Friday, 29 May 2009

Lost in the Merging Blues


I have no time to write at the moment. The forum accounts and classifying accounts at the zoo have just been merged, which is causing one or two problems. I can't log in without finding another 7 or 10 or 15 messages in my inbox, even if I only disappear for an hour or so. In fact, every time I refresh the page or look at a new thread, another four messages appear. The indomitable Aida has just started an amazing new project, which I've had to decline to be involved in (sniff, sniff!), but am still acting as secretary and communicator for. I'm now helping Colin at PulseProject find a lot of people to be interviewed about the peas and Galaxy Zoo generally, and organising a meet-up in Oxford. I have a history of maths assignment due in a week - I'd been hoping to write about some of the wonderful and often tragic things I've been learning with the Open University, but I actually have a lot of real work to do as well. And I seem to be travelling and trawling the Internet an awful lot these days!

I hope to be writing about all the interesting items on the above bulletin soon (soon being - whenever I can), not to mention a wonderful visit to Brownsea Island to do conservation work two weeks ago. You just never know where astronomy leads, do you?

The reason the accounts merge is taking up a lot of my time (10 hours yesterday, minus a few breaks), is that I'm the one being asked to make lists of all the problems and keep the team up to date, and also people are used to me being able to solve their problems. But I can't any more! I don't have the access to profiles and data and the knowledge and experience to offer suggestions that I used to. Anyway, presumably the team know what they're doing. And as Galaxy Zoo is, shall we say, growing in quite a few new directions, it is a very fair point that they don't want their regulars to end up with several different accounts to do all the different projects.

Anyway, I just had to post a wonderful song written by LX90MAN, who was made into a ghost of the zoo by the problems:

Woke up this mornin'
And found my body gone
not even my feet and souls
I can't be seen by no-one.

Then I gets to thinkin'
what could I do
I could rich by taking money from you

Cause I'm the invisible man baby
Oh yeah I'm the invisible man baby
you can't see me but I can you
My whole life is in a temporal stew.

I called to Alice to bring me back
now waitin' on Pamela to give me substance jack
I can't take this limbo
it's makin' me insane
this way I even get sat on on an aeroplane.

Cause i'm the invisible man baby Thats right
I'm the invisible man baby
you cant see me but I can you
My whole life is in a temporal stew.

Get Well Soon Merged Zoo:
Credit: SDSS, as always.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Go, Atlantis!

Sorry for the recent silence - Earthly events have been demanding my attention, the most random of which included haring off to Manchester to spend a few hours sticking address labels onto envelopes in a room full of old sofas. For those of you who were wondering, this was an important Speak mailing, and the venue is generally used as a furniture recycling place. Speak was founded at my old university, and is a great charity. I may be an atheist, but I'm proud to be involved with it (and actually I find myself wandering into religious charity events surprisingly frequently, for the simple reason that I admire and like being part of the church's ability to work together and get so much done).

In the meantime, I've somehow started studying the history of maths; we had a great birthday bash for Kevin at the zoo, which led to a permanent zoonometer; and APOD has come up with some lovely galaxy pictures for us.

The Andromeda Galaxy

Galaxies Galore in the Perseus Cluster!

The major news which I've failed to follow properly is the event we've been looking forward to for months: the launch of Atlantis, the Hubble repair service. Stellar has done an incredible job writing that one up, so go and look at her blog to get yourself thoroughly filled in!

Update (having had time to read a bit more of the forum): Infinity and Hanny have also kept us filled in on the forum. I'm glad other people are up with the news, even if I'm not. Nothing like teamwork, eh?