State of the Art 2008: Olympus E-3, 300mm f2.8 with 2.0 Teleconverter

Olympus: A Final Note


On March 10, 2017 Olympus ceased production of its Four-Thirds lenses. It was hardly a surprise. It’s been more than six years since Olympus released a new Olympus 4/3rds DLSR. Long-time readers may recall that WC used the Olympus 4/3rds system through four generations of cameras. In April 2013, WC faced the inevitable and switched…

R.I.P. Popular Photography, 1937-2017


Before there were geeks, there were camera geeks, although they were called “hobbyists” because “geeks” hadn’t been invented yet. And if you were a camera geek, you subscribed to Popular Photography. For camera reviews, explanations of photography arcana, and instruction in photography, it was simply the best there was. When WC administered the estate of that…

Nine Year Microwave Sky The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from nine years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. The signal from our galaxy was subtracted using the multi-frequency data. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin. Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team WMAP # 121238 Image Caption 9 year WMAP image of background cosmic radiation (2012)

Cosmology 101: The Big Bang Brouhaha


We’re only a few days into the Trump Administration and WC is already tired of the Liar-in-Chief’s antics. Wickersham’s Conscience will take a break from politics and presidential churlishness and revert to the magpie principle. At least until WC’s atrophied moral outrage recovers. For a sense of perspective, lets talk about cosmology instead. Let’s focus on…

Have You Been Stingrayed?


A few evenings ago, Mrs. WC noted that the cell service provider on her iPhone had changed from our usual vendor to “Boise PD.” It only appeared for a few moments, but it was clearly the operation of a Stingray – a poorly configured Stingray – in our neighborhood. You don’t know about Stingrays? They…

CRSPR Critters


If you haven’t heard of CRISPR, you will, It’s a tool that, like the transistor in electronics, is utterly revolutionizing biology. Combined with gene drive, it has made alterations to genomes, including human genomes, within the means and skills of a bright high school biology student. Put on your horned-rim glasses and pocket protector; we’re going…

Lucy's Humerus

An Autopsy 3.2 Million Years in the Making


Lucy is the most famous Australopithecus afarensis in the world. And certainly the only one with a Facebook page. Lucy’s fossil was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, and was a remarkable find because more than 40% of her skeleton was recovered. University of Texas at Austin paleoanthropologist John Kappelman arranged with the Ethiopian government and museum authorities…