A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

Blog & web site of Ian Ridley

July, 2011Archive for

Less than 7 hrs to final Shuttle Flight

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Atlantis on launch pad awaiting the last Space Shuttle flight

The weather in Florida means there is only a 30% chance that the final Space Shuttle launch will go ahead at 16:26 GMT today. The launch is usually shown on both BBC News 24 and Sky News but you also watch NASA TV online.

Proof that Selini is Sicily

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I did my M.Sc. research dissertation on using NOAA satellite data to map lava flows on Mount Etna in Sicily. So I have seen a lot of satellite images of the island.

Watching a YouTube video of “Londo’s finest moments” from Babylon 5 Season 4 “Into The Fire”, the Centauri island of Selini is shown (as it is blown up by Mollari to rid Centauri Prime of The Shadows).

I thought Selini looked a bit familiar. A screen grab and transpose in the horizontal shows that it is a slightly altered version of this shot of Sicily. A check of the Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5 showed that I am not the first to notice the “strong similarity” of the fictional Selini to the real Sicily.

Celini screen grab



The swirl of cloud off the north coast and snow-capped Mount Etna are present in both images. The main differences seem to be that Malta has been removed and Messina has been deleted to widen the Straits of Messina between the island and mainland Italy.

It’s good to know my many hours research were not totally wasted…..

…and I wonder what the special effects dept. had against Sicily?