March 2010 Archives

iPhone Camera Apps
March 31, 2010 9:40 AM | Posted in:

The rumor is that the next version of the iPhone will have a 5 megapixel camera that's capable of capturing HD video as well as better quality photos. That's cool, but in the meantime, the camera in the 3GS is a great tool for snapshots, especially when the images are tweaked by one of the many new applications designed to help iPhone photographers be more creative.

A perfectly valid argument can be made that some of these applications are designed to address the shortcomings of the iPhone's camera not by improving image quality but by actually playing up those shortcomings. In other words, if your camera is going to take crappy pictures anyway, you might as well make them creative crappy pictures. (The term "hipster" comes to mind, for some reason.)

I decline to participate in the debate, because I'm in it for the fun. And some of the camera apps jack up the fun quotient by a considerable amount. Take these two, for example.

Hipstamatic (ooh...another hipster reference!) is designed to make your iPhone's digital photos look analog. I started to say "retro-analog" but that would have been redundant, not to mention dumb. The interface is great; it overlays your iPhone screen with the image of an actual analog camera, and you can change lenses, flashes, film type, and tweak various settings. The default installation gives you more than 200 combinations to fiddle with, and you can add settings bundles via in-app purchases. Hipstamatic is $1.99. Here's a photo I took last night (take note of my new two-monitor layout!); the white border was added automatically by the app:

Photo of my monitors


Spica Super Monochrome is sort of a one-trick pony, converting your camera into a black-and-white model. But if you like that high-contrast, noisy B&W effect, this 99-cent app is the easiest way to achieve it. Be forewarned, though; there aren't any settings...you'll take what it gives you and like it or not. The only options you have are to upload the photo to Twitter or to change the size of the image. Here's a sample, starring my booted foot:

Photo of my boot

One of the presumed harbingers of spring in West Texas is the return of roosting buzzards. If that's true, then Fort Stockton has seen its last cold snap for the season, as evidenced by this iPhone video I shot last evening from my parents' backyard:



This is just a fraction of the flock of scavengers that would eventually come to roost in the Afghan pines and live oak trees of the neighborhood. My guess is that there were 100-200 of the big birds.

They're actually quite graceful, floating silently and effortlessly in the stiff breezes that persisted until nightfall. The only unsettling thing about them being directly overhead was...well, I'll leave it to your imagination.

The voices you hear at the end of the video recounting an encounter of a motorcycle with a buzzard are those of my brother and his wife.

Pinnacles of Agility
March 26, 2010 9:46 AM | Posted in:

Via Twisted Sifter, here are two remarkable demonstrations of clever agility, albeit in very different forms:





It's hard to say which is more impressive, but I'd like to see the guy in the second video try those tricks on a recumbent.
There's an interesting debate going on over at PDNPulse regarding "stylized photojournalism," which essentially involves the application of special effects to news photographs to "enhance" them or to emphasize a particular point of view.

The debate is between purists who tend to believe that the camera should be used to capture newsworthy scenes without any additional manipulations, and those who feel that post-processing of news photos is a legitimate journalistic technique that will help the observer better understand the implications of the scene in question.

This is really just an extension of the ongoing debate over whether journalists should be bringing agendas into their reportage, and if you believe that there's no place for this, then you'll side with the purists. And that's the end of the spectrum I tend to gravitate toward, but not unequivocally.

The problem with photojournalism is that it can never absolutely reflect reality (reality being defined [by me] as what could be observed by the average human being if he was present at the event being recorded). Even the most seemingly straightforward photo captures an instant in time, inevitably breaking the overall context of the scene; life isn't a series of discrete events, it's a continuous ever-changing stream.

In addition, the vast majority of photographs involve cropping the scene - removing portions from the photograph that the naked eye of the human observer would otherwise perceive. Again, this inevitable cropping removes context. It's perhaps not significant, but we don't know, do we, because we're relying on what the photographer chose to show us.

The arguments of the purists are a slippery slope. Should the photojournalist completely dispense with a shortened depth of field? The human eye certainly doesn't see things that way. What about sharpening or improving contrast or color saturation? Are black-and-white photographs taboo?

I understand the point the purists are trying to make: techniques that make a photograph communicate a message that's different than the actual scene hurt the credibility of photojournalism. But figuring out where to draw the line is something that's hard to bring into focus (no pun intended).
My new computer monitor arrived late yesterday via FedEx (and, by the way, I'd like to know why our neighborhood seems to be The. Very. Last. Destination. for FedEx deliveries) and I immediately neglected plans to do some much-needed housekeeping in order to get it connected and configured.

It's a 24" Dell* display, and it replaces a six year old 19" NEC that had developed a disturbing...well, I'm not sure what to call it. It's like someone dribbled liquid down the inside of the screen, right in the center of the display. It wasn't always obvious, but while my mind had learned to ignore it, it was always there. Plus, it was just 19", and while I'm old enough to remember 13" monitors (OK, I'm old enough to remember TI Silent 700 terminals; what's it to you?), nineteen inches no longer seem to go as far as they once did.

I love the new monitor, and that may be an understatement. But here's the thing: I didn't anticipate the extent to which I needed to adjust my work processes to accommodate the increased screen real estate. I mean, I knew that on the old monitor I was constantly resizing and moving windows in order to work with the dozen or so applications I need to have open at all times to do my job, but it's not as easy as I thought to adapt to the extra space.

On the old monitor, I could take in everything on the screen via direct or peripheral vision. On the new one, I have to either shift my eyes or turn my head to see stuff on the edges. And I can't put everything in the middle of the screen. That pretty much defeats the purpose of having a large display.

I had also grown accustomed to having both sides of the screen dedicated to menus in applications like Photoshop, with my work situated in the middle. But it's now a lot of mousing to move from one side to the other to change tools or settings. I need to come up with a new toolbar workspace to cut down on that.

Nevertheless, these are problems I'm happy to deal with. Being able to put two full-sized documents side-by-side is nothing short of a joy, and I can now actually identify the 60 icons that rest perpetually in the Dock at the bottom of the screen. But, for now anyway, I'm glad I didn't fork over the extra bucks for a 30" monitor. After all, sometimes more is too much, something I've learned well by observing Congress lately.

*Yes, I know...why is a Mac guy buying a Dell peripheral? For one thing, I haven't had an Apple monitor since the 80s. I had a 15" Sony CRT prior to getting the NEC. For the price, I'm not impressed with Apple's monitors. But, primarily, when I started looking for a new monitor I confess to being completely discombobulated by the plethora of choices, and the disparity of reviews for any given model. I was locked in analysis paralysis until I had a meeting with my pal Darrell, who's the head creative guy for a local ad agency. He's also a Mac user, and the last time I was in his office he had a big honkin' Cinema Display on his desk. But this time, he had a Dell, and I asked him why. He basically said the same thing: for the price, the Dell is a fabulous value, and it was perfectly calibrated right out of the box. I figured that a recommendation from a graphics pro whom I know and respect was better than a thousand anonymous website reviews, and I went home and ordered the same model he had on his desk. Great call, Darrell!
Is this really the first day of Spring? I get confused about the date, and not just because the temperature is 50 degrees colder today than yesterday. I could Google it, but, you know...spring fever and all.

Anyway, now that The Gate is hung, I'm between projects (I'm contemplating trying my hand at building a fusion reactor in my garage next) and the weather is too bad for yard work (yay!) so, what the heck - I'll just do a little blogging.

  • You should check out broadband.gov, the FCC's website devoted to that agency's plan to make high speed internet access available throughout the USA. On the home page there's a link to a broadband speed test that allows you to check your ISP's connection speed. According to this Ars Technica report, the FCC is doing this because it distrusts the self-reporting done by ISPs (gee...do you think ISPs would actually fudge their numbers? Say it ain't so!). The FCC's test provides two methodologies, the nuances of neither I'm qualified to explain, but for my cable connection, they provided pretty consistent numbers (averaging 7600kbps down, 1050kbps up, and latency of 43ms). Those numbers were a bit under the national average, but well above the median, at least on the download side.

    The interesting aspect to these tests is that the FCC requires you to provide your address, presumably so they can track how ISPs in your area are measuring up.

  • Speaking of the Feds, the Department of Transportation has issued a statement to the effect that bicyclists and pedestrians will now be placed on equal footing with motorists in federal transportation planning. I may have a lot of beefs (beef? beeves? beauf?) with how the federal government views many issues, but anything it can do to make streets and highways safer and more accessible for cyclists and pedestrians is fine with me. Well, as long as it doesn't inconvenience me when I want to drive somewhere. Or raise my taxes. Or make me give credit to the Obama Administration. But, otherwise, I'm on board.

  • Speaking of non-vehicular traffic, did you know that there's a commercial farm devoted to the planting, harvesting, and sale of tumbleweeds? You can have your very own organically-grown, hand-harvested 'weed for the low price of $25 (large), $20 (medium), or $15 (small), plus shipping, of course. Here's the thing, though: a "large" is defined as "20 inches in diameter and up." In West Texas, that barely qualifies as a "tiny." As I type this, there's a four-FOOTER residing in our neighbor's driveway, apparently trapped for eternity in the wind equivalent of a whirlpool. We've had tumbleweeds the size of Mini Coopers rolling through our neighborhood.

  • Photographic Portfolio Recommendation of the Day: Brian Bloom. Guy has some amazing work on his site. [Link via Seth Godin]

  • If you think a blog devoted to Christianity is probably insufferably stuffy and boring, then you obviously haven't visited Stuff Christians Like.

  • Random photos:
Finally, in the "Inevitable Technology" category, I give you FujiFilm's latest camera offering, the Finepix Z700, which features face detection for dogs and cats. But not every dog or cat; apparently some breeds are inscrutable to the camera's software. Those with "unrecognizable" pets are bound to get riled over such slights, which brings to mind a similar misstep by Nikon's human face recognition feature.  

AB/T Gate Completed
March 19, 2010 3:13 PM | Posted in:

Did you miss me? I've been berry, berry busy, working on a special pwoject to defeat those wascally wabbits, and it's finally finished. I pwesent to you the world's most time-consuming Anti-Bunny/Tumbleweed Gate:

Steel gate

This gate took me approximately 18,000 hours to complete, with 463 discreet steps and 139 different tools (power and other), not to mention enough steel to build a suspension bridge over a decent-sized river. But that's not important; what's important is that my wife's ground cover will no longer be bunny food*, nor shall this section of our yard become the equivalent of the elephants' graveyard for tumbleweeds.

*Unless, that is, they learn to pole vault. And, frankly, I'm a bit worried about that prospect.
I've previously recommended The Oil Drum blog as a resource for all things energy-related, but it also directed me to one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time, Mark Helprin's 2006 Freddy and Fredericka. I'll even borrow the blog's summary of the book's premise, if you're not inclined to click over:
...the future King and Queen of England are dropped naked from an airplane into America as sort of a rite of passage. Though heir to the throne and infinitely wealthy back home, Freddy must use only his wits, skills of persuasion and physical abilities to somehow rise to the unlikely position of the leader of the USA - if he manages this, basically from scratch, he will then have earned the throne of England not only due to hereditary decree but via his own merits.
The book is, as the Oil Drum writer puts it, a hilarious romp - often bordering on Monty Pythonesque silliness - but it's also a sweet love story, and a thought-provoking essay on what it means to be a servant-leader. The British monarchy is an institution that many believe has no place in the 21st century, and the Royals have frequently been their own worst enemy in terms of public perception. But Helprin manages to bring to life a picture of a would-be king whose human foibles (and boy, are they manifold!) are tempered by a nobility of purpose that's sadly lacking in American politics.

Freddy and Fredericka works on several levels. Read it for pure entertainment and escapism, or look for underlying messages of loyalty and self-sacrifice.

The book is also available in a Kindle edition.


Workout Playlist
March 11, 2010 2:15 PM | Posted in:

I'm watching season two of NCIS (the one where McGee comes on board and Kate gets whacked) on DVD during my exercise bike workouts. My usual workout is 45 minutes plus cool-down and each episode is a bit shorter than that, so I often either ride in silence for a few minutes or put on my headphones and listen to my iPod. This morning, however, I got engrossed in the music and never switched over to the TV.

Now, I realize that song lists are generally pretentious and/or boring to readers, because the poster is probably trying to communicate how cool or open-minded or sensitive he is by the music he chooses. But, mine is the exception. Really.

  1. Jump the Blues - Wayne Hancock (rockabilly-meets-western swing featuring some virtuoso pickers of the steel persuasion)
  2. I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink - Merle (the Pearl) Haggard (amazing at how many words rhyme with "drink" when you're from Oklahoma or Texas)
  3. Horse Doctor, Come Quick - Corb Lund Band (best tribute to a veterinarian I've ever heard)
  4. Too Much Tequila/Perfidia/Ciliegi Rosa (medley) - Gruppo New Condor (you may not recognize the names but you know the songs)
  5. Ciliegi Rosa - The Mambo Kings Orchestra (what can I say...I was already in the mood; this arrangement is firmly entrenched in the Seventies)
  6. Confidently Wrong - Jason Eady (great lyrics wrapped in a solid country two-step)
  7. Oh Well - Billy Burnette (cover of Fleetwood Mac song; love the string bass break)
  8. Hillbilly Bone - Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins ("I got a friend in New York City; he never heard of Conway Twitty...")
  9. Gunpowder and Lead - Miranda Lambert (a cautionary tale for guys who think they're tough)
  10. Why Don't We Just Dance? - Josh Turner (I'd like to hear Josh and Trace Adkins do a bass-off)
  11. Blindsided (Mile High Klub Remix) - Lucy Woodward (I don't know; I just love Lucy)
  12. I Want You - Savage Garden (this song reminds me of another one, you know?)
  13. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Dusty Springfield (it was last on the list, and it's hard to cool down when Dusty's heating things up)

Random Thursday
March 11, 2010 8:30 AM | Posted in:

Scattershooting while taking a break from what is nowadays my morning ritual: sweeping the sand left by the previous day's windstorm from our driveway. (At least this morning I didn't have to break out the shovel, as I did on Monday.)

  • Doing our part to stimulate the economy, we immediately spent our tax refund (and then some) on new bedroom furniture. We didn't need new furniture, but realizing that our old furniture was purchased in 1981 made it seem somewhat more justifiable.

    Anyway, we now have a spare set of bedroom furniture (and a media center/armoire that's a bit newer), and we figure we might as well try to sell it, giving us the chance to spend some additional money before finally giving up and donating it. And, of course, I immediately latched onto the idea of doing a website for the task. Interestingly, I was able to secure a unique domain name for a year, and a hosting account for one month, for the total sum of $8.06. Amazing.

    If you're interested in seeing the furniture, you can visit the site.

  • This graph has been showing up in various places across the web, but in case you haven't seen it, it demonstrates the zeal with which Canadians follow their beloved sport of hockey. I think this phenomenon has also occurred during recent Super Bowls, except in inverse fashion, as people stay glued to the TV during commercial breaks, and use the game time to take care of, um, other business.

  • And speaking of graphs, where was this when I needed it during Mrs. Hayter's trig class in high school? This is an inverse graphing calculator, and it generates a series of equations that, when graphed, result in the phrase that you type into the form. We did this back in the day in said trigonometry class, drawing by hand a simple illustration, and then producing the equations that would map it out on graph paper. I still remember mine: a train locomotive. And I couldn't graph it today if my life, and those of everyone I know, and everyone I don't know, depended on it.

  • And speaking of lives depending on something else, if you're a bicyclist in Midland and want to use Google's new bike route maps, be forewarned that doing so could be hazardous to your health. I just tried mapping a route from northwest Midland to downtown, and Google's recommendation advises the cyclist to ride down the Andrews Highway, one of the busiest and least bike-friendly roads in the city. Google's new offering obviously wasn't designed with West Texas in mind (or vice versa).

  • And speaking of design (yeah, I'm stretching here), here are some beautiful examples of creativity, combining art with typography. Margaret Shepherd is a calligrapher who has discovered that a letter or word can do double duty.

  • Ending on a more serious note, Roger L. Simon questions why a couple of noted commentators are refusing to support Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician now on trial for "hate speech." I don't take seriously anything Glenn Beck says, but Charles Krauthammer is a different story, and the implications of mistakenly assuming that Islam and Islamism have little or nothing in common seems to me to be a mistake with deadly consequences. Krauthammer should know better.
I'm sure that you've heard that Lindsay Lohan is suing E-Trade and its advertising firm for using the name "Lindsay" in one of their wildly popular TV commercials. The "actress" wants $100 million for "pain and suffering" because - her lawyer claims - she's a "one-name celeb like Oprah or Madonna" and the TV ad sends a subliminal message that reflects badly on her image.

Excuse me? First, I feel compelled to remind Lindsay that she's made a series of choices in her life that have relegated her to the B-list (at best) of impaired and out-of-control wannabes. Having a talking baby make fun of her (even subliminally) would actually be a step up for her.

Setting aside the fact that in 1986 (the year of her birth, in case she can't remember) the name "Lindsay" was the 46th most popular girl's name in the USA (and the variant "Lindsey" ranked even higher, at 39), I think she should give careful consideration to the implications of claiming an exclusive association with certain descriptors. If her lawsuit is successful and thus requires that every time we hear "Lindsay" (or, if we have a discriminating ear, "Lindsey") we think of her, then it will have to logically follow that we'll also bring her to mind whenever we hear "pathetic," "narcissistic," and "delusional."

Then again, perhaps that horse has already bolted the stable.

Update: This just in - Oprah and Madonna are suing Lindsay and her lawyers for associating their names with hers.

And just to show how seriously we here at the Gazette take Lohan's lawsuit, here's the ad in question:


Happy Slo-Mo Dogs
March 5, 2010 8:04 AM | Posted in: ,

Remember the frustrated frog videos? Well, on the flip side of things, here's a vid that has a happier ending for all the participants. (Remind me never to eat in front of a 1,000 frame per second camera.)


Laugh for the Day (or not)
March 4, 2010 11:23 AM | Posted in: ,

If you work in the oil industry - or know anything at all about it - and are looking for a laugh, you might want to check out this article at a website called The People's Voice.

The author decries our economy's continued reliance on fossil fuels, but implies that as long as we're going to drill for oil, we ought to stop doing it where it costs so dang much money.

Inexplicably, the industry picks the most expensive places on the earth to drill for oil.

He then quotes another apparent genius in the field:

"You really don't need to know a lot about geology or oil to figure out something is wrong here, why don't they go back to the old days and drill oil wells onshore?"

I'm sure the chairmen of Exxon, Chevron, and BP are at this very moment slapping their collective foreheads and exclaiming with great vigor, "why didn't we think of that!? We should just drill where it costs less!"

After reading that, I quickly checked the address bar of my browser to make sure I hadn't been redirected to The Onion without noticing.

Interestingly, those assertions are the most reasonable things put forth by the author, as he then attributes various natural disasters around the world to the pain caused to Mother Earth by poking holes in her skin. Seriously.

During the various stages of the energy extraction process, the globe of the earth suffers limitless pain as the area where the drilling occurs. It is gradually being depressurized and cooled internally, causing cycles of contsriction [sic], joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation and searing pain as they use large drills to puncture pericardium and into the heart, sometimes as deep as 10,000 feet.

He even provides Bible verses to back up his thesis.

OK, on further review, this isn't a bit funny.

Link via The Oil Drum

I shouldn't be surprised but he can't even get the basic facts right to support his hypothesis. Drilling often occurs below 10,000 feet, but the deepest wells on record are only six miles deep. Compared to the almost 8,000 mile diameter of the earth, this is barely a pinprick to the skin, much less a penetration to the "pericardium and into the heart."

Random Thursday
March 4, 2010 6:32 AM | Posted in:

Scattershooting while pondering one of life's most important questions: will Pamela Anderson's samba outfit on this season's Dancing With the Stars be sufficiently intriguing to offset the appearance of Kate Gosselin? (Seriously, though: Pamela Anderson?!)

  • You may have seen Rube Goldbergesque stunts before, but I assure you that you've seen nothing like this video from the pop group OKGo.



  • Here's a bit of local news you Midlanders might not have yet heard. The pastor of Midland's First Baptist Church, Gary Dyer, is leaving at the end of this month to pastor a church in Austin. Dr. Dyer has been at FBC Midland for about fifteen years; he was just the third pastor my wife and I have had since coming to Midland in 1982. FBC is, in my opinion, at something of a crossroads, and the choice of a new pastor will be critical in determining its future direction. But, I guess you can say that about any new pastor.

  • I found out today that one of my high school English teachers passed away, just short of his 90th birthday. Mr. Skylstad was born in Norway and came to America as a teen. There weren't too many Norwegian immigrants in Fort Stockton. I remember him as having a great love of the English language and literature, and of teaching. I can't honestly say that his class represented a great turning point in my life, but I do believe that he reinforced a love of reading and learning that I was fortunate enough to acquire at an early age. He also tried to teach critical thinking, something that I perceive to be sadly lacking in some of today's educational tactics.

  • The practicality of this gadget for a bicyclist probably depends on the traffic conditions faced by the rider, but it has possibilities. I never ride on the street without a rearview mirror, so the ability to monitor traffic behind me via a video screen isn't something I need. But, of course, when it comes to geeky toys, need is basically irrelevant. Plus, it allows you to record an accident, which should result in some new dramatic YouTube videos.

  • I have never claimed to be a graphic designer, but in my line of work, I can't avoid tasks like coming up with color schemes for websites. Adobe's Kuler is an excellent tool for the job, but it's complicated and a bit of overkill. That's why I'm thrilled to discover Elvan Online, a color generator that provides sliders for varying the colors, and one-click generation of a wide variety of palettes derived from a single color.

  • Finally, while dealing with color palettes is plenty intimidating, riding a dirt bike on a rocky 12" wide trail at the edge of a sheer cliff is downright nausea-inducing. Exhibit A:



There are a dozen places along this trail where I would have plummeted to my death (if I was fortunate), for the sole reason that I have never mastered the art of looking where I want to go instead of at what I want to avoid. And when I look at what I want to avoid, I inevitably ride straight for it. (You know, there's a Bible verse that seems to address this very phenomenon, although it probably wasn't originally intended for mountain bike riders.)

Slow News Day?
March 3, 2010 4:33 PM | Posted in: ,

I have a subscription to the online version of the Wall Street Journal and I subscribe to an email list that sends three news updates each day: morning, noon, and - wait for it - evening. Those updates usually lead off with breaking stories about events of widespread interest - you know, disasters like earthquakes in Chile or Charlie Rangel in Washington, and economic/financial news of import such as the content of the latest Fed Beige Book* or Tiger's dwindling sponsorships.

But today must be a slow news day, because the noon update led off with this story - A Game of Tag Breaks Out Between London's Graffiti Elite (think Hatfields and McCoys armed with Rust-Oleum)  - and the evening wrap has this in the lead: Should This Move Be Banned? (an article about a "devastating penalty-kick" employed by the Brazilian World Cup soccer team). This had the effect of pushing down more important news like the status of Mideast peace talks ("promising and yet inevitably failing") and Leno's whupping of Letterman on his first night back ("promising and yet inevitably failing").

I'm not complaining, mind you (although I am eagerly awaiting a report of a devastating penalty kick delivered to Letterman; now that would be news). But it does make one wonder if the Journal is going for a different image, sort of a "Drive your Veyron to a 7-11 for a raspberry-lime Slurpee" vibe.

*"Beige Book"? Talk about someone whose image could use some sprucing up.

"When The Money's All Gone"
March 3, 2010 1:17 PM | Posted in: ,

Good time Charlie's on the evening news
The party's gone public, grab your dancin' shoes
Pass it around 'til we all get stoned
We'll all come down when the money's all gone.

Everybody's livin', everybody's high
Everybody's sellin' so buy, baby, buy
Everything's had and nothing is owned
Around it goes 'til the money's all gone.

[Chorus]
When the money's all gone we'll get back to work
Get back in the garden, get back in the dirt
It's an ill wind doesn't blow some good
We can put it back together the way that we should.
It might not be the worst thing after all...
When the money's all gone.

There's only so much that can go around
The top goes up but the bottom goes down
Call it what you want to
Tell me I'm wrong
We'll all find out when the money's all gone.

When the money's all gone we'll get back to work
Get back in the garden, get back in the dirt
It's an ill wind doesn't blow some good
We can put it back together the way that we should.
It might not be the worst thing after all...
When the money's all gone.

Lose a little, you can scream and shout
But you gotta lose big 'fore they bail you out
They'll buy the bank so they can take your home
They don't need you anymore when the money's all gone.

When the money's all gone...
When the money's all gone.

When the Money's All Gone
Jason Eady & Kevin Wilkins


I've been listening to Jason Eady's music a lot lately, especially the preceding song from the album of the same name. The iTunes Store puts his music into the Country genre, but I think that's too limiting for the mixture of delta blues, zydeco, rock, and gospel that wraps around lyrics that manage to be simultaneously intelligent and catchy. When The Money's All Gone is a perfect example. It's as good an economic commentary as you'll find in the Wall Street Journal, and a heck of a lot more danceable.

Rock Your World
March 1, 2010 11:22 AM | Posted in:

3 steps:

  1. turn up your speakers

  2. visit this website

  3. click on the rocks
Via today and tomorrow

Update: Here's a game to play. See how many "rocks" you can cram into one screen. My best is 30. (I guess your success in this will depend on your screen resolution.)

More Tilt-Shift
March 1, 2010 6:26 AM | Posted in: ,

Perceptive Gazette readers will recall this short post about tilt shift photography, a technique that seems to be gaining in popularity.

One of my favorite commercial applications of the technique is the following Allstate Insurance TV ad:



It's a winsome effect, turning a real life scene into something toy-like. But, as nice as it is, it's child's play compared to this (link via Neatorama):

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.

The filmmaker, Sam O'Hare, describes the process he employed in converting 35,000 still photos (shot over a five-day period) into this fascinating look at "a day in the life of New York City." He used a Nikon D-3 digicam and opted for standard Tamron and Sigma lenses in place of dedicated tilt-shift glass; the "minature" effects were added in post-production.

O'Hare says that he likes "making large scenes small," and The Sandpit is an amazing example of how to do that.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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