Saturday, April 12, 2008

Catalina dancing for us nerds

For those who thought the last post was dry...
Nadine Velazquez.

If that won't make you watch My Name Is Earl, I can't help you.

Coated glass

For decades I've been wondering why they have not been using the same anti-reflection treatment they use on camera lenses and eye-glasses, on the glass used in picture frames. Reflections in glass really kill the contrast of the art. And the old style "anti-reflection" treatment is just sanding of the glass and does nothing except make the reflections blurred.

Well, it's finally here. I was by my friendly neighborhood frame maker today, and he showed me this. It is much more expensive than regular glass, but for many applications I will consider it more than worthwhile. The difference is dramatic. There are still reflections, but they are much reduced.

Willow, lightfastness

"We can't run, that would be wrong. Can we hide?" - Willow, Buffy

In other news, I just bought a bunch of pricey designers' markers, for art. I made sure they were the "permanent" kind.
Then I come home, and by accident find the information on the web that "permanent" does not mean lightfast as I (and the store owner) thought it meant. It merely means water-resistant. Almost no markers are lightfast. O great. Markers really are so handy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


TTL sez some of these are totally hil.
(If you get "service unavailable", try again.)

Synthetic head

Synthetic girl watches the cursor.

I've been notified about this page a couple of times now. I didn't think it worked in my browser, but it turns out the site simply has neglected to show a flash-file-download progress bar, so I thought nothing was happening, and left the site prematurely.

I wonder why they used a model who's been partying all night?
Or perhaps they just wanted to avoid artificially over-white eye-whites, and overdid it a little.

Ian S points to Ms Dewey. Good fun, although it's against my sensibilities that the main page does not tell you anything about what the site actually is for.
Damn talented and pretty actress too. Named Janina Gavankar. I want her on a cracker.

Phones and leashes

Pertinent to the IM post, Bert said:
It has been years now since I stopped giving my mobile number to clients. [...]
And, despite my refusal to be held on a leash, I have yet to experience a genuine emergency where being immediately available would have helped in any way.
It just feels to me like there is something disrespectful in assuming that one is (or should be) always available to answer "on the spot".

Indeed, phones are "worse" than IM. A few times in recent years I've given in to somebody who wanted to do business with me (always somebody who found me, not vice versa) and who insisted that we do it over the phone and not over email. And every time I found that the resulting phone call took over 90 minutes and yet did not tell me anything I could not have learned in an email it would have take two minutes to read. Basically I find the phone is only good for ordering pizza and talking to family or close friends.
And like Bert hints: unless you're an ER doctor on call, what can't wait a few minutes or hours? Really?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Here's an article about clarity in writing.

This bit from the article isn't clear to me:

Because language can have an underlying structure different from its surface structure, syntax can mislead, as the linguist Noam Chomsky demonstrated with this pair of sentences:
John is eager to please.
John is easy to please.

How does the syntax mislead? Both sentences seem perfectly straightforward to me. The first one means that John wants to please people, the second one means that John is easily pleased by people.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
-- Groucho Marx

Was HAL conscious?

Was HAL conscious?

Tymchak art

Tymchak art. (PDF file.)

Life goals

Seems like a pretty good book, and you can't beat the price.

IM for introverts

Joe Kissell writes about instant messaging and introverts. I find it very interesting, because just like Joe, I've been puzzled about why I never seemed to take to IM very much. Seeing as I love e-mail.
But it makes sense. As an introvert, I have a very, very strong aversion to Invasion Of My Space. And IM usually feels like that.

"I routinely hear people talk about introversion as a problem that needs fixing or as a trait that one should actively try to suppress and change. True enough, extroverts tend to be the movers and shakers, the squeaky wheels, and the stars. On the other hand, many introverts have famously risen to positions of wealth, influence, and authority - both in the real world (Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Al Gore, Julia Roberts, Barbara Walters) and in fiction (Batman, Jane Eyre, Dr. Jean Gray, Harry Potter, Mr. Spock). The point is: there's nothing wrong with being an introvert, and this characteristic need not keep anyone from success or happiness."

Jes said:
Well, I'm an introvert if there ever was one, and IM is actually my preferred form of communication. I think of it as normal conversation in slow motion. I can think about what I'm saying and then type it out.
It seems like the main difference with the author of this article is he's always busy when he's at his computer, and that's not the case with me. In fact, a lot of the time my computer's on, it's because I'm waiting for one of my friends to get online.

You may be onto something. It seems Joe and I have this in common that when we're by the computer, we're "on" and thinking intensely. I think the computer does this to some people, and not to others.


Hannah said:
I guess I'm a combination as well. I can spend time with people, I can enjoy new people sometimes - but only on my own terms. Otherwise, on the weeekends, it's not unusual to 24 hours without talking. Maybe I'll email people or IM - but I can ignore that if I want, unlike in face to face or telephone conversations.
But stick me in a room with lots of noise and lots of people and I'll panic. I can't keep track of what's going on, there's no overview, there's too much sound and too many people and I start to feel very claustrophobic and stressed - and will eventually completely flip.
Hm.. maybe I am an introvert?
Does it really matter, though? Why is it so hard to believe that some people just don't always want to communicate?

People, including myself in the past, tend to say "I'm a combination" or words to that effect. But it's important to note for one thing that being an introvert is by no means a weakness, not even in the extroverted USA. And for another thing, an introvert is not a person who does not like other people or can't deal with them. If you're interested, do a search and find my ealier posts on this subject, there are links to good articles.

I think also the world needs to note that there are many, many more ways to Communicate than face to face. Reading books, meditating, watching movies, email, phone, communing with nature... it's a whole big universe. A friend once gave me a funny postcard which said: "I live in my own little world. It's OK, they know me here." Very funny, but she said she regards me as doing that, and nothing could be more wrong, even if sometimes days can pass where I barely see anybody face to face. I think some people just don't understand all those other ways of communicating with the universe or with people, and so they only see you "living in your own little world".

Monday, April 07, 2008

Is anal sex healthy for men?

I think this is pretty funny.

I suspect that if this writer sees the areas of love and sex as Battlefields where there can be only one "dominant side", then probably his enjoyment of those areas is destined to be quite limited.

Notice I'm not saying he has to get down on his knees and Take It to get any enjoyment. That's a matter of personal taste. I'm just saying that in any area you view as a battlefield, well, you're going to find battle. Duh.

Sony A350

Sony A350 video review.
The low-light capability is not impressive, but the live view and tiltable LCD is highly interesting. Unlike previous implementations from other makers, live view does not introduce a delay in autofocus, because the sensor is an extra one in the viewfinder, it's not done with the main image sensor.

It's a pity about the noise issue. In a time where Nikon D3 can deliver quality images at ISO 6400, I am not about to buy a camera which is noisy at ISO 800. Otherwise I'd have been very interested in these Sony cameras. It is disappointing, and a bit strange: Sony is the world's biggest manufacturer of sensors, I believe, so you'd think they'd be very competitive in an area like that, but it seems that both their 14MP camera and the 10MP ones are pretty weak there.

All those comments

Comments on comments on comments on comments...
I guess there's not enough substance to go around.

Bloggers die early...

The extremely stressful lives of bloggers.
To be honest, I had no idea I was suffering this much for you. :)

André Kertész

I'm a huge fan of the photographer André Kertész. In my mind he had a feeling for compositions not matched by any other photographer. Review of a book of his work with polaroids.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I've not heard of Wikileaks before. Quite interesting.