April 23, 2011
Here’s an aquarium I ran across – the Labyrinth Aquarium by Opulentitems. This would be the ultimate cool aquarium. It has six globes and the lights and filter stuff are all hidden. The fish can swim between the different fish globes through the tubes. Unfortunately, it’s a single setup – it would be even cooler if it was modular and you could keep adding fishbowls and connectors like you can with a hamster trail. Still, it’s a nifty fish tank (although cleaning would be quite the bother).
It’s not cheap – the whole thing costs $6,500. Probably not going to be buying one soon (or finding one at a garage sale). The company also describes it as a rare aquarium with “rare” filtration and lighting. This just struck me as a bit strange, as I assume that manufactured lights and aquariums, no matter how cool, wouldn’t really be rare. Still, it’s a nifty looking aquarium.
April 18, 2011
I remember playing the computer “Life” game years ago (Commodore 64 years ago!). Basically you place a number of “organisms” – dots or similar – on a grid. When X number of dots are in contact, a new dot is formed, if Y dots are not touching a dot, it disappears. There are variations, and I don’t remember the exact numbers for the games I played, but it was fun watching the patterns evolve and disappear from different starting patterns.
I came across an audio version of the “Life” game (or cellular automation to be fancy) recently. It was developed by Batuhan Bozkurt and in addition to moving “dots” (squares in this case), it produces sounds when each “dot” touches an edge. The note and pitch vary depending on where it touches. Because the often replicating patterns, it usually creates rather pleasing “new age electronica” sort of music. The name of the program is Otomata and it can be played on line without any downloads, etc. Definitely worth checking out.
April 17, 2011
Apparently cow-nose rays (a type of stingray) migrate in huge schools of up to 10,000 rays. I always thought rays looked quite cool, especially the types with the swept back “wings” – the ones with the round “wings” are nice too, but they don’t look as ascetically pleasing to me. They migrate northwards up the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and then back south from Florida in the fall. The accompanying photo was taken by Sandra Critelli when she was looking for whale sharks to photograph. She has a lot of other extremely nice photos of sealife on her photography web site.