Monday, January 26, 2009

Big Find in Jeruselam

CNN: Archaeologists in Israel have discovered what they believe is the bust of a Roman boxer from the second or third century.
The figurine is small -- about 6 centimeters high by 4 centimeters wide -- but very detailed, archaeologists say.

The figurine is small -- about 6 centimeters high by 4 centimeters wide -- but very detailed, archaeologists say.

At first the archaeologists thought that pieces and parts had broken off the sculpture but x-ray analysis shows that the sculpture is intact and, well, being a boxer, some parts are bound to be missing.

Also while seeming small it is known that Roman boxers were bred to have unusually small heads so as to make smaller targets for their opponents. This one, while only being 6 x 4 cm (2.5 x 1.5 inches) was probably the real head size of a six foot four, 240 pound heavy weight.


Don't go Changing!

Yesterday Sue spotted this wonderful caterpillar on our way back to our dinghy. Take a close look (by clicking on the picture) and you'll see this guy looks like he's wearing galoshes on his back 6 legs! He also has a tail not unlike Mismo! Is it true that all caterpillars turn into butterflies? If so I bet this one makes a pretty one!

Other big event yesterday was me putting my new reading glasses into the sea. I'm heading into town today to get some real glasses and maybe have them screw them to my head!

We got an e-mail from Luperon, DR telling us that now the Comandante requires all anchored boats to inform the Comandante if they want to move their boat. This includes moving your anchor within Luperon Bay! Moving without permission results in a $100 fine. This is already the only country that makes you check out of a CITY and then check back in if you go anchor in another city within the SAME country. Of course their are fees and pay-offs involved at each end.

Hey, I got to get to work!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bellagio Sailing

Yesterday we all went out sailing on Bellagio with are very good metric friends, Kathy and Kerry AND Kathy's daughter Mel. A fine day for a sporty sail south of Grenada. Wind was 15+ knots with easy swells of 3-4 feet. We just reached out and back to remember how all the lines and giant pieces of material work. A fine time was had by all...Mel didn't even get sick!

Here's the whole fam-damly >>>>>>>>>>

Friday we went to the 'Fish Fry' at Goayve (sp?). This is a much publicized thing to go to. It is said that they close down the streets and have a bit of a festival with lots of fish to eat and so forth. Sounds like fun so we went. It's about an hour and fifteen minute car ride though on very twisty roads. Ug. Once we arrived we find a couple of streets blocked off and many little booths making some sort of fish products. There wasn't much of a festival. No where to sit. The music at one point seemed to be a compliation of bad disco (that's really the only kind) from teh 70's. After about 30 minutes we had seen everything but we had another hour and half before the bus was due to go back. There was a drummer group that was pretty good though but I didn't get to sit in. Well, looks like we're having fun anyway according to this pic. Just not worth about 3 hours in a van though.

As reported earlier, Sue is going to be 'Chef' on an
upcoming crewed charter. As such she thought she might practice making fish for all of us. That starts with a trip to the Grenada Fish Market. She found some Red fish and for an extra couple of bucks a guy cleaned and filleted them for her. Great meal this made! Nice job Chef Sue!

Finally, what's a post without a Mismo picture? Our strange little cat is in love with our giant 'noodles' that we swim with sometimes. It's like cat nip to her. Strange are the ways of the cat indeed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back from the Frozen Tundra!

Hello to all. I just got back from the frozen north. Here's a great pic of the frozen north taken by my daughter. Lots of other great pics there as well. A great trip to Tampa and Chicago but holy hell was it cold in Chicago! -14 one morning. Ouch!

And a crazy trip it was. Here is my itinerary. ..

Grenada - Trinidad (supposed to go to St. Vincent but that plane 'wasn't there') change planes
Trinidad - St. Vincent
St. Vincent - Dominica
Dominica - San Juan (change planes)
San Juan - Miami (change planes)
Miami - Tampa Stayed in Tamp for a couple of days and visited my dad then on to Chicago
Tampa - Chciago

Return trip

Chicago to Charlotte
Charlotte to Tampa (spend the night at the 'comfort Inn')
Tampa to San Juan (change planes)
San Juan - Antigua (change planes)
Antigua to St. Vincent
St. Vincent to Grenada TA DA!

So, my advice...don't book with LIAT airlines! Stick with American.

But, a good trip it was. We didn't even have to land in the Hudson! While in Chicago I visited Columbia College. They need a part time physics teacher in the fall and it looks like that's going to be me! We've been thinking and looking for a good way to "bi-locate" in the coming years. This will give us September - December in Chicago. Sue will be able to teach at Columbia as well as that's where she was working when we took off in 05. So we can be in Chicago for the end of baseball, the beginning of football, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We're working on variations of the plan from there. One is to leave the boat on the hard at Spice Island Marine in Grenada, return to Grenada in January and work for Spice Island another 3 months. Then sail north as far as St. Maarten or maybe Puerto Rico until hurricane season and again return to Chicago for Sept - Dec. Returning to, let's say St. Martin in Janurary and sail south for 4 months in time to work for Spice Island again before returning to Chicago. In this way we can be Caribbean yo-yos. It would work out to working 4 months in Chicago. Working 4 months in Grenada and sailing 4 months in the Caribbean.

Why work? Have you seen the economy? And Enee has needs! Also, while I do NOT miss public schools with all their testing, testing, testing and departments run by little minds who think that middle management is the cat's ass, I find that I do miss physics itself and the strange desire to explain things. My classes at Columbia will be Physics for Film Makers which has many interesting possiblilties attached to it.

I also had the chance to meet up with the guitar player from the band I was in in College (Cheyenne). We hadn't spoken or seen each other in about 38 years! How strange to get with him. We have plans to get with nearly all of that band come fall. Should be fun. In the picture, I'm on the far left and Guitar Ken is on the far right. We look just the same to this day! We think this pic is from about 1970. ". . . what a long strange trip its been".

(as usual click pic to blow it up)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

January Birthdays & How to do a Workshop in Grenada


Mike H on the 9th (just blogged in time on that one!)
Sarah H on the 13th
Enee (the real person Enee Marie) on the 22nd
Luke T on the 25th
Kim B on the 27th

Who will be in the Super Bowl this year? Nobody from Chicago I hear.

How to do a Workshop in Grenada OR Sailor Sue Finally Gets to Work!

So here I am a few weeks ago on the #2 bus into St. George's when I suddenly see a Montessori School. Now that's interesting. Wonder if they'd be interested in a workshop........ So I emailed the director of the program a list of workshops presented by SLB Collaborations (Sailor Sue's former life).

She was interested! And invited another child care program associated with St. George's University to join in.

Now what? All materials and supplies used in workshops formerly living in the office and basement in the house in Des Plaines no longer exist. They certainly aren't aboard Enee Marie!

What to Do?
Recruit your sailing friends to walk the hills and shores of Grenada collecting wonderful and interesting things. The workshop is about exploring artistic and natural materials. We got busy finding the natural materials. And what a good way to get exercise at the same time.

So thank you Wendy, Manon, and Kathy for forging through the hills and valleys with me to find some beautiful treasures.

And thank you Mismo the wonder cat for guarding my treasures once aboard Enee. Of course Mismo also had to taste a few of the items as well.

The next thing to do was to get some digital slides from friend, colleague, and super artist Rachel Weaver-Rivera. I needed slides of children exploring different materials and expressing different ideas to give teachers at the workshop some new ways of thinking about this. Thank goodness for the "internet" and digital world. Rachel emailed many wonderful images and I was able to build a presentation of slides that the participants found very inspiring.

Twelve people participated in the workshop. They discovered new ways of using water colors, acrylics, oil pastels, and natural materials. They also created representations of their ideas of teaching. They were a very thoughtful and creative group. I hope there are more workshops possible with them in the future.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Monday Astronomy Minute

This is today's broadcast from Prickly Bay, Grenda. . .

Today, well tonight after about 8 or 9, we turn our attention to the two brightest stars in our sky. The brightest is Sirius also called the dog star as it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. Hard to miss Sirius. Just follow the belt of Orion down to the east. And no wonder it is the brightest star in our sky. . . It is twice as big as our sun and ONLY 9 light years away. nearby!

Now turn your gaze to the south and down a little and the next really bright star you come to is the second brightest star in our sky - Canopus in the constellation Carina. Although it is the second brightest star it is a whopping 300 light years away. What does that tell you? That Canopus is a HUGE and extremely bright star. In fact it is 15,000 times more luminous than our sun.

You’ll notice that both Sirius and Canopus twinkle and show a myriad of colors especially through your binoculars. This is due to the light coming through the atmosphere. Any changes in density and temperature along the way bends the light and bends different colors slightly different amounts just like a prism. This is especially true for stars low in the sky as Sirius and Canopus are as the light has to travel through more atmosphere than a star overhead.

Interestingly, Venus is very bright right now and is low in the western sky but does not twinkle. Why? The reason is that Venus is close enough to be an actual disk rather than a point of light. The various bendings of light from venus all stay within the disk of Venus so we don't see it as twinkling

Thanks to Kevin on Exodus for getting me to research Canopus!

Those of you north of 38 degrees latitude. . .don't bother looking for Canopus. It never rises above your horizon. Sorry!

Friday, January 02, 2009

A great question!

Hello Scott- Love your blog and your book. Question: According to US Naval Observatory charts, we're getting more daylight after winter solstice since sunset is later every day. But sunrise is not earlier until January 6, at least here in Flint Michigan. Why is that?

This question appeared in the comments on a former post. It's such a good question I thought I'd answer it here. Thanks to dfrank in Flint MI for the question. Now here goes!

This is a tough one! There are two effects going on. First there is the equation of time. Due to our varying speed in our orbit (mainly) noon on a clock will differ from noon as measured by a sun dial. Sometimes the sun is ahead and sometimes behind depending on the time of year. In late December into January the dial shows noon before the clock does. So the sun is 'slow' and sunrise would occur later and sunset later.

When the graph is above the line the sundial is ahead of the sun and when below it is behind.

The other effect is that sunrise should be ocuring earlier and sunset later due to the changing of the seasons. The sun is getting higher in the sky. So there is a bit of time when one effect is trying to make sunrise later and the other effect is trying to make sun rise earlier. These can then cancel. For the sunset though, both effects are making the sun set later. So that's why until about Jan 6, sunrise in Flint Michigan stays about the same while sun set happens later and later.

Here's a pretty good link to this effect

Here's one about the equation of time