Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov. One of the most iconic SF stories ever, and yet I'm amazed how many people don't know it. It's not long, do read it.


I was reminded of it by Pascal blogging about 2012 (I first read about this a decade ago. I can't believe how famous it's becoming. It's the new millennium bug. But maybe this one will work), and mentioning another classic, Clarke's The Nine Billion Names of God. Also warmly recommended. (Spoiler warning, Pascal's blog post reveals the ending of the story.)
I love big-perspective stories, and stories which make you think.

T-2 computer music amplifier

[Thanks to Laurie J]
T-2 computer music amplifier. This is intriguing.
I have the Harman Kardon SoundSticks II on my Mac, and they sound friggin' amazing, I wonder how much better this can be. (Apart from the fact that I'd need hi-fi speakers to attach to this also, and I'm not sure where they'd sit.)

Download Your Own Robot Scientist

[Thanks to Neeraj]
Download Your Own Robot Scientist, article.
"Ever wanted to have a robot to do your research for you? If you are a scientist, you have almost certainly had this dream. Now it’s a real option: Eureqa, a program that distills scientific laws from raw data, is freely available to researchers.

The program was unveiled in April, when it used readouts of a double-pendulum to infer Newton’s second law of motion and the law of conservation of momentum. It could be an invaluable tool for revealing other, more complicated laws that have eluded humans."


Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.
-- Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea (1938) "Vendredi"

Three o'clock at night or in the day?
And why?
I think I'm loosing my capacity to hold these little human thoughts and beliefs.

Apropos Sartre, I realized that much of the comedy I like is satire. And that I could write it if I wanted. In fact when viewed as satire, ideas for stories seem to present themselves easier.
But I dunno. Most satire also seems to have at least an undertone of bitingness or bitterness that I also seem to be loosing grasp of. Hmm.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The contest so far

I know from experience running competitions in the past that most entries will arrive in the last couple of days before closing. Still, there have already been several entries in the BW Portrait competition, and even better, the average quality is really high, which is pleasing but won't make judging any easier. :-)

Size and detail

I've long been interested in the way size and "resolution" affects art. I once asserted that bigger size (or resolution, or more detail) allows for deeper and stronger art. I got a lot of protests against that, and I think the reason for the protests is that you don't need a lot of size/detail to do pretty powerful art, but I think it's true nevertheless. For example a picture made of 4x4 pixels in two-bit mode (black or white, not even grey tones), how much art can you make with that? As soon as you expand it to 8x8 pixels, the possibilities expand greatly, and so on.

I just found a funny example of size and expression. In the big version of the picture below, it's clear that the girl is smiling. In the scaled-down version of the same picture, she no longer appears to be smiling! Just the subtleties lost by that scaling has changed such an important characteristic.


No smile:

... nothing has been changed at all, except scale.

Doing things cheap, stairwells...

Just now, some of my neighbors were carrying some big boxes out, and dropped them. It made a long crash which sounded like doomsday, so of course I jumped out there to see if anybody was hurt or anything.

Now, apart from some picking-up being needed, no harm had been done. But it got me thinking: every stairwell I've been in, in my whole life, has had this noise-exaggerating effect to it. Simple because it's built like a box, and with hard walls, and nothing has ever been done to dampen noise, not even a few tapestries or whatever. Why? Because it's cheaper of course.

And so, just to save a few thousand whatever, for the hundred years the building stands, everybody who ever lives there has to live with exaggerated noise in their home.

It's the same problem, just to a lesser degree, in noise insulation between apartments. I would love to live in an apartment building which was built well in this regard, but I don't even know if they exist.

And this is not the exeption, it's the rule. I think it says a lot about humanity.

Ice Age III (updated)

I'm just finishing off Ice Age III, in blu-ray version naturellement.
I liked it a lot, I think almost anybody who liked the first two will like this one too.

It also has a lot of excellent monsters in the shape of various dinos. ... I had a thought: remember when Pixar used to do "out-takes" for their films? The animated "actors" messing up their lines and such. Dead fun. I would have liked one for IA3: one of the monsters, like awesome über-monster "Rudy", going forth with an attack, and the director yelling "Cut! Try it again, man... you forgot to stop, pose, and roar before attacking!"
And the monster "actor" goes: "Oh, sorry, I tend to forget that. Tell me again, why do we always do that? It really makes no sense to stop and warn the prey and give them time to escape."

While watching it, and the new fave character, swashbucklin' Buck, I thought: you know who'd have been a great voice actor for him: Simon Pegg.
... And now I hear in the commentary that SP did indeed voice him!

Shooting with a prime

From forums:

Gordon wrote in his review:
"Shooting with the GF1 and 20mm took us back to the Seventies and Eighties when we used manual 35mm SLRs with nothing more than a 50mm lens. Back then we didn’t miss a zoom, and it’s amazing how liberating it can still be today when you’ve become used-to adjusting your focal length."

When you have a zoom, you love it. But when you use a prime, you find out how much attention you have used, apparently, in thinking about pictures in many different focal lengths at once. One can think much quicker with a prime.

Also I found out that I can take sharp pictures at 1/15 second with the GF1 and the 20mm pancake lens, even without stabilization! It surprised me. That and F:1.7 and ISO 800 goes a long way (even if ISO 1600 really should have been better on that camera).

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Loop-the-Loop Car World Record

Tommy found this video of a real car loop-the-loop.
I would have expected a necessary speed much higher than 36mph, but also much less G-force than 6 gees, that's a lot!

National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009

National Geographic's International Photography Contest 2009, article and pictures.
As you might expect from a competition of this size (don't forget my little one), there are many cool pictures.

I AM WHAT I LEARN - Jordan Lederman

I AM WHAT I LEARN - video in HD by Jordan Lederman.

"Earlier this year, the 13-year-old student at Pine Lake Middle School in Sammamish entered a video contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) on the importance of getting a good education. Of the 600 entries received, staffers at DOE picked 10 finalists, including Jordan's chicken video." - article

You gotta hit bottom to bounce

Here's an old Danish saying which I just made up:

You gotta hit bottom to bounce.

Johnny Thunders - Pipeline

Rock and roll is rock and roll, ya know it when ya hear it.

If you like it, look for the audio track of "Pipeline" played live in Italy in 1986, from the album Born Too Loose - The Best of Johnny Thunders. It has a lot of mic feedback which just adds to the rawness appeal. I found it via the Sopranos of all places.

Camera Labs video reviews

Camera Labs video reviews of cameras I find interesting:

Canon 500D (T1i)

Olympus E-P1

Panasonic GF1

Well, the two latter actually are only about the video capabilities of those cameras, unfortunately.

He does have a text review of the GF1 though, here is the sizable conclusive page.
"When Olympus and Panasonic developed Micro Four Thirds, it was cameras like the E-P1 and GF1 which really had enthusiasts excited: the dream of squeezing a DSLR sensor and interchangeable lenses into as small a form factor as possible.
And in this respect, the GF1, like the E-P1 before it, delivers the goods: much better performance than a traditional compact at high sensitivities, along with higher dynamic range and the potential for much shallower depth-of-field effects. In short, it’s a world apart from what you’ll achieve with a typical compact."

Portrait contest, prize $100

The Contest is now closed.

I'm pledging $100 of my own stash for what I judge to be the best:

Black-and-white (monochrome) portrait

... which is sent to me before 15 December 2009.

  • Each author can only send one (1) picture.
  • The picture may not previously have won prizes or have been published in a professional publication, on- or offline. (New work is encouraged, but not required.)
  • The author's name must be in the file name. (Example: eolake-stobblehouse-13.jpg)
  • No text on the picture.
  • Monochrome means it can be toned, but no variations in color.
  • Portrait means a photo of a human.
  • Shortest edge at least 1000 pixels, longest edge less than 2000 pixels.
  • JPGs only. Maximum file size: 500 kb.
  • I acquire the rights to publish for free any entry here. Entrants keep all other rights.

I imagine that between the 15th and xmas, I will post a couple dozen of the best entries, and the winner. I require a paypal address to pay to.

Send entries to my gmail dot com address, which is eolake. Or use the address here.

Note: this contest does not have anything to do with Domai (and is not for nudes, although they are not prohibited). But somebody asked if he won could he have a membership, and I agreed to a two-year membership if he wins. That would be a good deal for anybody who wants that instead of cash.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

BW ink

It seems Lyson is no longer making the special black/white inks, but I found this page for specialized BW inkjet printing. Holy cow, that's a whole science. And that's just one company. (Seems like a good one though.)

Interesting that the ink is not ink or pigment based, it's carbon based. In theory that should last forever, carbon does not fade. (BW photocopies on good paper are very long-lived for the same reason, it's carbon.)

BTW, this article on inkjet art still rocks. For instance, he compares an inkjet print with three other prints of the same picture which were done with various high-end traditional darkroom methods:
"We showed these four prints to several dozen people both in and out of photography to see which they liked best. There was no contest. In side-by-side comparisons the Epson print was everyone’s favorite – everyone. The Epson print was more three dimensional, more tactile, had visually deeper blacks, and felt more alive — and not by just a bit. It was better by leaps and bounds. I cannot tell you, what a shock this was to both of us traditional wet darkroom advocates."

Blu-ray and wi-fi

Samsung Blu-ray player review. Steven pointed me to it when I marvelled that my new blu-ray player has ethernet, but not wi-fi. Like the article says:
"It still floors me that most Blu-ray players being produced today have ethernet connections instead Wi-Fi. I don't know of too many people that have ethernet cabling near their TV's. So why ship a device that requires Ethernet to take advantage of the BD Live and over the internet firmware updates?"

Just weird.
I mean, in my apartment I can detect at least half a dozen wi-fi networks! But I bet I'm the only one in the block who uses ethernet, and that's only for professional purposes.

Q&D BW (updated thrice)

I sorta liked those pics of the plugs that I took in BW by accident, so I made a few Quick-And-Dirty black/white photos as an experiment. Played a bit with sharpness, contrast, and such. I can see it going places potentially.
(The big versions (click) are different. The million tiny scratches in the sink for instance look kinda kewl.)

(I like how there is just one tile in the linoleum which has a darker flower.)

This started with me wondering last week, like many, why it's harder to get good BW prints with inkjets than color prints, despite all the factors at least matching traditional methods. Well, I just now printed the sink photo, and I must say, it looks pretty good. I have learned for prints to lift the shadows, and for BW digital to boost contrast and sharpness more than expected. This is one I could exhibit without it falling through next to the color prints.
So with a bit more experimenting with papers and inks, we should get somewhere nice. I might get up to prints the quality of Brooks Jensen's (see here and here), whose inkjet prints are at least the match of any traditional BW prints I've seen.

Update: I warm-toned the picture (not so easy, just a two percent change is very visible), and printed on the fancy glossy paper. Hey, not bad. A beautiful BW print!
I think I'll look into the special Lyson warm-tone BW inks.

Update: Once again I'm struck by how Google is on the ball. Literally less than one minute after posting the paragraph above, I googled: - lyson warm tone bw inks canon - and this post came up amongst the results!

US Blu-ray player

I got tired of not being able to play US Blu-ray discs here in the UK, so I bought a Panasonic player from the USA.

Now I'm used to be able to gadgets being able to handle both 120 volts and 220 volts with just the flick of a switch or sometimes not even that. But I'm in doubt about this one.
For one thing, the American plug, on the right, is slightly different from the ones I'm used to, it's a bit squared off. The UK lead on the left will easily plug into the machine, but the question is, should I?
Because as you also see, the back of the machine only says 120V, not also 220 like usual.

So doe it require a converter, and is that a simple thing?

John DL said:
Reminds me of an engineer friend of mine... he used to say "all electronics run on smoke... when the smoke leaks out, then it will not work anymore."

Leica S2 Hands-On Review

Leica S2 Hands-On Review from M Reichman. The S2 is a rare thing: not only a whole new top-professional camera, but introducing a whole new system and format too.
"I'm very impressed by the Leica S2. It may well be one of the finest camera systems ever made. There is a fluidity, an elegance, and a pleasure in its use that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated."
It's saying something that the worst fault he finds is that ISO setting is not shown in the finder. That's a thing I barely notice about a camera.
And apparently the lenses are some of the best ever made.
Leica themselves, by the way, have said that the great differentiator between this and full frame 35mm systems (Nikon D3x, Canon 1Ds, etc) is not so much resolution and sensor size, as the lenses.
And the price? Well, you know, if you have to ask...

A simple solution

Thinking in BW (updated)

Steve Hynes, UK veteran photographer and writer and editor for photo magazines wrote to me:

You have touched a chord with me. Having shot extensively in both colour and black and white, I have always found it best to avoid doing both in the same session because they are mentally very different processes.
Since shooting digital and effectively having both types of film in the camera all the time, I now find myself visualising each situation for what it might make. Occasionally an image not visualised as black and white has made a great black and white conversion. Serendipity.
While on a press trip with some magazine editors I was shooting on a dull day that was going to produce flat and uninteresting colour, but I could see some nice black and white. One guy asked why I was bothering to shoot because it would be crap. I explained that I was shooting for black and white. He said 'why would you want to do that'. Perhaps that's why the magazines are so bad these days.

Steve Hynes


I was asked: why do I want to shoot in BW, when it's so easy to change in the computer later?
Well, look at one of my fave pics from this summer:

... It should be obvious to anybody that these are two very different pictures indeed. If the BW version is exciting at all, it's certainly in a much more subtle way than the color one.

See, if I were walking around with, effectively, "color film in my camera", it would be nearly impossible for me to not notice a great color subject like this.
In other words, if I'm trying to think both in color and in BW at once, I'm not thinking very clearly in either.

But if I were shooting only in BW, and especially with a BW screen on the camera, I would be thinking only in BW, and color would be tuned out of my mind to a large degree, and I would notice subjects and pictures I would not have otherwise.

I would notice that some subjects, like shown above, would not work in BW, and perhaps more importantly, I might notice subjects which would work in BW, but would not work in color because of a distracting color contrast. If my mind was "half set in color", I would not have been able to see past that distraction.

Also, in black-and-white, one tends to work much more with the light to differentiate the objects in the photo from each other, because one does not have the colors to do it. (Notice the amazing work with light in some old BW movies.) One needs to think differently, much more in lines, contrasts, and grey tones, than one does when working in color.
They are really two different art forms, but at the same time have too many things in common for one to work well in both at once, they get mixed up.

Update: Jon Barry produced for me this different version by making the red darker and the green lighter (a similar effect to having a green filter on the lens with a BW film). Which goes to show that you do get more flexibility by capturing in color. And that, true enough, "color contrast" which would not normally show in BW can be approached in tones.

More "stupid things males do"

[Thanks to Bob R]
"In 1995 George Goble experimented at Purdue university trying to find the fastest way to light a BBQ.
This video shows the fastest way, pouring 3 gallons of liquid oxygen over a grill with 60 pounds of coal and a lighted cigarette.
In the second part of the video this method is used on a 2.88$ discount grill. Most of it vaporizes(!) in the process."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

That's good advice if I ever heard any.

The Wackness

The Wackness is, I guess, what some call a "dramedy". A funny drama, or a serious comedy. Funny it is, and weird, and different. I'll admit it took me a while to get through it, perhaps because I had a hard time deciding if I really liked it, and what it was really about.
But after finishing it I've I really liked it, and that it's about life.
It's too wide really to describe in a nutshell, read some reviews on Amazon.
But it's beautiful visually, has some beautiful women, including Olivia Thirlby and an excellent Mary Kate Olsen in a minor role (but she'll be big, you read it here first*), and it's often very funny, not the least in the unlikely form of Ben Kingsley, who plays an old, immature, stoner psychiatrist. Recommended.

*There's a subtle joke there for ya. Obviously she's already one of the most successful media personalities on the planet, close to being a billionaire I think, but also she's not yet been regarded as a "real", serious artist, and I really think she has it in her, in spades.

BW and RAW at the same time

Steve gave me this tip:
I tend to go back and forth with B&W myself. Some pictures are just better in B&W, others in color.
As a starting to having a monochrome camera try setting one of your DSLRs to shot raw and ljpg. Set the camera to B&W and maybe a red filter. When you look at the LCD for post exposure review the image will be B&W. You can see how it looks in B&W and if worthy of conversion of the raw file. It will help you to start seeing in B&W.
I set my G9 this way and when using ISO 400 it has almost a film like grain.

My Canon S90 has the nice point that the monitor goes BW if I set it to shoot BW. Obvious really, and the BW monitor is great for helping one to think in monochrome.
And it would be great if it would save RAW files at the same time, so I had the color just in case. But it only has one setting with RAW, which is RAW+JPG, and when it's set to that, it won't shoot in BW, presumably so people don't get confused when the RAW files are in color.
Can anybody think of a way around this?

I looked at this with my Panasonic G1... it has something called "film mode", a silly thing which apparently emulates various "films", including BW. ... But! of course it will only let you use this in the most automatic settings, where the camera controls everything. Not even the Program setting can be used in BW. And I'll bet that it won't record RAW in all those other settings either.

David L said:
My G1 works fine with the film modes and any of PASM (I never even tried any of the other settings). You can shoot RAW+JPEG as well, and the display will show B&W if you're shooting B&W.

Aha. Love you guys. This was just what the doctor ordered. It turns out that a bit too-sloppy reading of the manual and the occasionally less-than-intuitive buttons on the Panasonics conspired to convince me this didn't work. But it does. Due hurrah.

Well, this is gonna be fun to try. I have not actually shot in BW for... fifteen years! And of course I've never used a BW screen for it.

Yakety Yak and two hotties

This is from the surprisingly good movie Twins from 1988. Looking at the start of it I thought it's really "eighties" in the look and feel, and it is, but it's one of the good ones. Very warm, very funny.
And I made this clip just to share how hot both Arnold and Kelly Preston were in those days. My goodness.
(Watch in HQ here.)

I'd watched the clip a couple of times before I noticed Kelly is sneaking a peek in the mirror at Arnold! I suspect my TV is clipping a little off the side of the picture so I did not notice it's a mirror she has her hand on. But also it's wonderfully subtle acting by Kelly, she is really good.

(The song Arnold is singing is an old sixties hit, Yakety Yak.)

QuickTime Player tip: the new QuickTime Player in Snow Leopard will, even without QT Pro, let you crop a clip (but only from the ends), and export it to the web.
It also now saves a clipped movie in a smaller size, instead of "hiding" the clipped material in the file like the old one did, if you didn't Export.
Now, if you want more options for editing and Export, you need the old QT Pro Player. It's still on the machine if you had Leopard before (and had paid for QT Pro), it's been moved to the Utilities folder. (I had to go back and pull it over from my old machine, which I'd kept for just such tricky occasions as this. Apple can be sneaky in getting their way.)


My older sister tells people that I spent half my childhood upside down.
I don't recall it as being that much, but it may have been a lot. At least it's true that we had a soft chair in a corner, and I would do a head-stand in that chair often. Sometimes I think I'd even be reading, upside-down.

Perhaps this explains why I can't stop thinking today, my brain was hyper-fed blood every day.

The Voca People

I think actually the Swe-Danes did the voices-for-instruments thing better, but these guys do a fun medley.

Monday, November 30, 2009

How to Shoot an Anvil 200 Feet in the Air

[Thanks to Tommy]
If ever there was an activity which demonstrates a clear gender-divide of understanding...
For instance, I don't like beer or sports, but I'd watch this, sure. Once at least.

Market Hall deux

Here's a picture, in two versions, that John A took. The street below I've walked many times (my chiro is in the brown building in the middle). There's just something about the picture I really like, and I told him so when he was here today. I'm not sure what it is.
And below those, a picture I took myself from the same rooftop, a few years ago.

My own:

By the way, tip about photoshop: under Image/Adjustments/, it has a "black and white" option, which lets you adjust how light or dark each color should be when converted. Sort of like putting a color filter on your lens when shooting in BW, only more flexible. You can make a blue sky very dark, or make greenery much lighter, and such things. In the picture above, I lightened Red, which made red bricks less heavy, and lightened up the red car.

Words that confuse the CBS censor


words that confuse the CBS censor

fecund, penal, taint, titmouse, cockamamie, cockatoo, cocksure, coccyx, ballcock, cockeye, prick, prickly, kumquat, titter, cunning linguist, insertion, gobble, guzzle, swallow, manhole, rimshot, ramrod, come, fallacious, lugubrious, rectify, Uranus, angina, paradiddle, spotted dick, dictum, frock, cunctation, engorge, turgid, stiff, bush, uvula, crapulence, masticate, Dick Butkus, gherkin and, of course, the always bewildering lickety-split.

As you can see, context is everything.

Since the days of Dharma and Greg, creator of that show and Two And A Half Men, Chuck Lorre has put up a split-second "vanity card" with some little thought of his own he wanted to put in. They are often surprisingly light weight, considering he can say whatever he wants, and he's a writer.

Despite being only a split-second, some get censored by CBS anyway, the above was one of them.

NIK software

I wanted to buy NIK's well-regarded imaging software collection, the "Ultimate" collection, for $600, which seemed fair.
But then it turns out I have to select which country I am in before I find my product, and when I select UK, the software, a download, costs the same in Euros as it did in dollars...

As the Euro is right now exactly fifty percent higher than the dollar, this is in effect a fifty percent "sales tax" just for being located in Europe. It is a download, so there's no justification for this in terms of "higher expenses of doing business in Europe" or what they usually say.

I would gladly pay the same six hundred dollars that my American friends pay for this software bundle, but I will not pay nine hundred.

NIK wrote back:

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

It looks like that you tried to order in our US webshop.
We are not allowed to sell from the US web shop to Europe due to European tax law, so we are very sorry but you will not be able to purchase from there. If you would buy at a US shop you would have to pay the import taxes by bringing goods into the EU. That is the reason behind those tax regulations.

Our Price is always including sales tax (19%).
If you have an VAT number you will be able to buy without sales tax.
We have operations in USA and in Europe. The decision of the pricing is a decision of the sales areas.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards from Hamburg
Nik Support Team

Chris S said:
So the 19% tax is their excuse for charging 50% more... and I've read up the UK / EU tax info for VAT. They are completely allowed to sell from the US as long as they charge and remit the VAT for EU buyers. My guess is they just don't want the hassle so they farm it out to another agent who adds in their own fees and rounds it all up to a 50% hike.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BW thoughts

Max returns with some BW pics. Nice work. I think I have my desktop images for the next few days sorted out.

I really like the one below, it reminds me of some of André Kertész' pictures.
... Talking more about black/white digital prints, I wonder if the special dedicated black/grey inks one can get to put in color printers, make better BW prints?

Great Photographers on the Internet, Part II

Great Photographers on the Internet, Part II.
Perhaps the most popular article Mike Johnston ever wrote was a satiric piece where he juxtaposed famous photographs with the kind of comments and helpful hints they might likely get from people if posted on the web. And here is the sequel, very good too.

Here for example is a classic by Sally Mann:

"Please don't get me wrong, I totally love this as it is an awesome picture, and I have total respect for your photographic vision. I only wish my photographic vision were half as good. However there is one thing, which is that I see in color. Do you not? I hear dogs see in black and white are you a dog? When I look at this I see a totally unrealistic representation of reality as I see it. Why don't people understand that human beings see in color and black and white far from being artistic is just a depature from reality as bad as anything you could do in PhotoShop? That's my only comment otherwise I love this. I just really wish it had been in color as it would have been double awesome. dmofong999 please see my photostream"

Rachel James

My friend John A was around today, and he talked about his daughter Rachel, whom I've only met briefly, and her band. They are quite busy around the English Northwest. It turns out they do some lovely stuff, like this Tick Tock song below.
I get the impression they have some trouble sticking with a name for the band. It seems at some time it was called Black And White Radio. I think it works. If one thinks it's too long, one can use BWR for short. Like ELO for Electric Light Orchestra. I think it's important for an artist or group to have a memorable name (and web site) and stick with it, so people can find them.

A minor point is that when finding this on YouTube, you think it's a trailer for a movie, because of the title. I would not have clicked on it if John had not been there and pointed it out, because I was looking for a song, not a movie.
Of course an artist will be creative, that's what the game is about, but people get confused easily, so it's important to give them some solid facts to pin the creativity on, like what's the name, is it a group or an individual, what medium do they work in, how do you buy their stuff, etc etc.
It especially amazes me how many web sites which supposedly are selling stuff will make it quite difficult to find out what the prices are, and how to order and pay. (This is not related to the band, I'm just continuing on the point I was making there.)

We can learn from hospitals, which put colored lines on the floors and tell people: follow the yellow line, and you'll arrive in the radiology department. Because many, many people can't follow simple directions. You have to make stuff as simple as you possibly can.

Bollywood Jingle Bells

Totally hil. Talk about your basic culture clash.

Pascal said:
By a mad coincidence, I've just stumbled on these kerrayzah themed animated papercrafts: Happy Chrismwanzanukkah!