Photo of the day

One of my students shared  with me this awesome long exposure of Rocky Mountain National Park

IMG_7889 (1024x683)

Joe Bond


The scale of the solar system

Thanks to Vox, I discovered this site with some of the coolest images I’ve seen.  A whole series of images by John Brady showing the scale of objects in our solar system.  Here’s two– definitely check them all out.  So, so cool.  Can’t wait to show this to my boys.


North America and Canada is dwarfed by the immensity of Jupiter

Size of Mars

How the United States and Canada would measure up to Mars


Mid-week quick hits

The quick hits queue is piling up fast and furious this week, so I’m going to do an extra-special bonus early version.

1) How billionaires are becoming political parties unto themselves.

2) Back when I went through my phase of reading classic Sci-Fi I hit A Canticle for Leibowitz.  One of those books you appreciate on an intellectual level far more than on an emotional one.  I really enjoyed this essay about it, though.

3) How a heroic Nigerian doctor was essential in preventing an outbreak in her country.  And she died for her trouble.

4) Really terrific Post story about the front-lines of trying to stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia.

5) Don’t know that I agree with all of this, but interesting piece on Reza Aslan, and the Bill Maher Islam flap.

6) Could non-citizens decide the November election?  Unlikely.

7) Age is a mindset.  And the physical deterioration of your body.  But also a mindset.

8) The link between terrorism and mental illness.

9) Advocating for feudalism among Iowa Republicans.

10) Yes, really did have a “fat girls costumes” section for Halloween.

11) Note to PS professors, when doing field experiments try not to mislead voters and/or break state law.  Though it is a shame this will hurt the ability to do election field experiments which really tell us so much.

12) How Iceland’s history of feminism may lead to a ban on violent and degrading pornography.

13) I’ve started trying to re-learn the Chopin Prelude I recently linked.  It’s hard, but do-able, I think.  That said, I wanted to show Evan what was probably the most difficult piece I ever learned.  I do not think I will be re-learning Chopin’s “Military” Polonaise, Opus 40 anytime soon.

Photo of the day

From a Big Picture gallery of Fall Colors:

Delmar Parris, of Port Orchard, Wash., casts his fishing line off Bay Street in Port Orchard during a fall sunset. (Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun via Associated Press)

Photo of the day

From the Telegraph’s Animal Photos of the Week.  Not to anthropomorphize, but that look on the mama lion’s face sure makes the picture:

A female lion with her offspring in Kenya's Maasai Mara game reserve

A female lion with her offspring in Kenya’s Maasai Mara game reservePicture: Andy and Sarah Skinner/Rossparry

Photo of the day

I often end up being quite underwhelmed by photo galleries in the New Yorker, but this one of very early (i.e., mid 19th century) aerial photography is pretty cool:

“Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It, 1860.”


Photo of the day

Was totally excited that we had a beautiful clear day to see the partial solar eclipse yesterday.  The downside is that it did not last long at all before sunset hit in central, NC.  Also, was excited to discover this awesome website to help me figure out a good viewing location– the problem in this area is a good view of the horizon unblocked by trees. showed me that the eastern edge of Lake Crabtree was perfect.  Here’s where I watched yesterday.

Of course, other people figured that out, too, so despite nothing but a basic pinhole setup I got some great views from friendly people with great camera set-ups– one guy had an 800mm lens the size of my thigh.  Here’s the view  from his camera.



And here’s a great shot I found in a Flickr eclipse gallery:

Solar Eclipse October 2014

Solar Eclipse October 2014

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