Archive for January, 2009

31
Jan
09

A different view of the inauguration

This is really amazing.

Photographer David Bergman took a 220 image, 1,474 megapixel image of Barack Obama’s inauguration last week using a cool device called the ‘Gigapan.’ Basically, you put your favorite point-and-shoot camera onto this robot, play with some buttons, and it automatically takes a grid of photos that can be stitched together into a massive panorama (Click the picture to zoom in, pan and play around) or click here for the full image:

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The level of detail in this thing is really amazing. Literally, you can zoom in on one of those far away buildings on the National Mall and see secret service agents on the room. Open of up the panorama above by clicking on it and zoom in on the crowd.  How many people can you identify?  It is sort of like those Where’s Waldo pictures that you always saw as a kid.  Or, one of those “Eye Spy” books– only this one is interactive!

If you want to play a game, try and find the following people/objects.

I spy, with my little eye, something that is….

1) Denzel Washington:

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2) David Gregory, Host of NBC’s “Meet the Press:”

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3) Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas apparently asleep*:

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*This claim has been refuted though… He says he was “in prayer”

4) Arethra Franklin and the most ridiculous hat ever:

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AND FOR ALL YOU PHOTOJOURNALISTS PHOTO NERDS OUT THERE:

5) A guy using a cool 4×5 Speed Graphic camera:

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6) Remote Cameras!!:

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7) A Gaggle of Journalists (who will all have the EXACT same picture):

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And, if you actually find Waldo, you will receive eternal happiness and a cash prize….

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06
Jan
09

New Years in Munich

I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve in Munich, Germany at the Hofbrauhaus and then the Marienplatz/ town center at midnight.

I can only describe it as being in Times Square…. with the added element of fireworks being shot at you from all angles.  Sure, you could spend New Year’s Eve watching the ball drop in Times Square, OR you can spend it in the Marienplatz dodging firecrackers, bottle rockets and small artillery shells lit off by a bunch of drunk people (oh, and you also have to dodge the empty champagne bottles thrown by said drunk people).  In the pictures, it looks like the place is empty.  But, in reality, people are crammed around the edges of the plaza.  If you dare enter the center, you become a certain target.  It is sort of like those guys that drive the golf cart ball-collectors at driving ranges== Who doesn’t aim at them??

The general target, if not the crowds of people, was the clock tower.  Sure, it has survived wars, plagues and hundreds of years of human history, but the crowd somehow thought they could blow it up with cheap Chinese imported fireworks.

The air was hazy and thick with sulfur smoke which only got worse as the evening went on.  At midnight, you could barely make out the church bells over the constant explosions and bangs of the fireworks.  There wasn’t really a countdown, but everyone knew it was midnight.  This is something that would never happen in the US.  After the first bottle rocket, police would have shut it down and the fireworks would be confiscated.  Sure, you can get away with it in your backyard, but imagine hundreds of people lighting off fireworks outside one of our national monuments…. It would never happen.

Definitely the best New Year’s experience I have ever had.  Here are some photos from the night and a couple of other random ones.  Many more to come when I get back from Belize:

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Prost!! Beers with strangers (soon to be friends after a few more beers) at the famous Hofbrauhaus

Strangest. Band. Ever. At the Hofbrauhaus.  I don't know how I feel about a German cover band dressed in lederhosen singing "It's Raining Men"

Strangest. Band. Ever. At the Hofbrauhaus. I don't know how I feel about a German cover band dressed in lederhosen singing "It's Raining Men"

Well, since the German’s know how to party, everything was closed on New Year’s Day.  So, Chelsea and I walked around the city for a day and came across these surfers.  What is wrong with the following pictures?

A) Surfers in a downtown Urban environment

B) There is no ocean for hundred of miles

C) The blocks of ice

D) Snow on the ground

If you answered all of the above, you are right!  This is a popular surf spot in downtown Munich on the edge of the Englischer Garten.  The way the water flows creates a swell in the river perfect for surfing.  The 20 degree weather and snow on the ground didn’t stop these two surfers.  I just wish I had brought my own surfboard:

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Many, many more photos to come, I promise.