Thursday, July 31, 2008

Postscript to PDF conversion

ls *.ps | sed 's/\(.*\).ps/ps2pdf \ \1.pdf/' | bash

because it's impossible to view multiple postscripts in a single window.... how annoying.

ls *.pdf | sed 's/\(.*\).pdf/pdf2jpeg \1.pdf \1.jpg/' | bash

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Boulder Obovoid

Obovoid is another imperial stout - "empirical stout" - and is milder than some of the others I've had lately, but still a touch bitter. Nice but not worth repeating much.

IDL array indexing

array_indices(array, location)

instead of that x mod n_e(), y / n_e() crap

Not a webcomic

but close enough:
Gore-Al sends son into space

IDL string conversion

Just a reminder to me:
to convert an IDL number to a string, use string!
s = string(x,format='(F10.5)')

Also, Julian Date conversion

my genes

I have a few funky genes goin on:
Photonic Sneeze Reflex
Smell asparagus pee

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

find and xargs

pretty useful info on find and xargs, e.g. find /scratch/adam_work/ -name 'mmm*sav' | xargs rm


I read a paper on ArXiv today about SETI, and talked to Jeremy Darling about water masers. This got me thinking: the best way to signal your presence to the universe as an intelligent civilization is to take advantage of natural amplification. So, say, you go find a big cloud of water molecules in the right state to start masing, and blast them with some of the right frequency radio emission: you get a strongly enhanced isotropic emitter. Maybe SETI should look for those, then search for nearby coherent sources....

EDIT: Isotropic? No.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hebrew Jewbilation 11

Wow... 11 malts and 11 hops, and it tastes like at least 3 different types of beer. There was an ale start and a porter finish to the first few sips, but later ones had a fuller, maltier flavor at the top of the mouth. It has some Irish Stout smoothness too. There's some residual porter-esque bitterness. A lot of depth and complexity that keeps going. Whew.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Delirium Nocturne

Delirium Tremens is a tasty beer itself, I think. I'm drinking Delirium Nocturne right now. It has a cool (opaque!) bottle, plus a pink elephant on the label. At 8.5% it's pretty strong, but very drinkable with no taste of alcohol. It's definitely my favorite Belgian brown now. It still has that wheat-soy-sauce taste to it, but very weakly. It poured with ridiculous head - I could not control it. Overall, great beer, worth the ridiculous price I paid for it, whatever that was.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More tastings

Deschutes Black Butte XX - good for a porter, reasonably drinkable, but still a porter
Rogue Chocolate Stout - a bit bitterer than I want in a chocolate stout
Victory 12 - pretty good, tasted a bit like a trippel

Sketch Wheat - much more drinkable than last time; "weirdness" gone

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Guinness and Dogfish Head

First, the Guinness: I'm drinking a Guinness Extra Stout right now. I'm a big fan of the normal Guinness Stout, but the extra stout is bitter - bridging on skunky. I don't like it. It has a sour edge.

Last night, tried the Dogfish Head Midas Touch. It's interesting - lots of flavors, topped by grape juice. It's a champagne-meade-beer. OK, but not spectacular. Pretty drinkable.

Dogfish Head Santo Palo tonight. It's a brown ale that looks more like a stout. I think it needs to mellow - it has an astringent alcohol flavor, but depth once you get further in. It was a lot better when it poured with some head than not. A little chocolate at the end, not much though.

Also tried the Avery "Ale to the Chief" Presidential Pale Ale. A little like an IPA, but really a hoppy pale ale. Not bad, not my favorite.

Those Dogfish beers are too expensive. I ought to stick to Avery and homebrews....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Outreach this past weekend

I did the thing at Vail, Starry Nights, and it went well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Parallactic Angle

So it turns out parallactic angle and field rotation are essentially the same thing. While working on the data pipeline for the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey, I've needed to deal with this. The parallactic angle is dependent on the alt/az, and therefore the time, of the observation. So using an RA/Dec in J2000 coordinates to get alt/az isn't going to work, because my observations weren't in 2000.0.... my best hope is that the PA in the NCDF files is actually the correct parallactic angle.


Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Stout

Tried this 9.2% bomber last night, and even drinking it over the course of an hour and a half I could feel my nose not feeling afterwards.

The pour was probably the most exciting part of this beer. It came out an extremely dark, rich, thick motor-oil looking thing with nearly no head. The flavor, though, is of a very bitter and very dry imperial stout. I didn't get much of the chocolate tone, because I only taste chocolate when it is sweetened - bakers chocolate doesn't taste like chocolate to me. I think this beer would have been better if kept a little bit sweeter, much unlike the other Imperial stouts I've tried lately.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

how much time per year is spent traveling?

I need to figure that out at some point

Friday, July 18, 2008

Observing this weekend

whoops, never made this post. Turns out I got rained out - 3 inches of rain on my night. Sad, no DIS time for P Cyg.

Lunar Occultation Hi-Res measurements

The folks at the VLT have come up with a means of achieving extremely high resolution from the ground: Observe when the moon occults a source and how long the occultation takes. Sweet.

This was applied in the galactic center first, of course:
Observations of binaries in GC
Additional observations in GC

ds9 commands to test distortion mapping

trying to figure out whether I'm screwing something up in the distortion map phase... the -scale limits command here is new and useful

ds9 testfields_*pix5*_map0.fits -cmap sls -scale limits 0 .005 -zoom 4 -match frames wcs -match scales -match colorbars &
ds9 testfields_*pix15*_map0.fits -cmap sls -scale limits 0 .003 -zoom 4 -match frames wcs -match scales -match colorbars &
ds9 testfields_*pix10*_map0.fits -cmap sls -scale limits 0 .004 -zoom 4 -match frames wcs -match scales -match colorbars &

Russell Owen, DS9

As I might have expected, Russell Owen from the University of Washington - the man responsible for the Telescope User Interface, TUI, on the Apache Point Observatory telescope - has written up a help page for XPA access points on ds9. He knows his stuff... I think I need to aspire to that.

World Wide Stout

Last night, had ~4oz of Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout. It was the Nov 2007 batch and was WAY too sweet. Just like the Stone Russian Imperial Stout, it was almost undrinkably sweet, so I recapped it and am going to "cellar" it (at 78 degrees, yikes) for a few months. The Stone brew turned out a lot better on the second try, I hope the Dogfish Head does too.

I also had a bottle of Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Oddly, they don't have it on their website. It has a strong chocolate flavor at the start, but it fades quickly into a generic, strongly carbonated stout - it's nothing special after the first taste.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mac terminal stuff

xterm-color has some annoying features when SSHing to other compys, including 'top' not functioning properly. The error I receive:
top: no termcap entry for a `xterm-color' terminal

The solution:
From MacOSXhints, in bash just add export TERM="vt100" to your .profile file.

Awk sexagesimal to decimal conversion

In VIM I often need to convert columns of RA/Dec from Sexagesimal into Decimal format.

%!awk '{ra = ($2+$3/60+$4/3600)*15; dec = $6+$7/60+$8/3600; print $1,"ra=",ra,", dec= ",$5,dec}'

The far more irritating inverse operation:

%!awk '{h=($2/15); h=h-(h\%1); m=($2-h*15)/15*60; m=m-(m\%1); s=($2-h*15-m*15/60)/15*3600; d=-($3-$3\%1); am=(-$3-d)*60; am=am-(am\%1); as=(-$3-d-am/60)*3600; printf "\%s \%02i:\%02i:\%02.2f
, -\%02i:\%02i:\%02.2f \%s \%s \%s\n" , $1,h,m,s,d,am,as,$4,$5,$6}'

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Outreach Observing

Some notes for this Friday...

the ISS will rise at about 10:55 on Friday, July 18th, and 9:43 on Saturday, July 19th.

Jupiter will be in the sky, but Venus and Mercury will not. Jupiter will rise in the Southeast

Denver, CO 2008/07/16 10:15 pm Sunrise/set: 05:46 am / 08:26 pm
Predicted passes for: ISS daylight-saving time enabled

Local Duration
Date Time (min) Approach Max. elevation Departure
2008/07/17 02:57 am <1 10° above N 10° above N 10° above NNE
2008/07/17 04:30 am 5 12° above NNW 31° above NE 10° above E
2008/07/17 10:30 pm <1 13° above WSW 15° above WSW 15° above WSW
2008/07/18 03:19 am 4 10° above NNW 16° above NNE 10° above ENE
2008/07/18 04:54 am 5 15° above NW 78° above W 10° above SE
2008/07/18 09:19 pm 5 13° above SSW 29° above SE 11° above ENE
2008/07/18 10:55 pm 4 17° above WNW 25° above NNW 10° above NNE
2008/07/19 03:42 am 5 13° above NNW 32° above NNE 12° above E
2008/07/19 05:18 am 4 16° above W 22° above SW 11° above S
2008/07/19 09:43 pm 5 19° above WSW 71° above N 10° above NE

google accident

I'm still trying to figure out why google doesn't link to my page for the term died in a google accident, but we'll see if this page ever changes that. I link to XKCD #369 from that page with that phrase.


Why a blog? I've been strongly opposed to blogs for the longest time (after all, Desert Strike coined the word BLOG as an acronym for building), so why use one now?

1. link power - more links to my own pages if done correctly
2. google owns the blogger
2.a. google made it really easy
3. it's easier to add content here than to my real 'web page' which is already too content-heavy. Still, my web page is more useful for displaying code, my cv, etc.
4. needed a place to post beer reviews / brewing related content that doesn't fit on a normal web page unless I made a blog there
5. easiest way to take notes that I can't just accidentally delete...

and now that I've made this post,
6. because I like metahumour

DS9 - crosshairs on command line

ds9 pmm*_map0.fits -zscale -match scales -zoom 4 -match frames wcs -crosshair 17:33:02.7 -13:04:49.5 wcs fk5 -lock crosshairs wcs &
ds9 pmp*_map0.fits -zscale -match scales -zoom 4 -match frames wcs -crosshair 17:33:02.7 -13:04:49.5 wcs fk5 -lock crosshairs wcs &
ds9 mpp*_map0.fits -zscale -match scales -zoom 4 -match frames wcs -crosshair 17:33:02.7 -13:04:49.5 wcs fk5 -lock crosshairs wcs &
ds9 mpm*_map0.fits -zscale -match scales -zoom 4 -match frames wcs -crosshair 17:33:02.7 -13:04:49.5 wcs fk5 -lock crosshairs wcs &

DS9's crosshairs are extremely useful for checking on WCS coordinate matching, especially when they can be set precisely using the command line. I don't know how to set the coordinates exactly interactively... that may come later.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mountain Sun

Went to the Mountain Sun, had the Thunderhead Stout and Stone's Levitation IPA.

The Thunderhead Stout is one of my favorites. It's rich, slightly sweet, full bodied. I can't identify any particular flavors, but it's delicious.

Stone's Levitation IPA is dark brown for an IPA. It's hoppy and pretty tasty, but nowhere near as good as the Dogfish Head IPAs.


Learned something knew about ssh... keys are stored in ~/.ssh/known_hosts. If a remote key changes, you may be denied access if your saved key is wrong.

The System

Cat and Girl is a webcomic probably best described as being subversive.

Today's comic reveals that my role is to perpetuate a system. It's always nice to analyze your workplace and world on a deeper level. I am perpetuating evil, but the alternatives are scary.

Also, just to make sure there's a tie back to beer, Goats has a litany for beer.


Our "Workie Ticket", which was doing its primary in the carboy, popped its top. It made a mess but should still be healthy... the yeast was going extremely strong at the way-too-hot 78 degrees it's sitting at this morning. It already has a fruity aroma, though, so it's likely that all of our brews are going to be extremely fruity. Bleh.

Our Honey Brown , which was excellent at the start, has gotten a bit too dry and alcoholic. The first few sips have a strong flavor of alcohol to them. However, once you get into the beer, it gains a little bit of depth and isn't too bad... probably the alcohol talking. I think most of the bottles are probably overcarbonated at this point, but we only have a few left. Overall point: Honey beers need to be drunk within about a week of bottling for peak deliciousness; apparently honey dries out very strongly.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pumphouse Brewery Review

Went to the pumphouse brewery last night and 'tasted' 4 beers.

First, for a brewpub, it's pretty weird to serve tastes in single-sip servings, but that's what they did. They didn't charge, so I didn't object, but it was difficult to get a strong sense for what the beers were meant to be.

Cherry Saison: light colored, mild cherry flavor, no sweetness or depth to match the cherry flavor
Ginger saison: strong ginger flavor, no depth or interesting beer flavor. Like a dry but strong ginger ale
Saison: just... average
Copper: Weak flavored reddish beer

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Buffalo the Destroyer!

Buffalo the Destroyer!

Adam Ginsburg

I'm not going to explain this nickname any more than I explained my other nickname, Keflavich