Posted by colby

Something I have wrestled with over the last few years, working as a software developer in an organization that doesn't place a high priority on software development, yet, with some extraordinarily bright co-workers and friends. I've come to the same dynamic as described in an editorial by Martin Schwartz for Journal of Cell Science 121, 1771 (2008). I'm not doing foundational astrophysics work, but I am helping others do it.

I recently saw an old friend for the first time in many years. We had been Ph.D. students at the same time, both studying science, although in different areas. She later dropped out of graduate school, went to Harvard Law School and is now a senior lawyer for a major environmental organization. At some point, the conversation turned to why she had left graduate school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else.

via: Franck Marchis


10 Dec 2009
Posted by colby

I am so deeply hopeful this gets made into a series. It feels a bit like how I think of the Neal Asher Polity series of books. Thanks mintea


09 Dec 2009
Posted by colby

credit: chromoscope

The Milkyway in 6 different wavelengths.


Posted by colby

Ninjas. Hi-jack. My mother.

Posted by colby

Eloquent speech on equal rights, separation of church from our state and is the best oratory I've seen on this issue.


We in government don't determine the quality or the validity of people's relationships. If we did, we would not issue three quarters of the marriage licenses we do.

Posted by colby

credit: NASA

As noted on the mission pages for the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), the team has posted data that indicates they have found water at the southern pole of the moon, LCROSS Impact Data Indicates Water on Moon

During the 4am local time of the impact, Samantha Blair, a visiting researcher from the SETI Institute was taking data while I got up to make sure the telescopes and backends were functioning properly and offer a hand should a problem crop up just before the observation.

The ATA observation was acquired at 1.666GHz, with 6.5MHz of bandwidth to look for spectra corresponding to OH emission and you can see detailed notes from the observation on the HCRO LogBook, LCROSS quick check reduction from that data taken during the impact.

The field of view at 1.666GHz is about 4 times the size of the moon. You can see why this is true if you go back to the relationship of field of view or "beam width" to the frequency being observed over the diameter of the telescope involved, or: F = λ / d

Posted by colby

credit: Elizabeth K. Costello

While this visualization could use better color choices and a better legend, it is very dense: Human microbes are picky about neighbourhoods on body

Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1177486

Posted by colby

The intro looks intriguing:

Embrace and extend — rather than make a personal, private and pristine code utopia, Field tries to bridge to as many libraries, programming languages, and ways of doing things as possible. The world doesn't necessarily need another programming language or serial port library, nor do we have to pick and choose between data-flow systems, graphical user interfaces or purely textual programming — we can have it all in the right environment and we can both leverage the work of others and take control of our own tools and methods.

Spider Spider

27 Oct 2009
Posted by colby

credit: Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill
shown: Gary Gamblin

Orb weaver?

Fall leaves

26 Oct 2009
Posted by colby

credit: Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill
DX playing in the leaves...