Saturday, June 28, 2008

Prepare for Take-Off!

Another in my series of insect taming adventures. Previously.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rainbow - Once Again

Since so many people couldn't see the cross-eyed version of the 3-D image, here is a version you can try with 3-D red-cyan glasses instead (red filter over left eye). Of course, you need the glasses for the effect to work, as opposed to the cross-eyed version which doesn't require any equipment at all, if you can get your eyes to work right. It's not the best kind of picture for red-cyan glasses, but the effect still works quite well. Be sure to click on the image for a larger version. Unfortunately the Blogger upload process has made the image a bit more "ghosty" than it started out with.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rainbow in 3D

A friend recently published photos of her trip to Florida, where she saw a double-rainbow at sunset. It's a nice catch, and even nicer because she caught it at sunset close to the summer solstice, where the sun sets farthest north (you can read more in the comments).

As it happens, we had a chain of thunderstorms pass through here in Maryland just before sunset. A colleague told me to come out right now! because of a nice rainbow. My colleague was right. The rainbow was brilliant, and the second rainbow was also easily detectable. In fact, the supernumerary rainbow was also evident. Even though it was still drizzly, I snapped a few photographs. So as a complement to my friend's seaside rainbow, I give you an.... errrr... another rainbow.

To spice it up a little bit, I tried a simple technique to make a 3D image for the first time, a so-called cross-eye image. To view it, you will have to cross your eyes until you see three images, and then try to focus. Click the image to see a bigger version. I usually try to "lock" onto a landmark like the lamp post or the car. For more viewing help you can read this nice tutorial by Ray Tomes. He also describes the simple cha cha you need to do to make your own 3D photos. The only trick is that the photo you take while standing on the left should appear in the right panel of the cross-eye image.

I admit, the composition isn't the best, and a rainbow also isn't the best demonstration of the 3D effect, but the 3D effect is quite stunning for all of the foreground objects. It's so easy to do, and wonderful to look at. There are lots more cross-eye photographs linked from the tutorial mentioned above.

UPDATE (25 Jun): I'm sad to report that about 3/4ths of the people that tried to view it, couldn't see the effect. It's too bad because the effect is quite striking.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh Bubbler Where Art Thou?

I'm proud to say that I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It has some wonderful distinctions such as Summerfest on the lake, and the Milwaukee Domes. We also have another strange distinction of being one of two small isolated regions in the country that drink their water from bubblers instead of something more mundane, like a water fountain. Actually, they're the same thing, but Milwaukeeans are proud of their bubblers. I still have a "bubbler" t-shirt to commemorate my home town. (I also love my Moo-waukee t-shirt, but that's a different story.) I still remember going to college in California and getting strange looks when I asked for the nearest bubbler. Strangely, if I'd gone to college in Boston, they would have probably known what I was talking about, since that is the other place in the country that maintains the bubbler shibboleth, as shown quite nicely by this regional dialect survey.

The survey also turned up another oddity. I've lived my entire life in a soda zone. While most of the country says pop or coke for sweetened carbonated beverages, the places I have lived (eastern Wisconsin, California, and Maryland) are all known for saying soda instead. To me pop sounds like what kids would say. And coke... it's just kind of silly. I don't say pitbull when I mean dog now do I?

It's also fitting that one of the dialect survey questions is actually about the pronunciation of the name Craig. To be honest I don't know how to answer that question.

Reference. The Dialect Survey conducted by Bert Vaux, who, ironically, has moved to the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.