Thursday, January 29, 2015

Finally, a new tea-warmer

I got a couple of fine hot-drink flasks (the brand Contigo ones turned out to be much much better than the more famous Thermos brand, for me), when I lost my last tea-light tea warmer. It didn't seem I could find a replacement for that. But now I did, though I had to import it from the states. Bought it at a site called Notting Hall (not Notting Hill).
I think it looks great, modern, and it's stable, and will service cups or pots of any size (the hole is smaller than the bottom of any cup I know of).

This is my exemplar. I love how with modern cameras, you don't need tripod and special lights to shoot something like this indoors, you just point and shoot. With a decent camera, and especially with a fast (sensitive, apertures 1.0 to 2.8) lens, you will probably get a good picture easily. (The big aperture also gives it a taste of "pro" with the softened background, which also softens any distractions which might have been there.) 

You put one of those little fat tea light candles (in a small aluminium pot) in the bottom. The lid does not get hot (at least in the short time I've used it), but the heat up through the hole is very effective. 
Biggest variable is the material and thickness of the bottom of your cup/pot. 
Funny, writing this, I think I can smell my last cup of Lady Grey, though I used to buy the cheapo brand Typhoo. (I'm not very sophisto. Not in my upbringing, strictly middle class.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, January 29, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Friday, January 23, 2015

The cause of addiction? (holy macaroni!)

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think, article.
If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief. The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right -- it's the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them -- then it's obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.

The funny thing is that this is right in front of our nose, and yet most of us still believe that addiction comes from the drug.

Nearly fifteen years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with 1 percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them -- to their own feelings, and to the wider society. The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.
[...] since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 23, 2015   5 comments links to this post

North and South

There seems to be some kind of universal "rule" that the expensive neighborhoods are north of a city, and the cheaper ones are South of it. (Anybody know any significant exceptions?)
Why should it be like that, that seems so weird to me, like 500 coin tosses all coming out heads. One should think that desirability of location would be by landscape features, not the Earth's magnetic field!
(Is it the same in the Southern hemisphere, or reversed?)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 23, 2015   8 comments links to this post

Dances with powder

Dances with powder.
(No, not that kind of white powder. At least I hope so, for his budget and for the dancer's health.)

There is also a video. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 23, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Senior sax humor

[Thanks to Kirk]

An older couple were lying in bed one night.
The husband was falling asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk.
She said: "You used to hold my hand when we were courting."
Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get back to sleep.
A few moments later she said: "Then you used to kiss me."
Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and settled down to sleep.
Thirty seconds later she said: "Then you used to bite my Neck."
Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"To get my teeth!"
80-year old Caroline bursts into the rec room at the retirement home.
She holds her clenched fist in the air and announces,
"Anyone who can guess what's in my hand can have sex with me tonight!"
An elderly gentleman in the rear shouts out, "An elephant?"
Caroline thinks a minute and says, "Close enough."
Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades.
Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures.
Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards.
One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said,
"Now don't get mad at me...
I know we've been friends for a long time but I just can't think of your name.
I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it.
Please tell me what your name is."  
Her friend glared at her.
For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her.
Finally she said,
"How soon do you need to Know?"
As a senior citizen was driving down the highway,
his car phone rang. Answering,
he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him,
I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on I85.
Please be careful!"
"Hell," said Vernon,

"It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, January 22, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hard rock classics

Karefully kollekted tonite for U, the conniseur, U no hoo U R.
All diffirant, all gud.

I tuk too from Ministri's "Ze Mine Iz A terrable Ting To Taist", 4 it's a rekord wich must be remembarred!! Takking bout Minstry, doen miss this!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, January 20, 2015   0 comments links to this post

What if Michael Bay Directed "UP"?

Michael Bay is the director who is happy and proud that his crew is terrified of him. How do I know? He said so himself on a commentary track! (Transformers 1) He mentioned gleefully how when he was coming to the set in a bad mood, somebody would run ahead and shout "Coming in hot!", like the young boys in The Wire who ran around shouting "Five-Oh!" when the police were coming.

The one below is very critical, but it has some good points.
And M Bay recently walking off a stage because he was unable to say a few words about his process when the teleprompter broke? Whu?

(There are many of these "Honest Trailers", but be warned: don't watch them if they're about movies  you liked.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, January 20, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just after sunrise, January

(click for big pic)

Laurie Jeffery said: Excellent! What equipment did you use? 

Thanks, friend.
Olympus OM-D E-M1, with the pro grade 12mm-40mm F:2.8. (It's the equivalent in view angle and image quality to the Canon and Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 zooms, but much more portable (and with a notch more reach).)
It's nice to have such a sharp and fast zoom. With a slower lens I'd had to use a tripod, and there was no time for that, light changes very fast with the sun close to the horizon, and indeed, on my last frame, the street lamp had been turned off!
And I still consider the E-M1 to be the best all-round camera there is right now.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, January 18, 2015   7 comments links to this post

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jimmy Fallon Blew a Chance to Date Nicole Kidman

This is just hysterical. The guy has Nicole K visiting, and he puts on a video game!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, January 17, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Fightin' Fungi 28mm Fantasy Miniatures

Fightin' Fungi 28mm Fantasy Miniatures, on Kickstarter.
I'm not into roleplaying games, but my friend Andrea has made some popular games, and this is his first miniature figures for it.

They reached their base funding goal in one day!

I love when good things happen to good people. I've been friends with Andrea for over fifteen years, and I bought some beautiful watercolors from him even before the millennium. He has many activities, but here is an online art shop of his including lovely nudes.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, January 17, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 15, 2015

To all of us who are complaining about the weather!

Chinese poledancers performing at -50 degrees!! (It's roughly the same in Celcius and Fahrenheit in that area.)
That's totally insane. Most of us can't even handle getting outdoors at all in such a temperature, no matter how much we bundle up.

I think it's Intention Over Matter. Like doctors and nurses working with lepers but not catching leprosy. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, January 15, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Monday, January 12, 2015

“Well begun is half done”

A Danish saying I like.
Usually the best and most popular sayings are international, but it seems this is just Danish, so I want to spread it around.

“Well begun is half done”

Silly me, I didn't even think to google it before posting it. It turns out that it is already a known saying in English too. But at least I can take pride in that I translated it from Danish to the the exact same expression and words in English.  :-)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, January 12, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 08, 2015

A crow snowboarding...

This new sport already has a name: crowboarding.

(This page has a few more time-waste videos which may entertain.)

Strum the Sky said:
I'll never forget sleeping in a hut, backpacking the snowy mountains of New Zealand, and waking up early in the morning to hear a ruckus on the roof and cackling laughter and a carrying-on that got me up out of my warm sleeping bag in a good mood to check out what idiots outside were doing... Turned out it was a flock of kakapo (mountain parrots) on the roof... sliding on their backsides down the snowy corrugated tin roof from its peak, and then adroitly rolling over just at the edge of the lip and marching back up to the top to do it all over again, all of them cackling like kids and taking turns. Amazing. Watched it for half an hour.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, January 08, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Make emergency candle

How to make an emergency candle out of a can of Crisco vegetable fat and a strip of paper. Works great and lasts for several weeks.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, January 08, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Photos of the unusual

46 Unusual Photos.

This is apparently from nature:

Glass melted in a fire: 

Carved eggshell: 

No, not a digital glitch, it's carved like that: 

Marlon Brando Before and After His Makeup Was Done for His Role in the Godfather
(I'm often amazed at what actors are permitting themselves to be made up to look like, given that most audiences will assume that "that's how he looks now!")

Cross-section of undersea cable. Dang. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, January 07, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Friday, January 02, 2015

Anne Dorte Michelsen

This is too weird. Again I searched on Youtube for an old Danish song, "Fortrolighed" (closeness or secrecy) and again was it posted only a month ago... and again I was the first one to play it!
(Despite this song being apparently very big in Japan.)

(If this video won't show, TCG found this.)

This one, also with Anne Dorte Michelsen, "En Lykkelig familie" (A Happy Family) is more lively. Despite a samurai-sword-sharp tone of sarcasm about the perfect family. (You can see all the women in the audience really getting with it.)

Here's another one of my favorites. (I don't really know her oeuvre that well I must confess.) It's a song about the strange and unsettling "magnets" which seem to glue us to the sofa in front of the TV.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 02, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Human pictures

Humans of New York, a surprisingly captivating site. The short quotes make the pictures much deeper and more interesting, and sort of gives sample images of the world you don't get elsewhere.

That it should become such a big success I would not have predicted, but as we've learned, most people are interested in people more than they are in events or ideas. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, December 31, 2014   1 comments links to this post

The World Is Not Falling Apart

The World Is Not Falling Apart, Article.
Never mind the headlines. We’ve never lived in such peaceful times.
Last year Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before a Senate committee that the world is “more dangerous than it has ever been.” This past fall, Michael Ignatieff wrote of “the tectonic plates of a world order that are being pushed apart by the volcanic upward pressure of violence and hatred.” [...]
How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news. And since the human mind estimates probability by the ease with which it can recall examples, newsreaders will always perceive that they live in dangerous times. All the more so when billions of smartphones turn a fifth of the world’s population into crime reporters and war correspondents.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, December 31, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Too many blogging problems...

I keep having all kinds of problems with Blogger. Time-outs, formatting problems, just bugs all over the place. And I've tried all the browsers and apps I have.
It's such a headache, maybe I'll just give it up.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, December 28, 2014   8 comments links to this post

Spring Breakers

Just watched most of Spring Breakers. Hot girls and guns, what can go wrong? Apparently everything. They should have given the girls, script (if any) and camera to a freshman film student, would have been as good, and cheaper. Maybe it would have been better, because probably there’d be boobies instead of one long tease and a few B/W glimpses.

Not even talent like the nubile-looking Selena Gomez (who was actually quite good) could save this movie. 

It seems to me that stories about normal people who fall into the dark side almost never are any good, despite the big potential.
Mmmm, Falling Down was a good one.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, December 28, 2014   0 comments links to this post

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