Archive for May, 2007

Blue Moon, Bishop’s Ring, Cloud Iridescence = By Budapest

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

blue moon, Bishop's ring, cloud iridescence

Tonight is the second full moon of the month.  In 1946 Sky & Telescope magazine mistakenly created the myth that this moon is called a blue moon.  They have recently corrected that to say what the Maine Farmer’s Almanac really said – that the third full moon in a season with four full moons is called blue.  The almanac picked that nominalism simply because they needed an extra name.  After all, the monthly full moons all had a name:

  • January – Wolf moon
  • February – Ice moon
  • March – Storm moon
  • April – Growing/Flower moon
  • May – Hare moon
  • June – Mead moon
  • July – Hay moon
  • August – Corn moon
  • September – Harvest moon
  • October –  Hunter’s moon
  • November – Snow moon
  • December – Winter moon

But sometimes the moon really appears blue, like on May 20-21 in Hungary when fine dust from the Sahara desert blew over the country.  Ágnes Kiricsi, whose Hungarian/English blog is Atmospheric Optics (not to be confused with the UK’s Atmospheric Optics website), captured the scene over Budapest.  Her friend, Noli, captured an equally rare event with the same cause, a solar Bishop’s ring as well as an iridescent cloud (which has nothing to do with Saharan sands, but is very pretty).

websitesasgraphs = whatta sight

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

This blog as a graph. 

Cuz’in Peter, who currently works at Yahoo! but is more a zseni Houyhnhnm, pointed me to Websites as Graphs, resulting in the pictures of this blog above.  As time elapses, the picture develops more detail.  There is even a Flickr site (tagged websitesasgraphs) to post your results.  The technology and source used is posted on the site.  Below is a comparison of Yahoo!’s and Google’s homepages (not fair, really, since Yahoo! is a portal and Google a search engine).  My little blog is more complex than either (but if you want to see complexity let it work on CNN for a while).

search engines.gif

At first I thought this was a graph of network links.  Wrong!  It maps html syntax.  Below is the key.

tag(s) = color
html = black
table, tr, td = red
p, br, blockquote = orange
form, input, textarea, select, option = yellow
div = green
a = blue
img = violet
everything else = gray

 I don’t know if Yahoo! is using this technology, but they do have some cool stuff® like the recent feature Pipes (a user’s guide).  With it you can easily create mashups, like a combined Yahoo! & Google search, and much much more.

P.S.  A post about about Aharef’s website was made exactly 1 year ago on Pharyngula.

P.P.S.  Note: the applet shows the structure of a web page, not a web sitecomments on Edward Tufte’s board.

P.P.P.S.  Some more webpagegraphs:  my employer’s homepage, my homepage, this article’s page.

more webgraphs

Combinational Mathematics = Combinatorial + Recreational

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

 Plat diviseur

Web 2.0 is all about community.  WetPaint introduced a service which makes creating Wikis a snap.  It’s free (they provide the google ads).  So I created a Wiki called Combinational Mathematics for the combinatorists and recreational math ethusiasts among you (the URL: is simpler than the title).  For starters there is a book list (7, including 2 online pdf books [1], [2]); a links list (9); and a list of other math Wikis (8).

I also used a web widget from OUseful Info‘s blog to create a “carousel” of similar books.  It’s really simple.  Just enter the URL: , substituting the ISBN code, which can be found here or here.  The size is the width of the carousel.

In short, it is already a fun site!  Check it out.  And by all means don’t contribute . . . NOT!  You can buy the beautiful French plates here.  Go figure how it helps you slice a pie.

Science Blogs = Museum Quality

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Been to any good science museum(blog)s lately?

Science Museum Blogs from
Antarctic Conservation Blog
Anthropological Dealings in South Florida
Biomedicine on Display
Botany Photo of the Day
Climate Change and the Bering Sea
Free Radicals
Ideum: Ideas + Media
Mario Bucolo Museum Blog
Meteorites Search Blog
Museum Anthropology
Museum Detective
museums and the web on-line
Ohio Archaeology
oz: the blog of glenda sims ( the goodwitch)
Polar Passport
QUEST Science Blog
Questacon Blog
Raffles Museum News
Red Shift Now: Expand your universe
Science Buzz
Science Museum Dev
Science Now, Science Everywhere
Shell Questacon Science Circus
The Curator’s Egg; Parts of It Are Excellent
The Cyberville Blog
The Ten Thousand Year Blog
UK Museums and the Semanctic Web
Virtual Visits With the New York Hall of Science
What’s New At Pacific Science Center