Saturday, July 21, 2012

The break-neck speed of invention!

Saw this on Laurie Jeffery's blog. Notice the counterweights!
Nope, nobody used it, thanks god.

(Photo: Laurie Jeffery.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

[Updated] London 2012 Olympic Coins: What We Can't Tell You

Another zinger: resellers of London 2012 Olympic commemorative coins are not allowed to use the terms "London", "2012", or "Olympic"! ROTFL.

There is a big wave of protests and getting-around the rules.

A good disclaimer

The disclaimer pictured below is from one of those very short, self-published Success books that promise like "25 business secrets guaranteed to work". It must be the funniest disclaimer I've read yet.

I particularly like:
"... the author is still not an expert and doesn't know about all possible nuances and details. Therefore this book doesn't mean to put you in trouble at all - no, not at all!!!"
Including the three exclamation marks. Very legalese!     :-)

I read Amazon's sample, and the 25 "secrets" (the word is actually in quotation marks in the very long title) are sound, but unsurprising. "Don't believe everything you hear," "do a lot of marketing," "outsource your work" and such.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"I'm a Hipster and you're so Mainstream"

I am curious: what do you think of this guy?

Painting on Water

Cheat sheet: he transfers it to paper near the end, and the result is quite striking. Bet they sell like hotcakes.

Update: Bert found this one. How dang nimble!

These do sell like hotcakes, 'cept it's cold candy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nothing to add to this

Thanks to tOP, which got this comment:
Featured Comment by Glenn Allenspach: "My wife's siblings are scattered about the U.S. these days, so they don't get together but about once a year any more. The last time the five siblings, their Mom, assorted husbands, wives, kids, etc. were all together there was also a birthday. After the birthday cake was carried into the room, Youngest Sister announced to the gathering, 'I just took a picture of the cake and posted it on Facebook!' And they all whipped out their cell phones to look...."

Facebook thoughts...

Newest meme:

"I used to wonder what it would be like to be able to read other people's minds. Then I got a Facebook account, and now I'm over it." 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Results of photo contest Light From A Low Sun

Results of photo contest Light From A Low Sun.
It was a tough run, I don't think two judges out of ten would get the same results. Good show, folks!

First, here is a web gallery with winners, honorable mentions, plus finalists! (More pictures than you see on this page, all worth seeing in full size.)

[All images are clickable.]
Here are the honorable mentions:

Alan Dicker
The photograph is of three girls fishing on a jetty at Lake Illawarra as the sun sets.

Andreas Weber
A low sun doesn't necessarily mean late or early in the *day*. It was actually going on midday when I shot the sunlight just grazing a frozen lake - on the 30th of November. Taken at the "Bärenseen" (translates to "bear lakes") near Stuttgart in the Wild South of Germany - 48°45'42" N 9°5'25" E, on the 30.11.2010, 11:37 hours. Camera was a Nikon D3, lens the PC-E Micro Nikkor f:2.8/85 mm, tilted down approx. 2° to get the entire stretch of ice into focus.

Etienne Edberg
(Rolls of hay in plastic in Fyledalen in Southern Sweden.)

John Stephen
Photo taken at sunset, with the Pacific Ocean and the western horizon in view. Location: Canon Beach, OR USA. Objects in view: The rocks at left are called "The Needles." The rock at right is the 72 meter high "Haystack Rock", one of the largest free-standing monoliths in the world.

Oliver Georges
Taken in February 2012 over Germany from an airplane. The low sun is hidden by the end of the wing, allowing to see the sunset without flares.

Russell Scheid
This is Abiqua Falls located near Silverton, Oregon. The rays through the mist of the falls lasted for about 10 minutes and then they disappeared. It was a magical experience just to be there.

Steve Biederman
This is a shot of the Palouse Falls, located in Washington state in the US. An intense storm had been clearing and had some beautiful light on the cliffs at sunset. A 76 second exposure was used to give the water a soft look and create that swirl effect I wanted. Shot at F22 and a 8 stop ND filter.

Ian Roberts
The only storm in sight –came out of nowhere, but I was more taken by the way the setting sun cast light in amongst the thunderclouds.

Daniel Sainz
The twilight washing everything in red and ocre, while the pale full moon arises like falling from the edge of "El Morado" mountain.
Taken 20090706, 18:37 GMT-3; Ischigualasto Natural Park (30°S 68°W); San Juan, Argentina.

Joe Bradfield
I live just about 500 yards from where I took the picture. It was Jan. 9, in Minnesota. Normally there is 3 ft of ice on that lake. This year was bizarre (I rode my motorcycle around the lake Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve -- unheard of here!). 
Here is this man in a boat motoring around when I had gone out to take pictures of ice fishing tents in the late evening sun. Completely surprised me. And then the sun dropped behind the trees and turned the skyline into ... this.

Thorsten Kurz
Like me, they stopped by the roadside to take in the view of the sun breaking through the clouds after a heavy rain shower over Lake Geneva. There was Jazz music coming from their car, and together with the silhouettes of the both of them it all came together as a perfect moment.

Warren Steffey
Sunrise in Ocala FL USA.  When you own horses you get to see, and photograph, a lot of sunrises. 

And here are the three winners: 

Michael Heroux
A man at work harvesting a crop, in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. 
It is an image that took very little time to capture - perhaps 20 seconds, including bringing my car to a panic stop as soon as I saw what was transpiring, and then making three, quick, almost frantic, exposures, with at least some fingers crossed. Later, in the chemical and digital darkrooms, the extreme brightness range of the scene meant hours and hours  of meticulous adjustments to render the image as I remembered seeing it.

Tony Kelley
Sunrise taken at 30,000 feet over Kansas. Taken aboard Delta flight from Seattle, WA to Greenville.SC @ 6:21 AM.  We were just clearing the leading edge of a thunderstorm moving across Kansas. With out a doubt the cleanest window  I have ever had.

Jeff Ralph
It was taken from the Castlereagh Highway, a few km north of Ilford (NSW, Australia). Taken last Thursday 5/7/12, for this competition.
[Ilford is a famous English town and factory of BW photographic paper and film.]

(The winners have been notified, and the three $200 prizes are on the way.)
Here is a web gallery with winners, honorable mentions, plus finalists.

Schmidt and Nadia - New Girl

Poor recording, and maybe ideally one should have seen this New Girl episode at least, but I just find this character hilarious. Seminal and hilarious. (Just this little aggressive motion forward she makes after the last time she says "Mick Mouse"...)

In the beginning I thought New Girl was a bit weird, but now I'm a big fan.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?

Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic? article
A BEAUTIFUL woman lowers her eyes demurely beneath a hat. In an earlier era, her gaze might have signaled a mysterious allure. But this is a 2003 advertisement for Zoloft, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (S.S.R.I.) approved by the F.D.A. to treat social anxiety disorder. “Is she just shy? Or is it Social Anxiety Disorder?” reads the caption, suggesting that the young woman is not alluring at all. She is sick.

Movies of books

Never judge a book by its movie.
           -- J. W. Eagan

My life is full of coincidences these days. I was *just* discussing this subject with a friend. She quoted something from Peter Pan, about Peter having nightmares, a surprisingly deep scene which I'd never heard of, and it didn't fit at all with the Peter Pan I knew from Disney. 
Similarly, if you have only ever seen James Bond movies and not read any of the books, you'll think it's perhaps very entertaining, but also quite superficial fluff action stories. But in the books it's actually quite different, there's sometimes a lot of pathos. At the end of one book he finally gets married, and his wife is gunned down while she's still in her wedding dress. I'm not sure I've seen all of them, but I don't think such a scene ever made it to a movie! 
An of course an egregious example: Battlefield Earth. The movie was just stunningly bad. They had changed everything. Mostly because technology and the budget was not up to creating very realistic ten feet tall aliens descended from wolves, the aliens did not look alien at all, and many other things. It was basically laughable. And it was a claustrophobic-feeling action movie, while one of the things I like best about the book (a very large book, for years one of my favorites) was the many stunning vistas that the author created, he had a unique talent for creating a feeling of space. (Not outter space, but mountain landscapes or big forests, etc.) 

Of course they are very different media, and often one just has to tell a different story. But it can be done well. For example I think the Harry Potter movies were perfectly adapted, though of course the stories had to be abbreviated, they had the exact feel of the books.