Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

An ant with a microchip. My God, now they're building computers!

Wrinkled photoresist (x200)

Lobster larva

Geranium architecture.

Crystallized potassium chlorate (x40)
Get a load of this incredible hailstone, which fell recently during a thunderstorm near Norman, Oklahoma. If that is real, well then, I don't even think it would be safe indoors. Or wearing a motorcycle helmet. Or pretty much anywhere outside of an armored vehicle.

Honestly, I wonder if this is real. The previous record holder seems to have been much smaller.

Aye! Behold ye scallawags and sea dogs! The very anchor from Blackbeard's vessel, Queen Anne's Revenge, has been found and raised from the deep for the first time since the early 1700's. It looks in amazingly good shape after so long resting in the briny deep.

Here is our modern image of the stalwart pirate captain, from the latest of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

The real Blackbeard, whose actual name was Edward Teach, was even more intimidating. Below is a near contemporary drawing of the fellow. Legend has it he tied smoldering fuses to his hair and beard to make his already fearsome appearance even more horrifiying.

Below is the banner flown from the mainmast of the Queen Anne's Revenge while it sailed the seas, prowling for the helpless plunder that coursed through the channels and sea roads of the Atlantic and Caribbean. With the rover Blackbeard at the helm, such a sight must have struck terror into the quivering hearts of the merchant seamen who were his prey.

Tornados through about some mighty wind power. Imagine if that was your head!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Multiple errors are exhibited in this video exchange between hiker and bear. First, the hiker keeps backing away, which gives the bear the idea he is retreating (which of course he is). He should have stood his ground and actually advanced while yelling and waving his walking stick, and he should have done that while he was on the high ground at the beginning of the film. And forget filming this, he clearly had bigger, furrier problems to deal with. The idea is to convince the bear that you are not prey, and will fight. That should have put an end to the encounter. Further, we assume this guy got away in the end, and that the camera wasn't found later by a search party after he had gone missing for a week!

About a minute in it suddenly begins to rain hard, then the trees start to sway violently, and then things actually get interesting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The sun rises over the San Joaquin Valley.

The space shuttle creates a fine image as it punches through a cloud deck.

Winner of a contest to interpret the visual form of the president's signature

The secret service boys decided to fill up the president's massive, high centering limo, known as "The Beast," during their visit to merry olde England.....at a BP station! Well, BP did contribute mightily to his campaign.

I hope they didn't "accidentally" spill anything on the ground while topping off!

Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan and Jim Lovell weigh in on the Obama administration's plans for NASA.

If you are wondering who those three fellows are, then the picture above might be a hint. Considering what they have accomplished, their opinions on the issue have ought to be listened to carefully.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Volcanic Eruption in Grimsvotn, Iceland May 21 2011 from Jon Gustafsson on Vimeo.

Dramatic video, although you have seen what there is to see after the first minute and a half. Be sure to full screen it for best effect.

Grimsvötn ashfall in Iceland.

Source: Reuters

Some very recent photos of the Grimsvötn volcano erupting up through the glacier. Now it also appears that flights are about to be cancelled in the UK due to ashfall. Modify your travel plans accordingly.

More great pictures here.
Mondays, they're like that.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dang! I especially like that model of the Millennium Falcon on the nightstand, and the stuffed fox on the chest of drawers. Kids these days .... this video gives me faith in them!
My wife requested that I bake up a loaf of Shepherd's bread in the dutch oven so we could have it tonight when she made spaghetti. So, here is the result of the morning's labor with the flour, yeast, and black iron. I think she will be pleased!

Here it is fresh out of the oven. Perfectly browned on top, nice and creamy every where else.

More crazy Icelandic volcano eruptions, from last years Eyjafjallajökul fireworks.

This one below looks like some kind of Mordor shot, missing only a forlorn Samwise and Frodo to be complete.

Icelandic horses don´t care about the earth splitting open and belching lava only a few miles away.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

While here on Earth the Icelanders are experiencing another volcanic eruption, on Jupiter's moon Io there are two sulfurous eruptions occurring simultaneously. On the top of the photo you can see a bluish plume that rises 140 km above the moon's surface, while in the middle near the transition between night and day, another large eruption s coming up directly towards the viewer from the circular feature.

Note that the lower plume actually casts a visible shadow on the planet's surface! This eruption has been seen in every picture ever taken of this side of Io since the Voyager spacecraft first came this way in 1979, strongly suggesting a continuous eruption for at least that long!

Looks like the Grimsvötn volcano in Iceland has awakened and is now erupting vigorously. This is the one they were worried about last year when Eyjafjallajökul popped. There is no telling if this will be a big problem, or just a burp, but already the ash cloud has reached jet altitude, and airliners are being diverted around a 120km radius.

This is another of those volcanos that erupt under a large glacier, in this case the Vatnajökel. Such eruptions often cause a sudden and massive flood of water known as a Jökelhlaup. Not to worry, the Icelanders are used to these events and usually they are anticipated and no one is injured. It will be interesting to see if one happens this time, and if so the Youtube videos should be entertaining.

To those who understand flight, this appears to be a milestone in techniques to return to the atmosphere from space. Congratulations to Bert Rutan and Scaled Composites for this successful test of "feathered reentry."

Study in falling water.