Taking a break from my normal exposition on stats, New York or pizza I’d like to espouse the wonders of baking soda and vinegar!

My sink was clogged, not with anything specific, but just years worth of gunk.  So after scraping out what I could with my hands and a wire hanger–and wanting to avoid caustic chemicals like Drano–I searched the Internet to see if Listerene or Coca-Cola might do the trick.  But extensive searching led me to baking soda and vinegar.

It’s very simple:  Stuff a half cup of baking soda into the train then pour a half cup of vinegar down it, return the sink stopper and wait 15 minutes.  Then pour down another half cup of vinegar, close the stopper and wait another 15 minutes.  After that pour a gallon (a tea kettle’s worth) of boiling water down the drain and you’re done!  Not only will it unclog your drain, it leaves all the chrome shining like new!

For those of us who never got to make a model volcano in science class it was really awesome watching the baking soda and vinegar react

As many people are aware two nights ago was a total lunar eclipse that occured on the winter solstice, a pretty rare combination.  I won’t go into the math behind the eclipse or the solstice or discuss the rarity or physics of the event.  I just want to show off these great pictures.  Early Tuesday morning my friend John (who is not a professional photographer) and I climbed up to the roof of my building with his pro camera and gear armed only with many layers of Under Armour and North Face and hot chocolate.

We took probably a hundred pictures, but these are the two he sent me.  They were taken with a high end Canon DSLR with a powerful telephoto lens and a tripod.  I’m not certain of the specifics, but we used a middle-sized aperture setting and long exposures, ranging from 4 to 30 seconds.  Next up I want to mount this thing to a telescope.

He also took a bunch of pictures on a behind-the-scenes tour of Grand Central that I find breathtaking.

One more pic after the break. Continue reading