Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pyrite in the Snow

It snowed a few days ago but it was light accumulation. The icy and cold conditions did contribute to 100 or so auto accidents. Here is a picture of pyrite ("fools gold") found in the New Albany Shale found in the Louisville area.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I try to fit Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' into my Christmas Eve or Christmas day.  My family ended up watching a variation of the story in the movie 'Scrooged' (1988).  The movie has some great lines that can be quoted throughout the year.  In addition, I got to hear the ending of reading of 'A Christmas Carol' on NPR, I think it was Iowa Public Radio.  I try to read it during Christmas each year but the radio show might have to do for 2009.

Here is a sketch of Charles
Dickens in 1842 around the
time A Christmas Carol was
first published.
Image from The Life of
Charles Dickens by
John Forster, 1907.

To quote the end of the story, "and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last of Billbergia nutans Flowers

Pictures of the Billbergia nutans (Queens Tears) flowers. There were 6 plants and 4 of them produced a red bloom stalk. Each stalk had between 6-8 blooms and they finished blooming in the second week of December.  I hope to see the plant bloom in 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Queens Tears Flower

More flower pictures of the Queens Tears (Billbergia nutans). Flower is located in Louisville, Kentucky and tends to bloom in late November or early December.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wolfe Creek Meteorite

Here are some pictures of a meteorite found at the Wolfe Creek Crater in Australia. It is on display on the second floor of the Louisville Science Center in the Sky Tracker exhibit area.

It is thought that it is part of large meteorite that hit the Earth over 300,000 years ago. It was discovered by science in 1947 during an aerial survey.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

Exotic Queens Tears Flower

It appears this plant is a Billbergia nutans or "Queen Tears".   The flower is a rich array of colors (red, blue, green, purple, yellow).  First a red stalk emerges from the center of the plant.  Colorful "tear" shapes drop out of the stalk as the stalk leans parallel to the ground.  The purple/blue/green tears then begin to open into three petal flowers. Each petal has a purple outer rim with a greenish center.  This plant first bloomed for me right after I received it in November 2007.  The bloom stalks started to appear in late November and the blooms began to emerge on December 3, 2009.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Plasma Ball

Here are some pictures taken of a plasma ball at the Adventure Science Center in Nashville, Tennessee. I must say that have some very nice science exhibits using some cool display technologies in the building. Most of the science center is aimed at small to grade school level children with the exception of the astronomy area.  Highly recommended if you have children in this age group or if you are interested in astronomy .

10 second exposure shot of the plasma ball in action.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Indiana Magazine of History Journal Database

Published since 1905, the Indiana Magazine of History is of the America's oldest historical journals. 

They have a great database that allows users to read the content of journals for the years 1905-2007.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Honey Colored Dogtooth Calcite

Honey colored dogtooth calcite crystals that form in clam shell fossils. These specimens were found in Okeechobee County, Florida.