Sky calendar

Full Moon from Space.comThis site is excellent for laying out the simple astronomical events for the coming month. Telling you the date and time of the events along with great little pictures to help you visualize what’s about to come. It also includes handy icons with the event descriptions so that you will know the best tool to use for observation. i.e. Naked Eye, Binoculars or Telescope.

Unfortunately, tomorrow night will be a bust for trying to observe the Moon and Saturn in close proximity (always cool to actually see the moon moving relative to  a background object. But the forecast is looking pretty sweet for Saturday’s Total eclipse moonrise.

Check it out — NightSky

Should parents worry about vaccinating their children?

ABC News: Should Parents Worry About Vaccinating Their Children?:

I always enjoy John Stossel’s reports. But he’s one of the better kept secrets on TV. I find it very difficult to find the shows where his segments are aired.

This article demonstrates, yet again, how we worry about things that we shouldn’t, don’t about what we should and how the media’s insatiable need to sensationalize the irrelevant continues to feed an increasingly ignorant lay person’s (non) reality. Many opportunistic lawyers are not above pandering to these unfounded fears for their own gain either.

Remember – if you read / hear about it in the main stream media. It isn’t something worth worrying about.

Updated Collingwood Treetop walk videos

I just added these videos to YouTube as a more practical way of hosting them.

These are from our August 2005 trip to Canada where we visited Collingwood and did the Treetop Walking Adventure.

This video shows my perspective of the zipline at the end of the walk. I inverted myself to get a more exciting perspective:

This video shows the same scene but from the ground:

New Vision Fitness T9200 treadmill

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In the wake of the demise of my Tunturi J770 I went and picked up a new Vision Fitness T92000.

I primarily used “Consumer’s Reports” in making this decision. I wanted a simple, solid treadmill. The Vision Fitness units are novel in that they have several bases (3 non-folding that I looked at) and 3 consoles available that can be used with any of the bases.

I went and “test ran” the different base choices at lunch hour one day a couple of weeks ago and I elected to stay simple and picked up the T9200 base and the simple console. I was tempted by the deluxe console as I’m a sucker for the 5K program, but I’m so used to manually controlling my workout when I run indoors that it wasn’t enough of a feature to justify the extra cost.

The unit weighs in at a hefty 105 Kgs with the box included. I can tell you, *that* took a while to get out of my van and into the gym. My trusty little handcart was not going to be up to the job so I just had to muscle it over.

A couple of hours and a bit of sweat later I had the unit fully assembled and calibrated. For some reason (it was now after midnight) I didn’t feel much like doing my inaugural run at that point.

I now have a couple of runs under my belt and find I really like the unit. The old one had gotten progressively more noisy as the motor began to wear out and I was just used to it being that loud. This one hums along quietly and smoothly.

It has some nice “quick” features, such as “quick speed” and “quick elevation” that mean you don’t need to awkwardly hold onto an up or down button while trying to make major adjustments and run at the same time, such as when you break into a run after a couple of minutes of warm-up walking.

The only ‘nits I have about the machine – and these are really minor – are a) I’d kind of like to be able to see distance and time simultaneously on the display. I think I could have had this feature with the deluxe console so I don’t think I can really complain here. b) the heart rate display takes a LONG time to ramp up. Gripping the sensors after a hard run (not really feasible *while* running) has the display start at about 72 bpm – even though I *know* I’ll be up in the 130 -140 bpm range. It takes a good minute or so for the readout to climb to my actual rate. I presume this is so that the readings reflect a large sample so they can’t be skewed by, say, taking your hand off the sensor to wipe your forehead. I think it would be ideal for workouts where you can keep in contact with the sensor for the duration. The models in the store were like this as well so I’m confident it’s not merely an issue with my unit, this is by design.
As I said, minor little ‘nits. I regard viewing my heart rate as a novelty in any case. It really isn’t so hard to just take your pulse if you really want to know.