Why Can’t Gmail Paper Print Animated Flash Ads?

I believe by now many gmail users have come across this imaginary Gmail Paper service. As it says it doesn’t have flashy animated ads, I don’t think it can print movie file attachments either. They’ve probably overlooked the fact that animations can actually be printed on flipbooks (flipable stacks of paper)! They can print a movie file on one side of the¬†flipbook, and an animated ad on the other side of the flipbook. ūüôā

Of course, audio can’t be printed… and they should put a limit on the “printable length” of the movie clips.

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April 2, 2007 at 9:39 pm 1 comment

My New Comet McNaught Gallery in Zazzle

I hope you enjoy my comet images. I’m in the process of¬†putting¬†the comet images up¬†in Zazzle for anyone who are interested in getting the images printed on posters, mouse pad, or mugs. There’s also a plan to offer mouse pad & mugs in Cafepress in the¬†next few days¬†as well. I do regret to say that the shipping cost to non-US countries is rather steep from¬†both Zazzle & Cafepress. However I do have¬†good relationship with a local printer. It’s not¬†impossible for me to offer professional poster printing service for Australian & NZ residents if there’s demand for it.

If you’ve any¬†suggestions on other alternative poster/mousepad/mug printing & fulfillment services like Zazzle/Cafepress (especially if¬†you know¬†any that offer local shipping in any non-US countries), or anything else about the product offerings in my gallery please feel free to comment below or let me know.

I’m still building the gallery. Please check back often for updates.

January 29, 2007 at 8:54 pm 1 comment

Last Chances to See Comet McNaught in Melbourne (or Other S. Hemisphere Places)

If you still haven’t got any chances to watch this comet, better be hurry. It’s not just the weather that matters. As the moon is getting brighter and higher up the sky for the next few evenings, combined with the reducing brightness of the comet itself as it travels away from us, you can on longer see it if you’re not far enough from city lights.

For the next few nights¬†till the end of this month, you should be able to watch the comet in early morning as well, an hour or two prior to sunrise. By that time the moon is well set under your feet. If you’re in Victoria, Australia, the best time¬†should be¬†between 4:30am – 5:30am. Look for it in the SE to SSE direction of the sky, about 5 to 15 degrees above the horizon. You should go to a place that is completely free of city and suburban¬†lights, at least in the direction of viewing. Far country is the best. In Victoria, most part of the coastline except that within Port Phillip Bay should be good for the purpose. If you can’t get to the coastline, Brisbane Ranges is probably the closest possible weatern inland location from the city. Avoid the alpine areas in the north east as the sky may be affected by bushfire smoke. Forget about Mt Dandenong as well as it is pretty much surrounded by offensive¬†suburban lights.

Of course, if you’ve the luxury and weather permits, places like the Grampians, Wilson’s Promontory, or Port Campbell are probably the best bets. Good luck!

January 28, 2007 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

More Comet McNaught Photos…

First, I’d like to thank spaceweather.com¬†for featuring my comet photos on its Comet McNaught Gallery.

Here’re the rest of my comet McNaught Collection. Click on the thumbnail for an enlarged version:

22 Jan 2007: This was captured between 30 Р60 minutes after sunset in Mt Donna Buang, Victoria, Australia.

Comet McNaught C/2006 P1

24 Jan 2007: These were captured between 60 – 90 minutes after sunset near Torquay, Victoria, Australia. The sky was lit by the quarter moon towards the western horizon. It wasn’t a good day for real¬†astrophotography as there were cloud patches. But they were definitely candies for landscape photos.

I personally like this one. The ground & the towers were pretty much dark as the moon was behind a small cloud.

Comet McNaught C/2006 P1

This is for the star trail enthusiasts. ūüôā

Comet McNaught C/2006 P1

The effect of the moon was at its fullest in this one. Even the towers & the ground were slightly lit.

Comet McNaught C/2006 P1

So what happened on the 23rd? Well, I went to Mt Dandenong that evening but the city lights were just too offensive to the night sky. Although the comet¬†was clearly visible, as I underestimated the effect of light pollution, all the¬†shots on that day¬†were hopelessly overexposed. ūüė¶

January 27, 2007 at 11:17 pm 1 comment

Melbournians Finally had a Go on Catching Comet McNaught

Since the beginning of the year, it had been numerous predictions & sitings¬†in the Northern hemisphere that comet McNaught (C/2006 P1) would be a very bright one, and it was confirmed last week that¬†this comet¬†was the second brightest¬†one since 1935. People living in the Southern half of the world couldn’t watch it until, in theory, the 13th of January.¬†Unfortunately, Melbourne only had¬†clear sky on¬†the 13th & 14th, which weren’t the best time as the comet was too close to the horizon &¬†the sun.¬†¬†Even though I had had experience on observing comets, I could only manage to see it on the 14th for a couple of minutes and it was very faint. Then¬†Melbourne became¬†smokey (because of bushfires from the alpines in the east)¬†the next day¬†& I rushed so far away to the Grampians ranges after work hoping for a chance to spot it better at higher altitudes. But it was still smokey there & the comet was still faint because of the smokey air, though I tried to take a couple of
photos (which turned out to be plain rubbish). Then the low pressure trough came in on the following days with lots of clouds & rain for the rest of the week until¬†the day before¬†(the 22nd) … finally… it was Melbourne’s turn to watch this spectacular comet. Although it was running late & the comet was leaving us, the most spectacular days seemed to lie between the 18th and 22nd, where the super-long aurora like dust tail could be clearly seen in the dark sky. We the Melbournians managed to just make it to the last day. I was one of the lucky guys to capture this¬†on Mt Donna Buang the day before.
Comet McNaught C/2006 P1, Mt Donna Buang, Victoria, Australia Comet McNaught C/2006 P1, Mt Donna Buang, Victoria, Australia
When I re-visited the site again yesterday (the 23rd), a large part of the dust tail faded away. The moon gradually brightened up and stayed away from the horizon day after day, contributing light pollution to the dark sky.

More photos are on the way. Stay tuned.

January 24, 2007 at 5:33 am 2 comments


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