Friday, April 23, 2010

Hate is Not Okay

Over the past few days I've been seeing this popping up on my Facebook feed as "friends" have joined it:

One would have thought things like this far behind us- somewhere in that corner of recent history people try studiously to ignore. But no, apparently it's still being flaunted out there in the open.

This is not okay. What you see above is a group praying for Obama's death. Take a look at the numbers, too- there's over a million supporters. When did this become acceptable, and on Facebook, of all places? The matter is not one of free speech; people are, after all, perfectly entitled to voice dissent and disagreement and anger if they wish it.

But "I fervently hope my president dies" is another matter altogether. It matters not whether you agree or disagree with someone. Having harm wished upon one is something no one deserves, not even the lowliest. And like Obama or not, he has been, as all presidents before him, elected into office by the people. It also takes a considerable amount of ability to lead an entire country, or even to get into office in the first place. Could the majority of us do any better, with the responsibility of a nation on our shoulders? 

Here we have a country and a government system for which we ought to be grateful- the government is not perfect, but at least we have the free speech that haters themselves are using and abusing. Do you want to live  under a government where governmental leaders can be killed whenever disagreements arise? I thought not.

Some of the commentators on the page try to justify their actions by claiming that "liberals would have done the same, if it were Bush in office." Really? I don't remember that. Personally, I might not have agreed with many of Bush's views and actions, but I did and do still hold a significant measure of respect for him. 

Death is much too grave a sentence to deal about so freely. 

What makes me incredulous is how long this page has been up, and that it has not yet been removed. If you are on Facebook, bring this problem attention by joining this page instead, then sign the "Clean Up Facebook" petition.

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. When you next stumble across a hate-promoting-group, please stop, think, and report.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

It's Earth Day, foo's. Stop tossing rubbish on the ground. Stop tossing things that can very evidently be recycled into the garbage when the recycling bin is six inches away.

To right is my most creative Skywatch to date. Straight out of the camera. We've not had sky like that for eons.

Yesterday I was lounging about on the grass, enjoying for once not having to do anything. Several friends were bouncing about, excitedly babbling about being late for something. I ask them where they're going.

"Flash mob!"

I manage a "wh-" before they vanish. So, camera in hand, I dash off on their heels. There isn't much of a mob, though there's a small knot of people gathered on one side of the square.


It turns out to be a tree-hugging event, the awesomeness of which makes up for everything.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Skywatch No. 37

I was going to run up to the observatory to shoot last night, but didn't make it. Then I installed some HDR software and ran off to shoot meh sum' HDR, but then concluded I needed a lot of practice first.

So this week, I'll just be posting what I actually can and know how to do. I think I just saved you some visual trauma. You're welcome.

Sorry that the sky's not much of a focal point. But it's in there, which is what counts. One day, I'll be back shooting sunsets and thunderclouds. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Skywatch No. 36

First are the flowers, emerging impatiently from the loam when their shoots are barely out. Trees, bursting into flower overnight like bouquets being whipped out from behind one's back. The clouds' smooth facade finally breaking into wispy streaks and the occasional towering blot that lends itself to the rare rumble of thunder.

Both were taken last weekend, during which I ventured over to the Arboretum and attempted to do schoolwork but instead ended up trekking about in the woods with the camera out.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Let me tell you a little story. See the time? 7:30 in the morning. The alarm on the museum next door goes off. It's just a yard or from my building. I happen to have gone to bed four hours ago *insert whining about workload* and appreciate my sleep, thank you.

This alarm also happens to sound like a combination between a brass instrument being run over by a semi and a cow with its hide being torn off.

What kind of f***ing alarm is that?

I'm sure that's what it would sound like if you tossed those two things in a blender. It keeps going... and going... and going. Guaranteed to induce insanity within five if not fewer minutes of exposure. Oh, and look now. The garbage truck has just come along. It's right under my window. And its already dissonant beeping is adding beautifully to this cacophony.

The best part? The roommate called the Dept. of Public Safety or whoever is in charge of this crap, and apparently they're testing the alarm.

Thanks, guys. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Photo Competitions are Awesome.

My photograph of the Grand Prismatic made it into the final round of a photo contest and is now up for voting. (I'm the blue one, 1st row, vertical format.)

Which is super cool. Some of the other entries are also quite fantastic. I'm not sure if voting is restricted to people with university IDs, but you should take a gander at them anyhow.

They also put up mounted prints in high-traffic public spaces. Also very cool. Mine printed significantly darker and redder than I've been used to, which leads me to suspect that I've been adjusting to my monitor- which is probably inaccurate.

I also think I've used "also" far too many times in such a short post. Sorry about that.

Good day, all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Did Someone Say Spring?

Here 'tis.

?? under a beech to left, magnolia to right.

We're experiencing an unusually warm spell at the moment, complete with sun and everything. (Back to rain next week.) Leaves aren't in yet, but the flowers are blooming. Enjoy.