Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ

I’m a little behind on posting this review – it was on March 6th that Sheila and I went to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey but I trust that my memory is not becoming so feeble that I cannot recall some of the details of the experience to share with you today.

I hadn’t been in an aquarium in years – my memories of aquariums came from childhood and perhaps once or twice during my teenage years – and, honestly, were pretty boring.

I was excited to see that they currently had a Dinosaurs of the Deep exhibit as I have always had a fascination with sea monsters. They even had a 4D experience, unfortunately we came soon after a snow storm had blown through and apparently the experience was being streamed from somewhere and the receiver had been knocked out of alignment, so that was a bust – which was a real bummer. I’m sure it is back up and running now, if you happen to go and see it, I’d love to hear how it was!

Dunkleostus

There were a bunch of static dinosaur exhibits (large models of the dinosaurs) and these were interesting to look at for a moment or two.

My favorite part of the aquarium was the Stingray Beach Club. They had a pool filled with stingrays and they would swim around and circles and you could pet them as they went past. I found one in particular – a greenish yellow one (yeah, not the usual colors) – that seemed to really enjoy being petted. While all the others seemed to keep pretty constant in their circular motion around this large pool, this one would turn around and come back again, and again, and again.

Photo of a Stingray

There was a large tank with many sea creatures in it including sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles – we stayed and looked at these guys for quite a while. You know, hammerhead sharks look really funny up close! And sea turtles are so gigantic and majestic!

Photo of Hammerhead Shark

Unfortunately, because of the snow, Penguin Island was closed, so we were unable to visit that portion of the Aquarium either. They also have a Touch-A-Shark section but they were touring some other sort of amphibious creature at the time (which I cannot recall but did not find nearly as interesting as petting a shark).

They had a whole section specifically dedicated to shark that was pretty cool and you could walk through a glass tunnel that went through the water the sharks were in (so there were sharks swimming all around you).

They also had hippos which were pretty interesting, but only if you came at specific times. Most of the day they just soak in the mud, at specific times though they get up and walk around (probably b/c they’ve been trained that they will get food at those times).

Photo of a Hippo

Other cool animals we saw included Eels, the Arapaima (aka pirarucu), Pacific Sea Nettles, Spotted Lagoon Jellies, Giant Pacific Octopus, and Poison Dart Frogs.

There are a number of other exhibits that include turtles, frogs, and a variety of fish.

Overall, for someone who didn’t particularly enjoy aquariums in the past, it was an enjoyable experience (and I look forward to going to more aquariums in the future). If you are like me and tend to get bored quickly, a two or three hour walk-through of the place should suffice.

If you can’t make it down there, the Adventure Aquarium’s website is a pretty cool place to explore.

[These images are modified snippets taken from the Adventure Aquarium website]

WinDirStat: What is Hogging All My Hard Drive?

An older software application, but a freebie and a goodie, is WinDirStat. If you ever find yourself running low on storage space on your hard drive – this application will quickly and intuitively give you a peak into what is consuming all that space.

Before you go out buying a bigger hard drive, using WinDirStat to see if there isn’t (and there probably is) some unneeded files or applications consuming major amounts of disk space.

Warning: You can totally ruin your computer by deleting the wrong files – so don’t go deleting files you aren’t sure about!

WinDirStat Screenshot

Google Now Voice Commands

Jason Cross over at greenbot has written a great list of known Google Now voice commands. The commands I use or intend to use on a regular basis (and think may be most helpful to you) are:

Command Example
Define [word] Define reasonable
What is the weather? What is the weather
What is [quantity] [unit] in [unit]? What is 12 feet in centimers?
What is [mathematical equation]? What is 10 divided by 2?
What is 10 times 2?
What is 10 plus 2?
What is 10 minus 2?
Take a picture Take a picture
Turn [on/off] [Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, Flashlight] Turn on Wi-Fi
Turn off GPS
Turn on Bluetooth
Turn off Flashlight
Set an alarm for [time] Set an alarm for 50 minutes
Create a calendar event: [calendar event] Create a calendar event: Meeting with Widget Co. to discuss new website on Monday at 8 am.
Remind me to [action] Remind me to pick up milk
Make a note: [note] Make a note: Google Now is useful.
Find [name] [info.] Find Dave Mackey’s phone number.
Call [name] Call Dave.
Text [name] [message] Text Dave “What is up?”
Where is the nearest [place]? Where is the nearest McDonalds?
Directions to [address] Directions to New York City