Posts Tagged ‘fun’


October 11, 2011

    YES Dawahfilms, giving away my docs to people who ask is doc dropping, and you were doing this, not only to me, but to at least one other member of my family.  What’s even more pathetic is that EVEN NOW, after you have been caught, dropping my docs, you insist on trying to use weasel words to try and define your way out of this.  Not just in your latest video (thunderfoot, lies vs truth), where you state:

“none of my VIDEOS doc dropped” -Dawahfilms

but in the email you wrote to me:

 Im also pissed still at your “Dawahfilms doc dropped me” accusation, which is bullshit. You know as well as I do this info has been around for awhile. The fact that you had to pin it on me is nonsense.  -Dawahfilms

     I mean really, you expect to be this comically frugal with the truth to my face and expect me not to notice IMMEDIATELY?  All that ‘belief in god’ had addled your brain with unrealistic wishful thinking.  Y’see this is the thing, if you had any integrity, you would have been able to simply say, ‘I did not disseminate ANY of Tfoots docs, nor did I enable other to acquire them’.

     I can already hear his next set of excuses, ‘well I only sent links to the data that ‘someone else’ had hosted so it I am completely innocent’

     No dawahfilms.  Giving away my personal details to people who asked is doc dropping and you were doing it in your personal spite filled hate vendetta.  But I and you both know why you did this, because it was impossible for you to defend the stupidity of your religion on the public forum, or the violent behavior it induced in you in that you think your religion actually gives you a mandate to kill certain people.

And your threats to sue me:

I just want you to know that when I get the chance, I’ll be contacting your next place of employment if its a university, so as to protect them from your bigotry. Or, by that time, I’ll have you in court for defamation. Depends on which one is more suitable. .-Dawahfilms

these are even more unrealistic than the idea that the epileptic ramblings of some desert crazy were actually ‘Allah’ trying to communicate with the world.  If you were really serious about suing someone, it’s dead simple, you subpoena YT and the service provider for the personal details, and take it forward from there.   However this is all contingent of course on you actually having a prima facie case for getting a subpoena issued, and that’s where it really all crashes and burns, because you see DaWAHHHH, it turns out you can’t sue people for saying whats evidently true.

Da-WAAHHHHHH-films, pt 2

October 8, 2011

     So here I am at the Texas Freethought convention, where I’ve met for the first time Matt Dillahunty from the Atheist Experience, and been having a great time with folks such as Aronra (also met in person for the first time) and many others when I get email from the infamous ‘crying muslim’ (dawahfilms).  He STILL seems to be operating under the delusion that universities base their hiring and firing policies based on how much a v. whiney pussy complains about how someone explained to him that his religion made him both behave like an ass, and why his religion was evidently stupid.  The baffling thing is he seems to think that I will be intimidated by his delusions.  Again this is not terribly surprising by a man who thinks that fictitious invented punishments, like Muslim-Hell (much nastier than Christian hell! Where Allah, having boiled off someones skin, puts it back on them so he can do it again, and all while dawahfilms watches this sickeningly sadistic blood-fest for eternity, ambivalently thinking, ‘yeah that’s only fair’) will frighten me (lmao).  He might as well state that he’s trained an army of invisible mutant ninja flying monkeys to hunt me down and exterminate me from the rank smell my British Atheism emits!

‘Oh no dawah, Im sorry, Im so sorry, for highlighting the stupidity of your religion, I will never point out how stupid some of the Islamic beliefs are EVER AGAIN!’ (ROFLAMO)

It’s like dungeons and dragons of old, there was always one creature you could laugh at without fear of reprisal.  In D&D it was the kobold.  On youtube its Da-WAAAHHHHHH-films.

Dawahfilms, Islams answer to the kobold!

Dawahfilms, Islams answer to the kobold!

But not only are his threats, like the threats of his religion a joke, his religion has also made him act stupid, in that he didn’t realize that when he posts on a blog like this, he gives away his UNMASKED IP (dumbass!).  Maybe a good time for a little thoughtful reflection Dawahfilms.  Y’see as the old anonymous creed goes, ‘fair game is fair game.  But deep down I suspect they guy wants it.  This is the only thing that got him his 15 minutes of fame and modest notoriety playing the ‘poor persecuted victim’ .  Maybe he’s just striving for ‘youtube martyrdom’   ALLAH ACKBAR!

Supernova in M101, Aug 25th, full processing

August 26, 2011

It’s about a total 3 hr exposure with a 11in CPC1100, using a canon 60d (iso 2500).  30s exposures,  throwing away bad exposures (about 60 %) to yield this using deepskystacker (using about 50 dark frames).  The arrow indicates the supernova.

Supernova in M101, August 25th 2011, about a 3 hr exposure with an 11in scope and 2500 iso on a canon D60.

Clearly an improvement of the first attempt which only included about 12 minutes of ‘sky time.’

Right, now back off to the pass to do the same thing again tonight! Me= CRAZY! :-p


-All images available under creative commons license, attribution Thunderf00t 🙂

First look at Supernova in M101 (Aug 2011)

August 26, 2011

First look at Supernova in M101 (Aug 2011)

So after much driving around looking for a good observing sight I eventually found one north of Klamath Falls Oregon (good clear view north).

(‘Klamath Falls’ astronomy site, 25th August 2011)

I then brave the moquitoes, and yeah, there were a LOT of them, to get the scope set up.

The scope acquired data for several hours, this is thus far only processed from 6 minutes worth.  I’ve also not got round to sorting the colors out which is why the new exposure appear blue compared to the old one.

A Night looking at Uranus!

August 24, 2011

Uranus is frequently overlooked and for many reasons.  Firstly, lets just say its name hasn’t phonetically aged well.  Secondly it’s small and faint, barely visible to the naked eye, and even the most powerful telescopes show little more than a tiny featureless grey-green disk.

Most powerful telescopes will show the five main moons of Uranus, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon.  The innermost of these Miranda, has, if memory serves the highest cliffs in the solar system (due to being previously (presumably) smashed by an impact) and has an orbital period of about 1.5 days.  That means you should be able to easily see its movement over the period of a night.

Now I had tried this previously, and had been surprised that the planets movement was comparable to the movement of its moons, but that night had been scuppered by a flat battery.

Movement of Uranus vs background stars

The stars in the background are fixed. The two picture of Uranus are taken a few hours apart, and while the moons (relatively close to the planet) don't move much, the planet conspicuously moves against the background stars!) (click to enlarge)

So it was that I set out with my scope on the evening of 22nd Aug 2011 to see what could be captured.  I decided to head up to an observatory site that had previously seemed good up near the top of the somewhat active volcano, Lassen Peak.  The site is high, almost 2 miles up, but the seeing was less than perfect (a very constant ~ 5mile an hour wind, which was probably a blessing in that it bought warmer air from somewhere, but was also a curse due to the wind chill- I was surrounded by snow fields!).

Nonetheless, at prime focus of the 11in CPC1100 with ~1000 iso and 4 second exposure on a canon 60D seemed to bring out easily at least 4 of the moons of Uranus.

After that, I just had to maintain the kit for 8 or so hour.  A pain in the ass, as there were several pieces of kit that all need to work or the night would be ‘lost’.  So you basically have to periodically check all the batteries on the various time lapse and tracking kit are working functionally.  The bottom line is you can actually get quite a lot of sleep, but its horribly disjointed. The practical upshot of which was the next day I was wiped out to the point where I had actually planned to head up into Oregon to do something, but for the first time ever on a road trip I did something I’d never countenanced before.  I stayed a night in a motel!!  First time in 5 years!  A motel 6 I should add!  All I wanted was somewhere where I could get a shower, a bed for the night, and damn, just sit back for a moment, put my feet up, and have a glass of wine……ahhhhhh.

I was REALLY happy when I processed this, not really for what I had hoped to achieve, which was to get the motion of the moons, as while it was visible, it wasn’t that great.  But what was great was the motion of the whole Uranus system against the background stars.  I knew this MIGHT be visible, but I really didn’t expect it to looks as cool as it did!  Now it should be said that most of the motion you see here is probably not due to the motion of Uranus, but due to the motion of the Earth.  Nonetheless, its still really cool!

The finished results!


August 18, 2011


The headset has 4 basic components. High gain antennae, diversity receiver, base station recorder and video goggles, both taken off the same AV (audio/video) feed.

The plane has a hero HD camera on it, which records HD on its own, but also pipes AV through to the transmitter, which then goes down to the base station.

I had doubts about if it would fly or not. The plane is now over 1 000g (heavy for an easy star) and a lot of the new weight is ‘high’ on the plane. Weight above the center of gravity will destabilize the plane.

Thankfully it looks like it all works fine! W00T. Now to try it somewhere fun!

Sunday 31st (Sodium Boom n beyond)

August 4, 2011

Spent the morning very happily going over the potassium footage.  The whole thing is a symphony of physics and chemistry that eventually I decided it would take too long to explain, so I just put up the explosion footage.

It had been raining in Ridgecrest and this clearly was  a freak event.  The standard greeting in Rigercrest between the notably fat folks seems to be ‘hot enough for you’, and not without reason, I think it’s been over 100C every day I’ve been here.  However for the afternoon I decided I would give blowing up the sodium a go.  Now I have lots of sodium, and the scale and geometry is different.  Eventually I decided the way to do it was to get a stick over a reasonable sized vat, which meant that I could lift up the sodium from a distance, have it swing over the vat, then be lowered in.  Sodium is significantly less dense than water, and so would need to be weighted.  The sticks were typically about 10g, so eventually I wrapped up about 4 sticks in aluminium foil, attached weights to them and lowered them in to the vat from a distance.

Initially the reaction seemed really quite slow, to the point where I was wondering how this was going to pan out.  Indeed it took over 10 seconds before the first ‘explosion’ (compared to about 1second for the potassium experiment).  I, for my part am mostly certain this is related to the metal boiling.  However, when it really blew up (and did so quite convincingly) it really made a mess of the container.  Again, the hydrogen burning wasn’t really even a relevant factor, it’s just the adiabatic expansion of the gas released by the reaction.  In this case 40g gives about 40L of gas.  Thats a lot of gas to release in a 5L container!  On inspecting the aftermath it became clear that large chunks of sodium had been thrown clear of the reaction, not just unreacted, but unmelted!  This for me was a stunning observation!  It shows that whatever the reaction that takes place, the rate that heat is generated at the surface is MUCH higher than the rate the heat can be conducted away from the surface.  Sodium is an absolute bitch for making a mess!  Small amounts of sodium had been sprayed all over the tripod, and stripped the paint.  They had then picked up water to make conc. NaOH, draincleaner which will first turn you skin into soap, before chemically burning you.  The stuff was everywhere!  Cleaned up as best I could (again I was on the inaccessible dirt road to nowhere in my little ravine).  Headed back to LA.  Stopped off to see Lisa n Howard n pick up a shower, which I more than needed.  Initially i wanted to get up onto mnt Wilson early, for sunset, but got chatting to Lisa and that never happened.  It was full dark before I set out on the nightmare trek across LA by dark.  It didnt help that I managed to set the GPS wrong, and ended up on the long drive through the horrific twistiy winding roads of the Wilson range (rt 2).  There had been rain here too, and while the road was all but deserted, top speed was about 40 mph and ‘tire killing rocks’ materialized out of the gloom on a regular basis.  Driving that 20 miles was an incredibly intense experience, ultimately driven by ‘do u want it or not’.  I did, I wanted to get up on mnt wilson and do something on light pollution and LA.  I got there about midnight, and got my piccies!

Sat 30th July (Big Badda Boom!)

August 1, 2011

It’s crazy, I keep on meaning to get the planes going, it just never quite happens.  Thinking back it probably is a contributing factor that I never get more than 3 hrs continuous sleep (changing battery packs).  Hmm maybe I should have invested in one of those large battery packs, or just jury rigged one myself.  So on the evening on the Saturday I decided it was time to get rid of the potassium.  The stuff is a damn liability in a hot car.  Sure it’s under oil, in an airtight bottle, in an airtight metal can, but even so, its just a liability to have in a car that is your ‘home’.  Turns out I had about 12 grams.  Initially I used my ‘dunking’ apparatus for 4 grams, to show that it would shatter glass easily.  So inside the dunking kit I had a glass.  This is of course the smart way to do it if you don’t want broken glass everywhere.  The kit was a bit war torn by travel and needed some patching together.  I also had to find a ‘safe’ place to do this.  Safe in this case means sufficiently isolated that you are not going to disturb anyone (easy enough in the high sierra) and far enough from vegetation as to not cause any fires.  Eventually found a ravine that would do the job, but damn was it exciting getting my little NYer down those dirt trails for all terrain vehicles.

Turns out the apparatus stuck a little, but the end result was still more than acceptable!

You will notice in this reaction the immerser is fired out.  Turns out on the immerser there was still unmelted and unreacted potassium.  This for me was a fascinating discovery in that it shows the rate that the heat is generated on the surface greatly exceeds the metals capacity to conduct heat!!

Also led to one of those ‘thats why we wear facemaks’ type moments:

I then basically emptied the rest of the potassium out (about 7-8g in total) and wrapped in in aluminium foil and attached it to the emmerser.  Knowing how these things can scale in trecherous fashions, I moved the cameras and myself further away this time.

The 8 gram reaction was again very satisfactory, and I was glad to get rid of that potassium.

The wind regrettably was very high, and only later did I get a ‘sock’ on the mike, meaning most the audio I got here was mostly wind noise 😦  .  On the grand scale of things that was a small loss.  With these sorts of en-devours you can be so frequently screwed by the smallest absent minded moment (take for instance the previous day, when just not setting the focus on the camera resulted in a nights wasted effort).

By the time it was all over I was exhausted, the more so after I had nursed the car out form the dirt trails to nowhere.  So I rolled the car back to where it was kinda overlooking Ridgecrest and watched the over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  It was beautiful with the brillant yellow sun peering through the clouds, torn by the wind, shining through into the valley in the foreground filling it with a warm glowing orange to the misty mountains beyond.  It was while I sat there in the silence of the high plains musing on how well the potassium thing had gone, that I suddenly realized that I hadn’t really talked to anyone for days, well, least ways anyone who actually knew my name.  Did think about heading down into Ridgecrest, simply to talk to someone on skype, or phone (mine doesn’t work out here), but I was exhausted, and the sunset was pretty, and by the time it had sunk below the mountains, fatigue had caught up with me.

Wedneday 27th July (It’s like sex!)

July 28, 2011

It was a disheveled piece of human flotsam that crawled out of the mountains that morning.  I had spent a night fighting a losing battle again sleep, and had, in terms of results, very little to show for it.  I know I thought to myself, look the night might have been one long concatenated mess, but at least I can haul my carcuss down to town and get a thousand calorie breakfast from mcdonalds, and Im sure you will start to get a grip once you have  a full stomach.  Regrettably, by the time I got down to town Mcdonalds had JUST finished breakfast.  The moment was a cross between ‘Falling Down’ and that moment in ‘Evil Dead, Army of Darkness’ in the alternative ending where he oversleeps.  Oh yeah it was one of those ‘the world conspires against me’ type moments.  After a long deep sigh, the eyes snap open with regained focus: time to go on the offense!  Online I soon discovered that the reason the Orion Deepspace Video camera wasn’t working up to expectation is it has an integration function in the menus!  I laughed, when all else fails: READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.  Spent a few hours rendering and uploading what I had.  Now the next problem, that damn screw!  I need a replacement for that damn screw.  Turns out Ridgecrest has a Home Depot, and I figured that was the logical place to try for a bizarre screw.  I was wrong- they had nothing!  Arse, thousands of bux worth of telescope crippled by a tiny screw.  Then it dawned on me, I could just drill and tap a hole myself for any screw I wanted.  Deep in my mind there was a spark, I had a drill and tap and a load of screws that would fit in the car, they were part of the stuff for the airplanes.

Picked up some supplies and headed back up into the mountains, same place at last night.  This time I was more seasoned on that grinding hill though and got up all the way without even a hint of overheating.

Up at the top of mountains, I sorted out firstly the backend of the telescope,

Then the webcam.

Come the test of first light, both performed admirably.  The sky wasn’t still enough for planets, but it was wonderfully clear.

The Deepsky video camera worked as expected! (~500 bux) 🙂

The stripped MS webcam worked admirably (~50 bux) 🙂

The video of the planets shot on by eyepiece projection onto the sensor of the D60 (~900 bux) was okay, but not as good as channeling it straight into a video camera.

The 60d I have to admit is a heinous machine for astro!  I got it primarily as I needed 2 DSLRS to do some of the projects I want to get done on this trip, to work with the 40D.  The 60D just idles circles around the 40D.  I think a lot of it is simply a better sensor.  More pixels, if they are not being used for resolution, mean faster light gathering, and lower noise.  The bottom line is the 60D goes up to iso ~6000, at least 2x what the 40D will do.  The 60D will also do video, which I thought might be useful, although thus far it hasn’t panned out, although this might just be teething troubles with the camera.  Just for an example, crank the ISO up to about 5000 and do a 1min exposure (unguided, bar the telescope tracking) on M51, and this is what you get:

M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy, 1min exposure, iso 5000, canon 60d

After that, all you need is an intervalometer and deepskystacker.  In many ways it’s such a cheat.  When I was young, I improvised all sorts of devices for the tracking, and there was none of this ‘cap a test frame to see if it’s centered’.  You took the pictures, and after minutes of painstaking guiding, you had to wait till at least the next day to see how well you did when you got the film processed.  Many a time I chuckle at night as to how what used to be hours of work, and a day or two to see the results from can now be effortlessly superseeded by a minute of scope time.

Later in the night, after visiting many a deep sky object, I turned the scope to Jupiter, then Mars, then the very late moon, all using the same magnification, just so I could give folks the scale of these things, all on the same magnfication.  The seeing was abysmal!  Mars was a swimming ball!  However all on the same magnification I got Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the moon!


So yeah, I guess its like sex, in the dark, the first time is always a fumbled and inept experience.  However, having seen things in the broad light of day, and having had time to ponder on what went wrong and why, the second time can be more of the ‘tour de force!’ 🙂

Monday 25th July (WHOLE SKY time lapse!)

July 26, 2011

Monday 25th July, up after dawn and rolled into LA.  Traffic is a nightmare!  Picked up the fixed camcorder by 9ish and headed over to a mcdonalds for wifi.    Caught up with blog n emails.  Notably I’ve now got a buddy in Hawaii who’s ready to give the global timelapse thing a go.  He sounds like he really knows what he’s doing and certainly has much better kit than me.  However I still needed a location to head to.  I checked out the clear sky forecasts and they were excellent in the Sierra Nevada valley.  Packup up and headed out, charging batteries on the way.  This is always the absolute nightmare of astro-on-the-road is when you are spending so much time out of doors in the hard sunlight, your body really syncs up with the sun in a powerful way.  Almost to the point where, sun goes down and you go to sleep, and yeah it’s REALLY hard to fight against that to stay up all night doing stuff.  On the way out of LA I stopped by and saw Lisa, who had lent me a couch during TAM.  Then the drive out to the North.   Again the traffic was a nightmare.  Got to Ridgecrest in late afternoon passing enroute something that looked like an observatory, but I now believe to be military radar of some sort.  It looks a good site.  Lots of roads leading off into the desert near the top of a mountain, purportedly for dirt bikers, but whatever, looked like my polite surburban 2wd low clearance could handle it.  Picked up the largest coffee I could find, and headed out into the desert.  In the end I hardly had to go that far off the road and was there for a fantastically dark sunset.  However there was wind, 10-20 mph wind.  Firstly thats the kiss of death if you are trying to point a telescope at a point source, and secondly there was a small amount of dust with it.  Now that was great for the lasers, meant you could see them easily, however its a killer for shutter mechanisms, drives gears etc.  I decided I would stand off on setting up the scope till the wind died down.  The wind didn’t die down, not even a little.  However the sky was superb with the milky way forming a glowing arch from horizon to horizon.  Started messing around with the cameras.  Even if I can’t do any astro, I’ve got some stuff to field test.  Most notably the 4mm ‘180 degree lens’.  Gave good piccies of the Milkyway and after a while I decided to laser my name into a mountain, just for yuks.  After that, I spent a wonderfully pleasant night, with the cool desert wind blowing steadily through my car, all the time with my head poked out of the window, watching the stars slowly spin above my head.  Jupiter rose fast and high, and the late cresent moon somewhat after it.  The next morning I was quite happy with the results!