Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve 2010 NYC

Slideshow of some fireworks in Central Park tonight. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Seriously Windy

Seriously Windy
Some smoking 'tard left the door open and the wind ripped it off the hinge. Now they'll probably jam it shut and there will be no more roof access. Tards.

Post Blizzard

Snow Haze
FDNY On the Job
Post Blizzard

A Ban on Triclosan - An EcoCentric Post

The EPA is taking public comment on banning triclosan. Check it out.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Visit From St. Nick

Night Before Xmas

Last Sunday I went to the 100th reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, which was actually called A Visit From St. Nick, at the Church of the Intercession. The guy who wrote the poem, Clement Clark Moore, is buried in Trinity Cemetery, which is associated with the church. This is the same cemetery where Jerry Orbach is buried :(. Malik Yoba read the poem to all the kids in the audience. Afterwards, we walked down to the cemetery to lay a wreath on Moore's gravestone and had refreshments in the mausoleum. That was weird, drinking wine and eating cheese and humous amongst the crypts that hold the cremated remains of so many people.

I went with my upstairs neighbor from 6. It was a nice night (almost a full moon) and I took a bunch of photos (of course). 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Solstice Full Moon Lunar Eclipse II

Lunar Eclipse Coming Out of Totality

I put up a slide show of a couple of my favorite shots from the eclipse. 

I went up on the roof of my 10-story building intending to shoot the whole thing, but it was quite cold and the wind was blowing so I had to go back in and redress myself to deal with the wind. I also had bought a zoom/telephoto lens to get a closer view (I've been shooting on a fixed length lens for a year) and it took awhile to figure out exactly which settings on everything was working like I wanted (note to self - don't buy new equipment on the same day as an event). Then it was back to roof.  

I stayed up there shooting pictures until the moon went completely orange. My fingers and toes were fairly numb by that point so I went back in to warm up and realized that I had an unobstructed view from my roommate's window (doy). So I watched the totality phase from there. It was much much warmer and more comfortable sitting on an exercise ball and watching behind a closed window. I believe I've lost some of my desert camping hardiness living the soft life of a city dweller.

After awhile some clouds rolled in and the moon was obscured so I stopped taking photos for awhile. Then the clouds cleared and the totality phase ended (shown in the photo above). I finally gave it up and went to bed at 4:30 am. I might have stayed up through the solstice sunrise, which would have been nice to shoot to cap off the night, but I had to go to work the next day.

All in all, it was a nice night and I'm so glad I watched it.

Science is Awesome

A group of 8-yr old kids in the UK studied bumblebee behavior and published their findings in a peer-reviewed journal. When I was 8 I was playing with Barbies.

"Getting the paper published was a struggle as well. In particular, several journals got stuck on the fact that the paper doesn’t cite any references. Lotto says they left the references out because the historical context wasn’t what inspired the kids, anyway.

“That wasn’t the basis for doing the experiment, it was what was interesting to them. That’s the driver of any quality science study,” Lotto said. 'That’s what I tell my PhD students: Don’t do any reading. Figure out why you wake up in the morning, what you’re passionate about, and then read the literature. But don’t figure out what’s interesting based on what other people say.'

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Math is Fun!

I love this woman. I don't know anything about her except that she makes math fun and for that I love her.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Little Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree
Since I'm staying home for the holidays I thought I'd put up a little christmas tree. I think it turned out pretty. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Cloisters

I visited The Cloisters Museum last weekend. I can't believe how well most of the artwork has survived the years. They've survived time and light and travel and religious reformists with torches and grubby handed tourists who touch when they're not supposed to.

There were tapestries - of course most people are familiar with the Unicorn Tapestries,
The Unicorn is Found
Attack of the Unicorn
or more particularly "The Unicorn in Captivity"
Unicorn in Captivity
They had this other tapestry (I forgot the name). 
The Cloisters Tapestry Red Dress
The Cloisters Tapestry Red Dress

It was really beautiful. It's a 3-dimensional tapestry as you can see in her dress.  The colors of the tapestry have held up so well. I asked a docent about it and he said it's because they used natural dyes that last so much longer than our modern chemical dyes do.

I also really like all the stonework. 

They have a HUGE alabaster altar that was brought here from France and is still completely intact (I didn't get a picture). They had this big stone carving that was hanging on the wall. There was a part of it that looks a little bit like a bunch broccoli florets.
The Cloisters Sculpture
I can't believe how intricately people can carve stone without it breaking. I don't know if I'd ever have that kind of patience.

There were a numbers of sculptures and castings that I liked.
The Cloisters Mary
The Cloisters Adornment
Animals were used only as adornments. I suppose it was considered ungodly to hold animals in a higher place; unicorns, okay (they're everywhere in art from that time period) but real animals no way.

I'm always amazed by how much art has been created in the name of God, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Yahweh. I definitely need to go back there.

Sketch Artist

The Cloisters Sketch Artist

Wednesday, December 1, 2010