Saturday, October 27, 2018

Eyepieces for Telescopes

Okulare - Eyepieces - Photo: Wikipedia
Beginner astronomers need to be careful with these items as they tend to go way overboard.  There are various designs and different lenses for different viewings.  You need to figure out what you will be looking at and go from there.  You may need two to three different eyepieces, but no more than that.  Here is a simple guide to the different eyepieces and cost involved.

The most popular is the Plossl.  It uses four to five elements and has a wider field of view than Orthoscopic lenses.  It usually ranges from 50-52 degrees.  They run between $50-$150.

For general use, the Orthoscopic lenses were considered the best.  They use four elements and are good for planetary viewing.  They have a 45-degree field of view.  They run between $40-$100.

The Kellner is a general purpose lens.  It has a three element design and a 40-45 degree field of view.  They run between $30-$50.

The Ramsden and Huygenian are good solar lenses.  They have two element designs.  They are supplied with the least expensive telescopes and have very narrow fields of view.  They cost between $25-$40.

Barlow lenses are a great piece to have.  They can double or triple the magnification of your eyepiece.  They run between $60-$100.

Erfles are not as favorable today.  They use six elements and a 60-65 degree field of view.  They run between $75-$150.

Televue has come out with some designs for eyepieces.  The six element Panoptic has a 67-degree field of view.  It runs between $200-$400.  The other is a seven to eight element Naglers.  This lens has an 82-degree field of view and runs between $175-$425.

Pentax also makes a seven element lens, the SMC-XL, that runs around $250 each.  It is thought that these exceed what the Televues can do.

(Article around the year 2007)

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Success of GENEALOGY Research Lies on DNA TESTINGS

The structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ...
The structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA),
the picture shows the monomers being
put together.
(Photo credit: 
There are about 60,000 billion cells found in the human body. It includes muscle cells, cheek cells, and white blood cells. Each cell contains the whole genetic information which is the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The nucleus inside the cell holds the DNA or chromosomal DNA that consists of Y chromosomal DNA, X chromosomal DNA, and autosomal DNA. The external part of the nucleus holds mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The autosomal DNA comes from both the mother and the father, Y chromosomes are inherited by a son from his father, and mtDNA comes from the mother only.
There are advancements made in testing DNA to meet various areas of interests. For example, the most common uses of DNA are related to finding criminals and proving paternity. But today, genealogy research also uses DNA testing.

For so many years, genealogy has become an important element of society and a favorite hobby of some enthusiasts. Although this is more rewarding, somehow it brings frustrations even to expert genealogists. It can be very time consuming when doing paper research. More often, it can lead to illegible and damaged documents. But, DNA testing provides quick results without questioning its authenticity or quality. Moreover, the genetic genealogy results can endure the tests of time.

1. Mitochondrial testing is utilized for tracing the maternal heritage of a person. The mtDNA testing is very important since genealogists are mostly females. When they marry, maternal lines are often lost because of changing their surnames. In this manner, they can learn and trace their maternal ancestry.

There are advances made in understanding genetics and using laboratory techniques in helping a person to identify maternal lineage through mtDNA tracing services. The distinct mtDNA of person is analyzed and compared to the databases of other samples of mtDNA worldwide, revealing information about the lost ancestry.  

The mtDNA remains nearly unchanged even for so many years. You can share the same type of mtDNA with your mother, maternal grandmother, and maternal great-grandmother. The same exact mtDNA code can track your direct maternal lineage way back from the time where mtDNA code's natural mutation occurred.

Women who are living today can trace their origins 150 thousand years ago through natural mutations or mitochondrial eve.  In connection with matrilineal descent, eve is the common ancestor. But it doesn't necessarily imply that eve is the only woman who lived in that era. There were also other women alive but only the lineage of eve has survived.

2. Y chromosomal DNA testing is the most commonly used form of genetic genealogy testing. Some people can even trace if a deceased man is related to them by conducting this test.

Like mtDNA, Y chromosomes can be also traced back from one prehistoric father, Adam. The DNA mutation of the first Y chromosomes naturally occurs over many generations. Determining the present Y chromosomes can trace your paternal lineage through searching the Y database worldwide.

Moreover, genealogists can find out if two people are related because they have similar surnames through Y chromosomes testing. It is not impossible since, in most cultures, surnames or family names are inherited by children from their fathers like the Y chromosomal DNA.

A successful genealogy research lies on DNA testing because its usefulness is proven as time has passed by.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Beginner's Guide to Basic Kayaking Equipment

Photo: Pxhere
There isn't a lot of equipment required for kayaking. A kayak and paddle, life jacket, helmet and spray skirt are the recommend basics.

Kayaks for surfing and doing tricks are called playboats. Kayaks for rocky rivers are called creek boats. Traditional river kayaks offer a quick ride and stability. Most kayaking beginners start with the traditional river kayak.

One kayak does not fit all. The size and shape of the kayak are based on the user's height, weight, and the type of water the kayak will be used in. Kayak dealers usually stock demo or demonstration kayaks available for test boating. This allows kayakers to try before they buy. 

Used kayaks cost considerably less than new. Good used kayaks can often be found in the classifieds, online auctions and similar venues.

Finding the right paddle involves getting the length, weight, material and blade shape into consideration, along with the user's height, torso size and paddling style. Tall people, those with long torsos and paddlers who like a slow ride will require longer paddles. Shorter people or those with short torsos and paddlers who like to paddle fast and get the job done will benefit from shorter paddles.

Kayaking paddle materials include wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber and aluminum shafts with plastic blades. The aluminum shaft paddles are a good choice for beginners. 

Many kayakers are already into other water sports and own a life jacket (also known as a personal flotation device). These can be purchased at many discount stores, sporting goods stores and boating equipment stores in addition to online stores and auctions.

Life jackets, also known as personal flotation devices (PFD) are required by law. Choose a PFD rated for the type of kayaking involved. Type III PFD's tend to be the most comfortable for paddling. 

Kayaking helmets should be good quality and fit well. Like other sporting gear, helmets have evolved and now are as much about fashion as function. Users can shop for functional, protective headgear or for functional and fashionable helmets in a wide variety of designs, colors and styles.

Spray skirts are used to seal the cockpit during kayaking and keep water out of the inside of the kayak and keep the kayaker dry. Different types of kayaking require different skirt styles. Whitewater spray skirts are usually made of neoprene. Touring and recreational spray skirts are often made of nylon. Sea kayaking skirt styles may include both neoprene and nylon.

All kayaking spray skirts feature a grab loop. This loop allows the boater to break the seal quickly if necessary. Skirt 
designs include cords for boat attachment, pockets, and adjustable suspenders and waistbands.

Since the spray skirt fits around the wearer's waist, waist circumference is the general standard of sizing. Kayak cockpit size may also apply.

Optional kayaking gear includes a dry bag, a dry top and a spray jacket. The small dry bag is good for protecting and storing snacks and other small items. A dry top is a waterproof jacket good for cold water paddling. Spray jackets are waterproof and available in long or short sleeve styles.

Kayaking gives boaters an opportunity to explore waterways for fun and for relaxation. The size and light weight of kayaks make maneuvering them easy for individuals. Kayaking doesn't require a lot of equipment and doesn't have to be expensive. Most beginners can quickly master the basics but kayaking is a continual learning experience.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The sunshine state of Australia

Sunshine Coast Queensland - Photo: Pixabay
Blessed with nature’s most remarkable gifts, Queensland is Australia's second largest state; inhabiting 25% of Australia's land mass. 

Queensland has fifteen exceptional regions, where people can travel, be with their families and spend a memorable holiday. Its capital, Brisbane is an excellent base for tours. One of the famous holiday destinations at Queensland is the Gold Coast. Famous of its attractive beaches, theme parks and resorts. Just a little farther north is the Sunshine Coast, undoubtedly, one of Queensland's most scenically beautiful regions. 

A couple of hours away from Sunshine Coast is Queensland’s whale watching capital, the Fraser Coast, having the world’s largest sand island. Immerse yourself with Whitsunday’s breathtaking views. See the beauty of different corals at Bundaberg. Experience bushwalking and bird watching at Toowoomba. Witness the superb touring region of the Western Downs and how about enjoying the delicious fruits of Southern Downs? 

Take a glimpse at the stunning beaches of Townsville. See the reefs, islands, and mountains of Tropical North. Spectacular rainforest and national parks can be seen at Mackay. Also, don’t forget Queensland’s home of hidden treasures, Capricorn.  Take a tour of historic towns and diverse landscape at Outback Queensland. Stopover at the Centre of the Southern Reef, Gladstone, it has a sub-tropical climate with islands, waterways, and beaches. 

Whether you are after beach adventures, walking through historical forest or theme parks, snorkeling under the sea or just having a great holiday of your life, there are definitely great treasured memories ahead of you at Queensland.

Take a tour to Australia. National Visas, can help you get a Visa for Australia. Visit the site for more details.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Great War

Photo: Wikimedia
The history of America is decorated with some of the great conflicts that have ever been fought by civilizations and for great ideals.  This was never truer than in World War II which was sometimes called the Great War.  As is so often the case, it was not a war that America wanted to become part of.  So often, it is when aggressors bring the war to America that she is forced to respond.  But in all cases when America responds, it is with a fury that her enemies will seldom forget.

When you think about it, the very idea of a world war is terribly frightening.  And in every way, World War II was a world war because it caught up virtually every country and every continent in a global conflict that went on for years.  The enemies of America and her allies were well armed, intelligent, determined and powerful.  But America was up to the challenge and it will be up to the challenge again if the likes of Hitler dare to threaten civilization like this again.

World War II was also virtually a textbook case of flawless collaboration with our allies.  Working together with them almost like we were one country and one army we deployed our forces across multiple theaters of combat from Europe to Asia to Russia and across the globe.  We had to fight more than one enemy.  Hitler’s Germany alone was a frightening enemy as it spread its evil influence across Europe capturing country after country and threatening to swallow up the continent whole and then move on to capture lands in central Asia and even America.

But we also had powerful enemies in German’s allies, particularly Japan.  When this frightening enemy struck our forces at Pearle Harbor, it was a blow to America that could not be ignored.  For Japan, they had hoped to cripple the American military and remove all hope from the American heart to be able to strike back or become part of the conflict.  They got exactly the opposite as every man, woman and child in America rallied to build the kind of war machine that would bring the Axis powers to a crashing end, no matter what the cost.

But the most important thing that America said to the world when it took on Hitler’s armies and defeated them was that totalitarian rule of free peoples would never be tolerated.  Hitler had dreams of world domination like the great kings of ancient Rome of the early Germanic empires.  But America had thrown off dictators when we founded this country and declared that we would not become the pawn of kings or tyrants.  We were not going to turn over that hard fought freedom to a madman while there was a fighting will be left in this country.

It was not an easy battle or one without cost.  Thousands of America’s youth gave their lives to preserve the freedoms that had been won by our forefathers.  Our leaders had to show a resolve and a unity that they would not blink in the face of a challenge and they would not let down the brave American soldier or the civilian population that stood behind them until Hitler and his allies were in defeat.  

The world saw what America was made of in that great conflict.  It saw that a country that was gifted with great wealth and prosperity was also willing to turn those resources to defend its borders and defend its allies.  It was a stern lesson for our enemies to learn that America was not a country to be trifled with in combat.  But then we showed that we were not a vindictive country when, even in defeat, we reached out to Japan, Germany, and other defeated peoples and helped them rebuild from that awful war.  This too is a testimony to the American spirit and the American sense of fair play.  Let’s hope that an enemy never rises up again to test that will because they will find as Hitler did, that America would not fail to respond to the call to battle or the call to honor which is her legacy.

Monday, October 22, 2018

What RC Car Accessory You Should Get for a Well-Maintained Car

Photo: Flickr
One of the hottest hobbies on the road today, RC cars and trucks will let you experience the real world of road race tracks and events but no red lights and speed limits for you. You simply drive that RC car or truck of yours and decide on yourself how fast you can go. 

You also got options to choose from. Just like the real automotive world, the radio controlled world of cars and trucks provide the same choices of futuristic concept cars, on-road and off-road cars, entry-level buggy, and monster trucks, and, nitro-powered cars, even mini-cars. 

There are endless options for everyone and RC cars and trucks are for all personalities and ages. The choice is yours; it solely depends on your preference. On the other hand, if you need more information you can get advice from different fellow enthusiasts. 

Again, just like with the “real” on-road and off-road vehicles, radio controlled ones require the same kind of maintenance and care from you. This is to ensure you keep your vehicle in top condition so to avoid failures. 

Maintaining them would include everything from keeping them powered, whether through electricity or nitromethane-based fuel, to replacing parts and accessory. You also must have a certain stock of standard RC car/truck equipment for the maintenance. 

In addition, there are a plethora of accessories that are available for you, which you can get for your RC car. If you want to keep your vehicle always aesthetically pleasing and aggressive or want a higher level of experience on the road, RC car accessories will allow you to attain these.

Accordingly, the following top RC accessories are amongst the components that your car should not go without:

1. Starter boxes. Starting your new vehicle will include break-in of its new engine, which could be a tough process at first. With the starter box, though, this is made easier by eliminating the need to pull-start the RC car. It gives the boost needed by the engine’s break-in; thus your car gets you going in no time. 

2. Fuel. Of course, without the fuel, you won’t go anywhere with this car. There are specially formulated fuel kinds for RC cars, and you can get one, which is recommended by the owner’s manual provided. 

And since you will probably do the refueling job, you might as well include in your purchase a fuel filler bottle, which will fit your car’s need. There are several sizes available, with long, angled tips to allow for a speedy process as well as to prevent spills. 

In addition, a fuel cleaner and rags will be handy accessories in cases there are spills and drips.    

3. Glow plugs. Instead of ending your fun in driving because of glow plug failures, with spare glow plugs, you can change bad plugs along the course. In addition, a small kit stashed in your box will be the best idea. This is usually included with the spare glow plugs, glow plug igniter, glow plug wrench, and charger. 

4. RC tools. These are the specialized tools to keep your vehicle going. A standard RC toolkit usually includes magnetic balancer, gear puller, temperature gauge, tool pouch, and glow plug wrench. 

5. Air Filter Oil. Replacement of the air filter at an interval is a must. In this case, it will always be better if you got special air filter oil with you to improve the function of an air filter and keep the life of the engine longer. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Preparing The GARDEN For Winter

English: A picture of compost soil
A picture of compost soil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are you like me?  Sad to see the summer end but at the same time relieved that there is one less task to tend to.  Weeding, watering, pruning, and more weeding is over for this year and with a few more chores the outdoor gardening year draws to a close.  Most of what needs to be completed is a matter of cleaning up and covering up.  Practical steps to preparing your outdoor garden for winter involve:

1.  Protecting plants.  There are different opinions concerning whether to cut down or leave plants standing through the winter.  Here on the prairies, most people leave their perennials standing for a variety of reasons.  In particular, trapping the snow cover is important for the protection of plants and retaining moisture.  Snow cover acts the same as good mulch by insulating the soil.  Many perennial stems and seed heads are also very attractive for winter interest and provide food for the birds.  After the ground freezes, mulch perennials and shrub beds with pine needles, compost, peat moss, or chopped leaves.  This protects the soil and plant roots and moderates the effects of extreme temperature changes during winter periods of freezes and thaws.

2.  Cleaning-up the garden.  Harvest warm-season crops such as tomatoes even though they are still green.  Lie out on windowsills; or layer in boxes with newspapers between the layers of tomatoes.  They will slowly ripen or you can use green tomatoes for fried green tomatoes or various green tomato recipes.  Pull out any remaining crops or spent annuals; clean up remaining debris and weeds to decrease the possibility of disease problems in the spring.

3.  Evaluating your garden design.  Before you start winterizing your garden, take a few minutes to review what worked and what didn’t and make note of any areas that you would like to change in the spring.

4.  Prepare the soil for early spring seeding.  Turn over the garden soil late in the season while amending with organic matter such as leaves, compost, or well-rotted manure.  In the spring, a light raking is all that is needed.

5.  Caring for trees and lawns.  Protect the tender bark of young trees from rabbits and gnawing critters by wrapping stems or trunks with chicken wire or commercial tree-guard products.  To prevent rodents from nesting near buildings and trees, trim tall grass, and remove weeds.  Deeply water trees and shrubs so that they go into winter well hydrated.  Don’t prune shrubs and trees as it may stimulate new growth just before the harsh weather.  Cut lawns and fertilize if you wish with a low nitrogen ‘winter’ blend.  Use grass clippings for mulch or compost.  Never send them to the landfill, as they are excellent fertilizer left on the lawn (if they are not too long) and/or make terrific compost/mulch dug straight into the garden or used for pathways.  Once rotted on garden pathways, dig into the garden and replace with new grass clippings.

6.  Planting before winter.  Now is the time to plant bulbs.  Garden centres carry many varieties suitable for the prairies.  Remember: buy good quality as cheap is not better – the larger the bulb – the larger the bloom.  Look for plumpness, firmness, clean skin, and surface.  Directions for planting are included with the package.

7.  Composting.  Compost dead plant debris including leaves.  Leaves are a valuable natural resource.  Rather than a nuisance, they are the best soil amendment as well as terrific mulches.  Leaves take very little effort to recycle into a wonderful soil conditioner – leaf mould – for the yard and garden.  You can make leaf mould by the same process nature does.  Pile up moist leaves and wait for them to decompose or shred the leaves into smaller pieces before piling them up.  If you wish, you can enclose the pile with chicken wire, snow fencing, or something similar.  In the spring, I rake up dry leaves and dig them straight into the vegetable garden.

8.  Cleaning your tools.  Clean the soil from all your gardening tools, oil any wooden handles and moving parts, sharpen any blades, and then store them in a dry place for the winter.
9.  Water Gardening.  Bring in pumps, drain, clean, refill (if necessary) and store tender water plants prior to freezing.

10.  Bringing in your indoor plants.  Before bringing in any houseplants that have spent the summer outdoors, examine them for critters, wash them, and spray with soapy water or insecticidal soap.  Use sterilized potting soil purchased from garden centres or shopping malls if re-potting your plants.  Don’t use garden soil as it may harbour insects, weed seeds, disease, and fungi.