Category Archives: nature

New Landscape Work…

Been in southern California for about 2 months now, networking out and getting my movie project buzz started. While waiting for meetings, I’ve been wandering around the South Park area of San Diego, just snapping photos with my cell phone, and then I pulled out my Nikon and started taking “serious” pictures.

By serious pictures, I mean I’m hauling around my tripod and several lenses, walking miles a day for the right pictures.

Many people will hit the usual areas of a city, but I went out looking for unusual and unique to the area photo opportunities. First scouting with my cell phone camera, and then going back when the weather was “just right” with the better equipment.

Decided to shoot “HDR” type of images this time out. Then started up an Instagram account to share them around. My Instagram is Oldtex59, or clink this link.

Instagram

Even an out of the box version of Photoshop or Lightroom can process HDR images quite well. For this blog post, I’m not creating a HDR tutorial. This is mostly showing off some recent photos.

My method is to use a tripod, fire off 5 or 7 or, hell, even 9 exposures using the Nikon’s bracketing mode. I set it for a EV shift per exposure, such as -2, -1, 0, +1 and +2… etc.  I then look at the images in Lightroom, export a TIFF or PSD from the Nikon raw file, then stack these in Photoshop using the automagical Merge to HDR Pro (found under File, Automate). I’ll fiddle around with the various settings, looking at making a very naturalistic HDR or out-of-this world Vivid van Gogh image… with a touch of Tim Burton.

Check them out, in the new gallery collection, San Diego HDR.  It’ll be updated while I’m in SD.

Cheers and have a happy New Year!

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The Glow-In-The-Dark Kitty | Surprising Science

Cat owners might find a glow-in-the-dark kitty to be fairly useful—you’ll never trip over the cat at night again—but the Mayo Clinic scientists who created this glowing cat had a bigger goal in mind: fighting AIDS.

The substance that makes the cat glow is a version of the green fluorescent protein that lights up the crystal jelly, a type of jellyfish that lives off the West Coast of the United States. Years ago scientists realized that the gene for GFP is a perfect marker when they insert another new gene into an organism. By inserting a version of GFP along with their gene of choice, they could easily see if they were successful because the organism would glow. Since the technique was first developed, researchers have made many glowing animals, including pigs, mice, dogs, even fish you can buy in the pet store.

via The Glow-In-The-Dark Kitty | Surprising Science.

 

 

Although I’m not too sure we are ready for a cat that glows green, but I can see the usefulness of this in research.

Seriously, the more we experiment, the better our lives will be…

However, I have been reading about a paleontologist who wants to revert a chicken into a dinosaur. Can’t clone a dino with DNA because the DNA degrades too easily, but they’re figuring out how to turn off the genes that causes a chicken to be a chicken, and into a dinosaur.

Also posted in News, science, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |

Picture of the Day

From NASA. This is the view of our planet and the moon, as seen from the latest space probe, Juno, on it’s way to Jupiter. This image was taken August 26th, from a distance of 6 million miles. The distance Juno will ultimately travel will be 3 BILLION kilometers by the time it gets to Jupiter.

Now look at this image. That bluish blog is the Earth. That’s everything. Floating in the vastness of space, with it’s tiny moon. Pictures like this are important. They remind us that of where we really are, how much we’ve achieved, how far we have to go. And that our planet really is just a pale blue dot, swimming in a vast, empty black ocean.

But Carl Sagan puts it soo much better:

 

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NASA video of the life of Hurricane Irene

Nasa released this cool video of the life span of Hurricane Irene, Aug 21st through Aug 29th.


Also posted in News, weather Tagged , , |

A cool, yet creepy video

This could be anything.. but it’s a science test on the capillary action of bubbles and magnetic fluid. It looks like some creepy science fiction movie.

Compressed 02 from Kim Pimmel on Vimeo.

I combined everyday soap bubbles with exotic ferrofluid liquid to create an eerie tale, using macro lenses and time lapse techniques. Black ferrofluid and dye race through bubble structures, drawn through by the invisible forces of capillary action and magnetism.

Time-lapse sequences: Nikon D90, Nikkor 60mm macro lens and custom built intervalometer.

Motion-control: Arduino driven scanner platform and mirror rigs

Score: Ableton Live

View Compressed 01 http://vimeo.com/22866665

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/kpimmel

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Arctic sea ice will be below average again this year | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

From Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy come this distressing news.

Using a fleet of Earth-observing satellites, the European Space Agency is reporting that the ice in the Arctic circle is already retreating considerably, and will once again be below average in extent this summer. This has been going on for a few years now, which isn’t terribly surprising considering that global warming is real and that we keep seeing recent years tied or exceeding records as hottest years on record.

Climate change deniers, of which there are legion, simply ignore science to make themselves feel better. They want cheap energy, cheap plastic goods from China – even tho they do not profit AT ALL from the companies who are busy raping, pillaging and setting our world on fire.

I do not need science to tell me this is a overly hot summer. Climate tracking shows a steadily increasing average temperature for the earth since the mid-1990s. Some dips, but overall, the trend is upwards.

The thing is, there is a lot of signal-to-noise in the debate over climate change. Once you filter out the non-scientist opinions, which cuts down a lot on the noise, the consensus among scientists is: We are warming up the planet.

We simply must stop listening to the anti-science bunch, all puppets of the global energy corporations and do what we can to conserve our diminishing resources. They are doing more harm than good, and the stupid people keep listening to them.

One result is drought. Texas is in the grips of the worst drought in history. Austin and the surrounding areas have enacted mandatory water restrictions.

Texas is in the most severe drought EVER.

The drought is hurting the economy.

Expect food prices to go up. Machines are breaking down, my car has had severe issues in this heat – I’ve had to replace every coolant line and both the radiator and water pump in the last 4 weeks.

This is utter bullshit. This could have been avoided.

The biggest problem is the corporate spin-doctors and lobbyists in Washington. These corporations will spend millions to keep on raping and pillaging.

 

Also posted in disaster, News Tagged , , , |

Drivers in the US

Ok, here I was thinking that the reason the drivers in the US, northwest Austin in specific, were so bad is because they’re a bunch of sub-70 IQ morons who somehow managed to get a drivers license. You know, the type who barge out into traffic without even thinking of yielding to oncoming traffic, too busy talking and setting up the DVD for the parasite kid in the back, to pay attention to the small fact they’re piloting a huge SUV at highway speeds while on a suburban street.

Then I spot this article on the Atlantic website. The writer makes the argument drivers in the US are not as safe as the drivers in the UK because of all the road signs and speed limit changes.

And I began to think that the American system of traffic control, with its many signs and stops, and with its specific rules tailored to every bend in the road, has had the unintended consequence of causing more accidents than it prevents. Paradoxically, almost every new sign put up in the U.S. probably makes drivers a little safer on the stretch of road it guards. But collectively, the forests of signs along American roadways, and the multitude of rules to look out for, are quite deadly.

It’s quite possible this gentleman is correct, all the signs further distract drivers here from the number one task of driving: Watching where you are going.

The local cops and DPS (Department of Public Safety) always spout off about distracted drivers. Cell phones, DVD players, GPS systems, nagging wives, kids, animals, eating, arguing, TEXT Messaging*. All distract drivers.

When I was taking pilot lessons, I learned real quick how not to be distracted. My flight instructor would always try to distract me while I was performing a maneuver, such as landing or taking off. The key here was to teach me to ignore a distraction until I was in a better place to handle it. Like parked and with the engine off.

What the author of the article I quote is missing is the simple fact most of the people in the US are – simply put – morons.

More and more stupid people are procreating at alarming rates and those Jerry Springer stars are now outnumbering us smarter people by almost 5 to 1. It doesn’t help that smarter people know what causes babies and can usually plan for one, then only have one or two. Stupid people often have no idea they’re pregnant until the kid drops out, many women have no idea that SEX causes pregnancy.

I kid you not. Google that – a lot of women in the lower income classes here in the US don’t connect the dots on this fact.

Like populations of fire ants, where the fire ants have overpopulated and pushed out other, more benign species of ants, much to the annoyance of the humans, the lower intelligent humans are over populating our planet much to the annoyance of us more intelligent humans.

I don’t mind all the damn signs here. I mind the arbitrary speed limit changes. For example, Anderson Mill Road, when a 2-lane road, was safe at 35mph. When it opened out to a 2 lane road, it goes to 40mph. Two years they worked to change the 2 lanes to 4, now it’s a wide open, smooth, easily traveled road, with great visibility, medians, turn lanes … stuck at 35mph!

What Mr Staddon misses with his observation of our speed limits is this small fact – a lower speed limit on better roads causes drivers to speed, thus SPEED TRAPS to generate much needed income to the county.

*Yes, TEXT messaging. Not bad enough they’re talking and driving, but texting as well.

Also posted in ants, drivers, morons, people, stupid, survival
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