres, I might add). We also got a nice view of the rooftop garden and walkway, but after a point it got a little too hot to enjoy and we all moved back in to the office (which is in part an old library - heaven!)

While we were there, Dr. Charles Roeckle, the Deputy to the President, showed some of us around the office area and pointed out some of the neat architectural details, including a story behind the window in the previous post. Hopefully I'm recalling the story correctly, but if I get a little of the detail wrong, blame the wine, heat and the long week.

We had a horrible hail storm come through campus two years ago, and many west-facing windows were damaged or totally smashed, including the lower part of the window in the previous post (see the photo below for a view of the whole thing). The two vertical segments of the window were from the old Main Building constructed in the 1880s and torn down in the 1930s when the current building was constructed. When the window was installed in the current building, the top part was just blank, but when the they went to restore it after the hail damage, Dr. Roeckle had the top part done to match what the window had originally looked like when it was in the old main building. I thought that was pretty cool. :)


Science denialism

Although I'm late to the game with this, Michael Specter's TED talk "The Danger of Science Denial" was excellent. I just recently listened to his book on the same topic and although most of the material will be old hat to most skeptics, I would recommend people read it (and then pass it to a few friends!)



Talk description from the TED website:
Vaccine-autism claims, "Frankenfood" bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public's growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Picture of the Week #89



The moon on April 21, 2010 from the 16-inch telescope at RLM