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Christian Carnival CI
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

The 101st Christian Carnival is up at Bible Archive. I have contributed by look at Gordon Fee and the Holy Spirit. Head over and see all the weekly posts from around Christian blogosphere at Christian Carnival: The Christmas Edition 2005. Also, to catch up on previous posts, see my Christian Carnival Archive.

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

Christian Carnival C!
Wednesday, December 14th, 2005

The big C is here! Nick Queen started the Christian Carnival 100 weeks ago and today has posted Christian Carnival #100! Nick has since moved on to other projects and the carnival is run by Wittenberg Gate but it is quite fitting to have Nick host this exciting milestone! I have also had the pleasure of running the Christian Carnival Archive so you can check out what has been going on these past 100 weeks in the carnival. This week I have contributed my Origins of the New Testament, a look at where the Word comes from. So head over to Christian Carnival C and read up on this week’s posts from around the Christian Blogosphere!

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

Christian Carnival XCIX
Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

It is time once again for the ever popular Christian Carnival! This week rev-ed over at Attention Span has done a lovely job of bringing Christian posts from around the blogosphere to Christian Carnival XCIX - Famous 99’s in History! Stop of and see what is happening this week. If you would like to read up on some previous posts and entries, please stop by my Christian Carnival Archive. Chasing the Wind has also created a blogroll script that you can use to easily link to recent Carnival posts.

I have contributed my “No Christmas For You” - a look at a letter I wrote to my home church regarding its decision to not have Christmas worship service on Christmas Sunday. There has been some really good discussion in the comments so feel free to chime in! Also, in a wonderful turn of events, the session called a special meeting to discuss the issue two nights ago and ended up reversing the decision! I am VERY thankful about that!

Another thing to point out is the Late Tuesday and John Van Deusen show TONIGHT! 7:00, Bay Street Coffee, come dig the music!

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

Space Saturday XIII
Saturday, December 3rd, 2005

Both Sky and Telescope and APOD beat me to the punch, but I won’t let that stop me. This week I bring you M1: The Crab Nebula:

Source: NASA, ESA, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State University)

The Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant (the supernova, which was recorded in the 11th century was apparently visible for nearly a month in daylight!) located in the constellation Taurus some 6500 light years away. This HST photo from five years ago was just realsed to the public on thursday. The stunning image shows gorgeous structure in the 6 light year wide expanding nebula.

The orange filaments are the tattered remains of the star and consist mostly of hydrogen. The rapidly spinning neutron star embedded in the center of the nebula is the dynamo powering the nebula’s eerie interior bluish glow. The blue light comes from electrons whirling at nearly the speed of light around magnetic field lines from the neutron star. The neutron star, like a lighthouse, ejects twin beams of radiation that appear to pulse 30 times a second due to the neutron star’s rotation. A neutron star is the crushed ultra-dense core of the exploded star.

Click the image for a larger version or this link for a larger 1280×1024 image.

HubbleSite: A Giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula
APOD: Crab Nebula Mosaic from HST
Wikipedia: Crab Nebula
Sky and Telescope: Hubble Dissects the Crab
AAS 205th Meeting: HST WFPC2 Imaging of the CRAB NEBULA EJECTA

Check out my other astronomy photographs at my Space Saturday Archive.

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

My First Blog
Saturday, November 26th, 2005

The original Instapundit? June, 1983:

Yes, that’s right, my first blog really started back in 1983. Well, maybe not, but that was when I officailly became a nerd. The first computer I used was one from the Apple ][ line and boy was it good times. I could make the turtle (a triangle) go up, down, right, and left. Oddly, years later my Physics 335 (Electric Circuits Laboratory II - Digital) class back at UW used the same processor (or some slight variation) as that lovely Apple to build our final project.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving, we are having our tomorrow (yes, we are an odd family). God bless.

Space Saturday XII
Friday, November 18th, 2005

Yes, it is only Friday, but it has been a few weeks since I have posted a Space Saturday and I will be gone this weekend, so there is no time like the present! This week I bring you another of my favoriate astronomy photos: Abell 1689.

Credit: NASA, N. Benitez (JHU), T. Broadhurst (The Hebrew University), H. Ford (JHU), M. Clampin (STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), G. Illingworth (UCO/Lick Observatory), the ACS Science Team and ESA

This is one of my favorite images for a few reasons (click for the larger version, it is incredible!). One is that it gives a good example of how expansive the universe is. This image is a mere 3.2 arcminutes, that is 5 hundredths of a degree, across (for comparison, the moon is about 30 arcminutes - that is, this image is about a tenth the apparent size of the moon). The actual distance across the image is 2 million light years at a distance of approximately 2.2 billion light years! The dots of light? Nearly all are entire galaxies. Abell 1689 is one of the more massive galaxy clusters discovered (named for George Abell’s catalogue of rich clusters of galaxies using the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey). The HST image was captured using its Advanced Camera for Surveys and was able to view the hundreds of galaxies in this small sliver and space.

The second reason I like this image is that it helps prove one of the predictions made by Einstein’s theory of general relativity: gravitational lensing. The image at left shows a detail of Abell 1689 with some faint arcs (actually partions of “Einstein rings“) that are actually caused by light from extremely distant galaxies (some 13 billion light years away) being bent by the massive galaxy cluster. The mass from the trillions of stars along with dark matter has caused the light to bend making the mass act like a lens (Einstein predicted that mass could warp space and therefore bend light). The third amazing thing that this photograph helps to prove is the existance of dark matter. The amount of mass from the galaxies (and the stars within) anly account for approximately 1% of the matter needed to bend the light as much as it does. Dark matter is extremely interesting and has large implications for cosmology, but that is a discussion for another day.

Visit my Space Saturday Archive for other cool astronomy pictures!

HubbleSite: Biggest ‘Zoom Lens’ in Space Takes Hubble Deeper into the Universe
HubbleSite: Images of Abel 1689
HubbleSite: Image of Abell 1689 Details
SpaceImages.com: Hubble Abell 1689 Photo
APOD: Abell 1689 Warps Space
APOD: Abell 2218: A Galaxy Cluster Lens
NASA: Goddard Space Flight Center: Gravitational Lensing
Wikipedia: Gravitational Lensing
Wikipedia: Dark Matter
HubbleSite: Dark Matter

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

All Your Base Are Belong To Us
Thursday, November 17th, 2005

All your base are belong to us” is a cult net phrase that was poorly translated from a Japaneese video game that essentially meant “we have taken over your base (or empire).” In the light of that, I bring you Base.Google.

Google Base is

a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content that we’ll host and make searchable online. You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle, Google Base and Google Local.

It will be interesting to see how popular this becomes. It has the potential to become a massive database with massive amounts of searchable information that has never been available before. It also has the potential to be an overwhelming glob of data without any relevance to be found in searches. Try this search for recipies as an example. One that that is good is that you can search within search results as well so you can refine what you are looking for. I would say that Google Base is an extension of Google Search and can be used as a suppliment to standard searches and when looking for specific items. I suppose we will have to try it out to get a better feel for its capabilities. So check it out for more searching needs!

Google Base
Google Base: About
Official Google Blog: First Base
ZDNet: Will Google Base be the world’s largest XML database?
ZDNet: Google Base creates a structured Web
Cnet News: Google gets to first base

-Matt Jones
לְחַיִּים 'To Life!'

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