Sunday, May 6, 2012

Around the World with the International Space Station

Click here to see a large version of this video!

I have mentioned the Astronomy Picture of the Day in a previous post.

This time, I wanted to mention an amazing video of the Earth that was shot from the International Space Station.

I noticed Italy and Sicily, then Egypt with the Nile Delta, plus several Aurora. There's a page at Starship Asterisk where members have created a guide to what you can see in the video. I noticed a bright, orange squiggle that Starship Asterisk members identified as the India/Pakistan border.

Great stuff!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Found on Ebay: 1939 RCA Storytone Electric Piano

click images to enlarge!

Here's something you don't see every day: a 1939 RCA Storytone Electric Piano. The piano is listed on Ebay for $250,000, but there's a "make offer" option, so maybe you could get it for less if you're interested. It's a real Art Deco beauty. The Piedmont Piano Company in the Bay Area has a nice page with some information and additional pictures of another Storytone Piano.

Here's a recording of Earl Hines playing a Storytone Piano. The Storytone was strung much like an acoustic piano, and had a pickup but no soundboard (according to the Piedmont Piano Company) but I can't figure out what kind of pickup it had. The Storytone has an interesting sound, but not as distinctive as either a Fender Rhodes piano, which uses tines and magnetic pickups, or the Wurlitzer Electric Piano, which uses metal reeds with an electrostatic pickup.

Here's the link to the Ebay listing in case you'd like to make an offer on the Storytone.