Monthly Archives: November 2009

Lake District floods

Right now, part of England is dealing with some severe flooding from recent heavy rains. They’ve had over 13 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, which is a record for Britain. When I was studying abroad, I spent a weekend at the Lake District. I spent most of my time in Keswick, while the worst flooding seems to have happened in Cockermouth and Kendal — but I did notice some pictures from Ambleside that looked familiar. (We had lunch in Ambleside on our drive back to Leeds.) My pictures are on the right, and the ones I found from the BBC are on the left.

Windermere at Ambleside (more about the 11-mile lake)

Left: via BBC / Right: my photo on Picasa

Stockghyll Waterfall in Ambleside

Left: via BBC / Right: my photo on Picasa

More photos of the flooding in Cumbria can be found here.

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Scavenger Hunt

My friend Jenny and I started our own photography scavenger hunt about a month ago, and now the second assignment has been posted. The first assignment was an assortment of various things (like “liquid”, “inspiring”, or “4”), but the second one was a fall theme. The website is here, and below are a few samples. Enjoy!

 

fall4

fall51

light

liquid1

Farther

The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, “Thus far and no farther.”

-Ludwig van Beethoven

Weekend Videos

Since the Steelers don’t play until Monday night, here are a couple of videos to keep you occupied today.

A college professor did this part video, part live-action demonstration for his class on Halloween.

I like the original description of this bowling video: “trick shot bowling geek”.

A soccer team using their skill to play a giant version of Guitar Hero:

Found via Mental Floss.

Varying Sizes

The Genetic Science Learning Center over at the University of Utah has an excellent way of looking at the relative scale of different things, all the way from a coffee bean down to a Carbon atom. Pull the slider all the way to the right to reduce yourself to an atomic scale:

Picture 1

(Click the picture for the link.)

Auto-Tuning and the Universe

In case you’ve never heard of auto-tuning, it’s a process where audio recordings can be adjusted for pitch, usually to disguise mistakes. It’s also being used to take recordings such as interviews, news reports, speeches, etc. and morph them into a more musical version.

This is the coolest auto-tuning project that I’ve seen. It’s called “Symphony of Science” and it features a cast of science greats, including my two heroes Richard Feynman and Bill Nye (along with Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson), essentially talking about the enormity and awesomeness of the universe.

Sometimes the auto-tuning can sound a little odd, so here are the lyrics:

Lyrics:

[deGrasse Tyson]
We are all connected;
To each other, biologically
To the earth, chemically
To the rest of the universe atomically

[Feynman]
I think nature’s imagination
Is so much greater than man’s
She’s never going to let us relax

[Sagan]
We live in an in-between universe
Where things change all right
But according to patterns, rules,
Or as we call them, laws of nature

[Nye]
I’m this guy standing on a planet
Really I’m just a speck
Compared with a star, the planet is just another speck
To think about all of this
To think about the vast emptiness of space
There’s billions and billions of stars
Billions and billions of specks

[Sagan]
The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it
But the way those atoms are put together
The cosmos is also within us
We’re made of star stuff
We are a way for the cosmos to know itself

Across the sea of space
The stars are other suns
We have traveled this way before
And there is much to be learned

I find it elevating and exhilarating
To discover that we live in a universe
Which permits the evolution of molecular machines
As intricate and subtle as we

[deGrasse Tyson]
I know that the molecules in my body are traceable
To phenomena in the cosmos
That makes me want to grab people in the street
And say, have you heard this??

(Richard Feynman on hand drums and chanting)

[Feynman]
There’s this tremendous mess
Of waves all over in space
Which is the light bouncing around the room
And going from one thing to the other

And it’s all really there
But you gotta stop and think about it
About the complexity to really get the pleasure
And it’s all really there
The inconceivable nature of nature

Found via the ever interesting Mental Floss blog.