Yearly Archives: 2010

Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years

This is an absorbing visualization of progress made in the past two hundred years. It seems to confirm the notion that “a rising tide lifts all boats”. He shows the relationship of wealth to health over time in a very intuitive way. His presentation allows us to “see” the benefits of the industrial revolution (early) and […]

Human Capacity for Killing at a Distance

Anthropologist Steven Churchill from Duke University recently gave a fascinating lecture [listen] on the discovery of projectile weapons by early Homo sapiens and subsequent effects on large carnivores (extinction!) and human evolution. His basic premise is that sometime in the past 250,000 years humans discovered how to kill at a distance. This allowed us to […]

Heron vs Grebe – Death on Lake Santa Fe

While sitting down to breakfast we witnessed this scene of “nature, red in tooth and claw.” A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) had captured a Pied-Billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) and was strangling it to death. The smaller bird would briefly struggle and flap its wings, but the outcome seemed certain. After a few minutes the […]

Eagles on Ice – Upper Mississippi

Interactive Map of Mars – Much to Explore!

A team at Arizona State University has created a detailed map of the surface of Mars based on nearly 21,000 images taken by the Mars Odyssey orbiter. (Maps from other sources are also available.) To get the full experience, click on the “full window” icon at the lower right, click and drag to move, use the scroll wheel […]

Man on Fire Video (Lake Powell)

Strange reflections of the lake

My First Blended HDR Photo

This is my first attempt at blending an HDR photo to remove the halo artifact that that frequently appears where the sky meets hard edges. In the photo below I did my best to minimize the halo with highlight smoothing in Photomatix, but it is still there. Here is the same photo after masking the […]

Blast from the Past – Hytext

Hypertext before the World Wide Web? When I was a resident back in 1988, I wrote a hypertext authoring system for MS-DOS called HYTEXT. That was a time of 80 x 24 line monochrome displays and command line interfaces. I knew nothing about networks at the time, but I did create a mark-up language that anticipates […]

Finding the Andromeda Galaxy (aka M31)

Here’s a bit of astronomical lore I picked up a few years ago. I learned the sky at summer camp; I have looked through numerous telescopes over the years; I even took an astronomy class in college—but no one ever pointed out the Andromeda Galaxy (the most distant and largest object we can see with […]

Apple Dumbing Down the Dock? (Rant)

Windows has the Task Bar, OSX has The Dock. I spend a great deal of time tracking issues, projects, and resources on the Web. I might have four windows open with multiple tabs in each, and I might have minimized some or all of these into the Dock. Same for email. So what happens when […]