Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Nearly 6 years ago, for my 18th birthday, my Mum hired a coach and a large group of family and friends went down to Southend for the day to celebrate.

Last weekend, it was my brothers turn for his 21st.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Star gazing

After my recent failed attempts at trying to spot the ISS, its orbit moved such that it wouldn't be visible from the UK. Earlier today I found a site that was recording the brightness of stars in the sky, to see the effect of light polution in different places.

I don't remember much in the way of seeing stars from my previous times I had gone out to look (although we did see the bright moon recently), so thought I would be able to contribute by informing them that Luton is pretty bad for star gazing. I went outside to have a quick look and was amazed... I could actually see some stars!

I went back inside to put some shoes on for a proper look, and made a quick sketch of the constellation the site was interested in (Leo). Returning to the garden, excited at actually being able to see something but clouds for once, I started searching the sky for constellation I had sketched...

From what I got from the site, I was supposed to be looking south, so pointed myself in that direction using the tricorder app on my phone (I already knew roughly which way it was, but it makes the Star Trek noises). While it was possible to see some stars in the sky, there were not as many as I was expecting, and not enough to make the constellation I was searching for.

I turned around to face north, in case I had made a mistake about the direction I should be looking in, but there were even less stars there, and the red glow coming from Luton town centre wasn't helping one bit. I turned around to search all over the sky, but accepted that the stars were not bright enough to be able to see that much.

Somewhat dissapointed, I went back inside, and filled out the form to indicate the visibility in this area, not the worse as I could actually see some stars, but the second worse as there were only a small few that I could actually see.

It is a bit unfortunate that there isn't much to look at in the sky in Luton, but I'm seeing the positive side that at least I got to see a few stars, instead of just dark clouds in an empty sky.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Releasing the Android App

After some further developments to the Life & Poison Counter app I've added to from an existing open source project, I uploaded it to the Android Marketplace, here:
As mentioned in the description, it is a free M:TG app with no ads that allow you to keep track of life and poison counter totals.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Looking for the ISS

Have started looking out for the ISS passing over Luton in the evening, to see if I could see it. Tried last night but is was too cloudy. Tonight me and Liz went out to see if we could spot it, but it was still fairly cloudy out. Liz commented that as it was cloudy out we wouldn't even be able to see a plane fly over (which is apparently what the ISS would look like). A moment later, I turned to the side and pointed out a plane landing at the airport about half a mile from the house, clearly visible and huge.

Obviously, it wasn't what she meant (she was talking about planes high up not landed), but the timing of it did make me laugh :D