Successful Photo

A while back I explained why it was necessary to experiment to get good photos (see here.) Here’s the proof of the pudding, where by using the same settings while adding camera stabilization I was able to capture a good photo. This shot took stabilizing the camera by resting the lens on a cross strut of a pedestrian bridge while holding the body down on the handrail. If I had not done that then the wood would have been blurry due to a slow shutter speed coupled with unavoidable camera shake because few people outside of a few brain surgeons have hands steady enough to keep  a camera still for a long exposure like this one.

F/32 ISO 100 1/5 second 80mm
F/32 ISO 100 1/5 second 80mm

Creationism & Climate Denialism – The Future Tearing Points in the GOP

In this video P. Z. Meyers, Genie Scott, and Larry Moran discuss the ideologies driving the GOP’s anti science and anti-reason voter blocs as well as the tactics of the Tea Parties. At the local levels I’ve pointed out how the far right extreme blocs are minorities – but how they are also highly effective at local levels while remaining toxic at the national level. You will continue to see the effects of this over the next decade in state and local legislatures and school boards.

The local Tea Party blocs are taking over local school boards because nobody else wants to do it, and the religious zealots among them are trying to drive creationism and climate denialism into public schools, attacking the public schools through privatization efforts, voucher programs, and charter or magnet school initiatives that drive children into schools run by religious institutions. They are doing this all at state level or below, because they know that none of these efforts will fly if put to national vote or the full congress.

I’m with P.Z on the charter school question — the religious right has latched onto this concept in a big way over the past decade.

Watch the part where Genie draws the Venn diagrams, this patch work ideological spectrum allows the Republican party to stitch the libertarian right to the religious right and is a very important bloc for them — if the Democrats want to succeed in Red States that is exactly the place they must tear at.

Red states are going to suffer more over the long run from Climate Change, so this is an issue where the Democrats can make major inroads if they work locally in the red states even though it seems impossible at this point. Anti-Science is also bad business which where they can make headway as well.

What I’m listening to this week: May 25 2013

I’m a bit rushed because I’m still catching things up after returning from vacation, so I’m not going to lay out the pics and links that you usually get with these posts, but here’s this week’s list:

  • New Politics: Bad Girl in Harlem – I wager you will find at least two songs you like on this, the lead hit is “Tonight you’re perfect”.
  • Daft Punk: Random Access Memories – I picked up five songs, and they are in heavy rotation in two song lists, lead hit is “Get Lucky”.
  • Prince is Featured on the new 3rdEyeGirl single, “Fixurlifeup” & I recommend it
  • Mayer Hawthorne also has a new single, smooth as usual “Her Favorite Song”
  • The Postelles: …And it Shook Me – I really like “Pretend it’s Love”
  • Slash is featured on The Dead Daisies new Single “Lock and Load” it’s a straight up tribute to all rock Southern.
  • Meeting of Important People : My Ears are Having an Heart Attack – two songs that I like are on this one.
  • Blondfire : Where the Kids Are — “Waves” could be mistaken for a mellow Beth Ditto number.
  • RHCP : Hometown Gypsy — it starts out as what my old friend from the Hillside would call a “Chicken Scratcher” but has the usual RHCP groovy lyrics and rhythm breaks. (“all jacked up on Kerouac..”, etc.)

67 Year Old Steve Mitura Shredding Valdez Alaska from moss halladay on Vimeo.

The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC

Another excellent video on global warming from Potholer54

The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC – YouTube.

Post Panamax? What’s that?

IMG_2433-2
The Sanko Royal passes through the narrow Gatun Locks in 2008

Great things are happening all around us, but the average person is not noticing them. How many have heard about the widening of the Panama canal, or the effects that will have on shipping? Slated to complete in 2015 the “Post-Panamax” shipping world will be different, and three US ports are making ready, including the port of Miami.


One of the biggest drills in the world finished drilling the second of two underwater tunnels in Miami. The project aims to boost the city’s seaport, and give Miami an economic lift when the Panama Canal is widened.

Great Tripod Found at Crick Camera Store

This past week I got a new camera tripod, and it’s really sort of wonderful. It’s manufactured by Benro, and marketed as “Mefoto”. The best thing about it besides the amazing stability in a light tripod is the fact that it folds up so small. I’m able to fit it into an airline carry on bag because the legs flip back on the body. You can also attach just a leg to the center post to make it turn into a monopod.

Here’s what it looks like at Amazon, but the best news is that I found a local camera store that matched the Amazon price when Amazon had a back order wait of over two weeks.

Crick Camera store is the best one I’ve seen this side of B&H, and they have a wonderful staff who are conversant in everything photographic. When I mentioned how I lost my eyepiece while putting a card in it to block the light, they knew why I would want to do that for wide angle astro-photography as just one instance.

Not only did they steal a march on Amazon who had to back order the Benro tripod (mid May was the arrival I got quoted,) but they also had everything else I needed. The atmosphere was relaxed, cordial, and not snooty as some photography stores get when they cater to pros. So hats off to Crick – I was really impressed and will be back often.