Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photo of the day

Another fake miniature effect
Downtown Miami

Hair Raising Hare

What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a dose of Bugs Bunny and a monster?

YouTube Link

Friday, October 30, 2009

Photo of the day

Haulover marina, Miami

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Best marching band I’ve ever seen

From Switzerland.


YouTube Video


(Via Bad Astronomer)

Richard Dawkins: Letting Science Inform Morality


YouTube Link

Photo of the day

Sunny Isles Beach, FL used to be a quaint little beach side town...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson on Joy Behar's Show


YouTube link

How could a meteor explode?

Ethan Siegel a theoretical astrophysicist, gives a good and easy to follow explanation in his blog of how could a meteor explode. It was a question that bugged me a little since I was a child, as recounted on the Tunguska event (an explosion that occurred in 1908 in Siberia).

Worth reading. Now I understand!

Photo of the day

A view of Bal Harbour, FL

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photo of the day

US Airways Airbus landing at Ft. Lauderdale International (KFLL)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Photo of the day

Miami International (KMIA)
Flight coming in from Cuba

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Airventure 2009

Awesome video from Airventure 2009 in Oshkosh. I so want to be there someday!

Phishing at Hotmail, GMail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.

My friend, Alun Jones, Microsoft Security MVP,  posted a nice reminder of the basic rules of dealing with everyday passwords.


  1. Don’t use the same password everywhere.
  2. Write down some of your passwords.
  3. Consider what passwords should be accessible to others.
  4. Plan to change your passwords.
  5. Change your passwords often enough, but not too often.


For more details on each of these points, read his full article.

Monkey Tool Usage: Hammer and Anvil


YouTube Link

(Via Cynical-C)

Photo of the day

Aerosur Boeing 727 landing at Miami International

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flight Sim (FSX) – Piper Cub

The A2A Simulations J3 Piper Cub is a very detailed modeled aircraft. The Cub is a light airplane built by Piper between 1937 and 1947. It is one of the most sought-after light and simple aircraft and a joy to fly. A2A Simulations did an outstanding job with this airplane, built for FSX.


Version with Tundra tires



Tundra tires



Regular yellow Cub with Australian registration



Parked at Boonah (YBOA), a small airfield south of Brisbane, Australia.


Photo of the day

Boeing 747-400 cargo landing at Miami International

Friday, October 23, 2009

BBC: Epic humpback whale battle

A beautiful BBC video of humpback whales battling for the right to mate with a female. The "battles" are not bloody - mostly pushing and shoving - but these are 40-ton creatures, so they have the power to kill one another. Voiced by David Attenborough in the BBC series "Life."


Superconducting MagLev on a Magnetic Track (II)

A few days ago I posted a video from an experiment in magnetic levitation from Ithaca College. One of my favorite science bloggers has written a wonderful explanation of how levitation works, and he shows how easy it is to make in school or at home, as long as you have a supply of liquid nitrogen! All kidding aside, I find this stuff fascinating. Scaled up, as it is already done in places, is a wonderful solution for transport.

Here’s another explanation, from How Stuff Works.

Ukulele Orchestra of GB - The Good the Bad the Ugly


Ukulele Orchestra of GB - The Good the Bad the Ugly

Photo of the day

Ready for takeoff at Miami International

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How To Shoot an Anvil 200 Feet in the Air

YouTube Link

(Via Cynical-C)

Photo of the day

Been doing a little planespotting lately. Caught a few good shots, with some unusual liveries.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Discovering Ardipithecus

I saw this captivating video in the Discovery Science Channel. If you have not heard, or don’t know the details about Ardipithecus Ramidus, also known as “Ardi”.

It took over then years of work to study this incredible find that revolutionizes what we know about anthropology and paleontology.

It is long, but worth watching here, if you did not catch the broadcast version.


YouTube link

Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (MagLev) on a Magnetic Track


From Ithaca College.

YouTube link

Photo of the day


Dave Allen's Introduction to Christianity


Dave Allen's Introduction to Christianity

YouTube link


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Photo of the day

Ruddy turnstones are cute little birds

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lechuguilla Cave

A BBC program from the series Planet Earth, from the “Caves” episode (April 2007) on Lechuguilla Cave, NM,  probably the most beautiful of all cave systems in the world. The video, voiced by David Attenborough, is outstanding. It took the BBC two years to get permission to film the cave, an event that will not be allowed again for the foreseeable future due to the fragile nature of the cave and its ecosystem.

Many years ago, I visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park, with its beautiful caves. Lechugilla is part of the park but it is only open to scientists.

YouTube link

(Via Cynical-C)

Bo Diddley


Hey Bo Diddley!

YouTube link

Photo of the day

A close ruddy turnstone, Bal Harbour, FL

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Flight Sim: OZx Team’s Australia!

As many of you know, I like the realism of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Besides the excellent world-wide coverage of the sim, and the default planes, enthusiastic simmers have a lot of choices to improve the hobby, with freeware and payware planes and sceneries.

One of the usual producers, the OZx Team has just released OZx_AUS_v3.0,  freeware for Microsoft Flight Simulator – FSX. It is a big download, in two parts, that covers the continent in 3Gb with over 5,000 files!

It has 20 new fields and heliports, 13 water landing ports and new VFR sceneries covering the Aussie landscape. This makes a total of over 300 sceneries plus oil rigs and farm silos. It provides wonderful flying opportunities, from the lush green landscapes of eastern Australia to the red outback, from farming areas in the west to the oil fields in the Indian Ocean.

As I do not know much of Australia (having never flown there), I decided to do a tour with a few hops a day, to get to know the terrain. This one started at Canberra (YSCB) going North, with Plan-G maps (beta) open on my second monitor. Very nice scenery, very well done. Plane is A2A's Piper Cub (payware), and excellent choice for model realism, if you like laid back, low and slow flying.

On to some screenshots:

1. Plan-G flight plan 

2. NE of Canberra (YSCB)

3. Farmland near Lake George, NSW

4. Goorooyarroo Natural Reserve

5. Over the Shoalhaven River canyon

6. Goulburn (YGLB) ahead

(click on the images for larger size)

I like the realism of the plane, an excellent rendition of the venerable Piper J3 Cub, and OZx’s Australia scenery. The passenger is Heidi, and she talks and reacts to the kind of flying you do, so better be a good pilot.

I plan to continue flying hops around Oz and see what the land has to offer.

Photo of the day

Snowy egret, Bal Harbour, FL

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photo of the day

Seen in Bayside, Miami parked for the night

Friday, October 16, 2009

How Well Do You See Color?

This is an Online Color Challenge from Xrite. Not easy to do, and very interesting.

Post your scores and no cheating!

I got a 53 (Male, age group 50-59) which is worse than I thought I’d do. I guess I’ll stick to B&W photography!

Carry that Weight

The Beatles: Carry that Weight


YouTube link

Photo of the day

Bayside Marketplace, Miami

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Video: Exposing Digital Forgeries from Inconsistencies in Lighting

I found this video from a conference on photo forensics, through DGrin.  It is a rather long (one hour) but very good presentation by Prof Hany Farid of Dartmouth, from 2007.

We all do computer post-processing in our digital photos to some extent, be it cropping for composition, improving light and contrast, or removing unwanted objects or subjects as too distracting. All of this is ok as photography is art, unless you do photojournalism; then you can get in trouble.

From their site:

With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of digital images is becoming more common. To this end, we have been developing a suite of tools to detect tampering in digital images. I will discuss two related techniques for exposing forgeries from inconsistencies in lighting. In each case we show how to estimate the direction to a light source from only a single image: inconsistencies across the image are then used as evidence of tampering.

Worth watching if you have the time. It gets a little technical in the middle but still interesting nonetheless.

Video Link here.

Thanks Stephen!

Photo of the day

Downtown Miami at night

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Photo of the day

Brickell Ave. area, near downtown Miami

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Microsoft's Patch Tuesday fixes record number of flaws

By The Register

Microsoft on Tuesday patched a record number of security holes in its Windows operating systems and other software, a haul that included at least one security flaw that was already under attack in the wild.

One of the updates fixed a vulnerability in Windows Media Runtime that allows an attacker to remotely execute malware by tricking a user into playing a booby-trapped audio or video file. A few hours after its release, a Microsoft spokesman said company researchers have "seen limited attacks trying to use the reported vulnerability."

Go patch!

There is more on this on the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) and on SANS.Org

Photo of the day

Espirito Santo Bank building in Brickell Ave.
Part of my architecture series in Miami

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monty Python - The Funniest Joke In The World


One of Monty Python’s famous skits.

Whatever you do, don’t read the joke!

YouTube link

Photo of the day

Off of Brickell Ave., Miami

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Video from the White House star party

It makes me smile to see a president that values science and encourages students to study science and math. That’s what this country needs to be ahead in the future.

He encouraged students to have a passion for science and maybe they will be the great discoverers of the future.

YouTube link

(Via Bad Astronomy blog)

Photo of the day

In a bank building on Brickell Ave., Miami

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Photo of the day

Sometimes pelicans come so close you can't fit them all in the camera!

I use prime lenses, not zooms usually, for their speed and image quality, but they have this drawback, that you can't zoom out when the bird approaches.

Friday, October 09, 2009

John Cleese interview on the BBC

Parkinson interviews John Cleese on the BBC. He talks about the origin of Faulty Towers, the Ministry of Silly Walks, and Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch.

Part 1

Part 2

Photo of the day

I love pelicans. One of my favorite birds.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Moe Howard on Mike Douglas

Moe Howard interview on the Mike Douglas Show

Part I


Part II

Rowan Atkinson interview - BBC


Rowan Atkinson at an interview with Parkinson on the BBC.

YouTube link

Photo of the day

Diving pelicans are fun to watch

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Michael Palin on the origin of Monty Python


One of my favorite comedians, Michael Palin on a Parkinson interview on the BBC

YouTube link

Christopher Hitchens with Tony Jones talk in Australia (ABC)

Christopher Hitchens, live in ABC Fora, hosted by Tony Jones (Australia). It is a rather long and a great presentation and interview. The presentation lasts for about 40 minutes, then the interview follows. See if what he says makes sense to you. It does to me.

Worth watching

Photo of the day

Gulls are kind of boring to shoot at, being so common around here, but sometimes a good subject presents itself
Laughing Gull - Bal Harbour, FL

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Amish boy caught with porn


Amish boy caught with porn

YouTube link

Photo of the day

I shot this picture a few days ago at out local fishing jetty. It looks somewhat Hitchcockian to me.

As always, click on the picture to show it bigger.

Monday, October 05, 2009

America Lost Olympics! – Right Wing Celebrates!

Who would have thought that being conservative meant being un-American? At least it seems that (probably not all), but many prominent conservatives, the ones that wrap themselves in the flag, swore to defend the Constitution, profess to love our country yet, they celebrated when the USA lost their Olympic bid this time. Go figure. I’m amazed, and ashamed for these people.

Rachel Maddow: America Lost Olympics! – Right Wing Celebrates! Chicago loses Olympics bid; conservatives rejoice

TPM Livewire: Conservatives Revel in America’s Olympic Defeat

Richard Dawkins on his latest book: “The Greatest Show On Earth”


Richard Dawkins talks about why it's time for a book setting out the evidence for evolution, and when calling someone ignorant is not an insult.

YouTube link

Godless comedy from Mitchell and Webb

That Mitchell and Webb Look: Proof There is No God

YouTube link

Photo of the day

Baby moorhens
Green Cay Wetlands, FL

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Arrogance of Clergy


by Pat Condell

YouTube link

(Via Atheist Media Blog)

50 years of The Twilight Zone


This week (October 2nd) is the 50th anniversary of The Twilight Zone. Created by Rod Serling, it ran in CBS from 1959 to 1964 and it remains in syndication, running worldwide to this day.

Combining science-fiction, mystery and horror genres, Serling created a classic that still endures and entertains.

It was one of my favorite TV shows. I have not seen it in a long while but still remember many classic episodes, with the one called “Time enough at last” my favorite. This episode, starring Burgess Meredith as a man who loves books, yet is surrounded by people that prevent him from reading them, until the end of the world comes through and now he has all the time in the world to read. Then something happens that ruins his dream.

You can see the full episode at CBS (26 minutes).

Karen Carpenter Drum Solo - 1976 First Television Special


Karen Carpenter Drum Solo - 1976 First Television Special


YouTube link

The Largest Black Holes in the Universe

Tom Lucas, a documentary director, in partnership with produced a beautiful documentary on huge black holes found in the universe. It is somewhat long but a must watch if you love science and astronomy.



YouTube link

(Via Bad Astronomy)

Photo of the day

Baby Common Moorhens and mom.
Green Cay Wetlands, FL

Friday, October 02, 2009

The perils of being a bird photographer

Wonderful BBC footage with Stephen Fry where a photographer gets close to a bird. I should remember this. Hasn’t happened to me but I've been that close to wild birds before.

Photo of the day

Two handsome guys at Green Cay Wetlands.
Black-bellied Whistling ducks

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Fats Domino: Be my guest


YouTube link

Photo of the day

Not your typical animal found in a wetland. I found this wild rabbit on a recent visit to Green Cay wetlands.