APOD: 2011 May 8 – Shadow of a Martian Robot

Shadow of a Martian Robot

Shadow of a Martian Robot

Explanation: What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn’t human? Then you might be the Opportunity rover currently exploring Mars.

For more, see APOD: 2011 May 8 – Shadow of a Martian Robot.

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99¢ DREAMS

I’m not dancing or jubilating… we’re not children and this isn’t a fairy tale.

99¢ DREAMS

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#4321: THE GOLDFISH COSMOLOGIST

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ASCII Art Farts

via #4321: THE GOLDFISH COSMOLOGIST.

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Seawall Armor Below Land’s End (Photos)

Those squares of reinforced steel cement represent portions of a sprayed cement “shotcrete” wall with soil nails. I can see how they’ll eventually link up. I guess they’ll have to go almost up to the 30′ surf line, but that’s a little harder to imagine.

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Disasters in Japan: Rashomon, 1950

War, earthquake, winds, fire, famine, the plague. Year after year it’s been nothing but disasters.

The actions in Akira Kurosawa’s movie Rashomon played out as a series of stories – flashbacks and reminiscences – told to a naive, faithful Buddhist monk. Each of the four major stories related decidedly different versions of the same basic events. The contradictions between them revealed even more about the nature of character and personality than they did about supposedly black and white matters of truth or justice.

These four frames showed the young monk overwhelmed by the suffering in the tale of the least of the major characters, a humble woodcutter. Despite the bravado, vanity or pride of the other higher-born characters however, no one in this film has had it easy – – or necessarily made the best of their lot in life. Indeed the monk himself, representing the viewers as witnesses to the tales, is included among in the list of flawed and believable characters.

I’m not sure why “this isn’t happiness” picked these up today. Probably simply the surface appearance: taken out of context these represented an arresting commentary on the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and nuclear disaster for the blogger who posted them.

from Something Like an Autobiography, Akira Kurosawa on Rashomon, by Akira Kurosawa:

“…three assistant directors … came to see me at the inn where I was staying. I wondered what the problem could be. It turned out that they found the script baffling and wanted me to explain it to them. … For their persistence I gave them this simple explanation:

Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves. They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing. This script portrays such human beings–the kind who cannot survive without lies to make them feel they are better people than they really are. It even shows this sinful need for flattering falsehood going beyond the grave—even the character who dies cannot give up his lies when he speaks to the living through a medium. Egoism is a sin the human being carries with him from birth; it is the most difficult to redeem. This film is like a strange picture scroll that is unrolled and displayed by the ego. You say that you can’t understand this script at all, but that is because the human heart itself is impossible to understand. If you focus on the impossibility of truly understanding human psychology and read the script one more time, I think you will grasp the point of it.

From Akira Kurosawa on Rashomon, by Akira Kurosawa: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/196-akira-kurosawa-on-rashomon

Movie page with trailer at Criterion Films: http://www.criterion.com/films/307-rashomon

via this isn’t happiness, Rashomon.

via Aphelis, Disasters in Japan: Rashomon, 1950.

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Lunch Break

Interactive piece:
 

Move the mouse pointer over the image to the left to see before / after images of the same scene. (May take a moment for the second image to appear.)

Before image:
 

This scene caught my attention for the color and contrast of the foreground, brightly lit woman and the shadowed, low contrast watching men. I like these guys on their break from the small factory across the street. They’re a regular part of the neighborhood and despite the lack of common language we all get along.

During lunch some of them sit in the shade and watch a vigorous volleyball game across the parking lot.

Click the image for a larger version.

After image:
 

I didn’t at first consider this one a “keeper” for it’s lack of contrast or foreground subject. I saw it as the next frame in a short movie and loved the ways the watchers’ attention followed the red-shirted lady out of the frame. That’s when I decided to do the overlapping interactive piece above.

Maybe I’d been looking at it too long or something, but I like this image now, in its own right.

The void in the lower left corner seemed obviously empty, with two of the men looking at something we can’t see. One looked at his watch, and one looked toward the camera in a way that diminished any sense of distance or import.

Click the image for a larger version.

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A wave approaches Miyako City from the Heigawa…

Seen in multiple places. This one from ProducerMatthew.com:
http://producermatthew.com/post/3824534318/a-wave-approaches-miyako-city-from-the-heigawa

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Whirled of Kelly (January 1, 1953)

Click the comic for a larger version. This is just the first panel… visit Whirled of Kelly for the complete scan.

From: Whirled of Kelly, http://whirledofkelly.blogspot.com/2011/03/i-see-my-doody-i-dood-it.html .

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Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors. | Morgsatlarge – blogorific.

The news has been full of scary, illiterate, and politicized reports regarding the nuclear reactors in Japan. This post by a nuclear engineer (and the commentary / discussion that accompany it) was a welcome antidote. The post itself contains some speculation and has it’s own self-evident pro-nuclear bias, but it’s like nourishing food for your brain. Gives you something to grow and work with.

Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors. | Morgsatlarge – blogorific.

(http://morgsatlarge.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/why-i-am-not-worried-about-japans-nuclear-reactors/)

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Impact to TEPCO’s Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 1:00PM)

TEPCO : Press Release | Impact to TEPCO’s Facilities due to Miyagiken-Oki Earthquake (as of 1:00PM).

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11031308-e.html

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340 Esplanade May Be At Risk

Erosion continued behind the buildings along Esplanade Ave in Pacifica, CA. Most notable, and downright scary, is a nearly unsupported patio behind 340 Esplanade. (Click an image for a larger version.)

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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A Perfect Marriage

Click the image or the following link for the full-sized original and more thought-provoking cartoons.

John Sherffius Political Cartoon, 02/23/2011.

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