ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption

Sarychev Volcano

Sarychev Volcano erupted on June 12th, 2009 and was captured by the orbiting International Space Station and a few high-resolution images and a video were made available by NASA for you to be awed at.

A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev volcano (Russia’s Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009. Sarychev Peak is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain and is located on the northwestern end of Matua Island.

Prior to June 12, the last explosive eruption had occurred in 1989 with eruptions in 1986, 1976, 1954 and 1946 also producing lava flows. Commercial airline flights were diverted from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake. This detailed photograph is exciting to volcanologists because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption.

The main column is one of a series of plumes that rose above Matua Island (48.1 degrees north latitude and 153.2 degrees east longitude) on June 12. The plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance; the surrounding atmosphere has been shoved up by the shock wave of the eruption. The smooth white cloud on top may be water condensation that resulted from rapid rising and cooling of the air mass above the ash column, and is probably a transient feature (the eruption plume is starting to punch through). The structure also indicates that little to no shearing winds were present at the time to disrupt the plume. By contrast, a cloud of denser, gray ash — most probably a pyroclastic flow — appears to be hugging the ground, descending from the volcano summit. The rising eruption plume casts a shadow to the northwest of the island (bottom center). Brown ash at a lower altitude of the atmosphere spreads out above the ground at upper right. Low-level stratus clouds approach Matua Island from the east, wrapping around the lower slopes of the volcano. Only about 1.5 kilometers of the coastline of Matua Island (upper center) can be seen beneath the clouds and ash.

volcano1 384x300 ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption

Here’s a closer view:

volcano2 291x300 ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption
 ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption

Financial Times: “Windows 8 as bad as New Coke”

Microsoft Windows 8

Financial Times has posted a scathing article about Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, with one analyst calling the software as bad as New Coke. Personally I agree that Windows 8 is pretty bad, right up there with Windows Vista and Windows ME. However, Windows 8 has sold as many copies as Windows 7 in a six month span of time, even though it is a down economy for the PC market. While Windows 8 has been criticized wholeheartedly by both consumers and experts alike, it had no problems getting onto millions of PC’s worldwide.

One of the major gripes about Windows 8 is the fact that Microsoft put all their eggs into the touchscreen basket. They gambled on computer users getting more touch-enabled monitors and devices to use Windows 8 with, but that didn’t pan out. Therefore most people using Windows 8 are using an interface that was not optimally designed for use with a mouse and keyboard. This has been Microsoft’s major failing when it comes to Windows 8.

6983549665 03be1404b7 m Financial Times:  Windows 8 as bad as New Coke

Microsoft is preparing to reverse course over key elements of its Windows 8 operating system, marking one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago.

“Key aspects” of how the software is used will be changed when Microsoft releases an updated version of the operating system this year, Tami Reller, head of marketing and finance for the Windows business, said in an interview with the Financial Times. Referring to difficulties many users have had with mastering the software, she added: “The learning curve is definitely real.”

Read the article from Financial Times to learn more.

 Financial Times:  Windows 8 as bad as New Coke

Slow Motion Shaolin Warriors

Slow motion Shaolin Warrior Monks: A human special this week on Slow Mo, as Sam and Si reveal what sets us apart from other primates, with some acrobatic help from the shaolin warriors. With limited time, and a new camera to play with, can they capture the lightning fast moves of the world’s most successful animal? Find out more about human anatomy.


Philips & Jamie Oliver Presents the HomeCooker

HomeCooker by Jamie Oliver & Philips

Philips has teamed up with Jamie Oliver to present a multi-functional appliance that is designed to do multiple cooking jobs all at the same time. It’s not cheap at $400 and I can’t see Jamie Oliver going anywhere near one to use it, but it is pretty interesting from a gadget perspective. Here’s the product blurb on it:

Take a fresh approach to home cooking with the revolutionary new HomeCooker from Philips and Jamie Oliver.

The Philips HomeCooker is a first-of-its-kind, multi-functional device, giving you complete flexibility to prepare homemade meals on your busiest days.

The HomeCooker has been specially designed to achieve authentic home cooking with ease. It can stir, steam, sauté, melt, simmer, stew, boil, and even fry whilst cooking unattended – giving you some quality time back.

Currently you can find it at JohnLewis.com for $400 or £249.95.