Saturday, January 01, 2011

A big wave of tablets

On my ereader blog, I have a new post about the big 2011 wave of new tablets from a host of companies, following the iPad which was released in April last year.

Babies have no tension

Babies can really have fun.

Once on a train I saw twin babies on the laps on their parents. The were looking around, and I noticed their heads swivelled like they were on ball bearings. Man, I said, those guys really don't have much tension, do they?

Friday, December 31, 2010

All you need

Salt and knife; all you need in life.


"Everybody has two kidleys." 

"Do you mean kidneys?" 

"I said kidneys, didl't I?"

Cold or warm post

New post on my "ghost" blog, about cold/warm persons.

Happy new year to you all. And thanks for everything.

Update: CM said:
If only there were an index so one could easily search and find certain posts - Eo, is there an app for that? yet?

There's only the search field in upper left.

Or google. Use the tag:

(with no spaces.)

and the search words you wish. 

Quotes Fri 31 Dec

Journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.
           -- G. K. Chesterton

I hate women because they always know where things are.
           -- James Thurber

I am no more humble than my talents require.
           -- Oscar Levant

There are 350 varieties of shark, not counting loan and pool.
           -- L. M. Boyd

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A couple of iOS app I find interesting

Two iOS app I find interesting:
Spyglass (video). Interesting with compass overlaying map or camera.

Remote Conductor. (what it can do). Highly interesting as a control and trackpad. Only it seems to be clumsy with selecting multi-word text and dragging things, just like the Mac Trackpad is. Although I think their three-finger drag helps a little.

A few years ago these things could not be done, or would be much more expensive or something like that, as a friend said to me recently.       :-)

The same is true for Aiptek's 3D camcorder.


Ah, new iCandy (to coin a word) app: Living Earth. It can even show almost-real-time clouds. And you can tilt the globe and set it spinning in different speeds with a finger flick! Kewl. Or of course it can just show you a real time image of your location.

Oh, and here is another writer who finds smartphones mind-boggling

Prescient AT&T ads from early nineties

Voiced by Tom Selleck.

Snowflakes... even closer

[Thanks to dVice.]
Man, these pictures are nuts! Love 'em.
More pictures.

[Update: Andreas found these, very nice.]

Sally from Peanuts claimed to see two snowflakes exactly alike... "There! Right there! Exactly alike! ... Oh, they've fallen now."

Slides are catching on in companies

No no, now!

Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off.
-- Ellen DeGeneres

I'm reminded of a conversation during a walk with a good friend. She talked about how she really would love to have more patience. I said: "it'll come as you get older."
She replied: "No, I want patience now!"

It was clear from her face she was aware of the beautiful irony of that statement.

Nothing is objective

Our reader Karrde wrote:
"I am also the kind of news-reader who likes to pick apart the facts in the news, and ignore or dispute commentary that is disguised as news-reporting."

Indeed. I realized a few years ago that the newspapers' biggest conceit and deceit is that they do objective reporting. They can't, because there is simply no such thing as an objective viewpoint.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Afraid of Americans - David Bowie

An interviewer asked Bowie what he was telling us about Americans with this song. Bowie said words to the effect of "relax, it's just a sardonic joke".

Cool version here!

Elvis Costello - Watching The Detectives

Another old top fave.
I never found out who those detectives were though!

(I searched for The Long Honeymoon, but couldn't find it.)

Found my third old Costello fave though!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. CGI movie.

I guess it's a kid's story. A kid would love a town covered in ice cream, and ice cream snowball fights. I'm sitting there, an over-thinking too-adult, and I see the insane mess when it melts...

But: it's spectacularly lavishly produced. Scary so much manpower and computing power it must have taken. But beautiful visually.
And, it is quite funny. Actually, when you get into the abstract tone of the thing, it's darn funny. And there's some stuff for advanced audience like the line: "come on, we got some carpe to diem!"

Controversial issues and the finger

A writer on American Dad made an interesting observation: the big problem in the show is not the political issues, like a whole show drastically making fun of gays (seemingly), but, get this, whether a character is allowed to wave his nose at somebody! Or much worse, to give somebody the finger. (Though they are four-fingered.)

This is interesting to me: you just can't show a middle raised finger on US TV. Why is this gesture so incredibly offensive? The guy being interviewed did not even make the gesture, I guess he knew it couldn't be shown, he just waved his hand a bit up, and we all immediately knew which gesture he was referring to.

You can feel it too: I don't think you can give anybody in the Western World the finger and not immediately grossly offend them.
I am realizing I have no idea if it has the same meaning in the Eastern World, anybody know?

Even bigger "fingers".

Kitty hold-up

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex

"Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1.5 TB USB 3.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive"

"FreeAgent GoFlex"... are you kidding me? :-)

But what a sexy drive. 1.5TB portable too!?

(And you can get it down to 150 bucks, cheap if you ask me.)

(Thanks to Joe Kissell, tech writer,

Oliver Onions - Santa Maria

Here's another oldie.
I remember when I played it a few times back as a teen, a friend of mine was visiting, he heard those falsetto vocal and he burst out laughing, and asked "what the h*ll is that? Is it a parody!??"
But you know, I just really like it. Sure, overt pop, but good pop in my view. Love the melody.

(Thanks to Carter for helping me stumble over the song again after the millennium.)

Santa Baby

That is an amazingly brilliant song.  (Sorry xmas is past.)
I don't even know this minute which version I like better, Eartha Kitt's or Kylie's, they're both top notch. How sexy can you sound?
(I remembered this one cuz reader Ray mentioned Kylie's new controversial video All The Lovers. Not bad song.)

I remember the first time I heard Kitt's version on the radio. It just pulled me in... what is that!?...

Amazing: thanks to TCGirl for  finding the video. I've never seen this before. Golddurn.
Like she says: a very funny song. ("think of all the fellas I haven't kissed...") And a risque outfit for the time!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cibo Matto - Sugar Water (Video)

Cibo Matto - Sugar Water (Video)

I just had to post this one again, I just love that song and I have for a decade.

Stan Smith salute

I'm re-watching American Dad from scratch. That show is really surprisingly, extraordinarily good.
Just for one thing, apart from the excellent satire, they can pack three jokes and a whole sub-plot into ten seconds of show, and I don't think that's   even exaggerating, it's astounding.

Good qoutes this Tuesday

It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.
           -- Konrad Lorenz

There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes.
           -- Doctor Who

We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.
           -- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
           -- George Santayana, Life of Reason (1905) vol. 1, Introduction

Why I don't like Twitter?

... I just realized why I don't like Twitter: I don't have the attention span to get through 140 characters.

Hitch a Christmas ride

It was the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco. The pastor of the church was walking by the nativity display when he noticed the baby Jesus was missing from the cradle.

Immediately, he turned and went outside. Off in the distance, he saw a little boy pulling a red wagon with what looked to be the missing baby Jesus inside.

Walking closer, he saw it was the missing infant, so he approached the boy. "Well, where did you get Him, my fine friend?" he asked.

The little boy replied, "I got Him from the church."

"And why did you take Him?" the priest asked.

The boy said, "Well, about a week before Christmas, I prayed to the little Lord Jesus that if He would bring me a new red wagon for Christmas, I would give Him a ride around the block in it."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Carmen Electra is funny too

Stick it out, it changes tack!

Natalie Portman to wed

Natalie Portman to wed..., article.
... and pregnant too.

She is not only beautiful, she's an outstanding actress (which the Star Wars movies sadly did not show). I've been a fan of her since her first movie Leon (The Professional). (Brilliant movie too, albeit violent.)

White Christmases defined

Ray found on Wikipedia.....
White Christmases defined

The view of what constitutes a white Christmas varies from country to country. In most countries, it simply means that the ground is covered by snow at Christmas, but some countries have more strict definitions. In the United States, the official definition of a white Christmas is that there has to be a snow depth of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) on Christmas morning,[1] and in Canada the official definition is that there has to be more than 2 cm (0.79 in) on the ground on Christmas Day. [2] In the United Kingdom, although for many a white Christmas simply means a complete covering of snow on Christmas Day, the official definition by the British Met Office and British bookmakers is for snow to be observed falling, however little even even if it melts before it reaches the ground, in the 24 hours of 25 December.[3][4] Consequently, according to the Met Office and British bookmakers, even 3 ft (91 cm) of snow on the ground at Christmas, because of a heavy snow fall a few days before, will not constitute a white Christmas, but a few snow flakes mixed with rain will, even if they never reach the ground.

You need official, technical definitions of "white christmas"? How crazy are humans?

Alex said:
In Britain you can legally bet on any legal activity or natural phenomenon. The book maker and the better need to agree on terms. A legal definition for a popular bet, like white Christmas, will save a lot of aggravation down the road, and may have been settled in a court of law, with Met Office input.
For recording history, again a subjective term like White Christmas has no true meaning.

Interesting, thank you. Having never gambled, I didn't see that angle.

Snow Sunset by Joe

Reader Joe took this beautiful photo of late day over snow.
I experimented with upping the contrast, but ended up deciding, against my early training, that Joe's own version is best, it has a certain soft atmosphere, some je ne sais quoi.

(Click for big pic.)

In the old days in the photo club, many of them were much into Ansel Adams' Zone System, and it was sacrilege to make a photo which did not go nicely all the way from pure white to pure black (or had any white or black areas without detail).
As Mike Johnston has pointed out though, Adams made the Zone System for teaching purposes, not as directions for art. Important point there.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Temperature oddity (updated)

Does anybody else have the experience that even when the room temperature is the same, you still feel colder when it's frost outside?
Physically, I mean. Very odd, I think.

I think I got it!
TCGirl found this...
"Believe it or not, your body and all other objects are always giving off or absorbing heat by radiation. Heat transfer by radiation goes from a hotter object to a cooler object - like from the sun to earth, or from hot coals to you, or from your body to the cold walls of a lonely castle on a dark and stormy night."

Doesn't quite explain it, but I realized: the thermometers, unlike a body, are probably only reading the air temperature.
The other source of heat which we normally don't think about is radiation heat. From the walls! In warm weather, it's considerable, in frost it goes away, and this might well make it a lot harder to keep a good body temperature.

Which says to me that a building in a cold climate really should be very well insulated all around, otherwise you might never be really comfortable. I don't think higher air temperature is a good substitution for all that radiation, it warms the body in a very different way. (Not sure how, yet.)

Ray said:
One trick I use is to have a fan circulating the air, just to make sure that the heat is distributed evenly. Sometimes, that can make a difference, because without that, the heat may be going up the walls toward the ceiling without warming central parts of the rooms. Seems to work for me.

A said:
There is a scale called the Bedford Comfort index which takes account of air temperature, humidity, radiant temperature of surrounding etc to come up with an index. I was able to demonstrate to a class of students that their subjective estimate of comfort within a classroom matched pretty well with values using this scale from appropriate measurements.

Well, there you are then, thank you. Interesting.

Photo mags and libraries

I've been addicted to photo magazines since I was fourteen. Especially some Swedish ones which were big and outstanding quality (I guess I can read Swedish because my mother was Swedish. It's a bit similar to Danish, but there are many, many words which are very different, enough so many people just switch to English between the countries). (I can't speak it though. I ought to be able to, but I seem to have a block there. There's something about the cadence which is really different from Danish.)

I was reminded of a funny little story: in the nineties I lived close to an excellent library, and *man* did I get some use out of that. I devoured tons of books, magazines, CDs, comics.
One of the things I enjoyed was archived hardbound collections of photo magazines. (When they had a full year they bound them and archived them.) I got all of those that I could, usually needed help because they had to get them in from elsewhere.
I actually wonder now if anybody else where ever reading those, except in the very rare case that there was something very specific in an old mag they had to look up? Considering this, it's an excellent service and practice by the libraries, I think.

One day I was talking to a librarian about yet another one of those hardbound collections to be retrieved, and two other librarians where standing close, and they laughed good-naturedly. The first librarian looked at them, and one of them explained: “you’re the only one here so far this guy had not yet gotten hold of to get these things.”

The Internet age's story of nativity

This is apparently some kind of ad, but I don't care, it's just too brilliant.
(Oh, you can turn down the sound low, it's just Jinglebells all the way through the video, a bit much.)

New semi-pro video camera

Sony has made one of the first compact-ish video cameras with a large sensor and exchangeable lenses, the NEX-VG10. Here is a (video) test report on it. Sounds like it's excellent. Although sadly the reviews on Amazon are very mixed (at least so far, but there are only six of them today).

Anyway, good trend for sure. Especially since the price, around $2000 including a long zoom, is very reasonable, I had a-feared that when they started making real video cameras (not DSLRs) with large sensors, the prices would be crazy, like they were for many years with semi-pro and pro (non-HD) digital video cameras.