Weekly Photo Challenge: In The Flooded Forest

In The Flooded Forest

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Borneo River Toad

Borneo River Toad

This rather stoic fellow can be found inside the Osher Rainforest at the Academy of Sciences. Unlike many animals, he just sat there calmly and let museum-goers get a good look. Larger version available here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sambava Tomato Frog

Sambava Tomato Frog

Here’s a colorful inhabitant of the Osher Rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences. Larger version is available here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Red Moon Jelly

Red Moon Jelly

At the Academy of Sciences, there’s a cool exhibit that features a dozen or so Moon Jellies in a cylinder. There’s a light shining into the water that changes color every few seconds…and so do the moon jellies. Here’s a close shot of some in red. Larger version can be viewed here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Jellyfish Spiral

Jellyfish Spiral

Here’s a little something from the aquarium at California Academy of Sciences. The tank is pretty dark, save for the shaft of light going down the center. I caught this jellyfish swimming close through the light at just the right moment…Larger version viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Chambered Nautilus

Chambered Nautilus

Here’s a nice, close shot of one of the more interesting inhabitants of the aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The patterns on Chambered Nautilus’ shells are some of the most famous in the animal kingdom. Larger version is viewable here.

Foucault Pendulum

Video

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: White-Spotted Jellyfish

White-Spotted Jellyfish

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.

Party Of One

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!