Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I trust no one's thinking I'm getting morbid with all these skull shots. I just think they're (skulls, not necessarily the shots) nifty.

In this photo, you can see a number of seams between the various bones that make up your skull. Dead center (so to speak) is the temporal bone - the one that looks a bit like Australia. The little round hole below it, about midway, is your auditory canal. Sticking out and projecting forward is the zygomatic bone. It meets up with another bit - the temporal process - coming back from a bone in your face, the (funnily enough) zygomatic bone. Together, these two extensions form your cheekbones.

Your forehead, of course, is the frontal bone, and you can see the clear seam where it joins up with the parietal bone that forms most of the top of your head.

The long, smooth line, as you've probably guessed, isn't natural. It's been cut to allow a look inside the skull. Naturally, the brain's been removed.

And, speaking of brains removed (you've been waiting for this, right?), our own P.M. (that's Prime Moron), Smirkin' Steve Harper has once again shot himself in the foot. Yep, on Super Bowl Sunday, he and his party, the Party, are planning to run ads attacking Stephan Dion's (the leader of the Liberal Party) record on combating climate change during the time Mr. Dion was the Liberal government's Environment Minister. The Smirk's party is trying to position itself as Canadians' best friend when it comes to this fight. Riiiiiigggghhhht. Did Smirk really think no one would remember? Probably. Smirk's motto? "No brains, no headaches".

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More big fun with anatomy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

In answer to the question, "What did you do on your summer vacation?", this is my answer. Part of it, anyway.

You're looking down into someone's cranium. The broad bony area covering the top half is, depending on how you want to look at it, either the floor upon which your brain's frontal lobes lie, or the roof over your eyes. Dividing this area, you'll notice, are two parallel grooves, separated by a narrow shark fin of bone. The fin is the crista galli. In life, each of those grooves contains one half of your olfactory tract. Curl your hands into fists, extend your index fingers, and bring your two hands side by side, so your index fingers extend beside each other, and you've got the basic layout. Your index fingers, of course, are lying in the grooves. Your fists are the two hemispheres of your brain.

Now, notice the tiny holes in the grooves. Nerve cells down in your nasal passages reach up through those holes to the nerve cells in your olfactory tracts, to pass messages that you're smelling something. These cells then distribute the message to other parts of your brain. These parts of your brain tell you what it is you're smelling, how strong the odour is, and how you feel about it. Mom's home cookin', or something less appealing?

The large semicircle at the bottom is where your spinal cord would exit/enter.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

What does it mean when the "Vacancy/No Vacancy" sign is, itself, vacant?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Went to see "Pan's Labyrinth" today. Goooooooood movie. Go see it. I'm not sure if the director intended this or not, but the movie makes a great point about human hopefulness. You know right from the beginning exactly how the movie will end (and I'm not going to tell you), but you go through the entire thing somehow believing that it won't - that the inevitable won't be. Not unlike the way we all go through our own individual "movies".

Friday, January 26, 2007

Here's one pretty picture. And here's another. Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen, was kidnapped in New York by thugs from the Bush administration and turned over to Syrian thugs for a year of torture (America doesn't torture - it outsources). Mr. Arar has finally gotten some small measure of compensation. The thugs, Syrian and Bushian, of course, still deny they did anything wrong.

Wouldn't it be great if Bush were arrested for war crimes once his term in office is up?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

At last, the balance of nature has been restored (well, within the limits currently available to it, at least). Yes, it's freezing cold and snowing in Ontario, and sunny and warm here. That's the way it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There's just something about this place that I like.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

It's really just all about verticality, isn't it?

Monday, January 22, 2007

O.K., they're not roses, and, well, they didn't really have any scent, either, but...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Well! So much for Christian charity.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Look! Shadows! The sun was out!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yep - still up in the greenhouse.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

If you read this photograph from the top down, you get convergence. Have you noticed the political convergence going on just now? Bush is getting slammed at home. His pal, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is getting slammed in his home, too! It's Fox News's motto come true: Fair and balanced!

And, from a purely "photography" perspective, there's this. Hands up all those photographers who never wanted to be Cartier-Bresson. No one? I thought not.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Similar, but different. Which pretty much describes the weather around here these days. Cloudy. Cloudy-and-wet. Cloudy-and-less-wet. Cloudy-wet-and-cold. Feel free to carry on the possible variations on that combination of words. Just for fun, you can toss in a "more" occasionally. I'm thinking it's time for a sunny day.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm on a "non-teaching" term at the moment. Yep - my "summer vacation" is in the middle of winter. Whose idea was that? Not mine, I'll tell you. However, for part of the term, I'm supposed to be doing things that contribute to my professional development, or to the good of the college, so I've been photographing things biological/anatomical for a biology department photo library. This is the base of a giant-bird-of-paradise. That's what the label said and who am I to question a label?

Oh, and, your tax dollars at work (if, that is, you live in the States).

Monday, January 15, 2007

"Doors Redux", I guess.

I spent a couple of hours at the college today photographing bones and models of bones, building up a supply of pictures that I and my fellow instructors can use in our lectures. Done for the day, I figured I'd download them onto my office computer and do whatever processing seemed necessary. After all, my office computer has the full-meal-deal Photoshop on it. Or, well, that's what I thought. I'd forgotten about the demented demons that the college calls its computer services department. These folks live to do only partial jobs on anything. I once had them install a DVD drive in my computer so I could look at DVDs that might be useful in classes. With my new drive in place, I slipped in a new DVD. Nothing. No play. "Why?" you ask? Because the computer guy hadn't installed the software! Neither had he left it with me so that I could install it myself. Ooooohhhhh, noooo. That would be bad. So, today, when I went to open up one of my image files, I really shouldn't have been surprised to see a message saying that Photoshop didn't recognize the file type. I shoot all my stuff as RAW and convert it later. Of course, the computer guys hadn't bothered to install Adobe's Camera Raw software when they installed Photoshop. Soooooo, I have to bring the files home, fix 'em here, then take them back there. I love these guys. I really do.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tree's as bare of leaves as Dubya's Iraq plan is of good ideas.

I knew you were all missing the pithy, penetrating political commentary.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

This is the back door to the vet's office near my place. Scary-looking, huh?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Did I mention that it's been cold around here lately? This is wrong. It's not supposed to be this cold around here. Cold like this is for east of here - Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Quebec City......not here!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Not a recent photo. Around here, at the moment, there's snow on the ground and it's darn cold. A quick dip in a pool just isn't the first thing coming to mind right now.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Are those happy-lookin' feet, or what?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hmmm, two days in a row featuring large, vacant spaces. And tomorrow Dumbya's going to announce his "new" policy for Iraq. I guess that'll make it three days in a row, huh?

Monday, January 08, 2007

This vacant lot is right in the middle of a long stretch of busy shops. Is the owner trying to make some sort of anti-"If-you-build-it-they-will-come" statement?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

So, if you've been avoiding seeing the new Bond film because, let's face it, for the past 20 years they've all been crap, put the past behind you and go. It's darn good. Sure, as with any action-oriented movie, there are holes in the plot (why didn't she just tell him she was being blackmailed?), but, face it, that sort of thing comes with the genre. It's a taut, well-acted film that left me actually happy to anticipate its sequel.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Don't you just love quiet Saturdays?

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's been raining so much around here lately (except for today when it snowed!) that even the sharks are climbing the walls.

Which brings to mind the slightly altered worlds of Thomas Pynchon, whose novel "Against the Day" I'm about halfway through. Darn fine book. As soon as I can figure out what the heck's going on, I'll let you know. Meanwhile, it's a lot of fun.

And, on the "Adventures in Web Commerce" front, look down on the right hand side - a link to Amazon! Hokey-smokey! It's just me playing around with 21st century fun. But, if I do stick an ad for a book there, it's because I really like the book, or the photographer (Robert Polidori is a god), or the writer. As my old philosophy professor, Richard Sikora used to say when offering to play classical LPs at his classical record store, "No obligation to buy!".

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ah, back to the light of day. My neighbourhood is full of old apartment buildings with interesting architectural styles from the 1950s and '60s. Like this pillar. Looks like it's pumping iron. Or light.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And that, ladies and gentlemen, ends the tour.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Almost home. What a long night! This is the side door of the vet's office. I think the owner got a bargain on blue paint.

Monday, January 01, 2007

When you're doing a little window-shopping, it can be disconcerting to find yourself being stared back at by a disembodied eye.