Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Just after sunset

Olympus E-MD1, 12-40mm F:2.8 Pro, on auto, ISO 5000, hand-held at 1/30 sec. Focal length equivalent 80mm.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, November 25, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A close look at Europa

... one of Jupiter's moons, which you'll know if you've read Space Oddity 2010 (or was it 2050? Sequelitis, all of them). (OK, it was "... oddessy. Pardon an old Bowie fan.)

Click for big pic

Isn't that gorgeous?
I love images which combine order with a certain kind of chaos, combine simplicity with a certain kind of complexity.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 23, 2014   2 comments links to this post

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dance, liquid, dance!

Here are videos about making liquids and grains move and make shapes according to sound played at it.
They have made a music video, but to my taste, the music is boring and monotone, and the Making Of videos are much more interesting.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, November 21, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The mysterious Ulfberht viking sword

Here is an interesting 50-minute documentary about the "Ulfberth" viking sword, which is mysterious because it was far superior to most other swords of the time, it had much stronger and purer steel, and must have been made with methods which apparently the vikings didn't have. The docu also shows the making of an Ulfberth sword for the first time in 800 years.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, November 20, 2014   4 comments links to this post

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Invisible sculptures, literally

Believe it or not, these sculptures, created by a new kind of 3D printing, can't even be seen with a microscope, it takes an *electron-microscope* to see them!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 16, 2014   4 comments links to this post

Batman animated, for adults

I've been waiting for animated superhero films for adults. Well, it has started.
And it started with the best material possible: Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns (which oddly is the original, not the sequel.) and his Batman: Year One. (Dark Knight is in two parts, wisely.) The latter not drawn by Miller, but making the name of David Machucelli. (Who I don't think has done much since, except his Daredevil collaboration with Miller, which was also stunning.)

Both real dang good,  and surprisingly, astoundingly true to the source material. (Especially Dark Knight, I've never seen an animated version being so close to the original art. Fortunately, because this was Miller's masterpiece. It has at least four distinctly different drawing styles in it, and yet it works beautifully as a whole.) (Admittedly the movie plays down the differences in those styles, understandably.)
And both available for free if you are an Amazon Prime member. (I am, they keep piling new freebies on that deal.) (Update: it appears that this is not "free" in the US, a pity.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 16, 2014   7 comments links to this post

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kids react to film cameras

Ah, this is so funny. Kids express so well the horror I have at the thought of ever having to go back to film.
Now, for some reason Blogger posting page is just timing out for me the past couple of days. So I'm doing this on iPad which doesn't have a good app for it. So I won't be posting much until I have this solved somehow.
And to see this video, I have to send you to YouTube. I think you'll really like it though.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, November 15, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Polyphonic overtone singing - Anna-Maria Hefele

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 09, 2014   3 comments links to this post

Friday, November 07, 2014

Fujifilm XF1 now cheap too

Fujifilm XF1 is a real pocketcamera, though not brand new. It's very light-weight, and it is quality, check the reviews. It has a manual zoom lens, much easier to control than the electronic ones usually found on compacts. 
And it may be the best looking pocketcamera out there. 
And it's now selling for about $240, which is crazy cheap.  (It's possible the low price indicates a replacement is on the way.)
I got the red/burgundy one, I love that color, but it's also in tan or black. 

It's almost a semi-pro, with all the manual settings you'd expect of such a beast, only in a small body. And it has Fuji's uniquie EXR technology, which can combine neighboring pixels (due to an unusual honeycomb pattern of them) to enhance contrast reach or to improve low-light performance. (This usually has the effect of halving the effective pixels though, to 6MP instead of twelve. I can live with that, one of my most popular series was taken with a 2MP camera.)

If you want maximum power for a pocket camera, I recommend the Sony RX100 Mark 2 (not 3). For one thing, it has a slightly larger sensor and a tiltable screen. But it costs over three times as much! Right now, the XF1 is a great choice for those wanting a good pocketcamera which looks really stylish, and for a really great price.

Imaging-Resource review.
The XF1 should also score big with casual shooters who not only want to attract oohs and ahhs when they carry it around town, but also want a camera that, on auto pilot, will take well-exposed shots with high dynamic range.
Add up the Fuji XF1's sexy appearance, fast and fun operation, immense customizablity, dynamic image quality and special shooting modes, and you have a solid, if unorthodox, enthusiast-level compact camera. It's one that definitively earns a Dave's Pick.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, November 07, 2014   4 comments links to this post

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Whatta lotta balloons!

[Thanks to Henry]

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2014 - Timelapse Short Film from Knate Myers on Vimeo.

[Full screen recommended. -E]

Every year the city of Albuquerque host the largest hot air balloon event in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Each morning begins very early as a group of 6-12 hot air balloons known as Dawn Patrol, ascent into the deep blue sky before sunrise. These skilled pilots test wind and weather conditions as other pilots and crew begin to lay out hundreds of balloons across the field.
Just as dawn breaks, the next wave of balloons begin to lift off. When the sun rises above the Sandia Mountains it simultaneously fills the morning with beautiful light as the balloons fill the sky with color. The next 60-90 minutes are a great mix of fun and chaos as several hundred more balloons lift off, wave after wave.
I had a absolute blast capturing this nine day festival. Even though the weather cancelled several events it was nevertheless an incredibly beautiful and successful time! Thank you for taking the time to watch :)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, November 05, 2014   1 comments links to this post

Two extremes in classic orchestra experiences

The first one is a long, but beautiful concert, celebrating both the Japanese theatrical premiere of Ponyo (one of my favorites) and the 25 years of musical collaboration between composer Joe Hisaishi and film maker Hayao Miyazaki.

The second is... weird. But funny.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, November 05, 2014   1 comments links to this post

Monday, November 03, 2014

How do you find truth?

"We Are All Confident Idiots, article.

Not long ago I blogged about an article pointing out how difficult it is to tell when you yourself are wrong. But the article was in fact not that great, so fortunately I have now found this much better one. It's pretty long, but worth it.

But something curious started happening as we began to look at the people who did extremely badly on our little quiz. By now, you may be able to predict it: These people expressed more, not less, confidence in their performance. In fact, people who got none of the items right often expressed confidence that matched that of the top performers.

This is something that I'm interested in, because more than once this life I have been badly shaken in something I took as basic in life, something which was important to my basic approach and direction in life. And when it's happened more than one, some very scary questions appear:

  1. How do you tell what is true? 
  2. Who can you believe? 
  3. Are those who sound most certain, also the most knowledgable? 
  4. How do you question those of your beliefs which have been ingrained since childhood?
  5. How do you get reliable information about things you can't observe yourself, like life after death, the age of the Earth, the reality of the universe, what is outside the universe, our purpose in life... (gasp, gasp, gasp) etcetera etcetera. 

One of the big problems is that to climb down from a false certainty, one has to go through a period of uncertainty, which can be very uncomfortable, even painful, so that makes all of us pretty much cling to the things we think we know. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, November 03, 2014   2 comments links to this post

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Spazuk again

Tom found this, and though it's about the same fire-painter as below, this short video is so beautiful it deserves to be seen.

SPAZUK fire painter.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 02, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Red Bull Akte Blanix 2

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 02, 2014   1 comments links to this post

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Spazuk, paintings made with fire

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, November 01, 2014   1 comments links to this post

Friday, October 31, 2014

A must-have item for rich heavy-metal fans

(... there must be a few, now heavy metal has been main stream for 20-30 years.)

It took me a while to recognize the subject, but I think this is great, a very funny piece. I love the turn screw on his ankle, and the chain hair. That must be dang heavy to throw around!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, October 31, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

About a substance called Sugru

Sugru is a highly useful and fun substance, sort of a combination of moldable rubber and glue. Amazingly it sticks to virtually any surface with chemical glue, including smooth metal or plastic.
It makes many repairs and fun ideas much easier to make. It's not cheap and it takes a day to cure, but it's still worth it. For example I have made grips for a couple of tablets and a camera, and they really help. (Sugru is not very grippy, sadly, so I had to invent a way to put grainyness in. Dabbling the surface with a toothbrush before it dries works pretty well though.)

There is a wealth of ideas on their site. Here is their newsletter.

Below is a grip I made with super-grippy surface. You can also see a strap I put on the tablet case with superglue. I think the strap is even better than a grip, actually, but they are both much better than nothing. I am amazed that four years after iPad One there are still almost no solutions for improving the grip on a tablet, and those that are there demands the whole hand behind the tablet, you can't have the thumb in front to change pages. With mine you can, making one-handed reading much more comfortable.
I cut the front of the case, since when folded back it gets in the way of the strap and grip. You can also put them directly on the device, I've done that with my Kindle Fire HDX.

I could not find a perma-link to this post, so I took a screenshot: 


I have written to the Sugru people with praise and one criticism. They claim that Sugru is heat insulating. I used 24 packs of Sugru on packing a thick ceramic coffee cup (you buy it in bags of 8 tiny packs). I hoped to keep my coffee hot longer. Even with a broad strip of bubble plastic inside it, it did not work. After a couple of minutes the surface of the Sugru gets quite hot. And of course it takes this heat from the coffee, so it gets cold as fast as normal, even with a preheated cup.
I don't like to complain, but I feel that I had wasted an hour and $50, so I felt it was false advertising. I don't think they did so on purpose or maliciously, for packing around a pot handle it probably does some good. And it is only a minor thing which does not take much away from this fun and useful product. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 29, 2014   5 comments links to this post

Daily Arial View

The Daily View site with the cutesy address overv.eu has some often-interesting areal views.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 29, 2014   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Net issues today?

Here in Lancashire, England, I am having some odd issues with the Net today. Over half the web pages/sites I try to load time out. Don't appear. But sometimes they do, it's all random.

The really odd thing is that I have the same problems whether I use my cable connection or my ADSL connection. (And it also doesn't matter if I use Ethernet or wifi, or if I use my desktop computer or my iPad.)

These are quite independent connections. How can this be? Sunspots?
Does anybody have similar problems? (Argh, if you have you may have given up loading this page...)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, October 28, 2014   3 comments links to this post

André Wickström´s english stand-up in Iceland

I have lost count of how many times readers have asked me: "Eolake, can you please explain, how does Danish sound to a Finn? Particularly one who is trying to amuse people in Iceland?"
And I must admit, for the longest time I have come up short. But thanks to our old friend TTL, I can now deliver!

Update: hmmm... there seems to be issues with the video, try it on Youtube if it does not work for you.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, October 28, 2014   3 comments links to this post

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