Tag Archives: Hobby

What should I read next?

My reading list has gotten really short recently. I’m in my final semester of graduate school, and the time it takes to do my courses well and look for a job, and run my business (I have a direct sales business), leave me with little time for personal reading. Another reason why I won’t be reading as much is because if I really like a book, I have a hard time putting it down and doing something else. I’m going to tell you what’s currently on my reading list, and also some of the things I like. In return, I’m going to ask you for recommendations for additional books. I’m going to spend at least some time this fall working on my sewing (I need some new clothes) and so even if I can’t find the time to read a book, I can get the audio version and listen while I sew. I tend to do better focusing on my projects when I have something interesting playing.

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Filed under Books and Reading Lists, Grad School

Cheap Exercise

For this week’s Thrifty Thursday column, I thought I’d look at something that also helps with healthy living, and weight loss. (I’ll be starting a new weight loss day next week.) We’ll talk about food some other time because there are some great ways to save money there as well, but I just started a new exercise program, so I thought I’d talk about ways to save money on gym memberships and exercise classes first. Gym memberships are expensive, and a luxury that not everyone can afford. As a full-time graduate student, I certainly couldn’t afford to join the local gym, but there may be other options available to someone looking to be a little thrifty.

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Filed under Exercise, Thrifty Thursdays

Pink Jupiter

Pink Jupiter

Originally uploaded by andi330

It’s time for a few more of my astrophotos taken via Slooh. I thought I would share an interesting photo I took of Jupiter on 9/13/10. As I wrote of briefly last week, this has been an excellent time to view Jupiter. In the past few weeks Jupiter has been as close to Earth as it has come in the last several decades, and it won’t be as close again for over 50 years, so it’s been a great time to get photos or just view the planet. On 9/13, I was hoping to get some really good images. Slooh has a high-mag telescope that can produce some great sights, and the high clouds in my area (despite the lack of rain) was making it difficult to do a lot of viewing with my own personal telescope. In addition, my own scope wouldn’t be able to show me Jupiter in color and I don’t have the tools for personal astrophotography (CCD cameras are expensive and I’d need a bigger scope). Unfortunately, there were clouds and haze over the Canary Islands, and so the pictures, while interesting, weren’t the greatest. Regardless, I thought the blue and pink colors of Jupiter that evening were interesting, and so I snapped a few. Ordinarily, on a clear night you can get great photos, this is all atmospheric disturbance. Check my new Flikr widget to see pictures as they’re added!

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Filed under Amateur Astronomy, Astrophotographs, astrophotography

Jupiter at opposition

For all of my friends interested in amateur astronomy, or even if you aren’t, I encourage you to find a way to get a good look at Jupiter tonight. You’ll get a better view through a telescope, although binoculars should work. Why? Tonight, Jupiter is at opposition, meaning that the Earth is directly between the Sun and Jupiter, giving us a great view. It is also the closest it will be to Earth for another 40 plus years. So grab that dusty old telescope, head out to a dark part of your yard and take a look! If you have cloudy skies try Slooh. Keep in mind that if Slooh is metering at the time you try to log on you will have to join and pay the monthly fee, though at less than $10 for unlimited photos it’s not a bad deal. Clear skies and view it for me! (I’ll be working.)

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Filed under Amateur Astronomy, astronomy

Pleiades (M45) imaged using SLOOH’s Canary Islands 1 High Mag on 18 Sep 10 at 03:14:43 UTC

Everyone should have at least one hobby. I love amateur astronomy. Unfortunately, because I live in a major city, there is a lot of light pollution to contend with. I still get my own personal telescope out, and head out to public nights at the local observatory, but there is nothing like looking through a telescope on a truly dark sky because you’ll see stars and planets that aren’t visible in a city. One of the ways I get my dark sky viewing fix is through Slooh. They are inexpensive, and have telescopes with CCD cameras located in the Canary Islands, Australia and Chile. The picture below was taken using the Canary Island observatory this evening. Aren’t the Pleiades beautiful? From time to time I may post other of my photos here as well, so if you like this, make sure you check back!

Pleiades (M45) imaged using SLOOH’s Canary Islands 1 High Mag on 18 Sep 10 at 03:14:43 UTC.

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Filed under Amateur Astronomy, Astrophotographs