Sharing a thunderstorm 

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My gaming group be like … 

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A year or so ago, I started running games for my teenage son and his friends. Nothing fancy, just old-school pencil and paper and dice using outdated rules. I try to keep it simple to speed play along, and they are pretty good at focusing, for a group of Millennials. But every now and then … 

DashCam: Wildlife in Town

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My family surprised me with a dashcam for Father’s Day so I can record the scenery when we drive through mountains or other interesting locations. So far, I have only had the occasion to use this in town, and the attached footage is as exciting as it gets.

Video: Waterfall fountain

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Time for a mandatory waterfall break. But because this is the Midwest, and there are few waterfalls, we are going to have to settle for a city fountain.

The upside to the smaller, contained waterfall — less chance of breaking a toe.

Video: River Cave

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Tham Khoun Xe from Ryan Deboodt on Vimeo.

Not much to write about this time. I’ll let the video do the talking. The film shows a trip through Tham Khoun Xe cave, which envelops about four miles of the Xe Bang Fai river in central Laos.
The cave had been closed to foreigners until about 2005. The video is by photographer Ryan Deboodt. His Vimeo video channel is here.
For more on Tham Khoun Xe, including a detailed map, check out the July 2009 issue of National Speleological Society’s magazine.

Video: Nubian Pyramids

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We had to pass along this cool drone video of the Nubian pyramids in Sudan, courtesy of National Geographic.

Eagle cam

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Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

It’s that time of year again. The bald eagles nesting outside Decorah, Iowa, are laying eggs. Tune in and watch live around the clock.

Live Video: Eagles

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Live streaming video by Ustream

Here’s live footage from the camera mounted at the eagle’s nest near Decorah, Iowa. The camera has been running during the hatching season for several years and is made possible by Raptor Resource Project.

Joshua Tree in time lapse

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Here is a time-lapse video of the night sky, and other scenes, at Joshua Tree National Park shot by Derek McCoy. More of McCoy’s work can be found here.

Live Video: International Space Station

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Live streaming video by Ustream

Above is footage from the International Space Station. I’m not sure what there is to see from up there. A good chunk of the world, I guess. There area also shots of the crew working inside, along with audio. No audio from the outside shots because, in space, no one can hear you scream.

Other caveots and info from the UStream site:

“Only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During loss of signal periods, viewers may see a test pattern or a graphical world map that depicts the station’s location in orbit above the Earth. Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.”

On the other side of the window, NASA’a Human Space Flight website tells you the best time to spot the ISS from your area.

Video: Sledding into 2013

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This week brought us the first day of spring. It also brought us a lot of ice and below-freezing temperatures, so it’s not too late to post a sledding video. In fact, we could probably title this “Sledding into Spring.”

We shot this over a few sledding trips to the local hill in December and January to try the Action Shot camera our son got for Christmas. It works OK, with the exception of the strobe effect that kicks in when it’s pointed at the snow. I guess it gets confused and tries to white balance. We also used my daily carry Pentax W90, which didn’t strobe out.

During one of the runs, the one that goes between two trees, the Action Shot pops off the head of our son’s friend. Our son rushes over to look at the camera and then checks on his buddy.

We can’t wait to try out the camera this summer. In the meantime, check out our other videos at our YouTube channel.

Cave video

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Our video of Spook Cave float has been up on YouTube for a few weeks, so I thought it was about time I posted it here. I filmed it with my Pentax camera and threw some haunting music behind it.

We start with the water wheel that turns from the stream that comes from the cave. The mill used to power the cave’s lights, but it’s now on the modern grid. Listen carefully for the guide pointing out the cave’s features as well as two sleeping bats.

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