Monday, June 23, 2008

Foto Friday, er Monday Actally.

So I'm late again, sue me. Maybe three people are paying attention (how come none of you emailed to see if I was ok?) so I don't think that life ground to a halt anywhere.

With this installment of Foto Friday I'd like to direct your attention to another blog that you'll enjoy and will pretty much ruin any high opinions you had of Foto Fridays. So follow the link to The Big Picture at (the Boston Globe's site) and feast your eyes on gallerys of huge pictures.
In the past couple of months, since The Big Picture debuted, they've run some of the same shots as we have only much bigger and better. Enjoy.
Here is a shot from the recent 'Martian Skies' gallery.

The air is certainly thick enough to fill a parachute. On May 25th, 2008, the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this dramatic oblique image of the arrival of its sister probe from NASA, the Phoenix Lander, descending on its parachute. Phoenix and its parachute can be barely seen in the larger image with 10 km wide crater informally called "Heimdall" in the background. Although it appears that Phoenix is descending into the crater, it is actually about 20 kilometers in front of the crater. Given the position and pointing angle of MRO, Phoenix is at about 13 km above the surface, just a few seconds after the parachute opened. (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Like giant erector sets or insane Lego creations tower cranes, or T cranes as I call them, are seemingly everywhere in the DC area these days. (I think it has something to do with all the construction)

I've never heard of an accident involving one here in town (it must have happened at some point though) but up the road in NYC they've had a rough time of it this spring. (heard about that did ya?)

The WaPo had an article on the cranes on Monday, which while pretty basic is worth a peek. The paper also ran this cool graphic (a shame they didn't make it interactive online).

Any one else a little nervous when they saw that its all held up by a five foot thick slab? Or that the diagram doesn't cover heights? According to the article the tower part is simple and can rise up to 250 feet without any additional support or anchoring.

I think these cranes are great, I remember growing up with them and the 'Skins winning the Super Bowl ('91?) and there being huge banners along the crane arms that said Go 'Skins! and the like. Even after reading the article though, it seems a little preposterous that they don't just fall over.

2 Truths & A Lie

Step right up and take your chances. Can you tell a lie when you see it?

Someone might actually go to jail, or at least get charged, over the US Attorney purge scandal. (see also)

Dick Cheney admitted that he lied.

The recent spate of floods and tornadoes in the Midwest have correctly and frequently been linked to climate change by the media and environmental groups.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vote Republican


Ok good, now watch this brilliant little video on all the reasons you should vote Republican...

Threat Level has a brief interview and profile of the video's creator and some other tidbits on its current rise to viral fame.

The final thought in the Threat Level post asks if it is time for someone to make 'I'm Voting Democrat' and it's a good question. I really enjoy this video, but I'm also convinced that it is easier to be against something than it is to stand for something and that has a lot to do with the existence of anti videos, particularly online.

Now that I mention it, standing for something has been a problem for the Democrats for a while now, something that really pisses me off, I wonder if you could genuinely make a video of reasons to vote Democratic without worrying that the party would fail to come through yet again.

Bitter much? Maybe. At least that video made me feel better, spot on I'd say.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Foto Friday Two-fer

I know 'two-fer' sounds like a fun and exciting deal, so I apologize by following it up with two sobering photos. Both of these impressive shots involve devastation, or at least damage, caused by flood waters.

(Both also come from the NYT)

First, here is a before and after of the Chinese city of Beichuan: As it stood with substantial earthquake damage, and after the draining of a 'quake lake' flooded much of the city.

Closer to home, this is what downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa looks like today.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nintendo Cheat Codes Never Die...

They just end up on the internet. And no, not on versions of the same old games played online (it might work though I haven't tried). I'll let you guess where...okay if you didn't guess that Google is involved you should leave now, we can't be friends.

Google, in its ever expanding array of coolness, has snuck the Konami cheat code into Google Reader. I still remember all-night Contra sagas and think I could hit the code from muscle memory alone. If you don't still have twitchy thumbs here you go.

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A

Definitely go check out the Wikipedia page for the Konami Code.

Once again, I love the internet.

(I got here via Wired's Gadget Lab) (Don't freak out, hit refresh to bring it all back to normal)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

2 Truths & A Lie - June Flys By

The hot weather has arrived and June and DC summertime already feel as though they're flying by.

Why don't you slow down long enough to try and ferret out this week's lie...

Killer tomatoes are on the loose.

Plants are unable to differentiate amongst themselves.

Articles of impeachment have been introduced against President Bush.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Foto Friday

Sorry for the downer shot two weeks in a row, but this is a picture that I think everyone should see.

The shot ran in huge format above the fold on the cover of Thursday's NYT Arts section. No it is not staged or altered, he really got that shot. Just amazing on many levels.

Watch for more on the story and book back on the main page soon.