Category Archives: In Pictures

A mish-mash of photos from daily life.

Where there’s smoke on visible satellite, there’s fire on shortwave infrared imagery.

There’s something about clear skies that makes looking at the satellite that much more interesting. You can pick out lots of features, such as the smoke from controlled burns that contributed to a killer sunset yesterday.

The GOES-R series, with its high temporal and spatial resolution, will never cease to amaze me.

BoomTown's old headquarters at 635 Rutledge Ave.

BoomTown’s old headquarters at 635 Rutledge Avenue.

Today, we at BoomTown said farewell to our headquarters of the last five-plus years at 635 Rutledge Avenue. When we report to work next week, we’ll be in a brand-new facility on upper King Street.

When I started at BoomTown in 2012, we had two suites of the repurposed Jabra’s grocery store. Over the ensuing few years our footprint in the building grew along with the business, and by late 2014 we had taken over all but one suite. However, we’re busting at the seams, and it’ll be great to be able to stretch our legs a little bit.

Thanks for the memories, 635. It’s been a good run.

Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Communicator 4.08 displaying a simple Web page completely differently.

Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Communicator 4.08 displaying a simple Web page completely differently.

It’s a good thing standards won out on the Web, huh? The difference between these pages is that IE 4 can interpret the <marquee> tag while Netscape 4 never understood it. Those late ’90s browser wars were not for the faint at heart.

It wasn’t all bad, though: The Windows NT virtual machine I ran this comparison on only was running 22 concurrent processes for the entire system, and was barely touching my MacBook Pro’s battery. Why can’t we get back there?

Full moon -- known as "supermoon" -- as seen from my vantage point west of the Ashley River in Charleston, SC. Tonight is as close as we'll get to the moon this year.

Full moon — known as “supermoon” — as seen from my vantage point west of the Ashley River in Charleston, SC. Tonight is as close as we’ll get to the moon this year.

It’s cool to be getting a few scans of live Level II dual-pol data from the Charleston radar site tonight, presumably as testing continues on the upgrade. This particular screenshot shows the Correlation Coefficient product, which essentially helps a radar operator identify what’s precipitation and what isn’t. One way meteorologists use the CC product (called RHO in GR2Analyst due to its roots in mathematics) is to help identify possible debris signatures associated with severe storms (including tornadoes) (warning: PDF).

Note to my fellow weather nerds and enthusiasts: While it’s fun to look at, this data needs calibration and won’t be reliable until NWS says it’s live. You also won’t see it in RadarScope or GRLevel3 (2.x) until that time. Stick with Columbia, Wilmington, and the other surrounding radars for now.

For more, take a look at NWS Charleston’s Facebook post earlier Sunday.

New In Windows 8: The Frowny Face of Sad


My first impression of Windows 8: A BSOD in Segoe font with a new addition I call the Frowny Face of Sad. You could call it FFS, which also is an acronym I used to shout frequently at Vista. (I leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine this additional meaning.) To be fair, it appears to be related to an ACPI 2.0 requirement that VMware Fusion, my virtualization software of choice, currently doesn’t seem to support. Oracle’s VirtualBox works, though, so I will give that a try at a more sane hour.

One month later: Reflecting on STS-135 and the space program

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I captured the above video of Space Shuttle Atlantis escaping Earth’s grasp to rendezvous with the International Space Station on the 135th and final mission of the Space Shuttle program. I’m still in awe of where I was (3.1 miles away at the press site); I’m still in awe of the people I got to meet (some of which I will get to see again tonight at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum); and I am still saddened by the fact that nobody will get to see this machine fly again and that we have no clear path to getting Americans back in space from our soil. But that being said, NASA is not dead — far from it. The space program is still doing very important, relevant things.

For instance, NASA just launched a probe to Jupiter to learn more about it than ever before. Next month, two unmanned spacecraft are heading back to the Moon for research on the Moon’s gravitational field. The data we gather from unmanned missions is invaluable (and there are many, many things unmanned probes can do that manned flights couldn’t even consider, such as ramming into Jupiter as Juno is scheduled to do).

The #NASATweetup program, which helped me realize my life-long dream of seeing a Shuttle launch in person, is exceptional. If you have an interest in space and like to tweet about it, you are foolish not to follow @NASATweetup and sign up for the next one. I can only speak for myself, but I can safely say that going to mine changed my life.