Namaskar. Slamalaikum. Vanakkam. Namaste. Ikktighar furiit. Greetings. This week, a little heads up on things going on from yours truly! Study has gone well despite the almost painful slowness of progress in Bengali, at least on understanding and reading. My penmanship still annoys me, and I’m still hesitant to speak the language with any real confidence, but I’m on the 18th unit of the text (Teach Yourself Complete Bengali) out of 35, and well underway to completing Part 2 of the text within the next four months, up to Unit 26. Then begins a more intense regimen of practicing what I’ve learned to date. After that, I’ll be studying Tamil for the following six months before focusing on Hindi for the first six months of 2019, then Bengali again. I’m also listening to Bangla podcasts, Bangla online radio broadcasts (There’s a station out of Dhaka I listen to a lot.), so I’m getting some practice even now. I’m more than halfway through Algebra II, reviewing practice exercises from Algebra I, and will start Precalculus and Geometry beginning in July. That language study has been slow no longer bothers me. Bangla is NOT an easy language, and learning it with two other languages, all with significant differences to each other, merely compounds the effort. But I’m learning at my own pace and minding my mental health in the process, so there’s really no problem. I must persist. The cats are doing well, with Eccles and Ricky behaving themselves fairly well after the last time they caused mischief during an attack of the zoomies on morning last month. Gorgeous, well she’s being Gorgeous, and still patient to young Eccles despite her age. Family life is kinda so-so, nothing particularly noteworthy to mention. Over all, things are going well, though how long that lasts remains to be seen.
Stay warm, or cool, according to your preference in your latitude and hemisphere of residence, and thank you for clicking on this blog!
Tf. Tk. Tts.
Hey, guys! I’m busy this weekend composing musical tracks by using GarageBand, mostly for podcasts and YouTube videos among other purposes. I’ve already created one track this evening, lasting a minute and a half, and I’m really having fun with this. I’ll be creating a bunch more tomorrow, some of which I’ll release online, others to distribute to friends and family, still more to experiment with. One objective is to create a musical track lasting anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes that sounds good when played on continuous loop, for my reading and writing periods. I hate reading or writing in silence, and creating music to help me do that will be hugely fun.
Tf. Tk. Tts.
xkcd: The End of the Rainbow
I’ve a couple of great vids by Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer this morning! In the first, we see spokes, almost like those of a wheel, in the rings of Saturn. The mechanism by which they come about is a bit complex to get into here, but one explanation involves micron-sized ring particles electrically charged by the ionizing UV radiation from the distant Sun, focused by Saturn’s magnetosphere outward along the width of the rings, creating what basically amounts to enormous natural linear particle accelerators. How kewl is that? When Voyager I was here on its survey of the Saturn system, it was basically being blasted with radiation when crossing the plane of the rings along the path of the spokes! I love the fact that our species can build craft that durable, a craft now venturing in to the space between the stars!
Below, we have the recording of the entry of the Cassini Huygens lander entering and landing on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan with the aid of a parachute. Here, we can see details of the surface, below the ever-present upper clouds of smog, worse than L.A. California in the 1970s, and the mountains and other land formations near the landing site. These are details that no one on Earth had ever seen before!
And now, you see them too!
Tf. Tk. Tts.
This evening at 10:00 p.m. EDT airs the annual Doctor Madblood’s Halloween Scream at whro.org/madblood. This year’s movie will be the director’s cut of the original Night of the Living Dead.
Zombies! The Shambling Dead! How cool is that??
To me, the skits involving the Madblood gang are the best part, but the movie is okay as well if you like the quintessential film by George Romero! The skits take place at Madblood Manor, the home of retired mad scientist Doctor Maximillian Madblood and his monsters.
Pungo Virginia’s resident vampire, Count Lacudra (Dracula spelled sideways 🙂 ) makes an appearance, as Madblood characters lighten the movie segments with humor.
A certain Ninth Doctor impersonator does not appear in the skits, only during the costume party scenes, which are very brief. There are Daleks though, thankfully not encountered by said Ninth Doctor impersonator, as being exterminated by an angry Dalek with only the Sonic as a defense would have been unpleasant. They were made of wood, and the Sonic doesn’t work on wood!
The other cosplayers, though, were brilliant, funny, and very nice people who made the early evening of September 25 enormously fun and memorable.
Enjoy the movie!
Zoom into The Center of Our Galaxy:
G’day! I had the cosplay session at the studio on the 25th of last month, but I neglected to take pics! Here is one that the parental unit took before filming began (I look old, just short of 900 years, I think!):
But the filming went well, and the episode should air on the 29th of this month, the Saturday before Halloween. I’ll post links to it on social media, including the next Astrophenia for this blog before regular posting ends. Stay cool, or warm, depending on your hemisphere of residence, and as always…
Tf. Tk. Tts.
Welp, I’m a week off for this, as life issues and events prevented posting over the weekend, and the diabolical Mister Eccles is not happy with me! I had a game last Caturday, while this last Sunday, the cosplay event happened. There, I discovered that I’m not camera-shy even with nigh-crippling stage-fright. There’s something about not seeing the audience directly that allays the terror. I had an awesome time, and both the set crew and other cosplayers were “…fantasic, absolutely fantastic…”* Recording lasted only about 90 minutes, and the Ninth Doctor’s duster I wore was just right for the room temperature, adjusted downward to protect the equipment from overheating. The camera crew was stellar, and all on set got exactly the right instructions to minimize the number of retakes. I’ll post links to the show on this blog and other social media when it airs later this month. So now, I’m back to study, and there is much catching up to do. Please have a glorious October. I have something special planned for the 31st of this month, with posts in between, and I’ll see you between now and then.
Tf. Tk. Tts.
*a partial quote from Chris Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor near the end of the 2005 season finale episode, “The Parting of the Ways,” as Nine says his goodbyes to Billie Piper’s character Rose Tyler just before regenerating into Dave Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. Time Lords do that.