Monday, November 23, 2009

Photo of the day

The "Vomit Comet" parked at Ft. Lauderdale

I'll be going to California to my brother-in-law's for the week of Thanksgiving. Be back online first week of December.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Big boys toys

RC- F-16 jet in a Hawaii field


YouTube link (if you can’t see the embedded video)



Some kids do get it


I received the following email this week:MiamiSeaquarium_AF_Dolphin

Hello.  I am a 10th grade student at (name removed) High School, and am currently enrolled in a web site design class.  For our final project, we have been divided into groups and our groups are constructing a web site.  My group is focusing on Miami, Florida.  We are making a tourist guide.  We've split up the work so that everyone does two pages, and one of my pages is on the Miami Seaquarium.  I need a few pictures, and yours are by far the best I've seen; however, I wouldn't want to use them without your permission.  So, may I use some of your pictures? Please?


Seems they found my photo gallery through some search engine. It is heartening that some kids are learning the proper ways of doing things. Surely the teacher prodded them to obtain licensing and permissions, not only to teach them about plagiarism and copyright issues but also to cover the school’s butt. In any case, I’m very pleased that some get it right.

I answer that it would be my pleasure to offer two pictures for the project, as long as the copyright is kept and it is only used for this project. She picked the two pictures you see here. I love a happy story.

Photo of the day

At the gate (FLL)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Richard Dawkins on The Hour


Play all videos (3) from September 29, 2009  (via

James Randi: You Can't Prove a Negative

James Randi from a few years ago


YouTube link (if you can’t see the embedded video)

(From JREF)

Photo of the day

Northwest vs Southwest at FLL

Friday, November 20, 2009

Face-off with a Leopard Seal

A short video, worth watching. Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic wildlife photographer relates his encounter with a leopard seal in the wild.


YouTube link (if you can’t see the embedded video)

Photo of the day

Queue for takeoff at Ft. Lauderdale airport

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Photo of the day

Brown Pelican at Bal Harbour jetty

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photo of the day

Miami Herald Building

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photo of the day

Another view of the Venetian Cawseway - Miami

Monday, November 16, 2009

Photo of the day

Omni, Miami

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Photo of the day

Venetian Causeway - Miami

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Photo of the day

Air France B747-400 landing at MIA

Friday, November 13, 2009

Photo of the day

AeroMexico Connect Embraer ERJ-145 landing at Miami International

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Drop of Water at 2000 Frames per Second


YouTube link (if you can’t see the embedded video)


(Via Cynical-C)

Photo of the day

FEC locomotive at Miami airport

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Phil Plait at Gnomedex



Phil Plait’s speech at Gnomedex in August was finally published with fixed sound. He talks about skepticism. Worth watching.

Susi Neunmalklug Explains Evolution

As a poster said: “Imagine the uproar if that was shown over here.” I think we should have better education and smarter kids.

YouTube link (in case you can’t see the embedded video)


(Via Pharyngula)

Photo of the day

CSX train passing by Miami's airport spur

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Photo of the day

Metromover on Biscayne Blvd. in downtown Miami

Monday, November 09, 2009

Photo of the day

Claughton Island - Miami

Beautiful Mars


Martian landscapes from the HiRISE camera at’s The Big Picture. Go click!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

An Octopus Pretending to be Seaweed



YouTube link (in case you can’t see the embedded video)

(Via Cynical-C)

Photo of the day

Brickell Ave. area - Miami

Saturday, November 07, 2009

2009 Carl Sagan Day

I attended the first ever Carl Sagan Day, to honor Dr. Carl Sagan on the anniversary of his birthday. It was held at Broward Community College in Davie, FL ( a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale) as I blogged before.


It was a wonderful conference with presentations by Russell Romanella, the Director of the International Space Station, Dr. Phil Plait, better known as The Bad Astronomer and James Randi.

Mr. Romanella gave a wonderful presentation about space, the ISS, the Space Shuttle, the NASA rovers on Mars and the Hubble Telescope.

I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Plait. I have followed his blog for years, and read his latest book (which I got him to sign).

James Randi gave a nice speech recounting his friendship with Carl Sagan. I had met Randi before a few times and although older and a little more frail, he is still his old fiery self.

Here are the video feeds for some of these presentations:

Phil Plait’s presentation

James Randi speech

Airfanning and Railfanning in Miami Nov 2, 2009

Ted, a friend of mine who is a railfan, films trains and airplanes too and has a nice YouTube channel. He was filming at the airport (MIA) last week waiting for a freight train to go by. I am in several of the shots when airplanes land (the guy on the shade wearing shorts, white socks and a backward cap), and also when the CSX train goes by.

I have a few still shots from the planes and the train on this set in my gallery. Enjoy!

Here is my picture of the same train the moment it passed by:

Photo of the day

Downtown Miami

Friday, November 06, 2009

Oh what magnificent Jugs!

But maybe not so environmentally friendly nowadays.




Take off

Photo of the day

Downtown Miami

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Photo of the day

Public Library's courtyard

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Copyright Myths Debunked


There’s a lot of misunderstanding on US Copyright Laws. The artlaw Blog has a great write-up debunking many myths about copyright, which interests me as a photographer and a writer.

Some common myths:

  • Myth 2: Copyright protection requires registering your work with the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C.
  • Myth 3: Placing the work in an envelope and mailing it to yourself has the same effect as registering it with the Copyright Office.
  • Myth 4: If it's on the Web, it's free for the taking.


Good information in the article.

Does this mean that you can go to court if your copyright has been violated and your work has been copied? Not so fast. Lawsuits are expensive, so in practice for most of us if you post your photo on the net, make sure you post a low resolution, watermarked or stamped photo, unless you do not care what happens to the work afterwards. The laws, although there, do not afford any “protection “ to the little guy due to the high cost of prosecuting the claim (disclaimer: I am not a lawyer so in case you have been subject to a copyright violation or just outright stealing of your work, please consult an attorney).


For the US, the info is at The basics are covered in this PDF document.

From Page 7 of the Basics:

Copyright Registration

In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright. However, registration is not a condition of copyright protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for protection, the copyright law provides several inducements or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration. Among these advantages are the following:

• Registration establishes a public record of the copyright claim.
• Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U.S. origin.
• If made before or within five years of publication, registration will establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate.
• If registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.


The key is to register your work. Why? Because if you do, you are eligible for statutory damages as opposed to actual damages (if any or if you have a problem with proving actual damages).


A couple of important points that need stressing are:

  • You cannot go to court unless you have registered your work (IOW, your work is protected at creation but you can’t sue in US Court unless you registered and paid the fee). When to register? You have up to 90 days from the moment the copyright violation occurred (as opposed to the time the work was created).
  • You have to sue in US Federal Court. You cannot go to small claims court for copyright issues.

If you are interested in collection of damages, more information can be found at Cornell University Law School.

Related to these legal themes, including the all important issue of where and what you can shoot from a public street, Photoshop User TV has a nice video interview with Ed Greenberg (Intellectual Property Attorney) . Copyright issues are dealt with in Part II. - Part I - Part II



(Thanks Julien and Wayne!)

Photo of the day

Brickell Ave. area, Miami

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A marvelous hummingbird video at the BBC

The amazing mating display of the marvellous spatuletail hummingbird has been filmed in full for the first time.

The spatuletail hummingbird (Loddigesia mirabilis) is among the most rare and striking of birds.

You can watch this video at the BBC.

Photo of the day

Brickell area, Miami

Monday, November 02, 2009

Bill Maher on religion


YouTube link (in case you can’t see the embedded video)

Carl Sagan Day: November 7 2009



If you are in South Florida next week, don’t miss the first Carl Sagan Day

A commemoration of his birthday (Nov 9th) will be held at BCC with excellent speakers like Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) and James Randi.

The event will be held at:

Broward College - Central Campus

3501 SW Davie Road, Davie, FL 33314

For more details see:


Carl would have been 75! We sure miss him.

I’ll be sure to be there and attend the wonderful lectures and film showings, and maybe get some book copies signed!


(Via Bad Astronomer)

Photo of the day

Metromover - Downtown Miami

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween brings the idiots out of the woodwork


Beware of demonic candy (and the vortexes of hell!)


YouTube link

Dummies Singing Yesterday


YouTube Link


(Via Cynical-C)

Photo of the day

Miami Metrorail