Monday, March 31, 2008


Here are some pictures of daffodils blooming on the campus of Indiana University Southeast (IUS) campus. These flowers are the harbinger of spring.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I have some more fossil pictures. One of a crinoid stem with multiple branches.

These are pieces of crinoid calyx.

That brown looking mushroom piece is a crinoid calyx.

Here are some blastoids sitting on a ruler.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Fossils

Yesterday with the nice weather, took the opportunity to hunt for fossils it was a great trip. I found my first blastoid (see second picture). Very nice horn corals were found and I found another trilobite but only half of one this time.

I will post some more pictures once I them processed.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Science Demo

I created a new demo today using the a creation out of the build your own vehicle area and the circuits demo. After taking a vehicle someone else had made and make some structural reinforcements, I took some rubber bands and secured a electric motor and fan blade to it. The power leads from the motor were attached to a small dynamo. As I held up the wires, kids would come up and crank the dynamo creating enough power to drive the fan blade to push the vehicle over the table. It worked pretty well and I think the kids enjoyed trying to move the car back and forth over the table.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shells at the Louisville Science Center

Here are some pictures of some shells displayed at the Discovery Gallery in the Louisville Science Center. I was researching some patterns for my cephalopod project and took these pictures of specimens behind the glass display.

Ammonites have such nice patterns on their shells.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cephalopod Render

Okay, I am making progress on the rendering the cephalopod. Learned some new techniques in making arms and shaping the head. Made another eye that looks like it has a cataract but I am making progress.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Snow Shower

Around 7 PM on Easter, it started snowing. It seemed to snow for about an hour and afterwards the grass was covered by snow. It melted this morning but it was odd to see it snow so much on Easter.

Below are some pictures showing the snow fall right after it started to fall.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pink Tulips

Here are some tulips blooming in the sunroom.

The blooms will close up in the night and then open back up in the day time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

More Fossils

Here is a rock with a fragment of a trilobite tail in it.

Here is rugose horn coral that I cut the end off with a diamond saw so it ring pattern would show up better. I then started to polish it with high grit sandpaper.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mystery Rock Probably Identified

I visited the place where the mystery rock came from and I thought it came out of a pond out in a farm field. It came from a shale bed that had a pond on it. So it looks more and more likely the rock was a marcasite nodule. This is iron sulfide or a form of pyrite. I am not sure how to tell the crystal structure so maybe it is pyrite or marcasite or some mixture.

Here are some pictures of the New Albany shale layer dug up in Memphis Indiana.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Concept Idea of Cephalopod Look

Here is Autodesk Maya render of a cephalopod. I created one arm then replicated it across the the body just to make the model more complete it does but the creature looks very stiff and artificial.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Rainy days are here but the first tulip flower has emerged. It is pink. It looks like there are two more almost ready to bloom.

The amaryllis flower stalk continues to grow taller.

Two of the daffodil bulbs are showing life and growth is beginning to appear.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Maya Cephalopod Shell

I have been working on the body of the cephalopod so I made a few texture changes and made this render of the shell. The UV mapping of a Photoshop image to the arms is not going so well for me. It comes down to how good are you at teaching yourself.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mystery Rock Part 2

I took a diamond saw and cut the rock into that was pulled out of a drained pond on a farm in Indiana. It was messy experience with the surface of the rock coming off and getting all over me. The water from the wet saw as spraying everywhere.

The rock appears to be pyrite. It was dull looking when I cut it so I started polishing it with 800, 1000 and 2000 grit wet sandpaper.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cephalopod Render

For my next class project render, I am working on a cephalopod. This particular cephalopod is classified as Dawsonoceras. I guess for the ridges in its shell.

Here is an early render of the shell.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Finally, after maybe a year the amaryllis plant is forming a bloom. This is a great flower but it takes a while to bloom. I have 3 other plants that came from this bulb. The smallest is about the size of large green onion.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tulip Update

Here are some pictures from about 2 days ago showing the progress of the tulips. The largest plant now has almost 1 leaf out and is forming others.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow... Snow.... Snow

This picture below shows snow at the middle of the driveway which almost to 10 inches and still climbing.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Orthographic Cephalopod Sketch

This sketch was made completely digital using Corel Painter Essentials 2 and a Wacom Intuos tablet. I need to get another subject for Maya rendering and this looked like a pretty good one to try.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Exploded View of Maya Project

Here are some more images of the project I submitted today. It went pretty well but my Powerpoint presentation went I little haywire when I was presenting. Next time I will make some adjustments to keep that from happening.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Something Attached to Cephalopod Fossil

If you look closely at the photo below, you will see a wire like blackish item attached to a ridge on this cephalopod shell fossil.

I think it might be the base of crinoid that never got beyond being very small. There appears to be remants of another one a little higher up from the first one in the photo as well.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tulips and Daffodils

I took some old milk jugs and turned them into planters for some tulip and daffodil bulbs I bought back in October 2007. I was afraid that the bulbs would die if I left them in the garage much longer without being planted. So I took the last of some potting soil and planted them about a week ago.

The bulbs are beginning to sprout with the tulips growing the fastest. I am keeping them in the sun room with the temperature varying throughout the day to the mid-60s to mid-70s F and a humidity of 40-80%. One tulip plant seems to be growing about 1 inch a day.

Once the temperatures warm up for good for spring I will plant them outside to make a flower bed of irises, tulips (Tulipa), daffodils (Narcissus), and balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus).