Friday, April 30, 2010


After a long and dirty winter, I finally managed to wash my car. In Finland, it's amazing how filthy your car can get during the season of wet snow, grinded pebbles and especially the road salt that is been spread to the roads to prevent slippering. I normally wash my car by hand, because it comes so much cheaper, and that's why I've been pushing and pushing the whole thing until the roads are cleaner and it's drier.

Now that I got the thing clean(er), I could finally attach a small decor to it. Now I have a V8, too!!! :D

I have a V8!

The only thing I miss from my car now is this. I've been dreaming of it for some time now, I should just get miself into buyin' the bloody thing...

Saturday, April 24, 2010


For some reason, this week there have been some visits to my blog from American people, who have googled "Can you see Beta Pictoris from Earth?" Just to get the poor buggers right, the short answer is yes. You just need to be in the Southern Hemisphere.

Beta Pictoris is not very bright star, but it's very easy to find, since it's located very close to Canopus - the second brightest star in our skies. When I was guiding the people during the astronomy tours in New Zealand, I often pointed Beta Pictoris out to explain how stellar systems are formed. With Epsilon Eridani, Beta Pictoris is my favourite when it comes to known planetary systems. (Well, Beta Pictoris pretty much only has a disk of dust, so far, but apparently also some exoplanets might have already formed from it.)

Here is Wikipedia's chart link to Pictor.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Propaganda posters

There's something really enchanting in the good old war time propaganda posters. I think it owes to the humorous feeling one gets from them nowadays, while everything in the modern society tries to be so unprovoking. It feels like in the past goodies and baddies were clearly labeled and one could always tell them apart - at least when you happened to be in "the right side".

I sometimes like to browse through propaganda posters at, since they have almost all the posters I've ever heard of (except this one, which is my favourite - I should print that out and put it to my car, actually). Propaganda is really interesting subject in the first place, since it is quite effective. (Yeah, I see many people smirk now, but there is a feeling going down to your spine when you look at some of those old posters. And it's good to remember how it was during the war, that time they had even more impact on people.) There are rules in propaganda, too, and sometimes I'm pretty worried that people don't recognise it when they see it... Another lesson about media reading skills wouldn't be too bad?

I have couple of pics on my room's door. My flatmate's friends have been rather confused about them, asking if I'm some kind of a war freak. :P (Another example of those media reading skills.) The small card upper left is an election add, where there are two lightning bolts hitting a small country house. The lightning says "communism" and "socialism" and then there's a text: "The danger is nigh - the Agrarian League (nowadays the Centre Party) will save you." The bigger poster is from the war time, there it stands: "Also you are spied on. The spy will guide the bombs to your home." That will help you to keep your mouth shut when you leave the house. :)

Door to my room

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Turku Star Party 2011

Now it's official! Astronomical association Turun Ursa will host the annual national amateur astronomy event in 2011. :D Me and my best friend (the redhead member of the almighty twins at Twinnerstakeitall-blog) applied for the whole thing, since we can both use our studies to make the event. Of course we will have lots of help, too, but we are kinda responsible that all goes well... Crossing our fingers! ;)

Seriously, it's going to be lots of hard work but also lots of fun. We have both been starlovers since early childhood and we have tons of ideas how to make the thing fun! I find it sad that many people think astronomy is really scientific and hard to understand. I've never been good at maths and I've still been able to get pretty far with my hobby. So, hopefully we are able to light the sparkle in other people, too.

I'm supposed to take care of the visual side of the event as well as the interactivity (of course). I had drawn some rough sketches about the logo, but then one of my amateur astronomy friends called and asked if I'd have anything for the event this year, since they were going to publish the next year's venue there. So, I had to do something quickly. Here's what came out. :)

Tähtipäivät 2011

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Celestial Spheres

Some time ago, I was shopping some crafting stuff and stumbled into the most beautiful jigsaw puzzle I ever saw. I keep an eye on especially Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles, since they are great quality and often quite clever, but this one had escaped me. I can't help it, I'm a jigsaw puzzle addict. Of BIG puzzles. This one is only 1500 pieces, so medium size for me. I have somewhere two puzzles with 2000 pieces, I've managed to finish them both (the other one, sunset at sea, was quite demanding...;), but my 3000-piece one was only halfway done when I moved to New Zealand. We had an attic clean-up last year and now I can't find any of those puzzles! My heart is broken. :(

Well, at least this one is awesome. It is a starmap of both hemispheres and some extra pics around. I've pretty much finished with the map section and doing the edges now. I must say that knowing your Messier catalogue really helps with this one... As well as knowledge about the Southern Hemisphere stars. :)

Jigsaw puzzle I'm doing

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


(Warning! This entry contains hard cynicism and sarcastic comments. Rated PG.)

It's that time of the year again when the most elitist warehouse in Finland puts up the show to draw in common trash to waste their money in useless shite. Already when I was working in that particular company, I marvelled at people who came, hoarded and went, spending huge amounts of money to things I (or they) never thought they needed. I understand readily that there are things people need and are happy to buy when they are discounted, but I loath the way it is done in that big yellow festival people call "the Crazy Days".

First of all, most people consider Stockmann to be a department store for the better earning population. When you are working there you are constantly remembering how important it is to be polite and helpful. In that store people expect to be served, that's why they are willing to pay higher prices about the things they could buy cheaper from somewhere else (especially in the grocery section). So, when the Crazy Days are on I always get the feeling that the store is lowering itself to the level of the unworthy and they get so crazy for this descending that they run and fight for all the discounts in the shop. Even the advertisement - the yellow ghosts - always seem so cheap and tawdry compared to the historical green escalator logo of the department store.

The worst feeling I still get every time I see people coming from the store after the shopping spree with 10+ yellow bags hanging from their arms. Somewhere deep inside I feel pity and shame for them and the society where we are living. I know it's hard not to use the chance if something is available for free or cheap, but I still try to avoid buying stuff just because of that. I don't need much myself, but I do understand that some others find lots of joy from shopping. I just wish they can find happiness out of it, too, since I've never met anyone who would have claimed that. When I browse through the catalogue I just see a massive collection of spending hystery. I wish I could be happy just by being able to buy all that stuff! Unfortunately, it wouldn't work.

I worked in Stockmann for three Crazy Days -events. Once I witnessed a fight by the spice section, since there was only one jar of some Indian spice left. I saw many Stockmann Blue -ladies (as someone calls the wannabe-rich people who have dyed their hair blue - you actually do see these occasionally in Stockmann) acting like despots while rummaging through the shelves. It was often ugly and very stressful and I always thought was it really worth all that trouble when you got the credit card bill in the end of the month.

As mentioned, I don't mind buying the stuff I need, but all those massaging chairs do feel a bit over the top. I'm afraid people will get more and more distant from the realities of the world when they get the feeling that happiness lives in those yellow bags. That's what the advertisers want them to think anyway. Judging how Stockmann says Crazy Days is their 13 month of the year (i.e. during 8 days (now 10) they sell for as much worth as in one month), they are doing it pretty well. And that is a pity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3D part II

Today we continued our Blender lessons. It's actually quite a lot of fun, reminds me of the geometry lessons we had in the high school... Of course it's also quite demanding, especially for a non-computer nerd like me (I'm just a plain one), especially when the program crashes frequently (the latest version is just an alpha version). But still. I wish I had more persistence to play with it also at home. :)

Here are pics of the bunker I rendered today.

Bunker 1

Bunker 2

Bunker 3

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Lately at school, we have been broadening our skills in 3D. The program we are using is Blender, familiar surely to anyone ever interested in 3D modelling. It's quite a nice program, not only since it's free open source software, but also since after few hours of studying it, its interface actually makes sense. :) Of course it'd take years to learn to use all of its features (and do animations like Big Buck Bunny with it!!!), but it's still fun to play around with.

Last week, we had some basic training with the program, and created a glass cup. (Didn't have time to make the toothbrush, though.) It was challenging, but here's my result...

Glass made with Blender

If that's what one can do during the first lesson, it'd be interesting to see how it would go after a week... ;)