Archive for the ‘Visuals’ Category

Photos: From Autumn to Winter

November 22, 2007

What a difference a few days can make.






In the Mail: DNA Crystal

November 19, 2007

DNA Crystal

The photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s beautiful.

See this post for more details about Bathsheba Grossman’s Art.

Photos: Autumn Part 2

November 19, 2007

This is a follow up to this post. You can see high resolution versions of all my Autumn-themed photos here.


I’m not sure what this plant is, but I’ve noticed that each year during autumn it creates this little red heart-shaped thing. I think it’s beautiful.

Update: I think I know what that plant is. Physalis alkekengi, a.k.a. Chinese Lantern.



Bathsheba Grossman’s Art

November 14, 2007

Bathsheba Grossman - Antichron

I just discovered Bathsheba Grossman’s art, and I’m hooked.

I spent a long time looking at each sculpture and crystal laser etching on her site and ended up ordering the Mega DNA crystal along with the White light LED stand. I’m pretty sure I’m going to get more at some point in the future.

Bathsheba Grossman - DNA

About the laser crystal technique:

The points are tiny (.1mm) fractures created by a focused laser beam. The conical beam, with a focal length of about 3″, shines into the glass without damaging it except at the focal point. At that one point, concentrated energy heats the glass to the cracking point, causing a microfracture.

To draw more points, the laser is pulsed on and off. To make the beam move between points, it’s reflected from a mirror that is repositioned between pulses. The mirror is moved by computer-controlled motors, so many points can be drawn with great speed and accuracy. A typical design might use several hundred thousand points, or half a million isn’t unusual in a large block, each placed with .001″ accuracy.

Here are some other cool crystals:

Bathsheba Grossman - DNA Polymerase
DNA Polymerase

Bathsheba Grossman - Star Map
Our Neighborhood, 10 Lightyears to the Inch

Bathsheba Grossman - Calabi-Yau Quintic
A Cross-Section of the Calabi-Yau Quintic

Enough crystals for now. Check out these sculptures:

Bathsheba Grossman - Soliton


Photos: Autumn

November 13, 2007

It’s a nice day so I decided to take a walk and snap some photos around the neighborhood. It’s finally starting to look like autumn even though it’s still warmer than historical averages. It isn’t rare to see snow this time of year, but last year we had to wait until late December.





Growing Chili

November 11, 2007




You can see high resolution versions here.

See also: Winter Chili.

Roadtrip to Québec City

May 9, 2007

I just got back from a 5-day vacation in Québec city.

Quebec city roadtrip.

From Gatineau it’s about 430 kilometers (270 miles), 2/3 of that on highways and 1/3 on smaller roads surrounded by smelly farms.

We rented a small studio apartment right on the edge of Le Vieux Québec (Old Quebec), a fortified part of town near a port that has been there since 1608 when the city was founded by Samuel de Champlain (I think he has a great mustache, but unfortunately we have no idea what he really looked like — all portraits and statues were created long after his death and nobody knows what he really looked like).

Wikipedia tells us that:

Quebec’s Old Town (Vieux-Québec), the only North American fortified city north of Mexico whose walls still exist, was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1985 as the “Historic District of Old Quebec”. It is also one of the oldest cities in North America. The city has a population of 528,595, and the metropolitan area has a population of 717,600 (2005).

We stayed 5 and a half days and walked everywhere. We only took the car once to go to the aquarium. We saw a Molière play, Le Tartuffe, visited the Château Frontenac, walked in the lower town, checked out the Plains of Abraham, the provincial parliament and we explored most of the fortified section of the old town.

I have taken many photos. I’ll put a few of my favorite ones below, but you can see almost all of them right here on Flickr.

(This blog has a limit of 450 pixels in width — if you want to see a higher resolution version of a photo, just click on it and then hit the “all sizes” icon above the pic on the Flickr page)

About halfway to Québec we saw this strange car on the road. At first I thought it was an electric car I had heard about, but looking at the picture I see that it has two exhaust pipes. Maybe a hybrid? Or maybe not.

The white building with a blue roof is where we stayed.

This is Québec’s provincial parliament, which we call L’Assemblé Nationale.


The two pictures above are of statues in front of the parliament. The first is various historic figures, and the second is aboriginal people.

That’s the Château Frontenac.

Another angle.