Archive: June 26th, 2014

In Brighton for Responsive Day Out 2?

There are plenty of events going on around it: http://adactio.com/journal/6921/

Responsive Day Out activities

The sequel I’ve been eagerly awaiting—Responsive Day Out 2—is almost here! It kicks off tomorrow morning at 9am. I probably won’t be able to sleep much tonight, but that’s okay: I’ll need to be at the Corn Exchange in the Brighton Dome bright and early to help get everything set up.

I always love the atmosphere on the day before an event in Brighton. I like seeing the updates from friends far and wide as they arrive into town. Everything is coalescing nicely: speakers, attendees, and all-round lovely people are begin to show up and gather together.

If you’re coming to the conference, you’re in for a treat. There’s going to be a lot of brain food provided. There will not, however, be any food food provided. But don’t fret. There’s a nice long hour-and-a-half lunch break, and plenty of options for food nearby.

I recommended heading up the street to the weekly Street Diner at the top of Church Road.

Once the conference is done, we’ll head to the pub. No particular pub, just …the pub. There are plenty within cat-swinging distance of the venue.

If you’re still in Brighton on Saturday, there are some sporty events planned.

And if you’re already in town, there’s a Business of Web Design event tonight at 68 Middle Street.

See you tomorrow!

The telescope in the woods

I met Sandijs of Froont fame when I was in Austin for Artifact back in May. He mentioned how he’d like to put on an event in his home city of Riga, and I said I’d be up for that. So last weekend I popped over to Latvia to speak at an event he organised at a newly-opened co-working space in the heart of Riga.

That was on Friday, so Jessica I had the rest of the weekend to be tourists. Sandijs rented a car and took us out into the woods. There, in the middle of a forest, was an observatory: the Baldone Schmidt telescope.

Baldone Schmidt Telescope Baldone Schmidt Telescope

The day we visited was the Summer soltice and we were inside the observatory getting a tour of the telescope at the precise moment that the astronomical summer began.

It’s a beautiful piece of machinery. It has been cataloging and analysing carbon stars since the ’60s.

Controls Controls

Nowadays, the images captured by the telescope go straight into a computer, but they used to be stored on glass plates. Those glass plates are now getting digitised too. There’s one person doing all the digitising. It takes about forty minutes to digitise one glass plate. There are approximately 22,000 glass plates in the archive.

Archives Glass plates

It’s going to be a long process. But once all that data is available in a machine-readable format, there will inevitably be some interesting discoveries to made from mining that treasure trove.

The telescope has already been used to discover a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt. It’s about 1.5 kilometers wide. Its name is Baldone.

It’s so nice to have lovely people showing up in Brighton today; @ThatEmil, @RachelAndrew, @StephenHay, and many more. Welcome one and all!