Humpback Whale Close Encounter Off California Coast

Bill Bouton, a retired high school biology teacher, was on an unsuccessful outing to photograph birds in San Luis Obispo, California, when he happened upon a breathtaking sight beneath the skyline: a pod of humpback whales feeding in shallow water.

The 69-year-old captured one of the enormous mammals breaching the surface while feeding on a “bait ball,” a dense mass of sardines that forms to ward off predators. But the defense mechanism just seemed to be attracting more hungry creatures, Bouton said, as hundreds of pelicans and seagulls were diving in the water and flying up again. Continue reading »

Close-Up Cuisine

What exactly are we eating?

That’s the question that Caren Alpert sets out to answer in her “Terra Cibus” series of micrographs of food. (Terra cibus means, loosely, sustenance from the land.) Ms. Alpert, a San Francisco-based food photographer, got the idea a couple of years ago as more people were starting to ask about the origins of their meals. Now she’s captured the minute details of food, from almonds to Oreos, with the help of a scanning electron microscope.

Terra Cibus No. 1 Blueberry Continue reading »

Holy gap, Batman, That Was Close: Stuntman Jeb Corliss Flies Through Narrow Mountain Slit

“The Australian” reported, that a daredevil stuntman has taken the sport of skydiving to new heights after hurtling through a narrow slit in a mountainside in rural China yesterday.

Jeb Corliss, 35, launched himself from a helicopter at 6000ft, zooming through the air at 120km/h towards the imposing Tianmen mountain in Hunan Province. The stuntman’s wingsuit, which has thin membranes between the limbs and torso, allowed the 35-year-old to glide through the air while losing altitude gradually.

He soared down and through the 1300m-high mountain’s natural archway before releasing his parachute. The 30m-wide arch left the daredevil with little margin for error.

“That was one of the greatest wingsuit flights of my entire life,” Corliss said.

Wingsuit flyer Jeb Corliss of the U.S. flies past Tianmen Mountain near Zhangjiajie, Hunan province September 24, 2011. Corliss succeeded flying through the mountain’s cave on his second attemp. (Reuters) Continue reading »