Blog Spring Cleaning

Check out my blog’s fresh new look!  Do you like it?  Frankly, I’m digging the cleaner (and more astronomical-looking) look.

I’ve been wanting to make a change for awhile, but was a bit fearful of unintended consequences of change (would I lose links?  would information go missing?).  Turned out, changing “themes” was a piece of cake.  That customized header image?  Yeah, I did that.  Do you recognize the components of this image?

The black-and-white part is probably not one that will look familiar unless you happen to be a fellow astronomer, in which case you’ve undoubtedly seen it countless times in textbooks, etc.  It is called the Flammarion engraving, and every time I see it, I sort of get goosebumps.  To me, this piece tells an inspiring story of scientific discovery.  The inquisitive astronomer — unsatisfied with the unchallenged explanation of a simple, ordered Universe in which the Sun is fundamentally different from the stars that are merely specks glued to the celestial sphere — courageously dares to peel back this veneer of “accepted science” to see the considerably more complicated Universe in its infinite splendor!

I superimposed this work onto another one that you undoubtedly recognize:  van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.  In full disclosure, I’ve got something of a Starry Night fetish.  Of course I have a framed print of the painting, but I also have some less-common items, such as a Starry Night lightswitch plate, and a tote bag (which was a huge hit at the American Astronomical Society meeting in January when I carried it instead of my backpack — I must have gotten a dozen comments/compliments!).  In a nut shell, if the Starry Night design is involved, then I. Must. Have. It!

But there’s more … this painting seems to follow me around.  Don’t believe me?  Well, here, look for yourself:

Starry Night Overload

StarMan and I were biking along a street, minding our own business, and we randomly happened upon this painted utility box!  The superposition with my biking jersey was a photo op that could not be denied. (Despite a lot of grumbling from StarMan, who had gotten “in the Zone” and wasn’t about to stop his bike for anything!)

Finally, in keeping with the “Starry Night Meets Flammarion” theme, I would be remiss not to show a product that emerged after a particularly robust “do it yourself” fit!  Long story short:  I needed a custom-sized cabinet for the master bathroom to store stuff, like towels.  I made the cabinet myself, and decided to go with frosted glass. But not just any frosting, oh no-sir-eee. The pattern, tediously built up with masking tape, followed by a liberal application of spray-on glass frosting paint, just had to be:


This picture isn’t the best (hard to take a picture of glass without getting annoying reflections), but hopefully good enough to show what I was going for in the design.

Time to take my Copaxone shot, call it a night and drift off to sleep as a particular song plays softly in the background…

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