Daydream 4K: a breathtaking journey through the American Southwest

Videographer Ron Risman, who we've featured on Boing Boing many times, specializes in nature and night sky time lapse video (and also conducts workshops). This time, Ron made a gorgeous video of the Southwestern US.

As I nod off at my desk I begin to day dream about the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest. Suddenly I am whisked away to this enchanting land of red rock hoodoos and truly grand canyons as far as the eye can see. Much of this magnificent area has an elevation of 8000-10,000 ft above sea level and with no city in sight for hours - the skies are so dark that viewing our galaxy is as easy as opening our eyes and looking up.

This film was captured while in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona this past September and early October. I was leading two advanced timelapse workshops (TimelapseWorkshops.com), and spent another few days ahead of time scouting locations with my guest instructor, Sean Parker.

In total we drove over 30 hours to get to all of these locations - yet each minute was filled with anticipation of what mother nature would bring.

Anyone who has met me knows my love for the southwest. I have been photographing this area for the past 20 years and since launching my timelapse workshops in 2013 I continue to attract amateur and professional photographers from all over the world (including Brazil, Turkey, China, Denmark, Scotland, and the United States) who fly in to learn how to capture and create breathtaking time lapses using their DSLR's.

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Why just four seasons? Ancient Japan had 72 microseasons

Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Boring. Ancient Japan had 72 microseasons each lasting about five days. They each have wonderfully evocative names like "Spring Winds Thaw the Ice" and "The Maple and Ivy Turn Yellow." We just finished “The Bear Retreats to its Den,” and this microseason 64, falling immediately after the solstice, is called "The Common Heal-All Sprouts. Read the rest

Mysterious trumpets of the apocalypse heard in Spokane, Washington

Numerous residents of a Spokane, Washington suburb reported hearing unsettling trumpet sounds overnight on December 14. Listen to a recording of the noise below. Non-believers suggest that it may have been the sound of many snowplows scraping the concrete roads or train rails creaking in the cold. One news outlet's "science expert" commented that "temperature does affect the speed of sound, which can make certain things sounds different than what we are used to hearing."

Of course, we all know the truth: It is the seven trumpets as described in the Book of Revelation. The apocalypse is nigh, and it's starting in Spokane.

"Strange sound in Spokane Valley has thousands of people talking" (KHQ via Mysterious Universe) Read the rest

A message to Breitbart from Weather.com

"Note to Breitbart: Earth is not cooling, climate change is real and please stop using our video to mislead Americans." Read the rest

Breathtaking 4K timelapse of noctilucent clouds

Adrien Mauduit captured these noctilucent clouds above Denmark on not just one night, but two consecutive nights. He explains how he documented the unusual weather phenomenon: Read the rest

Cars slowly sliding and colliding on a Montreal hill

City buses, utility trucks, snowplows, and police cars get in on the action on this icy street in Montreal. Read the rest

A beautiful ghost rainbow

Landscape photographer Melvin Nicholson captured this stunning shot of a ghost rainbow, aka white rainbow or fog bow, in Rannoch Moor north of Glasgow, Scotland.

Like rainbows, fogbows are caused by sunglight reflecting off water drops. However, as NASA explains:

The fog itself is not confined to an arch -- the fog is mostly transparent but relatively uniform.The fogbow shape is created by those drops with the best angle to divert sunlight to the observer. The fogbow's relative lack of colors are caused by the relatively smaller water drops. The drops active above are so small that the quantum mechanical wavelength of light becomes important and smears out colors that would be created by larger rainbow water drops acting like small prisms reflecting sunlight.

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Watch the wind blow with beautiful speed visualizer

Ventusky depicts gorgeous animated maps showing where the wind blows—and how fast it's blowing. Pictured above is Hurricane Matthew making landfall on Friday. Read the rest

Amazing photo of sprite bursts over Hurricane Matthew

Photographer Frankie Lucena captured the strange beauty of red lightning sprites above Hurricane Matthew near Aruba and Colombia. From Smithsonian:

Like aurorae, sprites happen when charged particles interact with gases in the atmosphere, likely nitrogen. As ice particles high within thunderclouds bash against one another, an electrical charge builds. An opposite charge builds up on the ground, and eventually both charges connect, creating a spark of light—lightning. When the lightning strike has a positive charge, it can spark a sprite—a kind of electric field that shoots out from the top of the lightning strike—that flashes above the cloud.

They’re also not easily spotted by the human eye. As Matt Heavner of the University of Alaska explains, bright lights make it nearly impossible for the eye’s retina to spot the flashes, and the bright clouds that can surround them also distract would-be sprite spotters. It’s even more difficult to catch these flashes in action because when you’re beneath the sprite-sprouting cloud, you can’t see the flash at all. You either need to be flying above the clouds or far away to get the perfect shot.

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Image: '186 seconds of moonlit fog compressed into an instant'

“We had an unusually fog-filled August here in the San Francisco area,” says California-based landscape and nature photographer ElmoFoto on IMGUR.

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Watch a tornado flatten a Starbucks in seconds

When a tornado destroyed this Starbucks in Kokomo, Indiana on Wednesday, there were reportedly more than a dozen people inside. After store manager Kim McCartney called employee Angel Ramos to tell him about a texted tornado warning she'd received, he rushed everyone into the bathrooms. A few minutes later, a tornado destroyed the building leaving only the bathrooms intact. Amazingly, nobody was injured.

“I could see the sky from holes in the bathroom ceiling, so I figured there was some chunk of the store that would be missing,” Ramos said in a report posted on Starbucks.com. “I didn’t know it would be the whole thing.”

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Rare red sprites dancing in the skies, above thunderstorms

Graduate student Jason Ahrns captured a stunning image of red sprites over Nebraska while aboard a plane chartered by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. And behold Scott McPartland's rare video of the phenomenon in May. Read the rest

Watch lightning strike annihilate telephone pole

Take that, you wicked telephone pole. (@Alby)

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Video of one year on Earth, from one million miles away

One million miles from Earth, hanging in space between Earth's gravitational pull and the sun's, is the DSCOVR satellite and NASA's incredible EPIC camera. Every two hours, EPIC takes a photo of Earth "to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth." The above video combines one year of those images.

From the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:

The primary objective of DSCOVR, a partnership between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Air Force, is to maintain the nation’s real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities, which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of space weather alerts and forecasts from NOAA.

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Strangely satisfying realtime lightning strike map

The Blitzortung live lightning map shows the world's storms and strikes in real time, with a little click played every time heaven and earth become one. You can zoom right down to the state level; it's an indoors day in Ukraine and Greece. Read the rest

Mount Washington Observatory shares video of man being blown away by 109-mph winds

The Mount Washington Observatory published this insane video from weather observers Mike Dorfman and Tom Padham demonstrating the effects of strong winds on top of a New Hampshire mountain.

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Canada's Fort McMurray wildfire is so massive, you can see it from space

The massive wildfire that continues to burn in the Fort McMurray area of Alberta, Canada has been captured from space by NASA imaging satellites.

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