Cool Links, 22 Jan/09

APOD’s famously broad definition of an “astronomy picture” (they decided that the awesome “Where The Hell Is Matt” video qualified) has lead to a really spectacular lenticular cloud photo from NZ being today’s image.

Not sure what a lenticular is? Think, “Gee, that looks like a UFO” and youŕe most of the way there. I’ve only seem them once – and had no camera with me at the time – but they’re amongst the most spectacular clouds in the sky.

Speaking of clouds: The Cloudspotter’s Guide (Wikipedia ISBN link) is a fun, non-technical book, devoted to both the science and the art of clouds & cloudspotting. Good book even if you’re not a fullblown weather geek like I am.

I hadn’t realized that Canada’s National Film Board was putting huge amounts of their back-catalog up online for anyone to watch; one I especially enjoyed this afternoon was a 18min short film called Blake from 1968, about a friend of the filmmaker’s who has a “flying hobo” lifestyle. Not sure you could get away with some of that flying these days, but it’s still a neat short, and classic NFB fare in it’s quirkiness.

The NFB has won scads of awards, especially for it’s animation work. The absolute, no-questions, classic piece of NFB animated Canadian coolness is, of course, The Log Driver’s Waltz. Go watch it, it’s only 3 minutes long and if it doesn’t make you grin, you’re probably clinically dead and didn’t realize it.

From APOD to the NFB via the Cloudspotter’s Guide… good thing I have a “random” tag on my blog already…


A Fine Flying Day

Up early this morning for the second flight of my Flight Instructor training – a very good flight, overall, with a bunch of stuff I hadn’t seen since the very early days of my Private Pilot training (six years and 300+ hrs ago…). It was clear, cold and very, very frosty this morning, though!

Frosty Morning

This evening I got to fly again, just as a passenger this time. This is actually a bit of a treat; I’m usually in one of the front seats, too busy with flying the plane to indulge in much sightseeing. Being cargo meant I could exercise the limits of my little digital camera, and get some very cool, rather impressionistic night shots from the back seat.

Vancouver After Dark
Downtown Vancouver After Dark, III
Downtown Vancouver After Dark, I

More, as always, at my Flickr stream – enjoy!


Photos & Videos

The damnable snow is mostly gone; the local Airport Authority’s biggest piece of snow-clearing equipment was sitting in front of one of their garages, presumably for a bit of TLC before it gets put back into storage. The big snowblower has this lovely, very un-Victoria piece of bravado on the cab door:

Also, go and watch this wingsuit video (embedded below, but linked for Planet U and RSS readers) – this might just be real flying, instead of the messing-about-in-airplanes I do. Of course, you have to be completely insane to step off a cliff in the first place, but what the heck.

wingsuit base jumping from Ali on Vimeo.