Waxing gibbous

Like the tree posted earlier, I also toyed with photographing the moon using My New Skillz.  Well, I mean using the mode that lets me control the shutter speed and, therefore, how much light it pulls in.  Anyway, as my New Year’s parting post, here are two photos of the last moon of the year.

I don’t know why the first one came out tinted like it is, but it sure made for a purty color.  Actually, this one was taken without any digital zoom and I suspect the distance from the target skewed it somehow… but I’m guessing.

The waxing gibbous moon (161_6160)

The second photo is color-corrected.  It was taken using the digital zoom, and then it was reduced in size to clarify the digital zoom fuzziness.  It’s because this one came out looking normal that I suspect the lack of digital zoom on the first one resulted in the soft violet hue.

The waxing gibbous moon (161_6152)

I’m quite proud of that little camera.  It did a damn fine job taking pictures of the moon.  I’m impressed because it wasn’t hooked up to the telescope.  I can’t wait until I get a new one and start doing that, however, since the combination will provide very different results from these tawdry experiments.  Still, I can’t complain.

Open thread

Circus of the Spineless #16 is now available.  Head on over for plenty of invertebrate news and photos.

A most excellent editorial: “WE SPENT FIVE years acting hysterically, like a nation that was in a fight with Ricky Ricardo. We were insane people, screaming about politics, shoving tiny American flags on the corners of our news shows, convincing ourselves that flipping houses was a real job. There was a moment there when we even considered shunning French fries. But in 2006 it all changed. This was the year of adulthood, of sobriety, of pragmatism: the year of acting reasonably. The kind of year when you calmed down, thought it through, weighed your options and realized that there is no upside in telling the media that, yes, it does kind of suck when the vice president of the United States shoots you in the face. All of a sudden, we decided to approach events unemotionally. In fact, we were downright boring. At this point in Vietnam, college kids were destroying campuses and growing incredibly unflattering facial hair. In 2006, we asked a bunch of retirees to meet for a study group about Iraq. If they had done a better job, we’d probably be moving on to solving the Palestinian issue with a book club. And the Iraq Study Group didn’t come up with the radical solution that everyone expected. Instead, it reasonably advised that — slowly, when no one is looking — we get the hell out of there.”  I’d quote the whole thing if I could.  Just go read it.  And it’s about time: Americans grew up a tad in 2006, although I won’t say they stopped acting like spoiled, hysterical children.

Don’t miss the Best of 2006 | Readers’ Choice gallery at (sometimes)photoblog.  There’s plenty of good eye candy to satiate the hungriest amongst us.

Carnival of the Cats #145 | New Year’s Edition is the last one for 2006.  The celebration of all things feline goes out in style with lotsa links to adorable photos and stories.  Don’t miss this celebration.

Before the sun hides the day

I want to wish everyone a happy New Year celebration.  Be safe and careful, mindful always of your own limits as well as the many fools who have already passed theirs.

Let 2007 begin and progress as a year of wonder, respect, and responsibility.  Set your sights high but never lose track of where each step must land to carry you forward.  Do not let your advancement be upon the backs of others, or at the expense of this planet that has sheltered us and provided for us despite our uncaring abuse.

And finally from The Kids, a presentation of holiday faces as they wish you Happy New Year!

From top to bottom: Grendel, Loki, Kako, Kazon, and Vazra.

Close-up profile of Grendel's face in natural light (160_6012)
Close-up profile of Loki's face in sunlight (160_6095)
Close-up of Kako's face in natural light (160_6089)
Close-up of Kazon's face in natural light (160_6018)
Close-up of Vazra's face in natural light (153_5331)


My mind is still mush and offering up simple, probably common words to post, so I do apologize in advance if I’ve bored you over the last few days with these entries.  I don’t have it in me to delve deep enough for more advanced vocabulary… at least not yet.

gestalt (ge·stalt): / guh SHTAHLT / (always italicized)

(1) a pattern, configuration, organized field, or structure of phenomena integrated such that it possesses properties as a functional unit which are impossible to derive from the basic summation of its various components; a unified whole; a group regarded as a single item
(2) an instance or example of the whole being more than the sum of its parts

[From German gestalt meaning “figure, shape, form, structure.”]

Usage: Animal personalities are gestalts that could never be unraveled simply by cataloguing individual experiences, thoughts, and emotions.