Way..... Out there !

Way..... Out there !
Deepest, most colorful Hubble image yet of our universe. Click for info.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trash Delivery?

At our home (2129 Hallmark Drive) something occurred last week that has me perplexed. My elderly mother lives with us so she sees everything that occurs outside the house. 

On Thursday morning February 21, a maroon late model pick-up truck (Ford or Chevy) stopped in front of my driveway. The vehicle approached from the dead-end, heading toward Rt. 450. The driver was an elderly man, maybe mid 60's. As we all know, Thursday is trash day, and thus my cans were out on the road. This gentleman got out of his truck, pulled out a large, white plastic trash bag and placed it in my trashcan.

Needless to say, I found this to be odd at least, and criminal at worst, so I guess I have a few questions:

  •  Why would someone do this?
  •  What would be so disgusting, toxic, or illegal that it would require a person to put their trash in some one else’s receptacle?
  •  Does anyone in the neighborhood know who this might be?

I regularly see at least one maroon pick-up truck pass by, but I don't want to be accusatory. 

If any one can shed some light on this matter, it would be greatly appreciated.

Michael Lewis

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lunar Eclipse Wednesday

If the weather permits – and that's a big if – a total eclipse of the moon will be nearly impossible to miss here Wednesday evening. Conveniently arranged to appear in full color at prime viewing time, this will be the last such eclipse for nearly three years. The next total lunar eclipse visible anywhere isn't due until December 20-21, 2010. 

For a front-row seat, just go outside at about 8:43 pm and look up. The moon should be high in the sky overhead and just starting to enter Earth's outer shadow (the penumbra). At 10 pm the 52-minute period of total eclipse will begin as the moon slides into the inner shadow (the umbra). By 12:09 am Thursday, the whole thing will be over. 

During the event, the Moon makes a broad triangle with the bright planet Saturn and the somewhat fainter star Regulus, which marks the heart of Leo, the Lion.

This is the last of three total lunar eclipses within a year's time. The previous event, last August 28th, favored the Far West. The one before that, on March 3, 2007, favored eastern North America and Europe.

How and Why

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon form a nearly straight line in space, so that the full Moon passes through Earth's shadow. Unlike a solar eclipse, which requires special equipment to observe safely, you can watch a lunar eclipse with your unaided eyes. Binoculars or a telescope will enhance the view dramatically.

The outer part of Earth's shadow, the penumbra, creates only a slight dusky shading on the lunar disk. But as the Moon begins to move into the central and darkest part of Earth's shadow, the umbra, there's an obvious and ever-larger "bite" in the full Moon. The partial eclipse is then under way.

The total eclipse begins when the Moon is fully within the umbra. On February 20th, totality lasts 52 minutes. But the Moon likely won't disappear completely. It usually glows as an eerie, coppery red disk in the sky, as sunlight scattered around the edge of our atmosphere paints the lunar surface with a warm glow. This is light from all the sunrises and sunsets that are in progress around Earth at the time.

Visit Sky and Telescope magazine's website for much more on the eclipse and astronomy in general.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

There's a hole in the bucket... *

While striding down Hallmark Drive recently ("Exercise!" said the doctor.) I noticed a hole by the side of the road over the creek at the entrance. Being a curious sort, I peered in but couldn't tell how deep it was or where it went. So I got a stick and probed its depths.  You can see the stick in this phone photo I snapped.

Now, that's not much of a hole, you say. OK, but it does go down at least two feet–obviously rain water has been draining through there so it's not too crazy to think it may go all the way through to the creek below.  And, right next to the present hole is a spot in the road where there used to be a similar hole until it was paved over last year. 

Could this be the start of something big? Watch this space for any further developments in the case of (sorry) The Hallmark Hole. 

* Title is from a song recorded by Harry Belafonte and Odetta.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's our country....


February 12, next Tuesday, at the Arundel Volunteer Fire Hall, 2374 Davidsonville Rd.  

For more info, go to the Anne Arundel Co. Board of Elections website... or the respective Democratic or Republican party websites.

---------------- Political Plug.......

In these present primaries, one candidate stands out from all the rest for competence, intelligence, leadership ability, and - especially - vision:  Barack Obama . Please consider supporting this once-in-a-lifetime candidate for President of the United States.

   John L.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Out of the Woods...

Welcome neighbors!

This blog is primarily for and about residents of Hallmark Woods, a shady green oasis in central Anne Arundel county, Maryland. It may stray, however, as the mood of your editor moves him. 

There will be links, perhaps in the sidebar, perhaps on page two; with any luck there may be a little, genteel, controversy; there may be some ecstatic comments on the sheer joy of living in such a wonderful forest haven as we have here.
Much more to come! For now, welcome...

John L.

PS:  Feel free to comment on anything you see here... just click the Comments link below  and type away!