Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Gift Bearer

Have you ever read The Gift Bearer, the short story by CL Fontenay? (It is out of copyright, get it free here.) It is a delightful and funny short story about how a conservative American politician gets a night-time visit by a kind and beautiful female alien, who offers mankind amazing gifts of plenty. The problem though is that she is naked, and refuses to bow to demands that she get dressed. "Think of the children!!"

Cancel is OK

This is funny, you press cancel, and you get two options: "cancel", and "OK"... I pressed "cancel" three times before I realized that "OK" was the one which would actually cancel the operation.

I'm converting a stack of DVDs to MP4, for viewing on my iPad. In my home hotspot, I can view it over the wifi, so I don't have to fill more video on the limited space on the iPad 3, which is already straining with iTunes TV show purchases. (I really think they should have upgraded the space options this time, especially since the iPad 3 can play and produce HD video. 64GB is not a lot these days.)

Flying trucks

Tornado by Dallas on April 3. Truck bed trailers flying over 50 feet into the air, pretty spectacular.

BTW, the Notification button is back again, so you can be notified by email of new comments to a thread.

PPS: You do not have to be registered to make comments.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Eloquent Nude

Seth wrote:
I recently saw a documentary called Eloquent Nude about the photographer Edward Weston and writer Charis Wilson. Quite good.

I'm watching that now, and it is indeed good. Charis had very special looks, and was/is an intense and bright person, and Weston of course was one of the greatest art photographers of the 20th century. One of the few who didn't make photographs, but pictures.

Fuji X-S1 vs. DSLR Shootout

Fuji X-S1 vs. DSLR Shootout. This is just a bit of fun. But also a comparison between a traditional DSLR (exchangeable lenses) and a Fuji "super-zoom" camera, which looks very similar, but has a fixed zoom lens, and a smaller sensor and so can have a *very* long zoom while still remaining a reasonable size and price.

It's also quite funny in places. 

The DSLR can take other lenses, for instance a fisheye lens, or fast primes for very blurred backgrounds. But of course that adds cost and bulk.

Here's a review of the Fuji X-Pro1. Seems great. Only puzzle is, why no stabilization? Seems an odd omission, especially when contrasted with the apparently astonishingly efficient in-body stabilization Olympus has accomplished in the new OMD.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Monday, April 02, 2012

Carl Zeiss Lenses - "Stress test"

[Thanks to Bert]
Zeiss lenses have long regarded as almost the only lens brand which could hold its own against the exceptional quality - and cost - of Leica lenses.

Zeiss currently makes a line of lenses which fit modern digital SLR cameras like Nikon and Canon, and I think a couple of others. But (perhaps because they don't have any licensing deal), there's limited electronic communication to the camera, which means no autofocus. So it's hardly the lenses to use for lively subjects.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


tOP posted a link to a funny parody of fanboy tech-toy discussions.

MC: If you really were a professional, you’d be using a Graintex SH 1660 sledgehammer. It’s got a 36 inch handle and 20 lb head and can tear through walls in a heartbeat. Your Stiletto can’t touch this.
Hammeruser: I do framing work and carpentry, so tearing through walls really doesn’t apply to my work.
M.C.: That’s because you have absolutely no skills. A good hammer user can drive nails with a 20 pound sledghammer with no problem.

Hot and bothered

From news story (not online):
Luisa, 26, shop assistant from Italy ... even more serious bout of breast bother on a beach at Anzio, south of Rome. As she had idly applied lotion to her ample (her lawyers word) bosom, a mother of two boys had hurried over and demanded that she cover up immediately. The sight of Luisa sans bikini top had apparently troubled (the mothers word) her sons, aged 12 and 14.

Yes, I feel sure that the two boys were quite bothered by such a sight. And they were probably hot too, in that sun south of Rome.
It's good to hear that somebody is finally thinking about the children!!

It's apparently a trend, though, less toplessness in Europe. They say that hemlines tend to follow the economy up and down. There seems to be something to it, though I must say the logic escapes me. If you're depressed by the economy, nice gams or shoulders are a free way to be cheered up.