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Dog Star

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About Dog Star

  • Rank
    Mars Supial
  • Birthday 06/03/1955


  • Biography
    Resident of Alice Springs for 11 years. Love the bush, the open spaces and the clear dark skies
  • Location
    Alice Springs, Centralia
  • Interests
    Astronomy, bushwalking, photography and the world around me
  • Occupation
    Mostly drive trucks
  • Astronomy Equipment
    12"GSO Dob w/ 8x50 right angle finder scope and Telrad finder
    32,25,15,9&6 mm GSO plossls
    20x80 AOE nokkies
  1. Yeah, me too. (Though spamming is spamming.) I've actually received a PM from a genuine member at the other astro web site who is also a Buddhist. This genuine member apologised for Serendipity's actions and assured me that this is not how real Buddhists operate. He told me that genuine Buddhists are always willing to discuss their view points but they don't "Door-knock" and any that do are simply not genuine Buddhists. A courteous and much appreciated PM. I personally have met quite a few Buddhists and polite courtesy seems to be common to them all. Cheers, Siress. :nospamhere:
  2. G'day all, A curious phenonema is occurring - The Buddhists are spamming astronomy web sites. Not something that bothers me personally - I just thought I'd give a heads up! In the last week I received a PM on Ice in Space (which I haven't been active on for several months.) The PM was from someone who called themselves "Eternity" Checked out their personal members profile and learned that they had joined in March of this year, had made no posts, gave no access to replies but provided a link to a site called New Buddhists. Yesterday I received a PM on this (MAS) site from someone who called themselves "Serendipity", joined in March this year, didn't enable contact details, has made no posts, but again gave a link to a site called New Buddhists. Now, I have no problem with Buddhists whatsoever, and in the spirit of Dr Johnson, I believe that "Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind" and I'll confess that I've registered and started posting on this site. But fair is fair! If they're going to spam us, then surely turn about is fair play? Having looked at "Serendipity's" profile, I see that several of us have visited their profile to ascertain who they are. Those members know the link - my advice is to use it - not to cause trouble (I think this person is well intentioned and is not trying to cause trouble) but to push the astronomy/science wheelbarrow. That's what I'm doing. If they're real Buddhists, they shouldn't have a problem with this. So if you get a PM from someone called Serendipity, follow the link, and give them an alternate view of Nirvana. (Or, Heaven forbid, learn something about Buddhism.) It's all in good fun and part of the learning experience. (And I don't really like being spammed, even with the best of intentions.) I belong to a couple of strange web sites but I don't spam them about astronomy sites, unless they specifically ask. Otherwise I'd be sending out PM's to you all about Doctor Who and Alchemy web sites. :spam: Anyways, just a heads-up - Do as thou wilt! :peace2: In all fun and learning - Dog Star.
  3. Obama commits to Mars

    Let me get this straight - The Constellation Program has been cancelled and in its place we have a vague commitment to Mars, starting off with $6 billion over 5 years. I'm no NASA number cruncher but I would have thought that this amount of money roughly equates to 3/5th of 5/8th of stuff-all! Again, my understanding of the logistics of sending people on an orbit of Mars are basic to say the least, but I thought that some sort of manned base on the Moon was going to feature heavily, and as a necessity in our endeavours to reach beyond our small blue world. Like Warthog, I won't see humans walk on Mars, and I'm feeling vaguely ripped off by it all!
  4. Just read that President Obama has reacted to stinging and widespread criticism of his deleting the Constellation project by committing NASA to putting humans around Mars orbit by 2030. (Sorry, I don't have the link, but by the time you've read this, you'll probably have read Obama's speech anyway.) In order to help realize this grand scheme, the President has , or will, up NASA's budget by 6 billion dollars over 5 years!!?? :smiley-laughing021: Now that's what I call commitment! By golly, why can't we send 'em up there in alfoil boxes like we did in the good old Apollo days? I hate to say this, but it seems to me that what we need right now is another good old space race. We may even be in the foetal stages of one now. Six billion dollars over 5 years seems to me to be a pretty poor opening shot, though.
  5. In just over a week I'm having my first holiday in three years and bloody hell, I need it! I'm loading the camping gear and the dogs into the Falcon uterus and we're heading off to SE Qld to see family and friends. Me Mum's in her 90's now and I still like to try and touch bases whenever possible. Really looking forward to seeing the ocean again. Hell, and rivers and creeks with water in them as opposed to sand and gravel. I expect to leave Alice on 30th April and travel out along the Barkley to Cammoweal, Mt Isa, Winton, Longreach, Barcaldine, Emerald, Rockhampton and then down the Qld coast to Childers, the first of my stops, before getting to Brisbane, just over 3000k's around the 7th or so (depending on how many stops I make on the way. Anyone on that route who might appreciate meeting over a cold beer in a hot pub in that time frame is welcome to PM me. Warning! - Contains nuts!
  6. Just a little vote of thanks to Trevor W. who has been doing the monthly newsletter, which I assume we all receive. An informative and interesting little piece of work and something I don't get from any other web site I'm registered at. Thanks Trev. Well done!
  7. That's a capital idea, Radar! OK Tim, here's the deal. Let me use your address for this subscription thingy and if I win, I'll give you the 13mm Ethos I already own.. Yeah, I know the odds of you actually winning on this deal are probably 3/5th of 5/8th of bugger all but what the Hey? Looking forward to your PM with your personal details regarding this post. Cheers, Old Buddy!
  8. Bugger indeed! Guess I should have read the fine print. My apologies for the mis-leading post. My re-subscription will also contain a protest regarding IDA's discriminatory practice towards South Sea Sailors. Should have known it was too good to be true.
  9. Happy Easter

    Right back at ya mate, and the same to the the rest of the mob too!
  10. Don't know if many (or any) of you are members of the International Dark-sky Association? I'm not going to go into a long political diatribe about it but it basically campaigns for dark skies world wide and provides information for doing the same. It's time for me to re-new my subscription (about fifty bucks a year from memory) but here's why I've posted - Until June, anyone who subscribes or re-subscribes will have their name put into a draw for a full set of Ethos eyepieces. I don't know about the rest of you, but to me that sounds like quite an inducement! I was gonna re-subscribe anyway. I'd previously invested in a 13mm Ethos some months back and have been wondering ever since how I could get my hands on an 8mm. So, I'm going to go for it. Just Google International Darksky Association for all details. (And may the most handsome amongst us win. Or the neediest, whichever comes first. I'm both extremely handsome and desperately needy.!)
  11. The essential Maggie

    G'day Warthog. Maggie certainly is a beautiful girl! I'm a great lover of dogs and have two myself and two finer friends I've never had! Some people get a dog as a watch-dog, some people get a dog as a guard dog or fashion statement but some people get a dog as a companion and I personally think that that is what dogs most excel at. The depth of their fidelity can be truly humbling. Cheers, Phil.
  12. For those who may be interested. The new series of the good Doctor's adventures, starring a new Doctor in the form of Matt Smith, premiers on Australian screens at 7.30 pm Sunday, 18th April. I'm aware of some of the spoilers for this new season and I must say that I'm really looking forward to it. In the "Hot Chicks" department, new companion Amy Pond wears what must be the shortest skirt ever worn in Doctor Who, and she's a Police officer! Yep! Really looking forward to this!
  13. One of the (many) things that I love about living in Central Australia is the number of idiosyncratic characters that you get to meet here. I live in the rural area about 20 odd k's from Alice itself on acreage and we've just become hosts to a bloke called Claus (rhymes with house) who has been travelling around Australia for the last 10 years with 2 camels hauling a former Suzuki 4wd (minus motor, electrics, etc) that he found in a paddock at Barrow Creek and converted to a basic trailer. He's been around most of the Outback of Australia along paths and routes that the rest of us can only guess about, seeing the country in a manner and style that probably died out over 100 years ago. He lives simply, but incredibly richly, covering not much more than about 20 k's a day with his 2 camels, Willie and Snowie. Those of you who have never had much to do with camels can have no idea just how endearing and engaging these animals can be. Claus is only in town for a month or so while he gets his teeth fixed, then he's off to Oodnadatta and down to the Flinders Ranges in SA, a journey he estimates will take him at least 12 months, depending on how long the camels tarry. As he himself explains - it's not how quick he wants to travel, it's how long the camels take to feed along the way. He has no Boss, no time table and no hurry. Just a love for travelling through the bush and thinking deeply on the way. He has solar panels mounted on the roof of the Suzuki which power his lap-top and Engel fridge. The lap-top is for writing, music and digital photos. The Internet is simply not required and thus superfluous. I've been fortunate and priveleged to have him and his camels as neighbours, and we've had quite a few cold ones and philosophical discussions since he arrived some 2 weeks ago. I'll sorely miss the three of them when they finally leave. I've shown him some of the sights through my 12" Dob and he was rapt. I picked him up a copy of Tirion's "A Walk Through The Southern Skies" and when I gave it to him, he bloody near cried for joy. Oddly enough, his camels and my dogs get along famously. I think the dogs and camels will miss each other too. This sort of stuff just doesn't happen in urban areas, and I feel sorry for you all because of it. I guess that what I'm trying to say is that life can be strangely and surprisingly beautiful if you're in the right place at the right time. Cheers to all.
  14. I've been noticing something slightly peculiar for some time now and I'd appreciate your comments. Quite often when I look at a photo of a crater or canyon on the Moon or Mars, I don't always interpret it visually as a depression but rather as a mound. The iconic image of Buzz Aldrin's boot print in the Lunar dust is a classic example. More often than not when I look at this photo, it appears to me to be rising above the surrounding terrain as opposed to indenting it. If I stare at the image for a while, I seem to be able to "reverse" the image and interpret it correctly. The same thing happens with Lunar and Martian craters. Whilst most of the time I interpret the images correctly as depressions, others look like mounds rising above the terrain and though I can usually re-interpret them, they will often flash back to the mound appearance. I'm not aware of any problems with depth perception or vision in any other areas of my life, so this strikes me as slightly unusual. So what I'm wondering is - Does anyone else experience this? Does anyone know what's going on here? Should I consider mentioning it to my doctor? Any comments (humorous or serious) appreciated.
  15. Picked up a book last week called Astronomy - a self-teaching guide, by Dinah L. Moche. Over the last couple of years I've picked up a few books on astronomy (you can never have too many) but this one seems to condense all the important information down into one book, with a series of self-tests throughout the book so you know if you're digesting the information. It's not a casual read, it really is a text book on the subject and ranges from navigating around the sky and the movements of the planets to cosmology and the search for life. Lot's of useful appendices and tables too. The only 2 criticisms I would make are that it is written from a northern hemisphere perspective, though I guess that that's not a huge problem, just inconvenient to a South-paw. The other criticism is that a statement on the back of the book says - "* Technical ideas made simple without mathematics." (Guess it depends on the level of maths that your comfortable with.) It's a great book though and is sure to interest a couple of you out there.