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Photo Favorites: Greatest Photos of Earth

February 23rd, 2011 Comments off

"Blue Marble" by Apollo 17 crew. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. December 7, 1972

Sometimes after a rough week, a round night or seeing your beloved Commodores choke against the Volunteers, you need a little reminder to keep things in perspective. One easy way to do so is by revisiting the mastery of photography that reveals the wonders of the universe. While the Hubble images are often the most powerfully beautiful and the images of Jovian moons from Galileo or Saturnial satellites (particularly Enceladus) by Cassini are awe inspiring, there’s nothing quite like a few images of this world we call home to keep one grounded.

After the jump, I’ve linked three of my favorites and one which I wasn’t previously aware of, posted in chronological order. You’ll likely want to click on at least the first three images to get a bigger view, otherwise you might just miss out on spotting Earth altogether.

Click on through to keep reading. Read more…

Photo Favorites: Jupiter over Manhattan

September 21st, 2010 Comments off

Follow NDGT at @NeilTyson on Twitter.

Earlier today I noted a few tweets from America’s astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  NDGT has been excited over a spectacular night for viewing Jupiter both tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).

Well, as I was walking home amongst the stop lights, the red was emphatically stated with the LED flashes and the red planet glaring down at me.  I was discussing recently how amazing it is that New York’s air quality has improved so much that you can now actually see the stars on a regular basis.  When I was growing up, the incinerator smoke and smog choked out the stars.  No more.  Now we get a real light show and never more so than tonight with Jupiter’s stark clarity and brightness.

OK, so the Leonid meteor shower may be better, but this night still has me yearning for a telescope (and rural living).

Click on through to see a couple of photos I snapped.  Note that you can actually see the red tint of the planet.  Read more…

Photo Favorites: Nico Roig’s tribute to “Relativity”

July 30th, 2010 Comments off

MC Escher’s epic print “Relativity” might be my favorite work of modern art. The original appears here:

Well a Spanish artist named Nico Roig (link to his panorama page) in Barcelona who toys with 360 Panoramas has taken general “Relativity” and made it special “Relativity” with a fantastic tribute. Hop through the jump to check it, and another work out. Read more…

Goodnight, Good Friend

May 24th, 2010 Comments off

The series truly came down to Jack and his destiny. Not how I saw it ended, but I liked it a lot. (Collage image c/o Arrows and Accolades)

I’m not going to even make an effort at a Quick Hits post on tonight’s LOST. I had a couple of friends over for a homemade pizza and LOST party. Now, 6 hours in (halfway through Jimmy Kimmel’s “Aloha LOST”), the friends have headed off an I’m breathing in what I thought was a darn near perfect way to close the series. 

There was no pretense of trying to tie through all of the mythological loose ends; however, it’s perfectly alright.  There was never any over exertion.  There weren’t any truly short shrift answers that left me feeling hollow (well, except what was at the bottom of the waterfall, though they didn’t go deep enough to draw any real criticism for it.  

Above all else, the show was a reunion of sorts that made you appreciate truly just how far things have come.  Looking back as the characters finally clicked was really moving at times… far more so than the sepia overtones would make you think.  I’m sure I wasn’t alone in thinking this really was a nice goodbye. 

That said, I’m sure what everyone really wants to see is the pizza.  Pics after the jump. Read more…

A Compendium of GIFs from ICP’s “Miracles”

April 19th, 2010 3 comments

It would be a little more understandable for someone who grew up without a public education system and the interwebs to be as ignorant as the ICP is.

Sometimes music videos can, in fact, be too good.  A few weeks ago, the Insane Clown Posse, a ridiculous duo from inner city Detroit trailer parks who dress up like clowns while screaming their horrorcore raps [ed. note: I may have to close down this site after realizing I just typed those words], released a touching, pondering video that grasps at one’s heart as you try to fathom just how bad our education system is.

The duo strayed from their normal talks about violence to pen a fitting song about just how little they know about the world.  They even have a line warning scientists and their empirical explanations to stay away because the ICP thinks scientists lie (the ICP also are apparently against climate change scientists).  They actually name a variety of natural phenomena a no things that could even remotely be classified as “miracles.”  It’s almost as ironic as Alanis Morrisette writing a song called “Isn’t it ironic” about a series of coincidences.

The song has taken on minor viral status with features throughout the interwebs, on Attack of the Show and now on Saturday Night Live.  After the jump, I’ve linked the video for those who have been uninitiated.  Also linked are the hilarious Saturday Night Live sketch and a series of my favorite animated GIFs from the interwebs.

Warning, the video includes some bad language (mostly F-bombs) and the page load time will be pretty hearty as the animated gifs are in excess of 10 MB.  Enjoy! Read more…

My Jack Handy Moments: Whoah, dude

April 8th, 2010 Comments off

Anyone who says the eye has been intelligently designed need only be reminded of two things: 1) it only registers as visible a small band of electromagnetic radiation and 2) it is incredibly subject to optical illusion and cognitive bias in recognition.  In other words, we often see what we want to see or are easily manipulated to see what others want us to see.

Optical illusions are a total “Whoah, dude” moment because you can know exactly what you’re tricked into seeing (“It’s not a schooner… it’s a sailboat.”) and still be completely at the mercy of the photos.  This is because the authors of images either intentionally or coincidentally play on the fact that the human brain (and the eye in particular) attempts to be efficient and in doing so takes shortcuts in processing data based on what you would expect to see.

Here are some of my favorites.

I still have a hard time believing this isn't a spiral. You will too.

More “blow your mind” after the break. Read more…

Photo Favorites: Forgive

March 22nd, 2010 Comments off

Flickr user awesometown somehow got both the name this blog wanted and also this amazing sunrise photo named Forgive.

The Creationism Musuem… Must… Go… There.

January 4th, 2010 Comments off

At the Creationism Museum you can teach your little ones "real" history... like the "fact" that people rode Triceratops by putting saddles on them. Yep, good science.

There is a magical land about 5 miles west of Cincinnati where the beauty of imagination meets the batshit crazy of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. This land is the Creationism Museum.

Back when it opened, Ed Rothstein of the New York Times did a critical writeup of it, and Wired announced it was the last straw of crazy.  I can’t say I disagree with Wired on much of anything… least of all this.

I have long sought the opportunity or reason to visit Petersburg, KY to see the Museum, but have had no excuse to go to Cincy. I initially thought the museum was in the south-central part of Kentucky, in which case I could have driven up during a trip to Nashville, but there is really little excuse to ever intentionally go to Ohio, much less Kentucky. So, alas, I have to rely on the visits of others for photographic evidence of the insanity.

CLICK TO KEEP READING AND TO VIEW THE PHOTO GALLERY Read more…

Photo Favorites: Khron

December 22nd, 2009 Comments off

Photo courtesy of Khron

Animated GIFs hold a certain, odd fascination for me.  They’re no more impressive than streaming video, but their simplicity and, often, repetition is engrossing.

Few Animated GIF nature albums have impressed me as much as the one I came across on Tumblr and Flickr by Khron:

Flickr website

Tumblr blog

I recommend you check out both.  In the meantime, I’ve placed a few of my favorites after the jump.  They’re big files, so be wary when clicking if you care about a non-fast page download or bandwith.  Total size is about 7.5MB.

Click to view on through Read more…

Photos: Snow in the City

December 21st, 2009 Comments off

Saturday through Sunday, New York was pelted with about a foot of snow.  We escaped with a lot less damage done than DC and even parts of the metropolitan region, but a good snow always can be fun.  Attached are some photos I took on my way to and back from the gym on Saturday and Sunday.

Click through for full size looks and other images. Read more…