Caturday’s Astrophenia | 2015.09.05

Illustration of the relative sizes, albedos, a...

Illustration of the relative sizes, albedos, and colours of the largest trans-Neptunian objects (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

G’day, and happy Caturday. As of Thursday the current blogging schedule began, and fortunately things have been busy. This week, there was a satellite launch via Atlas V booster, and news of the extension of the New Horizons probe’s mission out past Pluto, deeper into the Kuiper belt of trans-Neptunian objects (Whew! I almost typed trans-Newtonian! – Huge difference!). On the Pluto flyby, the really cool thing was the naming of a whole, kinda whale-shaped region of Pluto after Cthulhu, and another was Mordor from LoTR. There are some really nifty images with this piece, excepting this week’s newly captioned Cat for Ze Caturday, the dire and infamous Mr. Eccles plotting mischief with the home furnishings. May you always find at least a few clear nights out of the month, and reach for the stars!

Talotaa frang, talotaa kas, talotaa tranga suulat.

M31: The Andromeda Galaxy

Pluto in Enhanced Color

Distant Neutrinos Detected Below Antarctic Ice

The Flare and the Galaxy

ARP 159 and NCG 4725

Milky Way with Airglow Australis

Atlas V Rising

Image of the Week:

Proxima Centauri – Hubble

Weekly Astrognuz:

What Do Other Planets Sound Like?

Ice Loss: Greenland and Antarctica lost 5 trillion tons since 2002

New Ultrathin Optical Devices Shape Light in Exotic Ways

Searching for Life… and Death… in the Universe

The (Possible) Dwarf Planet 2007 OR10

Aurora: Intense activity seen in Sweden

At Saturn, One of These Rings is not like the Others

The NASA K2 Mission: Extending Kepler’s Legacy

More Spectacular Images From the MUOS-4 Launch

Photobomb: ISS transits the Sun by Thierry Legault

NASA’s TES Satellite Instruments Gives New Insight into Water Cycle

Big Picture Science Radio Show – What Lies Beneath

A Fiery End for Kosmos 1315 Over Hawaii

Global Warming: Sea levels are rising rapidly

What Happened to Early Mars’ Atmosphere: New Study Eliminates One Theory

SETI Institute Carl Sagan Center Stars…

A God’s Eye View of the Universe

via SpaceRip

 Evil monkey-cat…museth evil things…

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Egads! I’ve been nominated (for an award)!

wpid-wp-1441063655909I’d like to express my thanks for The Creative Blogger Award from Babus at the Ajoobacats Blog. My ego and I are not always on speaking terms, and with my people skills such as they are I’m a little unsure of how to accept this gesture gracefully. There are times when I’ve severe doubts about my creativity.
So thank you muchly, whether I feel I deserve it or not.
But in accepting, there are rules, and here they are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.

2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Nominate some bloggers in return and notify them about their nomination.
4. Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do.
Five Facts About Me:
1. I despise eggplant, and have never liked its taste.
2. I once owned a dog, a miniature poodle named Tiny.
3. My first viewing of Doctor Who was of the early episodes of Tom Baker’s 7 year tenure as the Doctor — “Would you like a jelly-baby?”
4. My first viewing of the Doctor Who reboot was of Series One with Christopher Eccleston in the title role.
5. My confection of choice is gummy-candy.
So here I nominate the following blogs:

Call Bulletins 2015.09.03

The clockface appearing in the News at Ten tit...

The clockface appearing in the News at Ten titles from January 2008 to November 2009. Other bulletins used a stylised image (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been a bit slow on posting for this week as I’m adjusting my study and daily routine for the next few weeks and afterward.  So Here’s the blogging schedule for posting on this site for the next two months, at least until November rears its ominous head.

The following days have been selected for regular posting: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are set aside as break periods to allow for extra study. I’m getting into the juicy details of Hindi grammar and vocabulary this month, and need the practice that these breaks allow. The same will be done when full study time is once again devoted to Bengali and then to Tamil.

I might post briefly on those days, but rarely, at least until the next blogging schedule revision once October’s over.

Thanks for clicking on my site, and as always, in proper Soruggon,

Talotaa frang, talotaa kas, talotaa tranga suulat.

Lost in Translation | Tamil Consonant Mnemonics 2

Vengeeswarar temple at vadapalani chennai.

Vengeeswarar temple at vadapalani chennai. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, with this post, I conclude my initial study for last month’s remaining Tamil pure consonants; the lateral sounds, the fricatives, the glides, and the Grantha letters for those sounds and words borrowed from Sanskrit.

The mnemonic, like last time’s, is a story heavy with cues to the shapes and sounds of the letters they relate to. It will sound silly, not to poke fun at the language, but to help memorization. Here it is, and I explain my somewhat tortured reasoning afterward:

Six lurking ewes leaped¹ six meters at a troll with a skull², as its rage³ was mad, made to fear⁴. Laboring drudgingly, jesters emerged and zhooshed⁵ up the King in Yellow’s palace⁶, before he chose twenty-one of them to vote on war⁷ against the jealous cobras⁸. Jumping in, twenty-nine of these shredded⁹ the choicest of their very naive servants¹⁰, while sixty-two of the many hordes¹¹ of functional T-629 Terminators¹² left maneuvers against orders and were dismantled, shrieking terribly¹³.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 23.51.06

1. Six(for the numeral) and ewes(a pun on the Roman letter u) describe the shape of the letter, while lurking and leaped suggests the Tamil letter’s sound. Besides, evil or even mildly sinister female sheep can be scary if you’re a troll.

2. Six(as above) and meters(using the letters m, t, and r as a mnemonic code for the numbers 3, 1, and 4, the first three digits of Pi) are cues to the shape of the Tamil letter, while troll and skull hint at the letter’s sound as per its type.

3. Its suggests the Roman letters I and T, and with the pulli, the shape of the Tamil letter. The r in rage is a cue to the letter’s sound in the vernacular.

4. Mad and made are repeated letter shape cues, to the letter’s very rough resemblance to a Roman letter m. The r at the end of fear is a sound cue, properly trilled, or rolled, of course.

5. Laboring, drudgingly, and jesters are cues to the Roman letters L, D, and J, which when combined, suggest the Tamil letter’s shape minus the pulli. The r in emerged and the zh in zhooshed (Yes, that’s a real word in English. It means to make something more exciting, lively, or attractive.) are sound cues.

6. Up combines the resemblance of the left half of the letter to a Roman u and the resemblance of the right half to a Tamil letter ப், pronounced p or b. Yellow suggests the glide sound y, while King and palace are simply filler to add coherence, plus a little Cthulhu Mythos reference thrown in for good measure. After all, what’s the King in Yellow without his haunted palace in Carcosa?

7. Chose is partly mnemonic code for the numeral six, and with twenty-one, serves to suggest the letter’s vague resemblance to the number 621. Vote and war are cues to the glide sounds v and w represented by the letter.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 23.51.47

8. Jealous is a cue for the letter’s sound, j, cobra suggests its shape, to me evoking the image of a snake preparing to strike.

9. Jumping is a cue to the number six as well, and with twenty-nine suggests the letter’s shape, the number 629. The sh in shredded suggests the sound of the consonant.

10. Choicest and naive are codes to letter shape, the numeral six and a curvy, ornate Roman letter N while the s in servants suggests the letter’s sound.

11. Sixty-two and many are recognition cues, the letter resembling the number 62 followed by a letter m with an understroke. The h in hordes suggests the letter’s sound, as well as fitting the narrative and aiding recall.

12. The 4th-6th letters in functional are an obvious clue to pronunciation for English speakers, and T-629 suggests the shape of the letter, in a way that’s intuitive to a Westerner like me – very early model Terminators never shown in the movie franchise, likely prior to da Ah-nold himself – as far as a superficial and suggestive similarity to the Roman letter T hyphenated with the number 629 is concerned.

13. Left, maneuvers, and terribly suggest a resemblance, very sketchy but close enough, to the letters L, M, and T squashed together, minus the understroke and the dependent vowel sign, and the shri in shrieking a clue, but not a fully accurate representation of the sound, but close enough to remember.

This was fun, and provided a lot of opportunity in tweaking the mnemonics. This month I resume fuller study of Hindi, with recall practice of Tamil, Bengali, and other subjects to be conducted as well.

Stay cool, stay brilliant.

Fractal of the Week | Monte Carlo Edition One: Sky Burst

Happy Monday! Here is another wallpaper, 1600 x 1200 pixels, rendered using the Monte Carlo option for MB3D, which I’m happy to say I finally have the hang of! The image took about a little less than five hours to finish, and from my biased perspective, I dislike it less. The MC process produces fractals with cleaner, crisper definition, and less image noise than the usual, quicker, standard method of rendering. In short, it takes longer, but the images are better for it overall, a sound argument for patience!

Double click the image for the full-sized file.

Talotaa frang, talotaa kas, talotaa tranga suulat.


All JPEG, PNG & GIF images in this post are original works by the author, created via a variety of apps and unless otherwise stated are copyright 2015 by Troy Loy. I hereby permit the free, noncommercial use of these images, as long as proper credit is given for them.