Saturday, November 28, 2015

Us, drinking on the job?? Never!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, November 28, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Olympus offer

[Update: would you prefer the Flag Ship camera?  Check out this amazing CyberMonday offer on the Olympus E-M1]

TCG found this: Only until November ends: the excellent Olympus E-M10 with two lenses for only $450. That is a fantastic deal on a great system camera starter kit.

(Last day today, by the way.)
EmptySpaces informs us:
"That 40-150mm lens is a hidden's plastic-y but dang is it sharp."

It's like the 45mm 1.8 I have praised: It's also a plastic body, but that doesn't stop the optics from being excellent.
Its 'partner' which came out around the same time, the 12mm, has a metal body, and costs twice as much. But it's no better; actually some say the 45mm it a notch better.

I love metal things in terms of sheer feel. Like the PRO lenses for example. Fantastic feel to them.
But Plastic can be a very, very good material these days, costs less and weighs less.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, November 28, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Do you know a good web host?

Do you know a good web host?
I have maybe half a dozen low-traffic domains looking for a host. Reliability is good, but good service is essential.  Good friendly service, speedy answers and handlings, 24/7.

Currently I'm still with my old host, which I love, but they are geared to very high-traffic sites, and the prices are thereafter (and they don't do shared hosting). That made sense when I had sites which had over 100,000 visitors per day, but now when I no longer have such busy professional sites, I'm hoping to find a host for a handful of domains for under, say, $20 a month.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, November 28, 2015   4 comments links to this post

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The fifty-mm lens

I wish I could be kewl and say "I've always come back to the fifty-mm" or something.
But I can't, I just don't care much for it, sorry. As an artist I feel like I am trying to play volleyball with a straightjacket.

"But it's what's closest to the way we see things." Yeah, that's great, for documentary work.
But as a wannabe art photographer, I don't want to show things like we always see them, I want to see and show them like we *don't* always see them.

People work in a myriad of different ways. Some photograph the world. Me, I don't, really. I make pictures, using a camera. I used paint and canvas many years before my first camera, and still do sometimes. There, as with photos, I love pictures which have elements of both the real and the abstract.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, November 24, 2015   9 comments links to this post

Friday, November 13, 2015

Even abstract boobs too racy for US TV

Don't miss this wonderfully funny talk by Stephen Colbert about what is art and what is porn.

For example, one of the most celebrated, and justifiedly so, pieces of fine art, is Amedeo Modigliani's  Nu Couché (New Coochie?), which just sold for $170M.
(I remember in the eighties when a van Gogh set a world record with five million. I guess fine art is getting even better.)

Seriously, nude or not, it is a classic and genuinely beautiful painting, and for childishly squeamish forces to pressure media into showing it like this:

... is not just ridiculous, it is a crime against art, and a serious malfavor towards the children it's supposed to "protect". Imagine growing up in a "protected" home, having no idea that the other sex has these parts, and then turning 18 and going to college! (Or to log onto the Internet...)

Anyway, if this is porn, I wish they would tell me how they did it. I would like to start a "porn" web site, sell ONE painting of a nude for hundreds of millions, and retire in style.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, November 13, 2015   7 comments links to this post

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Beware of phishing

Beware of "phishing" (emails pretending to be from banks or other important sites, trying to trick you into writing in your login on what looks like the real deal, but is a fake site).

This one sounds good... "somebody sent me five grand!!? Gotta look at that," and you click on the link. (Don't click on links in suspicious mails, instead, go to your browser and go directly to Paypal or whatever. There you can see if there's any truth to whatever they claim.)

I spotted this because firstly it's unlikely, secondly it was not sent to my email address, thirdly, it did not have my name in the mail, just said "dear Customer". Yeah, right.

Even the link is disguised.  If one uses Apple Mail (or surely others too), hover the cursor over the link, and a popup will show you the address where the link really goes to. In this case something containing "sharefile" and "download". So it may be a link to a virus or such malware.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, November 12, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Monday, November 09, 2015

Surprisingly Noisy Death of an Iceberg

Surprisingly Noisy Death of an Iceberg

This is so flippin' kewl.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, November 09, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Friday, November 06, 2015

Making a violin

From the newest musical instrument to a quite old one, in design anyway. This is a very kewl video of a pro carving out a violin. Yes, there's a surprising amount of carving!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, November 06, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Artiphon Instrument 1

This seems very kewl to me.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, November 05, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The young, beautiful, rich, famous... and happy?

Warmly recommended. (Thanks Bert.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, November 04, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Friday, October 30, 2015

"There is a Twitter for you"... Oh yes?

To me, superficial communication is to meaningful communication like weeds are to flowers or crops. So you can understand my feelings about Twitter, whose very nature is designed to make weeds prosper.

 Okay... so Twitter is now advertising. (Spamming, call it what you want. I certainly did not sign up for it.)

Here we go, this is what my spam mail said:

" matter what you’re into, there’s a Twitter for that."
"From the events everyone's talking about to the conversations around the neighborhood, connect to what matters most to you on Twitter."

Wow, that makes it sound very relevant, doesn't it?
It even makes it sound important. Like a vital service to humanity.

But I'll postulate that far from being comprehensive, this is actually very narrow.
It may be comprehensive for people whose horizons span from "what everybody is talking about" to "the conversations around the neighborhood".
And those have their place, fair enough.

But what about if "what I'm into" is Nietzsche's philosophy? Color theory? String theory? Fractal art? Camera optics? The French Revolution? The nature of consciousness? Shakespeare? Dadaist art? Modern architecture?

Try to discuss those subjects meaningfully in parts of 140 characters.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, October 30, 2015   4 comments links to this post

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Mayby you have heard of the movie "Teeth"?
It's a film about a young woman due to growing up next to a nuclear plant has sharp teeth in her... wombabaloobabbalambamboom. And when men enters her with their... dingdingdangadangalongdingdong, and she doesn't want them to, they fare badly. I'm sure I don't have to draw a diagram.

I didn't think this could possibly be a good movie, I just saw it out of curiousity and because it was free on Amazon Prime. But Surprise, it was actually pretty good. I think the viewers who expected Night of the Living Dead only with genitalia were disappointed, and gave the movie the bad reviews it often gets. But the producers were smart and realized that this movie could not make it in the horror movie market as it is today, meaning tonnes of blods, guts, and limbs flying in all directions.

So instead they made a good story out of it, and actually gave it quite some humor.
If you find yourself sometimes rooting for the beautiful gender in the sex wars, I think you'll like this one.

Jess Weixler is the innocent but not harmless heroine.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, October 25, 2015   5 comments links to this post

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wave, B/W photo


Konica TC, 50mm 1,7

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, October 19, 2015   5 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Playboy... pulling its own fangs?

This is apparently not a hoax, though I had great trouble believing it:
Playboy will stop featuring fully nude women. Article/video.

I'm sure I don't know.
On the one hand I feel protest, on the other hand, it may just make sense for them. Their nudity features were rarely very interesting to me. The "Girl Next Door" was so disingenuous; for how many lives next door to a perfect, big-bosomed beauty with perfect coifed hair, perfect make-up, perfectly retouched skin, and walking around naked in a super-luxury home?
And the articles or at least interviews (of such guys as David Bowie and John Mellencamp) were actually often the most interesting feature.

I just hope it isn't a big nail in the coffin of the "tasteful nude" (or "simple nudes" as I called them on Domai). I hope people looking for nice nude women will be able to find them, and not only all the most extreme sex acts in the world. (I stopped counting when semi-medical conditions were included in the list of fetishes.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 14, 2015   13 comments links to this post

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

New grip I made (update: alternative surface, photo)

Some may not like the unusual form with the edge I gave the grip featured below (it was partly necessitated by the shaped of Olympus' embryonic grip-shape on the body). So I decided to update an earlier grip which worked great, but I was never happy with the look. It looks better now with the Skateboard Grip Sheet (Amazon), and it of course works even better too. (The grip that stuff has...)

I have actually made it on top of a pretty flat and useless grip I bought from Olympus, so in this case there's no doubt whatever that I can get it off again without remains.  :-)
Here is a grip/ridge I made for tablets before I found the SG sheet.

Also, to reiterate: Such a grip, if you have followed instructions about putting on Sugru, will not fall off in your hand. It's a cousin to super-glue, crazy strong. (Sugru tips.)
(btw, I have just modified the top to have a stippled, almost fuzzy, surface. It meshes better, and it hides the unevenesses which I had to give up removing totally.)

I must say, that in terms of pure grip functionality (if you don't count the big, integrated grips on the big SLRs) this is far better than any commercial grip I have tried.)

The camera before:

Below, alternative surface, made with light stippling with toothbrush. It makes it mesh better and hides unevennesses (which can be tricky to get rid of).

By the way, on both cameras, I have also put the Sheet on the little, flat thumbgrip on the backside. Makes it easier to find with your thumb, and improves the hold yet a little bit.

After it cured fully (24 hours), I tried to rip the grip off. Okay, not with my full strength, I am a quite big fella after all, but I couldn't budge it. There was not a hint that this was not there to stay.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, October 07, 2015   7 comments links to this post

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Make your own camera grip easily

[Update: a different grip featured above]

Being pretty much retired now, I have had time to play amateur inventor, and I've worked a lot on enhancing grippiness or put grips on things like cameras and tablets. I don't think I'll earn any money on this invention, but I'd be highly pleased if it eases the lives of other people a little, as it has my own.

Many cameras still don't have decent grips. That's a pity, for a good grip really helps.
I bought an official Olympus grip, but it was costly, it added 100 grams to the compact camera, and added bulk too. Oh, and you had to take it off to change batteries.

I've written about Sugru before. (You can get it on Amazon too.) It's a fantastic material. A quick description is that it is like a combination of super-glue and play-do. It's not cheap though, it comes in small quantities, and it takes a day to set.  But it has so many fun  and useful uses that it boggles the mind. And new ones are being found every day.

I used three of their mini-packs for this grip (about $9).  It's very easy to use. You just take it out of the air-tight little package (once it's opened, it starts to set. You have lots of time to use it, but don't expect to use half a mini-pack a week later, unless you have invented a 100% air-tight closing method).

So I just squeezed it a bit, to warm it up and soften it, and then I plopped it onto the camera and molded it into a grip. One may compare it with one's hand's grip, to imagine the optimal size and shape.

When I do this the next time, I may use a pack more, to get a bit more bulk to hold onto, to curl the fingers around.

On my earlier experiments with older cameras, otherwise succesful, the issue was to get a grippy enough surface. But I have now found something great: Skateboard Grip Sheet. That is a bit like rough sandpaper, but it's designed to get uptimal grip under the extreme use skateboarders put it through!

I cut this out to size and form, and put it on the Sugru before the latter dried. The Sheet is self-adhesive, and Sugru is basically glue, so they stick together!

Then I trimmed and patted the edges a bit, and molded a little bit of Sugru over the edge of the Sheet to hold it.

Sugru is funny: if it's in a thin sheet or string when dry, it's very flexible. But in a lumb, it feels as hard as oak! This grip feels very confidence-inspiring.
(I've been doing a lot of things with Sugru this year, and haven't been let down yet.)

Sugru sticks really well to almost anything, even glass, but you can remove it later with a sharp knife etc. In some cases it's doubtful if you can get everything, like on very uneven surfaces. See this official video. On porous surfaces, like fabric or leather, obviously it'll always leave at least a stain (depending on the chosen Sugru color).

So this venture cost me maybe fifteen buck all in all, and added only about ten grams of weight and hardly any bulk to the camera.

Of course the great thing about these materials is that anything you don't like or wouldn't fit your hand about my grip, you can make different. It can be almost any size and shape. And of course with more patience, it can be made to look as pro as you want.

And the grippiness of the Sheet surface! OMG! as the young 'uns used to say. I would say that it's about THREE TIMES grippier than any rubber surface I have ever tested. It's just fantastic. Nothing slides anywhere on this surface.

(Here is the OM without added grip. It has a fain hint of one, but not much.) 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, October 06, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Rats saving lives? Nahhh.... ?

Hero rats, as they are called, are trained over months, and sniff out landmines safely, reliably, and much faster than human operators.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, October 01, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Monday, September 28, 2015

About being contrarian

It was quite some years ago, but I was an adult and had already been a spiritual seeker, a thinker, and a keen student of philosophies, life and beyond for many years.

I was in conversation with the girlfriend of a friend. I forget what we were talking about, but I said something like "nah, I don't want that, it's too popular".

She looked up at me with her clear blue eyes and a smile and said: "but isn't that still letting others decide what you do?"

Ouch! That got to me. Here was this young little apple-cheeked chit of a girl barely out of her teens, and she was teaching me a basic life lesson I should have learned long ago!

If you are making a choice mainly to be different from others, you are still letting the others make the decisions for you.

I suspect that many highly successful, mature, intelligent people are still in this trap without realizing it. If a book is very popular, they can't possibly be seen reading it. If a viewpoint is normal, it's obviously not for them. Et cetera.

This is not deciding, it is reacting.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, September 28, 2015   6 comments links to this post

The Lollipop

A little eye candy for the gals.
I'm sure he trains, but he does not have the typical unnatural bulgy bodybuilder body.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, September 28, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cheap comics for a good cause

Do you like to get interesting comics for a great price?
Do you like to support a good cause (how about free speech?)?
Here you can do both: The Humble Bundle comics collection. You decide what you pay, and the  profits go to Comics Legal Defence Fund, which I have supported more than once before, which helps authors and publishers who are being prosecuted for selling "indecent" comics.

Recommended. Warmly. It is a solid adult-comics bundle (high-quality ebooks, choice of several file formats), and it includes such comics events as Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 3! (Much different from the movie.) And Bone vol. 1. Both first-class comics for adults.

(Oh, by the way, before you press the Pay button, make sure your email address is written in just above. It won't work otherwise, and they don't make that very clear.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, September 26, 2015   0 comments links to this post

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