(If this is not your first visit just scroll to
bottom for recent additions, last updated 12th December 2012)
Below are a
couple of pictures of myself just to let you have an idea what I look like.
This site is meant for friends and family scattered all over the world and as
such there will be bits from the East as well as the West. Notice how I am
dressed schizophrenically even on this one page. Hope you enjoy the selection.
Any link clicked from this page should open a new window. To
continue beyond that just return to the window showing this page. To
send me an email just click => samirkharusi
I made the
animated gif below (from 4"x6" prints, before the days of consumer digicams) to use on our company's intranet whenever I needed to
congratulate my staff for something or other, before
I retired, that is. I was supervising 2650 staff plus another
6500 contractor employees scattered all over Oman, so a face-to-face handshake
for a job well done was not always a quickie. Our capital + operating budgets
amounted to some $2 million per day, so it was always a battle to make sure
that the little guy in a far off corner in the desert was spending his own
$1000 budget wisely. He needed to know that the higher-ups did care.
So, right now, I take my hat off to you for your diligence and
perseverance until you found this site! I do care.
Having said that, bookmark this page NOW, i.e. put
it in your Favorites, and revisit every now and again ;-)
I'll be loading up new stuff every couple of
months or so.
A bit of advice to the youngsters amongst you. Decide very early on in your professional career exactly what name, spelling and format, you will be using for the rest of your career. Transliteration spelling variations from other languages create an even bigger mess. This is quite important in these days of Internet search engines. E.g. for much of my college education and rather brief career in scientific research I used to be "M.S.Kharusi" and that's where my scientific work may be Googled. I started using "Samir Kharusi" only much later, for informal stuff, closer to and post retirement, like on this website. Googling the two versions of me brings up two quite different people :-) Youngsters, you have been warned.
By the way, just
to prove that I was also a young, cool, active
cat once, have a look at my photo below, taken at Lillehammer in December 1964. Yes, 40+ years
ago! Way before the recent Winter Olympics; before most of the world had even
heard of the place, and also long before Norway entered the oil scene. Ah,
for those days when the place was actually
affordable by a student. I was staying at a Youth Hostel, just behind me in the
photo; the cleanest, nicest Youth Hostel I ever stayed in anywhere. The skiing
was great; none of the eternal anxiety of not having enough snow that is the
case in warmer places like Austria
Also note the rental ski equipment. Couldn't afford to buy
any. Boots made of leather (in those days plastic boots were too
expensive for students so I had to suffer soaking wet feet in the Cairngorms in
too cold for the snow to get wet), ski poles were real wooden poles and had
leather baskets, safety-release ski binders were an unaffordable luxury. Mine
below were bear-claw bindings. One advantage of rigid bear-claws is that you can ski as violently as you wish and the
binders never release... You can also break both legs and the binders never
Just as well.
Through some strange youthful logic, that winter in Lillehammer many of us thought that to be
really with it ("really cool" in current parlance, and why
"cool"? Something to do with global warming?), you had to ski without
ski poles... We even tried skiing without skis. All you need is your ski boots
to have flat soles (as most do) and a steep slope with quite hard snow. It IS
possible. Try it the next time you go skiing (not advisable if you are over
40!). Mind you, going up the slope on a tow rope or a T-bar without skis is not
a very smooth ride either. Perhaps your skiing abilities are at a higher plane
than mine ever reached, but it would be unwise to try skiing without skis and
without poles at the same time. I grew up in the tropics. The local kids from Lillehammer were, of
course, just amazing. After all, they even went to and from school on skis,
with satchels on their backs. And their grandmothers went to the supermarket on
stand-up toboggans. I often wonder how much the place has changed since then.
My hat also had a tiny bell at the top. Why a bell? Don't know. Just seemed like a good idea to most of us staying at the
Hostel that Christmas. Some had them on
their parkas, some on their boots, girls on their bosoms, etc.
Teenagers, you know. The thing hanging from my neck was
an exposure meter. I always went for the
top in photo equipment no matter how meager my scholarship was. That's a GossenLunasix for those in the
know. Ah, those were the days...
Have you bookmarked this page yet?
Please do so before continuing. I do not wish to lose you into cyberspace!
There's a lot of
stuff on this site, so you need to come back several times to do even one full
pass. I have been interested in photography
since childhood, so there will be lots of photos. Perhaps you can now check out
your monitor's contrast and brightness settings. Try to set them such that the colours below are nice and deep, and also that you can see
both the second brightest and the second darkest steps simultaneously. The
black and white bars at the bottom should appear smooth. If you see them as
having steps, like the other bars, it's because your monitor has been set to
8-bit colour. You'll need to reset it to
"millions of colours". It took me a long
time to assemble this little collage, so you might as well make use of it :-)
Bought myself an
astronomical telescope a few years back and I have been trying to learn how to
use it for astrophotography. So do not forget to have a look at my puny
attempts below. There's also quite a bit of stuff on normal (non-astro) photography.
Below I am including some recent photos that I am quite pleased with. I'll
replace them every now and again. Each has a story behind it. To jump to the
relevant page, related to a particular picture, just click on it:
Quick: Can you identify these two spiral galaxies?
Hint: No telescope was used; one was taken with a
14mm lens, the other with a 600mm lens, both at f4, on
a Canon 1Ds.
Map of California or a Giant Squid?Americo-centrics
call it the California Nebula:
A wide view of the Orion region; note the Witch
staring at the bright star Rigel:
Thuraya (the Chandelier):
Glowing Gases blown off a Supernova in Cygnus, accentuated by
H-alpha and OIII Narrowband Imaging:
And here's one that is all narrowband in deep red H-alpha, the Flaming Star:
Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, a sparkly M13:
Liked the sparkles? What about a little twinkling?
Visiting Antares, the most
colorful region of the night sky:
And here's Saturn through different sized scopes,
different years, but same rooftop, a TV140 (5.5" aperture), a C8 and a
C14. Aperture rules!
from 2004 onwards, using a Celestron CGE 1400 (lately
an AP1200 and a KenkoSkymemo)
and camera lenses (the
thumbnails give you a taster for the page):