Day 558 – Certificated

On the day that this was (unofficially) announced:

I got mine. I’m all certificated!

How it works is just that you enter your details, confirm an OTP on your cellphone, and you get a PDF with your vaccination details on it and a PHAT QR code.

“The QR Code generated is not intended to be readable by the general public, it is meant to be used by entities requiring to verify the card’s validity, using a Vaccine Certificate System inbuilt QR scanner which will be available in the near future.” 

I’m not taking a photo of mine for you to have a look at because then you could be me really easily.

But if you want one, just go and get vaccinated and then go here to download your vaccination certificate.


It’s going to drive the moonbats MENTAL! Just watch.

Day 549 – Jupiter

There is an entire internet’s worth of information out there if you know where to look. There’s actually no excuse for not knowing stuff now if you have a device and a connection. Look at Friday evening for example.

There, up in the Eastern sky (near the top) was Jupiter. I knew this because I’d wondered what the shining star in the East was over the weekend, and I’d looked it up, before looking up at it.

As a bit of a demo, we got the tripod out, aimed and shot, hoping to get the four Galilean moons in the picture. It’s a quick and dirty image: I suppose I could have Googled for the best settings for this sort of thing, but as I say, this was a quick post-braai thing, and – much as I knew that the moons might be there – I picked the settings from my experience, rather than finding a site on the net.

Here’s what we got:

It’s not going to win any awards, other than maybe the one for demonstrating the four Galilean Moons of Jupiter to a few kids (and a couple of adults) after an early evening braai.
If I had tried harder or had more time, I could have done better, but that’s really not this was about. This was “That one there is Jupiter. Let’s see if we can see its moons and then get back to standing around the fire before I fall asleep.”

But then come the questions: How far away is that? How long will the light take to reach us? Which moon is which?

I can do a medium-rare rump over the coals and I can manage some functional camera settings, but I had to turn to the internet for these answers.

Currently, (current to when this was taken) Jupiter was 627.85 million kilometres away. That’s over four times the distance to the sun. I did a rudimentary calculation and that means that with light traveling (as it does) at 300000km per second, the light from Jupiter takes 35 minutes to get to us.
We’re essentially looking at a snapshot of Jupiter as it was just over half an hour ago.

But which moon is Io, or Europa, Ganymede or Callisto?
Well, surely there isn’t a site that can tell you that for any given moment?

Of course there is.

All I had to do was to pop in the date and time that the image was taken, allow for our longitude, and make sure they knew I was using an Erect System (stop it).

So, from the top down on our photo are: Callisto, Europa, Io, Jupiter and Ganymede. All taken from a well-lit suburban back garden, with a basic camera and lens, and all informed by the internet.

It’s not just there for being shouted at by anti-vaxxers.
Some of it is quite useful.

Day 520 – Some viral stuff

Not “wildly popular on the internet” stuff.
Sorry if you came here for that. (But then, why on earth would you?)

No. Just some links to recent Coronavirus-related stories and studies.

Why did Ivermectin become so popular?
Ben Collins finds a tangled web of horse wormer and… er… cash.

Teeny-tiny study suggests Pfizer jab is good for 12-15 year olds.

Clearing up the confusion on Israel’s hospital figures.

The bottom line is there is very strong evidence that the vaccines have high efficacy protecting against severe disease, even for Delta, and even in these Israeli data that on the surface appear to suggest the Pfizer vaccine might have waning efficacy. This is clearly evident if the data are analyzed carefully, and agrees with all other published results to date from other countries.

Terrifying story of a teacher spreading Covid in California. Study.

A total of 27 cases were identified, including that of the teacher. During May 23–26, among the teacher’s 24 students, 22 students, all ineligible for vaccination because of age, received testing for SARS-CoV-2; 12 received positive test results. The attack rate in the two rows seated closest to the teacher’s desk was 80% (eight of 10)

If you are sick, stay at home. Isolate.
And “isolation” doesn’t mean “go for a hike on the mountain because you are bored”.
Yeah. if you’re reading, I saw that.

How respiratory viruses get spread. A nice back-to-basics overview.

Who knew?!?
Risks of nasty things happening after vaccination pale into insignificance when compared to risks of nasty things happening after is you get Covid-19.
Big study in Israel.

Oh, and finally, please say hi to C.1.2 – South Africa’s new variant!

Leading the world in terrible things once again. So proud.

Day 512 – Rotterdam to Amsterdam

Not me, of course. I’m not allowed in other countries and this is very much in other countries.

No, this is a timelapse shot in 2013, but which (mysteriously) “couldn’t be published right away due to restrictions”. There’s no indication as to what those restrictions are or were, but at the end of last year they were either lifted or ignored and now we have a 10 minute trip through the flat lands of Holland The Netherlands (happy now, TA?).

In 2013 a special transport over water left from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. A timelapse camera was installed at 30 mtrs high. The resulting film gives a unique and stunning view of the old Dutch waterways, in 4K. And, you will pass a few dozen different bridges that all open before your eyes. Images were shot with a Canon 550d at an interval of 3 seconds, totalling around 30.000 pictures taken.

A couple of notes here: the camera appears to be attached to some sort of kite or balloon. And if the camera wasn’t attached to the boat in question, it would be able to get through a lot of those bridges a whole lot more quickly.

There are a lot of places along this route that, should you find yourself on the wrong side of the canal, you’re staying that side for a while. I was quite surprised about that in a country as small as Holl… The Netherlands.
Anyway, this video has made me want to go and do a European canal trip again:

But that would also mean traveling to another country, and as I mentioned above…

UPDATE: Thanks, Dave.

It’s a piece of equipment for (Royal Dutch) Shell, apparently.
That’s my balloon theory blown up out of the water then. (see what I did there?)

Day 458 – NK

I found a website this week:

It’s a website which shares information and developments in North Korean Technology. Latest press releases, new sites, photographs and the like from the secretive state. It’s a pretty interesting rabbit hole if you have some time to spare.

For example, I wandered through to the Korean Stamp website:

Stamp Issuing and Distribution Organ Representing the DPRK

Yes. That one.

Where I tried to buy some North Korean stamps:

The stamp design team of the Korea Stamp Corporation staffed with talented designers who had finished the professional educational course and possess rich field experience is doing fairly well with the design of stamps of different topics, postal stationery as well as the philatelic souvenirs including stamp yearbook, stamp catalogue and stamp albums. 

The Korean philatelic souvenirs are winning popularity among philatelists around the world for their rich thematic contents, various types and apparent national tinge.

Indeed. It was the fact that their stamp design team is doing fairly well that made me want to buy the stamps. Well, that and the apparent national tinge. And they don’t come much more nationally tinged than this:

Sadly, I couldn’t get the online shop to work, otherwise I would have grabbed a couple of Kims and a Flying Squirrel.

Elsewhere, there are images of new houses being presented to citizens for propaganda purposes. That happens here too, but they don’t have state radio receivers built into the walls. there is news of a Dynamic Traffic Light System, like we need in Cape Town, and a link to hear North Korea’s Short Wave radio programming.

It’s all a bit haphazardly put together, but then that’s how these sort of states (kind of) function. All in all, it’s an intriguing look behind the red curtain into what is, to most people, a rather mysterious country.