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April 30, 2007

Lightning Slow?

This is Matt practicing last Monday for his qualifying exam. I photoshopped two shots together, the left and the right half are from different exposures using the same technique. The neat effect though, was all in the camera. It looks like Matt is super fast but in reality the shutter was just super slow. I had it stopped all the way down - f/36, 4 sec exposure, ISO 100. I would need a nice ND filter to get the correct exposure with any longer shutter speeds.

April 29, 2007

Pink Flowers

I'm out of town this weekend. Scraping the bottom of the flower picture barrel here, sorry!

April 28, 2007

Orange and Purple Flowers

I'm out of town this weekend. Scraping the bottom of the flower picture barrel here, sorry!

April 27, 2007


Little white flowers! Do you see it?

NOW do you see it?

It wasn't easy getting a bee to sit still long enough to take a picture. They are busy little bees.

April 26, 2007

I'm Pop Clueless

Every once in a while one of Jorge Cham's PhD comic strips will describe me better than you will ever know.

Image © Piled Higher and Deeper by Jorge Cham (www.phdcomics.com)

Blurry Flowers

Sometimes I try too hard with the whole depth of field thing. There are a few flowers right in the middle that are in focus. I still like this picture, but if I had it to do over again, I'd set the focus on the ones in the front.

April 25, 2007

A fresh look?

I get a lot of junk mail, both the electronic sort, and the dead tree variety. Most of the time I just click delete or recycle it, sort of annoying, but today, one made me laugh. Here is bit of an ad for a "fresh new look" from the Men's Warehouse (note: please seek new advertising services).

And here is a frame from season 8, episode 21 (Field of Greens) of Good Eats:

I was thinking that maybe they gave Alton's mean green deep green a makeover, then chopped his head off and had it for lunch?

Lots and Lots of Pink Flowers

Many pink flowers, many tiny blue flowers, one rebellious red flower. A genetic mutant? user error? a disgruntled gardener making a statement?

April 24, 2007

Orange You Glad I'm Not a Vitamin?

I read many scientific publications on a daily basis, and I'm often amazed with stuff people are working on, but rarely do I stumble across a bit of research that backs up some previously baseless theory I've dreamed up and employ in my daily life.

I scoff at the idea of taking vitamins in pill form. The ingredients in those little pills, largely unregulated, go through who knows how many chemical extractions, purifications, and modifications; this means there is trace solvent, traces of heavy metals from machinery, vitamins that have been chemically altered by oxidative damage - all these things are in those little pills, and they are Bad Things™.

On the other hand, if you can find a good source of fruits and vegetables that haven't been ravaged by chemical pesticides and herbicides, they should be relatively free of Bad Things™, and as Guarnieria, Risoa and Porrini report here (British Journal of Nutrition, 2007, 97, 639-64), they are instead full of trace amounts of mysterious Good Things™. Nobody really knows what most of these Good Things™ are, just like we don't know what some of the Bad Things™ are, but when it comes to knowing what is good for me I'm going to trust nature over some guys who own a pill factory aiming to make a few bucks.

The authors made healthy volunteers drink either real juice from blood oranges, water enriched with the same levels of vitamin C, or sugar water as a control, and then subjected samples of the volunteers' blood cells to oxidative damage by H2O2. They concluded in part "that whole foods can increase cell resistance to oxidative stress better than single compounds". They also found that even after levels of vitamin C in blood plasma had dropped off, the juice group still resisted oxidative damage far more than the enriched water group. Apparently, there is at least one trace compound in oranges that is working in concert with vitamin C to keep you healthy. Nobody knows what this compound is, but you can rest assured it doesn't come in a pill.

For my illiterate audience, I took a picture of an orange - go eat one:

Pink Flower

Here is a pink flower. I should mention that by far, the most popular images hotlinked from my site are the images of roses I took back in 2004. To the hotlinkers, just take them, please.. stop hotlinking.

April 23, 2007

Yellow Flower

Here is a yellow flower. It's pretty. I dig it. Try downloading the big version and zooming in.

April 22, 2007


I am going to do a week of flowers. This image is my new desktop wallpaper. To be exact, I have a Mac so I flipped it horizontally so the little icons would be on the black area. Enjoy.

April 21, 2007

Secret Booze Safe

Have trouble with vanishing liquor? Install a false wall, secret door, and a safe - like I found at the Filoli House.

I really like this first shot, and the second is just for context.

April 20, 2007

Still Working Hard

Here is Greg, hard at work, studying for some exam.

Let us take a closer look at what exactly he is doing...

Ahhh.. Good old acid (and base!) dissociation constants.

April 19, 2007

Working Hard

Sorry I've been flakey with the pictures the past two days. None for yesterday, but there were two with the hamster thing lets just call that a two in one. I've been busy with work this week. Just like the folks in the picture!

April 17, 2007

Hamster Ball Race

One Saturday morning at the Davis Farmers Market there was a hamster ball race. The final three contestants:

And the winner? Hamster belonging to the kid in the middle.

Lots of details are missed when I scale them down so small. Click on the photos and download the full sized pictures.

April 16, 2007

Molecules in Motion

This is completely staged. I asked my advisor to sit very still but rotate the protein on the screen as fast as he could. I think it turned out okay. I adjusted the curves for only the screen portion of the image to enhance the colors a bit.

April 15, 2007


I have this giant beaker at home that I like to drink water from. I'm such a total chem geek... It was sitting on my desk one day when something blue popped up on the screen and I liked the reflection of the label on the water. As with all the entries the full sized version is available from the photo page.

April 14, 2007

Up the Creek

Back in January I went on a hike with the Capay Valley Hiking Club. This picture was taken around here. You road you can see at the top of the picture is highway 16.

April 13, 2007

Mr. Plow

I was watching the national news a couple days ago, and noticed that just about the entire country was cold, except for of course where I live. This picture was taken a short time ago driving back from Lake Tahoe. It is pretty blurry, but considering we were each traveling 30+ MPH head on, I think I did pretty well.

April 12, 2007


While waiting in line to start The World's Largest Bicycle Parade I saw these two guys trying to ride their bikes facing backwards.

April 11, 2007


Mike, pushing his son Albert around in a brand new wheelbarrow. Albert doesn't really know how to use his words yet, but unfortunately his parents taught him the American Sign Language sign for 'more', and so the wheelbarrowin' continued.

April 10, 2007


Part of our Linux cluster, redline. Take a look at some of the calculations we run on these computers.

I didn't edit this picture at all. The overhead lights were off, so the only lighting in the room came from the computers themselves and other electronics in the room, captured with a 30 second exposure.

April 09, 2007

Water Euphoria

Some random kid at the Davis Farmers Market who seemed way too happy about water squirting out the sidewalk.

April 08, 2007

Majestic Beauty v2.0

I spent a bunch of money on a camera a while back, and haven't been using it as much as I should, nor have I been posting on my blog with any frequency. I figured posting a picture everyday would solve both these issues.

I proposed this idea to my friend Ursula, and without her nagging encouragement, I probably wouldn't have done anything with it. So I thought it fitting for my first picture to be a nod to her. On our way to Lake Tahoe, our GPS navigator sent us down some road that happened to be closed. This was a bad thing. The good thing was the dam and lake at the end of this closed road made for a great picture. Here is her picture, and below is mine. I touched it up a bit, dodging the sky, and adding a little bit of a blue hue.