March 4th, 2012

Curr and Skeef

The wind farm of my mind

Of all publications, it's perhaps a little curious that it's the Radio Times noting a rumor that Benedict Cumberbatch may be the next Master, in the Doctor's 50th anniversary next year. (The poll at the foot of the story is, not terribly surprisingly, positive on the notion, with 85% saying he should)

The outcome of surviving a lightning strike - a Lichtenberg scar. Quite beautiful, despite its origin.

A lengthy, meandering, and sometimes perspicacious discourse on the nature of formal education, and its place in life: Stop Stealing Dreams.

Could be worth a visit, if you're in London in July: the Barbican will be hosting a James Bond exhibition: Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style, which 'promises to showcase five decades of gadgets, sets, costumes and cars, along with the blueprints, drawings and models that went into creating them. "It's the unseen Bond," said the show's curator, fashion historian Bronwyn Cosgrave. "We're showing the complete scope of design of a Bond film, which has never been done before." Cosgrave has worked on the show for the past two years with Bond producers Eon, with "unprecedented access" to the Bond archive in north London. Designed by architect Ab Rogers, the "immersive" show will take up the Barbican's entire ground floor and a lower level theatre, with exhibits from Dr No, to this year's forthcoming Skyfall.'

I wonder if the MLP:FiM producers could be tempted into putting on a concert of the many wonderful musical numbers they've included in the show.. it'd be quite challenging, I imagine, but what an event that would be - imagine a venue filled with Winter Wrap-Up and The Smile Song. =:D

If you do any DVD encoding still, or indeed, other video transcoding, you might like to kno Handbrake 0.9.6 was released the other day. Nothing massive, but various nice refinements, as well as the usual updating of the encoder libraries themselves. Free, open source, with downloads for OS X, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Windows.

It's only open to UK residents, unfortunately, but with that caveat, I noticed the Guardian's running a drawing for a rather spiffy five-night trip to Tokyo, for two people, with Virgin. Thankfully, the entry form seems well designed, with the "send me information about.." boxes all needing to be actively ticked by you, rather than supplied that way. Entries need to be in by March 15th.

Behind the Sofa comes out in September 2012, but if you want to pre-order, there are various incentive levels available. It's a 200 page tome, compiling many celebrities' childhood memories of Doctor Who, including the likes of Charlie Brooker, Bill Oddie, Chris Tarrant, Johnathan Ross, Paul Hartnoll, and Rick Wakeman. All profits go to Alzheimers Research UK. The hardcover will set you back £15, or PDF for £5, with packages at £20, £40, £200, and £1000 - the last (one available) nets you your memory included in the book. ^_^ And yes, Michael Grade's in there.. =:D

I'm now a three-lens bunny. ^_^ Nothing exotic, but while perusing one used equipment dealer's selection on the bus in one day, I spotted a Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 for peanuts. It's only an AF (rather than AF-S) lens, so focus is driven not by a motor in the lens, as is the norm now, but by a motor in the camera body, via a screw drive. That said, focus point changing seems quite rapid nonetheless, and the resolution seems quite acceptable, if soft when fully open. The main purpose for acquiring another lens was for situations like capturing the nephews, where painstakingly finding manual focus correct really doesn't work. =:) Slightly unusually, the design means the lens grows longer as you head toward 80mm, but also as you head down from around 40mm.

Another search engine to add to the toolbox: Stealth. Their tagline? "No tracking, no targeted ads, no saved searches, no recorded IP addresses, no cookies." Seems quite elegantly implemented, too.