Mobile Aps

Smartphone Aps – Earthquake trackers

A world connected

Spaceship Earth, a rocky place

The recent events in Japan are nothing if not frightening, heartbreaking and tragic.

Many of us have friends, loved ones and/or colleagues in 日本 (Nihon), and nearly all of us interact with their technology and culture on a regular basis in one form or another. I myself have numerous personal connections to Japan, which makes the recent events in that wonderful country strike home and tear at the heart.

With all the sensational coverage on destructive earthquakes, volcanoes, sleeping super-volcanoes and tsunamis over the last several years, we are often reminded of the sheer power our planet contains, and how our attempts to control it are ultimately futile. Mother Nature has the last word; we had better be listening.

Having lived in two of the most seismically active places on earth, both Japan and Hollister Ca, it is amazing how suddenly the world can go crazy. For those who live in the ring of fire, it is more than just an evening news story, it’s very real.

Last year I installed the Android Ap “Earthquake!” by Retro Meier on my smartphone, which uses real-time USGS data to plot and notify the user of seismic activity from all over the world. Continue reading Smartphone Aps – Earthquake trackers


Watch Discovery Fly Overhead, for the very last time – Tonight!

Around the world in HOW many days?

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines

Yesterday on 7 March 2011, the Space Shuttle Discovery departed from the International Space Station to begin her last de-orbit from space, and is scheduled to land in Florida on Wednesday afternoon, March 9 at 11:57 a.m. EST. That’s 8:57am for you west coasters. Her next flight will be atop the special 747 Jumbo-Jet Shuttle Carrier while being delivered to a lucky and yet to be announced museum, where she will be enshrined to be admired for generations to come.

However, some of you in the northern states and Europe still have one last chance to see her in her natural environment, as she de-orbits overhead on the way home. It is quite easy to pick out even with the bare eyes, even in brightly lit cities. All you need to know is where and when to look. Continue reading Watch Discovery Fly Overhead, for the very last time – Tonight!


Space Lord…

Not a Pizza

Cue Monster Magnet:

According to the US National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center (USNWSSWPC), we are in the midst of a large solar flare that began on Sunday, and the “interplanetary shock” from the first charged particles driven by the CME (coronal mass ejection) was expected to reach our planet’s orbit around 0300 GMT Thursday.

According to neighbor Bob, in layman’s terms this means that the fire in the sky go boom, and sometimes magic boxes here go “Bzzzzzt!” It’s probably not the end of the world, although it may increase the chances that pizza guy screws up your order tonight if you call it in on a cell-phone. Continue reading Space Lord…