We get what we pay for

This is something that’s been bugging me for a while, and while I started on a post some months back, I never finished it. I need to, especially in response to a new article. More below.

Let’s say you have heard of a new species of fish in Lake Tanganyika, and your job entails studying rare fish breeds. Your boss read more

Frustrations, part six: You can plan…

[Since I’m out of town, this post was scheduled ahead of time to appear today.]

The image at right is an example of a planned shot, kind of. For years, I’ve had the idea of catching a falling autumn leaf in a gap of clear blue sky, surrounded by branches of fall colors – the idea is that the leaf would be close and dominating the frame, but clearly in free-fall. On the face of it, read more

The lucky ones


Through both Ophelia Benson and Jerry Coyne this morning, I found out that the mother eagle we’ve been watching raise her brood on the EagleCam at Norfolk Botanical Garden, collided with a plane and was killed yesterday morning. The father is still around, but three is a large brood for eagles, and usually both parents are kept busy cycling the food to the rapidly growing youngsters.

In light read more

Have we lost the ability to learn?

While I have been searching for a topic that heralds the return of spring, or at least something interesting on the science front, current events present their own topics that require broader examination. Though numerous pundits and bloggers are offering their own take on things, I would feel remiss if I sat back and ignored them myself.

The violence in Afghanistan over the burning of a qur’an read more

Ask me, and tell me

Two quick notes here. The first: I added a new standing page at top, “Ask An Atheist,” dedicated to fielding any questions anyone wants to throw specifically at an atheist. Credit to Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist for the idea. I’m game to just about anything – fire away!

Second, I noticed that my spam filter had improperly tagged a comment, and I’m not sure how often read more

Missing the forest: religious violence

In the latest issue of Skeptic magazine (Vol 16 No 2), there’s an article by Benjamin Grant Purzycki and Kyle Gibson regarding religious violence, which raises the question: does religion cause violence, or are we mistaking correlation for causation? This is an exceptionally intriguing question. Confusing correlation for causation is one of the fallacies with which read more

As long as he’s got his religious ethics

Very frustrating, yet entirely expected news: The Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, responsible for the final approval of the aforementioned Rock Beyond Belief event, did not. Despite claims, and in fact the legal requirement, that the US Army would treat the secular event with impartiality, Garrison Commander Colonel Stephen read more

What was I thinking?

So, one of the images in my slide collection is seen, full-frame, at left – this is the small cascade of a feeder stream that leads into Window Falls at Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina. And yes, it appears I didn’t concentrate on keeping the camera level.

Now, I’m not sure this is really the case. When taking long exposures of running water, they can be deceptive. Water read more

There’s always a way

Skimming through my archive photos looking for a topic for a blog post, I found one! Amazing, isn’t it? Anyway, one of the things I tell my photography students (and anyone else that will listen) routinely is that chasing equipment isn’t the key to getting those wonderful images they’ve been after. I’d use myself as an example, because I’ve worked on a shoestring all read more

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