Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
In two previous posts -- Seeing But Not Spotting and Macro Mothology -- I shared images of two different species of moth that showed up at night near the entrance to my apartment building.
Now I can add another insect type to my list: a praying mantis that decided to select a meal and dine by the same entrance the other night. The adjective "praying" describes the mantis because of the way it folds its front legs together, but as you can see from my images "preying" -- the spelling variation used by some people -- is more appropriate.
I had to use a tripod and relatively long exposures with the available light provided by a light bulb. Sometimes the mantis would sway and I would have to wait for it to stop or end up with a blur from the seconds-long exposure.
I assumed the rocking motion was due to a slight breeze but from a bit of research I discovered that movement might have been an example of crypsis, the insect trying to avoid detection by mimicking a plant swaying in the wind. Another theory is that the side-to-side movement is a simple way for the mantis to distinguish objects from the background.
Of course, the mantis is notorious for sexual cannibalism, the female eating the male during mating, biting off his head. (And they say males rule the world). This rude behavior doesn't surprise me since one theory holds that mantises evolved from proto-cockroaches. And when it comes to rudeness, a cockroach is at the top of the list.
(Click on each image for larger view.)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Yup, I'm repeating an image. This originally appeared in my post, Roy G. Biv Gang Goes On A Colorful Spree. These guys -- I don't know who they were, I just made up the RGB Gang name -- were wearing Morphsuits.
As discussed in a previous post, Gorilla Suit: What’s The Big Hairy Deal?, there is a New York State law that prohibits the wearing of masks in public unless special permission is granted by the local apparatchiks. In Plattsburgh anyone who wants to wear a mask in public needs permission from the City Chamberlain. Don't ask me what the connection is between the CC's office and a law-enforcement issue. Maybe the City Chamberlain also goes around and issues parking tickets, who knows.
If these Morphsuit guys return, I hope they don't run afoul of the mask-registration law. But it seems their colorful frolic during the Mayors Cup event has lead to condemnation by an irate commenter to "Speak Out," the Press-Republican's "public service" where anyone can email a remark anonymously and impress the world with his astute acumen.
Anyway, in light of the anti-mask law, here's this "Speak Out" comment (I'm assuming it's not a gag) that appeared in the PR Aug. 27th edition:
= = =
I am terribly offended by the public usage of so-called "Morphsuits" at this year's Mayor's Cup. I can't believe that people could be ignorant enough to disrespect everyone like that. I have a 5-year-old daughter who cried every time she saw them. She was horribly mortified. "Power Rangers" used to be her favorite show, and now she can't even stand the sight of it. I am calling for a citywide ban of these atrocities.
= = =
So what's next? A ban on all masks? Remember: If you outlaw masks, only outlaws will have masks.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It’s getting so bad in this country that a guy can’t walk around wearing a gorilla mask.
On Friday evening, August 27th, a few goodbad film fans will be hosting a showing of “Goliathon,” at 7 PM at the Plattsburgh Public Library. To promote the event, David Fuller was walking around the other night in his gorilla suit with a friend. Everything was OK until an officer employed by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department stopped David and inquired what he was doing.
David was informed by the officer that it was against the law to walk around wearing a mask. He needed to get special permission. Of course, no red tape was involved in pursuing that matter.
David went to the Plattsburgh Police Department and spoke with the officer at the front desk. The officer told him that he had to go to the City Chamberlain’s Office to get permission. So he traveled over to that office, spoke with Keith Herkalo who told him he needed to get a letter from the public library explaining his actions. So it was time for David to trek back to the library and speak with its director.
Today, Aug. 26th, David was notified by a forwarded email that he was granted permission to walk around in a gorilla suit complete with a mask. Oh, the Land of the Free!
Here is the email:
= = =
From: Keith Herkalo
Subject: Library Promotion
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Library Director has notified me that representatives of the Plattsburgh Public Library will be promoting the Library’s Comedy Film show this evening, Thurs 26 Aug, at the SUNY campus and in downtown Plattsburgh. One member of the group will be costumed as a gorilla…
Both the Plattsburgh Police Department and the SUNY Police Dept have been notified by fax.
= = =
But what about the Sheriff’s Department, Campus Security, Border Patrol, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the DAR? Have all of them been notified?
Apparently David is being affected by New York Penal Law, Chapter 40 of the Consolidated Laws, Part Three – Specific Offences, Title N—Offenses Against Public Order, Public Sensibilities And The Right To Privacy, Article 240—Offenses Against Public order, Section 240.35(4) – give me a minute, I’m out of breath.
According to 240.35(4) under Loitering:
“Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place; except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities;”
So what about someone promoting a business, dressed up as the Statue of Liberty with green face makeup? An income tax preparation company in Plattsburgh was doing such a promo last spring.
Is it loitering if someone is at a specific place to promote an event, handing out flyers with no harmful or threatening intent? Also, isn't being in a gorilla suit "entertainment" by itself?
Anyway, notice that the law says “remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised.” There's no Esq. after my name but it seems that a few people have to be masked and loitering at the same time in the same place to violate the law. David was the only person wearing a mask when the Deputy Sheriff approached him. Oops.
I hope our bureaucratic officials make sure to enforce this mask law on Halloween. Who knows that terrorists lurk among those trick-or-treaters!
The New Face Of Terrorism?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Over at my bad blog, http://dogtown12901.blogspot.com, I share more delightful images of downtown Plattsburgh from decorative plants to a cozy niche to a mysterious green foam tube. Not the usual "crap."
WARNING: If you have never visited my bad blog, be advised some images are doggedly repulsive.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
In my previous post, Macro Rainbow Foil, I didn't explain how I made those images. In case you're wondering, here's how to make your own in a few steps.
1. Go to Smooth Moves, 4 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY and order a sandwich to go.
2. Take the sandwich outside and sit down at the picnic table covered by a multi-colored umbrella.
3. After you unwrap the sandwich, notice that the crumpled foil is reflecting the light filtering through the umbrella from different angles, creating colorful facets.
4. Take out your camera, set the lens for macro mode, and shoot. Ignore any employees or other customers who are wondering what the hell you're doing.
5. Go home and with your PC crop and adjust the images.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I'm trying to read an online page and -- bang! -- a pop up ad blocks my view. Is that supposed to put me in the frame of mind to buy a product?
When TV and movie star Darren McGavin ("The Night Stalker") died I was reading his obit and suddenly a pop up -- or in this case, a pop down since it slid down from the top of the screen -- obstructed my view of McGavin's photo. Suddenly some cookies appeared and to show this particular brand had extra fudge, animated chocolate goo drooled all over the cookies. That shows respect for the dead.
Now there's another "pop" ad that is annoying, what is called a pop under. I've only encountered this when I visit pressrepublican.com, the website of Plattsburgh's daily newspaper. I'll read an article and when I close that window, there's another window with ads for local businesses.
I never clicked on any link to bring up that second hidden window. It's automatically generated just by visiting the PR site.
Here's a coincidence: since I didn't click on that ad page to view it, I'll make sure to never buy any products it hawks.
People have had enough with advertising shoved in their faces, especially with TV and radio. With TV I record a show and later when I watch it, I zip through all the commercial stretches. As for radio, I can't listen when there's too many ads. I'd rather listen to my own choice of music sans annoying commercials.
So it appears they're going to screw up the Web by shoving ads in our faces or at least sneaking them under what we want. Stupid. All it does is create resentment. Such resentment that I use AdBlock Plus to zap away the ads.
Monday, August 09, 2010
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Long overdue but it's being done. The block of buildings across from the public library on Oak Street is getting fixed up, no more weathered paint or rotten wood. Good riddance, old look; welcome, new look.
But there's another look downtown that won't go away. Let's say it's time for the elimination of elimination. Details over at my bad blog, http://dogtown12901.blogspot.com, with the post entitled "Sprucing Up Oak Street."
WARNING: My Dogtown blog ain't safe for work or mealtime.
What every library needs for its decor: plastic wastepaper baskets scattered around a nice carpet to catch water dripping down from the ceiling.
Every time there's a heavy rainstorm, water plagues the first floor in the Plattsburgh Public Library. I don't know who the city has hired in the past to fix the leaks but whoever it was, I'm glad they're not in charge of capping off the BP deepwater oil well that's been polluting the Gulf of Mexico.
The leaks at PPL have been going on for years and now they're beginning to migrate into new areas.
Of course, water is good for electrical systems and also helps to promote the growth of mold. Persistent leaks = accumulating damage. Fix the problem now or possibly pay more later to fix all the damage.
For example, check out these ceiling tiles.
They're getting ready to buckle. You can almost read a hidden message in the stains. Is it just me or do I see POTENTIAL LAWSUIT written on this ceiling?
Monday, August 02, 2010
Sure, the heavy downpour sucks but be philosophical about it. Remember:
"The farmers need the rain."
Mid-afternoon, August 2. Downtown Plattsburgh, Durkee and Broad streets area.
(Click on each image for a larger view.)
Heavy rain and the manhole cover is lifting.
There she blows! A water fountain in the center of the intersection.
Whee! Hydroplaning is fun -- as long as you don't lose control.
Welcome to the Durkee Street Lake. All craft must not exceed the speed limit or the wake will disturb other vessels.
This is the second time this summer that the drains couldn't handle the water. Does this mean there is more to this problem than just freak weather? Could it be the drainage system needs some maintenance or even an upgrade?