My friend Andi pointed me to this excellent, completely surreal movie of the Huygens probe landing on Titan. Beware of the file size (11MB) and of the audio/visual effect which might just induce a seizure. More information about what all the blinking and whistling is about can be found on the main page.
I was glad to find that “The Sopranos” is aired in NZ on one of their over-the-air network stations. I like the show, and I’ve missed it for quite some time after giving up HBO, so being able to watch it again (uncut, BTW) late in the evening was a good thing.
Last week’s “season finale” seemed really weak for a finale, so much so I went and checked the HBO site. Alas, it really wasn’t a finale, just a TVNZ “final episode”. It turns out there are still four more episodes to go in the Sopranos Season 6, but TVNZ has announced that those four will air in 2007?!? Continuity, anyone?
The weather is getting really nice now and losing a few hours of TV is a good thing overall, but I still have to wonder what the hell TVNZ was thinking with such bizzare scheduling.
We had fantastic weather last weekend. On Sunday we took a brief stroll up the Harry Ell Walkway which is only about 5 minutes from our house. The Port Hills offers a variety of walks mountain bike trails ranging from 30 minutes to all day+.
Flickr photo set
Aerial view of the Port Hills (centered on the summit; we walked up from the top of the screen)
Well a lady found a 9cm chunk of the meteorite a bit southwest of Christchurch. You can read the full story here. It looks to be just a run-of-the-mill space rock, and not some deadly piece of plutonium from a satellite.
By this morning I noticed the story had been picked up by at least 140 online papers, which is about as big as NZ news gets internationally (provided it doesn’t involve Greenpeace 🙂
I’m impressed… this meteor story is getting around. Check out Google News with the search terms “meteor new zealand”. I figured these things were so common as not to even merit news wire coverage, but I guess I’m wrong.
Today at just before 3pm, everyone in the office heard a loud bang coming from the roof. We have antennas and other gear on the roof for testing, and while it’s not uncommon to hear noises as people work up there, today’s bang was followed by a bizarre sound like something rolling from one end to the other across the roof, crackling as it went. Everyone was looking around quizzically, but after a few seconds a silence we all went back to work.
About 20 minutes later, the first chatter of something causing a sonic boom started. An email came out from the HR group saying “space junk” had fallen about 50 miles S/W of Christchurch. Then there were reports of the fire department heading to the East side of CHC. The local newspaper site The Press was overloaded and had little more information, confirming only that lots of people heard the bang. In the next half hour, additional news about people seeing fireballs in the sky pretty much locked in the meteor theory.
As of tonight I’ve read countless statements of people hearing and seeing this event right up and down the South island, though it seems that Canterbury heard the brunt of the big bang. I’ve very disappointed that there are no pictures of a smoldering paddock in rural NZ, nor even a fuzzy cell phone picture of the fireball. The Press still says “pictures soon”, so maybe someone is holding out for the big bucks on an exclusive photo.
So until there is more real info, I’ll close with an amusing quote from RNZAF on the incident:
“An Air Force spokesman said none of their aircraft were responsible — none of the current fleet went fast enough to create a sonic boom.”