Saturday, October 08, 2011

Danica Patrick

What an amazingly beautiful face she has.
"Race car driver" wouldn't have been my first guess!

Twinings commercial

This is just exceptional animation, you could pull at least eight paintings from these 60 seconds.

(HD here.)

Tutorial: Painting Realistic Eyes

Tutorial: Painting Realistic Eyes, article.

I remember when I was young and learning to draw and paint, eyes took a lot of time, because for all that most people probably think of them as dots in circles, they are actually quite stunningly complex.

A great invention for fighting

I have an invention which would have ensured many, many more fight victories for the Jedi Knights and for the wizards in Harry Potter's world:
A wrist-strap for their light sabres and their wands.

I can believe that a guy can fly on a broom, teleport, and lift objects with his mind. But it really pushes my suspense of disbelief to the breaking point that nobody ever thought to put wrist-straps on those things. They drop them in every dang battle they are in!


Barely related...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Drunk and happy

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
           -- George Bernard Shaw

It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought.
           -- John Kenneth Galbraith

I'm actually not sure if Galbraith was being sarcastic. But it's interesting to see it in counterpoint with the Shaw quote. 

The funny thing is that many people in this world would in earnestness argue that being happier when drunk is actually the whole point, and that alcohol is a great thing. If one has markedly less intelligence and control while drunk, gets hangovers and ruins the liver, that's a minor price to pay. 
Well, it's all just beliefs in a subjective world. Uhm, which actually is closer to the points of the two quotes... 
I wonder, can you have a "firm anchor" in nonsense, if you are aware that it is nonsense? 

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.94 pct.

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.94 pct, article.
Good lawd, that may be less than the current inflation!

Ooooh, these are very strange times indeed. From some observers it sounds like what we may experience is not so much a "double dip" as it's a stumble and then a fall like Wile E. Coyte off a cliff. British magazine Money Week has a new ad which strongly warns against any investment positions in: 1: most stocks, 2: The Euro, 3: real estate, 4: government bonds. That's practically everything normally considered safe as houses! (Ooops, houses, not safe now! Not as investment anyway.)

Steve Jobs RIP

Steve Jobs has uploaded to that big server in the Cloud. He will be missed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Contigo Autoseal Travel Mug (updated)

I've been using the Thermos travel mug for a couple of years, but I was never happy with its insulation. The metal surface gets burning hot to hold, which is a sad indication of how it holds on the heat of the liquid, or rather not. Also, it's not tight (and not meant to be), if you tip it over, it'll spill somewhat.

So I got the Contigo Autoseal Travel Mug instead (on the left here). So far, way better, It's completely tight, and when you drink from it, you press a spring button on the back, which opens the smallish opening (right-sized) to drink from.

And it holds the heat much better. The Thermos mug uses "foam" insulation (don't know what the foam is made of, but I'm not impressed), the Contigo uses vacuum. And the outside of the Contigo mug hardly gets warm at all. And of course, at the end of a (really) leisurely drunk mug full of tea, it is still hot at the end, which I couldn't say about the Thermos mug.

Indeed the foam insulation takes up more space inside the mug, but it's still much less efficient. 

I wonder how they seal the vacuum so tight that it will last for years, not air seeping in at all? 


 Ray said...
Strange that Thermos would let itself be outdone by a competitor when it was Thermos that originally
made it big with glass vacuum bottles held in place inside a metal casing decades ago. They were fragile in the sense that dropping it could break the glass, which was relatively thin, but if cared for, they worked like a charm for years.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...
Yes, exactly! I thought Thermos was king.

But the Thermos one eats *so* much heat. Even after pre-heating it with boiled water for three minutes, no less, I still had to heat the milk when making tea. If I did that with the Contigo, the tea would scald me for at least an hour. Very remarkable.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Olympus E-PL3 Pen Lite

Olympus E-PL3 Pen Lite with Franier grip and the brand new 45mm F:1.8 portrait lens. Beautiful.
It's the littlest portrait lens I've ever seen. The lens cap is barely larger than a 2-£ coin.

Bokeh test at full opening. Very promising, though I have yet to test it in daylight.
Top image with noise reduction in software, lower one without. ISO 1600. Good result for a M4/3 sensor, the first full frame Canon 5D didn't do it all that much better. And nice soft bokeh (background blur).

By request, a comparison between Olympus 45mm F:1.8 and the great little Pentax 70mm F2.4. (For different formats, so the use is roughly the same.) Similar in bulk, the Pentax is shorter, but fatter. Slightly heavier (all metal), but in this class it hardly matters. The Pentax sits on a bigger camera (a DSLR), but also a more capable one, ultimately. 

Monday, October 03, 2011


Cover version of an old Gasolin' fav fave.
Ala-tin-gala is a nonsense word so far as I know.
Unfortunately it does not seem there's a video version of Gasolin's own famous extended version from their excellent double album Live Sådan. (Rough translation: "Live; that how you do it".) One couldn't have imagined a better Live collection, they were in absolute top form all the way through.
(iTunes UK has many Gasolin collections, but I only found this one on CD. For big fans I recommend the Black Box.)

Tyve meter henne af en rendesten 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
Der sad en lille dreng og så på dameben 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
Så kom en abbedisse med portvinstud 
og skældte ham ud. 
En millionær og en minister gik en aftentur 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
De kyssed' hinanden i et cykelskur 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
De sagde hej hej jeg elsker dig 
hvis du stemmer på mig. 
En luder og en lommetyv, på Jammers Plads 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
De spilled' boogie woogie på en Fender bas 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
Så kom der en guru med det 11. Bud 
men ham smed de ud. 
En gammel mand med tømmermænd og stjerneskud 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
Han sad på en trappesten og spotted' mig ud 
åh ja, Alla-Tin-Gala. 
Han sa' der' sikkert mange ting du meget bedre forstår 
om mange år. 
Ok, gamle dreng sagde jeg, og hva' så det? 

Sunday, October 02, 2011

SF city

Thanks to Norm  for sending me this wallpaper art.
Andreas found the artist via TinEye: Staszek Marek. It has different sizes (I got one for my Cinema Display, perhaps the size reads the screen size of the visitor.)

I have always been fond of SF imagery, especially urban. As an example, my favorite part of the fourth Star Wars movie (Phantom Menace) was the great city scenes, like the street view with the café.

Achievement poster

(From Warning: the promotion of their merchandise is so huge and in-your-face that it almost removes any interest in seeing their actual content. Big flunk for that.) 

Heart of Glass

Lord, what a stunning woman. I remember watching this video at 15 on prime time TV with the family when it was new, and I couldn't believe it. I grunted something to the effect, and my mother said: "actually I'd be curious as to what your ideal girl would be". And I said: "Well, her!" 

Of course this song and album Parallel Lines were outstanding too, and I became an instant Blondie fan.

Pelpina and batmanning

I love Dutch web shot hostess Pelpina. One guess why. That's right, it's because she likes technology like I do.