Within the depths of the Academy of Sciences, there’s a tunnel called the Flooded Forest. People can sit there for hours and see all kinds of fish drifting overhead. It’s inspiring to see; no matter where you’re from or what language you speak, nature is fascinating for everyone. Larger version is viewable here.
Here’s a little glimpse of something I came across during my recent visit to the California Academy of Sciences. A Foucault pendulum is used to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation. Basically, the pendulum swings evenly, but the trajectory changes as the planet rotates. It may take a while, but eventually all those little blocks in the circle will be knocked down.
This week’s challenge calls for some close-ups, and I immediately thought of this shot. Meet phyllorhiza punctata, more easily pronounced as a white-spotted jellyfish. According to the display, “These jellies can grow up to 60 cm (24 in) in diameter. The stinging cells in their tentacles capture food and provide protection. Each large jelly can collect food from 50 m³ (65 cu yd) of water a day. Diet: small zooplankton. Distribution: coastal areas and estuaries in the Southwestern Pacific, invasive in Hawaii and the Gulf of Mexico.” I photographed this little one, however, at the aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about birthday parties. Specifically, how you celebrate yours. Some people like to have huge, extensive spectacles involving hundreds of people. Others like to go out drinking, or having a barbecue. Others like to travel, or at least do something out of the ordinary. As for how I celebrate mine…
I don’t. No, seriously.
I’ve never been the type to enjoy huge parties. There’s just too many people, noise, and chaos to handle. I never know what to say, and trying to be on for hours is exhausting. I’m the type to slowly back away from the crowds, find a quiet place, and start reading. Other tired party-goers (or their kids) will inevitably drift towards me, chat for a bit, and head back into the fray. I’ll just sit back, sip on a beverage, and wait for the next person to approach me. Or not. It doesn’t matter either way. The problem with this strategy is that it only works when I’m a guest at someone else’s party; I can’t do the aloof thing if I’m hosting. I don’t drink, so barhopping it out. Also, I don’t have a good track record when it comes to throwing parties; no-shows, last-minute cancels, and forgotten dates were common. I’ve never had many friends, and people usually have their own stuff going on. After years of disappointments, I just gave up. I’d usually just end up with some ice cream and a movie, and call it a night.
I’ve done better activities over the past few birthdays, though. I visited the California Academy of Sciences one year, then crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on foot the next. I hiked all around San Francisco last year, stopping by Coit Tower, Lombard Street, and the Exploratorium along the way. Not sure what I’m doing this year, though. A trip to Rome is still in the works, but it depends on how things play out with the job hunt and everything else. If things go well, I’ll be celebrating on a train going through the European countryside. That’s what I’d call a happy birthday!