Image Overlays – Saturn at Sunset

I’ve been having a play, merging my pictures with images from others to overlay them and create something kinda cool.

What do we think about seeing Saturn at sunset over the horizon. I made a few pictures of this, which one is best do you think?

Saturn from Cassini (Credit NASA / JPL) overlayed onto a sunset picture


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Larissa’s Stone

This was the Blog Battle Entry for April 2020 and the prompt was Brooch.


Larissa’s Stone

Larissa rested against the bulkhead of the access way, she was allowed this far but no further. She had no money and none of the captains would take her where she wanted. The bulkhead was cold against her skin, even through the thick coat she had, a cold wind blew in as yet another freighter departed. He hair was blown about in the distant wake, the gentle warmth of the engine exhaust felt good against her skin, the smell of the engine exhaust permeated her nostrils.

Weak, dirty and tired Larissa had traveled far from home. Alone and frightened the life she had grown up with these last twenty years was now gone, wiped out in a single act of aggression. She thought to herself that she was lucky to be alive. ‘Lucky’. lucky to have been able to live these last five days, no food, little water and getting here only by hiding in dirty maintenance hatches of supply transports to this one outpost to the stars that this planet had.

Her fingers found the one last gift from her father a Dritanium bracelet, a dull silver in colour, light and yet strong. It was to large for her wrist. He had given it to her a mere hour before she watched him disintegrated. Get to the Tal-Ver spaceport, he told her he would meet here there. She slid down the bulkhead to sit on the floor, a tear ran down her cheek – she couldn’t see what hope she had left. Her only oath in her short life now was to lay where she was and starve.

Another ship’s exhaust washed over her from far off. This one smelled different. More metallic.

“The engine lining’s on that ship are worn, it won’t last long out there.” She whimpered. He father had been a spacecraft engineer all his life. He had taken her all over the space port and into the inner working of some ships ever since she could remember. The smell and light faded and as it did her memory was disturbed as a shadow fell over her.

“You’re Jake Dannick’s girl aren’t you?” Came an old and gentle voice.

Larissa looked around to see a man that was old, too old she thought to still be working the freighters, but he seemed somehow familiar and it wasn’t the wild white hair that he boasted.

“Yes.” She replied feebly. “Yes I am”

“I would recognise that that wrist band anywhere!” The old man exclaimed. “You look like you’re in a bad way, can I help? How’s your father? I’ve not seen him for years now, what’s he doing with himself?”

Larissa could no longer hold back her tears, flooding down her cheeks she sobbed as the old man helped her up. He searched his pockets and finding an old rag offered it up to wipe her tears.

“There, there, what’s all the tears about?”

Larissa looked at the man, but no words came.

“I have lived a long time.” The old man said grimly. “It’s at times like this that realise it may be been too long. When?”

“five days ago.” Larissa replied, siffling as she spoke.

“And you made your own way here, you are brave!”

“Dad told me to come here. He was going to meet me here, before…”

The man nodded. “It’s going to be alright, come with me.”

The old man led Larissa away to what was on old cargo carrier, it served now as a surprisingly clean and well run cafeteria. They both say in the far corner away from anyone. A few moments later a rather dilapidated droid clanked over and took their orders. Larissa went over who she was as she ate and drank. It had been so long she would rather have done without the talking. The old man was called Cannick and had been a close friend of Larissa’s father for some years. Cannick remembered Larissa from the days when her father would bring her with him.

Then the talk got a bit more serious. “So what had your father done to attract the attention of the Federates?”

” I don’t know, ever since he stopped working for the space port he hid away for his work and wouldn’t tell me what he was doing, it’s been about five years.”

“Hmmm. I do know a little, but I didn’t think…” Something caught Cannick’s eye suddenly. “What’s that?”

“What?” Larissa asked.

“That, on your left.” A matt black intricately decorated brooch was on Larissa’s top, Cannick pointed at it. Looking around cautiously.

“What this thing?” Larissa passed it to Cannick. He hid it from view carefully and looked at it in his closed hand.

“My God!” Cannick gasped.

“What is it?” Larissa asked quietly, picking up the hint to be discreet.

“Your father.” Cannick spoke in a low voice. “Thought that by using the same technology that drives our ships to bend space time that a large area of space could be stored and transported in a very small space. Such technology was thought to be impossible, I thought it was impossible until I saw your brooch.”

“Why’s that?” Larissa asked.

Cannick carefully held the brooch up for Larissa to see. In the dark centre stone turning slowly about its axis was a spiral galaxy.

“Two weeks ago, rumour started circulating that a galaxy had vanished without a trace. Of course, it has been dismissed mostly as ridiculous. But I think I know where it is!” Cannick said.

Larissa looked into the stone with awe, how was this possible and how and why would her father do this? ON the brooch a symbol was stamped into it, small but unmistakable.

“See this?” Larissa pointed “I’ve seen it before!” Larissa pulled up her sleeve and showed Cannick the wrist band.

“The same symbol.” Cannick said. “The federate symbol.”

“What do we do?” Larissa asked.

“I don’t know, but what I do know is you need to come with me and we need to get off this planet and find someone who does know.”

“Does such a person exist?”

Cannick got up and smiled down at Larissa “Of course, if you know where to look!”


© Simon Farnell 2020


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#EarthDayAtHome with NASA | NASA

So I missed Earth day this year – BUt I’m still going to put up a post about it. This was NASA’s Earth day post so I’m sahring it.


Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, people around the world marked the first Earth Day. Thousands gathered to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our beautiful planet for future generations.

On this Earth Day, as we physically separate ourselves by necessity, we can still collectively appreciate the wondrous beauty of our planet and the extraordinary science that helps us understand how it all works – and we can do it from our homes.

Much as our Earth’s systems are interconnected so, too, are all of us. To help connect us virtually this Earth Day, we encourage you to share on social media photos and images of how you marked the 50th anniversary, using the hashtag #EarthDayAtHome. This could be a picture of a special science activity, an original work of art you created, the tree outside your window, or whatever inspires you.

To help get you started, NASA has collected activities, videos, special programs and other materials to help you observe “Earth Day at Home” with our Earth Day 50th Anniversary Toolkit. You also can find a variety of agency-wide resources at NASA at Home and at NASA STEM at Home, as well as in Spanish on Ciencia de la NASA.

Here, you’ll find even more, created especially for Earth Day – videos, online games and mobile apps, social media events, and even Lego activities for #EarthDayAtHome.



See full post here: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2020/earthdayathome-with-nasa/



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Alien Covenant – A Sci-Fi film that could have been more

The Alien saga has been full of questions since it started way back in the 1970’s where an unknown Alien ship full of eggs leads to almost an entire crew being wiped out by a malevolent aggressive creature that sought to kill all that it found.

The original alien ship had remains of a large humanoid species that we knew very little about and wasn’t mentioned or seen again until the film Prometheus. This film left us with an intriguing lead into the next film – Elizabeth Shaw stating that she wanted to go the homeworld of this large species that had created these aggressive Aliens and find out why it was that the crew of Prometheus had to die.

This to me was a really poignant point to make and would essentially explain the whole reason of why such an aggressive species was engineered. The nightmarish creatures are not something that anyone would create ‘just for fun’

Alien ship from the Alien film series

So when I finally get to watch the sequel to the prequel I hope to see something of this in the storyline. Do I find it?

Nope.

Instead we have the scenario of a colonisation ship having to change plans, diverting to another world where they land and guess what happens. Blood guts and gore flying everywhere becasue they did the same damn thing they did in every other damn alien film and DID NOT WAIT.

Further on in the film we find out that Elizabeth Shaw was used as a vessel to breed an improved race of these creatures because a maniacal robot called David thinks… you know I didn’t know what he thought if I’m honest.

Alien covenant was always going to have blood and guts and gore in it, I get that it’s what the series is about, but that one plot point could have taken the whole story in another direction – what happened? They choked and went straight back to the tired old plot line with a slight twist and made something I didn’t think was as good as it could have been.

Maybe I’ll write what should have happened… one day.

Anyways, I know the horror lovers among you will probably disagree, but I think for scifi I was kind of expecting more.

Just saying.

Images taken from Google – ownership right reamin with owners.


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Sci-fi Concepts – Where does Consciousness reside and can it be cloned?

Before I get onto this post properly this post contains spoilers for the last episode of Star Trek Picard. If you read this and haven’t seen the end I will have ruined it for you.

You have been warned.

Star Trek Picard – Credit to CBS

For those of you who saw it and for those who don’t care and wonder what I’m going on about the last episode in the first series of Star Trek Picard was a bit of a shock and also for a while very confusing.

Seeing the great Admiral Picard in his final moments after being rescued from taking on an entire Romulan fleet single handed (with the Star Fleet cavalry arriving before the end) we were then taken to a scene where Picard was sat in an armchair conversing with Data, ‘killed’ some 18 year before (if an android can be killed of course). After a brief conversation Picard wakes up again, his brain had been scanned and stored and put into a new old body that had been created for him.

He was now an organic android supposedly with this mind, memories and consciousness essentially copied into a new body or golem as he called it. This means (at least in the fictional story) has an artificially created body with a copy of his mind and memories put in like a program. Let’s forget the logistics of this being possible I was wondering about a different thing:

Where is his consciousness and has that been copied?

What I mean by this is that every person looks out of the same eyes every day and exists in the same body and for argument’s sake if there’s an afterlife that consciousness in some way of other moves on, call it spirit if you will. So if your mind is copied is there now two separate consciousnesses, one in the afterlife and one not? Are they aware of each other?

I’m aware I’m maybe over thinking this and it’s ‘just’ a story but in a way it kind of makes me think about what we are as humans. Are we just an electrochemical robot or are we the physical vessel for an infinite soul?

The kind of thing I’m thinking here that might have happened is the Picard that’s dead nad in the afterlife and the Picard that is ‘alive’ would be aware of each other… either that or the re-created one is merely an automaton.

Maybe he is.




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Image Overlays – Neptune Triton with Sunset

I’ve been having a play, merging my pictures with images from others to overlay them and create something kinda cool.

This one is of Neptune and Triton taken from Voyager 2 overlayed onto a sunset picture that I took. What do you think?

Neptune and Triton from Voyager 2 (Credit NASA / JPL) overlayed onto a sunset picture

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Blog Orbit – Blog Date April 2020

Hello there bloggies. Well isn’t this interesting, only four weeks ago it seemed like I was a free person and indeed many of us still were. Now most of the world is on lockdown and we’re… oh you know I don’t need to bore you with it you know it.

I promise I won’t mention the virus.

With all of this going on I’m still kept away from the blog with work. More in fact as becasue of the virus (long story for another time) I’ve had to take on more. So I’m in it over my head… drowning. I’m being bad and taking some time out to write this.

I have managed to get some posts out this month just gone – one was poignant (click on the image):

I really hope I can get some down time in soon and get some writing in, it feels like it’s been forever that I weaved my magic with the keyboard. So much has changed in a few weeks…

Oh yes… Star Trek Picard – who’s been watching this? Who has seen it? I would like a friend to talk to about this becasue it was pretty awesome – what did you think if you saw it?


In a nice touch, Lacey from Big and Pinky Toes mentioned my post in her post hereWhat’s the Energy with Matter? in her post here. So I’m mentioning her post for mentioning my post in her post. Get it?

Hmm… I think I might have mentioned the virus but I think I got away with it.


Let me know how you guys are – what are you working on? How’s life?

Keep smiling and writing.



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