Katie just recently got an old viewmaster from the thrift store and I’ve seen quite a few lately in antique stores.  While researching I came across an article about the inventor of the viewmaster, William Gruber.  

In 1962, anatomist David L. Bassett teamed up with Gruber to create the 25-volume “Stereoscopic Atlas of Human Anatomy” from very carefully and preserved bodies. (Awesome) As of now Stanford University is trying to get the images online where they may be viewed in stereo form with special glasses.  The images are simply incredible.  Here are a few.

Here is the link to the article that has a slideshow of some of the images.


Also a fun piece of info, Gruber was initially a German pipe-organ maker. 



Silence is Golden

April 23, 2008

I’m a huge huge huge Charlie Chaplin fan.  And I was watching clips from his movies.  I wanted to put this clip on from The Kid, made in 1921.  It quite possibly is the most beautiful moment of acting I’ve ever seen.  And it’s a small child who is the actor, played by Jackie Coogan.  Found by The Tramp as a baby and adopted, together they scheme in order to survive.  Though this scene is completely tear-worthy, there is still an element of genius subtle slapstick.  


Outside Louisiana

April 22, 2008

And here are some from a walk and car trip through Thibodaux.

ducks from hell:

these ducks were not quite as scary as they looked but i had never seen them before.  I’m not sure if it’s right but i think they’re called Muscovy ducks.  


Then i took pictures from the car which my royally sucky camera somehow managed. Here is the landscape:

  <div>so many graveyards on the sides of highways.  but it seems much nicer than a huge field of tombstones somehow<div><div> this is the church i was baptized in.  be sure to make the sign of the cross when you pass by

water towers.  lots of them.

<div>the  most delicious roadside un-fast food.

and highway scenery.  the water was so high up the levees that they had to open the spillway.


From the Times Picayune:

“The increase was in response to the Mississippi River’s continued rise in advance of an expected crest of 17 feet at New Orleans on Tuesday and 24 feet at Reserve, just above the spillway.

The additional spillway openings are designed to ensure that no more than 1.25 million cubic feet of water per second goes downriver from the spillway. The river at Reserve had risen to 23.6 feet , with a volume of 1.26 million cubic feet of water per second, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage at Reserve is 22 feet.

The corps makes a daily decision on how many bays should be opened or closed.

On Tuesday’s crest, the river is expected to rise to 24 feet at Reserve, with an anticipated volume of 1.29 million cfs, or 9.6 million gallons of water per second, according to the weather service.

The spillway, which lowers the river’s volume at New Orleans by diverting water into Lake Pontchartrain has been opened nine times since the 7,000-foot-long control structure was completed in 1931.

It was last opened in 1997, when 298 bays were opened.

The Corps of Engineers opened 38 bays on April 11, an additional 46 bays the next day and six bays on Wednesday.

Angelo Dalessandro, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, said Thursday that the river should begin to fall after Tuesday’s crest.

“They’re still getting some rain in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, but it’s not going to be heavy enough to affect us during this event,” he said.

Army Corps officials say they expect the spillway to be open between two and four weeks. “


It’s important to note that not much goes on down there in the off-hurricane season…so it was kind of a big deal.  And they all showed up to watch.


Inside Louisiana

April 18, 2008

I’m no photographer.  But I just wanted to document some things at my Granny’s house.

Lazy Louisiana

April 12, 2008

Just a quick update about my location.  There will be more when i get back.

So far I’ve learned and experienced the delightful Japanese plum.


My paw paw grows them and you can eat them right off the tree.  DEEElicious.  Also last night my wonderful cousin took me out to Magazine Street to the Balcony

We left at three though the beautiful thing about this city is that we could’ve stayed out all night.

i’ll have lots more pictures and updates.  I’ll also talk about the spillway and what it is and how it’s the first time in 11 years that they’ve opened it.  Later gators from way down south.


I’m completely infatuated with something called whale falls. Shortly after scientists discovered that whole ecosystems existed around hydrothermal vents and cold seeps in the deepest part of the ocean, they soon discovered that the same occured when whales sink to the bottom of the sea when they die.In 1987, the submersible Alvin first discovered a whale fall. The leading marine biologist studying is Craig Smith who is currently researching staged whale falls to study the exact process of decomposition and the various undiscovered species which find their way to the whales. Here is an example of those stages:”1. A mobile scavenger stage,lasting ~4 months to >1.5 years, during which deep-sea necrophages (hagfish, lysianassid amphipods, macrourid fish, sleeper sharks) remove most soft tissue.2. An enrichment opportunist stagewherein surrounding sediments are heavily colonized by newly discovered chrysopetalid and dorvilleid polychaetes, cumaceans, and in some cases, juvenile gastropods and bivalves.3. A sulfophilic (chemoautotrophic) stagecontaining >200 macrofaunal species, 10 of which also occur at hydrothermal vents and 12 at cold seeps. The sulfophilic stage includes mussels (Idas washingtonia) which appear early in the evolutionary lineage of the vent-seep subfamily Bathymodiolinae. Measurements of 210Pb/226Ra disequilibrium suggest that the sulfophilic stage on large skeletons lasts decades.”The significance of the whale fall is that it is believed to be “stepping stones” between hydrothermal vents and there for “stepping stones” between ecosystems. It is likely that many species have evolved and made their way to more shallow water over time from whale stepping stones. The amount of new animals which have been discovered at a whale’s corpse is really amazing. Thinking about Buddhism and various ideas of reincarnation and faith and dying and spiritualism and the afterlife… it is something to think that a constant in living is that all ecosystems survive off of the fall of others. here are some links if you’re just that interested:This whale’s afterlifeEcology of whale fallsA whale of a tale