Archives for December, 2009

Sunday Night Movie: Kinetic Sculpture

Theo Jansen’s amazing roaming artwork: [youtube=] more here and here.


Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D. ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, twin flash diffused through tracing paper

In reading various web reactions to news that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained nearly 1 million dollars for ant research at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, it seems there’s a lot of confusion about how something like ant behavior winds up getting a stimulus check.  Here’s an explanation.

More CombineZP

Heterospilus sp., undescribed species, Costa Rica click to view the original image I’ve been playing around a bit more with the freeware program CombineZP, and I thought I’d share this image of one of the wasps I’m working on in my current position.  The image is a composite from 14 photos taken through a microscope…

The Republican Party speaks: GOP senators on Tuesday highlighted “pure waste” in the billions of stimulus funds spent this year, including money for fossil research in Argentina, puppet shows and to protect cruise ships from terrorist attacks… What does the Republican Party consider wasteful? Science, apparently:

Formica integroides tending aphids

Photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS D60. ISO 100, f/13, 1/200 sec, twin flash diffused through tracing paper

The annual Entomological Society of America meeting is next week (Dec 13-16) in Indianapolis.  I’m giving two presentations- one on Pheidole and one on Heterospilus– that the sadistic conference organizers scheduled for the very last day when no one is around.   So if you are attending and happen to miss your flight out, consider heading…

I dare you not to get this Sesame Street classic stuck in your head. [youtube=]

Popular Science’s Time Machine

Oddly enough, a photograph I took in 2007 has been chosen as one of Popular Science’s 2009 “The Year’s Most Amazing Scientific Images” (I’m #34 in the gallery).  I guess that’s because the image wasn’t widely distributed until the NY Times picked it up earlier this year.  Not that I’m complaining, of course. My favorite…

CombineZP: stack your images for free

I don’t ordinarily do product endorsements on the blog, but here’s one: the image-stacking software CombineZP. I recommend it for two reasons.  First, CombineZP produces smoother, more artifact-free images than the very expensive competition.  Second, CombineZP is freeware.  Alan Hadley, a British arthropod enthusiast, wrote it in his spare time. Good.  And free.  Not much…