Sunday Reads: Time Lapses

71d3459140005b43af4c275172f1a4d9Good Morning

Time lapse photography is something that fascinates me, I think we can look at a picture of a time lapse image and see a metaphor for life. Movement, continuous and repetitive.

There are a couple of types of time lapse photography….the short exposure kind which 63c58031b4a2abf282b982963ab1e3dbtakes a normal exposure of sequential pictures over many hours or even days and edit them into one photograph.

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(Like the sunset images you see by artist, Matt Molloy. )

 

Time lapse of moths in the porchlight - photographed by Steve Irvine for National Geographic

Time lapse of moths in the porchlight – photographed by Steve Irvine for National Geographic

Or the long exposure method, where the camera shutter remains open for a long period of time and exposes the film to the image it is photographing.

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These particular long exposed photos are blurred in appearance.  Creating a glowing, disoriented, disturbed, ghostlike, or drugged feeling when you look at them.

It seems as if we are living in a time lapsed state of mind, as you have been reading the Boston Boomer’s and Dak’s coverage of late, the mess in Missouri is just the result of what has been building over time. Like the images you will see below throughout the post…the same scenarios have been played out all over the US. The actual persons involved may be different, but the general characteristics are the same. When we see the reports of racial violence play out on the news, we feel that repetition. Like the time lapsed images, the scenes become blurred. Yet we know what happens at the end of the shot. There is a good example of the differences in media treatment of violence here by the way: When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims be sure to look at that….No need to belabor the point, I will just let this op/ed by Farai Chideya from the Guardian do that for me.

Waiting in Grand Central Station by James Maher, time-lapse picture. Prints available on his website.

Waiting in Grand Central Station by James Maher, time-lapse picture. Prints available on his website.

(One note however, it makes a uncomfortable point when Rand Paul gets a pat on the back from a black woman…considering the neocon racist misogynistic shit he usually spews…but you’ll get the point the author is making.) On race, America has far to go. Ferguson won’t be the last flash point

 

I spent my very early years in New York, living a very multiracial Sesame Street life, a big swinging bellbottom of a childhood. And then our family moved to Baltimore and the iron curtain of the “colour line” fell. I felt that I had moved from the 1970s through a time warp where black and white were the only two colours and never the twain shall socially meet.

 

I grew to understand what the 50s were actually like in Baltimore, when my mother, for example, was permitted to buy clothes from the major department store but not try them on. (Heaven forfend some black lady should be in the dressing room, right? You know they leave a residue of blackness on the clothes.)

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America has never had one racial reality, but a series of them strung together from San Antonio to Pittsburgh to Appalachia. What we are seeing in Ferguson, Missouri, is the result of life in a specific type of heavily racialised zone. Yes, a city such as New York, where a black man was recently choked to death by police officers, has its own very clear forms of racialisation and it’s a national issue. But the police killing, last week, of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen in Ferguson has sparked national protests because it represents a specific type of racialisation. This is of the majority black city, big or small, with a white economic and political power structure.

Read the whole opinion piece. This is the part about Rand Paul though, it comes in comparison to Obama’s reactions to Ferguson’s Police Departments militarization:

After the killing of another black youth, Trayvon Martin, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a seminal piece for Atlantic magazine called “Fear of a Black President”, describing President Obama as “conservative… in the very sphere where he holds singular gravity – race.”

Two years later, with Ferguson, the president still holds tight to that caution about addressing racial inequality. In terms of day-to-day Washington governance, there is no fear of a black president. Congress fears him not, certainly not the Republicans and not even some members of his own party. And now, with a particularly tepid and circular statement on Ferguson, the president has gone even further.

He seems obsessed with convincing white Americans he is not some goblin come to take their privilege away, rather than recognising that, pragmatically, America still has enough deeply held racial biases that he will be perceived as a race man by some, no matter what he does. (Black Americans learned his political strategy on race early in his first term, as a group of leaders of African American organisations came to ask for more White House focus on jobs in black communities and were rebuffed. They held their televised press conference outside the White House in a snowstorm, a nature-made bathetic fallacy.)

L2e1618565958e4f6a151a0d71c18debeast week, the president delivered a speech that seemed to weigh police intimidation and harassment of protesters and press with acts of vandalism almost equally. “Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority,” he said. “Let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family.”

In this diffuse speech, the president could have spoken out more forcefully against the militarisation of local police forces, as Republican Rand Paul has done. He could have tackled the unacceptable level and variety of unwarranted stops, searches and frisking of black men in particular. For bonus points, he could have gotten into black incarceration rates or, as author Michelle Alexander puts it, the “New Jim Crow”.

You can read the rest at the link.  That is something…when an asshole like Rand gets kudos from a black woman who has the phrase “New Jim Crow” in the same paragraph.  But I think I get her point….yes? I don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with her, but she could have pick a different politician to highlight…am I right? Let’s not forget that Paul is the dude who didn’t support the Civil Rights Act…no matter what shit he says now: Wash. Post Recasts Rand Paul As Civil Rights Ally, Forgetting Their Own Reporting | Blog | Media Matters for America

Anyway…I need to move on.

In another Op/Ed, this one from the Sprinfield News-Leader, which is quoted as, “This editorial is the view of the News-Leader Editorial Board, Linda Ramey-Greiwe, President and Publisher, Paul Berry, Executive Director, Cheryl Whitsitt, Managing Editor.” Our Voice: Rights lost in Ferguson riots

It is very good, and I feel it is too important not to quote the entire thing:

On Aug. 9, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson at 12:01 p.m. in Ferguson. A vigil on Aug. 10 turned violent.

The situation deteriorated from there.

10a05408d491d190dbe05b7c71e4d0bdRiots and arrests. Tear gas and rubber bullets. Real bullets, riot gear and military-grade displays of force. Injuries to both protesters and police. Looting and needless destruction of property. For four straight nights, the clashes escalated, the national media descended, and still, no clear information was put forth about the death of a young, unarmed black man. After a day of relative calm gave hope that the situation was beginning to defuse, tempers flared again Friday.

As unrest continues, the blame game is already underway. At this point, it would be easy to join in on the finger-pointing based on half-truths.

It would be easy join the chorus of voices calling out our elected leaders, Gov. Nixon, U.S. Sens. McCaskill and Blunt and President Obama, for waiting so long to intervene.

It would be easy to place blame on the protesters for turning violent and rioting, citing the need for peaceful assembly.

It would be easy to hoist the burden of responsibility onto local authorities in Ferguson for their poor handling of the situation, inciting protesters to riot rather than bringing calm.

It would be easy to join in blaming the media for stirring up the situation by giving attention to it.

It would be easy to, as some are now doing, blame the young man himself for allegedly participating in a theft prior to his altercation with the police.

But there is nothing easy about the situation in Ferguson. A solution for the community will take doing the hard work.

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol is doing the hard work. Rather than waging a battle, Johnson is working to open the lines of communication and erase the artificial boundaries between authorities and protesters.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal and St. Louis alderman Antonio French are doing the hard work. Providing on-the-ground leadership, standing up to rioters, calling for peaceful protests and documenting events on Twitter, their work is reason to hope that the community will make it through this crisis.

There is no shortage of people being thrust forward to take the blame for what has happened in Ferguson. But at this moment, as the nation watches a community teetering on the edge of chaos, we must take the time to examine exactly what we are losing.

1d1f05280a72b879b2cde8a62e3a0275An unarmed young man was shot and killed by police. His right to due process was violated, which demands an explanation. With an investigation underway, it is our duty as citizens to care as much about the process and outcome of the investigations by the FBI and Department of Justice as we do the riots.

As the black community in Ferguson protested, it was met with aggression, intimidation and eventual force from authorities. Some people rioted, which cannot be condoned in our society and should be dealt with. But many assembled peacefully, and were met with the same treatment. Peacefully assembled crowds had their rights violated as well. We must seek answers as to why.

Two reporters, Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post, were taken into custody as they tried to follow police orders to leave a McDonald’s restaurant, where they were working. Other journalists were specifically told to stop reporting what was happening. Again, rights were violated, this time in an attempt to silence the press that is promised to remain free.

Blame is as easy to assign as it is to dodge. At some point, someone will “take responsibility” for what happened. Over the past several years, this has come to mean little more than an acceptance that people will think poorly of the person for a few weeks.

5723b558462f2f1cacf666aeb4593696Or until the next big outrage comes along to distract us.

As Americans and Missourians thankful for the rights afforded to us by our Constitution, we must not lose interest in these events because the spectacle stops. Now is the time to wade through the rhetoric in order to hold our government and society accountable for what is happening in Ferguson.

It’s the only way we’ll manage to restore those rights.

Good for the Springfield News-Leader! Damn glad there is a press out there near the heart of the situation that is keeping check on things.  The News-Leader is a Gannett newspaper…

As I was getting ready to shut down the laptop, these headlines caught my attention:

It’s around 4:00 AM btw.

Ferguson On Edge On First Night With Curfew Huffington Post

Clusters of Protesters Defy Night Curfew in Ferguson – NYTimes.com

Police enforce curfew against protesters in Ferguson, Missouri | Reuters

Police deploy tear gas to impose Ferguson curfew – Nation – Boston.com

 

Okay. Next up, another op/ed, a link from last week: Rekha Basu: Iowa summit serves reminder of why religion, politics don’t mix | Opinion | McClatchy DC

Of everything coming out of this year’s Iowa Family Leadership Summit, the fear factor is what stayed with me.

It was a constant, discomfiting undercurrent, like a loose nail poking up in your shoe. It was organization President Bob Vander Plaats declaring this a time of “spiritual warfare,” and speaker Joel Rosenberg announcing America is “on the road to collapse” and “implosion,” and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, warning grimly, “We are living in some very dangerous times.”

The third year of the event sponsored by the self-described Christ-centered organization that seeks to influence policy and elections, brought big name politicians Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz and Rick Perry to Ames, Iowa, this past weekend. They were there to rally the Republican base in the lead-off caucus state. But the upbeat, love-God-and-country tone of previous events appeared at times to have been replaced by a somber, calamitous note of foreboding. Even Satan got a few mentions.

2535da149fb4be80aa512412356bb63dProjected onto a giant screen to punctuate Vander Plaats’ remarks was a video filled with haunting images of Osama bin Laden, Adam Lanza and the Boston marathon bombings. It depicted a rising national debt, marijuana, Boys Scouts, gay rainbow flag and a woman holding up a “Keep abortion legal” sign. It ended with someone yelling, “God is dead. Hail Satan!”

Sponsors and speakers still exalted matrimony and procreation in heterosexual relationships, called for putting God back in the classroom and government, and called abortion murder. But this year’s message was: The nation is in moral decline. Ignore it at your own peril. That was even carried into foreign policy.

 

I am telling you all, I live in the bible belt. I see these assholes everyday. They are powerful. And they vote.

Rosenberg, an evangelical Christian born to a Jewish father, said the United States must not support a two-state solution in Israel because a sovereign Palestinian state “defies the biblical mandate.” Interesting that a Christian American would presume to tell Palestinian Muslims they don’t deserve a homeland because of what the Bible says. This follows an evangelical belief that Jews from around the world will gather in Israel, where the second coming of Christ will occur and – though Rosenberg didn’t spell this out – be converted to Christianity.

“God loves you but if we don’t receive Christ, there are consequences,” Rosenberg warned.

e90122b747c138a358eb49854f70d5b8Is fear a new strategy for the Family Leader and its affiliated Family Research Council and Focus on the Family? Is it a response to flagging interest and political losses? Organizers said there were 1,200 attendees, and that there has been steady growth in three years. But many seats were empty. Is it a concession they’re losing the battle over abortion and gay rights? Abortion has not been completely outlawed, even under a conservative U.S. Supreme Court majority. Having succeeded in getting three justices of the Iowa Supreme Court voted out over same-sex marriage, a few years ago, the Family Leader failed in its more recent campaign against a fourth. Same-sex couples are celebrating wedding anniversaries with children and grandchildren, and the planet has survived.

What the planet might not ultimately survive – global warming – wasn’t on the agenda. In fact, if this were a true gathering of faith leaders, one might have expected some commitment to keeping the environment healthy, some compassion for the poor and immigrants. There were calls for abolishing the entire tax system that sustains the poor in times of need. There were calls for boosting border patrols to turn back young asylum seekers before their cases are heard. Iowa’s governor, Terry Branstad, boasted of having cut 1,400 state employees and cut property taxes, which fund education, more than ever in Iowa history.

b31a8821deca5cc1cf34fe447a61cb1eBut if it were a political forum to vet candidates, a Jewish, Muslim, agnostic or atheist one would have had no place there. In one video, Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said, “The only place you get right with God is at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.”

 

As with the other links, I urge you to read it all. That blurred scene that distorts and disturbs….you can feel it!

On the ridiculous notion, I must say this could have been me: South Carolina Mom Arrested For Cursing In Front Of Her Kids

Parents, it looks like it’s time to be ever-vigilant about your choice of words. Dropping an F-bomb in front of your kids can land you in jail.

Mom Danielle Wolf was grocery shopping at a Kroger store in North Augusta, South Carolina when she was arrested for disorderly conduct after cursing in the presence of her two daughters, WJBF News Channel 6 reports.

According to the incident report from the North Augusta Department Of Public Safety, Wolf yelled at her children, told them to “stop squishing the f*cking bread,” and used “similar phrases multiple times.” Another woman at the store then approached the mother and asked her to stop using that language with her children.

 

7b0dd5e4b1f9666ab1d32a8c1f72e475But Wolf insists this is not what happened. “She’s like, ‘you told that they were smashing the bread’, and I said ‘no’ I said that to my husband, that he was smashing the bread by throwing the frozen pizzas on top of it,” she told WJBF.

But the woman, who was referred to “Ms. Smith” in the police report and later identified as “Michelle” by NBC affiliate WAGT, reported Wolf to the authorities, leading to the mother’s arrest for disorderly conduct.

“He was like, ‘You’re under arrest’… right in front of kids, in front of my husband, in front of customers,” Wolf told WJBF of the officer who approached her in the store. She added, “I didn’t harm nobody. I didn’t hurt nobody. The lady said she was having a bad day. So, because you’re having a bad day you’re going to ruin somebody’s life.”

Well, fuckadoodledoo!

Perhaps arresting the mother in front of her kids was more traumatic than telling the dumbass husband to stop “squishing the fucking bread.”

In the world of Amazon and the Washington Post, a buck is a buck: Bezos-owned Washington Post now inserting gross Amazon affiliate links into news articles | PandoDaily

Six paragraphs into the story, we find this…

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…a “buy it now” button, wedged into editorial copy and linked to an affiliate account of Amazon.

1eaa186b6b4ccd5bd8c7bca64ace6628A quick skim around the WaPost site suggests this is something the Post is doing with all of its book reviews now, as well as on news items and even letters to the editor. The link to the Roald Dahl book links to the Amazon affiliate ID “slatmaga-20″ (presumably short for Slate Magazine, per the Post’s ties with that publication). That ID can also be found in a link within this letter to the editor. Meanwhile, this music book review links to the Amazon affiliate ID “thewaspost-03″.

Despite the various IDs being used, one thing is very clear: The Washington Post now sees reviews of books, and even news reports about books, as fair game for selling those same to readers, editorial independence be dammed.

Shit. What do you think will come next?  Brought to you by Carl’s Jr. 

(Hope you get that commercial reference.)

 

This post is getting real…real…real long so let’s just link dump for a bit. After the jump.

Georgia’s grandfather of all election seasons | Political Insider blog – Jimmy Carter and Zell Miller are making the rounds in my state.

c51959d993f888739db882f81b0951ffHullabaloo– Confederate States of mind

by Tom Sullivan

Dave Neiwert linked the other day to this Doug Muder piece that traces the origins of some of our current rhetoric. He begins, “Tea Partiers say you don’t understand them because you don’t understand American history. That’s probably true, but not in the way they want you to think.” Muder contends that while the North won the Civil War, the planter aristocrats won Reconstruction, effectively nullifying the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, thereby preserving the social order and power structures God himself intended — to make and keep the planter aristocrats wealthy.
“[I]n the Confederate mind, no democratic process could legitimate such a change in the social order. It simply could not be allowed to stand, and it did not stand,” writes Muder. So, perhaps, it is with obstructionism in Congress today.

Oh yeah…about that military gear being sold to police departments: Mapping the Spread of the Military’s Surplus Gear – NYTimes.com

State and local police departments obtain some of their military-style equipment through a free Defense Department program created in the early 1990s. While the portion of their gear that comes from the program is relatively small (most of it is paid for by the departments or through federal grants), detailed data from the Pentagon illustrates how ubiquitous such equipment has become. Highlighted counties have received guns, grenade launchers, vehicles, night vision or body armor through the program since 2006.

4391e4012fb94b33506ef22d16e351caIt is an interactive map. Even Banjoville’s county got 6 assault rifles from the program. And check out some of the smaller counties in the southern states. Rabun County Georgia for instance. Damn, are they expecting the Zombie Apocalypse? Walking Dead for real? Go figure.

This is really interesting. —  Advances in understanding of preterm birth — ScienceDaily

And another health link, Childhood Stress Decreases Size of Brain Regions – Scientific American

In connection to Robin Williams, who was said to have Parkinson’s Disease…Depression often untreated in Parkinson’s disease — ScienceDaily

Also this: Calls to suicide hotlines spike after Robin Williams’ death | Al Jazeera America

And an in-depth look at Robert Altman’s Popeye, staring Robin Williams.  moviemorlocks.com – Robin Williams, My Popeye

Robin Williams by Political Cartoonist Petar Pismestrovic

152372 600 Robin Williams cartoons

As for Lauren Bacall:

Lauren Bacall RIP by Political Cartoonist Milt Priggee

152380 600 Lauren Bacall  RIP cartoons

 

fcbe373fa88303fc03a97813b71422df Saturday Morning Cartoons: Baby and Bogie and Bugs Bunny, Too | The Black Maria

 

Meanwhile…

Video: ‘House of Cards’ Kevin Spacey Prank Calls Hillary Clinton | Deadline

 

Congrats to Harry Shearer…Finally: Underdogs No More: Harry Shearer & ‘Bob’s Burgers’ Win First Emmys | Deadline

 

For those of you with a scientific curious sort of mind…August Book Reviews Roundup – Scientific American

Ballet in motion. Photo Kang Seon JunAs for the rest of you who are into history, and a repeat on that theme of time lapses:

Yosemite and the Legacy of White Colonialism Upon the Land – Lawyers, Guns & Money

From Sin to Science: Astrological Explanations for the Black Death, 1347-1350

More wine, meat and exotic birds: What Richard III’s bones reveal about what he ate

Which leads us finally to the actual articles on Time Lapse Photography.

These are cool as hell.

That’s what you call shooting stars: Photographer captures dazzling time-lapse images of the night sky showing stars move round the earth | Mail Online

These incredible pictures of stars soaring across the sky leaving glimmering light trails have been captured across the UK by an amateur photographer who works at Co-op.

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Star enthusiast Phil Daintith, 21, dedicates his spare time to pounding the motorways of Britain in search of the perfect locations for the star gazing shots.

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And the amateur photographer, from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, who captures his pictures using a wide angle lens, has ended up shooting in some bizarre locations including a graveyard for disused diggers.

Swirling Time-Lapse Nudes Capture the Allure of Bodies in Motion | Raw File | WIRED

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Time-lapse photography has the unique ability to reveal hidden dimensions to even the most familiar forms. Take for example Japanese photographer Shinichi Maruyama’s nudes, which capture the human body in a way we’ve never seen before. Each image combines 10,000 individual frames snapped while dancers perform meticulously choreographed gestures. The result straddles the line between sculpture and performance art.

“I tried to express the beauty of both the human body’s figure and its motion as well as the concept of time,” he says.

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Though the images are flowing and organic and appear utterly spontaneous, they were the result of months of careful planning. Maruyama is keeping the technical details of the process to himself, but did say that although shooting the images required only a day, the choreography took five months to prepare. Layering the images to create the final pieces required another eight months.

Blow Your Mind with Ten Trippy Modern Artists

Matt Molloy (Timelapse Photographer)

Ontario, Canada-based photographer Matt Molloy has begun a experiment with time-lapse sequences. It’s created by digitally stacking 100 to 200 photographs.

By stacking as many as 100 photos into a single image, Ontario, Canada-based photographer Matt Molloy gives open-minded audiences a new way to enjoy the sky. By experimenting with various photography techniques and software platforms, he’s discovered an inventive way to make the view right above our heads seem incredibly alive. Molloy sources individual shots taken from timelapse videos to create each image, giving both meanings when they’re carefully blended together. “Timelapse photography isn’t simply about capturing a scene,” he says, “the emphasis is more on how the scene changes over time.”

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It was only by applying what he first learned about taking timelapses that led him to his artistic vision. As he tells us, “I was making a star trail image, from a timelapse I shot of the stars , and I wondered what the same technique would look like with timelapses shot captured during the day. I tried it with a sunset timelapse and I was amazed with the results. I’ve been doing them ever since. Life is constantly changing and some of these changes are harder to perceive than others, but timelapse photography enables us to perceive time and change much differently than our senses would normally allow.” As you can tell by looking through his ever-evolving portfolio, Molloy is just getting started.

Oh, and take a look at the other artist in that article…you will not be disappointed. I think the clouds in that first Molloy picture look like raw sheep fiber.

‘The sleep of the beloved’: Stunning time-lapse photographs capture couples and families as they sleep | Mail Online

Stunning black and white long-exposure images capture the intimate moments of couples as they sleep.

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Dutch photographer Paul Schneggenburger is behind the project ‘The sleep of the beloved’ which sees volunteer couples and even families sleeping in a bed under a long-exposure camera .

Paul began the project in 2010 as part of his diploma at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and it has since morphed into an ongoing and ever-expanding endeavour.

 

I will end the post with a little goodbye to summer. I know that we are still in the middle of August, but the nights are cool here in Banjoville, and these little buggers are not out and about as they used to be just a couple of weeks ago. Photos of fireflies by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu » Lost At E Minor: For creative people

Japanese hobby photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu used time-lapse photography techniques to take numerous continuous long-exposure shots of fireflies at night in southern Okayama, and merged these shots afterwards in Photoshop. Now, if these pictures were taken over three years between 2008-2011, and the average lifespan of fireflies is a few weeks, we must be looking at several generations of fireflies in these images.

There are a few more images at that link, so be sure to take a look.

Hope you enjoy those pictures, which I found on Pinterest and then just followed the links to the photography articles above. Have a good day and share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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28 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Time Lapses”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    JJ,

    Have you seen the famous photos by Harold “Doc” Edgerton? He pretty much invented high-speed photography. He also worked with Jacques Cousteau on underwater photography. He also worked closely with Edwin Land of Polaroid.

    I got to know “Doc” when I worked at M.I.T. He was a truly eminent scientist and professor, but was completely down to earth–a genuinely nice man. I was friends with his secretary, and that’s how I met him.

    Here’s a brief bio:

    Harold Edgerton was an electrical engineer whose work on strobe and underwater photography greatly influenced both art and science during the 20th century. He was a man from Nebraska who spent his entire academic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after 1927. He made his mark as an expert in high-speed photography — his 1931 doctoral dissertation included a motion picture of a motor lit by a strobe light, and by 1932 he and student/colleague Kenneth J. Germeshausen had made them commercially available. While teaching at MIT, Edgerton also traveled around, showing the industrial, artistic and entertainment merits of stroboscope photography. Inefficiencies and flaws could be seen in moving machine parts, his photo “Coronet” — a milk drop just as it breaks the surface — was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 1937 and he revolutionized the world of sports photography. During World War II he developed long-range night photography for U.S. airplanes, and after the war he figured out how to photograph nuclear tests at the moment of blast. Because of Edgerton, we know how a hummingbird’s wings work, and how the tongue of a cat works when it drinks. During the 1950s and ’60s Edgerton worked on underwater photography, sometimes in collaboration with Jacques Cousteau. Although he officially retired from MIT in 1968, “Doc” Edgerton continued to teach and work in the lab the rest of his life.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I love fireflies. I never see them around here, but there were tons of them around when I was visiting my mom in Indiana. When we were kids, we used to catch them in a jar with holes in the top–and then let them go, of course.

  3. janicen says:

    Really enjoying this post, JJ. It will take me all day to get through it because I’m a slow reader, but it’s chock full of some great stuff.

    I think Chideya chose the perfect politician to compare to Obama when she chose Rand Paul because she is absolutely right. Obama’s speech and reaction pissed me off because he sounded so weak. Where was the Obama from ’08 who made the country swoon when he defended his relationship with Rev Wright during that “quintessential speech on race”? He seems to have proven what we all suspected, that early Obama and his fearlessness in addressing race relations in this country may have been nothing more than a delivery vehicle for a talented speech writer. Even a pathetic creature like Rand Paul looked stronger and more decisive than Obama in addressing the events in Ferguson, and that’s a damned shame.

    • List of X says:

      I agree that Rand Paul deserves a pat on a back for this. Just because he’s wrong 99% of the time doesn’t mean we should not acknowledge the 1%.

      • Take a look at this: Why Rand Paul is better for the left than right | Eclectablog

        Paul has been an opponent of the drug war and police militarization for years. But rarely has he connected racial bias — which is at the the heart of the national mass incarceration crisis described by Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow — so directly to the issue, and never at a more poignant time. (Though his “even if inadvertently” is a convenient hedge.)

        Liberals like Rep. John Conyers cheered the Senator’s comments and asked him to join calls for a Department of Justice investigation into racial profiling to help stop the targeting of minorities by local police. Salon‘s Jim Newell suggested that Paul call for a new vote on the president’s nominee to lead the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division Debo Adegbile, who was defeated for not showing ample respect for the infallibility of the police.

        Paul will do neither.

        But he has done something pretty remarkable. He’s stated that America’s justice system isn’t color-blind, as the right often insists, and that there is a problem to fix that starts with how minorities are treated by the police. And he did this without triggering a massive backlash from Fox News or any other major right-wing outlet.

        This is simply something President Obama could not do in the current political environment.

        In his campaign for governor of California, Ronald Reagan’s advisers told him to back off condemning the war protesters whom he constantly labeled as lawless and childish, Rick Perlstein notes in his fantastic new book that tracks Nixon’s fall and Reagan’s ascent The Invisible Bridge. The Gipper didn’t listen and struck a cord with the Silent Majority who were sick of being told that American needs to be fixed.

        Is this a bizarro Reagan moment? Will Paul’s ascent be marked by his willingness to use expand the conservative critique to include advocacy of the rights of those in the inner city?

        Kentucky.com‘s Sam Youngman says the normal rules of politics don’t apply for his state’s junior Senator. The Daily Beast‘s Olivia Nuzzi says Democrats are scared Paul.

        I do think Paul is the one candidate who does display the potential to reach out to demographics that have previously been indifferent to conservative arguments — particularly young white males.

        I also think he would lose the senior vote by double digits, triggering a landslide of Goldwater proportions — and his op-ed about Ferguson shows why.

        Paul’s entire argument turns on the phrase, “big government has been at the heart of the problem.” This is how he nods to the right that he is still one of them and speaks some truth about how the federalization of the drug war has led to mass incarceration.

        But to Paul, “big government” isn’t just a problem when it puts local police on military steroids. It’s a problem when it does anything — except ban a women’s right to chose and some forms of birth control.

        […]
        Of course, Paul has no compunction about completely denying things he has furiously advocated for in the past — even when the comments are on video. But he will have no choice to embrace these stands in some form for a pretty simple reason — they are the part of the conservative orthodoxy he completely buys into.

        President Obama’s Justice Department has been far better on civil rights than civil liberties. He’s the first Commander-in-Chief who has taken steps to rein in the drug war. But he is limited by his own prudence from making the racial critique about police militarization that Paul volunteered.

        Paul’s principled beliefs along with his eagerness to present himself as a new type of Republican compelled him to thrust this necessary analysis into our national discourse. And we now face the prospect of the drug war becoming an issue in a Republican presidential primary.

        Maybe y’all are right, it just made me uncomfortable…you can’t trust Rand Paul…it just didn’t feel right to me.

        • List of X says:

          I didn’t say we should trust Rand Paul, and I am definitely not advocating him for president. 🙂 But, if, say, there is a vote to end the drug war or to stop the DOD program to arm the police departments, he is probably more likely to vote with Democrats that the rest of GOP.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Rand Paul is anti-woman, plus he opposes civil rights laws, so it’s irrelevant what he thinks about racism.

    • joanelle says:

      But he was running for the prize then, he’s no longer after the prize

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    You can no longer deny the truth: we are absolutely a nation divided against itself. The hatred that we live with everyday has become commonplace throughout the country and can ;be seen in the passage of laws since a black man assumed office in 2009.

    While it has always been there, it suddenly leaped forward at his election. The radical right has denied his birthplace, describing him as “the other” for political purposes, constantly demonizing him while “preaching” to the party faithful that he is out to destroy the fabric of the Constitution and questioning his legitimacy as an elected official. That crap resonates with those who foster that hate and can be seen throughout the internet from those who defend the shooting of an unarmed 18 yr old kid. Or a man accused of selling contraband cigarettes in NYC. Or an elderly black woman beaten for walking on an interstate median. Excuses for these actions rather than collective outrage can be found anywhere.

    We are divided along race, gender, and socioeconomic issues. Throw in a healthy dose of religion and sit back and watch the Constitution be torn to pieces by those who possibly never read one word of what it represents.

    Would the pundits be happier if Obama came out sounding like Al Sharpton? This is a man who has had to juggle both aspects of his biracial life. No matter what he says, or how he says it, he will face the criticism from all sides. The choice was made early on to “obstruct” him and that has been carried through to this day. From where I sit he can’t “win”. Up against these determined crazies this nation has watched the deterioration of civility reach all time lows.

    A unarmed young black male was killed in an event that is still murky. The facts have been withheld for reasons that beg to be revealed. Would it be a different story had the victim been white? We have no idea of how many shots were fired. Was the police officer injured or not?
    We simply do not know.

    But what we do know is that black males are easy targets when it comes to dealing with armed officers of the law. We do know that voting rights – aimed at minority communities – are slowly being stripped across the country. We do know that as a nation we are being told to arm ourselves to the teeth as a form of “protection” and we are watching laws that uphold an “anything goes” attitude.

    This nation is divided. Deliberately so. By special interests who do not give a damn about human rights and the dignity of all.

    The question is: where will we be 20 years from now if this becomes the norm? I hate to think about that day.

    • gregoryp says:

      I am so, so, so saddened by the state of this country. For a short time, very short, we made real progress and it seems to be as ethereal as a puff of smoke on a windy day. How did it come to this? How does a mentally challenged kid get shot by a policeman in Dallas while sitting on a chair in front of his house? How does an 18 year old kid get brutally murdered because he was walking in the street and supposedly blocking traffic? How are thousands of people being shot and killed every year by our police force and no one takes notice?

      I want to blame the purveyors of hatred. I really do. They instigate this crap just to make a paycheck, to score political points and to get people to vote against their own self interests but at the end of the day the problem is with those who choose to hate. Those who choose to pull that trigger and gun down that young kid. I just can’t fathom what these people are thinking. I really can’t even visualize how their brains even process information it is so alien to mine.

    • gregoryp says:

      “But what we do know is that black males are easy targets when it comes to dealing with armed officers of the law. We do know that voting rights – aimed at minority communities – are slowly being stripped across the country. We do know that as a nation we are being told to arm ourselves to the teeth as a form of “protection” and we are watching laws that uphold an “anything goes” attitude.”

      I think this is so spot on. I also believe that not only are black males vulnerable but the entire population of African Americans. I think Ferguson highlights that very clearly. How can a vast majority of a community be so powerless and be so shut out? If it is that bad there how bad is it in most other areas? We all need to remember that African American’s only comprise 13% of the population and those folks aren’t evenly distributed. Just how bad is racism really in this country? I suggest it is much, much more prevalent that I ever imagined. That stupid Tea Party movement hasn’t made things any better, that is for sure.

      • RalphB says:

        I really don’t want to agree but I just have to agree with everything that’s been said. It’s much worse than I thought and not getting any better for decades of trying on some’s part,

      • Fannie says:

        I must agree with you.

  5. RalphB says:

    In case people should not understand the reason Rick Perry was indicted. Just think of extortion; give me money or I will shoot you, hire me or I will publish those photos you want hidden, resign or I will veto the budget. Those sound similar to me.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Not only that, the budget was for an office whose job was investigating public officials. I’m confused as to why so many liberal journalists are saying the charges are bogus.

      • RalphB says:

        The liberal pundits are mystifying me as well. It really is pretty straight forward and those laws have been on the books here for over a century. The last TX governor impeached from office had been indicted for the same crimes but he was waging political war over the UT Board of Regents and university organization in 1917,

  6. bostonboomer says:
  7. bostonboomer says:

    Autopsy report shows Michael Brown was shot at least 6 times, twice in the head.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html?smid=tw-bna&_r=0

  8. RalphB says:

    How we’d cover Ferguson if it happened in another country

    http://www.vox.com/2014/8/15/6005587/ferguson-satire-another-country-russia-china

    Great article.