Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gitchi Gitchi Goo forever

Phineas and Ferb wants to make a pop hit for their sister Candace to sing. They have the whole formula, including pretty meaningless lyrics, and of course it's a big hit.
And I like it.
"Gitchi gitchi goo means that I love you."

I also still like Candace's Party.
"Is that you, Mom? Sorry, I can't hear you over Candace's intimate get-together!"

Cellulars in the eighties

They say that even with that huge battery pack, battery life was still short.

... If this was 1989 though, there must have been a quantum leap, because I bought my first cell phone in the early nineties, and it was only the size of the handset on these, just a bit thicker. (Being Europe, that was GSM of course, not sure if that matters.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

David Hall underwater

TCGirl found this awesome undersea photography. Now that's a lot of cold work.
Visit his site.

Impressive how he shoots above and below the water in one shot. That's not easy, exposure-wise.

Frostie Dancing To Shake Your Tail Feather

Viral photo helps 19-year-old arthritic dog recover

Viral photo helps 19-year-old arthritic dog recover, article and video.

This shows again the potential power of a photograph.

It's also interesting about the Tempur bed, which clearly helps the arthritic dog. I've used a Tempur mattress for years, and I love it. I used to toss a turn a lot more in the old days.

Better night shots through multiples

Here's a nice sunset Ray took.
If you click on it, you'll notice that is has excellent image quality and no noise, despite having been taken in poor light and with a small-sensor (super-zoom) camera.

Ray said:

These are from the Nikon Coolpix P510.
It seems to do better on a night shot than previous cameras have, and I think it does it with multiple exposures, very fast together, because when the shutter is depressed to take the pic, it makes several little chirping sounds and the LCD goes blank for a brief moment, and then it shows what you were taking.

This is clearly becoming common on compact cameras, though oddly not promoted much (I wonder if they don't think people will understand it?). Yet another advantage to the simple growth of processing power in small devices. The camera computes out the noise in each little area of the picture by comparing different frames and then combining the best into one image. If that's not impressive enough, it can also do it with hand-held shots, meaning it has to correct for different camera positions and rotation through the different frames!

My Sony RX100 can do it, for example. Only it is irritating that it when set to do it, it does it on all pictures and in all light conditions, not just when high ISO is set. That's less helpful, in bright light it really makes no difference, except making problems with moving subjects. It really should only do it over ISO 800, for example (could be adjustable, but I don't find such a setting).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Girl With The Photoshop Tattoo

Megan Orsi.
Surely dates her. But heck, it's a good date, important spiritual year they tell us, and she looks nice.

Kate Bush - Suspended in Gaffa

A web TV stations's camera bag

Marvel films, Avengers

You may be aware that Marvel Comics in the past ten years have taken over the financing and making of their own movies (more precisely, movies with their characters*). With only a few sort-of-misfires like the Hulk movies, these have been generally very successful and more importantly, good flicks. It must be nice to have such a huge gamble pay off.

For example, I just watched Avengers Assemble, and it was just really good fun. If you liked Iron Man, I think you will like Avengers. It was well done, a good story, often very funny, and even sometimes emotionally relevant, which may be the most difficult thing for a big summer action movie to be.

I was talked into watching Captain America first. I had not had any thought to see it, I'm not interested in War movies. But this was more like a Sci-fi/war/superhero movie, and it was fun. The visuals alone was worth it, many excellent machine and vehicle designs.

The Avengers movie was led up to, of course, by Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. Despite having Natalie Portman in it, I thought Thor was not quite as strong as the others. Not sure why, maybe it had less humor, or maybe I thought the scenes in Asgaard did not seem convincing, it was not really clear if it was a "real" place or a spiritual realm, or what. But it was not a bad movie by any stretch, and if you want to get the whole background, it's worth seeing.

I hope the next Avengers movie will have that robot character, Vision, especially if in the female variety. And I hope it'll have the "Wondrous Wasp". That'll be a nice challenge, having such a tiny character. (They can leave out Ant Man for all I care.) I mention this because if Avengers had a fault, it was too few women. It had Scarlett and a tiny bit of Gwyneth, and then that goooorgeous woman from How I Met Your Mother, but she really didn't do much. ... Ah, her name is, believe it or not, Jacoba Francisca Maria "Cobie" Smulders. She does smolder. Unreal.

I think Scarlett Johansson did a very good job in Avengers, and despite the basic silliness of having a couple of normal-strength humans in a group which includes Thor and The Hulk, they managed to have her pull her weight and then some. A lot some.

*Spiderman is a big exception, Sony owns those rights, which was why a new trilogy was started so soon; to keep the rights. Too bad, for while I haven't seen it, from what I've read, it didn't seem to be hugely inspired.

Collective Soul Cat

Russ found this soulful cat.

Spear fishing sans tank

If you like to see a "pretty little woman" out-do three big athletic males, this video is fun.

The Middle Man

Middleman, article.

I thought that was funny as 'eck.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The tied bolts on a propeller (updated)

I came across this photo from Kelly Trimble in my Light From A Low Sun contest (you'll have seen it if you saw the finalists' gallery). And apart from the beauty of the machine and the photo, I now noticed the strings in the bolts. And I noticed how they go across in a way so if one bolt should loosen, it'll only tighten another bolt, so they keep each other tight. Ingenious!

I mentioned it to our resident Engineer Extraordinaire, Bert, and he told me that not only are the bolts still done like this today, but it is a crime to tamper with the strings if one is not a certified airplane mechanic!

(Click for big pic.)

Kelly wrote to me:
A few weeks ago, a friend completed a homebuilt aircraft.  Before the maiden flight, I took several photos.  He had to wait until late in the day for the winds to die down, so I got several with the sun just over the horizon.  I call this photo 'Before the Maiden Flight". 
[...] The subject of that contest photo, however, was the prop spinner hub.  The builder owns a machine shop, and is famous for going 'over the top' when fabricating otherwise unexciting parts for his own use.  That propeller spinner hub was not cast--it was machined from a solid aluminum billet, letters and all.  If a customer had contracted for that part, it would have probably been a two thousand dollar machining job. 

I have included some photos of the plane with Wayne Edson of Hollister, Missouri, the builder.  You asked how much of the plane he built himself.  Actually it was Wayne together with his father, and they built almost all of it.  The design originated in the 1920s with somebody named Pietenpole, and there have been hundreds of this design, which is now fairly standard, built over the years all over the world.  Most people who make homebuilt aircraft will usually buy a kit with most of the parts already fabricated which they then assemble.  Since nobody owns the design for Pietenpoles, nobody makes a kit, but most of the components are commercially available.  However, Wayne owns a fairly large machine shop with around a dozen CNC machines and a foundry pattern shop (essentially a large woodworking shop), so he is well equipped to fabricate a lot of the parts that most people would have bought off of the shelf. 

At one point, they used me for ballast while temporarily attaching the engine:

Note the craftmanship on those canoes!