DSCOVR:EPIC — Deep Space Climate Observatory

earthOn Monday October 19, 2015, NASA told us about a satellite camera that will take pictures of the Earth from 1 million miles away every day and the images will be made available for all of us to see on their new website .

The camera is mounted on the satellite called Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force. Its primary mission,
according to NOAA, is to “maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA.”

The DSCOVR satellite performs important meteorological duties too, but NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), which will snap at least a dozen color images of the earth as it rotates, is stealing the show.  According to NOAA, each daily sequence of images will reveal “the whole globe over the course of a day.” Image sequences from previous days will also be archived on the site and can be searched by date and continent.

The satellite is always located between the Sun and the Earth, so the pictures are always “in the sun”. Of course, it might be cloudy here on Earth, but the pictures will still be good!

Be sure to check out these amazing images at epic.gsfc.nasa.gov. The almost realtime pics even include a changing diagram that shows where the satellite is in relation to the Sun and the Earth.

This NASA/NOAA site is well worth your time.

Plastic Problems

We all know that plastics have become a major problem for the birds in the air and the fishes in the sea.  Plastics never deteriorate and tend to be colorful and attractive.  There are many sites around the planet where you can find lots more information about the negative aspects of plastics.  Following are my personal plastic pet peeves. 4 ps 🙂

A few years ago, I was walking on the Coast Guard Pier in Monterey and I saw a sea gull all tangled in some plastic wrapping, string-like stuff, possibly fishing line or soft-drink container material.  The bird could not get out of the stuff, it was behind a locked fence, and every time I tried to get close, it moved away.  There was nothing I could do, except feel sick.

I vowed to always cut any circles I find in plastics I use, to always pickup any loose fishing line I run into, and to never forget that image.

Time marches on.  One day two of my grand-daughters were visiting and we went out to lunch.  The waiter brought straws.  They had a fit, and said “No straws please”.  They reminded me that we only use straws once and then they get thrown away.  Most straws produced these days are plastic!  The lesson I learned from them is that things we use only one time should not be made of plastic!  And if they are, we should refuse to use them.  Here are a few of those items.

If the straws are made of paper, fine, use them. If made of plastic, speak up and say no.


I love Starbucks coffee. But those damned stoppers are really just a one-time use, live-forever, kind of thing. What is even worse, if you get a coffee at the drive up window and the stopper is already in and you tell them to remove it, they will toss it in the garbage can! Please say “No stopper” when you order.


Milk cartons have two types of opening: all carton, or with a plastic opener. Guess what — the plastic opener has a little pull-tab that has a ring on it. Small birds can get caught in that ring! Cut the thing.


The other day, I bought a jar of relish. I wasn’t paying attention and grabbed the cheapest item on the shelf. When I got home, I realized the jar was made of plastic. Damn. I made a mental note to always buy the glass jars! They might cost a bit more, but so what. The savings just isn’t worth the potential harm the plastic jar will cause.


Save Audio from Youtube

YouTube has been around a long time.  I am just now learning how to grab the audio part of a YouTube video so I can play it on my computer or iPad.  I do not profess to be smart about this subject, but for my own memories sake, and because I like to share, here is what I have found.

There are 2 websites that will grab the sound file for you and then download it to your computer as a MP3 file.  They are Peggo and TheYouMP3.  Both work fine, are free, and do not require registration.  I am not an expert on MP3 files, and so cannot tell if one site is producing higher quality than the other.  But I have opted to use Peggo.

You do not need to install any software.  Simply open both YouTube and the other site, say Peggo.  Find the video you like, copy it’s URL and then paste it into Peggo.  Then click the Download button, and in a few seconds you will have the MP3 file.  Simple stuff.



For memory sake:

In 2013, Amazon bought and then killed the free IOS app book reader called STANZA. If you had installed it before it disappeared, you can still use it. I am on IOS 8.4 and it still works fine. If you have it, be sure to use the catalog called TUEBL.

To add the Tuebl library to Stanza do this:

Open Stanza
Click on Get Books in lower toolbar.
Click the + symbol in the upper right corner or Edit if you already have a catalog.
Click “add a book source”.
Name ==> Tuebl
URL ==> http://tuebl.ca/search
Make sure OPDS Catalog is highlighted
Click Save and then Click Done

To get a book from Tuebl, click on it, then work your way through the catalog.

Perhaps the Tuebl catalog can be added to other book readers.

I’m using currently iBooks, Kindle, Play Books and Stanza.

And if you just want to see the Tuebl book library without Stanza, go to http://tuebl.ca

Ps. Tuebl stands for The Ultimate EBook Library 🙂