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…