Saturday Scenes

Wed 29 September 2010

Crystal Balls

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 16:40

On the 25th of September 2060, Saturday Scenes was named the most interesting photography collaboration in the world. The automated system, configured to share scenes with Twitter users every Saturday, won the prestigious 2060 BS (Best Software) award. SatScene submitters have received many tributes for the everyday photography which has enchanted users for over 50 years.

[Visitors from 2060: Be sure to come back and tell me in the comments if I got it wrong.]

On the 25th of September 2010, Saturday Scenes was still run by hand. Unfortunately, I will not have connectivity for the next two weeks, which causes a bit of a problem. But do not despair: Saturday Scenes will not be stopped!

I have a volunteer who will be watching for @SatScenes mentions and retweeting them so you won’t miss your Saturday pleasure. I have specifically requested that he refrain from posting puns, so you should be safe in his hands.

With a fair wind and a bit of luck, the blog post with the full set will be posted mid-week as usual but at worst, I’ll do both posts upon my return in mid-October.

Meanwhile, we have a great set of photographs from 25th of September ready for you to ooh and aah over:

Say hello to our early adopters:

If things are a little bit wonky in the next edition, please be patient and send a tweet to SatScenes to let us know!

Thu 23 September 2010

A Lot Faster than the Hare

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 17:49

On the 18th of September 1968, two steppe tortoises from the Soviet Union flew around the moon. They were in a Soyuz 7K-L1 called Zond-5, which also carried a collection of insects and plant matter to test their reaction to being in space. The space craft flew around the Moon, taking photographs, measuring radiation and collecting data. A few days later, the re-entry capsule returned to earth, landing in the Indian Ocean.

The tortoises lost weight but were said to be in good health and active.

In praise of space monkeys (and tortoises) | The Daily Planet

One of my favorites, though, is the tale of two Russian tortoises (unnamed?) who, along with some meal worms and fruit fly eggs, traveled to the moon onboard the Zond 5 capsule in September 1968. Three months before the Apollo 8 astronauts, they rounded the lunar far side and returned to Earth safe and sound. Tortoises are fairly intelligent creatures, and long-lived. I wonder what happened to them. I like to imagine they’re sitting in some reptile retirement home in Moscow today, shaking their heads and asking each other, “Man, do you believe we did that?”

Sometimes it is simply a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

On the 18th of September 2010, these photographers were scattered all over the world – but each and everyone one of them was at the right place for an interesting Saturday Scene. Take a look:

Ask these wonderful Saturday Scene submitters a question and find out more about them:

Why don’t you join us? It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

Thu 16 September 2010


Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 13:37

On (or somewhere near) the 11th of September in the year 9 CE was the Hermannsschlacht, the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. An alliance of Germanic tribes ambushed the Romans, driving them away from the Rhine valley. Although the Romans appear to have continued to try to conquer these lands, they never gained a sustained occupation in “Germania” past the Rhine but contented themselves with raids across the river in retribution for the lost battle

The Ambush That Changed History

Had Rome not been defeated, says historian Herbert W. Benario, emeritus professor of classics at EmoryUniversity, a very different Europe would have emerged. “Almost all of modern Germany as well as much of the present-day Czech Republic would have come under Roman rule. All Europe west of the Elbe might well have remained Roman Catholic; Germans would be speaking a Romance language; the Thirty Years’ War might never have occurred, and the long, bitter conflict between the French and the Germans might never have taken place.”

And more importantly, if the Romans hadn’t left Hamburg alone, we might never have had hamburgers and at least two of our Saturday Scenes would never have happened!

So, thanks to a clever ambush 2001 years ago, these great photographs were taken on the 11th of September in 2010:

Say hello to the people who snapped these scenes for you to enjoy:

Saturday Scenes is a great way to see the world from other people’s points of view! Taking part is easy:

1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
2. Send it to @SatScenes on Twitter
3. Wait for the webpage to get updated
4. Oooh and aah over all the great submissions from all over the world!

So take a photograph this weekend and send it to @SatScenes!

Thu 9 September 2010


Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 16:17

On the 4th of September in 1998, a company called Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University. They’d created a search engine as a research project, believing that they could improve search results by analysing the relationships between websites rather than simply counting how many times the search term appeared on any given page. They were right.

Google – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Page and Brin originally nicknamed their new search engine “BackRub”, because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site. Eventually, they changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word “googol”, the number one followed by one hundred zeros, which was meant to signify the amount of information the search engine was to handle. Originally, Google ran under the Stanford University website, with the domain The domain was registered on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998, at a friend’s garage in Menlo Park, California.

Do you think we should change our name to SatCsenes? Or maybe SatSeenz! We’ll all be millionaires by the end of the decade!

Meanwhile, I won’t make you search. All of these great scenes from Saturday were taken on the 4th of September in 2010:

These are the people ahead of their time who submitted a Saturday Scene:

Send rich-making thoughts to all of these fine people for sharing a scene from their Saturday with you:

Why don’t you join us? It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

Wed 1 September 2010


Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 18:59

On the 28th of August 413 BC, the moon disappeared.

It was a lunar eclipse, when the sun, Earth and moon align exactly so that the sun’s rays are blocked by the earth. But they didn’t know that in 413 BC. The Athenians were in Sicily as a part of the Peloponesian War and were prepared to retreat and regroup if this sudden message from the Gods had not arrived.

Sicilian Expedition – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Just as the Athenians were preparing to sail home, there was a lunar eclipse, and Nicias, described by Thucydides as a particularly superstitious man, asked the priests what he should do. They suggested the Athenians wait for another twenty-seven days, and Nicias agreed. The Syracusans took advantage of this, and seventy-six of their ships attacked eighty-six Athenian ships in the harbour. The Athenians were defeated.

This decisive loss put the Athenians into a desperate position and it was not long after that they were thoroughly defeated by the Syracusan, ending the expedition. They lost tens of thousands of trained men and the entire fleet. This resulted in many neutral states allying with Sparta against a now-weakened Athens and revolts in the city which led to the government being overthrown within a few years. The lunar eclipse on the 28th of August was the beginning of the end for Athens. By 404 BC it was occupied by Sparta.

However, do not despair! On the 28th of August 2010, SatScenes was only just beginning! The moon was waning but clearly visible in the skies and the photographs taken are all, I am sure, portents of good times to come.

See for yourself:

And these are our victorious submitters:

You can find out what all of these great people are up to simply by checking the Saturday Scenes list which includes everyone who has participated this year.

And if you’d like to join in, just take a photograph on Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with the location! It’s easy and fun and we love seeing new sights.

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