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Archive for November, 2012

You might have seen these amazing images from photographer Suren Manvelyan before. They’re super-closeups of the human eye, revealing the beautiful complexity of our iris. But what are we actually seeing?

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What makes our eye look like a desert landscape?

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The iris has two layers of fibers—radial fibers and sphincter fibers. Radial fibers are what pulls the pupil open, and sphincter fibers are what cause the pupil to close.

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Most muscles in our body are sheathed in some sort of membranous covering, but these fibers are open to the fluid in the front of the eye called the aqueous humor, which is why we can see them very distinctly in these images.

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The valleys and creases that surround the pupil are where the iris buckles when the pupil dilates.

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Interestingly, certain drugs can cause eye color to change, but no one has yet been able to figure out how to change brown eyes into blue ones.

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I learned two great truths this week.

“You don’t have bad luck. The reason bad things happen to you is because you’re a dumbass.”

One of the (many) problems with stupid people is that they do not fully appreciate just how colossally stupid they are. This make sense as it would involve a bit of self-analysis and some basic thinking.

This epiphany was followed by the second truth I learned this week.

“Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care… but because they don’t.”

This one is particularly sad since it presumes you once cared enough about the person to get involved and try to help. At one point, you realize that of the two of you, you are the only one expending any effort. Often, it takes a long time to come to that point.

Which leads, I suppose, to the third truth I learned this week…

“Hope can be a terrible thing.”

Lessons learned the hard way.

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There is a wonderful site called PhotoBotos.com.

Some of the most amazing photographs are posted there.

Here are just a few recent examples.

I get daily emails from them with the latest sample of excellent photography.

Do yourself a favour and get PhotoBotos to email you their artwork.

You won’t regret it!

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Lellen (not her real name) is a beautiful, charming, funny, vivacious young lady.

Lellen is a triathlete. As I understand it, this involves swimming, running, possibly archery and hand-to-hand combat.

Whatever it entails, Lellen excels at it. She is what is known as a “jock.” Such a crude and unpleasant word for this girl. I prefer ‘athlete’ or more specifically ‘skinny little blonde who can beat the crap out of most guys I know.’

Lellen has her quirks, most definitely. She hates a mess and cannot abide clutter. The first time she was at my house, she took one look at my kitchen and said, “You have GOT to be kidding me!” She proceeded to tidy and organize my kitchen as well as my library shelves. (I have a lot of books). It is a tribute to the sheer strength of her personality that things have remained tidy (more or less) ever since.

She and I share a love of horror novels, specifically those written by Stephen King. She practically went into nerdgasms when she saw my collection of old Stephen King hardcover books.

So here’s to one of the best lunatics it has been my privilege to know. Long may you straighten up the clutter in my life. Long may we enjoy the pleasure of our company. 

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Thanks to my sweetie Eva for this horror short.

WARNING: If you watch it, don’t be surprised if you find it frightening or disturbing. Enjoy! 🙂

Darlings, tonight’s feature is a brief little film about two girls whose mamá has come to collect them. Creators Andres and Barbra Muschietti pack some eye-widening imagery into just three minutes, which is probably why this short was picked up for feature-length production by none other than Guillermo del Toro.  Enjoy!

If you liked tonight’s short, do watch the trailer for the feature-length production hereSet to release this January and starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of Game of Thrones fame, this is definitely one I have on my watch list for next year.

Related Posts:

– Friday Night Features: “The Morning Ritual”

– Friday Night Features: “The Descendant”

– Friday Night Features: “Red Balloon”

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CHARLI Robot Gangnam Style!

The CHARLI series [1] humanoid robot is developed as a research platform to study bipedal walking and autonomous behaviors for humanoid robots. It is designed to be ultra light weight (under 15 kgs) for safety and low cost.

As the next generation of the CHARLI series humanoid robots, CHARLI-2 improves stability and speed in walking, intelligence and autonomy, and soccer playing skills. CHARLI-L2 is also designed to participate in the autonomous robot soccer competition, RoboCup, in the Adult size league.

(Eh, sexy lady!)

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[1] CHARLI: Cognitive Humanoid Autonamous Robot with Learning Intelligence.
Creators: RoMeLa (Robotics & Mechanisms Laboratory).
Winner: TIME magazine Invention of the Year.

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Saw this U.S. Antarctic Program photo and just had to share it!

(A jellyfish under the Ross Sea ice, Antarctica) [1]

The National Science Foundation funds and manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, which supports research in aeronomy and astrophysics, biology and medicine, geology and geophysics, glaciology, and ocean and climate systems. Outreach, such as the Antarctic Artists and Writers program, and education programs are also supported.

To learn more about the program, visit the USAP Web site.

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[1] Photo: Henry Kaiser, National Science Foundation. (Date of Image: Oct. 14, 2005)

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