Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Ukrainian model in Playboy Russia

Her name is Selena Verner (alternatively, Werner).

According to her Playboy Playmate information, she was born in the Ukraine, and now she posed in Playboy Russia.  If you remember, Russia and the Ukraine are not exactly on the best of terms.

Here's a relatively tame picture of this pretty blonde woman.  There's more out there, and better too.

Keeping up with the royal (Monaco) tots

An article in People about the getting-cuter-every-day royal fraternal twins of Monaco.

Monaco’s Adorable Royal Twins (and Their Curls!) Are Looking More Grown Up Than Ever with Mom Princess Charlene

With adorable pictures, of course.

Coolest view of the August 21 eclipse

I  haven't had a chance to sort through all the picture (and numerous fakes) of the August 21, eclipse, but this view of the shadow on the Earth, mostly on clouds, is hard to surpass. I want to have time to look for the best eclipse shots available on the Web, but haven't had that chance yet.

So here's the ISS shot:

Lighthouse of the Week, August 20-26, 2017: Punta Penna, Italy

I did a quick bit of searching around for a lighthouse in Italy (I have previously featured a couple), and I settled on the really tall Punta Penna lighthouse.  According to Wikipedia, it's the eighth-tallest "traditional" (whatever that means) lighthouse in the world.

Here is more about it from this Lighthouse Directory page:  Lighthouses of Eastern Italy

Abridged information:
"1948 (station established 1906). Active; focal plane 84 m (276 ft); white flash every 5 s. 70 m (220 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the center of a 2-story masonry keeper's house.  This is the second tallest Italian lighthouse, after the Laterna di Genova. The original lighthouse was nearly destroyed by retreating German troops in 1944. The ruins were demolished in 1946, and the new lighthouse was built on the design of architect Olindo Tarcione. Located on the Via Madonna della Penna in Porto di Vasto, on a prominent cape about 7 km (4.5 mi) north of Vasto."
Pictures (three real, one a model)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Have you ever heard of an "ensuite"?

Have you ever heard of an "ensuite" (or "en-suite")?

Well, I admit I had not.  The first time I encountered this term was in this Daily Mail article about a nice, yet slightly unusual, house for sale in Australia.

Four-bedroom suburban family home complete with a swimming pool sells for more than $1MILLION – but can you spot what's wrong with it?

The answer is easy to see, it's in the first picture.  It happens to be a couple of bathroom fixtures (including the john) quite close to the bed.  Now, in case you think that the excretory functions are a spectator sport in this room, the hygienic portion of the room can be visually separated from the slumberous portion (the bed) by a sliding partition.  Not aurally or olfactorily, though.

But later on in the article, it says this:
"Despite the initially confronting visual of the toilet so close to a bed, the bathroom can be concealed by a series of sliding doors, effectively turning the space into a bedroom with ensuite."
That was the second time I had ever seen the word "ensuite".  The first was in the previous sentence, where it was hyphenated.

So naturally I had to find out what an ensuite was, though I'd already had a visual example.  Focusing on definitions, here's what it is:

"(of a bathroom) immediately adjoining a bedroom and forming part of the same set of rooms."

That actually doesn't seem so unusual;  many master bedrooms are (or have) ensuites.  In the case of the Australian house, the ensuite just happens to be very, very close to the bed.

Being naturally curious, I decided to see if I could find other ensuites, particularly the kind where a lady might shower in full view of the bed, where amorous activities had just taken place, and where her satisfied partner could take in the view of his partner in those amorous activities in the shower.

I'm funny that way.  But I found a few.

Bath or shower, for variety

In this case she'd have to take a bath.  I'm not sure where the shower is.

You'd have to slide the bed over a little to get a view of the shower


And here's a small, PG-rated example of what I meant by "taking in the view".

Back to Ceres

Lest we forget, as Cassini enters its final orbits around Saturn, the Dawn satellite is still orbiting the asteroid Ceres.

I happened to find this interesting short article, which features the most interesting feature on Ceres, Occator Crater.  You know, the one with the really bright spots that turned out to be complex salts.

Here's the article, and followed by that, the accompanying picture (which you can also see in the article).

Complex Relationships in the Occator-Kirnis Region

Here's the opening paragraph:
This view obtained by NASA's Dawn spacecraft during its Survey orbit illustrates the diversity and complexity of Ceres' geology. It shows familiar features: Occator Crater with its bright deposits (called faculae) of carbonates and other salts, a series of linear features (at right) called Samhain Catenae, and another large crater on the right side of the image called Kirnis. A relatively fresh crater called Lociyo, superimposed on an older crater, can be seen toward the bottom left of the picture."
And here's that picture:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A sonnet inspired by an eclipse, Cassini, and a girl

unlikeliness is not impossibility

A chanced proximity does not imply
itself that two unguided paths will cross --
just as the circling lines of moons deny
that they will intersect (unless a toss
of gravity creates chaotic swirls
disturbing Kepler's laws and bringing two
unlikely bodies to a single curl's
serene interior) -- so rarest few
could find their tracks attracted, close enough
to see the impacts of each lifetime and
the regolith of dreams. Now if this tough
restriction can be breached by fate, the grand
cohesion of the Universe persists
and they will bind as Newton's math insists.