Another photography competition, Mammal Photographer of the Year. Free entry, open to all non-professionals (defined as main income being from photography) worldwide, but photos must have been taken in the British Isles.
Or, for anyone with at least £1 to spare, a prize draw to win the opportunity to be backstage with Stephen Fry following a recording of QI, in aid of MIND, a mental health charity.
A Watership Down fan's selling a cel of Hazel. (The auction listing also includes a frameshot of where it appears in the film itself)
In 2013, I'd love to commission these boots in SL, to bring them into reality. ^_^ But, where? Who could take on a custom order like that? If you have any suggestions or recommendations, I'll happily entertain them.
If you've not yet backed Elite: Dangerous yet, give consideration to doing so. Whilst the funds came in thick and fast to begin with, it's since slowed down, leaving it halfway to its target, with a month to go.
Whilst Sunday's rabbiteering of a week ago was scarcely an event, only glimpsing a few briefly, I was nonetheless delighted to see that the huge haystack that's been occupying the main showfloor of my buns for the past couple months had been cut down in size considerably. ^_^ It's still quite definitely there, but perhaps not much more than half its size of a few weeks ago. I suppose it could take anywhere from weeks up until Spring to vanish entirely, but it's encouraging regardless. And I even spotted a bun in the first spot that drew me to that locality (and where I was once challenged as to what I was doing there =:P), for the first time since around June 2011.
Here's a new set of geegaws from the BBC's web prototyping lab: recreating the sounds of the Radiophonic Workshop, with four HTML5 Web Audio API demos: gunfire effects, wobbulator, tape loops, and ring modulator. (Of course, you can guess who gets to demonstrate the ring modulator =:) They also explain how they used the API to create the demos, at the foot of each page, with illustrative code fragments.
How the immune system works, in simple terms, but of useful depth.
Might anyone have recommendations for artists for a new commission? It's been a while. It'd be for a full-color piece, possibly involving some fairly shiny attire. I'd happily go with Potato Otter, but he's not open for commissions at the moment. This pic (safe) by Dr Comet suggests they'd be a good choice as well, but my understanding is they don't take on many commissions, and at hefty prices. Still, who knows? Any suggestions?
There is, currently, a statue in London made of soap. Apparently, it's intended to be on display for a year.
This keyboard, intended for iPad use, but fine with coupling to other devices, is quite a work of art. Hand-made of maplewood (the link has photos of them being put together, in a studio in southern France), it's about as elegant a keyboard as you'll ever find. You can choose which keyboard nationalisation you'd prefer, Mac or Windows specific keys, and which of three fonts to use for the keycaps: Fedra (most Mac-like), Mrs Eaves, or Didot - or, none at all. Yours for 125€, from Orée Design.
Has anyone else even heard of Defying Gravity? It was produced in 2009 by several broadcasters, airing on BBC HD, ABC, CTV, and others. Sadly, it suffered a Firefly-like fate, cancelled after but a single 13-episode season, with ABC not even bothering to air the last four episodes. It follows a manned grand exploratory mission through the solar system, with the first stop being Venus, of eight astronauts (four women, four men), aboard a rather elegant version of a craft reminiscent of 2010. The characters were well-rounded and engaging, with a plot that pulls you in as it progresses. (I should perhaps note that it is very much a single story in thirteen parts - or, really, more like 39, if it'd been made to completion - so you'll want to be sure you start at the beginning) I'm impressed by it. Despite its somewhat incomplete nature, if you're looking for sci-fi with rather more of a realistic nature, and a forward, optimistic nature, I'd like to recommend it as something you might want to check out.
Its availability is, unfortunately, best put as "spotty". I'm not sure about all the streaming services, though it's available through Amazon US' "instant video" - but as far as purchases and downloads go, it's available as a Region 1 DVD, Region 2 coming in 2013, and in 1080p in the US iTunes Store (not UK). There's no Blu-Ray anywhere. (Clearly an excellent marketing strategy to maximise revenue)
I'm afraid I've had to set replies on my journal to being friends-only, for now - not just anonymous spambots, but ones with LJ accounts were getting a bit much. I'll try turning it back to allowing everyone in, say, a month, and see if things have quietened down on the spam front.
I now have the teleconverter of my dreams. ^_^ (Well, okay, not quite literally, though I do recall jessie_pup making a cameo once; I don't really recall anything, beyond that she seemed very happy with life). I'd been keeping an eye on prices for a while, new and used, and happened upon a Hong Kong reseller, Panamoz, that seems to have a good reputation on Talk Photography. Importantly, they explicitly note they'll take care of any duties and taxes, so the price paid really is the total price. Delivery isn't included, but a flat £9.99's perfectly fine, and a price of £241 for a TC17E-II is unbeatable, considering the lowest UK price is £305 from Wex. Take off 5% if you pay by bank transfer (so they don't get hit with any processing fees), and it's £238 delivered. And indeed, mentioning that I was a member of said forums netted an extra £5 off! As it's all "grey" imports, the warranty is with them rather than the manufacturer - but, theirs covers simply replacing the device outright, rather than forcing you to wait for the repair. Delivery was nothing sluggish, either - ordered on Sunday, dispatched on Monday, delivered on Wednesday morning.
So, here's the obligatory moon shot, with the TC. ^_^; (Click for full resolution)
zrath might want to look at this robot kit, of a rather spidery nature..
This is an interesting linguistics entry that begins with correctly translating a Chinese sign that online translators rendered as "for your family happiness, please keep yellow gambling poison", and in the comments, segues into the hues of pornography in various languages, and why that would be so - in Chinese, a porn flick is called a "yellow movie", whilst in Japanese, the color is pink, just as in English, they're "blue", and in Spanish, green.
A tribute poster (PDF) put together by the Center for Cartoon Studies, featuring contributions by the likes of Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, and Sergio Aragones, marking the end of Matt Groening's long-running Life in Hell strip.
Looking around for circular polarising filter reviews, I happened upon this article, which took its task quite seriously, as you'll see from the testing apparatus used. Better still, it compares 25 different ones, including the one I was particularly considering, the Hoya Pro1 Digital MC PL-C, albeit 72mm, rather than the 77mm I want, suitable for the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, as well as the Nikkor 300mm f/4D AF-S. In their testing, however, the Marumi DHG Super Circular Polarising scored better, particularly due to the superior homogeneity.
As lupestripe had mentioned, in his recent Serbian travels, I thought I'd try augmenting the popcorn the housemate prepared, with garlic and hot smoked paprika. And verily, it was a delight! If you're looking for a delicious, savory alternative to the usual salt and/or pseudobutter, try this instead. =:9
The star of this entry, however, must be a sculpture that ysengrin came upon, by husband and wife team, Gillie & Marc Schattner, "The Travellers Have Arrived", currently to be found just a little outside Sydney.
Dear Princess Celestia: today I learned that the verses in Labryinth's "Chilly Down" were sung by Danny John-Jules and Kevin Clash, best known respectively as the Cat in Red Dwarf, and the voice of Elmo. Entirely approapriate, as they were both voicing Fireys.
Everyone's heard it a thousand times by now, but this rearrangement of Gangnam Style is quite different to the original, played orchestrally, in a much more sultry, melancholic style.
Via avon_deer, this vid of a cyclist's descent in La Paz is.. well, a mite insane. =:)
Tip for Mac users who've added an SSD, but don't want iTunes gobbling up space on the SSD for iThing backups: make a symbolic link (ln -s) from the original backup folder at ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync to the equivalent spot in the new boot volume. The key point is you can't use an alias created by the Finder, as those work subtly differently, and will cause iTunes to give an error on reaching the point of trying to create a new backup - you must use a symlink instead.
Prize moment of the MLP season 3 opener, for me? Fluttershy stepping on Pinkie's disguise, laying on the ground. ^_^; To be honest, I'm not sure if the musical numbers quite fit the tense nature of the story, but seeing the crystal ponies gradually "reawakening" was particularly heartening, let alone the climax. (A similarly minor niggle was I wasn't really convinced Twilight had any grounds for feeling so anxious on her eventual return to Canterlot, given the outcome had been so successful, even if not technically following the instructions to the letter) The third episode was quite a classic, particularly the climax. It was most refreshing to see that indeed Pinkie Pie does have more of a range of moods than ALL OUT HYPER. ^_^; (And finally, I have a season pass for it, thanks to Katrus converting some surplus L$ into iTS credit. Glorious 1080p, no "coming up next" babbling, no broadcaster "bugs", and it helps support the show, even if Hasbro seems determined to constrain its digital availability)
The fourth, One Bad Apple, wasn't really a prime episode, unfortunately, although it did offer up a positive earworm of a song. I'm not sure I was convinced by Babs' decision early on in the episode, but for Applejack to remain completely oblivious about what was going on seemed a bit unlikely (if not her, Big Mac, perhaps?). The revelation toward the end seemed.. well, an explanation, but not a justification. Ah well. As with Doctor Who, even lesser episodes are good fun nonetheless. (I haven't watched ep.5 yet) And if you haven't discovered it yet, Mr Ingram's kindly made Babs Seed (SOS Remix) available on Soundcloud.
Consider, for a moment, these contemplations on censorship, by Kurt Vonnegut. They require no adornment.
marko_t_rat might want to have a peek at this animated GIF movie clip that drhoz encountered, of two rats and their human playing fetch. =:D
Or, how about the snore-tweets of a hummingbird? Even cuter than it might sound.
And whilst many of you have seen it by now, So Many Dumb Ways to Die takes this decade's prize for Best Public Service Announcement.
If you have a few shekels spare, consider a donation to Shelter, who are currently running an appeal to raise funds to try keeping a roof over 75,000 children's heads this Christmas. As times run tight, so demands on charities grow stronger, even as donations diminish.
Have you ever found yourself in need of peacefulness? The Quiet Ones may reassure you that indeed, you're not alone, confirmed further over on the HN comments. "When I was living in Providence, working on On Lisp, I told my loud but well-meaning neighbors that I was writing a hard computer book, and that made them be quiet. Ordinary people can understand that you need quiet if you're working on some specific, hard task, like doing math homework. What they don't grasp is that someone would want their mind to work that way all the time, as a matter of course."
Here's a letter written by Robert E. Lee, in reply to a speech given by then-President Pierce, rather clearly illustrating how a moral stance may yet harbor defense of the most deeply immoral - slavery.
LensRentals seem rather happy with Sigma's new 35mm f/1.4. The look at its PCB is rather interesting too, from a purely geeky perspective.
I've finally seen whence one of patch_bunny's icons comes. It's richly deserved. Truly a memorably awful film, but one which the MFT crew made into a fun time. Mostly. I'm not sure anything quite makes up for that skunk.. ^_^;;
Ye gods and little fishes, that was a painful install, even by Microsoft standards. Ultimately successful, despite their best efforts, merely requiring a few failed installations, a good bit of research, and eventually installing the upgrade on one virtual disk, then attaching the previous disk, as well as then upgrading the upgrade - voilà! What could be simpler? And then, of course, came the traditional update-restart cycle, repeating about six times, plus another few once VS2010 was installed. I just hope going with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit on the new VM doesn't cause any interesting surprises in the course of development - I'd rather not have to repeat it with a 32-bit installation as well. =:P
Dinner turned out.. well. ^_^ I headed down on Thursday evening a week ago for a quiet dinner, joined later by the housemate, when we began with their mixed meat platter, one of their home-made Scotch eggs, and a mini game pie. The platter included a remarkably good ham hock terrine, and the egg was as good as it can be, adequately spiced, gently boiled, and overall still warm from its preparation. =:9 For the main course, we both opted for the 21 day ribeye, with Belgian chips, and bone marrow. Now, the latter's not something you find accompanying many steaks, but gods, it worked so well - I left almost all of the Béarnaise behind.
Neither of us managed a dessert, tantalising as the options were. We did, however, round off the beer choices with Dogfish Head's Palo Santo Marron, something like an Imperial Brown, if that were a known entity.
Wednesday, we migrated from DSL, over to FTTC. It seems to work. ^_^ 5.6Mbytes/sec in, about 1Mbyte/s out. (Came close to not happening, though - the tech couldn't find the cabinet at first, and then found no dialtone, which he surmised was probably a mistiming between the old and new provider, which might not affect the data service. But without the cabinet work, there'd be no chance. I noted I was fairly reliant on having a connection, especially with next week's demo approaching, and the coordination thereof, and wondered if it might be worth trying the cabinet he had seen, but which was the wrong one - but close to the address specified, so I wondered if they might've given him the right address, wrong cabinet. In the end, it was just a matter of following the house numbers down carefully (with very few visible at night), and then spotting it just down the street. And thus I got to see a naked cabinet, with thousands of carefully tied twisted pairs in a dozen columns, as the frosty night drew in =:)
You'll believe a raccoon can fly, especially if they tick off a chimpanzee.
As for the diet, which I'll probably not reference again until it's done with: it seems to be effective. I can't be sure quite how much, given the inaccuracy of domestic scales, but 10lb/month appears to be perhaps on the conservative side. I'll allow Christmas/New Year to be an exception, but yes - sometime in 2013, I'll be 30% off. Such a bargain!
Smuggler's Gambit, a full Star Wars audio play, for free. ^_^ ".. starring everyone’s favorite scoundrels, Han Solo and Chewbacca! Performed in the spirit of the classic Star Wars NPR radio dramas and set in the original trilogy era, Smuggler’s Gambit tests Han and Chewie’s commitment to the cause as they venture off to reclaim their glory days, only to realize that their decision to help the Rebellion take down the Death Star was not without consequence.."
Whilst there weren't any astounding moments of leporine agility on view, I was delighted nonetheless to see on Friday's rabbiteering that, toward the end of the day, the buns I've often observed locally had seemingly relocated a short way down the field, on the other end of the gate. And so I got to enjoy the sight of five or so of them going about their routine, even with some glorious golden light upon them. ^_^ (Not much happening today, unfortunately. Must've flown south for the winter)