Monday, March 30, 2015

Support drones stopping elephant poachers


Drones to stop elephant and rhino poachers, campaign.

40,000 elephants killed every year by poachers, this is insane.
This is one of the instances where drones are a great tool: cheap, quiet, can monitor large areas.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, March 30, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Diamonds Are Bullshit

Diamonds Are Bullshit, article.
"American males enter adulthood through a peculiar rite of passage - they spend most of their savings on a shiny piece of rock. They could invest the money in assets that will compound over time and someday provide a nest egg. Instead, they trade that money for a diamond ring, which isn’t much of an asset at all. As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value. Americans exchange diamond rings as part of the engagement process, because in 1938 De Beers decided that they would like us to. Prior to a stunningly successful marketing campaign 1938, Americans occasionally exchanged engagement rings, but wasn’t a pervasive occurrence. Not only is the demand for diamonds a marketing invention, but diamonds aren’t actually that rare. Only by carefully restricting the supply has De Beers kept the price of a diamond high."

Ivor Tymchak said:
A great article, however, he forgot to mention the recent development of manufactured diamonds that makes the situation even crazier. I wrote about it years ago.


A thought experiment gives us a clue: Say we made diamond rings from factories, which nobody could tell from the slavery-produced ones, and told people what they were, and sold them at 20% of the price? Would anybody buy them? Nooo! And most of them would not stop buying the "real" ones either.
Which tells us: they know they are only buying status. And 2: they will rather buy very expensive status symbols than they will have food on the table. 

Being able to kick sand in their neighbor's face is more important to people than an easy life. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, March 25, 2015   11 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Taking landscape photos

Here is a nice article for relative beginners about how to photograph landscapes.




posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, March 24, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Sun up, sun down

Here are two nice Danish songs, one about the sun rising, one about the sun going down.



posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, March 24, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happiness is


"You can't imagine how happy it makes a man to see a woman like you. Just to look at her." 

-- Once Upon A Time In the West


----
I was never a big western fan, but that one is one outstanding film.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, March 20, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"On a Chinese Highway"

... is one of of my favorite obscure Danish songs. To be honest I did not think that there would be very much of the kind. But it turns out there is, and rather better than many would expect. (Download slide show.)


Third-longest span in the world. (I think Denmark has no. 1.)


posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, March 19, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Can Google decide Truth?

Google is making a lot of people nervous by studying possible ways of ranking links by the truthfulness of the sites linked to.

It's just a study, and would be too wildly controversial to be likely to be implemented. But it makes me think:

Who would decide what is true?
Who and how would they decide if it's true that there is a god? Or isn't one? Or is many?

Even more earthly facts may change radically. Just consider this: if this was done, and if it also was done a hundred years ago, how different wouldn't the results be!
There are innumerable things which then were believed broadly to be Facts, which turned out not to be, or which we simply decided we no longer believed was so. Even the most learned scientists disagree wildly about the most basic things. And since it continually has been so in history, it surely is still so, we have not suddenly become omniscient that I have noticed.
And if a superpower like Google back then had put its might behind all those things believed to be facts, how many of them would we have been able to revise?

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, March 15, 2015   4 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Books in a strap

It is clear that until just a few generations ago, it was a universal standard in schools, from elementary to university, for everybody to carry their books around in straps, instead of in a bag.

Few people had too much money, and I'll bet books were not exactly cheap items since real mass production of binding was not standard yet... so why subject your books to bumps and the weather? Any old fabric back would be better than straps, and a leather bag would be tops.
Any ideas?

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, March 12, 2015   6 comments links to this post

Dictation Oddity

I'm having some odd problems with phone/tablet dictation this week.
The oddest was right now:
I dictated:
"Maybe I'm at the wrong address?"
The iPad wrote:
"Maybe I'm a little hung over."

Huh??

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, March 12, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Awesome" II, the sequel

Many of the best of these clips are not derring-dos.


(Heh, sneaky how some sneak a hot bod into the middle of the movie to get a preview which attracts attention, though it has nothing to do with the rest of the video.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, March 10, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 09, 2015

Mike J on the Six Plus

Mike Johnston of The Online Photographer (my favorite blog) has been rather snarky about phone cameras, with some justification. But they get better every year, and he just got in iPhone Six Plus, here is his impression, along with interesting thoughts about what a cell really is.

(Oh, it's one more minute of my fifteen, Mike says I helped him to decide between the normal iPhone 6 and the Plus, with the latter being the clear winner to my mind.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, March 09, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Sunday, March 08, 2015

"People are awesome"

[Thanks to Henry]




Update:
Russ pointed to this. I don't know how many cuts and tricks were incorporated, but it def is entertaining.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, March 08, 2015   4 comments links to this post

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Hermit crabs line up in order of size to swap and upgrade shells with one another

Hermit crabs line up in order of size to swap and upgrade shells with one another.
Bert found this amazing video. It's astounding, the things that happen in nature.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, March 05, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

iPhone International Gallery

I must admit I'm quite surprised at the roaring success the iPhone, particularly the Six Plux (with optical stabilization) is having as a camera, both in terms of quantity and quality. Even one of the World Press international photo winners recently was taken on an iPhone.
Here is Apple's iPhone int Gallery.

(Click 4 big pic.)

I really like this one, fantastic tones, colors, composition. I wonder how much is incredible luck, how much is leg work, and how much if any is photoshopping. 

And this similarly-themed one by another photographer, is actually another of my favorites. (Long time readers know that I have a weakness for a touch of the abstract in photos.)







posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, March 04, 2015   10 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

TruthFacts comics

Update:
Del wrote: Now you said, "If three ads don't work, twelve ads won't either!” Is that true? Because if it is then the world needs to move in another direction.

Just seems logical to me. If we take a dog, a teenager, or such simple-minded creature :-), and put down three different dishes in front of him, and he doesn't eat, it seem quite unlikely to change his mind to put down nine more dishes.

Click 4 big pic.



No joke. Especially on my iPad where there is no ad-blocking software, I've been marveling/seething recently at how the content is drowning  in ads. It doesn't even work, folks! If three ads don't work, twelve ads won't either! 


posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, March 03, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Monday, March 02, 2015

The Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Versus… a Two-Year-Old Pocket Camera

The Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Versus… a Two-Year-Old Pocket Camera, article and photos.

So how much more detail do you really gain when you choose one of the world's finest and most expensive lenses (over four grand) and high resolution cameras, over a (admittedly good one) $600 pocket camera?



posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, March 02, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Friday, February 27, 2015

New media, new art

Modern Family has just, and justifiably, attracted a lot of attention with an episode taking place on Claire's laptop screen, and the video chats and other stuff that happens there. It was very good.

Somebody beat them to it, though. Noah is just the same, and almost the same length, 17 minutes (the MF episode was 21 minutes without ads).
I think Noah was good and interesting, although the ADD Hyper-speed young people operate at digitally and which was captured well, did tend to confuse.
I guess this ultra-multitasking must be addictive, I doubt you get more done that way.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, February 27, 2015   7 comments links to this post

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting

The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting, article.
[Note: the article does *not* end with the graphics.]

I have earlier (to my shame, more than once. I'd like to be more positive, but sometimes it's hard) kvetched about Twitter. It's a small wonder I can't find anything interesting on it, who can be interesting in 140 characters?

But I thought at least it might be a good platform to share links, both for me and for others. A portal medium, leading to substantial stuff, relatively.

But no, it turns out that even at best, only about 1% of twitter readers who interact with a tweet, click through to a link! That is so depressing. It means Twitter actually *is* useless as a medium, except for such superficial use as sharing 140-character jokes or making 140-character arguments.

I, like many others, have found our attention span horribly diminished in the digital age. That many, many others are far, far ahead in this slow mental suicide might be a solace, but sadly it does not feel like it.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, February 24, 2015   2 comments links to this post

photograph reportedly just went for a world record $6.5 million

...photograph reportedly just went for a world record $6.5 million, article.

Australian photographer Peter Lik will rarely pass up an opportunity to show his biceps. There he was, wearing a cowboy hat, trekking up a snowy mountainside, arms bare. There he was, behind the wheel of a green truck, flexing. ...
art consultant David Hulme saying. Commenting on one of Lik’s pieces that went for $1 million, he added: “I don’t fancy the owner’s chances of recouping anywhere near what he paid for this one.”
That assessment hasn’t stopped Lik from selling. Take it from photographer Scott Reither, who also sells pictures and once worked as one of Lik’s salesmen. He wrote a lengthy blog post on his travails in which he spoke of hustling photographs like a used car salesman and pushing fine art on a Las Vegas clientele caught up in “impulsive behavior while visiting Sin City.” Reither said he sold $700,000 worth of Lik’s photography in seven months and quit, unable to “stomach it any further.”
“I felt like I had to feed people a bunch of lies,” he wrote, questioning the “absurd pricing structure for the not-very limited editions of 950″ print...
-

Get this print for $6.5M. 

---
Pop singers "design" Leica cameras, and the Marborro Man sets world records in "art photo" pricing. It's a brave new world. Or at least a brass one. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, February 24, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Lenny Kravitz, Leica designer?

This is one of those increasingly frequent stories where you check mentally "is it the first of April already?"
Lenny Kravitz, by virtue of being a medium-popular pop-rock singer, and by virtue of apparently sometimes using a Leica camera, has achieved the status of now being a Leica designer!
His "design" consists of no more changes to the camera than having machines and assistants rubbing off the black paint in corners and some areas on a black Leica camera, so it looks like it has been used a lot! Awesome...
(Having seen some documentaries about how things work in Celebrity World, I would be surprised if Lenny even had anything to do himself with this design "idea".)

Read Mike Johnston's no less sarcastic take on this.



posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, February 24, 2015   5 comments links to this post


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