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Bathing Beauty August 11, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome.
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My wife and I often stop to investigate swimming holes and waterfalls. Northern California is so dry (especially lately) that riparian zones are really the best place to catch any wildlife, including the very rare Shy Beauty:


Known for their stunning good looks, the Shy Beauty is somehow preternaturally aware of the camera and will hide unless well obscured by camouflage clothing (above).

Arboreal Correspondent August 11, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Photography, Science.
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Greetings from the Great North Woods (Lassen National Forest), wherein I enjoy respite from the soul-sucking drudgery that is software testing. I have hardly touched technology for days, and seem the better for it.  And, surrounded  as I am by the sounds of nature, I love life more than in many recent months.  We’re staying here:


Miles from people, it’s a deserted campground probably used last in the sixties.  As such, the most frequent visitors are deer, who nightly come out and lick whatever is left lying around, like the tablecloth(?), the dishes from each night’s feast (on the plus side, the trays and dishes are clean as a whistle down as far as a deer’s tongue can reach) and the shower bag (?).  They aren’t much frightened by us, but mostly because we try not to startle them. They are not afraid of green lasers.

Another nice thing about the campsite is the lack of visitors means flora are largely undisturbed.  A mushroom growing from a tree stump can reach its full size (except where licked by deer):


That’s a Men’s size 11 mushroom, friends.  Has a smaller companion, too:


I really should start carrying a ruler for comparisons like this.

The sunsets have been spectacular too, since the fire got so big:


Our camp is by a stream emanating from a spring couple of hundred yards up the hill.  Here is our view at night:


I’m sure the lights are just fae visiting.

Lassen is on Fire August 5, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography, Uncategorizable.
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I have no video (you couldn’t make it out from Lake Wilson), but this is a photo of a 30,000 acre forest fire in the vicinity of Mount Lassen.


Damn.  For a little while, the missus and I thought Lassen had erupted.

Knitted Hellboy August 5, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Mutants, Video.
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(Beautiful Knitted Characters nbsp by a UK Mom

One of the most interestingly filmed excesses of Guillermo Del Toro’s career is Hellboy, featuring Ron Perlman typecast as demonspawn.  He looks something like the fuzzy knit apparition above.

Arboretum Database is On Line!!! July 28, 2014

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When I asked the curators about the locations and inventory of plants at the SF Arboretum I was shown a prototype database.  This was maybe eight years ago. Yesterday* (one of the most beautiful days on the year here in SF) I was at the Arboretum and asked again.

Apparently the database has been on line for YEARS, linking the Family, Genus, Species and Bed number.  The search page allows you to search by Common Name (Examples: Lily, Passion Flower, Bottlebrush, or Poppy), Scientific Name (Examples: Magnolia campbellii, Quercus, Brugmansia, or Bomarea caldasii), Scientific Family Name (Examples: Asteraceae, Poaceae, Rosaceae, or Fab*), Collection, Bed Number (Examples: 5A, 11B, 29B, 42C, or 74–they provide a link to the BED MAP, which you will need), Accession Number (Examples: 1987-0580, 1984-0276, XY-0578, or 2010) and  Flowering Time.

Happy hunting.

*I should tell you that the pictures I usually would take never happened because I was so entranced I didn’t want to break the spell.  Seriously, it was so beautiful it took my breath away.  Go now and be enchanted.

Great. Now I Want an Armadillo July 22, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Hello Kitty, Toys.
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An Outpost of Progress July 20, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Mutants, Uncategorizable.
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faux NASA truck

Found this little gem in Podunk, California (nowhere near Hat Creek Radio Observatory).  Not sure who the owner is, or why this homage to space exploration is here, but it surprised the heck out of me.

Almost as much as this:


Chicken coupe?

Pacific Crest Trail Hikers July 20, 2014

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This is Gretchen and Stephen, two of several hikers we met (Viola, Mike, the ukulele player whose name I have forgotten[Ryan!! I remembered!] over the Fourth.  We gave them water and cherries and a shady place for breakfast.  Ryan gave us a short concert:

These guys were hiking for the five days of the weekend…Gretchen is halfway through hiking THE WHOLE DAMN THING.

The Rewards of Heroism July 20, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Mutants, Uncategorizable.
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My cow-orkers (hyphenation intentional) and I put in some long hours on a project recently, and our boss gave us each a pair of socks as a thank you, salary increases being outside of her authority.


They are fetching, I grant you, but somehow not quite the reward one might have anticipated.

Serendipity July 20, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Hello Kitty, Mutants, Toys.
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I was looking for a phone charger at Fry’s and found these:


And this:


Fry’s seems to be a one-stop shop for my peculiar interests.

Janus Cat July 1, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Hello Kitty, Mutants, Science.
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Diprosopus is caused by a malfunction in development in the sonic hedgehog protein (you think I’m kidding.  That’s its real name.  Should have been called “politician protein”…but I digress).

We might save time by referring to this animal as “Photoshop Cat”…except his name is Frank and Louie.

From https://www.facebook.com/IFeakingLoveScience?fref=nf, which is not misspelled.  Sent to me by my step-daughter, who fucking loves science.

A Macbook Pro, a Canon 5D and $9000 June 26, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Uncategorizable, Video.
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I would go so far as to say that the friends and families have the benefit of fairly good writing, excellent editing…and some actual talent.

Air Harp Using Leap Motion Controller June 24, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Brilliant words, Mutants, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Video.
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Brilliant guy makes the Leap Motion controller into an actually useful music triggering device.  Interesting demo (!!!) begins at 3:20.

Obsessive Nerd Music June 20, 2014

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Well, if you need to obsess over something it should be something good like Bach’s greatest hit, Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

Not a Pie Chart June 20, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Science.
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Bake the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies by Knowing What to Tweak

What happens when you tweak the ingredients

tDCS Quick Summary June 19, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Brilliant words, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
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Not the most riveting speaking style, though.  This guy is much more fun, starting with “I want to be your trough of disillusionment.”

I presume he was the bummer after Dr. Clark of UNM,

promptly harshing his mellow with juicy contradictory evidence (science, bitches!).

For My Mother June 19, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Music, Science, Video.
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Mom, I didn’t think you would ever find this on YouTube.

A Bag of Coke for Father’s Day June 18, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Science, Toys.
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How thoughtful!  Well, it wasn’t a kilo of coke, but a high-altitude balloon that my step-daughters realize would be a nifty experiment.  Thank you, ladies.

Time-lapse Supernova June 11, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Photography, Science.
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I can't believe this Hubble's star explosion time-lapse video is real

The Hubble Space Telescope is probably the best investment in pure science EVER. Even if it only brought us this time-lapse image of a nova(?) expanding OVER FOUR YEARS, it’s still the greatest show on Earth. Uh, you know what I mean. It could be:

  • An atypical nova outbursts (this is very unlikely.)
  • A thermal pulse of a dying star (the new pulse illuminates the layers of star material previously ejected its previous outbursts.)
  • A thermonuclear event within a massive supergiant (in which the helium in one of the layers of the massive star ignites and starts a fusion process.)
  • A mergeburst (the burst caused by the merge of two main sequence stars.)
  • A planetary capture event (in which the star has swallowed one of its giant gas planets.)

There’s a video:

Homebrew Robotics Club Example June 10, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
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A fine example of the art, this one avoids obstacles and can walk or roll with equal ease.  Google provides them a meeting room I think the last Wednesday of the month…

…must find time for this sort of thing.


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