Monday, September 24, 2012

Distances from Bonn

I came up with the strange idea of sorting European capitals by how far they are from the town I live in (Bonn, Germany) and found that half a dozen of foreign capitals are nearer than the capital of Germany.

City Country Distance in km
Luxembourg City Luxembourg 142
City of Brussels Belgium 195
Amsterdam Netherlands 234
Paris France 400
Bern Switzerland 425
Vaduz Liechtenstein 437
Berlin Germany 478
London United Kingdom 510
Prague Czech Republic 527
Copenhagen Denmark 659
Vienna Austria 726
Ljubljana Slovenia 755
Bratislava Slovakia 779
Monaco Monaco 779
City of San Marino San Marino 857
Zagreb Croatia 857
Budapest Hungary 942
Dublin Republic of Ireland 957
Warsaw Poland 976
Oslo Norway 1047
Rome Italy 1065
Vatican City Vatican City 1065
Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina 1143
Stockholm Sweden 1181
Belgrade Serbia 1195
Vilnius Lithuania 1300
Riga Latvia 1308
Podgorica Montenegro 1347
Madrid Spain 1421
Minsk Belarus 1430
Tirana Albania 1432
Ankara Turkey 1447
Skopje Macedonia 1463
Tallinn Estonia 1474
Sofia Bulgaria 1522
Helsinki Finland 1530
Bucharest Romania 1583
Chişinău Moldova 1639
Kiev Ukraine 1648
Valletta Malta 1745
Lisbon Portugal 1845
Athens Greece 1931
Moscow Russia 2086
Reykjavík Iceland 2257
Tbilisi Georgia 3034
Yerevan Armenia 3106
Baku Azerbaijan 3469

If you find this idea interesting what about composing a similar table for the location you live in?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obtaining Tweeted Images in Original Size

An increasing number of tweets contains images uploded to twitter. Here is one example:
A particular example

I assume that you know how to find out URLs of images that are used on a web page.

The URL of the image you see in the tweet is with the dimensions 600px × 428px (scaled to 435px × 310px).

If you click on the image to obtain a larger version you are presented with with the dimensions 1,024px × 730px. This still isn't the original image.

I then made a well-educated guess and tried and it actually worked; I got the original size image with dimensions 2,048px × 1,460px.

So all you need to do to obtain an original size image is to append »:orig« to the URL of the small version of the image.

Note that this only works for images uploaded to twitter not for images hosted on flickr.

Here is one example: shows a nice photo of a blue moon; the 3 MP image can be found at

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Polar Sea Ice Page Updated

I had to update the Polar Sea Ice page because it referred to the record ice extent as data of 2007 while in reality the record extents (minimum in the Arctic, maximum in the Antarctic) are currently being updated every day (as of writing this on 2012-09-02).

I originally did not expect this to become necessary so soon. The reason for this misjudgement of mine is the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation. Back in 2008 I learned that it should currently be counteracting the effect of global warming on the Arctic region.

A BBC article of 2008-05-01 puts it like that:
The Earth's temperature may stay roughly the same for a decade, as natural climate cycles enter a cooling phase … A new computer model … suggests the cooling will counter greenhouse warming. However, temperatures will again be rising quickly by about 2020 …
In contrast, a recent BBC article (2012-08-27) has this to say:
A recent paper from Reading University … [estimated] that between 5-30% of the recent ice loss was due to Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation - a natural climate cycle repeating every 65-80 years. It's been in warm phase since the mid 1970s.
Allow me to call this difference in description a little strange.

NASA: Arctic sea ice reaches record low