Dubai World Record Eagle Flight – Video

“[An] Eagle cam captures stunning footage of an imperial eagle descending over 2,700 ft (830 m) from the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.”

Goal: Take an Imperial Eagle (with a camera attached) to the tallest building in the world and from that height, have it locate its handler and land on the arm of that trainer. The bird looks around for quite some time until it sees the trainer and then it folds its wings (@ 1:40 +/-) and dives. What details could a human see from that height? (Admittedly, the trainer appears to be in the middle of a large red square, but still…)

Apparently this event was held to draw attention to the fact that these eagles are endangered.

To learn more about how the eyesight of humans and eagles compare, read What If Humans Had Eagle Vision?

STATUS QUOtes — 20150716

“With lies you may get ahead in the world — but you can never go back.” — Russian Proverb

“A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog when you are just as hungry as the dog.” — Jack London

“The ability to say ‘No’ is a tremendous advantage for an investor.” — Warren Buffett

“I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.” — Oscar Wilde originally published this post

STATUS QUOtes — 20150715

“When you have bacon in your mouth, it doesn’t matter who’s president.” — Louis CK

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” — Jim Carrey

“Wanting to be someone you’re not is a waste of the person you are.” — Kurt Cobain

“Bad taste is often simply saying the truth before it should be said.” — Mel Brooks originally published this post

Eastern Collared Lizard – (Crotaphytus collaris)

During our hikes in and around Las Cruces, NM, we came across several very interesting creatures. Among them was this one particular lizard that, at first, was hard to believe was real.

Eastern Collared Lizard

Doesn’t it look like a toy found in a discount store?

Once it was seen in and among the native flora, it looked a bit more natural as it blended with the environment.

Eastern Collared Lizard

Look at this closeup shot…

Eastern Collared Lizard Closeup

Aren’t those great markings on the head? And the feet..yellow toes! What’s with that?

Here’s a great side shot of the markings on its chin and the dots on the back. I never saw a lizard that had such a colorful persona.

Eastern Collared Lizard Closeup

Of course it was real. I actually touched the first one we saw to get it to scoot away, but it didn’t go too far. It “appeared” to be as curious of us as we were with it.

In the picture below, the two dark “collars” are easy to spot and provide a clear segmenting of the shoulder from the torso.

Eastern Collared Lizard Sunning

More lizards were spotted and will be presented in a future post, but the Eastern Collared Lizard was my favorite.

Read More:

Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona

Visit the Arizona Herpetological Association

New Mexico Herpetological Society

STATUS QUOtes — 20150714

“Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.” — Mooji

“Man blames fate for other accidents but feels personally responsible for a hole-in-one.” — Martha Beckman

“The main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.” — Thomas Carlyle

“Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.” — Earl Wilson originally published this post

To See In Ways Others Cannot – Crafting the Photograph

I know we have all heard the argument that it is not the gear, but the eye that is the key to creating a beautiful photograph. Perhaps the single greatest asset in making great photographs is the ability of an individual to “connect” with his/her subject and see in ways that others are not able to see. The mind’s eye is another phrase I have often heard used to reference this talent.

I follow the Digital Photography School blog/website because I am a life-long learner and photography is a subject in which I am keenly interested. I recommend this resource to others who want to learn how to create better images.

As an example, a recent post by Darlene Hildebrandt, 26 Imaginative Images of Inanimate Objects, presents some excellent photos of inanimate objects that go well beyond just creating a record of a moment in time. Among the pictures used as examples is the one below. Does this evoke a feeling? If so, what feeling? If these were living, breathing objects, what would the one on the right be thinking or saying? That’s what makes this an excellent photograph. The viewer, at least this viewer, connects with the emotion of the picture.

The Tragedy of Pears

I know they are just pears, but the photograph is larger than pears and that’s the point. It is larger than a still life. In my mind, they are evoking a mood, creating an emotional response. See other works by this photographer, Victoria Ivanova here.

Another picture, not quite as poignant, but still clever and creative is the cup and handle seen in a different way.

Heartfelt Mug

When I first saw this, I had to smile. It made me happy. Does it make you happy? How many times have we looked at this or similar scenes and yet failed to see the detail that Tiziano Giumelli envisioned. I realize that the shadow was probably artificially created, but it isn’t a situation that would be unlikely to occur on its own. It would most likely be less obvious; more subtle, but it would still be there. I am connected to this photo in a mild, and whimsical way.

The photographer didn’t just happen upon this scene, whip out the camera and snap the shutter. I mean it could have been done that way, but it is very doubtful. The mug and saucer are off center; that appears to be deliberate. The shadow renders a near perfect heart shape; that seems to be purposeful. The shadow hides a portion of the left side of the cup and saucer with just a bit poking out from the rear which makes it mysterious; that was intended. This is a well-crafted image.

See what other pictures are offered to viewer in 26 Imaginative Images of Inanimate Objects.

Are there other pictures that you connect with? Which photos evoke a feeling in you even though they are of inanimate objects?

STATUS QUOtes — 20150713

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” — Rumi

“A tiger doesn’t proclaim his tigritude, he pounces.” — Wole Soyinka

“When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

“To my children: Never make fun of having to help me with computer stuff. I taught you how to use a spoon.” — Sue Fitzmaurice originally published this post

A Dare To Stare Brings A Tear

Marina Abramović is a performance artist who now resides in the Hudson Valley of New York. Her one time lover and creative partner of a dozen years, Frank Uwe Laysiepen, also known as “Ulay” worked with Marina on several pieces that were on display as part of her “The Artist is Present” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

“…After several years of tense relations, Abramović and Ulay decided to make a spiritual journey which would end their relationship. They each walked the Great Wall of China, in a piece called The Great Wall Walk, starting from the two opposite ends and meeting in the middle” for one last embrace and to say goodbye. [ ]

As part of “The Artist is Present” exhibition, Ms. Abramović was to create one more piece of performance art by allowing total strangers who were visiting the gallery to sit opposite her in complete silence for a few moments during which time they would maintain eye contact.

Without any foreknowledge, and after more than 30 years of separation, Ulay took a seat across from Marina to stare into her eyes and the moment is overwhelmingly powerful. Watch it now on YouTube.