Tag Archives: Bioluminescence

Face Off Episode 408 Recap: It’s Better in the Dark !

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Syfy Face Off Episode 408 Models

Tonight’s Episode (Airdate March 5th, 2013: It’s Better In the Dark

Seven Artists remain to compete in this week’s ‘Illuminating’ Double Elimination challenge. Eric Z calls last week’s Werewolf Alien challenge “the most stressful one of his life.” He is relieved that his partner, Autumn, got eliminated and not him. “If I can survive two team challenges with Autumn,” he declares, I can survive anything!” We’ll see about that…

Spotlight Challenge

On what looks to be a day of glorious beach weather, McKenzie meets the group at Leo Carrillo State Park, where many movies have been filmed. She starts talking about undiscovered species, which has to be a hint at what their challenge will be about, right? Yes! This week’s Spotlight Challenge calls for the artists to create a new species that might live in any of Earth’s Eco systems; sea, mountains, dessert, what have you. But wait, there’s more. They must also incorporate an element of bioluminescence! The final creation must contain two distinct characteristics, one that looks good under normal light and a second that becomes visible only under ultra violet light.

She leaves them to sketch on the beach, where the gorgeous ocean waves and hidden sea caves can inspire them. House immediately gets the idea for a prehistoric fish woman. She’ll be sexy and the bioluminescence will let her take on a whole different level of beauty. Kris creates a story about a fish-person character that has been observing human life from afar and now the time has come to make contact. Anthony sketches an underwater warrior creature. The bioluminescent factor will be hidden, but will also flow along with the striping on its chest. Wayne also goes with an aquatic theme, sketching a crab-humanoid hybrid. He’s not sure yet where the luminescence will come in, but his sketch is very cool.

Everyone is excited to head back to the lab, where McKenzie has promised them a ‘surprise’ is waiting. They should know that on this show, a surprise is never a good thing. In the lab, they walk into a lovely and lush jungle scene, in front of which where is a large button on top of a pedestal. Of course, someone gets the urge to press that button, and when Eric Z does the honors, the jungle glows under a UV light revealing a message that this wil be a Double Elimination Challenge! Oh no! Nice Surprise, McKenzie!

Recap Continues After The Jump!

Continue reading Face Off Episode 408 Recap: It’s Better in the Dark !

Creatures of Light Exhibit at the Museum of Natural History

Creatures of Light Sign

You know what’s cool? Animals and insects that light up on their own. The ability to do that is called Bioluminescence, which is a good word to know. If you have ever seen a group of iridescent green fireflies blinking and flitting about on a dark summer evening, or a rainbow jellyfish glowing like carnival sideshow in a public aquarium, you know that it is a fairly delightful thing to observe. Bioluminescence!

Right now, the Museum of Natural History is hosting a special exhibit called Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence, which has been on my “To Do” list since I first read about it a few weeks ago. This weekend, my brother was in town visiting from Arizona, and since his a big Science geek, I dragged him along with me to the museum to check out the rooms full of glowing animals. Or so I thought.

Located on the fourth floor of the museum, Creatures of Light is set up in a connected series of dark galleries that wind around through the different little exhibit stations where the various animals that bioluminesce are featured. The thing is, with exception of one tiny collection of Flashlight fish, that glowed bright green as they swam in a pitch black tank, all of the other animals and insects in the exhibit are models, not real animals. This is bogus. How difficult would it have been for the American Museum of Natural History to pull a few strings and get a tank or two of real glowing jellyfish for the exhibit? My guess: Not terribly difficult. Jellyfish are not an endangered species or anything. I do not know why they saw the need to phone this in, but I call shenanigans!

Also, out of necessity there is a lot reading to do. A lot of reading. Every two feet there is something else to read so you can understand what you are looking at, and what chemicals make it light up and blah blah blah. Reading! When I go to the museum, I want to look at cool things but I don’t want to stand around reading.

Creatures of Light doesn’t flat out suck or anything. It’s certainly worth going to if you’re not expecting to see any live animals. But I think I was hoping for that, so I was disappointed. Did I learn about how Fireflies attract mates, and did I see giant plastic models of somewhat glowing jellyfish hanging from the ceiling? Yes, yes I did. Was it worth the additional $12.50 you have to pay, in addition to whatever you pay to get into the museum? Meh. I am not going to whine too much about that because the museum needs the money so, it’s going to a good cause.

After we left the Creatures of Light Exhibit (by the way, your entry time is predetermined, so you have to go, I think, within 15 minutes of whatever time gets stamped on your ticket) we saw the Dinosaurs, The Hall of Ocean Life and the Hall of Gems and Minerals, all of which made my brother’s head explode. So, that was pretty cool.

Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence Runs through January 6th, 2013 at the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street on NYC’s Upper West Side.

Rainbow Jellyfish


“Jellyfish!”

Neatorama just posted a cool link to this National Geographic news story about a rare Rainbow Jellyfish. According to the report, “The jellyfish does not emit its own light, as bioluminescent creatures do. Rather, its rainbow glow emanates from light reflecting off the creature’s cilia, small hair-like projections that beat simultaneously to move the jellyfish through the water.” Awesome. This actually reminds me of a scene in the Wes Anderson film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, which I saw again last night on IFC (great film, by the way) where hundreds of “Electric Jellyfish” wash up on the beach and Zissou’s crew run out to film it.