What I Go To School For

Posted on 6th July 2007

Following my adventures in Houston last week, Nicole mentioned to DanDan's teacher that I could show the class my photos. They have recently been doing a class project about space and specifically the Apollo 11 moon landing.

So today I went in to do a short 15 minute presentation. Nicole thought 5-10 minutes would be enough, but I think the kids would have happily talked for an hour :)

I picked out a few photos and talked about the rockets, capsules, moon landings, mission control, the mockups, the international space station, the space shuttle and the Saturn V rocket. As I knew they'd already done the class project, I prompted them for answers, which they really relished. I got asked whether there was an Apollo 24, how did the spacemen go to toilet, how did they have a shower, how the rocket got into space, how they got back to Earth among many many others. They also enjoyed telling me about all the things they'd learnt too. They knew the astronauts had to be strapped in when they went to sleep, and that they ate lots of dried food. Not sure if they quite understood that it was freeze-dried and rehydrated, plus they also got a bit confused with the idea of a monkey and a dog landing on the moon, but it was great to see they has such a fascination of the subject, including the girls too.

Mrs Clarke, their teacher, seemed to enjoy the presentation too and confessed that she even remembers watching the moon landing on television. I was only 4 :)

File Under: dandan / family / school / space

I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide

Posted on 5th July 2007

The 2007 YAPC::NA Organisers

The 2007 YAPC::NA Organisers

Finally got the time to sort through my photos from last week. From over 2,000 photos, I've got them down to just over 700. There are still a few in there that aren't quite as good as I'd like, but then until I can freeze people in time before taking the shot, I'm going to struggle with the current camera. I'm looking at to getting a DSLR at some point, so hopefully I won't get so many blurred pictures then. Still I'm pleased I managed to get quite a selection that I did like.

For those who discover this entry by searching for YAPC::NA, here are all the photos I have online:

I also took some videos of Luke Closs and the Lightning Talks, so once I've converted them I'll get those online too.

Last week was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I got to go. Looking forward to YAPC::Europe now :)

File Under: conference / houston / opensource / perl / photography / space / technology / yapc

Fly Like An Eagle

Posted on 2nd May 2007

I've been a long time fan of space photography, partly fueled by watching the movements of Jodrell Bank's Lovell Radio Telecope from my bedroom window when I lived in Holmes Chapel. Although I have never been moved enough to become an astronomer, I did used to enjoy looking at the stars in the night sky of an evening sitting on the nearby hills and watching Patrick Moore telling what to look for on The Sky At Night. These days I seem to keep meeting people who are astronomers in their spare time, and some have managed to get some amazing photographs, even though they are earth bound.

Recently I came across a site that features the Top 100 photographs taken from the ESA/NASA Hubble Telescope. All the photos are absolutely amazing, but the one that really impressed me was the one pictured on the right. There is something rather majestic about that photograph, and the colours are stunning. If I ever become the next Mark Shuttleworth and become a space passenger, I'd probably spend my whole time glued to the window .... with my trusty camera of course ;)

File Under: photography / space

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