Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lensless Imaging and Phase Reconstruction

For the written portion of the Physics Comprehensive exams I have to wrote a twenty page paper based on the research we did last semester.

Watch this space, I'll post a link.

Linky to Final Paper

Should be working now. FireFTP to the rescue.
Another reason why FireFox rocks.

Marks Giant Book of Filk

My songbook now comprises 57 Songs.
I have all the songs,most with chords, saved in a single MS Word File.

Generally available to friends and family. Let me know.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When Eagles Fall

Yes, I have nothing to say, so I'll post another song.

This is the one that is always requested as "The Weasel Song"

When Eagles Fall
Music and Lyrics © 2003 Mark E. Horning

4/4 time

Columbia has fallen, from a brilliant azure sky
and left a wake of smoke and flame, thirty-eight miles high,
and seven of our very best, are gone forevermore,
flesh and steel paid the supreme price to explore

Once again we'll turn away from that brilliant, starry road,
cast our eyes down from the sky to our earth and mud abode,
once again clip eaglet's wings, silence rockets roar,
yet in all my Earthbound years, I've never seen a weasel soar.

It happened many years ago, back when Challenger was lost.
And seven other astronauts paid that final cost.
And certainly we stumbled, perhaps we even fell,
for more than lives were lost that day, some dreams were lost as well.

SO, once again we'll turn away from that brilliant, starry road,
cast our eyes down from the sky to our earth and mud abode,
once again clip eaglet's wings, silence rockets roar,
yet in all my Earthbound years, I've never seen a weasel soar.

In each of man's endeavors, there's some risk and some reward
And those who've strived have often died, as our history records
And the high frontier is calling, but we all remember when
It took us two whole years before we'd rise to try again.

Final Chorus:
Do not turn away again from that brilliant, starry road,
Or cast your eyes down from the sky to this earth and mud abode,
Do not clip the eaglet's wings, or silence rockets roar,
for in all your Earthbound years, you'll never see a weasel soar.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fyne Workin' order

What you missed by not attending the Can't Stop the Serenity Event.

You can't take the sky from me...

The Sunrise Lands

So I'm reading The Sunrise Lands, by S.M. Stirling:

The proprietor of A. E. Isherman's Fine Arms and Armor knew them of old and greeted them beaming under the swinging sigh -- THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS IS THE RIGHT TO BE FREE. (Page 231)

If you don't know why that's funny, you've neglected the classics.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Countdown Towards Tomorow

A Test, and a somewhat failed one. I can't seem to post with a fixed width font and maintain the spaces necessary to place chord symbols over the words properly.

A taste of the upcoming album:

Countdown Towards Tomorrow
Music and lyrics © Mark E. Horning 23 July 2004 4/4 time [5:36]

There's 5 seconds left, 'till we rocket toward tomorrow.
4 seconds left and this bird is set to soar
3 seconds left, the runway's clear before us.
2 seconds, 1 second, hear those engines' roar.

Well, I'm sitin' in the left hand seat, with a punk kid in the right
Who's never seen a good man die when a rocket fails in flight
He thinks he is the hottest thing, that's ever learned to fly
But I remember when I rode a missile through the sky.
But I guess I can not fault him, or heap on too much scorn.
We started flying rocket-planes before he was born.

And there's 5...

We go over the checklist, and the damn kid gets it right.
I'm feeling a bit generous, so I let him hit Ignite.
The folks on orbit need all of the supplies we provide,
But we pause for several seconds 'till I ram the throttles wide.
We’ve little time for speeches or traditions anymore
But the 5 second countdown honors those who went before.

We Count 5...

Bring her down from orbit, line her up and land her clean
Just another space flight and everything's routine.
Taxi to the fuel farm; fill her up with JP-8
Then re-fill the LOX tanks; check the oil while you wait.
Grab a cup of coffee, and a sandwich while you can
We've only got an hour, till we fly to space again.

When there'll be 5...

Well it isn't how it used to be, back in the days of old
When space was an adventure, and a wonder to behold
We've given up the romance, and we did it by design
the corporation's main concern must be bottom line
The benefits are lousy, we don't make what we're worth.
But still I've got the greatest job, on, or off, the Earth

And there's 5...
Yes there's 5...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

CopperCon 2008 - Music GoH

From Gary,

CopperCon 28 regretfully announces that our Filk GoH, Tom Smith is under Rehab for a surgically re-attached ligament in his leg. He will not be coming. I ask everyone to come and support the Con. There will be many 50- minute concerts and a wonderful Filk Circle and Filk Panels plus all of the other CopperCon SF activities.
Gary L. Swaty
Chairman of CopperCon 28

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Honda Civic of Handguns

I hate Glocks. I've never liked them, and I've finnally figured out why. Glocks are the Honda Civic of Handguns. They are reliable, reasonably priced, and utterly Blah. I've always said that the Glock is a great handgun for non gun people., which is why they are so popular with police departments. Similarly, the Civic is a great car for non Car people.

I want the same thing in a firearm that I want in an automobile: control, performance, and ergonomics. I want a car with rear-wheel drive, manual clutch, and a floor shifter. Yes, it takes a bit more skill to use, but the end experience is far more satisfying than putting some front wheel drive import into "Drive", hitting the accerator and waiting for it to do something.

Similarly, I want a handgun with a single action trigger and manual thumb safety. That's why a 1911 will always be a better handgun than a Glock. It does what you tell it to, it points better, the trigger is MUCH better, and it does exactly what you tell it to.

A 1911 is like a Ford Mustang with a stick, if you actually like cars, it will always be better than a Civic.