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corvi
corivax
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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
Photography and commentary

So I found myself with half a roll of black and white 400 Tri-X film last weekend. (I'd used the first half to take portraits of gement.) So I went wandering around campus with xmurf, cow, and cairisrin, being Zen, and taking pictures of anything that caught my eye. I wasn't operating under any particular inspiration except the quest for inner peace, so they aren't very good. But they're at least interesting.



I'm much indebted to cow for bringing this ominous tower to my attention. I'm relatively photosensitive, and thus not in the habit of looking up.


Despite the filename, this is not actually a camelia. I don't know what it is, though perhaps my crazed botanist roommate does. It's very neat, though. The petals are arranged on the flower in a fibonacci spiral (the fibonacci numbers are: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, et cetera. Each number is calculated by adding the two before it.)


Here's a closeup of a pink whatever-it-is (the ones in the above photo are white) that xmurf found out side a dormitory I used to live in, and brought to me. I'd just gotten my new flatbed scanner, and was scanning absolutely everything, and I was thrilled to have something interesting to scan besides my roommate's face. You can see the petals are sort of spiraled.


Here's the first spiral. It has 8 petals, and there are 5 sets of them.


Here's the second spiral. It is five petals, and curls in the opposite direction. There are eight of them.

(Many, many flowers are built around fibonacci spirals, as well as the scales on pinecones and pineapples. Snail shells. That kind of thing. Web page with pretty pictures (not mine) here. Nice pictures of a 13/21 pinecone)


I also wanted some pictures of Suzallo Library, the most interesting building on campus. Unfortunately, it is currently being retrofitted to make it more earthquake proof, thus blocked off by a chainlink fence and covered in scaffolding. This picture was obtained by claiming halfway up the fence, and then shooting over the scaffolding. I blame this for the crooked framing.


This one was from clambering around on an ugly pyramid/obelisk sculpture near the foot of the library. I need a zoom lens.


cow let us into the harp practice room, and I spent forever lining up this shot, so it's the only one I have of the harps.
Harps are remarkably photogenic; I'm thinking I'd really like to do a photography project and just photograph the hands of a bunch of people upon the strings of my harp. velvetknife has twice the handspan I do (and my hands are not that small!), and tends to keep his wrists straight; impression of strength. vixyish has slender fingers and moves delicately. I suspect there's a large amount of personality information revealed in the way people would approach a harp, and I think it would be a neat set of pictures.


In the basement of the electrical engineering building is a robotics lab. xmurf and I have keycard access because of the space robot. Part of that lab is an anechoic (no echoes) chamber. The walls, ceiling, and floor are covered with slender foam pyramids that absorb sound. The bases are made of a strong blue foam and the tips of a black foam so soft that when you touch it, the marks of your fingertips linger for minutes.


I find the place remarkably disorienting. I don't know where the walls are, how high the ceiling is, where I am, or anyone else. I can't pin down locations. Beyond the door to the anechoic chamber, I sense only an open gray void. I walk in anyway, because fascination is stronger than fear. Tap the raised walkways in front of me with my bare feet before proceeding.


When I get the pictures back from the developers, I stare at them, finally understanding what the chamber looks like.


A stand of bamboo growing near the music building. The wind shuffles softly through it, musical. The largest parts of each stalk make a lower-pitched note, and you can hear, as the wind sweeps two canes diagonally across eachother, the pitch of each rising, almost flute-like.


Vines at the base of cow's tower.


One of several pictures (four or five, I think) I took of sakura, blooming cherry tree. Honestly, none of them were any good. But I think this one is kind of neat, because of the faerie castle rising about the clouds of pink blossoms. (I think this may actually be the back of Godwin hall.)

Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: The Cure - Burn
Comments

Note to cow and xmurf:

Post your pictures! I want to see them!

The big wind tunnel at Nasa Ames has a semi-anechoic main test section.   It's a massive room, 80'x120'x250'+, and it's lit with low pressure sodium lamps, so it's this odd yellowish light, and it's almost impossible to judge distance.   It's a very odd experience.

Ooooohh.

(You realize you make me say that a lot with writing and images, don't you?)

In my math methods class during the Teacher Ed program, we had to split up into groups, "learn" a concept, and then go explain that concept to another group... Fibonacci spirals weren't actually among the choices, but I asked if I could do them anyway, and the prof, though she embarrassed me horribly by announcing it to everyone, let me. (Drawing spirals through creating smaller and smaller squares within rectangles of the correct ratio.) My two partners were *completely* unthrilled. The two people I had to teach the concept to were kind of impressed, but nobody got as excited about them as I did. Fibonacci spirals are just so *cool*!

I do especially love the castle rising out of the trees... I didn't catch it at first, in fact, so it was kind of a neat surprise. That photo gives me song ideas.

Och, I want to write more but it's time to go to work. Your pictures are lovely and impressive and very cool (in no particular order). ;)

(Anonymous)
white flowers

tz--The white flowers look a lot like camellias to me. Are you sure they aren't just a type you're unfamiliar with? There are many, many different camellias.

Re: white flowers

That's actually what plantae, the crazed botanist roommate, said, too. So I guess they are.

Re: white flowers

I'm not crazy! It's perfectly normal to have 300 houseplants!

And 16, er...13 finches...you know, I'd swear we had 17 not so long ago...did we eat one at some point?

That anechoic chamber looks amazingly disorienting. I'd love to visit it sometime.