The North American Bird Phenology Program (BPP) at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Reston, Virginia, is moving over a century's worth of notes about bird sightings to an online database.
The six million recordings — kept on index cards that date back as far as the 1880s — are an enormous and detailed history of bird sightings around the U.S. and Canada. They'll all be scanned and transcribed by volunteers using home computers. (To volunteer, visit the BPP's website, linked above.)
Scientists and birders hope that putting the data into electronic form will help researchers study how bird populations and migration patterns have changed since the late 19th century. This information could also help photographers locate subjects for making bird images, and should help preservation efforts to keep those subjects alive and abundant in the future.
An 1840s daguerreotype of a New York City scene is going up for auction at Sotheyby's. The photo is one of the oldest known images of New York, and depicts a "country home" likely on the Upper West Side.
Finally, on the other side of the world comes news of big proportions: China plans to build the tallest lighthouse on Earth — in the city of Chongqing, right on the banks of the Yangtze River. See "China to build world's tallest lighthouse."
This post is a shout out to Gary Broad, a soon-to-be-12-year-old friend of mine (the brother of my godson and the son of one of my best friends), who just won third place in the Connecticut PTA Reflections photography contest.
Gary's award-winner (above) is a dynamic image of a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York.
A new photograph of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln has been found, and it may be the last photo of him ever made before his assassination.
The print shows Lincoln standing outside the White House in 1865. The photo belonged to President Ulysses S. Grant, and was recently uncovered by Grant's great-great grandson. For more on this story, see CNN.com's article "Photo emerges that might be last taken of Lincoln."
Also, an interesting tidbit I picked up from this story is that there's actually someone who collects, displays and licenses original photographs of Lincoln. His name is Keya Morgan and he has (of course) a website: LincolnImages.com.
A look under Photoshop's hood reveals a dizzying assortment of settings. Ever wondered what they all do and how to use them along with hardware choices to optimize the most powerful photo-editing software on the market?
Lloyd L. Chambers does just that in his new article, "Optimizing Photoshop — Introduction and Overview." Chambers discusses how much memory you need for best results, whether hard-drive brands affect performance, whether to use a RAID setup, etc.
The article is worthwhile reading, even for seasoned Photoshop users.