Monthly Archives: August 2011

Back to School

My oldest son returned to college on Thursday, and, because of a work commitment for Friday, I stayed in Houghton while my wife accompanied him to East Lansing. My youngest son was practicing with his band the evening they left, so I retreated to my office to wallow in sadness and self-pity. “Stop whining you big […]

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Rolling a Cast on Frenchman’s

All Hail the roll cast: all fishermen should be required to learn it at birth. I teach it by special appointment, but only on Leap Year Day. John Voelker Anatomy of a Fisherman I think the instructor would be proud of his student . . . (John Voelker’s grandson Adam Tsaloff rolling a cast on […]

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The Digital Camera: Refraction by a Spherical Surface

Having learned about refraction in our recent posts, we can now begin to appreciate the imaging capability of a lens by applying the principle of Snell’s law to understand the way in which a glass surface can bend light rays to form an image. To see how this works, we first think about a cylindrical piece of […]

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Solitude Lost

The Middle Branch of the Escanaba River begins northwest of Humboldt, Michigan and flows south and east until it joins the East Branch just below the the town of Gwinn. Highly oxygenated riffles, pools the size of small lakes, spring-fed tributaries, and an abundant supply of food make the resident trout happy which, in turn, causes […]

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The Digital Camera: The Pinhole Camera

Over a period of several months in 2005 and 2006, a half-dozen artists converted a shuttered F-18 aircraft hanger into the largest camera ever made. To darken the hanger the artists used 24,000 square feet of viscuine, 1,300 gallons of foam gap filler, one and a half miles of gorilla tape, and 40 cans of […]

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The Digital Camera: Total Internal Reflection

Snell’s Law enables us to predict the way a light ray will refract — or bend — when it enters a new surrounding with a different refractive index. If the new surrounding has a larger refractive index the ray will bend toward the surface normal; if the new surrounding has a smaller refractive index the ray […]

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No one goes there anymore

I keep a picture of a river, and what used to be a store. Joshua Davis Delta 88 from the album Fool Rooster You can float the main branch of the Escanaba River from Princeton to Cornell, but, if you drive the narrow two-lane blacktop roads between those Ivy League cities, you’ll likely see this […]

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An Ivy League Education

The main branch of the Escanaba River — or the Big Escanaba — begins at the confluence of its East and Middle Branches just south of the town of Gwinn and east of the small settlement of Princeton. From there the big river flows south and east spilling over four dams before it surges into […]

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Rubus Parviflorus

So with the advance in years, if not precisely wisdom, I looked for other things to do to while away the more resolutely riseless hours and avoid the risk of ever becoming bored with my greatest outdoor love. These antiboredom diversions were few at first but presently grew and grew. Chief among them was gathering […]

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The Grass is Sweeter

To my mind there is no fairy wand in creation more graceful and beautiful than a good bamboo fly rod. John Voelker Spots Before the Eyes in Trout Madness “If you have the okay to pull the trigger, I would do it and enjoy the rod for the rest of your life. You could get […]

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