White Faced Ibis meets Peregrine Falcon

I heard about this clip today at Discover Wild New Hampshire Day. White Faced Ibis are uncommon in New England – to see an Ibis predated by a Peregrine and to be rolling tape at the same time? Buy a lottery ticket. I’m with the guy who says, “Can somebody else be really excited about this?”

“Mike Blust’s ornithology class from Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT, gets to see white-faced ibis (rare in Massachusetts) and the realities of nature. The falcon itself had a damaged left eye. It had been making passes at the ibis for about 10 minutes before this happened.”

A new toy/to keep my head expanding

First, a request: someone (YouTube, listen up)  needs to develop a framework for displaying synchronous graphic data streams. I’m envisioning a thumbnail(s) embedded in main screen – clicking on a thumbnail embiggens it while returning whatever was on the main screen to thumbnail status. It would be nice for videos like those below and for something I’d like to mess with this summer – synchronous heads-up videos, GPS/map data and maybe even heart rate info from a bike ride.

I recently won a Parrot AR drone at a benefit auction. I’ve been wishing for one since discovering them on a gagdet blog last summer? fall? and the auction was too good a chance to miss. The drone is a quadcopter with 2 video cameras (forward-facing and down-facing) that feeds video to and is controlled by an iPod/iPhone/etc. There are good videos on the Parrot site showing how the control system works; I just wanted to mess around a bit with the 3rd party control app that allows one to record the video stream from the drone. Aside – why this is not part of the standard Parrot software is beyond me.

Here’s what an innocent bystander would see (the 1st minute is crap – I’m trying to set off a flash on the cell phone to act as a visual clap-board):


And here’s the view from the drone:


Finally, the theme song:


It’s an amazing little device – I may not have a jetpack, but…


KPK wunderkammer pano

At last Sunday’s NH Media Makers meetup, @spyboy turned me on to the 360 Panorama iOS app. It stitches in real time as you pan and uses the accelerometer to control panning when you display the photo. Way fun! Here’s the wunderkammer end of the classroom across the hall.

KPK Pano


Update – here’s a link to the spinny version.

Update II – pano taken during a lunchtime walk to a local bog here.


Cosmonautics Day/Yuri’s Night

A movie detailing Yuri Gargarin’s flight, 50 years ago today.

Rather than being an oversight, this probably had more to do with the fact that filming technology had been left behind by our sudden leap into the Space Age, and there simply wasn’t enought room inside the cramped Vostok 1 capsule for Yuri Gagarin to wield a primitive, bulky TV or film camera.

So in early 2010, with the new giant cupola window installed on the International Space Station, and with digital filming technology now firmly in the Space Age, I began to wonder if it might be possible to trace Gagarin’s pioneering orbit around the Earth once more – and this time to film it. *

Watch it full screen!


More info at firstorbit.org and on the firstorbit YouTube account.

1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero

At the turn of the 1970s, the great design rivalry between Bertone and Pininfarina reached an all-time high, with both companies seemingly determined to pull out all the stops to outdo one another. Bertone had perhaps opened the hostilities with the Marzal and with the first “wedge-shaped” supercar concept, the mighty Alfa Romeo Carabo. Italdesign had joined the fray with the Bizzarrini Manta and the Alfa Romeo Iguana. Pininfarina had replied using all its Ferrari firepower with the striking P5, the 512S berlinetta and the Modulo. The latter had caused quite a stir at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1970, yet nothing, not even the outlandish Modulo, could really have prepared visitors of the 1970 Turin Motor Show just a few months later to what they were about to see on the Bertone stand. The car was officially labelled “Stratos HF.” Nuccio Bertone had initially wanted to call it “Stratolimite,” as in “limit of the stratosphere,” clearly inspired by its space-age design. But after some time, it came to be known simply by its internal nickname: Zero.





One of the most beautiful concept cars ever produced (IMHO) – up for sale May 20. Anyone fancy a trip to Lake Como?

The Stratos Zero spawned another favorite of mine – the plain ol’ (hah!) Stratos:



Via Hemmings.