Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Daylight bulbs??

You surely know about energy-saving bulbs, CFLs, compact fluorescent lamps. Cost a little more, but live much longer, and uses just a quarter of the energy. Great.

What I was sadly not aware of until recently is that you can get daylight versions of these!
(Note: this is not "cool" or "blue-ish" light, it is white light. Neutral. It can seem cool because over decades we have gotten used to the strongly orange-y light from normal bulbs (se photo below). But this is the light spectrum like it comes from the sun, and it is what our eyes have evolved to make use of.) 

Especially here in Northern UK, it's easy to get into dark moods in the wintertime, because it simply is so dark outside, and the body/eyes need daylight. The night lasts like 16 hours or more, and most of the days are dull and dark too.

I just got several of these daylight bulbs, and to my surprise, they make a difference right from the start. I feel cheerier and more energetic. If this is a lasting effect, it's a major thing. It seems to me now, already, that the old orange-y bulbs is kind of "dying light" in comparison to this energising daylight.

When I got my first "100 Watt-equivalent" energy-saving bulb years ago, it didn't seem to me to live up to the promise of that much light. So I bought 100w-equivalent this time too (25W). And they are certainly that, this time! Bright. These may even be too bright for some uses, we will see as I get used to it.
Anyway in general, I think some people will have to take a couple of weeks to get used to having the daylight spectrum indoors.

I really think they should be known about much more widely. Get a trial one today.    :-)

PS: of course they are a blessing for indoor photography too, much less problems with color balance.

Oh, and another thing: if you are reading ebooks on an e-reader without either backlight or frontlight, just the basic grey-ish e-ink screen, you may find that the full-spectrum light makes reading easier.

Oh, if you doubt there is much difference, look at this! :

Bert said: might want to add, to the attention of northerners like us, is that as soon as you start heating the house, from fall all through winter, the energy used to light your days is essentially free, since it will end up as heat anyway. So, whether you spend the money on "invisible" heat or light up your days and chase depression at the same time, the cost doesn't change much.
Of course there's always the wear on the bulbs and that's where the latest generation of ultra-long-lasting bulbs really shine - many just won't die! And the savings on doctor visits, pills, cold medicine and whatnots offset the cost of the bulbs many times.
(Yes, In all the years I've used energy-saving "bulbs", I've only had one single one die on me.)
There are recommendations of the newer LED bulbs, I'll look into those also.

Update 31 Dec:
Nicola wrote:

Just thought I'd let you know I received the daylight bulbs a few days ago and you're right, they have already made a huge difference, it's like a springtime afternoon outside in here, most pleasing!
And they've added a kind of cool clarity to the atmosphere, first of all was a little disconcerting though have got used to that now :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Yes, it does have a cover to keep the iPad blameless, but still... "iPotty"? LOL.

Here's is one of the best Amazon reviews:

In these times of extreme busyness, you can't help but get frustrated sometimes and think "there's just not enough time in the day!" With this item, your capacity to "get s*** done" is increased exponentially.

* Get s*** done
* Colors are not only pleasing to the eye, but scientifically proven to encourage productivity and movements
* No need to flush, built-in incinerator removes waste after motion sensors detect your absence
* Small enough that you can leave your iPad installed and just carry the whole thing with you
* Can download a free bidet app (although after the trial period, you have to pay for it with an in-app purchase)
* Installing your iPad doesn't cover up the camera lens, for easier multi-tasking (Skyping and wiping?)
* Seat sensor technology detects up to 4 individuals, adjusting seat height and warmth automatically according to programmable presets
* Magnetic smart lid keep animals out, and scents in

* No Bluetooth support, will not sync with a smart watch or wireless headphones
* I'd love to see this in a champagne color or maybe customizable lids

This is the best money I've spent in years... I will be buying more of these. 2 thumbs up!

UPDATE: I have dropped my review down to 4 stars. Currently, my left buttock is securely lodged in the seat. While I wait for the fire department to arrive, I wanted to share my further experience with this product. Since I was unable to Facetime for help (less than ideal Wifi access) and had fallen over during my struggle, it wasn't until the mailman found me on the front porch that I was able to call for help. It clearly needs some sort of safety mechanism to prevent cheek lock.

In ya pocket

My pal Jimmy told me:

I suggested to a friend, who's always broke, to keep a $100 bill in his wallet at all times, which I started doing decades ago and it got me out of the starving artist rut.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Not For Astronauts

(Let's just skip the issue of sound in the airless environment of space/the moon...)

Instagram Selfies Earned a 19-Year-Old Criminal 142 Felony Counts

I love/hate how the Net now allows a word to come into existence and become ubiquitous in a week. Like now a self-portrait photograph is now called a "selfie". Sigh.

Instagram Selfies Earned a 19-Year-Old Criminal 142 Felony Counts, article.
when the police asked him his occupation, he replied “thief.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sinéad O'Connor - Just Like U Said It Would B

Paid employments

All paid employments absorb and degrade the mind.
 - Aristotle

Aristotle had a first class mind, but I really disagree with this one. Maybe it's true for some, or many, kinds of employment. But I have had at least thee major employment relationships which were nothing but good for me. Which paid me the money I needed, where I was of very good service to my employer, and where I learned a lot, generally about dealing with people, but also things about what we worked with, like using computers, or even linguistic skills, and a bit about navigating the business world. 

Sure it's true that we are all equal, and that the senior/junior relationship is artificial. But heck, what is not artificial in this world? If you simply don't take things too seriously, and if you do your job well and there is mutual respect, and if you make sure that you don't let anybody push you into areas you don't want, then there need be no problem at all. 

A period of employment can be a great learning period, and it can even be a way of life for those who don't have the desire to be self-employed, who is more interested in things which won't earn them  money. The employment is great, because you need not take your work home with you, and in spare time you're free to do your thing. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

35mm quality

I was looking at a picture from this iPhone 5s-shot series on my 30-inch screen. And I recalled how before digital cameras I thought I didn't have gear which were up to "landscape" pictures like that, with the details. But these look nice. Not bad at all.

We compare them to photos by a current Real Camera, and they're a bit less in resolution and low-light performance, so they may feel slightly second-tier. OK. But it struck me: they are really at least as good as what you got with a 35mm camera and normal color film! (Maybe with Kodachrome and a Leica you could do better, but that's an exception, very expensive and needing a tripod most of the time.)

That is really mind-bending, when you remember that the camera is a pea-sized pod sitting in the corner of a hand-device which is a powerful computer and can communicate globally.

If twenty years ago I had seen what we now have in digital photography, I might have killed myself from sheer impotent frustration that I couldn't get it there and then.     :-)