Saturday, December 12, 2009

Torremolinos 73

Thanks to Kgani for recommending Torremolinos 73 (US link - US/Eu link), which is a quirky and unusual Spanish/Danish comedy. It's very funny at times (and sometimes unexpectedly sexy), if you don't mind quaint movies. It also has a good role for Danish star Mads Mikkelsen.


This is an ambigram, it reads the same and looks the same upside-down. It's a very clever thing to do.

Although, just like drawing and solving Rubiks' Cube, I'm sure there are mechanical skills to it which can be taught.

Young C. Park, model maker

[Thanks to Uncle Ron]
Young C. Park, model maker.
Hand-build aluminium aircraft. Impressive. The detail is ridic. (I wish the photos on the page were larger.)
They say all the controls work as designed, by cables, chains, linkages and levers.

Well, he's not afraid of work!
I've noticed, though, that most of the time when you see really good models, it's war planes, war ships, war vehicles...

The Internet Craftsmanship Museum. Kewl.

Les Mondes Engloutis

New free song by Ugress, Les Mondes Engloutis. I like it on first listen.
(The page does not make it clear how to download it, but the text saying "Trouble downloading with Soundcloud? Here's a direct link" has a normal download link.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Teachers caught nekkid

[Thanks to Joe]
Two female teachers caught naked together in empty classroom. Article.

They say investigation is pending and nothing has been decided, but you will notice that people are already talking about the two popular teachers in the past tense. They know they will never see them again.

Again this intense fear of anything sexual. They weren't hurting anybody. Instead of ruining their careers, the janitor should just have leaned against the wall for a leisurely look (very pretty women both), and then said: "Come on, that's stupid, you're in public, some people might get upset. Go home or to a motel. Wait, will you pose for an iPhone photo?"

A xmas song

I hear the singer is considered attractive...

OK, I can see it. But what's up with that scene lighting? There's only light on her face, her body (and those of the pretty backup singers) is hidding in black-on-black. Stupid.

Update:TC[Girl] points to this video of theirs, which shows they are more than just a pretty singer (although this vid does have a little kitty).

Still queasy after all these years

It seems that having just entered middle age, part of my position is to think up sayings which involve aging. Well, at least it so happened that two occurred to me today:

Still queasy after all these years.


Youth is wasted on the wasted young.

The Dying Swan 1917

[Thanks to Jim]

Combining exposures

With one of the Evening Light photos (red house with bars for the windows) I tried to combine two exposures, to get more of the blue sky. But I found it tricky, because the camera had moved slightly between exposures, so I could not get the two pictures to fit exactly over each other in layers in Photoshop, making masking difficult. Does anybody know helpful tips on this?

Update: Paul B mentioned the "Merge to HDR" in Photoshop. For some odd reason, I'd forgotten about that capability. Maybe because I did not think it would work with hand-held images (Helicon for depth-of-field can't handle them). It was not a very intuitive function, but after reading MR's introduction, I managed a first result (see below) which is good, in fact much faster and better than what I had done by hand. This is with the "equalize histogram" setting. Oddly, both this option and the otherwise promising "local adaption" option gives me much paler images than what the preview shows while adjusting the filter, rather impractical.

Also mentioned is Photomatix Pro, specialized software for this purpose, I am trying it. It seems though, like Gary hinted, that this software is not very good at combining hand-held images, which makes it at bit pricey at $99, when Photoshop can do a pretty good job alone at HDR, and better at merging (so you don't have ghost details).

The underexposed in the bracketing set:

The overexposed:

And the Photoshop-combined picture:

The Panasonic G1 (and GF1) has 2/3 stop as the maximum difference in exposure between bracketed shots, which I think is too little.

The BW Portrait contest is still open. If you don't have a handy model, use yourself, a few entrants have already done so with good results.


PhotoCard is an iPhone app. Sounds kool. It's made by Bill Atkinson, of both photographic and computer fame.
"PhotoCard is a program that allows you to create both electronic (email) as well as real physical post cards, using your own photographs as well as those provided by Bill and other talented photographers.
The program cost $4.99. You can send an unlimited number of electronic postcards to any email address without cost. Above is an example. If you wish to send real physical post cards via the postal service you can purchase postage credits from within the program via PayPal, and then send postcards from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.
The real magic in PhotoCard, beyond the email cards (which are pretty cool), is that Bill has set up a system whereby you can choose to send a real physical post card of your chosen picture and text. When you purchase Photocard credits via PayPal you can send postcards that are printed by a very high quality printing firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've seen the printed card quality and it is exceptional. Better than just about any commercial postcards that I've ever seen."


It's $2 inside the states and $3 worldwide. That's dirt cheap for such a cool service.

Bill's own page about it is here.

I don't have an iPhone, I want this app for my Mac.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Evening Light

Evening Light (wide views), set from today. A couple of my faves below, and a full gallery here.

The top one is an example of why I think I'll use bracketing more often. This one was the minus-2/3 exposure, and it dramatizes the picture and really pulls out that beautiful sky. (And it's noticable how a bit of underexposure really deepens colors.)

(All are from Panasonic G1 with 7-14mm zoom lens. Mild photoshopping.)

Funny enough several of them were taken after I'd decided to stop being creative and just go home. I've no control over it. :-)

Update: I've printed the pillar picture (top) on A3 (12x16 inches) on Hahnemühle paper, and it looks great.
I'm learning some things:
  1. With modern cameras, pictures usually look good right out of the camera. But many pictures you can rise up with only little work. The pillar picture for example needed over 20% of plus-saturation, but when it got that, it really popped.
  2. To really fine-tune a photo is a lot more work, especially for print, especially wall prints. There are so many ways a photo can be adjusted and fine-tuned.
  3. Small changes look like more on the screen than in the print.
  4. Just like with paintings, one compromises between clear color and lightness. Clear, deep colors are quite dark. Unless you are doing stained glass, the only way to make a color/area lighter is to put more white in or behind it, which tends to water it out.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Hartblei Cam

The Hartblei Cam, new outré European large camera development. Claims some pretty amazing capabilities. LL article.

For example it allows of Canon's 17mm tilt/shift lens on a medium format back, giving it the widest straight-angle viewpoint I have ever heard of: the 35mm equivalent of an 11mm lens! In super quality.
It's very remarkable that both Canon's new tilt/shift lenses actually cover this format. I wonder why.

Warnock Pro (updated)

Update: OK, here is a bizarre thing. I have never heard of this font until today, and I have not bought it, and so far as I know I have not even downloaded it. But after writing this post, I open my wordprocessor to write a letter (I usually just use a text editor because I usually write for the Internet), and there, selected, is Warnock Pro! I look in OS X's Fontbook, and there is the font, in all its variations. What the hell?
(It seems it's a working copy, I can print and so on.)

Can this have been installed by that PDF file/article about the font, which I've read today? How would that be a working copy? Isn't such a font just a part of the PDF file?
... No, more likely this file, from the adobe store. But that's also just a PDF document, although it seems to contain the whole font. (And hokey sheet, that's a big font, it seems to have everything, even some greek and cyrillic characters.)

ttl said...
My guess is that it comes bundled with some Adobe software package you have installed in your system. Possibly Creative Suite 4.

My goodness, you're probably right. I never thought of that. I did cave and upgrade from CS 2 to 4 (because otherwise I'd have to pay for PS CS4 in full), despite seldom using most of the apps. It would make sense they have some good pro fonts bundled with it, it would be a draw for many customers.

I'd forgotten I have the full CS4. But it's good to have, for instance I know Brooks Jensen uses InDesign to combine text and photos for art prints.

[original post below]
Below is a screenshot of an Adobe type, the new Warnock Pro, which I look at because I am impressed at its legibility even set in small size in a new book I'm reading.

The screenshot is from from the basic Apple app Preview, zoomed in on ordinary bread text (small type like in a book or article) in an PDF file article about the font. I'm amazed I could zoom so far in that individual letters are over 1000 pixels high!

A note on web usability: I wanted to see the price of this font from Adobe, as a matter of curiosity, because the price of fonts vary from the ridiculous to the sublime. So I googled it like this. The top link is obviously the one you want. But when you click on it, you do not get the page quoted. Instead I got:
1: a page to select from where in the world I wanted to give Adobe money.
2: after that, again not the right page, but just the general font store.
3: when I made a search for warnock pro (lower case), no results! (Holy cow.)
4: when I searched on warnock, I got a longish list of Warnock Pro varieties.
5: when I clicked on the first on of those, I got a huge PDF file showing the whole of the font. But no web page, and still no price! Also no link indicating how or where I could find a price, or buy the font. Major failure of a web store.

So I gave up, went back to the Google page, clicked on cached page, and found the pricing I was looking for ($35 for one width/variety, $199 for the whole set). I wonder how Adobe sells anything.

Indi (updated, more pictures)

I've posted Indi before, I just love her impish face.
And clearly she has a sense of humor too.

Thinking about opposites

[Thanks to Tommy for the vid.]
Thinking about opposites is very different from thinking in opposites. In fact, it's almost the opposite!

I realized a few ago, that in reality, opposites don't exist, they are a total fiction of the mind. And yet our thinking is so locked into them, we would hardly know how to think without them.

Mow the lawn

[Thanks to Ron]
"Whenever I see a weed, I mow that rascal down, so all that's left for me to see are tulips on a mound."

UK version:

The US version, a bit more subtle:


I just learned something practical from a discussion under a tOP article.
The article had mentioned how the author preferred to have the autofocus function separated from the shutter button. Somebody asked why, and somebody else said:

"There are many situations where you want to pre-focus the camera and use the same focus point for several pictures. If the shutter button focuses, then you lose the locked focus after each shot. Worse, you have to wait for the camera to focus every time you hit the button."

So I asked:
I never really thought about separating the autofocus function from the shutter button, but I'd like to try it. Does anybody know if I can do it with the Panasonic G1 or GF1?

And then continued:
(Why do they keep saying "RTFM" to me?) [Note: "Read The Friendly Manual".]
...OK, in the custom menu, if you set AF/AE lock to AF, and the AF/AE LOCK HOLD to On, then the AF lock button will hold the focus through several pictures until you press it again. (Or until the camera is turned off.)

Can also be helpful for faster operation, doing "zone focus", if you have the depth of field for it.

... Come to think of it, this also makes it easier to prefocus on a developing situation, since you no longer have to carefully keep the shutter button half-pressed, trying not to fully press it prematurely.

The more I think about it, the better I like this setting. It is rather accidental if the focus point is exactly in the center of my composition, and if I can set it with a separate button, then the shutter button operates much faster, and I don't have to think about holding while re-composing (or waiting).

One small danger does present itself: you might forget to turn off the focus-lock, and not notice (in a busy situation) that the camera does not focus before exposure. One would have to pay a little attention to that until getting used to it.
... Of course one can set the camera to not lock the focus after one picture, and yet use the AF button. (Hmmm, I'd like a setting where one press locks it for one picture, and two presses (or a long one) locks it until you press it again!)
(Hmm, I should look at the Function button (arrow down), I have never used that for much on most cameras, maybe it can expand the options. Update: sadly no, it only has a short range of pretty useless options, the most interesting to me is setting file quality.)
Note: does anybody know a way to get AE (auto-exposure) lock on the G1/GF1, once you have set the AE/AF button to AF only?

On a different but related subject: if I ran a camera company, I'd make a high quality compact camera with a small sensor, 28mm-e lens, 4.0 aperture, and no autofocus, just fix-focus. Even with a very good lens, it would be cheap, simple, and dead-fast to react. Should be popular.
What they at least should do is make it simple to set the camera to fix-focus for max dept-of-field.

... Please note that the bulk of this post (pre-focusing) applies equally well to situations where you do need accurate focus, but you have either good time to do it (more than three seconds), or almost no time (less than half a second).
... Actually, come to think about it, it's getting harder for me to imagine many situations where focusing being set by the shutter button is really an advantage. When you have to take a series of pictures where the focus point is off-center, it's a bit of a p.i.t.a. to got "fetch" it between each shot. (Other possibilities are manual focus or "follow-focus" or face recognition. But I think this button and lock is an excellent solution which deserves to be better known.)

Text on pictures

I've long been interested in mixing text and pictures, as potentially a means of heightening the measure of aesthetics and information in combination.
Simple comics is an example, but I suspect we have only scratched the surface of this field.
One problem is that it's very hard to combine the two so they don't clash. Almost any casual application of text on a picture is to the picture's aesthetic detriment. (At least in my opinion... it seems magazine layout-artists disagree.)
It helps if the text is only near the picture. But this also lessens the impact and the co-power.
Anyway, that's a huge field, but a simple little example of what I think is successful application which I had not foreseen, is Brooks Jensen's application of desktop publishing software to put titles on his fine art prints. I just now took this quick photo of my copy of his October Seas collection ("folio"). What do you think? Does it enhance the pictures, or the opposite?

They are pretty small prints, by the way, merely letter-sized, not even A4.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hahnemühle Photo Rag (updated twice)

I've bought some heavy-weight art/photo print paper, the highly regarded Hahnemühle Photo Rag, for my prints, not the least my BW prints.
I bought it at the company linked above. Here are some interesting points:
  • I somehow managed to get the paper (50 sheets A3, 308grams) more than thirty Pounds Sterling cheaper than the price they quote here, £144 (the latter also seems to be the typical price). I found that via Amazon UK, but I can't find it now. One has to be on the lookout for good offers in the Internet age!
  • Excellent service, I got UPS shipment for only five pounds, and the packaging was exemplary: bubble-wrap on all six sides around the big box of paper. Lovely.
  • The paper really is something, thick and stiff, and though pretty smooth, with a very tactile feel. I'm looking forward to seeing prints on it.

... Hahnemühle, there's a company which knows how to move with the times: apparently they've been in the paper business for over 400 years, and yet right now they are in the forefront of high-end inkjet paper. Good going.

Update: my very first attempt at a B/W print on this paper is very beautiful. And that's just printed straight with a color printer and no special settings. The print I'd made earlier of the sink on glossy Canon paper, I consider very good. But the Hahnemühle paper print seems to have more light, more "zing" in it somehow. Hard to pin down. It could be just that the highlights print a bit lighter on it.

Pascal said:
Speaking of large sheet, is this brand good for printing tabloids? By its name, sounds so. "Photo rag", seems like a clear slogan...

You're probably kidding, but nevertheless, I should interject that "rag" refers to the fact that cheap paper (like the stuff newspapers are printed on) is made from trees, it is acidic and it yellows and crumbles soon. High quality paper is made from cotton, often from shredded cotton rags, I'm not sure why rags instead of from cotton more directly, but that's the reference.

Update: funny enough I just now read that my Canon printer can't take papers above 270 grams per square meter. Lucky I didn't know that before I successfully printed on 308 grams paper!

Standing still and creativity

Pascal wrote in an email today:
"The creative mind hates standing still". (just made that up)

Pretty good. It is quite true, and is often a source of tension between an artist an the market/his audience. Because what the audience really want is to experience again what gave them pleasure in the first place.
But many artists get bored doing what they have already done once, they want to do something new. And the public might not like the new thing, so he gets angry.
Also the art dealer or other middle-man wants something predictable, otherwise it threatens his business.

Also, "to experience again what gave them pleasure in the first place" is of course not possible, since it already happened once, and if it's exactly the same, they'll normally be bored. So the challenge of "sequels" and series is to do the same, and yet something fresh. Not easy!


Talking about creativity, today I've gotten no entries at all in the BW Portrait photo competition... so your chances may be better than you think, and well, it's just for fun, go on.

iPhone art app

[Thanks to Ron M]
Here's an interesting new way of promoting art, put it for free on an iPhone app like Fabio Bressanello has done, and hope to sell some prints from it. Obviously like any promotion it can fail, but since it's free it could go viral and potentially become quite successful.

(An obvious idea for Domai too, but Apple has made it clear that nothing approaching nudity will get to or stay on the app store.) (It does seem from the link above that there are alternative app stores, but I wonder how successful they are.)

Couple jokes

Canadian Winter

An old woman lived on a small farm in Canada, just yards away from the North Dakota border. Her land had been the subject of a minor dispute between the United States and Canada for years. The widowed woman lived on the farm with her son and three grandchildren.

One day, her son came into her room holding a letter. "I just got some news, Mom," he said. "The government has come to an agreement with the people of North Dakota. They've decided that our land is really part of the United States. We have the right to approve or disapprove of the agreement. What do you think?"

"What do I think?" his mother said. "Sign it! Call them right now and tell them we accept! I don't think I can stand another Canadian winter!"

Parisian Furniture

A furniture salesman wanted to expand the line of furniture in his store, so he decided to visit Paris to see what he could find.

After arriving in the famed French capital, he met with some manufacturers and selected a line that he thought would sell well back home in the States.

To celebrate the new acquisition, he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine.

As he sat enjoying his wine, he noticed that the small place was quite crowded, and that the one other chair at his table was the only vacant seat in the house.

Before long, a very beautiful young Parisian woman came to his table, asked him something in French (which he did not understand), and motioned toward the chair. He invited her to sit down.

He tried to speak to her in English, but she did not speak the language. After a couple minutes of trying to communicate with her, he took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it to her. Her eyes lit up! She nodded, and he ordered a glass of wine for her.

After the two of them were sitting at the table drinking wine for a while, he took another napkin and drew a picture of a plate with food on it, and she nodded.

They left the bistro and found a quiet cafe that featured a small group playing romantic music. They ordered dinner and ate.

Then he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing. She nodded, and they got up and moved to the dance floor. They danced until the cafe closed and the band was packing up.

Back at their table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed. The man nodded.

To this day, he has no idea how she was able to figure out that he was in the furniture business!

From: "Ha Ha Funnies" mailing list,

Hh! Hh! Hh!

Just a funny little bit from a dream I had:
I was in an Eastern European avant-garde art-and-social-activism group's meeting rooms, which had nude female sculptures all over the place, some of them quite explicit.
They were playing some new music some of them had made, and one said: "But we are rude to our friend, he does not understand the language, he won't know what the song is about."
I replied: "I do know a little of the language, and about any song which has names for women's intimate parts in the lyrics, and a chorus which goes 'Hh! Hh! Hh!' (hip thrusts), I think I know what it's about!"


Anonymous said...
Even your dreams are square!

eolake said...
This is "square" to you? Wow, I'd like to hear what *your* life and dreams are like. Must be something.

Hmmm, I'm wondering if you got the impression from this post that I disapproved of the art or the music? I did not, I quite liked it.

"Recommend to your friends"

Look what I just came across on a web site:

Wow! They really took a wrong step there. To the site's webmasters, I would say:
mouth-to-mouth advertising is the best promotion you can get, and it's free for you. It is not in your own best interest to make people pay for the privilege of giving it to you.

On progress

It occurs to me that steady progress is often as desirable as fast progress, if not more so.

Why? Because with the marriage between the certainty of steady progress and the certainty of time progressing, victory is assured.

Monday, December 07, 2009


From Thom's camera-predictive article:
"2009 was also the year where DSLRs became video cameras for no particularly good reason. That's not to say that they aren't good video cameras--some of them are quite good at video. No, we're finally getting the impact of the newspaper craze of several years ago. You see, newspapers and news organizations buy large quantities of cameras at a time, which gets the makers interest. Back around the D2 generation, all those organizations thought that they needed to capture video, too. The goal was to send one person out into the field equipped with a camera, and that person would write the news story, take the still pictures, and capture video and interviews for the Web site. Call it Dreams of Productivity. Well, the makers listened. The engineers said it could be done, so it got the green light. And...well, the news organizations that asked for the capability are in deep financial difficulty and are finally starting to realize that it's a rare person that can do a quality written story, plus shoot quality stills and video all at once."

(Bolded by me.) Yes. I would be surprised if there are more than ten people on the planet who can do all those things really well. And such a talent is probably not very interested in working in a steady job as a journalist.

"What I'm not seeing from any major camera maker is a clarity of vision. They're busy grabbing at anything that looks like it might allow them to raise market share or product margin or both. Some of those things they grab at will turn out to be faux paths."

Faux paths! Hah! Beautiful.

The new CHANEL N°5 film

Another grab from tOP, The new CHANEL N°5 film. Man, they're using some kinda money making these commercials. Seriously, that is very, very lush, and expensive to make.

Hot mama. And lovely Leica too (M8, I think). Which can zoom, despite being a rangefinder camera, not bad!

I wish they'd used a real man instead of such a friggin' Pretty-boy. "Pretty-boy" is my term for a young male model/actor who seems to have no practical or intellectual qualities whatsoever beyond being pretty, and without a grain of strength or masculinity. (I do say "seeems to", because obviously I can't know, but some boys just strongly give that impression.) Am I the only one who hates Pretty-boys? (I wish I was only joking, but really, he gives me the heebie-jeebies.)

New Device Desirable, Old Device Undesirable

New Device Desirable, Old Device Undesirable, The Onion satiric article.
"The new device is an improvement over the old device, making it more attractive for purchase by all Americans," said Thomas Wakefield, a spokesperson for the large conglomerate that manufactures the new device. "The old device is no longer sufficient. Consumers should no longer have any use or longing for the old device."

New Study Reveals Most Children Unrepentant Sociopaths, another Onion article.
"According to the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a clinical diagnostic tool, sociopaths often display superficial charm, pathological lying, manipulative behaviors, and a grandiose sense of self-importance. After observing 700 children engaged in everyday activities, Mateo and his colleagues found that 684 exhibited these behaviors at a severe or profound level."

Also found via tOP: Thom's camera predictions. He always has some interesting observations.

And one more: need a space camera? Only little used, but quite expensive.

tOP was full of good links today, here is one about the UK police being admonished about unjustified harassment of photographers.

Cannibal Corpse Lounge Music

[Thanks to Pascal]

A guy named Andrew Hanson sets the lyrics Cannibal Corpse song "Rancid Amputation" to lounge music.

I'm guessing they print their lyrics in their CDs, because I can't understand a single word the CC frontman is "singing".


I love the fact that things which you need a manual for, like a PC (or Mac) do not come with one. But every time I buy a lens, which normally has one or two controls, it comes with a manual!

Granted, it tends to say things like (actual quote from a Panasonic lens manual):
"Take care not to drop the bag that you inserted the lens in as it may strongly shock the lens. The camera may stop operating normally and pictures may no longer be recorded. Also, the lens may be damaged."
How wonderful is that?

It also say twice "not to put a lot of pressure on the lens". I'm not even sure what that means. Not to say things like "this is a very good lens" when the lens can hear it?

And it says "do not carry the unit when it is still attached to the camera body". I suppose when the lens is on a camera, you can only leave it sitting at home on a table.

Aaaaaand it informs me that it should not be stored "where there is fire". Good to know.

"the pills they gave me..."

If you take a pill to make everything better, then you don't know when things are fucked up. If you don't know when things are fucked up, then you can't fix it yourself.
-- Alexa Junge, United States of Tara, Snow, 2009

I can imagine someone whose response to that would be: "well duh, that's why I take the pills they give me."

I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.
-- Terry Pratchett

Quite funny. But again, wouldn't that be the best reason to think outside it?

BTW, I'm reading Unseen Academicals, his newest discworld book. I like it a lot, especially considering it it taking place in the wizard world, and the wizards are my least favorite characters. But it has several very good and new characters who are not wizards.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Touching Stories From Billy Connolly

[Thanks to P04-Ref]
Touching Stories From Billy Connolly

1. When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole a bike and asked Him to forgive me.

2. My wife was in labor with our first child. She was shouting, "Get this out of me! Give me the drugs." She looked at me and said, "You did this to me you bastard!"
I casually replied, "If you would care to remember, I wanted to stick it up your ass but you said, 'It'll be too painful'."

3. I went to an extremely attractive female doctor today for my annual checkup.
She told me that I had to quit masturbating.
I asked why.
She said, "Because I am trying to examine you."

Ivor said:
Alas, your praises are misdirected. As far as I am aware, the stolen bike joke is the work of Emo Philips, one of the best joke writers in the world (I want to pass away peacefully in my sleep like my grandad. Not kicking and screaming like the passengers in his car).
Joke attribution is such a huge injustice.

Yeah, it's a difficult thing.


I enjoy being a highly overpaid actor.
-- Roger Moore

Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn't seem to be working.
-- Anonymous

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
-- Jack London

Cocaine is God's way of saying that you're making too much money.
-- Robin Williams

Google fading in

Recently, the Google home page has been loading for me in an odd way: first comes the logo, the search field, and the buttons, all in an instant. And then, fading in over a second, comes all the links and text. And actually fading in, not blinking on like usual.
Do you have the same experience? Any idea how it's done?
... This is for Safari. I just checked with Firefox (Mac), and the text and links never arrive, it seems. Odd.
Just tried again, and this time the links did arrive after a couple seconds. Very odd.

I imagine the why of the matter is to make the page ready for use with optimum speed, without having to wait for less essential content, which then is loaded at leisure.

Google itself, as usual, to the rescue.
"... the additional links on the homepage only reveal themselves when the user moves the mouse."


Sharpness in photos, value and not

Michael Johnston has made another intelligent article, questioning the need for more sharpness always.

One of his commenters said:
""The sharper the better" is a truism that plagues the photography world and chatter like a disease."

Yeah. Our minds too. Mine at least. I know better. Many of my favorite pictures in the world are not sharp at all. And yet I can't seem to let go of the constant quest for sharpness and detail.

Some part of it is that sometimes it really is a plus, and can add artistic value.
But another part is that it takes discipline and knowledge to achieve, and once you start on that, the quest takes on its own life, and you start to equate higher numbers as "better" overall. Sort of like the guy who is on a road-trip holiday, and he thinks that the more distance he covers in a day, the better he is doing...


I've only watched some of Gridlock'd so far, but so far it's both raw and very funny.

Not to mention it has both Thandie Newton and Lucy Liu in it. Wow, talk about your ethnic beauties... these are some heavy-duty attractive ladies. Siiiiiigh....