Saturday, December 15, 2007

Barbie baby photographer

Barbie "I can be a baby photographer". Now that's a hoot and a holler. Especially that you can get it in two different "flavors". But I worry that the black one is called "African-American". Isn't that discrimination against, say Haitian blacks? Or African-Europeans? Or all of the other numerous colored peoples who don't happen to be US citizens and of African descent?

For the boys, there is the "war photographer" doll. Sorry, it's an "action figure". I want one. I love the perfect cameras, actual Nikons and Canons. For some reason, there's no black version of this one. I'm a little upset about that.

DVD commentaries

Somebody in Hollywood should do courses in how to do DVD commentaries, because few people do it well. For example, in the Seinfeld DVD sets (which otherwise have many excellent extras) there are many, many commentaries (at least forty episodes, I think), but I haven't found a single one which was interesting. When the actors speak, or the creators (Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld), they spend most of the time just watching the episode and laughing heartily at it. Why don't they respect their audience and re-watch the episode at least once before doing the commentary, so they would have the laughing and the surprises out of their system, and time to think up something pertinent to say?

Thursday, December 13, 2007


This is an interesting beast, if the keyboard is actually usable for touch typing. Only half a kilo, and only $400. Kewl. (Update: almost a kilo, sorry. Imagine still getting confused by achaic units like pounds, after all these years.)

Update: Quote from this review: "The keyboard on the Eee PC is very, very compact. The first two days I spent typing on the Eee PC were quite frustrating as the small footprint and tiny keys require you to use a “hunt and peck” style of typing rather than traditional touch typing methods."

For me that is a deal breaker. To make a device almost big enough for touch typing, but not quite, is like having a girlfriend who will let you go to second base, but no further. The real fun only starts when you can use all your fingers. :)

Update: the more reviews I read, the more confused I get. Many say you can touch-type, many say you can't. In pictures the size of the keyboard looks similar to that of an Apple laptop, but I can't find any numbers.
... Well, I can find the outside dimensions: the Asus is apparently 22.5 centimeters wide. And the keyboard on my Macbook Pro (both the 15" model and the 12" model) is 27 centimeters, so this parity must be illusory.
What I really want it a laptop with a full sized keyboard, but weighing less than a kilo.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Behind the scenes of Apple's famous 1984 commercial. (Sadly not very long or informative.)

Camera comparison

This is how to do a good camera review: concise and careful comparisons with all the close competitors. Well done CameraLabs.

Below your means

I just got my accounts from last year, and it turns out that for the first time ever, profits did not go up, but down. Way down.
I think my sales flattened due to new competition.
I made one bad investment. I knew the risk.
Then the dollar fell.
And I got offered much more material for sale than earlier, and I was slow in learning to say "no", so I bought much more than I needed to.
Altogether my loss of profit was bigger than my entire income was ten years ago!

And yet I am perfectly happy. Why? Because I'm living way below my means, and can easily absorb this loss. No kidding. Not even close to being a problem, I'm still saving up every month.

If I'd done what some would do, and taken a mortgage to the biggest house I could possibly afford, and gotten three cars and a summer home, then this would have been devastating. But as it is, I did not even notice until I got the numbers from my accountant, half a year after the fact.

Canon bargain

To be honest, just a couple of years ago I thought that good digital cameras would never fall in price to levels similar to film cameras. Simply because they contain so much more electronics it did not seem possible. But I'm happy to report I was wrong. $400 for a digital SLR (body only) is astounding. This is barely more than I paid for my first SLR, which was far, far less capable, and this is even before calculating in 30 years of inflation!


One thing I'm realizing is how fortunate it is that I bought a Tempur foam mattress last year. Throughout last week I could only (barely) sleep (a couple of hours at a time) in one position (flat on my back). With any normal mattress this is painful and difficult in itself, but with waterbed or a memory-foam mattress it is possible. In short, last week I would have royally boffed if I hadn't had it.

I am also happy I splashed for a motorized bed which can raise the head rest in any position. I really needed that in the condition I was in last week. I'm not kidding.


PostureMinder seems interesting. My physio recommended it. It watches your posture through a web cam, and reminds if you have been slouching. Sadly it does not come in a Mac edition.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Mind-Booty problem

The Mind-Booty problem.
Quote: "In Georgia, 21-year-old Genarlow Wilson is serving a mandatory 10-year jail sentence for aggravated child molestation. His crime: When he was 17, he had oral sex with a 15-year-old girl."

In a time when consensual sex between teenagers is considered the same as rape of a little child, we have a cognitive problem in society.
Jerry weighed in:
Seems The Mind-Booty Problem Rethinking the age of sexual consent. By William Saletan
Posted Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007, at 8:02 AM ET may be another case of another reporter not checking all the facts.

Strange though that his article provides a link with "oral sex with a 15-year-old girl" that takes you to where it clearly states a judge has ruled that the 17 yo shouldn't have been jailed and that the state of Georgia has since revised their Code to make it a misdemeanor between teenagers.

In Louisiana the death penalty can be evoked - LOUISIANA's age of consent is 17. However Louisiana law allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty for people
convicted of having consensual sex with a person under 12 years old. The Louisiana state Supreme Court declared the law constitutional in 1999 because of a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court ruling addressing the rape of an adult, not a child. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1977 banned the death penalty for raping adult women, but the justices did not say whether it could be applied to child rapists. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the 1999 Louisiana case, allowing the death penalty law to stand.

And in SOUTH CAROLINA its age of consent is 16.

And people 18 or younger can have consensual sex with someone as young as 14. South Carolina law allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty for people twice convicted of having consensual sex with a person under 11 years old.

Not really in agreement with having sex with kids that young but the death penalty is too damn strong.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Music industry changes.

Copyright willies

I don't get copyright. If you include a painting or something in a photo or a film, it's a copyright break, but apparently you can take a photograph of a another photograph and sell it for big bucks in the fine art world, and that's fully legal??


"I'm listening to what you're saying, but I only hear what I want to."
"That's called being a woman."

Better, and Bedford 'Rascal'

I'm getting better. I'm hitting it with therapy from all sides, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical therapies. I think one of the good things is the muscle relaxants. Thanks for the tip, Richard. (My fysio might have mentioned them anyway, but you can't be sure.)

This is Bedford "Rascal" van, I took the picture a few days ago. This thing is so small I'm a head taller than it! It makes me laugh every time I see one. "Bedford Rascal: the van for the small craftsman".