Thursday, May 27, 2010

SSDD turns me upside down
Summer, summer, summer
It's like a merry-go-round

Ah, Ric Ocasek and the Cars. Love 'em. If any one music group feels like a season or such, it's them and summer. And this song in particular.  I've included their live performance in Houston in 1984.

What are you doing this summer? Enjoying some rays? Traveling? Working?

Me? Well maybe some of this...

 Be sure to drop me a note if you run into me--or my son--online.'s spelled P-O-W-N-E-D.

We use a PS3, and a log in of raine_man13

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Hmmmm. Um. I'm teaching at Hillcrest. Duh. I am, however, about to post something from another high school. Not just any high school. Springville High School. Why? Well, two reasons. One. It's pretty cool. Two. More importantly, my son is in it.

Can you spot him in this?

No. I'm not going to tell you which student it is. You'll have to figure it out all by yourself.

Friday, May 21, 2010

True blue, how true, kissle me now

I get asked all the time what kind of music I like. All. The. Time. And my answer, though completely true, is always unsatisfying to those asking. I get it. There is something missing about "lots of different stuff." Rock, Old School Rock, Punk, Alternative, Classical, and even some Country. I don't have a favorite. Not even close. What's in my car right now? Today--Friday--on the way home I'll listen to Michael Hutchence (the ex-lead signer of INXS). Ex because he died accidentally. INXS, by the way, is in the top three or four. Okay. It could be my favorite. Probably. Maybe.

Here, however, is what I listened to this morning. I love Wilco too. The live version is pretty good, but the album version off Mermaid Avenue is my favorite.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Round Like a Record

This image isn't new either. It's been a month or more since it first showed up in Norway. Speculation was rampant. A quick Google search turns up images and video and conspiracy theory ad infinitum. Short of Fox and Mulder (boy did I like Gillian) arriving on scene the reality and explanation is still really cool. Check it out and read all about it. It's worth your time.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I see Sunshine On a Cloudy Day

A number of months ago I came across these beautiful pictures. After running across this time though I thought I'd share with all of you. All things sciencie (remember?) include the clouds. And these are pretty cool. Be sure to click here (from Wired) and look through all of them.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Time in a Bottle


The Anachronism (Full Film) from Anachronism Pictures on Vimeo.

It seems like years since it's been clear

(credit for picture here)

Here Comes The Sun. Hmmmm. I wonder if I'm just posting something like a sunrise, or a Beatles (alright, it's George--but it still counts) clip? Or could it mean more?

Hmmm. Regardless--be sure to click on the image for the larger version after you listen to George sing and his guitar gently weep. 

Extra Credit Part Deaux

Okay, due to popular demand I am offering another opportunity for Extra Credit. This is the last chance. Really. This next Friday--May 21st--is the last day I'll take anything late. And it's also the last day I'll take anything you turn in for extra credit. The assignment is the same as the last (one paragraph & one picture). Email them to me (it's on the bottom right--under my fabulous picture). I'll post them and then grant you credit. Remember--it's UP to 20 points. So, do a good job.

And, so, without further ado...

Okay--so our first submission (that was fast) by MJ [no, not that MJ, the other one]--thanks.

And his accompanying paragraph:

So i found this picture on the National Geographic website, it was the photo of the day on april 25th. As you can see its a freakin amazing picture of a waterfall. Iguaca Falls to be exact. This waterfall is the border for 3 countries. Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay and the falls were first discovered in 1542 by Europeans. They are actaully a collection of 275 falls that go for a length of about 5 kilometers. The highest fall is 64 meters high the others average about 30 to 40 meters high. So enough with the boring stuff the cooooolest thing about the falls is that about 1.6 million gallons of water pour over every SECOND. So by the time you get this email almost 5 million gallons will have poured over. And by the time you enter my 20pts of extra credit lets say tomorrow at 2:00. . . 149760 million gallons will have poured over the Iguaca Falls. I know right!!?? Thats a crazy amount of water!!!!!!! 

This from CC

This beautiful animal is called an ocelot. They are really rare in the United States due to human development. Though they are rare, you can still find these cats in Texas as well as in Central and South America. These cats like to eat small deer, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, and fish. In CITES Appendix 1, the ocelot is listed as an endangered species. Ocelots can swim and climb trees, if the trees aren't too tall. They are sought after for their beautiful fur and have been since the times of the ancient Aztec civilization. Personally, I think they're beautiful.  

 This from SS

Massive and beautiful waterfalls on the Niagara River, they are also famous for being a source of hydroelectric power(thought I'd throw in something that KINDA dealt with chemistry).These waterfalls are said to have been formed at the end of the last ice age.  They may not be the highest waterfalls but are certainly wide and the most powerful in North America. Beautiful, clear blue waters like these are what I day dream about when class gets boring! Honestly, if anyone is paying attention to a class for the whole period, then they have a SERIOUS problem!

Note from moi: EXCEPT in my class right?! Where you always on task and paying attention!

All three new submissions qualify for EC. Thanks, and keep them coming.  

And this from JH

So apparently, there's this giant squid some fisherman "accidentally" scooped up. First of all, i'd just like to ask how the crap you "accidentally" scoop up a gargantuan friggen squid?

Anywho, back to the story. Scientists at the University of Lisbon in Portugal did a study on the squid's metabolic system, and they found out that these squids, the same giant squids that likely started myths of giant sea monsters and the more famous Kraken, these same myths that scared the living crap out of all storm-hardened sailors, was apparently a giant couch potato. This thing just kinda...floated around, munching on whatever it passed. Like the giant sloth of the sea. It was also concluded that these things don't actually eat that much, because of it's "slow, deliberate" movements, so it doesn't use that much energy, thus not needing to eat much. And since the squid doesn't actively chase it's prey or anything, it was concluded that the large plate-sized eyes were actually for avoiding large predators, such as sperm whales.

This from MK

This is my bearded dragon Mortimor T.  He loves music, food, and trying to attack me (just a side note he has only bit me once when he was little). He eats crickets, mice (pinkies), waxworms, and Mealworms. My favorite thing to do is to feed him a pinky, Its just cool to watch him eat it. Sometimes he freaks out and runs back and forth in the front of his cage. Its so funny because he usually does it in the morning. That’s pretty much all he does.

And from MB

I took this picture when I went to the Timpanogos Cave. What I like about Caves is that they are sometimes pretty scary and dark. This picture is showing a stalactite and a stalagmite, which almost grew together.
For me the fascinating thing about these buildings is the rate they are growing at. They grow maybe about 1cm in hundreds of years.

And from MR

This strange phenomenon happened in October of last year. It happened over the skies of Moscow, Russia. There was a lot of fuzz concerning this event, as you could imagine a lot of ovni fanatics were all over this thing (literally). Many people believed that it was photoshopped like half of all the internet photos out there. Seriously I don’t even know what’s real and what’s not, it’s bugging the heck out of me. Anyways, later on meteorologists said that this phenomenon was actually quite simple to explain and not that uncommon. The spokesperson of Moscow weather department informed that the halo formation was caused by several could streaks passing through Moscow. Aside form that, there was also an intrusion of the Arctic air, as well as the sun shining from the west. I personally believe that the aliens did it…but everyone has their own opinion right? Hehehe well whatever it was, it was an amazing show given to us by mother nature.

I think this is a great picture of a killer whale (Orcinus orca).
Killer whales may look small to some other whales, but they are one of the biggest predators.
Male killer whales are usually 19 to 22 ft long; and weigh about 8,000 to12,000 pounds!!!
Females are usually between 16 to 19 ft long and usually weigh about 3,000 to 8,000 pounds.
That's quite a big difference.
The length and weight also depend on where the whale is located.
Fishes, squids, seals, sea lions, walruses, birds, sea turtles, otters, penguins, polar bears, and reptiles have all been found in whales stomachs.
Adult whales usually eat up to 3% to 4% of their own body weigh in food a day.
Baby whales when growing can eat up to 10% of their own body weight!
It is still unknown how long killer whales may live, but they are assuming about 35 or more years.
They made that guess by counting growth layers in their teeth.

From DE

The Long Tailed Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus caudatus) is one of the newer species of possum in the discovered world. This particular creature is found in widespread New Guinea and north eastern Australia. They live in temperate rain forests at altitudes at heights above 300 meters. This particular animal has a tail that can be up to one and a half times longer than the rest of its body. It has a broad, flattened skull that holds few, but large teeth. They breed usually twice a year, from January to February, and from August to November. The mother had four teets to support her litter of up to 4. The 1- 4 young in a litter will leave the mother's pouch at about 45 days. They have spherical nests that are made of leaves and ferns. They are nocturnal creatures that usually forage alone, but have been observed in groups of up to 4. They will fein death if threatened. They mostly eat insects, but will eat pollen. They are at a lower risk, or near threatened stage of conservation. In New Guinea, there are no apparent threats, but since they are not even wide spread in Australia, they are threatened by rainforest destruction. As winter approaches, there tail becomes a storage point for fat.

From CT

Okay this was a store in British Columbia.  And there was a gas pipe that was broken.  Well this caused a problem,  after one of the workers notice the smell of gas coming from the basement they imeadiatly evacuated the store.  Sortly after evacuation the building blew up!  Well that makes you just love how gas can burn and blow the hell out of your store right?

From PB

Scientists have found in a recent study, that elephants don't walk like other four legged animals as we thought they do, like how they push with their back legs and use their front legs as brakes. Elephants, in this case, use all four legs to both move forward and slow down. In other words, as scientists put, they can walk extremely similar as to a human. Weird huh? They're such big, bulky animals that I couldn't even imagine that, especially how they sway sometimes. How this was done was that the scientists put heavy duty scales in the ground and light-reflecting disks on parts of the elephants such as the legs. And they used 7 special cameras to record how those disks moved. With those measurements the scientists found that elephants (as I mentioned just barely) use their front legs in a way that’s similar to the way human beings walk by using their front legs to move forward. Anyway, I found it to be quite interesting and thought I would write about it. :)  

From TC

This is a picture of the sun setting.  What’s cool about it is that the picture is that it shows the sun as it’s setting, and it shows it being red.  This is because the atmosphere acts like a prism, causing the light to bend and split as it hits the atmosphere, and this is where the prism effect comes in.  At Sunset, the sun is on the horizon, and the red light is on the edge of the spectrum, so that’s what we see from this perspective.  

From JH

When it comes to storm pictures, there's not much that can beat tornadoes.  They are dramatic, scary, but somehow still very beautiful.  It's incredible how many thousands of people dedicate their lives to chasing these monsters. They can reach a speed of 318 mph and can be miles and miles in diameter. The United States sees over a thousand tornadoes a year on average. Honestly, I think we are lucky to live here in Utah, where there is hardly ever a tornado. They take many lives, and i don't want to die right now. (:
  From NM

Nuclear detonation has been feared for years. Its blast can create a severe environmental problem. Its blast is including a thermal pulse, gamma rays, electromagnetic pulse, and ionization in the atmosphere. The blast is manifested as a ground shock, water shock, and large amounts of dust and radiation. In other words, its impossible to survive one of these. The detonation temperatures are several tens of million degrees. That’s a lot of vaporizing. At these high temperatures. A fire ball is formed. The ball is at an increasing rate of 200m/sec. Its ball then creates a second wave, an air burst. At its temperatures so high this makes it impossible to survive.  


Monday, May 10, 2010

Cool Stuff

Submitted by JC:
Red-tailed hawks are birds of prey and North America's most common hawks. The first of these hawks were studied in Jamaica. They are keen-eyed and efficient hunters. They prefer open areas such as fields or deserts. Red-tailed hawks are very adaptable and can live anywhere from high mountains to tropical rainforests.

Submitted by SK:

The ocean floor earns its right as one of the most magnificent places on this planet. There is an abundance of fascinating life that swims around down there. Every little sea creature is unique and it is a wonder that; even still, we haven't found every type of species that is to be discovered. This picture very well depicts the majesty of the underwater. If you haven't seen this picture before, I hope you like it.

Submitted by BG:
Llamas are scientifically known as Lama glama. They are a domesticated species, and get along well with humans.  Llamas do not spit at humans unless they are over-socialized during the first two years of their life.  Llamas are adapted to high altitudes with thick fur and strong lungs.  The average llama can carry 25-35% of their body weight and usually weigh between 300 and 450 pounds.  Llamas also make good watch-animals for herds of goats and sheep due to their ability to easily bond with them.

And submitted by TC:  
This picture was taken above a volcano in had just erupted, and spewed ash and lava up high in the sky.  The ash clouds build up static electricity, then release it in the form of lightning, as seen here.  The volcano just kept going, and so did the electrical storm, and the ash clouds along the ground.
Thanks for the submitted paragraphs and pictures. All will receive extra credit. Well done. 


Monday, May 3, 2010

Extra Credit This Week

So, this week I have some extra credit available online.

I have collected on the blog this year some completely cool pictures. I'd like you, for extra credit, share your favorite nature picture. Here's what you need to do: find a picture you like from somewhere. Digital, of course. Write a brief description (a paragraph should do just fine). Then, finally, email it to me.

I'll post your picture and description and grant you up to 20 points extra credit.

This offer expires Friday, May 7th at midnight. All pictures and the accompanying paragraph must be submitted by then.

Thanks, and have fun.



I like nature? You all got that by now right?

I love some more than others. After all, I'm not a fan of most sharks or small cats.

Let's try on a little nature today...

This is General Sherman. No, not the dead Civil War guy. Duh. It's a tree [you can say duh here]. It is a Giant Sequoia. This Giant Sequoia, as a matter of fact, is the largest tree by volume in the world. It's at the Giant Sequoia National Park. It weighs more than 1300 tons. 2, 600,000 pounds.

Of tree.

It's 275 feet tall, and is over 2,400 years old. Think about that one for a minute. When the North and South fought our Civil War this tree was over 2000 years old. When Columbus sailed on the ocean blue in 1492 this tree was already 1800 years old. When Jesus walked the earth it was 300 years old.

One of the cooler things about these trees, is that regardless their gargantuan size, they have such tiny cones. It even has a killer scientific name: Sequoiadendron giganteum.

There are a few sites worth visiting if you're interested in such things. Try wiki, this one at thinkquest, this one is okay, and this one from the Natural History Museum is pretty good.