Screen-Capture Software Recommendation Request By any chance, does anyone know of any free, safe and reliable software for making screen captures from streaming video? The Peregrine nest I watch has a new FalconCam that streams video instead of taking a still shot at two minute intervals. I want to continue to be able to take screen captures of nest activity. It was an easy matter to right-click/save the still images before, and I hadn't realized this would no longer be possible with streaming video until it went live and I tried to do it the other day. I've figured out how to use Paint to paste a screen-print onto, and then crop the result into the image I want to save. But that's a multi-step process which doesn't allow for saving images one after another in quick succession. Any recommendations and/or advice would be much appreciated.
Finally, A Laptop! At long last I've taken the plunge and bought myself a laptop. Check me out - posting from the couch rather than my desk. Me like. Looking forward to reading my FL and fic from the comfort of bed tonight, straight from the computer. No more tedious copy, paste, edit and print every story I want to read away from my desk. Happy belated birthday, Chanukah/Christmas and New Year to me.
Many Happy Returns _Petzipellepingo ! Since I never look at my own LJ (well, near enough never to make no difference) most birthdays wiz right by me. Fortunately, I noticed someone else's birthday wish to you so I'm able to add a timely birthday greeting myself.
Thank you so much for bringing me so many wonderful links to the stories, *thinky thoughts*, and articles I read every day. You are a treasure.
From one Thanksgiving baby to another, Happy Birthday and have a wonderful holiday.
James is happy to announce that he will be starring in the forthcoming ITV/History Channel/ProSieben movie “Moonshot.”
“Moonshot” is a dramatization of the days leading up to the Apollo 11 launch to the moon. James will portray American astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
"Moonshot" is expected to air in 2009 but no specific date is yet scheduled.
A lead role playing a famous American astronaut in a respectable, grown-up movie about a historical event! It sounds like a wonderful acting opportunity for James and a wonderful viewing opportunity for us.
And bonus: My boss loves watching the history channel and he's particularly interested in the space program. So when the movie is broadcast I'll be able to tell him that the big, color graphic he saw on my computer of a topless guy draped over a cross is Buzz Aldrin : ).
The four chicks, three males and one female, were banded this morning. Their landlord - that is, the Director of the library where the eyrie is located, has the honor of choosing their names every year. The names he chose this year and the explanations he gave for his choices follow:
Zipporah for the wife of Moses. Hebrew for "little bird."
Baker for John Alec Baker: Obscure British librarian (hee) and author of a book of nature writing titled Peregrine. (I'll have to check out - I've never read it myself.)
Horus for the Egyptian deity represented as a falcon or falcon headed man.
Boccaccio for Giovanni Boccaccio: author of The Decameron, containing a memorable story about a falcon.
See the second shot with the little bandaged toe? Poor little guy lost his talon while he was in the box with his sib's after being removed from the nest-cap and brought inside the library for banding. A freak accident. It'll heal and he'll do just fine. I felt bad about it though.
Before the window below the nest-cap was even opened - well before the banding had gotten underway - the parents started going crazy: flying back and forth in front of the nest-cap eyrie, circling over the library, screaming bloody murder the whole time. A good crowd of people had come to watch the banding because it had been posted on the falcon-cam website, but more joined in after the parents' screams and wild flying drew them in to see what the ruckus was all about. I was still standing outside the library with the Director of the Chicago Peregrine Program Mary Hennen, part of her banding team, and some other faithful watchers. We'd never seen them go into alarm mode so early before. We found out later that it was just the sight of the waiting ladder through the window below the nest-cap that set them off. Interesting. People going back and forth past that window are fine, but that ladder is a threat. I wonder if it's a threat as in big-scary-object, or as in the recognizable object that's used to invade their inner sanctum and (temporarily) steal their babies.
After the banding and the blood samples were all done, Mary allowed some of the guests to hold the chicks for a photo op. There was one university professor from Southern Il Champaign Urbana (maybe) who'd started driving at to make it to the banding, some old geezer I didn't know but who Mary knew. I didn't mind them getting to hold chics. But then the next thing I knew, two of regular watchers, neither of whom was me, were up there smiling and holding up the other two chicks. Mary'd never offered to let anyone outside her banding team hold one of the chicks in previous seasons, and I was taken by surprise by this unexpected generosity on her part, and by self pity that she hadn't asked me if I wanted to hold one. I was so shaken by this that I walked out of the library to watch from outside, as they returned the chicks the nest-cap and to observe the parents' behavior. I'm not devastated or anything like that, but I'm ashamed to admit that with that one little incident, my mood plummeted. It's not the excitement of holding a chick - I've held lots of birds before, including peregrines. It's just that I wasn't asked, and that's just silly. But it did rather sour the event for me.
For about an hour I watched from the sundeck of the building across the street and from a well placed window in the same building, when it got too windy on the roof. So, unlike previous years, I didn't talk with anyone else, which is really a shame because it isn't every day that I'm around other people who share my interest in the peregrines, and I squandered a rare opportunity. I wasn't sulking or miserable, it wasn't that bad. But I just felt...somehow rejected, so I went off on my own.
Anyway, it's way past my bed time on the night before an early morning for double volunteer duty tomorrow. Enough rambling. Maybe some judicious cutting, editing or even deleting tomorrow, but for now I'll leave it as is and be off to bed with a fresh cup of jasmine tea, a sugar-free popsicle, and a Spuffy-fic to read before I drift off to sleep.
I Can't Wait to See SICKO: Michael Moore's New Film I'm thrilled and delighted that this time he's taken on the sick, corrupt and depraved US health-care system. I can't wait to see it. I hope it's a huge hit. May it cut through the brainwashed idiocy that has so many Americans stubbornly invested in perpetuating a system that funnels away the money that should be and could be used to provide health care for all American citizens, into the bureaucracy and profits necessitated by the for-profit health insurance industry.
Not Just Sleeping, Eating & Pooping Machines Anymore Up until the last couple of days, the peregrine chicks have been all about sleeping, eating, and pooping - rinse, lather & repeat, around the clock. But now they're starting to sit up and move about (on their hocks), and take notice of more than mom, dad, and their next meal. I wonder if it's the oldest one who's flapping his/her fluffy little wings in the second shot.
The chicks are 10 - 12 days old, as of this posting. Within days their juvenile feathers should start coming through.
Ha! At this moment I'm listening to an NPR Living on Earth report about the popularity of peregrine falcon watching since they've been making such a big comeback in some US cities. This attorney in San Jose was just saying that she's given up a week of her vacation time to help make sure that the young she's watching in San Jose fledge safely. That's what I've told my boss I'll be doing later in June. Last year I rescued one fledgling three times before she finally flew without landing in the parking lot, alley or street. I ended up calling in to work at the last minute so often that this year I decided to just plan vacation time for fledge week.
The Evanston chicks are a week old now. Here's an image from a few minutes ago off our falconcam:
Evanston's 1st Peregrine Chick of 2007 Our first chick of the season hatched out at 11ish o'clock this morning, going by the broken shell visible in the FalconCam image at 11:18. Here's baby greeting mom at 1hr plus old. Adorable, yes?
"Physics of the Buffyverse" Author Interviewed on NPR I like exploring the NPR website at work and then picking and choosing the stories I want to listen to. I know that a lot of people whose LJ's I follow listen to NPR. I wonder if any of you/them were pleasantly surprised as I was, at this recent interview (broadcast on 4/8, but I just found and played on their website yesterday):
Weekend Edition Sunday, April 8, 2007 · Jennifer Ouellette's book The Physics of the Buffyverse explores the very real principles of science in a not-so-real world: the long-running TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I loved that they were talking to a scientist and academic about Buffy's appeal and relevance to her and so many of her peers. I bet a lot of listeners who'd never watched the show were thinking WTF? Maybe some of them were intrigued enough to pick up a DVD to see what the smart-lady was talking about.
Peregrines Have Four Eggs The fourth egg was laid last night or early this morning. I think they started incubating with the arrival of egg number three though, which was sometime Sat. Weekends my computer time is quite limited. Sporadically checking the falconcam and finding a parent on the eggs doesn't tell me how long he/she has been sitting on them, just as finding the eggs exposed doesn't tell me how long it's been since a parent was sitting on them or how long it will be before one resumes sitting on them. The weather here has been so cold that before incubation started they were on and off the eggs all the time. They had to keep them warm enough to remain viable while not so warm as to commence incubation early; peregrines wait until the clutch is complete or nearly complete before they start incubating. That way the chicks hatch roughly at the same time, within one or two days of each other. As of Monday morning though, there was no doubt. While I'm at work I keep a window open on the falconcam and check it every few minutes, and they've been sitting tight continually. I've not seen the eggs left exposed more than a minute or two at a time.
Today I captured an image of what I think is the female about to fly off for a well deserved break, followed by images of the male assuming incubation duty:
She'll probably lay a fourth in a couple of days. Last year she definitely laid four eggs so we looked for four chicks to hatch. But try as we might, we never could make out more than three distinct chicks at any given time. Oh, there were shadows and indistinct shapes that might have been a fourth chick, if you squinted your eyes just right and used plenty of imagination. Having a falconcam is wonderful, but the view of the interior of the nest is limited and the resolution only poor to fair at best. By the time the chicks were pulled out for banding I think everyone in my little group of watchers was certain that there were only three, but we were curious if any trace of a fourth chick would be found. There wasn't - any trace of a fourth chick or the fourth egg, I mean. It will be interesting to see what this season will bring.
My Local Peregrines - First Egg of the Season The mated pair of peregrines in my town have been very busy. I don't get to spend much time watching them, but over the last couple of weeks even I've gotten to observe them mating four times (the epitome of slam/bam-thank-you mam, but it gets the job done : D).
This is the fourth year in a row that peregrines have nested on this particular building, the third season for this female at this specific nest-site, and the second year for her mate (at least, we're assuming it's the same male with her this season).
The rudimentary falconcam (a single camera behind the window overlooking the nest [or eyrie, if you prefer], that updates the image every minute or so) was recently turned on for testing. Of course, I've been checking it constantly while sitting at my desk at work. Two days ago I didn't see either bird in there at all. Yesterday, the female was in there for hours at a time. When I left in late afternoon the nest was empty. I didn't get back to my computer until late last night. This morning before dawn, the fuzzy image of a peregrine was barely discernible amidst the gloom. I left to take my shower while it was still dark. I returned after the sun was up to find momma peregrine standing over her 1st egg of the season.
I'm posting a few of the images I've saved to my computer. Unfortunately, I don't know how to hide a link behind a cut-tag thingy, so please excuse the unsightly URLs:
Here's the female in the nest yesterday, doing some more scooching out of the nest scrape:
Here's a nice shot of the 1st egg by itself in the nest. Mom's been in and out of the nest all day, but she won't begin incubation until her entire clutch of 3 - 5 eggs is complete. You can be certain that she and her mate are close by and on guard:
Oh Good, I Didn't Miss It... Happy Birthday to a smart and talented sweet young thing who's full of fun and apparently boundless energy - itmustbetuesday. Hope your special day has been good to you and that you'll a have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.