Thursday, February 28, 2008

Circus of the Spineless #30

Circus of the Spineless #30 is now up at A DC Birding Blog, so get on over and check it out.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Time-lapse Sunset Over Reservoir

Click the pic to view video
Time-lapse sunset, 640x480, .mov, 9.8 mb 19 sec

This time-lapse video was made a couple of weeks ago with my new setup including the Canon PowerShot S3 IS and the Granite Bay Time-lapse software. I think it turned out fairly well for my first try. I made the accompanying music with my Sony Acid Music Studio software. It is kind of eerie, which was not really intentional, it just turned out that way. I had a couple of problems with the video. One was that I took the pictures every 5 seconds, which was too frequent for the mininmal action involved so I had to play it back at 60 fps rather than 30 fps. Also, my laptop ran out of power before the sun was completely down so it was cut short. I did like the contrails left behind as the jets flew over and I enjoy the appearance of the water as the wind died down and the water became perfectly still. The above video is a rather large file for the short time but is of fairly good quality. The YouTube version of this time-lapse sunset video is not quite as good but is a quicker download.

This and other time-lapse videos and stop motion videos can be seen at my time-lapse home page.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Arhtropod Friday: Triops, Triops longicaudatus

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This is a Triops, or Triops longicaudatus. It is in the class Branchiopoda and order Nostraca and is sometimes also referred to as a tadpole shrimp. This little crustacean was raised from an egg along with a bunch of other eggs that came in a kit called "Triassic Triops", which I purchased at a local hobby store. I was hoping to put the eggs in a small container and then make a time-lapse video of these things growing over a week or so. For many reasons it didn't work out but I have had a good time watching the two that made it. They are intersting because according to Wikipedia, Their external morphology has apparently not changed since the Triassic appearance of Triops cancriformis around 220 million years ago. Triops cancriformis may therefore be the "oldest living animal species on earth." They also grow very fast and for the first week or more, a substantial increase in size can be seen from day to day. Having had no prior knowledge of this animal, there are too many fine details about its morphology and habits for me to try to get in to so I will just leave you with a couple of good links from people who actually know these animals. Here is the page of the company that produces the kit I bought. Here is the Triops information page.

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The above pics show the size of my triops after 2-3 weeks, what the underside looks like (they frequently swim upside down), and the box that the kit came in.

Here is a brief video of my Triops pair at YouTube or a larger, sharper Quicktime Triops video is here (7.5 mb, 27 sec.).

Don't forget to check out Modulator's Friday Ark.

Also visit Circus of the Spineless #30 at A DC Birding Blog for some down home invertebrate goodness.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Super Bowl XLII Predictions Recap

Well I guess I didn't do to well again this year with my predictions for Super Bowl XLII.
Here is a recap:

1. Final score: New England 34, New York 24.
Way wrong, NY 17, NE 14.

2. Tom Brady will throw for 3 touchdown passes and have 2 interceptions.
Wrong again, Brady threw 1 touchdown and had no interceptions.

3. Randy Moss will catch 1 of those touchdown passes.
Correct, Moss had 1 touchdown reception.

4. Wes Welker will once again exceed what is expected of him and he will catch 2 touchdown passes.
Nope, Welker did lead with 11 catches and 103 yards, but no touchdowns.

5. Laurence Maroney will rush for less than 90 yards but he will run one in for a score.
Woo hoo! I got another one right! Maroney had 36 rushing yards with one rushing touchdown.

6. Manning will not play a perfect game and will therefore lose, but he will make a decent effort throwing for 2 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.
Wrong. Manning did not play a perfect game, throwing 1 interception, but he did have a great effort with two touchdowns including a game winner with less than a minute in the game.

7. Plaxico Burress will top 100 yards receiving with 1 touchdown reception.
Nah. Burress did have a single touchdown reception but only 27 yards.

8. Amani "its not a" Toomer will catch the other touchdown pass.
NO! He did lead the team with 84 receiving yards but no score.

9. Brandon Jacobs will have 100+ rushing game with a single goal line touchdown run.
Another bad guess. Jacobs only had 42 rushing yards and no touchdowns.

As always, my excitement about Super Bowl Sunday will go way beyond the game itself. I will be spending the afternoon with my good friends with whom I have enjoyed many great games leading up to this grand finale. Whether the Giants upset the offensive juggernaut, or the Pats do as expected and go undeafted all the way, it is too late for this game to be anything but a big damn deal.
Yes. As far as I am concerned, this game was a big damn deal and I say congratulations to the New York Football Giants for a wonderful game and to the New Enlgand Patriots for a fantastic season which made this Super Bowl Sunday so exciting.

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