National Geographic

Hummingbirds in slow motion

Slow motion video of hummingbirds flying, shaking, and drinking from National Geographic. Fantastic.

We have about two dozen ruby throated hummingbirds who summer at our place. If a hummingbird is born here they get this location imprinted in their heads and when they fly to Mexico at the end of the summer and back next spring/summer, they come right back to our feeders. Seriously, if I move the feeder ten feet they hover at the old location and are pissed for a while until they find the new one.

[via The Kid Should See This]

Cheetahs on the Edge

Cheetahs on the Edge–Director’s Cut from Gregory Wilson on Vimeo.

Cheetahs are the fastest runners on the planet. Combining the resources of National Geographic and the Cincinnati Zoo, and drawing on the skills of an incredible crew, we documented these amazing cats in a way that’s never been done before.

Using a Phantom camera filming at 1200 frames per second while zooming beside a sprinting cheetah, the team captured every nuance of the cat’s movement as it reached top speeds of 60+ miles per hour.

The extraordinary footage that follows is a compilation of multiple runs by five cheetahs during three days of filming.

This is an incredible piece of video and I highly recommend that you watch it full screen and all the way to the very end so you can see the making of piece and a real time chunk of video of how fast the animals were really running.

The cheetah’s heads are so steady it’s like they’ve got gyroscopes built into them. Having had a cat I can vouch for the fact that cats have special abilities in this area, no doubt to enable hunting on the run but cheetahs being the fastest cats on earth take it to a whole different level.

[via The Kid Should See This]

Road trip with Jim Richardson

Road Trip: Night Skies and Long Days

National Geographic Photographer Jim Richardson takes a long road trip across the USA in search of examples of “light pollution.”

Next day I would be driving on with thousands of miles ahead of me. I had a trunk full of gear and my iPod loaded with music and audio books. With luck I’d have hours out of cellphone territory, where I could crank the music up loud (great territory for Mahler, moody and vast) and tell the world to get lost.

Oh yeah. Reading this excellent story definitely gets me in the mood for a road trip.

[via Steve Splonskowski]