Category ArchiveGreat Outdoors

Great Outdoors 06 Dec 2007 10:42 pm

SENTINEL VIDEO: High surf in Santa Cruz | Sentinel Multimedia | Santa Cruz Sentinel Blogs


SENTINEL VIDEO: High surf in Santa Cruz. And apparently there were gigantic waves at Mavericks off Half Moon Bay today as well.

Here’s another great video from December 4th, 2007 at Mavericks. Holy cow look at those waves.

Great Outdoors 04 Dec 2007 09:59 pm

Crazy Surf

The – Top Stories today included some pictures of the crazy surf around Santa Cruz today. Sadly, a surfer also died at Ghost Trees in Monterey.

Great Outdoors &Science 07 Oct 2007 02:50 pm

The Palumbi Lab – Red Snapper or Not — DNA test

The Palumbi Lab: “Did you know that when you buy ‘Pacific Red Snapper’ it often isn’t Red Snapper at all? Pacific Red Snapper actually isn’t a species at all, it describes a number of different species, usually of Rockfish which are sold under that name. Steve shows Lynne Rosetto Kaspar (of NPR’s ‘The Splendid Table’) how to extract and sequence DNA from supermarket fillets to tell what kind of fish they really are.”

This includes a movie, of limited value.

Via the Palumbi Lab’s “Short Attention Span Science Theater.”

Great Outdoors &Science 07 Oct 2007 02:39 pm

Squirrels Zap Rattlesnakes with Remote Ground squirrels use an infrared signal to deter rattlesnake predation — Rundus et al., 10.1073/pnas.0702599104 — Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Ground squirrels use an infrared signal to deter rattlesnake predation — Rundus et al., 10.1073/pnas.0702599104 — Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sweet! Squirrels with infrared tails fight off predatory rattlesnakes.

Great Outdoors 02 Nov 2006 11:57 pm

Yellowstone Pics 1 – Bison

Here’s some pictures from our Yellowstone trip this summer. The first series is a no-brainer, steak, err, bison.

Great Outdoors &Miscellaneous 10 Sep 2006 07:24 am

Spacecraft Strikes Moon


Spacecraft strikes Moon with intense flash. Just smashing! Also, it is interesting that the dust kicked up by the impact (only 5 to 10 meters) is expected to cover a one square kilometer area.

(Via Lemonodor.)

Great Outdoors &Miscellaneous &Politics 01 Aug 2006 12:26 pm

Grizzly Man

Last night we watched Grizzly Man, a documentary by Werner Herzog, about Timothy Treadwell, a self-styled eco-warrior, and protector of brown grizzly bears.

I recommend it highly. This is after I was dreading watching it, since Treadwell was eventually killed in a bear attack. Herzog made a really thoughtful documentary though, and while the issue of his death and the gruesome manner in which it transpired need to be dealt with in the documentary, he managed to do it better than I ever could have imagined.

We originally picked the movie up because we recognized Herzog’s name, and because after just having visited Yellowstone and Yosemite this summer, we were interested to learn more about bears. Mostly, it was to see the bears. We were not disappointed in the bear footage, or the other little animals that Treadwell met in his 13 summers in the Alaskan wilderness. Herzog edited down over 100 hours of Treadwell’s footage, and I feel he did an honest, yet subjective rendering of Treadwell. He balanced outtakes, and interviews with friends, family, native inhabitants, and the eventual rescuers.

Most valuable though was the way that Herzog, and Treadwell for that matter, really prompt reflection about nature and our role in it. Should we co-habitat with giant, ferocious, wild animals like bears? Does nature boil down to cold, heartless expediency when resources like food get tight? Are we as humans destined to follow those same rules? Along with these questions, we see first-hand how different people deal with the enormous, immediate fear that bears evoke. These ten foot tall creatures with razor claws strip away the self-consciousness of the people interviewed. Treadwell acknowledged that fear and yet he spent 13 summers living among the bears. That is a remarkable response to that fear, no matter what his politics or other daemons that he was confronting.

I’ll refrain from commenting any more so as not to ruin the movie. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not interested in bears.

Speaking of not-bears, the DVD also contained a short documentary of the two days spent creating and recording the music for the documentary with Richard Thompson and a collection of studio musicians. This smaller documentary was as engaging as the main documentary. It let the viewer in on how the music was built to support the movie, and how the director works interactively with the musicians to achieve his vision. The camera work was excellent, and the exposition of the iterative process of creation, along with some of the tedium in making music for a documentary were enlightening. I have a much more profound respect and appreciation for both Werner Herzog and Richard Thompson.

Great Outdoors &Miscellaneous 21 Jun 2006 10:45 pm

Proving I know nothing about making movies

I saw this great Wolf Spider outside tonight. It’s body was probably 1.5 – 2 inches long, and each leg was about the thickness of a toothpick, albeit a bit hairier.

I wanted to post a picture of it quickly, and so once again, an unedited Crappy Movie Productions short awaits you. Be prepared. It will suck, but try to see the humor in that.

WolfSpider(warning 77mb) or here is a small version of WolfSpider(1.6mb).

Great Outdoors &Miscellaneous &Philosophy 15 Jun 2006 05:26 pm

Poisson distribution – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Did you know that the occurrences of several natural phenomenon follow a Poisson distribution?


  • The number of cars on a given stretch of road over a given time.
  • The number of roadkill found per unit length of road.

Read more at Poisson distribution – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Great Outdoors &Yosemite 03 May 2006 11:49 pm

Yosemite and John Muir


We are planning a summer trip to Yosemite. We have only a few days, so I have been researching the best places to go and things to do. All the pictures are so beautiful. The one at the top of this article is from Yosemite Fun. They have some good hike descriptions, including a guide for how to get the most fun out of a two-day visit to Yosemite.

Also, I found that the Sierra Club has html versions of all of John Muir’s books online. I particularly liked this description from his book The Yosemite from 1912.

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