Monday, February 25, 2013

Really, really finished at last

The files for "Una ventana espectacular al universo" have been sent off to the printers. At last. They should be on sale in 10 - 14 days.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Finished at last! Sort of.

On Thursday I sent the final corrections for the Spanish edition of the observatory book off for layout, and then we celebrated.

I spent the first half of Friday morning nursing a hangover, and then I went to the water mine to collect water. It's not really worth doing economically, but it's a nice little trip. There's something very relaxing about standing around in the woods filling up 5 litre bottles.

I only got back at 2:30, and the kitchen was still in a mess, so I took my son to the village kiosk for a leisurely lunch.

And I got home to an email pointing out some errors still in the book.

Not so finished after all then.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Rainbow clouds

The rainbow colours are caused by ice crystals in the cloud.
Last week I posted someone else's pictures of rainbow clouds on Facebook.  Today I stumbled across the pictures I took of the same effect on La Palma, coming down from the observatory in January 2012. The only thing I changed with photoshop was the size of the picture - no other tweaks, I promise.
The rainbow colours are caused by ice crystals in the cloud.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Trusting the driver

Today I showed a group of people from a conference round the MAGIC and GTC telescopes. I left my car at the residencia and got on their bus so that I could chat to them via the microphone as we drove along, which worked very well.  Then as we left GTC I realised that a) they were probably going to the Roque and b) my car was still at the residencia, about a kilometre away.

Oh well, I thought.  The exercise will do me good.  Then I thought it would be more fun to go to the Roque, since it's stunning and I haven't been up there for a while.

As it turned out, they hadn't planned to go there, but liked the idea. After all, it's almost a sin to go up as far as GTC ( 2,300 m and 200 or more hairpin bends) without going the extra half-kilometre to the Roque itself. So up we went.

Now the bus park at the Roque is rather interesting.  The bus backs in, with a decidedly attention grabbing drop to the left and behind the bus. You can hear the punters react, every time.

I now have a new bit of patter for these occasions. "Lady's and gentlemen, I have every confidence in our driver. He's done this several hundred times before, and I know for a fact that he's planning on going home tonight because he's got a family and everything."

It worked.  I heard nervous laughter coming from the back of the bus instead of the usual gasps and small screams. I think I'll be using it again.