Tag Archives: competition

Help Choose Year’s Most Amazing Wildlife Photo

Screw the thousand words. Some of these pictures are worth a set of encyclopedia all by themselves.

Mostly because I had a son who always wanted to see more pictures of an learn more about the animals of the world, I’ve had a soft spot for amazing wildlife pictures.

'Shoaling Reef Squid' by Tobias Bernhard
‘Shoaling Reef Squid’ by Tobias Bernhard

Apparently, I’m not alone.

For the past 50 years, the fine folks over at the National History Museum in United Kingdom have collected together some of the best examples of wildlife photography every year. This leads to the selection of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and a truly stunning gallery exhibition.

This year, the Natural History Museum is allowing you (and, oddly, me) the opportunity to help choose the People’s Choice for best wildlife photograph of the year.

'Feel Safe' by Juan Carlos Mimó Perez
‘Feel Safe’ by Juan Carlos Mimó Perez

Vote for your favourite image from the WPY 2014 People’s Choice collection.

Our jury has chosen 50 of the best images from the 2014 competition shortlist. Which one captures your imagination?

Browse the images in this gallery and select the Vote button to make your choice. Choose carefully as you only have one vote.

Voting closes on 5 September 2014. The winning image will be revealed in October.

Share your favourite with @NHM_WPY on Twitter using the hashtag

'Shoulder Check' by Henrik Nilsson
‘Shoulder Check’ by Henrik Nilsson

#MyWPY and you could win a copy of 50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year: How Wildlife Photography Became Art, published by the Natural History Museum.

I’ll be honest with you dudes. I just spent an hour or so flipping through the gallery with my mouth hanging open in astonishment. These are some freaking awesome pictures, dudes.

My major problem with them is that I enjoyed them all so much I had an exceedingly difficult time choosing which one I should vote for.

StargazerEventually, though, I settled on one that just seemed to speak to me.

Okay, not exactly speak to me, but it certainly had a striking visual that just made me stare. And stare. Eventually, though, I blinked and lost the staring contest.

Seriously, dudes, if you’ve got some time and want to feed your brain and your sensawonder a bit, head on over to the gallery and look for your favorite.

Also, a very happy birthday to my father-in-law, The Italian. He’s the man behind the best, most-flavorful spaghetti sauce in the world and I’m a very fortunate man to have him in my family.


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The Best Kind Of Candy

The best kind of candy is the kind you didn’t know you had.

I’m not talking about specific types of candy. I mean, that’s not even a contest.

Everyone knows that the best candy is Reese’s peanut-butter cups in whichever configuration is on sale at the moment. Be it eggs, trees, jack-o-lanterns or just plain cups, Reese’s peanut butter candies are the absolute best.

Hands down. End of competition. Drops the mic and walks away.Reese's peanut butter eggs are the very best candy ever in the history of sweet, sweet candy. I love them more than any other candy.

However. . .

That being said, I do believe that there is only one way that Reese’s could be better. It’s the same way that every other candy also can become better.*

And that’s if you find it even though you thought you were out.

Here it is, a week past the last candy-giving holiday, one in which the giving of Reese’s peanut butter eggs is almost considered mandatory, and I thought I’d long finished the candy I purchased to give away to the various members of Casa de Dude, be they on the mailing list or be they getting it by hand.

The odds of any sort of candy lasting a week in this house are slim and none and slim just left the building. Mostly to go meet with his nickname support group. He’s a big guy, Slim.

Anywho. . .

In Casa de Dude, candy gets eaten. Even when my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Avoiding Carbs Like A Vampire Avoids Roasted Garlic Steaks**, has been known to chow down on candy that’s been forced into her mouth and made to swallow. Or that has been left out. Or that has been hidden away in a not-very-good hiding place, like, say, behind the fridge, under a decoy pile of trash.

We like our candy, is what I’m saying.

Hyper Lad especially. Which, come to think of it, might have something to do with his nickname.

In the normal course of events, candy goes quickly in this house. Which I thought was what had happened to the three Reese’s peanut butter eggs that I found yesterday. I immediately checked to make sure they were left over from a week ago, not a year and a week ago. Not that it would have stopped me from eating them, but I at least felt slightly more virtuous this way.

There were three. By coincidence, there are three members of the family still living inside the friendly confines of Casa de Dude at the moment. What luck! What fortune!

What are you, nuts? Of course I didn’t tell them about my find. I mean, I might have. If the candy had lasted longer than the 2.4377281374 minutes it took me to rip them from their hiding place, unwrap them and shove them all into my mouth.

Nom. Nom. Nom.

And they were delicious. So delicious, in fact, that the wonderful taste easily overpowered the tiny, shrieking nubbin of guilt that got swallowed along with the found candy.

mmmmmmmmm caaaaaaannnnddyyyyy mmmmmmm

Footnotes & Errata

* With the exception of Twizzlers or Red Vines. There is nothing that can make those two appalling misnomers for candy taste better than the sludge from which they’re made. ick
* See what I did there? It is a pune, or play on words.

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Creative Endeavor

Get your eyeballs away from the TV and go do something.

If you’re one of the dudes who follows the @dudesguide Twitter feed, then you know I’ve been a bit busy in the last couple of weeks. Well, a bit busy might be underselling the whole thing.

Over the course of two weeks, I managed to write a little more than 80,000 words, creating a long-thought-about young adult book. It’s a really fun idea, but you’ll have to trust me on this one as I’m trying to get it represented by an agent so I can sell it to a publisher and I wouldn’t want anyone to look at the idea and then do it better.

Not that I think you would do that, but, you know, that guy. Yeah, him.

Moving on.

It’s been an amazingly satisfying experience. I don’t know what happened or why it kicked off like it did, but I found myself sitting down at the computer, turning on some tunes for the background and then typing. I would literally look up three hours later (or more depending on the day) and find that I’d written five thousand (or whatever) words and didn’t remember anything else but the story happening for the past three hours.

It felt as if a mere tick of the old-timey analog clock second hand hadPoor goldfish. All for an idea bout colored shoelaces that no one will actually care about. passed, and, yet, it was three hours gone down the memory hole. Three hours and I’d produced another significant chunk of a world that only I knew, but that needed to be shared.

Now, I’m not saying that what I wrote is deathless prose or that it will change the lives of anyone who reads it (although I wouldn’t be against that happening, you know?), but this is something that, before three weeks ago, existed only as a notion in my diseased brain.

And now it’s a thing. I’m in the process of showing it to some friends who are going to read it and then give me some insight on if it’s any good or what I should change.

It’s not like a book I can hold in my hands, but it is something I created by myself. I brought this into reality by conscious effort and directed intention. It is a wonderful, amazing feeling that more people should try to achieve.

Again, no. I’m not suggesting you all take up writing. Frankly, I don’t need the competition. But I do suggest you find something you like, something you can learn about, and then do it.

Create. Discover. Give birth to your ideas using your hands and your will. Feel the sense of satisfaction that comes from creation. Smile the smile of the dude who has done, and is getting ready to do again and again.

Stretch yourself. Find something that’s just a bit more complex than you’ve done before and then learn how to do it. Then do it. Improve your skills in whatever you choose, then follow your plans through to completion.

Dudes, there is nothing like creation. It is an unmatched feeling and it can be yours. Whenever you decide it’s time for you to get it.

So go get it.

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