Firefox Extensions Update

Get FirefoxIt’s time to update my favorite Firefox extensions lists with a couple of new entries that I find useful. I’ll try to avoid repeats, referring you to my previous posts for other favorites. Let me know if there’s any interest in a comprensive list:

  • Aardvark: Allows you to view and selectively disable different entities on a web page, especially useful for printing or understanding how a page was constructed.
  • Clusty toolbar: A great replacement or complement to Dictionary Search, Clusty lets you right click on words or phrases and get dictionary or encyclopedia “clips” as miniature pop-ups. You can easily disable the actual toolbar (I did) and rely on the right-click context menu if you want…
  • Tab Mix: I found this extension to be more stable than my previously recommended Tabbrowser Extensions. This is a must-have in order to get all the possible functionality out of tabbed browsing. The only thing I didn’t like is that it does not include a “reload tab” function, so I had to install the Reload Every extension that does the job via a right-click on the page, although I really preferred being able to right-click on the tab itself. Oh well…
  • ForecastFox: I can’t remember whether I posted that the excellent weather extension WeatherFox changed names to ForecastFox, so I’ll mention it now.
  • Flat Bookmark Editing: After you’ve installed this extension, you’ll wonder why this isn’t the default way to organize and edit bookmarks…
  • LinkChecker: This is a godsend for web developers, checking and highlighting all links in a page in green or red to indicate whether they are still active or not.
  • FxIF: Display an image’s EXIF information in the properties box if it exists.
  • MozBackup: Not really an extension, but a great application that can back up and restore your Firefox or Thunderbird profile.

Happy 15th Birthday, Hubble

Hubble image
Wired News and Rednova report that

Fifteen years ago Monday, at 12:38 p.m. Pacific Time, astronaut Steven Hawley directed the space shuttle’s robotic arm to release the Hubble Space Telescope 381 miles above the Earth, launching an era of unprecedented scientific discoveries.

In celebration of the Hubble’s 15th birthday, NASA and the ESA have released some new images taken by the telescope, which can be seen in this gallery along with some other spectacular photos.

There was some good news a couple of weeks ago in regards to the fate of the Hubble Space Telescope when NASA’s chief nominee Michael Griffin said that he would “reconsider his predecessor’s decision to ban humans from repairing the ailing Hubble Space Telescope if confirmed for the job,” although that is far from the unconditional reprieve that most people are hoping for. At least there’s a chance to save this amazing instrument that has yielded so many wondrous discoveries and images…

Suburban Buffalo

“A herd of buffalo somehow got loose and wandered around an upscale neighborhood [Pikesville, MD; near Baltimore] Tuesday, disrupting traffic and alarming homeowners before officers managed to corral them in a tennis court… Police shut down several major traffic arteries, including a section of the Baltimore Beltway, while they tried to anticipate which way the buffalo would roam.” Not a sight you see everyday… 😉

Update: There’s a somewhat sad ending to this story…

Ways Of Moving The Earth

Sam Hughes has compiled a Guide To Moving Earth:

You never know when you might want to significantly alter the orbital path of the Earth. Maybe the Sun is going Red Giant and you miss the days when lead didn’t melt in direct sunlight. Maybe Earth is about to hit an asteroid. Maybe it isn’t, but you want it to. Maybe you want to destroy it: a significant number of methods for destroying the Earth involve moving it by some substantial amount.

Well, it isn’t easy. In fact, it’s very very difficult.

He does a nice job of going over various methods, sorted by degree of plausibility. In case you’re wondering, getting everybody to jump at the same time isn’t plausible in the slightest…