The Science Of Sunrises

Why does the sun rise in the east? For some people this may be the “duh” question of the article but perhaps not. I think people clearly know that the sun rises in the east but may not actually think about why. It is simply related to the rotation of the Earth. The Earth is spinning on its axis, and it spins toward the east. At the equator, the earth is spinning at a rate of roughly 1037 mph. Because, the Earth’s equatorial bulging, it is really more of an oblate spheriod than a sphere. This also affects the rotation rate, which decreases by the cosine of latitude. For example, if you live at a latitude of 45 degrees, the cosine of that value is .707. If you multiply .707 x 1037 mph, someone at a latitude of 45 degrees is spinning at 733 mph.

Changes in Earth's spin axis.

Why does a sunrise sky have its orange-reddish color? To answer this question, we have to define “scattering.” Small particles, droplets or molecules in our atmosphere can cause light to change directions. This is called scattering. There are different types of scattering including Mie, Rayleigh, Tyndall, Brillouin, and Raman. The two most common to meteorological processes are Rayleigh (scattering particle is small relative to the wavelength of light) and Mie (scattering spherical particle is about the same size as the wavelenth) scattering.

When the sun is low on the horizon during sunrises and sunsets, the sunlight travels through more of the atmosphere. Shorter wavelength colors (blues and violets) get scattered out. This leaves more of the longer wavelength colors like yellow, orange, and red. This is why sunrises often take on such colors. When the sun is higher in the sky, smaller particles Rayleigh scatter much of the blue wavelength, which is why the sky appears blue. The human eye is more sensitive to blue than violet otherwise our characteristic blue sky might be violet.

Sun at low horizon. Source: S. Corfidi and NOAA.

Doesn’t dust or pollution brighten the colors? The notion that dust and air pollution brighten sunrises and sunsets is a myth. In fact, they have the opposite effect. As Dr. Stephen Corfidi writes in an excellent essay on this topic,

Typical pollution droplets such as those found in urban smog or summertime haze are on the order of .5 to 1 um in diameter. Particles this large are not good Rayleigh scatterers as they are comparable in size to the wavelength of visible light (Mie scatterers if spherical). If the particles are of uniform size, they might impart a reddish or bluish cast to the sky, or result in an odd-colored sun or moon (it is this effect that accounts for the infrequent observation of “blue suns” or “blue moons” near erupting volcanoes). Because pollution aerosols normally exist in a wide range of sizes, however, the overall scattering they produce is not strongly wavelength-dependent. As a result, hazy daytime skies, instead of being bright blue, appear grayish or even white. Similarly, the vibrant oranges and reds of “clean” sunsets give way to pale yellows and pinks when dust and haze fill the air.

Corfidi also points out that pollutants also enhance light modification at low sun angles. This causes a reduction in the total light reaching our eyes and the overall brilliance of the sunrise.

Do clouds hurt sunrise or sunset views? According to Corfidi’s essay, some clouds are preferable for the best views.

Clouds catch the last red-orange rays of the setting sun and the first light of the dawn like a theatre screen, and reflect this light to the ground.

The best sunrises and sunsets seem to be associated with middle to high clouds rather than lower level clouds. Higher clouds receive sunlight that has not been altered by attenuation at lower levels. If you have a satellite dish for TV service as I do, attenuation is what happens when you lose the signal during rain.

OOP Vs. Non OOP

The difference between object-oriented languages is that instead of saying

f(a,b,c,d)

You say

a.f(b,c,d)

The syntactic difference is trivial, but it provides a tool for following good software engineering practice. You want to decrease the former, and increase the latter. It says that f “belongs to” a, along with the other features of a. And by isolating other details about a, you’ve reduced coupling to b, c, and d.

That’s what object-orientation “really” is. You shift focus from the function f to the object a.

That doesn’t necessarily require classes. Many OO languages use classes as a way of describing the features of a, but they’re not required. You can simply promise, “a is the thing that does f”, and that’s all. ActionScript 3.0 is the most prominent example of a non-class-based support for object orientation.

Adobe Flash Player 26.00.137

Download The Latest Flash Player version

Adobe Flash Player is the high-performance, lightweight, highly expressive application runtime that provides uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across browsers, mobile phones, devices and operating systems. Deliver more engaging user experiences with the Adobe Flash Player runtime through support for native 64-bit operating systems and browsers, accelerated graphics rendering, asynchronous bitmap decoding, high-resolution bitmap support, and more. Take advantage of a host of new features in the Adobe Flash Player runtime that streamline the development process, improve performance, enable greater security and privacy control, and allow delivery of richer apps to a broader spectrum of devices.

Adobe Flash Player Top features:
• Stage 3D accelerated graphics rendering
Explore a new architecture for high-performance 2D/3D GPU hardware accelerated graphics rendering by Adobe, which provides low-level Stage3D APIs for advanced rendering in apps and gives framework developers classes of interactive experiences.
• Native 64-bit support
Flash Player can now take advantage of native support for 64-bit operating systems and 64-bit web browsers on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.
• H.264/AVC software encoding for cameras
Stream beautiful video from your computer’s camera with higher compression efficiency and industry-wide support, enabling both high-quality real-time communications (such as video chat and video conferencing) and live video broadcasts.
• Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS)
Protect streaming video across devices without the complexity of a license server.
• Content protection support for mobile
Flash Access content protection support is now available on Android devices. Broadcasters can now reach and monetize an even broader range of customers on their favorite mobile device.

Key benefits of the Adobe Flash Player desktop include:
* Stage 3D Accelerated Graphics Rendering: Deliver cutting edge 2D and 3D experiences on the desktop.
* Native 64-bit support: Support for 64-bit operating systems and browsers on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.
* G.711 audio compression for telephony: Integrate real-time voice and telephony capabilities into business apps and integrate with existing phone systems using the G.711 codec.
* H.264/AVC SW Encoding: Create apps that encode higher quality video locally using the efficient H.264 video standard.
* Socket Progress Events: Improve management of data transfer, track progress, and provide responsive feedback in apps send large amounts of data.
* JPEG-XR support: Take advantage of support for the advanced JPEG-XR image compression format to deliver higher quality images with less bandwidth, and leverage lossy and lossless compression with alpha channel transparency.

Facts About the Dangers of Dog Poop

Dog poop is a problem we deal with on a daily basis. But is it dangerous? How much do you know? Is pet waste a health hazard?

Here are the dangerous facts:

1. Dog poop is NOT good fertilizer. It’s toxic to your lawn! The high nutrient concentration in dog poop will burn and discolor the grass, creating “hot spots”.

2. Nearly two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified pet waste as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil.

3. You may not live near water, but unscooped poop from your yard is carried by overland water flow or is washed into storm drains, ending up in far away streams, rivers and ground water.

4. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms pet waste can spread parasites including hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella. When infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the poop will eventually “disappear”, but the parasite eggs can linger for years! When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs … even years after the poop is gone.

5. Pet waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea in humans. (There are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!)

6. Dog poop often contains roundworm larvae, which cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. So when people (especially children) touch soil, dog toys or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths, they can become infected.

Dog poop doesn’t just “wash away” or disappear. So if you’re not disposing of your dog’s waste, you’re putting yourself, your family, your dog and your water supply at risk.

Why do ocean waves create foam while breaking?

It is due to the presence of dissolved organic matter in ocean water, which comes from the remnants of algal blooms. When breaking waves churn the water, intense turbulence and mixing makes this dissolved matter to act like foaming agents, trapping the atmospheric air. This creates air bubbles on the water surface, which stick to each other due to surface tension, giving rise to foam.

New Motion Editor Workflows & Shortcuts

There are several workflows and shortcuts  in new motion editor.

Property Curve Editing
1)      “Double click” on selected property curve to add new anchor point.
2)      If anchor points and control points are collapsed (i.e. corner point), then mouse “drag” operation moves anchor point by default.
3)      In order to use control points in above mentioned scenario, select the point & then “Alt/option+drag” to bring out control point.
4)      When control points are accessible, dragging control point always makes sure both control points are in straight line (180 degree angle)
5)      Use “Alt/option + drag” on control point to move only selected control point, other control point stays stationary.
6)      When control point handles are pulled out, “Alt/option+click” on anchor point to collapse them & make it a corner point. ( make it anchor point same as mentioned in point2 above)
7)      Use “Shift+drag” on anchor point for accurate linear movement either horizontally or vertically.
8)      Select any anchor point & use “up/down arrow key” to move anchor point 1 unit up/down.
9)      Select anchor point & “shift + up/down arrow key” to move anchor point 10 units up/down.
10)  “Ctrl/Cmd + click” on anchor point to delete anchor point (not applicable for first & last anchor point). Alternatively select the anchor point & then press “Delete key” to delete the selected Anchor point(not applicable for first & last anchor point)
11)  Copy curve : choose “copy” from right click context menu on grid or make sure grid has input focus and use “Ctrl/cmd + C”
12)  Paste curve : choose “paste” from right click context menu on grid or make sure grid has input focus and use “Ctrl/cmd + V”
13)  Reverse curve : choose “reverse” from right click context menu on grid or make sure grid has input focus and use “Ctrl/cmd + R”

View Options
1)      “Ctrl/cmd + scroll mousewheel” to zoom-in/out curve
2)      Just “scroll mousewheel” to scroll the curve
3)    click on grid & use “Ctrl / CMD + D” : to disable / enable curves belonging to other groups. [ i.e. if you disable, only curves belonging to property group same as currently selected property are colored, other curves are grayed out ]

Ease Panel
1)      Use “arrow keys(up, down, left, right)” to navigate through ease rows. Behavior is same as library panel & property list in motion editor.
2)      “ESC key” to dismiss ease panel. (It is not cancel operation, it just closes panel currently)
3)    “Double click” on ease row to select ease type as well as dismiss the ease popup.

Flash And AIR 14 Released

That was fast! Just weeks after the betas of Flash Player 14 and AIR 14 Runtime (and SDK), the team has announced that these new runtimes have been released.

In addition to bug fixes and security updates, new features include

  • Anisotropic filtering
  • A new Stage3D Standard profile (which supports multiple render targets, floating point textures, and AGAL v2)
  • Intel x86 Android Support
  • iOS packaging improvements
  • AIR Gamepad

Here are more details on Flash Player 14 and AIR 14.

 

TIOBE Index for May 2014 May Headline

‪#‎Adobe‬ ‪#‎ActionScript‬ enters top 20!

“This month ActionScript entered the TIOBE index top 20. ActionScript is a JavaScript dialect that is mainly used to write Flash programs to show interactive animations and videos. ActionScript’s popularity already peaked in 2008 and 2009, but after Steve Jobs announced to ban Flash from Apple’s devices, it lost popularity rapidly. Flash (and thus ActionScript) is still struggling to get into the mobile market, but it is gaining market share. For (small) web-based games, Flash and ActionScript are still market leader with an installed based of 96%, though.

The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. Observe that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written.

The index can be used to check whether your programming skills are still up to date or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system. The definition of the TIOBE index can be found here.

‪#‎Actionscript3‬ ‪#‎FlashPlatform‬ ‪#‎AdobeAIR‬

Source – http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html

North Shore to be protected from development

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached between the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, The Trust for Public Land, and Turtle Bay Resort to establish a conservation easement on 665.8 acres of land at Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku.

Portions of this land had previously been planned for development but will now be protected forever from future development.

Click here to see a map of the zones at the Turtle Bay Resort.

“As I said in my State of the State Address this year, ‘there are times for planning, and there are times for acting; now is the time to preserve open spaces at Turtle Bay,'” Gov. Abercrombie said.  “This historic agreement is the result of public and private interests joining together to benefit the people of Hawaii and our visitors.  This protects the heritage and rural character of the North Shore to ‘Keep the Country Country.'”

State Sen. Clayton Hee said, “The shoreline from Kahuku Point to Kawela Bay represents one of the most beautiful and pristine areas on all of Oahu.  As elected leaders, we have a profound and solemn duty and responsibility to preserve and protect this shoreline for future generations just as our ancestors did before us.”

“I have always been a supporter of the preservation of the North Shore and the state’s long-term effort to protect the natural beauty of the North Shore and Windward communities,” said Sen. David Ige.  “I am pleased that, with the support of Senator Clayton Hee, negotiations have continued to move forward to this point after the Senate initially took action on this issue in the form of SB 894 last session. This settlement agreement is an example of how collaboration between the State, City and County, and private sector can result in a successful outcome when all stakeholders involved work together.”

“Today’s agreement is an example of collaboration and compromise for the greater good and I am grateful to all of those who worked together to make this a reality,” said Rep. Richard Fale.  “I hope today isn’t the end of this community collaboration. There is still an opportunity for this agreement to yield benefits across the community if general obligation funds can be secured to maximize community benefit from the resources within that community and also offer a fiscally responsible and self-sustaining source of funding to improve infrastructure, especially in our schools.  This is particularly important to our district because our rural schools often struggle to get the financial support they need.”

The conservation easement will be placed upon the land and will permanently limit use of the land in order to protect the ecological, recreational and open space characteristics of Oahu’s North Shore. The Turtle Bay Resort will continue to own, use and hold title to the land, but it and future owners of the land will be bound by the restrictions.  The easement will protect, and in many cases, allow restoration of critical marine and land ecosystems and Hawaiian cultural resources.  It will foster and enable recreational and educational uses of the land.

The total value of this agreement is $48.5 million; $40 million will be provided by the state, $5 million will b e provided by the city, and $3.5 million will be provided by The Trust for Public Land. The amounts of money provided by the state and the city are subject to appropriation and release of the funds. Gov. Abercrombie has previously asked for and encourages the Legislature to appropriate $40 million in general obligation bonds.

The City Council has previously appropriated $5 million for this matter. The Trust for Public Land will be obtaining funds from various sources.  The final documents and details of the agreement are to be worked out between the parties.

“We are excited to be a part of the stewardship to protect these natural resources and to secure forever the public’s access to that entire shoreline from Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We want to thank the state for its leadership in this effort and to the people around the table who worked hard to make sacrifices and to find common ground. The work is not yet complete, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin said, “The City Council has constantly demonstrated its commitment to land conservation as evidenced by the Fiscal Year 2014 budget appropriation of $5 million to preserve Kawela Bay.  Protecting such a valuable natural resource on the North Shore today is an investment that will reap dividends for generations to come.”

This agreement benefits the public in many ways, such as preserving open space and providing public access to beaches in the area at no charge. It also allows public access to more than five miles of coastal hiking trails and opens up the area for traditional native Hawaiian cultural practices.  In addition, the agreement keeps recreational use available to the public and prevents the sprawl of urban development in the area.

“This historic conservation agreement is supported by The Trust for Public Land, The North Shore Community Land Trust and many community organizations, residents of the North Shore and people from all over our island, along with visitors who enjoy and treasure the area,” said The Trust for Public Land, Hawaiian Islands State Director Lea Hong.

Turtle Bay Resort Chief Executive Officer Drew Stotesbury said, “As a part of the North Shore community, Turtle Bay Resort is proud to contribute to the conservation of these unique lands.”