Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Comet: Can we see Comet Lovejoy in Singapore?


Comet Lovejoy made the news headlines recently after astronomers predicted that the comet will plunge into the sun. It surprised everyone by surviving its close proximity to the sun and now it is surprising everyone yet again by making a spectacular appearance in the pre-dawn sky as a naked eye object.

Comet Lovejoy is best viewed from the southern hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, etc). Its long tail is clearly visible with the naked eye. See the video above taken in Chile. Naked eye comets with very long tails are very rare. You can call them once in a lifetime event. I've been lucky. I've seen two - Comet Hale-Bopp and Comet Hyakutake!

So can we view Comet Lovejoy in Singapore? I plotted the comet's position on this Sky and Telescope star map. See the map above. It is for viewers in Singapore facing the South Eastern sky at 7am on 25 December 2011. Note that tomorrow's sunrise in Singapore is at 7.03am.

As you can see from the map, the comet is just 12 degrees above the South Eastern horizon, making it an extremely challenging object to find. You'll need a cloudless sky, and a clear horizon with no buildings. The best time to try to spot Comet Lovejoy is 15 mins before sunrise - the sky at 7am is just too bright - but that means the comet will be slightly lower than 12 degrees above the horizon, thus making it even more challenging to spot.

Comet Lovejoy is moving sideways to the right as the days progress. Its brilliant naked eye tail is expected to grow longer and longer as New Year approaches. I will update again if I'm able to spot the comet during these few days but don't count on it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

HBO sends me a surprise Christmas goodie bag


I came home today and got a surprise hanging at my door. It's a HBO bag! These are the items inside the bag.


A very nice HBO 2012 calendar.


And then this bottle. Initially I thought it was a bottle of wine or something but it's an official HBO True Blood drink! They called it Tru Blood.


It's a Blood Orange carbonated drink. The label says: "Enliven yourself with uniquely carbonated, slightly tart, lightly sweet blood orange drink." I think if you drink this, you will become one of the vampires in True Blood. Will try it later tonight.


And lastly, this huge kick ass True Blood poster! Thank you HBO!

HBO Asia sends Lemon Cake ingredients as invite to the Preview of Game Of Thrones
Game of Thrones: IZ Reloaded seizes the Iron Throne

Friday, December 16, 2011

Playing Estranged on Drums! for iPad

Me doing a drums cover of the epic Guns N Roses song, Estranged on my iPad! Watch the video above. The app is called Drums! and it is one of my favourite iPad apps. The app is also available for iPod touch and iPhone.

SMRT CEO gets her own Failure Demotivational Poster


SMRT CEO Saw Phaik Hwa today apologised to the 127,000 commuters who were affected by one of the worst rail disruptions in Singapore to date. "Very, very sorry" she said and she would consider resigning if necessary. You know Phaik Hwa, don't need to waste time to consider, just quit now.

Here's a video of passengers stranded in the MRT tunnel being evacuated from their train last night. Shamsofcourse says: "A short video footage of how my brother made his way out of the train that broke down underground."

And on another note, SMRT wants you to name its new stations. I reckon these four names are very suitable. What say you?

Also read: Breaking News: Shocking Reaction to MRT Train Breakdown

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Local superhero comic Salvation Sam now in colour

To celebrate the one year mark since the original black and white release of the Singapore superhero comic book Salvation Sam, its creators Jove Pater Media have made available the coloured edition of the full comic online. You can watch the Salvation Sam comic writers scare themselves silly as guest investigators in an episode of Singapore Haunted.

Business People inspired by Fantastic Mr Fox

UK toy and design outfit Yum Yum made these cute Business People for Wired Magazine. They write: "Wired Magazine kindly asked us to create some characters for a feature about networking. It was super fun making little business people. These were inspired by the handmade figures from our favourite film Fantastic Mr Fox."

The Nicolas Cage Adventure Set

The fate of Nicolas Cage is in your hands! And I know how stressful that can be. The Nicolas Cage Adventure Set has two settings: tropical island and haunted castle. You'll get 3 full-body Nicolas Cage and accessories like a battle axe, skateboard and ice cream cone. Mix and match them and peel and re-peel to create new scenes.

Turn your iPhone 4S into an action sports camera

These rugged Optrix water-resistant case is the perfect companion for your iPhone 4S to capture all your action videos. The case has an anti-vibration sled which protects and limits vibration and comes with flat and curved mounting plates attached with 3M industrial adhesive so that you can mount the Optrix anywhere.

UP inspired Gingerbread House with chocolate Carl

Greg spent 3 weeks to make a Gingerbread version of Carl's house from the Disney/Pixar movie UP complete with a chocolate model of Carl himself. He says, "The front of Carl's House... the colorful siding was made out of home-made pastillage or gum paste, a mixture of powdered sugar, gelatin and water."

Superman, Batman and other Christmas Comic Book Covers

Even comic superheroes do Christmas! Geek Tyrant has put together an awesome collection of classic comic book covers that celebrate Christmas: "I find it funny that old school Batman loves the holiday, and that new-school Batman hates it."

(Thanks Mr Big)

Ride your bike in style with Stormtrooper Motorcycle Suit

The Stormtrooper Motorcycle Suit looks exactly like the real thing except that it is made in leather. Available in both Shadow Trooper black or the classic Stormtrooper imperial white, each suit features form molded details and comes complete with built-in CE-approved body armor to fully protect the motorcycle rider.

Cheeseburger Wrapping Paper makes your gifts delicious

The Cheeseburger Wrapping Paper is the first wrapping paper set from Gift Couture, a new creative and innovative wrapping paper company. The set includes 5 different wrapping paper designs that make up the cheeseburger: a bun, hamburger, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

Macro Cell Lens Band lets you take macro shots on iPhone

Now you can take quick and easy macro photographs on your iPhone! The Easy Macro Cell Lens Band is a sturdy band with a built-in macro lens. Just slide the band onto your phone - it fits any mobile phone - and then adjust the macro lens so that it is placed in front of your camera phone lens. Once you're done taking macro shots, just slide it back to your wrist.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Last total lunar eclipse of 2011 visible over Singapore tonight

You can catch the last total lunar eclipse of the year just after today's sunset. For those of us in Singapore, you can start viewing the beginning of the eclipse from 7.31 pm. Total eclipse will begin at 10.05 pm. The moon will be at maximum eclipse at 10.31 pm and totality will end at 10.57 pm. Check here for eclipse times for India and North America.

Star Wars AT-AT Cupboard will make Darth Vader proud

Colin loves to work with wood and for his latest project, he's making a wooden Star Wars AT-AT cupboard that is a little shorter than his height. Presenting The Emperor's Cabinet! He says, "It still gets brass trim and guns, shelves in the bar and a mirrored interior. There will be a bannister, and all sorts of other brass pipes and such that look like they do something but don't."

The Minimal Backpack is stronger than steel, floats on water

The Minimal Backpack is a roll top backpack, that's waterproof and packs down to fit into a jacket pocket. It is also featherweight and backcountry tough. Made with nonwoven Dyneema, it's 10x stronger than steel yet light enough to float on water. You can carry a whole lot of bricks in the bag! But mind your back.

Empire of the Bat is a Batman Star Wars Mashup

I love these Batman Star Wars mashup illustrations by Dean T Fraser. He writes: "When I came up with this idea for mashing up Batman and Star Wars, I thought it would be a fun project, and it really was. To create these I used my own art, some templates, and the work of others and put it all together for Star Wars: Empire of the Bat."

Space Wedding Rings are made of gold flown in space

If normal wedding rings just don't excite you anymore, then go buy the Space Wedding Rings which are the first jewellery in the world to be made of space gold. Each pair costs a cool US$17K and contains gold which was sent in outer space in a suborbital sounding rocket in Spaceport America on May 20, 2011. Rings come in a custom designed Space Capsule and include a Certificate of Space Flight.

iPhone Lens Dial gives 3 optical lens for your iPhone

Serious iPhoneographers should consider getting the iPhone Lens Dial, a complete three-lens optical system. It has three optical-quality coated glass lenses: .7x Wide Angle, 0.33x Fisheye, and 1.5x Telephoto all attached to a slim aircraft-grade aluminum case. Rotate the disc to easily switch between lenses.

Star Wars Escape from Docking scene recreated using Lego

Dude used more than 10,500 Lego bricks and took 6 months to recreate the Escape from Docking Bay 327 original scene from Star Wars Episode IV complete with LED lights! He writes: "I started building my Docking Bay 327 Escape to Falcon from scratch, only with a few screenshots from Episode IV and a picture from Google."

Star Wars Engagement pics show The Force is strong with these two lovebirds

Events and wedding photographer Michael James snapped this cool engagement photographs of two Star Wars fans fighting it out with lightsabers and then they become lovers at the end. It's a pity these two lovebirds won't be having a Star Wars themed wedding in the near future. According to Michael, they are going to have a traditional wedding instead.

Monsterbrick's Steampunk Lego Inventions

Matt Armstrong aka Monsterbrick is a big collector of all kinds of toys and he's a Lego maniac! Ok wait, I'm not sure maniac is the right word to describe him but he's one hell of a Lego builder alright. Take a look at his Steampunk Lego Inventions photoset on Flickr including this vintage telecope made of Lego!

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