October 17th, 2011

Twink "Supercute" cover

Clearer than ever before

Here's a refreshing weblog: We Stand with the 99%. eg:

I was born into a wealthy family. I am 27 and I have never had to be financially independent. I have more money and assets then I will ever know what to do with.

I love my family and am grateful for the life their wealth has afforded me, but I hate how they have so much money they have to hire people to figure out what to do with it. They hire people to create tax shelters, get around estate laws, and turn money into more money. it is so complicated that I have stopped trying to understand it all.

I quit a coveted corporate job 2 1/2 years ago. Since then I have been a full time volunteer at a homeless shelter, advocated for victim’s of domestic violence who were stuck with their abusers for financial reasons, and spent my time traveling internationally and “following my dreams.” Meanwhile, my friends and all the amazing people I have met on my journey struggle with loan debt, not having a place to live, food to eat, access to medical care, or a way out.

TAX ME MORE. I can afford it. I am the 1%, I stand with the 99%.

Meanwhile, with NASA dithering on its commitments to the 2016/2018 Mars missions, ESA has apparently formally invited Roscosmos as a full partner.

I watched the first two episodes of The Prisoner, in fairly glorious 720p quality - indeed, it's every bit as good as you might hope for. ^_^ Clear, with vibrant 60s hues, and an audio mix that doesn't try to be ALL AROUND YOU YAY, but simply more than mono. It's a delight. ^_^

Moog just released a true wonder for the iPad: Animoog. Wired has a full review up, also noting that its debut price is a whole dollar, later rising to a regular price of $30, around Nov 17. It's a no-brainer.

Another Blu-ray release that surprised me somewhat on discovering it: Casablanca! (Note: there are multiple releases in the US, some movie-only, starting at $30; the UK release appears cheaper at around £9, and with all the extras) Here's one review, which notes of the video:

The black and white image is wonderful. The source material has been meticulously cleaned up, and good luck finding a speck of dirt, dropouts or inconsistencies in contrast or black levels. The film has a nice, deep and rich look, with excellent smoothness across the entire grayscale. Sharpness is perhaps slightly "soft" by today's standards, but terrific for a film from 1942. I continue to marvel at how deep and detailed this film looks. Fine textures throughout are clearly visible -- I could make out indentations on the spine of a book, or see slight creases in the clean whites of Humphrey Bogart's tuxedo. I am also grateful Warner didn't over-tweak this one -- whites never bloom and at no point is the image overly contrasted in an effort to make the film look "newer" or "glossier." Instead, 'Casablanca' maintains a very natural, film-like look throughout. Without a doubt this is the finest black and white transfer I've seen on high-def, period, and up there with the best remasters ever created for the home theater environment.

Other OS X Twitter clients to try: YoruFukurou, free - showing the tweet another is in reply to is a quick button press away, rather than having to go to the contextual menu (no shortcut), and images are brought up in a preview style window, dismissable with the space bar, rather than just the usual red window close button. Intriguingly, it also offers support for filtered removal by keywords, regexps, and application name - no more 4sq!

Downsides: it doesn't mark tweets and mentions as read when you reach the most recent ones - you have to manually mark them as read. Whilst it's possible to use a contextual menu option to open the preceding message in a conversation, it's still not as slick as the iPad version of the official client, where tapping on a tweet brings up that tweet and the rest of the conversation over in a pane that slides out from the right.

This review of "Piraty XX veka" is worth a quick read, about midway down the page. ^_^

The Pirates of the XX Century is a romantic action-adventure thriller, which explores eternal themes of naval folklore: kung-fu and male bonding. According to many film critics of the time, it was the first but sadly not the last attempt of Soviet movie makers to convincingly portray complex philosophical dilemmas associated with kicking other human beings into the facial and reproductive areas. It does however manage to rate far above similarly themed American masterpieces, such as Rambo, Delta Force and Home Alone.

Normally, DPReview's "challenges" are simply for the fun of it - an invitation to consider how you'd best offer a response to the photographic challenge offered, and share it. In one particular case, though, they're apparently letting Tamron sponsor a prize of a Nikon or Canon fit 17-50mm f/2.8, on the theme of "Travel and Nature". Submissions end on Sunday, Oct 23 2011.

As many of you may have heard, particularly if you're of a geeky mindset, Dennis Ritchie died recently. He was pivotal in bring the world of computing Unix, and C. So, you could say he's had some impact. =:) And I also hear Findra left us abruptly. Not, I admit, a fur I knew well, but he'd been in furrydom for a good while, and in the course of things, left an excellent impression on many folks - that's not a bad legacy for any of us.

Monsterbait - dozens of 'morphic and demonic photomanips, from sea eagle to Predator. Entirely and unabashedly NSFW.

It's hardly affordable, but truly a gorgeous piece of craftsmanship.. Sigma Germany's producing ten units of their SD1 DSLR in wood: "The 'Wood Edition' emphasizes the camera's premium appeal by adding a casing made from Amboyna Burl, an expensive and decorative veneer taken from complex growths on a Southeast Asian tree. The case takes around 60 hours to cut, mill and polish. Ten examples of the special edition will be available, body-only, for a recommended selling price of €9,999."

Here's a pair of shots, taken quickly in succession, showing an onlooker to a chase decide to leap into the fray. ^_^