People Travel and places

A fun moment with another photographer

I was eating my lunch today and I noticed this young lady walking around taking photos. I thought it would be fun to take a photo of another photographer so I took my camera out and as I focused on her, she lowered her camera from a shot and smiled for me. Fun moment!

I’ve noticed a number of photographers in the area. There is probably an art school or something along those lines.

On a somewhat related note, I found some more of those cool little graffiti characters (you can see them to the right of the young lady). These seem to be new:


Shoot for the Moon – T&Cs Apply

Shoot for the moon!**

**Terms and conditions apply …

(Love Oatmeal!)

Science and nature

How Pluto passed up its opportunity for “planet” status for a friend

Do you remember when Pluto was a planet? Those were the days when we had 9 planets in our Solar System and then things changed. Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Do you know the backstory behind that change? What may seem like some astronomical body’s decision to reclassify this celestial body was really a story about friendship and finding one’s place in the solar system:

The official story, according to NASA, is this:

Discovered in 1930, Pluto was long considered our solar system’s ninth planet. But after the discovery of similar intriguing worlds deeper in the distant Kuiper Belt, icy Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet. This new class of worlds may offer some of the best evidence about the origins of our solar system.

Wouldn’t it be fun if there was some sort of meta story going on, though? That said, the real story is the New Horizons mission to send a probe to Pluto and beyond to the Kuiper Belt. This mission began in 2006 and the New Horizons spacecraft is due to reach Pluto around 14 July 2015, a little over 52 days as I write this. It will probably send back the best images we have of Pluto.

The fact that this spacecraft has been heading to Pluto for about 9 years is a reminder of just how vast our solar system is. Here is a mission overview:

You can follow mission updates on Twitter @NASANewHorizons:

If you are curious what the differences between a dwarf planet and a planet are, watch this short video too:


Quote for the day thanks to Daily Maverick

I subscribe to 3 or 4 email newsletters: The Daily Maverick’s First Thing, TechCentral, Missing Link’s Preso Rock Gods and maybe one other. The first three are worth getting. They have great content, are not spammy and are entertaining. This morning First Thing had the following gem which is typical of the humor I have become accustomed to:

Russia said on Thursday it expects the debris from its failed probe to Mars to land on earth on either Sunday or Monday, but said it was unsure of the precise location. Considering the probe couldn’t find Mars, this is hardly a huge surprise.

If you want a great overview of the news first thing in the morning, subscribe to First Thing. You won’t be sorry (well, if you are you can just unsubscribe).