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#FF / Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, today’s #FF honors two endeavors which would not be possible without major technological innovations, and yet they give us the chance to visualize, experience, and appreciate our physical world in ways we would not have imagined.

 


Google Earth

All of the effort and technology pouring into Google Earth enables us to fly around the world, re-live the history of our planet, and even locate our long-lost birth mothers.

 

(What did you expect? it’s Google)

 


Frozen Planet

I don’t know what it is more captivating – witnessing a pod of killer whales ingeniously tag-team a poor unsuspecting seal, seeing the Arctic glaciers melt and re-form again before your eyes, or watching it all come together in the ‘Making Of‘ clips behind my newest favorite series - Frozen Planet on Discovery Channel. (Plus, it’s narrated by Alec Baldwin – good God penguin!)

 

This show highlights the happenings of the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions and features some of the most spectacular footage I have seen. In the clip here titled Technology + Innovation, they explain on how breakthroughs in high-speed and timelapse photography, phantom cameras, and onsite data storage enabled the scientists and photo/videographers to capture moments that would otherwise go undocumented.

 

Celebrate Earth Day this year by tuning into the series finale this Sunday.

shop / icelandic series

This may be contradictory to this week’s summer-like temperatures, but this series is long overdue – Icelandic Series.

 

Snippets of Iceland in all of its colorful, Nordic, and glacial glory, with diptychs featuring the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, geothermal power plants, and the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier.

 

diptych-a-day / Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Iceland

 

Glacial ice appears blue for the same reasons that deep ocean water appears blue: the red and yellow light of the spectrum is absorbed, leaving the wavelengths of blue light to be scattered, reflected, and visible to our eyes.

 

Also, because glaciers are large masses of highly compressed water molecules, there are fewer air bubbles trapped. These would scatter and reflect back white light, so the longer the light can travel uninterrupted through a mass, the more blue it will appear.

diptych-a-day / basalt, Iceland

 

Iceland has a highly volcanic landscape because it is located along shifting plates at the mid-Atlantic Ridge. The island is so magma-nimous in fact, that Iceland’s volcanic eruptions account for 1/3 of the world’s GLO (Global Lava Output) – a big stat for such a small country.

 

When lava from a volcanic eruption rapidly cools, it forms the black rock called basalt. As water runs down over these dark surfaces, the larger rocks are eventually worn down into finer grains which lead to areas like the black sand beaches at Vik.

 

diptych-a-day / Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Iceland

 

Icelandic glaciers take up 11% of the country’s surface area, or about 10,000 sq km – aka the same size of Hawaii’s Big Island. Though it’s also important to note that glaciers are also measured by volume, because the depth of these glacial areas averages about 500 meters thick.

travels

icelandic series

april 2012

Snippets of Iceland in all of its colorful, Nordic, and glacial glory, with diptychs featuring the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, geothermal power plants, and the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier.