Archive for September, 2007

One more incredible photo of Tungurahua volcano

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Today I saw an incredible photo by the photographer Patrick Taschler and wrote a few words on the subject.

Imagine my surprise, when a few minutes ago I received a comment коментар (in the Bulgarian version of my blog) from the author himself:)))

In his comment, Patrick gave me a link to another photo of the same volcano.

Here it is:

Volcano Tungurahua erupts

The short explanatory text below is also worth reading:

I decided to head for Ecuador, driven by my love of mountains and an insatiable urge to travel. I got more than I bargained for when I arrived, because I discovered that the Tungurahua volcano, located around 80 miles south of the country’s capital Quito, was about to erupt and was spewing dense smoke and lava. I approached it from the west, which was said to be the good weather side, since the clouds generally roll in from the east amazonas.

The road I was on ended at Puela, a little town at the western slopes of the volcano. Night fell and the clouds dissipated and I found myself staying up all night to observe and to take pictures. I’m quite a fan of astronomy and so I realised that the star cluster M45 (pleiades) was about to appear in the night sky on this moonless night, and that it would emerge more or less behind the crater.

That’s exactly what happened, I took my picture using a Canon D20 and 70-200mm combination, with an exposure time of around 20 seconds. It was a difficult shot to take, thanks to the humidity and the fact that ash was falling fairly liberally around me: my camera is now worth half its price!

The next morning I started my walk along the flanks of the volcano to reach Banos: there had been a road, but much of it had been destroyed by lava flows. The villages I passed were semi-deserted and the vegetation was covered with ash: all the time what really scared me about the volcano was that it was so quiet… no explosions, and my fear was that something was building up. Time, I told myself, to get out of here!

The following night the villages of Bilbao and Penipe suffered heavy damage and those of Chilibu, Chogloctuz and Palitagua got wiped out.

An interesting story. Now, after I’ve read it, I look with a bit different eye on the two photos from that volcano… :-)

* * *

It’s amazing, how technology now allows us in a completely different way to communicate, and to meet (in a direct or in-direct way), with people from the other side of the world:)

A popular slogan by Nokia should be (instead of: “Nokia. Connecting People.”):

Internet. Connecting people(tm)

Or how could I learn then about Patrick Taschler? :-)

PS Here’s Patrick Taschler’s portfolio (in a bit strange for me Flash format):

How to prevent Google from indexing WordPress RSS feeds

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

I love to optimize my WordPress-based blog. The only problem is, I rarely have enough time to do it — and still, there are some small improvements, which may take less than 5 minutes of your time, and yet have a tangible impact on your overall blog optimization.

One of these things is how we can prevent Google (and other search engines) from indexing (searching) the WordPress RSS feeds.

The next few lines will be dedicated to this problem (and how we can solve it).

Where to start?

I remember that some time ago I was checking which pages of are indexed in Google.

I was puzzled by the fact that, beside the blog posts, I have found a lot of RSS feeds, which were also indexed.

Why you do not need Google to index/spider the RSS feeds?

First of all, the indexed (searched) content is duplicated – the last 10 posts or the last comments, available via RSS, can be read on the blog itself. Second point, RSS is meant to be used with an RSS reader, not to be read in the browser window (text and images won’t be formatted, for example). Last, but not least, who would like after a performed internet search to land on a un-formatted RSS page with comments, for example, instead of on the blog post itself, to which the comments are related? And this happened to me, and more than once…

(Example: you can use this link to subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog, or just to check the ten last blog posts from optimiced in RSS format.)

Can we prevent this from happening?

I searched the Internet for some time, until finally I dropped on the WordPress Support forum, where the solution was found, and the thread itself, titled “Prevent indexing of feed pages”, was marked as ‘resolved’.

Here’s the way to do it – you must use a robots.txt file.

What is robots.txt?

robots.txt graphicAs the name itself suggests, robots.txt* is a text file in the standard text format (.TXT), intended to use by robots:-)

But not all robots, of course (for example, Roomba doesn’t count;-), but only by the search machines (spiders), like Google, Live Search (until recently MSN Search), Yahoo!, Alta Vista and all other search (ro)bots.


Just an incredible photo of Tungurahua volcano

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

I often drop a look to the website of NASA for astronomical photography (APOD).

I remained speechless, when I saw today’s photo:

Volcano Tungurahua erupts

Follow the link and see the photo in larger size, and also read the explanation:

Volcano Tungurahua erupted spectacularly last year. Pictured above, molten rock so hot it glows visibly pours down the sides of the 5,000-meter high Tungurahua, while a cloud of dark ash is seen being ejected toward the left. Wispy white clouds flow around the lava-lit peak, while a star-lit sky shines in the distance. The above image was captured last year as ash fell around the adventurous photographer. Located in Ecuador, Tungurahua has become active roughly every 90 years since for the last 1,300 years. Volcano Tungurahua has started erupting again this year and continues erupting at a lower level even today.

— This is what I call a brave photographer! He was brave enough to put his camera and himself near an erupting volcano! :-)


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