Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friends on DVD

Amazon UK now sells the entire set of Friends for fifty pounds. This is astounding value, that's about what I paid for each of the ten seasons. I'd almost buy this just to get the nice box. (Amazon UK makes some nice collection boxes not available elsewhere.)

The Amazon US price is also pretty durn low.


Thom's current advice to photographers.

Domai announcement

Recession-related announcement on Domai.

Spilt milk

"Let's use that spilt milk to put out this burning bridge."
-- The Tick

There should be more shows like this. Dead fun, and has the lure of superheroes with none of the special effects budget.

Luke on the street

Nice gallery of street photos.

Luke Tymowski's home page.
And here a gallery that shows a bit about what modern low-light capabilities can enable.

Nikon D3x is here

The news of the long-awaited high-rez Nikon D3x is here, a couple of days before Nikons big announcement on Monday. (I wonder if somebody will get fired for mailing the Nikon mag too soon?) Basically, no surprises, it's a D3, only at 24MP.
Like one may expect, the higher resolution also means it does not have the D3's amazing low-light capabilities, sadly. It only goes to 1600 ISO compared to the D3's 6400 ISO.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pratchett interview

Terry talking about a forthcoming book to be called Unseen Academicals. But lord knows when that may arrive; I find it more interesting from a creator's viewpoint what he's saying about having something fresh to say. Very informative.

Kronostar said:
I appreciate the TP interviews you've posted in the past as I'd always just been a casual fan of his work and never learned much about him as a person beyond the dust jacket. It does give a wonderful insight into his creative process that we might apply in our lives as well.
His new project kind of reminds me of last night's episode of IT Crowd with the bluffball website that gives non-sports fanatics the tools and phrases on how to communicate with their football-obsessed colleagues. I know I've sometimes glanced at sports headlines just so I could be part of the social group at work/school.

Web comics which suck

From the sublime to the ridiculous. Many web comics suck beyond belief.

Leonardo's drawings

Leonardo's drawings.

I wonder if there were more grotesque people around in Leo's time? I have never seen anybody like the ones below.

I'm Not An Animal

I'm Not An Animal, UK TV show, a few years old. Very off-beat, and sometimes very funny.
(Seems not to have been released in the US.)

A couple more clips on youtube here, here, and here.

Reign Over Me movie

I just watched Reign Over Me. Brilliant movie.

Normally one would think it would not be something for me, because it's a "human drama" story. But it's a good one, it avoids the usual sentimental sand traps most of these movies are mired in.

And importantly, it has a lot of humor. It's subtle, of the kind people may not remember after, but it's there all the time. One small example: a therapist, played by lovely Liv Tyler, is told by a defensive patient that what he thinks about are her perfect tits. And next session she is wearing the bulkiest sweater you ever saw... and it's not even mentioned! That's excellent.

There's a bit of dangeous casting by Adam Sandler as the messed up guy, but he actually does a wonderful job.

One of the main themes of the film is also unique (so far as I know): even if it's obvious that a person needs to Get Help, and Open Up, and Face His Past, how much can you do for him? How much can you push him? Can you really help him? Is it him you really want to help, or youself?

If something is really right for a person, he will already have thought of it himself, many times. So if it hasn't happened, he must have pretty deep reasons for that. Meaning that if you push him more than extremely softly, you're more likely to hurt him than help him.

Fontso site

There are tons of free fonts on the Net, but it's not easy to find those of good quality. I just found a site which claims to help with that.

PS: what are good fonts for screen reading?

Adam Hughes art

Adam Hughes art.

Adam is an excellent "drawer". But he needs a new webmaster. Those pictures are way too small. When at first I saw the page I wanted to blog it. Then when I clicked and saw what goes for "large size", I decided not to.
Then I decided to do it anyway, just to bitch about the size. But that's a chance he doesn't wanna take. :-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ashes and Snow

Much as I want to dis an artist who is hugely successful and ain't me, I have to admit he's put an astounding amount of work into it, and gotten some amazing results.

... Still, it's leaning towards the sentimental. From his vision statement: "... rediscovering the common ground that once existed when people lived in harmony with animals."
When was this again? The fourteenth century?

Paul K said...
I don't think man has every lived in harmony with animals, really. Outside of relying on them too live, but mostly in the predation sense.
But artists statements... I think the huge majority of them are hogwash which the artist did because they "had to".

eolake said...
Good point. The driving force behind art is not logic. But the public like to get a logical statement to feel they better understand it.

Photoshop oddity

When I do a batch of photos in Photoshop and it has to 'save and close' or save in a folder, it will stop and ask about JPG compression... but only on some of the pictures! Does anybody know why and how to control it?

Size matters

Mike, like me, can't stop talking about camera size.

A hug to O

This is how the Danes get their own back, A Big Hug for O, from a satirical Christmas TV show a couple years back.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Minnie Driver: "Hungry Heart"

I may be becoming a Minnie Driver fan. She hot, she's tall, and a fabulous actor, see The Riches for instance.

Here's a version by I'm-not-the-boss man hisself. So he sings about a man who leaves his family for no good reason and does it with a big smile. I dunno. :-)

On his live album, the band started the intro of the song, and the audience sang the whole first verse alone. I thought that was impressive and touching.

Bruce is an odd phenomenon: he's not really rock, he's not really pop. He's aggressively mainstream without really being so.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.
-- Laurence J. Peter, The Peter Principle (1969), chapter 1

The contact lens bit is funny, so one may overlook what he's really saying: "Competence is in the eye of the beholder."
Really? It makes me doubt that the Peter Principle is so interesting after all. If a carpenter builds your garage and the roof leaks five places and the door keeps falling off, is it a subjective viewpoint to consider him incompetent? Or to consider him competent if he builds it in three days and it's absolutely perfect? I don't think so.

Stone idols

Update: they are by Dominique Regnier.
Amazing what some people can do in stone.

Fun with perspective

Fun with perspective.

FaceBook vs a spammer

Facebook wins faceoff with Montreal spammer, article.
"Last Friday, a California court ordered Adam Guerbuez and his company Atlantis Blue Capital to pay the popular social networking site $873 million dollars in damages for spamming registered users on the site."

$873 million??! Either that's a misprint, or the world is even more insane that I realized.

Wonko sez:
Spam is a curious thing, but it must benefit someone otherwise it would have died out years ago...

I'm very anti spam, and here's why. If one hundred people a day rang your doorbell trying to sell you stuff - be legitimate or shall we say rather more shady in nature - you'd be pretty fed up, pretty soon. And don't forget that sometimes that person trying to sell you stuff was just acting as a distraction while another person either sneaked into your home and trashed the place, or stole your credit cards and ID and used them to buy things in your name. Just because it's 'on-line' and you have a delete button it doesn't make it any less wrong, or annoying.

Spam uses up a tremendous amount of time and resources globally. Just imagine what we could have achieved if all that energy had been put to a beneficial use.

Wall-E (updated)

Just watched Wall-E. Totally bril and totally hil.
And one of those movies really crying out to be watched in HD. Every single frame is sooo rich visually.
There's a whole documentary about the lengths they went to, to make things look like they were actually filmed, like how do out-of-focus areas look like in an anamorphic Panavision lens and so on. Amazing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Oxford project

Cool documentary of somebody photographing the residents of a small town.

Isn't it interesting how apparently you'll be forever a stranger in a small town if you were not born there. I don't get it. I grew up in a small town, and it never, ever occurred to me to think differently about people according to whether they were born there or not. What, you're supposed to keep a big mental file which reminds you? What a strange mentality.
I am guessing it stems from a deep, intense mistrust in everybody. So they decide that being "native" is a way you can let up the mistrust a little bit.

My younger sister is a very local girl, she lives a stone's throw from our childhood home. Which I might do one day too. But she has a talent for knowing people that I don't have. I just don't have the willingness to invest all that time it takes to get to know a lot of people on a personal level, I find ideas more interesting.

I can get a little stab of the attraction of that kind of small town life sometimes, knowing everybody. But then I think maybe there's a parallel to the "high school popularity" game: it's something you want into, but is it really as valuable as all that? Just because somebody knows your name and says hi for thirty years, do they really know you better or understand you better?


I found this picture in my spam mailbox. I am guessing it means I've spent too much time on the computer when the word "autoposters" in a subject line makes me think it's about some kind of software, and not pictures of cars.

Why would a Brazilian poster company send spam to me, and in Spanish?

I can see how people can sell things with clever advertising. My first thought was "ooh, that looks nice, maybe I should get one". But that's idiotic, I'm really not that interested, and I don't have the wall space.

Software song conversion

I wonder if this is legal? I thought you're not allowed to circumvent Digital Rights Management protection?


Timelapse cityscape. (Move your cursor across it.) Could be much finer graded, but still cool.

The same site has this wonderfully humorous photo.

Nicola Quinn's Blog

Visit my friend Nicola Quinn's Blog. It has good things, including information on how to recognize a stroke.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Spirit, the movie

Frank Miller makes the movie The Spirit.

I dunno... I still think Miller's The Dark Knight Returns is the best superhero comic ever made, but I've not been all that crazy about his stuff since, including the movies. He seems to have lost the story in favor of all-out violence porn.

And to me, The Spirit, the comic by Will Eisner, was always this very intellectual, story-based thing. It had such complex, quiet, amazing stories. And it seems Miller has made it into a generic, CGI-based, super-action fantasy. His version of the Spirit seems no different from a hundred other testosterone-overloaded superheroes. And I don't think Eisner's Spirit actually ever had any supernatural healing powers either. He was just a guy who was presumed dead by the world, so he felt free of the burden of a legal identity.

A different matter is that to my taste, the 90% CGI made movies like Sky Captain and Sin City, they haven't yet succeeded. They just don't look real, and they don't compensate for that by looking very interesting. You have to do at least one or the other.

It seems early reviews of The Spirit are mediocre. And this is from somebody who loved Sin City, which I found boring, so maybe I'll skip The Spirit.

Brian said:
He didn't have super powers. That's what made him different and interesting to a lot of us. Take that away, give him powers - he becomes just another run-of-the-mill superhero.

eolake said...
Yes indeed.
In fact the Spirit was not ever a superhero, he was just a private eye. The publisher wanted a "masked adventurer" (as superheroes were called then) and so Eisner gave him a mask and some slight mystery, but that's all.

Mustang Ranch

TV segment about one of the few legal brothels in the US.

Compare this to the awful conditions many prostitutes work under where it's not legal. I just can't think that people who work actively to make sex work illegal have anybody's good interests at heart, no matter what they claim.

There was a big survey of prostitutes in Denmark once, and the one thing they heard over and over was how the girls felt that what they did had social impact. It was often more about company and contact than about sex.


Does anybody know what SLYTP means? It seems to be a warning like NSFW (not safe for work), but I can't find a definition.
Apparently this is SLYTP.

I even tried the define: tag in google, but I didn't get a result. I never get a result with that, I don't know why they even have it.

Top Cat helps:
"I find people pre-emptively pointing out that their post is 'single-link-youtube' to be incredibly distracting. Not everybody..." (from a post on the site metafilter.)

so... Single-Link You Tube Post(s)

"Aerial" by Kate Bush

Alex reviews "Aerial" by Kate Bush.