On my drive to work this morning, a gap in the clouds left this amazing view of the San Gabriels covered in snow from the last week’s worth of storms, lit up by the rising sun. By the time I made it up to Los Angeles, clouds had blocked the view, and I didn’t see any mountains for the rest of the day.
- Incredible photo from APOD: Clouds, Birds, Moon, Venus. I’ve finally replaced my Woodbridge Snow photo as my desktop wallpaper at home.
- Gender-swapped Scott Pilgrim cast at Project Rooftop by Jemma Salume.
- Microsoft provides an interesting look back at the evolution of the Internet Explorer logo over the past fifteen (yes, fifteen) years.
- 100-year data preservation. A 350-year-old copy of Shakespeare is still readable. But what about that 35-year-old floppy disk?
- [Edit: One more.] Flickr gives me yet another reason — uploading in Android 2.2 — to upgrade to a Vibrant or G2 once the dust settles here.
A couple of days ago I clicked on the StumbleUpon toolbar and landed on this incredible photo of lenticular clouds over Mt. Rainer at APOD. It was a bit unnerving, because that picture has been my desktop wallpaper for the past year or so! Good call, though.
Windows 7 is doing what Vista couldn’t: convincing people to replace Windows XP. The best quote in this ZDNet article: “Windows 7 is the Anti-Vista.”
The Straight Dope experiments with Kahlua cupcakes to determine two questions: How much alcohol is left in each cupcake? (Not much) Can you get drunk? (Not unless you eat so many cupcakes that you’ll be sick anyway.)
Some comics fan art. First, a realistic Darkwing Duck by Mike P. Mitchell. I suspect that if someone other than Disney owned the character, we’d be seeing a “live-action” movie that looked like this. Second, Comics Alliance collects a fantastic series of cover art for Great Comics That Never Happened – team-ups like the Justice League and the Wu-Tang Clan, or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen featuring 1980s icons like Mr. T, Doc Brown and MacGyver, or Hannah Zatanna, torn between the worlds of superheroes and magic, or a race between Superman, the Flash…and the Dukes of Hazzard.
I saw this amazing circumhorizon arc around 1:30 this afternoon. I had just crossed the street while walking to lunch when I looked up, saw it…and walked back to the office to get my camera!
Lesson learned: always bring the camera!*
It started out as just a couple of small segments, but as the clouds drifted into position it quickly grew, and at its strongest it was just long enough to fill the field of view on my camera. There were also a couple of fragments of a 22° circular halo visible at the time.
The whole thing had vanished by 1:50, as the clouds drifted out of alignment, though I did see a more complete circular halo later on.
It looks like a sort of straightened-out rainbow, but it’s actually caused by ice crystals. If the right type of crystals cover the entire sky, this will actually stretch in a circle all the way around the sky, parallel to the horizon.
They’re a lot less common than the 22-degree halos. I’ve seen and photographed a ton of those over just a few years, but this is maybe the second time I’ve seen something like this. Fourth if you count the two feathery fragments I’ve seen.
At times like this, I really wish I had a DSLR, but the point-and-shoot will do in a pinch.
*On the other hand, when I went back, I pointed it out to a couple of people at the office who are into photography, since it was visible through the windows on one side of the building. One of my co-workers has a digital SLR and carries it with him, so he went outside and got some great shots. If I hadn’t taken a late lunch and chosen to walk anyway and been in the habit of looking for halos and forgotten to bring my camera, chances are no one in the office would have seen it.
Update (May 17): I just discovered that there are people who think these clouds are connected to earthquakes. No, they aren’t. They’re caused by ice crystals refracting sunlight, just like most halos, and have been seen in many places that didn’t have earthquakes.