Sunday, August 30, 2009

Stone Mountain North Carolina

On Friday Diane and I hiked up to the summit of Stone Mountain NC, elevation 2305 feet. The morning was clear and cool after a night of thunderstorms.

I took the time to make a pencil drawing. Like most pencil drawings, it came out smudgey. I think I'll switch to pen & ink.

Here's the photo. Note the drawing pad on the ground next to Diane.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The biggest discovery ever - literally.

A group of astronomers picked a tiny empty spot in the heavens. As far as anyone could tell, there was nothing there - just blackness. How small? Take a grain of sand and hold it at arms length and you can visualize this tiny speck. They pointed the Hubble telescope at it for 10 days and took a very long exposure.

The picture turned out to be far from empty - it showed nearly 10,000 separate galaxies. These weren't stars, they were galaxies made up of hundreds of billions of stars each. Only about 6 dim stars were even visible in the picture.

It's not exaggeration to say it would be impossible to exaggerate the size of this discovery.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Squirrel Xing

We were driving on route 143 (Cherohala Skyway) in western North Carolina when we noticed some odd structures along the highway. They were tall phone poles with sections of PVC pipe nailed to them in an ascending pattern. Since there were no wires on the poles, we were curious about what they were. Fortunately, a display at the next scenic overlook explained everything.

These are highway crossings for the Northern Flying Squirrel. The critters don't seem to be able to cross the road without being squashed or eaten by predators. The poles allow them to climb up and glide safely across. The PVC pipes give them a place to hide when a hawk attacks them. See the full story at

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Libertarians in the library

I was in the Cary public library today. The guy in front of me asked the librarian if they had any large print copies of Ayn Rand. Does anyone else see the inconsistency here?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

© 2008 Raoul Rubin