Andy Carvin's Waste of Bandwidth

September 19, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy Carvin @ 1:30 pm

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, I decided to take the hackneyed LOLcats phenomenon one ludicrous step further by creating some ARRGHcats:


Want to create one of your own? You can use the LOLcat builder to create the text; just use one of their cat pics or upload one of your own, then add your own text. Extra points awarded for using obscure or archaic nautical terms, like skysails, larboard or belay. Then upload your photo to Flickr and tag it ARRGHcats (two R’s, of course) so we can check them out. -andy

September 17, 2007

Butterfly Photo Gallery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy Carvin @ 9:32 pm

Black and White, originally uploaded by andycarvin.

This weekend we went to the Wings of Fancy butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. This was the last day it was open for the season, and the butterflies were wonderfully lethargic due to the cool weather, making them easier to photograph. I brought along my eight-megapixel Konica camera and managed to take a lot of macro photos, including this one, of a beautiful black and white butterflies. I still haven’t identified the species for it yet, but I have managed to put a name to several dozen of the butterflies I photographed. Please check out the butterfly photo gallery I’ve uploaded to Flickr to see the full collection of nearly 150 photos. -andy

September 13, 2007

Praying Mantis vs. Bumble Bee

Filed under: Video — Andy Carvin @ 8:06 pm

A praying mantis stalks a bumble bee on a milkweed bush at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton Maryland.
Formats available: mp4, iPod, mobile

Kayleigh’s First Steps!

Filed under: Kayleigh,Video — Andy Carvin @ 7:11 pm

This afternoon, Kayleigh managed to take her very first steps on her own. She’s been able to walk a few steps at a time when holding someone’s hand, but this is the first time she was able to do it independently. We didn’t have the camera rolling for the literal first step, since she did it unexpectedly. We started shooting video about 20 seconds later. Welcome to toddlerhood, Kayleigh!
Formats available: mp4, iPod, mobile, Flash

September 11, 2007

Could Salt Water Solve Our Energy Needs?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy Carvin @ 7:24 pm

Here’s an amazing video about a recent discovery by John Kanzius, a cancer researcher who was experimenting with a radiation machine he built and realized he could use it to burn salt water. The discovery is “the most remarkable in water science in 100 years,” said Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist who was invited to verify the findings. Essentially, irradiating the salt water causes its elements to separate and ignites the hydrogen. The discovery has some pretty amazing implications for energy policy if it could ever be replicated on an industrial scale.

September 10, 2007

Indiana Jones and the Failure of the Imagination

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy Carvin @ 7:49 pm

So the name of the much-anticipated fourth installment of the Indiana Jones movies is out, and it’s a real hum-dinger. Drum roll, please….
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I am not making this up. Shia LeBeouf announced it yesterday at the MTV Video Music Awards, and unless he was just confused by Britney Spears’ performance, he was serious. George Lucas originally said he’d announce the name in November, so he has until then to come up with an excuse as to why Shia was just messing with us.
For some time now, I’ve had a sense of existential dread about the Indiana Jones film because of Lucas’ recent track record. Granted, he’s not directing this one, but his fingerprints are all over it – particularly that name. Try saying it out loud – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? By my count, it’s at least four syllables too long. For example, “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Kingdom” or “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull” each have the right number of beats when you say them. That doesn’t necessarily make them good names, though – there’s just something a little low-rent about having Indy go after something crystal in his final adventure. What ever happened to lost arks and the like?
Meanwhile, I had a chance to chat with some insiders at LucasFilm and they acknowledged that the following names were under consideration as well:

  • Indiana Jones and the Phantom Menace
  • Indiana Jones and the Dark Crystal
  • Indiana Jones and the Secret of NIMH
  • Indiana Jones and the Two Towers
  • Indiana Jones and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Indiana Jones and the High School Musical
  • Indiana Jones and the Lost World
  • Indiana Jones and the Very Last Crusade
  • Indy! The Musical

But in their infinite wisdom they went with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Let’s hope there’s still time for Steven Spielberg to conduct an intervention. -andy

September 6, 2007

Name That Flower Species!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy Carvin @ 9:03 am

I was so amazed by this passion flower when I photographed it at Brookside Gardens a couple of weeks ago that I neglected to note the species as I was photographing it. NPR’s Ketzel Levine wasn’t sure either, so we emailed someone at Brookside to see if he recognized it; he also wasn’t sure. So I went back to Brookside over Labor Day weekend and hunted it down again. Turns out it’s indeed a passion flower, though I won’t say which variety since Ketzel is challenging people to guess the exact species on her blog. It’s even being featured on the NPR homepage today. Once she reveals the answer I’ll put the answer back here. Pretty wild looking, isn’t it? -andy

September 4, 2007

Kayleigh Composes Her First Song

Filed under: Kayleigh,Video — Andy Carvin @ 8:31 pm

Tonight during dinner, Kayleigh started making these hilarious noises, and then began to change pitch as she did it. I managed to grab a camera and shoot about a minute of her taking a crack at composing her first song. It’s a real keeper. -andy
Formats available: mp4, iPod, mobile

September 3, 2007

Interview with a Living Goddess

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy Carvin @ 7:51 pm

Sajani ShakyaEarlier this summer, you may recall when I had a chance encounter with Sajani Shakya, the kumari of Bhaktapur, Nepal. Kumaris are young girls selected to serve as living goddesses to Nepal’s Hindu community. Sajani was the first kumari to visit the United States, and I happened to bump into her during her visit to the SilverDocs festival in Silver Spring, MD. Some time later, Sajani made headlines again when religious authorities in Nepal decided to strip her of her kumari status because she had “polluted” herself by coming to the US. After intense negotiations, though, she was allowed to retain position as kumari by going through a purification ritual. Sajani then returned home to much fanfare and yet another round of intense media coverage.
Now that over a month has passed since her return to the Nepal, I had the chance to interview Sajani by way of email, by way of her family and the producers of the documentary that brought her to the United States. As befits a goddess (or perhaps a shy 10-year-old who isn’t totally comfortable speaking in English), her responses were short and sweet:

AC: Were you upset when you found out you would no longer be the kumari of Bhaktapur?
Sajani: Yes, I’m so upset and i used to cry a lot.
AC: And when did you find out everything was going to be okay?
Sajani: After two days.
AC: What happened when you came home to Nepal?
Sajani: My parents and relatives come in Airport to take me with Newari instruments and all of them were so happy.
AC: Were you happy to be back home to Bhaktapur?
Sajani: Yes I am.
AC: Did you coming to America change you in any way?
Sajani: Its great opportunity to me because lots of people know me but in Nepal some of the people were not happy but some of people were Happy.
AC: Will you come back to America?
Sajani: Yes I like to come there.
AC: When I saw you in Silver Spring I saw you taking picture with a digital camera. Do you like taking pictures?
Sajani: Yes I like to take picture because I want to be a photographer as [documentary producer] Marc Hawker.
AC: So what do you want to do when you grow up?
Sajani: When I will grow up I want to help my parents because our economic condition is poor.

And there you have it – straight from the kumari’s mouth. -andy

September 1, 2007

Space Shuttle Enterprise, Panorama

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andy Carvin @ 8:31 pm

This is a series of pictures of the Space Shuttle Enterprise, stitched together, that I took today at the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA. Click on the image to access a Quicktime VR version of it.

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