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Real Name Jim   
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Nickname Jim
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Homepage http://www.theskyscrapers.org
Signed On Mar 7, 2001, 16:59
Total Comments 2493 (Senior)
User ID 9255
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
24. Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 19:23 Jim
 

I find, while it is harder, many beginners get better “Bang for their buck” by looking at a certain few nebula and galaxies and such through a telescope, as their expectations for planets is just high. It is however much harder for a beginner to find and focus on these, and it takes more then a $100 department store telescope to see anything substantial.


I generally find the opposite to be true. Going back 20 years to the first time I saw the planets even with the old $100 department store scope I had at the time (which I still have), I was completely blown away by the planets, after spending months hunting down the "faint fuzzies."

We often find that Saturn is the biggest WOW object when showing to someone who has never looked through a telescope before. Planets and the Moon are among the few objects that actually look like the photos of them even through the most modest equipment.

And yes, follow Enahs advice by not buing what you may see in Wal-mart. It is also important to note that how "powerful" a telescope is has nothing to do with magnification and everything to do with the aperture, which is the clear diameter of the lens (if its a refractor) or mirror (reflector). Magnification is generally maxed out at 50x per inch of aperture, although when there is good "seeing" (how steady the atmosphere is) you can expect to get good results at 100x per inch.

If you are curious, my preference is for refractors.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
23. Re: weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 18:59 Jim
 
Ive been thinking about getting some sort of telescope, as I sawan image that some guy took with his webcam through his telescope of jupiter, it was pretty detailed. Which just blew my mind.



I assume you mean this?

http://www.christone.net/astro/

Yeah, VERY impressive stuff, even to seasoned astrophotographers (which is way beyond my level).



If i wanted to to get something to look at other planets (Spot those pesky martians maybe!), any suggestions?

Ive always been interested in Stars and such but (weirdly enough) it had never occured to me to get a scope.

If you want to start learning your way around the sky, I'd recommend getting one of these:
http://www.shopatsky.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=855

And for finding stuff with binoculars or a telescope, I recommend this:

http://www.shopatsky.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1159

As far as optics go, it all depends on what kind of observing you want to do, how often, and how good your observing site is. Also to consider is if you'll travel with it, even if you take it a few miles to a dark sky site.

And of course, there's always the question of budget.

Many people recommend you start with binoculars, a good pair of 7/50 is a good start there. You can use the above star atlas to find your way around and pick out many of the brighter objects.

If you'd like to see the planets, binoculars unfortunately don't show a lot of detail.

The most cost-effective telescope (aperture per dollar) is a Dobsonian. It is a simple reflecting telescope on a very easy to set up and use mounting.

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=238462&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=3&iSubCat=334&iProductID=238462

If you want something a little more portable and better suited to photography, a rich field refractor on an equatorial mount is the way to go:

http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=109403&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=13&iProductID=109403

There are many more options available, for a wide range of prices. You may also want to find your local club and visit them.

http://skytonight.com/community/organizations


Let me know if you decide to get anything, or if you have more questions.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
11. weather reports Apr 11, 2007, 12:42 Jim
 
Man! The weather report calls for[...]

Blue, I wouldn't worry about anything you hear on the weather reports these days, they've been dead wrong here for the past 2 weeks.

We cancelled a huge star party (our biggest one of the year) 2 Friday's ago because "they" told us it was going to remain cloudy. At sunset Venus and the Moon were clearly visible.

Last weekend, decided not to pack the telescope for the weekend at my Mom's (dark sky site) because of forcasts of overcasts through Sunday. Was perfectly clear Saturday night. We even cancelled the open night at the observatory based on the reports we were given. Now we have to answer "why were you closed Saturday, it was perfect weather"

During a recent television forecast, the meteorologist contradicted HIS OWN REPORT by saying both clear overnight and passing weak disturbance causing snow showers, FOR THE SAME NIGHT.

Last night, came back from the observatory, which we FINALLY decided to go with our gut feeling (instead of the weather reports) and open because the weather appeared to be improving, but eventualy did not. After I got home, the meteorologist on the TV late news said "clear overnight" Apparently he didn't look out the window, as it remained cloudy well past midnight.

So there you go, never trust the weather reports in April (they seemed to be doing pretty well up until about 2 weeks ago).

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
17. Re: Happy Easter Apr 9, 2007, 07:55 Jim
 
A bit belated, but nonetheless, "The Peep Show":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WnukOZSaCw

I liked this one better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay3-EkkXK-M


 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
5. Easter Apr 8, 2007, 19:53 Jim
 
Woke up this morning…

...and I got myself a beer.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
11. Re: Your forgiven Blue! Apr 4, 2007, 15:12 Jim
 
On an unrelated note, I just replaced my 6 kitchen can lights with flourescent bulbs, for just under $30 total.

Interestingly to buy ones that used 1watt less would have cost me double.

There not that bad, take about 30ish secs to warm up to full light levels, but thats a minor price to pay for the savings. Plus they also produce more light than the previous bulbs!

Win win so far! Next up I have to find small bulbs for all my ceiling fan lights, they have an odd intermediary screw size which im guessing im probably going to have to find online.]

A few months back I replaced my kitchen over-the-sink light with a CFL. Seems brighter than the one it replaced, and it does take about a minute to warm up. Strager though is it takes about a half-second to turn on when I flip the switch.

I'd replace more of my lights with CFL, but the lights I use 95% of the time are either dimmable or 3-way, both of which are not readily available. I was going to order online but couldn't find any that were reasonably priced, not to mention shipping costs.

I just don't get why LED lights aren't dirt cheap yet. It would be great if we could just leap-frog the whole CFL thing and use LEDs by now, as they use even less energy and don't qualify as hazardous waste like CFLs do.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
28. Re: Damn Adblock Plus Apr 3, 2007, 18:29 Jim
 

Seriously, all the hype behind the thing got me to install it.

Seems ok, but I found myself having to disable it on the majority of pages I visited as it was screwing up the layout and blocking random images and movies.

Yeah my local TV news website (turnto10.com) go completely to pot when I have adblock enabled. Not just screwed up layout, but missing content.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
15. Re: Yoga Apr 2, 2007, 20:52 Jim
 
AT LEAST!?

pffft, for our benefit, I wish it had been! HILARIOUS!

Well I was referring to the embarrassment of the women who launched it. I agree, it would have been hilarious, and it also would have likely carried an NSFW label :D.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
13. Re: Yoga Apr 2, 2007, 20:01 Jim
 
Gross. And it didn't sound like a butt fart if you know what I mean

Yeah I think that video post was a repeat. 99% of my video watching comes thru Blues but it is remotely possible I may have seen it linked elsewhere a while back.

At least it wasn't a shart.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
28. Re: No subject Mar 30, 2007, 15:41 Jim
 
Heh. Pretty much all the trees here have already bloomed and are in full leaf, we've been having near record pollen levels for 3 weeks (120 is "extremely high"; it's been over 5900 most of this week), and April is when we hope the world will go back to not being yellow from all the damn pine pollen.

Yeah I was just talking with the Chapel Hill office earlier today, and they told me about the pollen blizzard they're being inundated with, as well as the carpenter bee infestation.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
25. Re: No subject Mar 30, 2007, 14:29 Jim
 
Ah, Jim, you forget the blizzard we had on April 1st a few years ago. Talk about a prank for all New Englanders.

So knock on wood, its almost April.

I certainly didn't forget about that, but it is rare enough that we can discount it as an anomily.

Even if we did have a rare crapstorm in early april, at least April is the month we can finally expect it to get nice out, and it is the month that things begin to think about planning to prepare to turn green around these parts.


 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
7. Re: No subject Mar 30, 2007, 10:10 Jim
 
holy shat.

TGIF.

F no. I have been on Spring Break all week. I hate that it is already Friday.....bastards!

TGITEOM (thank goodness its the end of March). Worst month here in southern New England. Everyone gets the false impresion that its spring just because its March and we get a couple of teaser days in the 60's early in the month, then it dumps more snow on us in the course of 3 days than we've had all winter.

Now that April is a matter of hours away, we can pretty safely declare that winter is over.


 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
3. LOL Mar 27, 2007, 09:38 Jim
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvijGdyvRFs


Here's the news story that goes with it:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17812621/


This comment was edited on Mar 27, 10:44.
 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
2. Re: No subject Mar 27, 2007, 09:29 Jim
 


Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human.


What's funny about that article isn't the news itself (kinda scary, actually), but one of the replys at the bottom:

I think we may be repeating history. We probably had great technology and did it thousands of years ago and destroyed ourselves almost completely. Few humans survived and started over. That is why there are these myths of all these half human half animals.

- Jeff Reynolds, san antonio, tx

That post right there made my day.

Excuse me, but is that a hueep, or a shuman?

 
Jim
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News Comments > Saturday Tech Bits
3. Re: garbage. . . Mar 25, 2007, 10:37 Jim
 
Its a pretty good set of apps too, so I wouldn't compare it to MS. I use Photoshop and Indesign all the time. Still haven't learned Illustrator yet though.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
11. shutdown day Mar 25, 2007, 09:37 Jim
 
I really don't understand these events. They get hyped up on the day of.. which defeats the purpose they were intended for. If they really want people to log off, they should get the word out before the actual day.

Yeah I do agree that shut down day is a good idea, and every time I go on vacation I consider it shut down week (or weekend, depending on the length of my trip).


 
Jim
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
1. NJ thieves snatch $12,000 in underwear Mar 23, 2007, 10:19 Jim
 
Oh my god its the underpants gnomes!!

Step 1: Collect underpants.
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit!



heh heh, he said "snatch" heh heh

 
Jim
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News Comments > Op Ed
1. Where Have You Gone, G4? Mar 22, 2007, 11:13 Jim
 
The story implies that there was actually a time that G4 didn't suck?

I say bring back Tech TV, which G4 so graciously destroyed.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
82. Re: Ships? Mar 21, 2007, 08:06 Jim
 
Looks like some pretty positive first plays here. Now I'm interested in picking it up again, but I'd probably have to install it on my work PC since my home PC is really not up to par these days, and I've grown tired of spending > $1000 every 2 years to get a new one.

 
Jim
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
81. Ships? Mar 21, 2007, 06:14 Jim
 
Ahoy?

...

 
Jim
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2493 Comments. 125 pages. Viewing page 32.
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