Spaceman

That is my (maternal) grandfather and his telescope. No idea why the picture was in the newspaper. If there was any associated text it appears that i forgot to scan it. My recollection is that he built it, but the details are somewhat lost to me. It could be that my uncle still has it… trying to find out.

At the end of the garden there was a concrete post with a steel pin mount. The telescope itself was roughly 2m in length, maybe 20cm in diameter, painted silver, and looked homemade. No entirely sure on that last point… is a actually possible to build a functioning large mirror telescope? Perhaps it was a kit?

My memories of that time are most olfactory – everything smelt of coal, coal itself, coal dust, coal smoke, but i’m sure that at some point i was allowed to look through the telescope. It definitely wasn’t something to play with, and getting to look at the stars felt like a privilege… even it was kind of disappointing!

Recently the sky in Hamburg has felt clearer, with more stars visible… which has got me thinking about buying a telescope and at least try to get a look at the planets. Saturn’s rings, Mars’ red spot… just the obvious stuff.

PaulStretch Plans

There a couple of things that would make PaulStretch more longterm viable. They (mostly) don’t seem that challenging:

  • update the XMLwrapper to use the new Mini-XML 3.0 API. Some of the direct references to fields in Structs has been replaced with method call / accessors.
  • fix minor warnings. There is a method lacking a return that prevents -Wall from being passed to g++.
  • create a brew thingie… the terminology is odd, it might be a Formula or a Cask.
  • finally learn enough Autotools to create a standard build. It’s very likely that i’d get this horrible wrong and hate myself for even trying… but it does seem like The Right Thing™.

There are a couple of pull-requests outstanding in GitHub, some of which have been there for years… no idea if Paul is still in anyway interested in the project. Perhaps i’ll end up creating / owning a fork. Yuck.

 

Distribution!

How exciting! Simon Schuster India are publicising the IWTFY 2007 – 2017 book:

With a bit of luck that means they’ll put a couple of copies in every bookshop in India that stocks foreign books.

The little fade in of the cover is cool. Wonder if there is anything behind that… i’ve also thought that picture was rather ‘sensual’, maybe it’s a little racy for the indian market?

Spielberg…

It’s another one of those ‘Confused Gandalf’ memes that i don’t know how to write:

Spielberg praised the couple for being there for him and wife Kate Capshaw on every step of the Shoah Foundation journey. “When there is need, they are there. Tom and Rita, a dynamic duo that in our world of superheroes, just know this — their superpower is to be human which brings to mind a quote from the poet Iain Thomas.

Here’s the quote: “Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

Inside Shoah Foundation’s Ambassadors for Humanity Gala With Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks

It’s really quite amazing how “the little blog that could” has grown up to be quoted by the likes of Steven Spielberg.

As usually, mostly i’m terrified of being found out.