Saturday Moment of Zen & Richard RockThis sculpture is titled "Your Dog" by Yoshitomo Nara and is in the new wing of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I was there Thursday evening for the opening for artist Richard Rock. To compliment the show, Richard hired Mitch Rossow Design, Inc. (the parent corporation of this blog) to design a website for him. It has images of all his work and information about the artist. You can see the website for Fine Artist & Oil Painter, Richard Rock here. Several events are scheduled with the artist at the MIA, you can learn about it at the MIA page about the Richard Rock Show.
Actually, it was better with the snow.Back last Friday when I was looking for a shot of the falls for the theme day post, I wandered down in the river valley across from Minneapolis and found this miserable, desolate area right in the middle of the city. Everything down there was dead, brown and dirty. It actually made me miss the snow. Then on Monday when it snowed six inches of very wet slop & slush, I got over it. Thanks again, for all the great comments on my April First Hoax.
Antarctica Expedition UpdateAnother beautiful April day in Minneapolis Thank you all for your outpouring of support for my upcoming expedition to Antarctica to photograph radioactive glow-in-the-dark bunnies. If you haven't figure it out until now, please don't hate me — it was an April Fool's hoax. Though I have to say, after all the encouragement and great comments, I may have to go anyhow! In fact, I think a few people are getting ready to send me there in a crate after they realized that it was a hoax. I had a great time writing and learning about the Antarctic. It would be amazing to go there, I think imagining going there helped me write it. My original idea was to just claim to be going to Antarctica for the summer, since I have been complaining about the cold up here for four months. But my friend Karen said that it needed an impossible twist to make it an April Fools — she came up with the glowing bunnies. Thanks go to her, and my other friends Paul, Tom and Jeff, and my sister Sharon for listening to me and providing their ideas as well. Tom told me about the BBC penguin video in yesterday's post. Also, as far as friends go, I may have lost a few over this. I might have to buy a few lunches. All the links in the story do go to wikipedia articles and other sources that are real. McMurdo did have a nuclear reactor and it was decommissioned in 1972, but not because it had a meltdown. Earnest Shackelton sent a crew to Ross island, but he wasn't there himself and his third mate was not Avery Chicane. I made up that name, chicane means to defeat someone through trickery or deceit; deception and Avery is a man's name close to April. Also, Mark Buffer, the guy I "convinced it was true" was made up too, buffer is slang for the target of a con, similar to the term mark. The traffic and number of comments were an all-time record for my site on Tuesday and it was enough to push my almost-six-month-old blog's pageview count over 25,000. It was a great day for me; all day I laughed at the funny comments and answered calls from friends, both close and old that called to congratulate me along with several anguished relatives and clients. My best call ever was from the Meteorologist Christine Clayburg from Fox 9 News who wanted to interview me on the air during the news Tuesday night. Unfortunately I wasn't home when she called, but we managed to talk on Wednesday. She wanted to schedule me for next Tuesday. When I confessed that it was a hoax, she cracked up! She couldn't wait to tell everyone in the news room. What a great sport, we talked for a while and hopefully I will be able to come up with something she can use on the air. Also, earlier in the day, mnspeak.com linked to it, which might be how Christine found me (I forgot to ask) — thanks Aaron! On Wednesday morning, I received an email from Sharon Schmickle, former Star Tribune reporter, now writing for Minnpost.com. She too wanted to interview me about the trip. Like Christine, when I confessed, she rolled with laughter and enjoyed it. It's nice to know, that if I ever do decide to go to Antarctica, I have some friendly reporters to talk to. I know what you are thinking, I should have played along and got some press. But, as my dad says: Never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. Later on in the day, my friend Karen discovered something we didn't know about earlier — someone actually made a glow-in-the-dark rabbit. Truth is stranger than fiction... here's the article: Alba the glow-in-the-dark bunny. Thanks again, take a moment to read the comments from the First, they are a lot of fun; the mix of people who got the joke and those who didn't, all rolled together.
CDPB Theme Day for April - WaterThe Mighty Mississippi churns through the winter-ravaged land of Minneapolis. This picture was taken Friday, the snow had almost melted but then it came back with a vengeance this Monday. The Saint Anthony Falls are so-named for the town of Saint Anthony which was on the North side of the Mississippi from Minneapolis. There are natural tunnels on the Minneapolis side that were put to use turning the mills, so that side of the river grew. Thus Minneapolis became the major city and St. Anthony eventually became part of Minneapolis.
Antarctica Expedition UpdateWhile I am down in Antarctica, I hope to get a chance to photograph these amazing little critters too.
Photo blogs participating in the Water Theme:
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Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by Digger, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Paja, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix - Bostonscapes, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Cypress (TX), USA by Riniroo, Dallas/Fort Worth (TX), USA by A Wandering Soul, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Evry, France by Olivier, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lake Forest Park (WA), USA by Azure, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Mo, London, UK by Ham, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montego Bay, Jamaica by Ann, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Nancy, France by yoshi, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norman (OK), USA by Chad & LaCresha, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Odense, Denmark by ania odense, Omsk, Russia by Nataly, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Gordio, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Pont-à-Mousson, France by Tintin-j, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portland (OR), USA by NWgal, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Shanghai, China by Jing, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Nathalie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Toruń, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by Rachel, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,
Photo Expedition to Ross IslandThe city that I love and will miss for four months: Minneapolis.
Big News! Four-month Photo Expedition
I haven’t mentioned this until now because I didn’t want to jinx it, but my grant from the National Science Foundation was just approved Monday! This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will be whisking me away from the Twin Cities for four months. I will be searching out and documenting some rare and unique wildlife that inhabits the shoreline near McMurdo Antarctic Research Station on Ross Island, Antarctica. The evidence I uncovered from several sources and my success as a small-animal photographer we instrumental in the grant-approval process.
McMurdo Station supplies the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station throughout the long winter (which in Southern Hemisphere is from June through September).
I am looking forward to the challenge of photographing nature’s austere beauty in this remote amazing landscape as well as the nocturnal animal that will be the focus of my work. I also have the funds to upgrade to the high-end camera gear that I could never justify before.
I will be ordering a couple of Nikon D3 cameras and a few different lenses. A few I have in mind are the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 D IF AF and the Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8G ED VR. If anyone has suggestions for other large-aperture lenses, let me know, low light capabilities are crucial.
I’ll be leaving Minneapolis on April 30th and flying to Christchurch, New Zealand. On May 5th I'll be boarding the icebreaker USCGC Polar Sea for the two-week trip to McMurdo Station. During that time I hope to get some industrial photos of the working icebreaker in action.
On May 20th or there a bouts (depending on ice conditions) I will arrive at McMurdo and get prepared for my trips along the Antarctic wilderness shoreline tracking the critters that are the focus of my study. I will spend the first week checking out the site of the decommissioned nuclear power station and interviewing some of the crews working on the McMurdo-South Pole Highway. I’m sure that I can find some pretty interesting characters working there to take portraits of as well.
Then as the full Antarctic winter night begins (full darkness 24 hours a day) I can begin the pursuit of my quarry: a special drove of arctic hares that are decedents of two brought to the island by Ernest Shackleton’s third mate Avery Chicane aboard the Endurance in 1916.
As I mentioned earlier, there was a nuclear power station at McMurdo that had an unpublicized “event” in 1972 which lead to its decommission. Due to cold-war tensions at the time, this “event” was kept under wraps and was completely cleaned up before Greenpeace established World Park Base on the island in 1987.
One of the effects of this was that the arctic hares had been contaminated by the fallout. They experienced a strange mutation has had a beneficial effect on these hares; they’re bodies began manufacturing luciferin in large enough quantities to cause bioluminescence.
Normally this would pose a threat to any animal, but they have flourished. With no natural predators on the island, their luminescence does not invite attack. The eerie green light has made it easier for them to find food and apparently each other. Some have speculated that the glow has also made them more attracted to each other because the populations are growing.
Though they have been growing in number since the ‘80s, there have been almost no reported sightings for several reasons. For one, in the daylight, the glow is impossible to see — only at night is the glow visible at all. Also, since they are very shy, only a few McMurdo-South Pole Highway workers have seen them and they were reticent to report a glow-in-the-dark rabbit to their superiors. But eventually, over the years, a few of them have.
One of those men who saw them is now in Minnesota at Hazelden. I met him through a friend who was also being treated there. After extensive interviews with him and his doctors, I’m convinced of the story and was able persuade Director Mark Buffer at the National Science Foundation as well.
Now that the trip is confirmed, I can talk publicly about this. I’m still processing it all myself. I have a lot of packing and some awesome cold-weather gear to buy. REI is going to make out like a bandit, I’ll need lot of fleece, this is the biggest snow-job of my life.
It’s a absolute dream come true for me, over-wintering on the edge of the Antarctic ice shelf — truly a fool’s paradise.
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Check back tomorrow for the CDPB Theme Day photo and more about Antarctica.