03 March, 2019

Looking back and looking forward

Time flies… It's hard for me to believe but it's been about 11 years since I started this blog. A lot has changed, and yet, the goal has always remained the same: to share the stories I see in the world with people who want to hear those stories.

I just announced the start of a new project, that will hopefully build on a lot of the work that I've put into the blog. The blog will continue, make no mistake. But this new project should help me to bring new life to the stories that I wrote years ago, and also to pull together thematic threads that have sometimes spanned many of those years.

Thanks for joining me on this journey so far, and I'm excited about what the future may hold. As always, if you have thoughts, questions, comments — whatever it might be — I'd love to hear them.

28 February, 2019

Doc Diaries: Tunnel Vision (part 3)


The miracle of flight is, in many ways, actually a miracle of fluid dynamics. And even though you can't see the wind through an airplane window, I feel like clouds can give you a little bit of a glimpse into that world. They help to expose the otherwise-invisible workings of the world around us.

So, for instance, a running turbofan creates a region of low-pressure air ahead of it, which can cause interesting flow phenomena when interacting with nearby surfaces. Those streamlines are usually invisible, but in the right conditions on a damp taxiway, a vortex appears (as in the bottom-right of the picture). That vortex is always there, of course. But it's the cloud of condensation that makes it visible, and that reinforces the wonder of modern aircraft.

31 January, 2019

Doc Diaries: Tunnel Vision (part 2)

I mentioned before that I love the experience of just sitting on an airplane, and watching the world through a window. Regardless of which plane I'm on, or where I sit, my view out of the window always has the same basic framework: there's a wing that's always there. And everything else changes.

I also mentioned that one purpose of photography, for me, is to find ways to express my curiosity about the world, and to share some of the details that delight me when I look around.

Out of an airplane window, I'm often surprised at how quickly the view can change, even as the framework stays the same. But just as often, what's surprising is how the details of the view can be so consistent, even as we move through the environment at hundreds of miles per hour.

30 December, 2018

Dear Taiwan (Wolwold — People Making Cool Stuff)

"…whenever I see the pictures in Taiwan, it just reminds me of home. I'm just immediately drawn to that. Immediately I feel comfortable. So, I want to recreate that kind of image… I want to remind myself that that's where my heart is."

Almost three years after spelunking around Christina and Nate's kitchen for the last episode of "People Making Cool Stuff," I found myself in my friend Wolwold's home. She is (among other things) a watercolor artist, and in the moment, she was focused on sketching a moment from her imagination.

Well… not completely. Inspired by the architecture of her original home, she told me that the pieces combine her own memories, with more recent pictures of the place, as well as a little bit of fantasy. "There's a mix of imagination. It's not 100% true / doesn't 100% exist. But it's based in Taiwan a little bit."