Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Considering a weekend getaway? Check out travel posters for these new destinations, courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Kepler Space Telescope.

NASA made travel posters for real exoplanets, and they’re superb

I love the WPA-style presentation and terrific design sense. Want high-resolution versions to call your own? Check out the linked images in the engadget article or go to the NASA PlanetQuest Exoplanet Travel Series and click away.

Kepler-16b, here I come! (Now, where did I put my spacesuit?)

… the ways by which men arrive at knowledge of the celestial things are hardly less wonderful than the nature of these things themselves.

— Johannes Kepler


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Dear Air New Zealand and Australia.com,

Please stop showing me perky web ads with weather maps of your fair region. I know that it is summer there when it is winter here, but you don’t have to rub my face in it. I know that my −24C is your +24C, but thinking about it makes me want to cry. I also know how lovely it is Down Under, how full of stunning vistas and sumptuous wines and delectable foodstuffs, and sigh as I peer over the wind-swept mounds of snow outside my window.


So please, please, Air New Zealand and Australia.com, stop rubbing it in. Have pity on a poor Northern Hemisphere-ite, and let me freeze in peace.

Yours in winter,

J.R. Johnson

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[written from The Bush, as they say]
Greetings from Northern Ontario, where I sit at a table in a cottage overlooking a broad grey lake. Most mornings the lake sits still and calm, its surface and the encircling hills a chalice in which to hold mist. Like so many others in this region, this lake is surrounded by birch and pine, underpinned by the heavy, flat bedrock of the Canadian Shield. A small grassy lawn surrounds the house, illuminated by daisies and orange hawkweed.

It’s beautiful here, in the stark, almost frantic way of northern climes in summer. The sky warms around five o’clock in the morning and doesn’t fade until almost ten at night. Local wildlife takes full advantage of the long days, and I try to do the same.

Speaking of local wildlife, in addition to the usual chipmunks, rabbits, hawks, etc. I have seen the following in northern Ontario:

  • tortoises (tortii?)
  • loons
  • beaver
  • elk (ok, just tracks, but still)
  • hummingbirds (brave little adventurers from the southern reaches of the continent)
  • wolves (including one gorgeous specimen with russet fur)
  • deer, a.k.a. walking wolf lunchies
  • moose, female or juvenile male, large (hey, it’s a moose)
  • mosquitoes (forget cicadas, these monsters should be the next major food group)
  • It’s raining now, providing me with the perfect reason to stay in and keep working. But even work is better in the woods!

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