Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crazy New Fish

Some divers in Ambon Bay in Indonesia have found a new species of frogfish that has never been officially identified. It's a beautiful fish. If you've seen it before and know what it is, please contact Maluku Divers.

New Frogfish Species

Last month when I was in Antigua, I photographed a fish that turned out to be somewhat difficult to identify. It is clearly some kind of parrotfish, and so far the consensus seems to be that it is the nocturnal colors of a juvenile red-banded parrotfish. Please comment if you have other ideas.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Good Reads ...

Dune, Frank Herbert et al

I first read the Dune series just in time to be anxiously awaiting the initial release of Chapterhouse in 1987. I've read the first six Dune books all at least twice and I think I've read Dune three or four times. I think the breadth and depth of the universe created by Frank Herbert is just truly awesome and engaging. Unlike many critics and long-time fans, I also really like the prequels written by his son Brian.

Isaac Asimov Robot Stories

Asimov was a genius on the same scale with Frank Herbert. I think his Robot stuff is his best work, with the detective trilogy - Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn - being some of my favorite books of all time. I'm just now reading the Foundation Novels for the first time - I've been saving them.

Peter L. Bernstein: Capital Ideas; Capital Ideas: Evolving; Against the Gods: A History of Risk

Charlie Wilson's War

One the the most amazing true stories of all time. The movie was "ok" ... but the book was a revelation. I thought I knew a thing or two about the Soviet Afghan conflict ... until I read this book. Rarely has one man and his individual efforts so affected the course of global geopolitics.

Will Self

Twisted, smart and funny. I don't read a lot of "serious" fiction, but this ain't really "serious". Great Apes and My Idea of Fun are two good examples of his brand of insanity.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Another Fun Rangers Pic


I saw the Rangers beat the Sabres 2-1 in a great game on January 16th. Of course I brought my camera ... hopefully soon I'll get the 2X teleconverter which would extend my reach to 420mm (35mm film equiv) - that should get me right on the ice if I'm lucky enough to sit in such great seats again.

A couple days later, I dropped my camera on the pavement while trying to put my son on my shoulders. Fortunately, Canon factory repair restored it to "like new" for about $140 ... could have been worse. I just got it back yesterday ... phew.

This was shot at ISO 800 - and then I used Adobe noise reduction to whack, well, the noise of course. I find the high ISO stuff on the G9 (400+) usually looks a lot more palatable in B&W where the final residual noise makes it look like it was shot on Tri-X film or something.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Show of the Week

Grateful Dead at Giants Stadium, June 16, 1991

Click the link above to hear the show.

This one is another personal favorite. The second dead show I attended was at Giants Stadium in 1987 ... but this was my favorite show of the four or five I saw there.

A couple days before the show, I had had a throat culture because I hadn't been feeling well at my childhood pediatriacian's office as I had been at home with my parents ... but then I was "on the road" and not in touch with my mom for a few days. Right before the show for some reason, she spoke with one of my oldest friends - whom I hadn't seen in a while - and he told her he was going to this show. She says, "Oh yeah? If you see Jeremy there, tell him he has strep throat!" He laughed, thinking to himself, "What are the chances of THAT!" ...

Well, one my way into the stadium right before showtime, I bumped in Brian who told me I had strep ... and we sat together and had a blast at a great summer dead show. We made sure not to share cups.

Here's some excellent video from the show:

Eyes - Part 1

Eyes - Part 2

And ... here's some "filler" ... a great Peggy-O from June 26, 1994 in Vegas. I think there's good reason this is one of the most viewed Dead performances on YouTube.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Antigua Underwater Video

A little video entertainment ... this footage was shot by me in Antigua this past month, principally underwater, as both stills and video. The Canon G9 is an awesome camera to take with you scuba diving. In addition to taking great stills (particularly macro), it can shoot video at high resolution (1024x768) at a framerate of 15 fps.

The song is The Lochs of Dred by Strength in Numbers - a bluegrass "super group" from the late '80s with Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Bela Fleck (banjo), Mark O'Connor (violin), and Edgar Meyer (bass). I recently saw Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Edgar Meyer play at Zenkel Auditorium at Carnegie Hall ... they were just off the hook.

Fun From National Geographic