Very close encounters


Asteroid 2011 CQ1 was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on February 4 and made a record close Earth approach 14 hours later on February 4 at 19:39 UT. It passed to within 0.85 Earth radii (only 5480 km !) of the Earth's surface over a region in the mid-Pacific. This object, only about one meter in diameter, is the closest non-impacting object in our asteroid catalog to date !

Prior to the Earth close approach, this object was in a so-called Apollo-class orbit that was mostly outside the Earth's orbit. Following the close approach, the Earth's gravitational attraction modified the object's orbit to an Aten-class orbit where the asteroid spends almost all of its time inside the Earth's orbit.

Vintage synth explorer


In the ol'e days, everything was better, even synthesizers, apparently. The Vintage Synth Explorer was established back in 1996 in order to provide a fast and easy way to learn about vintage synthesizers. It has grown to include modern digital and analog emulators, software synths, plug-ins, and other new types of synthesizers and samplers, now containing over more than 600 instruments, such as the famous Korg Radias or the Roland Juno-160.

Highland Park, 16yo


One of the drawbacks of the gaining popularity of whisky, is the increasing amount of wannabe-connoisseurs. How to recognize them ? Simply, they're the ones sending back a perfectly good single malt because there's a tiny ice block in it. Because "it's diluted with water" ! Dude, just go back to your bottles of Chivas or Jameson, shees !

That issue been vented, time for another tasting of one of my favorites : Highland Park, this time the 16yo variant. This Highland Park was created exclusively for global travel retail and duty free markets and was first released in October 2005, it was withdrawn in April 2010. I found this one liter treat while waiting for my plane in Budapest. One of the advantages of duty-free shops, is that they provide a more cheaper provisioning as whisky gets more and more expensive.

The color : amber
The nose : a wealth of floral bouquet, a speck of peat, layered with a thick honey aroma. This is gonna be a real treat !
The taste : oily, then some malt and full of pepper; and after that, spices and flowers. A loooong gentle aftertaste that keeps caressing your taste buds with marvelous caramelized fruit and honey.

Again a clear winner, but that's no surprise from a Highland Park.

Macallan, 1999


The people behind The Macallan have managed to cultivate an 'exclusive' and luxurious brand perception, even though the distillery actually has the second largest production capacity in Scotland, right behind Glenfiddich. The distillery is Speyside’s best known heavyweight – and constantly embracing a new challenge : its current view is that the reaction between wood and sherry is also of great importance. This appears to wash out the harshest tannins and help release a rich, rounded spiciness. This is felt to be far more significant than any aromas and flavors imparted by the sherry itself. One rather extreme piece of research suggested that barely a third of aromas and flavors originated from the spirit, almost 60 per cent from the oak, and less than 10 per cent from the sherry.

That's why it's no surprise that my whisky reseller praised me the Macallan Gordon & McPhail 1999 vintage edition, as a must in every liquor cabinet. As I'm a man who's fond of good advice, the bottle was mine some minutes later.

The color : amber, dark gold.
The nose : sweet, fruity, typical Speyside. So far no surprises.
The taste : oh so sweet, could be creamy rum for what it's worth. Apples, honey, raisins. Some chocolate and malt, and after that, light sherry tones flowing in, with an amazing caramel candy aftertaste that lingers forever. Wonderfully complex and ditto balanced.

This Macallan is not good, it's excellent ! One of the best Speysides I've ever tasted. So sweet, so friendly, such a marvellous combination of sherry & whisky tastes.

Perladvent 2010


Does Christmas reminds you of snowy weather, eggnog and turkeys ? Not here with us ! We rejoice every year in the arrival of the Perl Advent calendar, this year again also in a Perl6 edition.


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