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    Google Homepage ~ May 17, 2017

    Antikythera mechanism
    Generally referred to as the first known analogue computer,[26] the quality and complexity of the mechanism's manufacture suggests it has undiscovered predecessors made during the Hellenistic period. Its construction relied upon theories of astronomy and mathematics developed by Greek astronomers, and is estimated to have been created around the late second century BCE. In 1974, Derek de Solla Price concluded from gear settings and inscriptions on the mechanism's faces that it was made about 87 BC and lost only a few years later. Jacques Cousteau and associates visited the wreck in 1976 and recovered coins dated to between 76 and 67 BC.

    A schematic representation of the gearing of the Antikythera Mechanism, including the 2012 published interpretation of existing gearing, gearing added to complete known functions, and proposed gearing to accomplish additional functions, namely true sun pointer and pointers for the five then-known planets, as proposed by Freeth and Jones, 2012. Based also upon similar drawing in the Freeth 2006 Supplement and Wright 2005, Epicycles Part 2. Proposed (as opposed to known from the artefact) gearing crosshatched.

    This reminds me of bicycle gearing, both internal planetary hubs and external derailleurs and gears. You can see were I might get my celestial mechanical fascination from, in relation to bicycles. Fascinating in deed!
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    WANTED: For the downtube on my Stumpy and in the style likeness of the "StumpJumper" logo below, a "TrumpDumper" decal set.

    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2017
    Shady John:For everyone who has climbed Nate Harrison Grade:

    A friend of ours did some archaeological excavations of Nate's home in grad school.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2017
    Why we shouldn't complain about having to fix a flat:


    The Tea Pursuit, which aimed to test one’s mettle while holding a cup and saucer on a moving bicycle…
    (Ah, the places you'll go with a bike share!)
    The Chap Olympiad

    Splendid group of eccentric Brits, the world’s best dressed, descend on Bedford Square Gardens for Britain’s most eccentric sporting event. A midsummer ceremony, celebrating the weird, wonderful and wacky. A day-long celebration of diversity, set to the backdrop of a traditional summer garden party with a roster of live entertainment including eleven Olympiad games. The Chap Olympiad is designed to reward panache rather than sporting prowess and the games require the minimum amount of physical exertion. Not since the days of Bee versus Pigeon Racing during the Victorian times have so many befuddled anarcho-dandies and gin-addled punks been gathered together under one parasol.

    The Chap Olympiad — A Very British Day Out

    (Seems quite the "tweedy" event!)
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2017
    Riding the Burke-Gilman trail today ...

    Burke-Gilman trail
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2017
    I often travel by a combo of train+bike. Today Oceanside to UCLA. Two train trips, two bike rides to get there.

    Wish there was a navigation app that supported that sort of thing.
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2017 edited
    Shady John:Google Maps? Choose the "transit" option:,+South+Tremont+Street,+Oceanside,+CA/University+of+California,+Los+Angeles,+Los+Angeles,+CA+90095/@33.6452239,-118.4758115,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m18!4m17!1m5!1m1!1s0x80dc6e3a306243af:0x39d056e74bd8bf5!2m2!1d-117.3792197!2d33.1929342!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2bc85f05c0f65:0x25a993585c134837!2m2!1d-118.4451811!2d34.068921!2m3!6e0!7e2!8j1507539600!3e3

    It doesn't support mixed mode.

    By mixed mode I mean this:

    Oceanside to UCLA.

    Amtrak->2 mile bike ride to the Metro Exposition Line->Metro to Westwood->3 mile bike ride to UCLA.

    It won't plan that route. You have to do it manually.

    Oh, FYI ... track incident on the LA->Orange County line. The train home was delayed by over 5 hours. I got home at 3:30AM.
    VC celebrates return of historic “Stars” road sign
    Robert Lerner, VC Historian November 13, 2017
    Seventy years ago this month, in November 1947, crowds braved cold and rain as they stood in awe as a 40-ton tractor crawled through the streets of Valley Center hauling a 200-inch telescope mirror toward a new observatory atop Palomar Mountain.

    To mark the occasion, the street known today as Valley Center Road (originally Rincon Road) was renamed “Highway to the Stars via Valley Center” and signs with that name were posted from the Escondido city limit to the top of Palomar Mountain.
    ==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ====

    Valley Center looks to regain its star quality
    Logan Jenkins January 21, 2017
    In 1928, George Ellery Hale, the founder of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, secured funding for his visionary project from the Rockefeller Foundation: A 200-inch telescope that would dwarf any other in the world, an endeavor that many science historians refer to as the “moon shot” of the ‘30s and ‘40s.

    The problem of getting the $600,000 mirror from Caltech to its home atop Palomar was solved in the mid-1930s with the construction of a winding mountain road eventually dubbed the “Highway to the Stars.”
    “Safely completing a ticklish 160-mile trip by trailer from Pasadena, Palomar Observatory’s 200-inch mirror arrived here late this morning — inching over the last miles of twisting mountain road in heavy mist, bursts of hail and flurries of sleet.

    “Tonight, man’s most ambitious astronomical undertaking — to peer a billion light-years into space from this mile-high mountain 64 miles northeast of San Diego — is only a step from fulfillment.”
    MAP Image
    MAP Google

    Smorg Cycle

    22 December 2017: Friday evening ~ 5:30 PM
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2017 edited
    Fellow rider made an astute observation on a possible reason why I don't get harassed by drivers:

    I posted this pic of my bike on the Coronado Ferry on Facebook (did a 27+ mile loop):

    (The recumbent with the big yellow cargo box)

    And a he made this cogent observation:

    Your Bacchetta Giro 26 towers over those road bikes and makes them look like kid's bikes. I can tell you if I were a driver with a could care less attitude towards bicycles, I'd still instinctively give your bike a much wider berth as that tail box looks big and heavy like something that could scrape up the side of the car if passing too close.

    Maybe so.

    That box, by the way, is folded from a single piece of corrugated plastic, is supported by tension alone (there's no frame), is extraordinarily light, attaches and detaches in seconds, and the sole structural element is a thin piece of plywood at the front.

    Twenty years of refinement in that design.
    BAD TIDINGS: La Jolla flooding circa 2070
    Corey Levitan December 12, 2017

    San Diego, CA
    King Tides Monday, January 1st, 2018:
    High Tide 7:52am 7.5'
    Low Tide 2:58pm -1.9' (Good afternoon low tide beach riding!)

    King Tides Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018:
    High Tide 8:38am 7.5'
    Low Tide 3:44pm - 2.0' (Good afternoon beach riding!)

    King Tides in December 2015. Early morning in Mission Bay near the Catamaran Hotel.

    Saturday, February 3, 2018
    After it’s good and dark, look due east, not very high, for twinkly Regulus. Extending upper left from it is the Sickle of Leo, a backward question mark. "Leo announces spring," goes an old saying. Actually, Leo showing up in the evening announces the cold, messy back half of winter. Come spring, Leo will already be high up in the east.
    I finally caught Venus, now the Evening Star, Sunday evening through the clouds. It has reemerged low, into the western evening sky, as it comes from behind the Sun in it's orbit. You have to see it around 7:15 PDT while it is still in twilight and before it sets. Look to the west, above the sunset position. During the 2018 apparition, Venus will be with us through the beginning of autumn before falling back to the western horizon in early October and transitioning into the morning sky. It never gets particularly high, at least for northern hemisphere skywatchers, with a peak altitude around 20° a half hour after sunset in late spring and early summer.


    On Sunday evening the 18th, catch the short viewing window for the Moon-Venus-Mercury lineup after twilight dims and before they set. Find Mercury and Venus low in evening twilight, due west. Venus shines at magnitude –4, while little Mercury fades rapidly from magnitude 0 to +2 this week. Look for Mercury upper right of Venus early in the week, right of it by about March 19th or 20th (depending on your latitude), and lower right of it toward week's end. They remain about 4° apart through the 22nd.

    Sunday, March 18
    As twilight fades, look low due west for Venus with the super-thin Moon 3° or 4° to its left, as shown above. A similar distance upper right of the Moon, look for Mercury, much fainter at magnitude +0.4.

    Tuesday, March 20
    Today is the equinox. At 12:15 p.m. EDT the center of the Sun crosses the equator — both Earth's equator and the celestial equator, which Earth's equator defines. This moment marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, fall in the Southern Hemisphere. Watch the low east-northeast for the rise of the "Spring Star," Arcturus. Find the Big Dipper high in the northeast and follow the curve of its handle down around, by a little more than a Dipper-length, to see where Arcturus is — or soon will be.

    Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius (The moon has moved on). Jupiter shines brightly off to their right, out of the frame here.

    Mars and Saturn, together in Sagittarius, rise around 3 a.m. daylight-saving time. At the beginning of dawn they're the brightest points moderately low in the south-southeast, above the fainter Sagittarius Teapot. They're equally bright at magnitude +0.5, but Mars is redder. Far to their right at that time is Antares, and farther right is bright Jupiter. Mars continues drawing closer to Saturn as seen from Earth's moving point of view. They appear 8½° apart on the morning of March 17th and 5° apart by the 24th. They'll pass each other by 1.3° on April 2nd.

    Jupiter (magnitude –2.3, in Libra) rises around 11 or midnight daylight-saving time and shines as the brightest point in the early-morning sky. Jupiter is highest and presents the sharpest views in a telescopes around 4 or 5 a.m., well before dawn

    Note how quickly Mars seems to pass Saturn in the images above and below.

    The waxing crescent Moon joins up with Venus, then Aldebaran, in the western twilight.

    Tuesday, April 17
    Venus and a super-thin crescent Moon form a lovely pair low in the west as twilight fades, as shown here. They're about 5° apart at the time of twilight for the longitudes of the Americas.

    Mars and Saturn, in Sagittarius, are up after 1 a.m. daylight-saving time. By the beginning of dawn they're two bright points in the south-southeast, above the fainter Sagittarius Teapot. Mars, slightly brighter, is on the left. Their separation widens from 6° on the morning of April 14th to 10° on the 21st.

    Mars is brightening on its way to an unusually close opposition in late July. It's 10 arcseconds wide now and magnitude 0.0, compared to Saturn's +0.5. Their color difference is obvious.

    Mars was only a tiny 6.4 arcseconds wide when Damian Peach used the 1-meter Chilescope to take this stacked-video image remotely. "Amazing to think that Mars will be almost four times as wide by the end of July," he writes. "We are in for a real treat!" South is up. Syrtis Major is close to the right limb, and the Hellas basin far to its south is bright. A patch of orographic clouds is lower left of center, created by winds passing over Elysium Mons. "The famous Gale crater, location of the Curiosity rover, is located at the end of the longer of the tuning-fork prongs of Gomer Sinus." Those extend from the lower edge of dark Mare Cimmerium above center.

    Jupiter (magnitude –2.5, in Libra) rises shortly after dark and shines as the brightest point in the late-night sky. It's now just three weeks from its May 8th opposition, so it appears about as bright and big (44 arcseconds wide) as it will get this year. It's highest in the south, presenting the sharpest views in a telescope, around 2 a.m. daylight-saving time.
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTime2 days ago edited
    Thanks for the great stellar post, OKB.

    How the ancients ever looked up at Sagittarius and saw an archer I will never comprehend.

    When I look up at Sagittarius, all I see is the frame outline of a Pedersen Bicycle:
    Pedersen Bicycle
    Nice one GTB! Celestial Cycles of all sorts roll across the heavens. Ride on from day to day, month to month, season to season, year to year. Let the sun, moon, tides, planets and stars mark your passage through time. The journey is the destination. Keep looking up and enjoy the ride.