Watching a Lilac Tree

I just took a photo of the lilac tree in my backyard.

I drove a nail into the railing on my back deck. I braced the camera against the nail and lined up the left edge of the frame to the edge of the shed. I’ll add a new photo every day until the tree is in full bloom. Press the play button on the embedded slide show and watch the lovely lilac flowers come into bloom. If the results are interesting, I’ll eventually post a time-lapse video of the whole thing.

I’ve also planted sunflowers up against the shed and the fence on the right. The sunflowers can grow up to 4 metres (translation for American readers: that’s really high; think Day of the Triffids). I’m more interested in the sunflowers than the lilac tree.

UPDATE (Oct. 17/09): The slideshow has been removed and replaced with the lilac tree and sunflower photos. The final time-lapse video can be viewed at Time-lapse Sunflowers.

“Blade Runner: The Final Cut” Review

The holy grail of production design and cinematography, Blade Runner is magnificent, brilliant and spectacular — to look at. The most compelling scenes are the moments when you can see the replicants thinking about their humanity and their existence. If more of the film had lived up to the potential in those scenes, Blade Runner would be a great film, not just a great-looking film. Still, if you haven’t seen it for a while, it’s worth revisiting. It’s never looked better than it does now.

Bob Dylan Quiz

The CBC posted a Bob Dylan quiz. Only 10 questions. I got 8 of them correct.

I didn’t know the answer to number 6.

On July 13, 1985, Dylan appeared at the Live Aid concert for Ethiopian famine relief in Philadelphia, and made some controversial comments on stage. What did he say?

Same with number 9.

In 2004, Dylan appeared in his first-ever TV ad. What was the product and the Dylan song used?

And this is what a ticket to a Bob Dylan show looks like.


SETI@Home – The Search For Aliens

SETI@Home emailed me:

We’d like to invite you to reconnect with SETI@home. Our records show that you’ve been with SETI@home since 18 May 1999, but it’s been 265 days since you last returned a work unit. We want you back…

SETI@Home sends out radio transmission data to computers around the world, which do data analysis, checking for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. From the wiki entry:

SETI@home searches for possible evidence of radio transmissions from extraterrestrial intelligence using observational data from the Arecibo radio telescope. The data are taken ‘piggyback’ or seti@home‘passively’ while the telescope is used for other scientific programs. The data are digitized, stored, and sent to the SETI@home facility. The data are then parsed into small chunks in frequency and time, and analyzed, using software, to search for any signals–that is, variations which cannot be ascribed to noise, and contain information. The crux of SETI@home is to have each chunk of data, from the millions of chunks resulting, analyzed off-site by home computers, and then have the software results reported back. Thus what appears an onerous problem in data analysis is reduced to a reasonable one by aid from a large, Internet-based community.

I think I’ll install the client and start looking for aliens again.

Related Posts:
SETI@home Goes BOINC
I Haven’t Found Any Aliens That I Know Of, Yet