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March 20, 2007

Blue Dragon

photo copyright ©2007 the doubtful guest

Dragons really do live! Of course, all you long horse disbelievers will probably deny the existence of this little beauty (without a second's thought), but I assure you, it is oh-so-very real. And strange. And blue.

It's real name? The pelagic sea slug. For more info, and to look at larger versions of the above great photo, visit the doubtful guest on flickr.


(via: spy's spice)

March 20, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 14, 2007

Defining Our Future, Yesterday


On the left is HDTV. On the right, is the much beloved, piece-o'-crap TV (standard 525 scan lines). What's surprising is that these comparison photos were made in 1981, only a few years after HDTV was developed.

This fascinating Popular Science article (Nov,1981), describes the "cinerama-type" style HDTV sets and the "extraordinary clarity—more than five times the detail of television pictures you see on conventional home receivers."

March 14, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

March 13, 2007



This is definitely one of the coolest visuals Nasa has yet put together from Mars rover data. Wow! Now... when do we get to explore the crater ourselves, Google Earth style?

By the way, look closely. You just may get a glimpse of Mars rover opportunity.

Flying over Opportunity's worksite - higher resolution
Flying over Spirit's worksite

March 13, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 09, 2007



I don't remember where I first ran across the glass creations of Leopold Blaschka (1822-1895) and his son, Rudolf (1857-1939). Their craftsmanship in glass was, and probably still remains, unparalleled.

(and yes, those plants are made out of glass).

Nancy Marie Brown explains a bit of their history in Flowers Out of Glass...

The flowers and plants they began making out of glass were not art, in intent, though breathtaking; they were a scientific undertaking: exquisitely accurate, exact in the replication of every last detail.

Prince Rohan displayed them in his castle. They were exhibited a year later at the Royal Botanical Garden in Dresden. Soon word of the Blaschkas' new work had crossed the Atlantic to George Lincoln Goodale at Harvard's Botanical Museum. Goodale had seen the squids and octopi. He decided to commission a set of glass flowers to be used as classroom aids, for teaching botany through a New England winter was the height of frustration. Specimens weren't readily to hand, except those pressed between herbarium sheets, the faded remains of glorious summer days spent botanizing. Flowers of glass would make an excellent alternative: "precise," "timeless," and "unparalleled..."

The Glass Flowers are now among the most popular exhibits at Harvard. TV and radio programs in four countries have featured them, as did a mystery novel in the Homer Kelly series by Jane Langton. Donna Tartt and other writers use the Glass Flowers as a Boston icon. Marianne Moore wrote a poem about them. And avant-garde photographer Christopher Williams turned them into symbols of human rights issues. Yet, "It took a long time for the faculty here to go from thinking about the Glass Flowers as a teaching collection to thinking about them as art objects," said Susan Rossi-Wilcox...

Glass_flwrs5You can read more about their amazing history (which includes shipwrecks, Princes, and at least a few well-known historic figures) at the following pages...

Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and Natural History (great)
The Glass Aquarium
Natural History Museum 
Harvard's Glass Flowers

Or you can just blissfully gaze at these delightful glass jellyfish photos. 

March 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack