Saturday, October 09, 2010

From zero to hero

Here's a funny real life story, just happened to one of me mates. He's about to shoot the video for a TV commercial, and he has his Nikon D3100 (I saw it, it's very charming, I'd like one) set up, it will handle it easily, top pro image quality.

But the customer comes in and says: "no way, buster, that's a still camera, we need a professional video camera on this job."

So my mate thinks for half a sec and says: "not to worry, of course I only use this one for measuring the setup and such, and then I bring in the pro gear. So while the customer is out, he puts video rails under the Nikon, mounts it with a professional video lens hood, you know the huge ones with swinging gates and everything, and he puts a shoulder grip and a focus grip on also.

So the customer comes in, looks, and say: "hey, well done, I'm glad you brought in the professional video camera, go ahead".

Very impressive professional video camera, n'est pas?

Frances Dilorinzo

Life is...

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans." 
--  Allen Saunders

"Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Does this mean that content is not king after all?

By the way, I just found this in the middle of my notes of important things, I have no idea where it's from or why I noted it down, but I think it's very lyrical and funny:

"There is that to be said for a hairless head", the schoolmaster crowed, almost dancing on his desk.

Make me a leather bag

I've been trying to find somebody to make me a simple leather bag to hold my iPad and Apple Wireless keyboard (together they are about 20x30x4 centimeters). It's surprisingly hard. Does anybody know anybody who does that?

Right now I'm considering this. I think it will just fit the keyboard also, which is only 4cm longer than the iPad. I already have a Crumpler carrier bag, a bigger one, and I really like it. Strong and very useful.

A crane

My friend, Italian artist Umbra, currently visiting my ol' stomping grounds in Copenhagen, snapped this great pic of a crane, with a Canon G11.

More from Irv Thomas

I was visited this week by Irv Thomas, I took this pic Thursday.
In his eighties, he is currently on a tour of Europe!

And he has lived on the road for long stretches of his life, money-free.
There is much of interest to be learned, see my earlier post.
"The desire to get laid is a honey-in-the-pot trap for staying with the old grind, just like money and fame are. With your nose always buried in the pot, however, you really can't see what lies beyond it. And you tend to discount whatever anyone says lies beyond it. But let me tell you a couple of truths I've learned to live by..."

Mounts and stands

Here's a brilliant camera mount and stand for the iPhone 4. (Info via TMO.)

And a very cute oldie-timey-TV holder for iPad.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Nerds and informality and covering up

Nerds don't just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.
-- Paul Graham

I don't have the brains to be a nerd, but I have the aspiration. When I won a position in the Writers Of The Future contest and there was this big event in United Nations, I was the only male in the whole hall who turned up without jacket and tie.

I just have an allergic reaction to formality of all kinds. It seems to me to all too easily become a cover for a lack of some kind. Formal speech can cover that you really don't like the other person, and formal dress can cover that you suspect that you really don't qualify for being there (whereever "there" is).

And for places, say restaurants, which won't let you in if you are not formally dressed, well... I guess they are trying to cover up that their exorbitant prices don't really pay for anything much.

Pibgorn comic

[Thanks to Charles.]

Pibgorn comic by Brooke McEldowney.
Cool succubus.

Effective artist. I like how he makes the hair from a single, simple black shape and just one long lone strand of hair floating free. Really works.

No baggage challenge

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Finally, a non-sissy dustbuster

Dustbuster? No mate, this is a Dyson! Hardest, toughest mofo hand-vacuumer in the wurhld.

Little red wagon

[Thanks to Kirk.]

Very kewl custom car.

Weezer offered $10m to split up

Weezer offered $10m to split up, Guardian article.
A group of frustrated music fans want Weezer to break up, and they're willing to pay them. Claiming the band has never improved on their 1996 album Pinkerton, the organisers of a new campaign hope to raise $10m to convince Weezer to pack it in and stop "disappointing" fans. "This is an abusive relationship," the project's creator said. "It needs to [end]."

Too flippin' funny.

Ganesha in Copenhagen

Our friend Ganesha Games is currently visiting Copenhagen.
He writes these observations:

  • All Danish women are cute, long-legged blondes with a bicycle and a miniskirt. For some reason, they all dress in black.
  • All Danish speak English, making learning the Danish language pointless. Today I was approached by a bum, told him "sorry I do not speak Danish" and he replied in English " Well sir, I was just asking you for some change to buy a bus ticket".
  • There are more bicycles in Copenhagen than mysteries in Nature.


Ever photograph a golf ball hit by a master, while it's still inches from your lens? Bet he got a black eye, there's speed in them things.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Unit automatically becomes portable when carried

[Thanks to Cap Kirk]

Splendid optical illusions

Splendid optical illusions.

(This was made in a 3D printer!)

These were made in metal. Somehow!

The B.A.T. mobile

The Alfa Romeo B.A.T. mobile.

Propeller jetpack

A "jetpack" with propellers instead of jets. I guess it's safer. More so, it should be commercially available one day.
I just hope I get one before my neighbors, for I'm sure they'll be noisy!

Panasonic GH2

I said a couple days ago: "(I can't believe they haven't updated the GF1 yet. I hope they'll do something great with it, unlike with the G2, which was a pretty trivial update.)"

 Well, how about that. No GF2 yet, but there's a GH2, and it has just what I was looking for: (at least claims of) super-fast handling and autofocus (they say it's faster than a good DSLR!), and much-improved high-ISO performance.
It would surprise me if these are not real, and if they don't also make it into the next-gen GF camera. Kewl.

Update: Yes, it is super-fast, but it depends on the lens. The 14-140mm lens is designed to be extra fast. The older 20mm lens is much slower in focusing.

Aging rock stars

Google goggles

Embryonic technology, but very promising.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Scratched Glasses Give Perfect Vision For Any Eyesight

Scratched Glasses Give Perfect Vision For Any Eyesight, Gizmodo article.

I'd like to try those, I'm tired of changing 'round between normal and reading glasses alda time.
Hmm, of course they may not help me, since I got astigmatism on both eyes too.

Rasterbrillen or pinhole glasses (see comments):

Neeraj says that the world through the pinhole glasses looks "Funny - maybe like looking through a bug's or fly's eye. As I have mentioned: You have to get used to integrate the superposition of all the single pictures of every hole, which needs some time and training."

Toshiba's glasses-less 3D TV

Toshiba's glasses-less 3D TV, article and sort-of video (well, they say one should get the gist of the video despite it being in Japanese, but I must say I didn't get a ghost of a gist). I don't get how each eye gets a different picture without necessarily being at a very precise spot in the room.

Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck

New Panasonic pancake

One of my mostest favorite lenses ever is the ultra-compact and yet fast and very sharp Panasonic 20mm F:1.7 lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. This is an equivalent of a 40mm normal lens. And now they are coming out with a 28mm-equivalent lens, a 14mm F:2.5 pancake lens (because it's so flat). If this one is even close to the quality of the 20mm one, I shall definitely have it. The Panasonic GF1 with a pancake lens fits in a jeans pocket, and yet is a fast and full quality camera in most respects. (The one limitation being that if light gets really low, you'll need a camera with a bigger sensor.)

It's harder to make good wideangle lenses, but this is a rather slower lens (one stop slower), so I think there's hope it can be about as good as the 20mm.

For sure the size is amazing: even smaller than the 20mm, and only 55 grams! That's ridiculous.

I think a good walk-around gear would be a Pentax K-x or K-r with the outstanding and very compact 70mm F:2.4, and the Panasonic GF1 with the 14mm lens, in a pocket. The Pentax won't fit in a pocket, but you can sling it onto your back when using the wide-angle camera.

Why not use a zoom? Hard to say. There's a bit of snobbery to it, perhaps, but you do get extra zing to the pictures with a good prime lens, and they are much more compact. And there's a peculiar pleasure in composing to a fixed focal length, even as there's also much convenience in the instant composing with a zoom.

(I can't believe they haven't updated the GF1 yet. I hope they'll do something great with it, unlike with the G2, which was a pretty trivial update.)

Saved the whale

[Thanks to Ron]
Saved the whale, nice story.

It's true we shouldn't anthropomophize everything will-nilly, but we also don't have any reason for saying that whales can feel gratitude or want to express it. They are warm-blooded creatures after all, and many sea mammals have exhibited very intelligent and aware behavior.

Monday, October 04, 2010

"On Spec"

"On Spec" is one of the paper-mag conterted-to-digital I am trying a subscription with. The ods of being blown away by the fiction are small, statistically, but I really like this cover, if nothing else.

[Dang, today and yesterday it takes aaaages to upload a simple picture to Blogger, wonder whaz hap.]

More quotes, thought-provoking

It is a fine thing to establish one's own religion in one's heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.
           -- D. H. Lawrence

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.
           -- Socrates

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
           -- Dr. Robert Schuller

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
           -- Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, 1954

Think twice before you speak, and then you may be able to say something more insulting than if you spoke right out at once.
           -- Evan Esar, Esar's Comic Dictionary

I hope that when I die, people say about me, 'Boy, that guy sure owed me a lot of money.'
           -- Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Magazine subs and "Zinio"

It seems fortunately that unlike with books, digital editions of magazines are priced very reasonably. I just found out that one of my old faves, Britain's biggest photography weekly magazine, Amateur Photographer, is sold via Zinio. One issue is a bit over 2 Pounds Sterling like the paper version, not very impressive. But then fifty issues, a full year, is only 25 pounds. That's more like it!

Zinio seems like a good service. Buying was quick and simple, like the best online shops I have tried. Second time I bought I didn't have to type in card data and such, only my password.
And delightfully, the digital magazines are not scans, not even very good scans, they are full PDF files (or PDF-like), meaning when you zoom in on the text, it's dead sharp. That's lovely for readability.

And it gets better, you can even click a little "text" button to see only the text in one wide column, a choice of two text sizes, so you don't have to scoot the page around on the iPad to follow the meanderings of the columns between the pictures and ads. This goes above and beyond the call of duty, I give them an A for this. 

... All right, perhaps A-minus. Sometimes it's tricky to coordinate where you are on the text pages compared to the graphic pages (the "text" button sometimes isn't there). And it would be nice with more choices for text size and fonts. And if they were to really perfect it, they might put in the pictures on lines by themselves in the text view, like Instapaper does it. Best of both worlds. 

Same page, different mode:

The first divorce

[Thanks to Ron and Ray]

Good fun. But touches on one of those things I don't get. A friend of a friend fell in love with a Russian girl. The second she was in England and they got married, she got her boyfriend out of Russia, divorced him, and got half his money.
Say wha...? They'd been married for two days! How can she possibly have earned half of everything, in any way, shape, or form? How do the courts justify this kind of thing?

Ray strikes again

Awesome shot, dude.