Feb 07

A while back, a friend of mine showed me some “secret” photos he had from a Nuclear Power Plant located on the East coast

At first, I was a little worried that he had ascertained the photographs in some clandestine way.  However, it turns out that a close friend of his actually worked in the reactor and had taken some these amazing pictures of the inside bowels of a modern nuclear reactor.

Feel free to check all the pictures out in my gallery if you have a bit of interest.

Interesting Note:  That blue glow seen in some of the pictures is no Photoshop effect my friends; it's actually Cherenkov Radiation.  According to Wikipedia, the glow is caused by “electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle passes through an insulator at a speed greater than the speed of light in that medium. The characteristic 'blue glow' ” seen above is an example of this phenomenon.

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Dec 14

As the Christmas holiday quickly approaches, the number of ridiculously bad pictures taken certainly increases proportionately (at least for me). 

One thing I have always struggled with is getting Christmas lights to turn out in my darn pictures.  Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I've EVER had any turn out well.

Lucky for me, I came across this handy guide

“You don't need a high-end camera for great results. You can use a very
inexpensive digital camera and do just fine. You don't even need flash.
It all comes down to what time of the day you shoot. And a couple of
other little tricks.”

Click Here to check the article out.

Aug 13

Well, unfortunately we made it back from our Honeymoon in Kauia (Hawaii).  It's unfortunate because the trip simply went too fast (even though I knew it would).  We had an absolute blast and loved every minute there.  We spent a lot of time in the sun on the most incredible beaches I've ever seen. 

Surprisingly though, our favorite things to do was simply exploring all the local food joints, towns, and secret hideaways the island contains.  The most incredible part of the trip was our decision to take day-long yacht tour around the island mainly to see the Na Pali Coast.  This part of the island has to be some of the most amazing coastline I've ever seen.

Anyways, that's enough chit-chat about the trip, let's move on to the cool part… the pictures!

Click Here to check out the highlight pictures from the trip.

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Jun 28

I stumbled across this mind-tingling site yesterday and was enthralled with the “statistics” in visual form.  Essentially it's a graphical representation of planet and star sizes throughout space.  It's pretty cool to see how small we really are.

I don't know who's idea this was and I can't seem to find out much about who created it.. but WOW… that is really cool. 

When I have kids, I'm gonna recommend this as a science fair project.. just because it would be cool to make those planets!

Actually, I wonder if those are real?  Dang it, they can't be!  Stupid Photoshop.  Get's me every time.

Click Here to check the site out!

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Apr 29

Care to see what some geeky types do in their free time? 

A couple of my buddies recently completed a wireless network connection between their homes using roof-mounted directional antennas.  After literally months of custom design work, troubleshooting, climbing on ladders, and a still non-working network, they finally got it going.

Doesn't sound riveting does it?  Despite your preconceived notions, it's actually a decently entertaining tale.  Take a moment to check it out.. if you have any interest in this sorta thing.

Click Here to see the blog. (Start at the entry transpalisades is live!)

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Mar 30

A few weeks ago, an extremely dangerous storm swept through our area spawning multiple tornadoes and a lot of damage.  Fortunately, I wasn't in an area hard hit.. however, many weren't so lucky.

Sadly, the same storm front went right up to Illinois and slammed Springfield, Chatham (where I grew up), and many of the surrounding area's pretty bad.  I quickly learned that a good friend of mine, Kyle, had his farm hit pretty bad.  Fortunately, no one was injured and the their home was spared.

Now they just have to get the insurance to come through for them, it's tough to be a farmer now-days… and this won't help things any.

Kyle graciously sent me a few pictures of the damage and I was “blown away” (sorry for the pun).  It was an incredible feeling when I saw the pictures; this massive farm, I remembered being amazed by, was reduced to shambles.

We hope you are doing ok up there and the clean-up process is coming along quickly Kyle.  Best wishes for you and your family!

Click Here to see the pictures.

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Mar 27

I decided to take a special trip this year for Spring Break.  I've actually graduated, but I still celebrate this time with Lyndsey (my significant other).  Since she's still in school and starting Law School in the fall, I plan on taking advantage of this holiday for at least a three more years.

This year, we went to Brownsville, TX and enjoyed a respite from the cold weather with some family and friends.  We spent time on the beach, in swimming pools, in Mexico, a Zoo, and generally had a lot of fun doing nothing in particular.

Also, most importantly, I asked Lyndsey to marry me.  Thankfully, she said “Yes“!

Quickly, I have realized the next months of my life are going to become the dictionary definition of hectic as we plan the wedding, the honeymoon, build a house, and generally prepare to start our life together.  I'm beginning to wonder if we'll be sane when it's all over.

Regardless, the process has begun and only time will reveal the mental state of us both in the end.  Despite the sanity quandary, I have no doubt our future will be perfect together.

Note: If you want to see pictures of Spring Break2006: Our Engagement, please follow the instruction in the Request Restricted Access section in the left column of every page on my blog.  Please email me with any questions or requests for full-size versions of any photo.

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Mar 08
Hubble Site
- OK, I know this may be a tad on the strange side, but I have found
myself spending more and more time lately carefully searching through
the countless images available on this site.  If you didn't
know, the Hubble  Space Telescope is an incredible piece of
equipment that is letting us peer farther in to space than we ever have
before.  Some of the pictures here are exceptionally
breathtaking.  Plan on spending a lot of
time!
Feb 23
By now I bet a large majority of you have already heard of Julian Beever and seen his awe-inspiring pavement drawings.  However, before dismissing this entry totally, take note: I have compiled a large photo gallery of his best drawings.  If you get a chance to check it out again, do it.. and be inspired.. again.  If you haven't seen them, do not miss this oppurtunity.

Check them all out by clicking here!

A lot of these images were pulled randomly from the internet, but many were pulled directly from what I believe to be Julian's own personal home page here.  Thanks Julian and keep up the amazing work!

Another amazing artist of similar talent is Kurt Wenner.  He has some incredible street drawings also.. you can see them by going to his site here.  The sad thing is I almost think Kurt has more amazing drawings than Julian does, but a lot of his famous work get's improperly credited towards Julian, mainly by people not doing their research.  So, point is, sorry Kurt.

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Feb 21
Not too long ago, I was just a kid.  Hmm, obvious statement.  Now, being a kid has advantages and disadvantages.  Mostly though, it's just really boring.  Especially in High School, my buddies and I made a constant point to find unique and interesting ways to waste our time and remain comically entertained.
After hearing a news report one night about how a woman (who shall remain nameless unless you click on the previous link) burnt her house up after leaving a Pop-Tart in her toaster too long.. we decided to do some research.  After Googlingpop-tart fire” and other such search terms, we found several people who had already discovered the unique ability of this small pastry to do amazing things: Dave Barry (the humor columnist) wrote an entire article about it, and many people had recreated the experiment.  Soon after that, we decided we would try it out at a friend's house.


Ironic but important side-note: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!

It was a sort of Mythbusters for the Average Joe, but not video-taped and only for laughs:
If you want to see larger pictures of the event, Click
Here
.

So, our adventure begins with an $8.00 toaster from Meijer.  By looking at this completely unassuming toaster, you would never guess how much fun could be derived simply and efficiently.

We continued our fun with a couple of non-generic Kelogg's Pop-Tarts
(in the law-suit obligatory Strawberry flavor), a heavy duty power
cord, and a parent-free (ie: common-sense-having) zone.. which turned
out to be my buddies'
back porch.  The key to this adventure is carefully and deliberately
duct-taping the toaster position in the ON and locked position.  This
achieves two goals:

1) Standing there in awe without having to do any work (like resetting the toaster repeataedly).
2) Prevents any injuries from the possibly dangerous sugar-coated pastry explosions.

Still looks unassuming right?
After a few minutes, a little glint of smoke starts to appear.

Suddenly and without much warning, a  nearly 3-foot (Yes, really that big) flame leaps from the bowels of the little toaster.

This large flame continues for several minutes.

Soon, the fire settles down to a slightly disturbing blast-furnace-like
source of heat (especially if there is even a slight breeze).

At this point, we salvage the toaster (for additional uses) and unplug
it, but the molten Pop-Tart continues to glow for a long time after the
cord is pulled.

When it's all said and done, you have a slightly warped and stinky
toaster with a black solid mass of “formerly-known-as-Pop-Tart” sitting
in the bottom.

Remember, this is probably illegal to attempt (somehow) and definitely somewhat/slightly dangerous, so DON'T try it at home.  We were experienced pyromaniacs and we do not recommend the above ideas to anyone.

If you want to see bigger pictures of the event, Click Here.

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Feb 10
So, have you ever wondered what the inside of a Nuclear Power Plant
looked like?  Ever curious what's in the bowels of all that
concrete and steel.  You are in luck, because I happened upon
some amazing photos a friend of mine sent me from a Nuclear Power Plant
on the East coast. 

Click Here to check them out!

Take special note of the glow that surrounds the radioactive rods in the water. 
I am told by an expert in the field that “the glow (or Cherenkov effect) originates
 from the Gamma particles travelling faster than the speed of light”
.
 

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