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Christian Nimsky's Weblog

Filtering by Category: Misc

Inspiring High Altitude Photography Under $150

Christian Nimsky

Long Island from 93,000 feetI love it when someone does a thing both audacious and deceptively practical.  Two students at MIT successfully launched a digital camera to 93,000 feet using a weather balloon and recovered it. Their total project costs were in the $150 range, well within the means of the average human.

That’s high enough to see the black sky of near-space.  The recovery was done via a Boost Mobile phone with GPS.  The image above is from the project’s website at  Go check it out and make a donation.  They deserve it.

Ashes, Ashes...

Christian Nimsky

Ashes, Ashes…

This latest batch of wildfires suprised me with the speed that they threw smoke and ash into the air. We’re nowhere near the fires but the ground in our neighborhood is covered with it and we continue to have “snowflakes” falling from the sky.

The sun is reddish beige in the middle of the day.

This Won't Hurt a Bit - Hold Still Please...

Christian Nimsky


(c) CERN, Image courtesy of Boston.comJust wanted to point out some great photos (and humorous user comments) on of the Large Hadron Collider, which at 27km long is the largest particle accelerator and one of the most important scientific experiments of our time.  My favorite user-generated one-liner: “I hope it’s not running Windows Vista.” Its amazing to see such beautiful photos of technology that could change our understanding of the very fabric of our universe.  Thanks to Brad Feld for posting about this; otherwise I wouldn’t have seen it.

Wrapping up a busy week

Christian Nimsky

Been kinda quiet here this past week or so - one of the things I did was attend the first annual Defrag Conference in Denver.  Get a group of extremely smart people together to address a large issue (the implicit web) and some interesting things happen.

Sean Ammirati has posted a good summary of the conference.  It was nice to go to an event that wasn’t 50% PR fodder and it was nice to meet some people like Jeremy and Brad whose blogs I’ve been following for a while.

More Smoke

Christian Nimsky

Smoke as seen from space - Image courtesy of NASA/MODIS Rapid Response
Smoke as seen from space - Image courtesy of NASA/MODIS Rapid Response

Image courtesy of NASA/MODIS Rapid Response.

Another smoky day in paradise, though in our neighborhood we have things much easier than folks in San Diego who are calling their own answering machines to see if their houses are still standing. 


Christian Nimsky

Southern California Fires

We have an air alert due to smoke and ash from fires burning in Southern California.  I’m working from home today and I stepped outside at lunch to find dirty cars, ash on the street and a yellow sun.

There normally would be a large hill (Palos Verdes peninsula) easily visible over my neighbor’s house in this photo.

Johnny Appleseed

Christian Nimsky

My daughter loves Johnny Appleseed.  She sings a Zak Morgan song about his story and recently had us buy her a book with a story about Johnny Appleseed.  I read the book to her tonight, the story of which largely parallels the lore contained in the song.  I chuckled at the fact that today some guy wandering around randomly planting apple trees everywhere he went would be accused of environmental irresponsibility at a minimum, and environmental terrorism in an extreme case.

Except that’s not what he did.  After my daughter finally went to bed, I looked him up in Wikipedia.  He evidently had a much more complex life, and I’m glad that I looked him up.  Go read about Johnny Appleseed

Back from NY And A Nasty Cold

Christian Nimsky

I took a business trip to New York this past week and then had a nasty cold, so I didn’t post much.  I’m pretty unfamiliar with New York, and unwittingly booked a hotel right next to the World Trade Center site (the Marriott Financial Center). 

One day I was there I used GMaps to try and find the WTC site and erroneously thought I should go about 7 blocks south.  I didn’t find it, went to a dinner I had scheduled at Nobu (in the area) and the next morning tried again by asking the doorman at the hotel.  When I asked he gave me a look like I was a serious idiot and now I know why.  I was right next to it the entire time.

If you find yourself in the area please go by and visit FDNY Station House #10.  These guys were involved in the recovery operation and lost men in the effort.  They have a memorial up and it is worth a visit. 

Moving from GApps to Zimbra

Christian Nimsky

Well this note won’t move markets or anything since we’re talking just a handful of users here, but Nimsky family ops here in California - after long and arduous discussions - has moved its email hosting from Google Apps For Your Domain to a hosted Zimbra implementation provided by

Zimbra rocks, and I’m glad they got picked up by Yahoo.  For more on why we moved and some tips for making the jump yourself, read on.  If you could care less about switching email, skip the click.

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Christian Nimsky

In my last post (April!) I said that I was moving to Media Temple and Expression Engine.  I have used Expression Engine for years to run Kidzwire and I think its one of the best pieces of publishing software written.  I also have an active Media Temple account and like their hosting setup quite a bit.  One of the few weakpoints of Expression Engine however is that EE’s stock templates are relatively few and are really meant to show you how to use EE to achieve a variety of formatting effects.  Customization therefore requires diving into code. 

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