I was surfing the web and found something I thought was funny:
Q - Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?
A - Because it was dead.
Q - Why did the second monkey fall out of the tree?
A - Because it was tied to the first monkey.
Q - Why did the third monkey fall out of the tree?
A - Peer pressure.
(I found it here)
I don't know; maybe this is less funny if you are fully awake.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I was surfing the web and found something I thought was funny:
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
It snowed here yesterday (for the first time this winter), so I went out with my camera and took some picture. Here's one:
A note on taking picture of snow: set the exposure compensation to +1 ev or else the picture will be much too dark (the white of all the snow confuses the camera).
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Qtpfsgui looks like a bunch of random letters, but it's actually the name of a free HDR creation program. I just found out about it today as I was reading the latest popular science magazine. Here's a sample of what can be made with it. For more HDRs made with Qtpfsgui, you can go over to the flickr group.
After my last post I made a DHTML page that switches between the two images (from the last post) depending on where the mouse is. It works by putting the two images on top of each other, and switching the order.
Monday, November 12, 2007
This is an image I took the other day of some color pencils I had lying around.
I started with the picture on the left (see below), and edited it to what you see above. How I made the change is as follows:
I duplicated the image layer, and set layer mode to value (that way the color stays the same, just the luminosity is affected). Then I increased the contrast of the new layer with the levels tool, and merged the layer down. Then I lowered the saturation, and duplicated the layer (I now have two layers). On the new layer, I did a 5PX gaussian blur, set the layer mode to overlay, set the opacity to 20%, and did a merge down. Finnaly that I applied an unsharpen mask with a radius of 5PX.
(If you click on the image you can more clearly see the difference between the two)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
This is the first installment of Interesting Links Roundup.
To start off, we have Hiding an Airplane Factory.
An amazing feet of ingenuity, hiding such a massive building.
Then we have Images of extreme Rich/Poor lines.
Incredible contrast between the buildings on one side of a city and the other.
From OhGizmo! comes a silly picture of an ESC key, escaping.
I didn't say it was useful...
I found a story on digg about a CPU a professor created that's 100 times faster than the current best. It's actually 64 processors on one chip.
And finally, from OhGizmo again, there's a story about super image resizing. Trust me, it only sounds boring. It's hard to explain what it does and why it is special here, but the video there will make it all clear to you.
And that's it folks! Tune in next time.
After my last post, it would be good to mention an article I came across while going through my del.icio.us bookmarks. It's called Why not to start a startup, and it talks about the reasons people have for not trying to start their own business. Apparently the writer is affiliated with a program that helps create startups by means of grants.
If you have spent any significant time on the web, then you know that many people make money from blogs. One of those people's blog is about making money from blogs. He makes money off of a blog that tells people how to make money... I wish I could think of something clever to say about that.
Anyway, his blog is called Problogger. It's the old faithful of blogs about making money from blogs, and one of my favorites.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Where apple should go with the ipod touch and the iphone.
Both the ipod touch and the iphone have touch screens. It would be quite logical to give them a note-taking application, like tablet PCs, which would be great for students who do not want to pay for both an ipod and a tablet PC.
Another thing they should have is a place where you can download new software to put on the ipod touch/iphone. Some of the software would be free, others you would pay for using your itunes account. If the software avaliable included document and spreadsheet editors, it could make both devices a good pda replacement (having them function as a pda would also make them seem a like a much better deal).
With the note-taking ability and the software improvement combined with the wifi, music ability, and web browser, the ipod touch could replace:
- An ipod (duh)
- A PDA
- ..and possibly even a tablet PC
- Again, an ipod
- A PDA
- A cellphone
- A point-and-shoot digital camera
- ..and possibly even a tablet PC
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Ovens and microwaves ding when they are done. Cars ding at the slightest offense, reminding you to correct your operation error. Washing machines ding, dryers ding, even some refrigerators will ding if the door is left open. So why don't toasters ding?
Countless times I have walked in to the kitchen to discover that there was some cold toast sitting in the toaster that I had completely forgotten about (I did that just now). A simple bell or buzzer would make toasters so much more useful to a distractable person like myself. Having a count-down timer on the toaster showing how much time left until you get toast would also help. I would suggest a toaster that e-mails you when the toast is done, but that would be overkill.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Because no one reads my blog anyway, it can't hurt to express my less-than popular political views here. I can't lose readers, right?
Firearms refresher course
1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
Guns have a perfectly legitimate use as defense weapons; they've saved lives.
2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
The response time of a .357 is far grater than that of the police, even if they are next door.
3. Colt: The original point and click interface.
4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.
5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
If you outlaw guns, outlaw will continue using them. If you get rid of all guns, they will just find another way (or make their own guns).
6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
Crime is caused when people choose to do bad things, not when a gun chooses to fire.
7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
I believe we have a right to own and operate any mechanical device, regardless of what it does.
8. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
10. The United States Constitution 1791. All Rights Reserved.
11. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?
12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the
13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
Guns kill far less people each day than cars. So lets outlaw cars, and see where that gets us, eh?
14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.
15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.
16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.
17. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
How many times have the police ever prevented a crime in progress, instead of just catching the criminal?
18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
19. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.
If you were a criminal, you would not care weather or not the law says you can carry a gun, you'll carry one anyway. You do care if your target has a gun.
20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.
21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control
22. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.
23. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don't make more.
24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.
25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.
If you say we should outlaw guns because they are dangerous (or because they can be used for crime), then by that logic you should outlaw matches. You can get hurt with them, and you can commit a crime using them. They have useful purpose, starting fires, and so do guns, shooting things.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This video is about passive solar houses from a company called enertia. They use an interesting design technique described in the video to make the houses provide all the heating and cooling needs from the power of the sun.
Here's a more detailed explanation of how it works.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
RMI.org (Rocky Mountain Institute) is an organization about energy efficiency in design. They have five videos of lectures given at Stanford university. The speaker tells how energy efficient designs can actually be cheaper to build in some cases. Add that to the savings in energy costs, you have a very appealing situation.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
The dude over at XKCD has made a web program that uses user input to find the best looking picutres on the web. It's called thefairest.info. The page of the 'Fairest'.
There are some really great photos there. None of them are mine.....
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Last time I told you a way to make a HDR (or an image that looks like one) from a single JPEG.
Since then, I've made a few modifications to the process. This tutorial is for those who are very familiar with their image editor (I used the GIMP, but Photoshop works just as well).
- Decompose HSV
- Duplicate value layer
- Invert new layer, then blur (5 to 20 px is good, depending on size of image)
- Set mode of new layer to soft light, then duplicate it.
- Merge down the first new layer, then the second (It gets messed up if you do it the other way around)
- You are now back down to the Value, Hue, and Saturation layers.
- Turn up the contrast of the value layer until it looks bad, then bring it back just until it looks OK.
- Re-compose the image. You're Done!
Monday, May 14, 2007
I just was over at digg and I saw these steps for making a fake HDR (Thanks, Elliuotatar).
By doing this, you can make an HDR from a single JPEG, instead of needing a bunch of files (the quality is not as good, though).
1. Duplicate image to a second layer.
2. Image->Adjustments->Desaturate second layer. (Make it black and white.)
3. Image->Adjustments->Invert second layer. (Make it a negative.)
4. Do a 64 pixel gaussian blur on the second layer. (Low pass filter. Prevents loss of high frequncy contrast on surfaces.) Edit: You can just use regular gaussian blur at about 5 to 15 pixels.
5. Set the second layer to soft light.
This works in Photoshop or The GIMP.
And there you have it. If you want to see some real HDR images, Stuck in Customs from flickr has over one thousand of them.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
You know when you have been playing an age of empires game for a while, and you are low on gold but there is none left on the map? Try this tip:
When starting a game, always have one or more ally. Then, when you get past the dark age, build a market. In the market build trade carts, with the gather point on your ally's market. The trade carts will go back and forth, bringing you gold each time. More trade carts = more gold per minute. You will continue to receive gold until either your carts, your market, or their market is destroyed, or the way between the two markets is blocked. NOTE: building your market close to your ally's market will dramatically reduce the amount of gold you receive.
This works in age of kings or in the conquers expansion pack.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
A man went for a walk in the woods, like he had done many times before. He took his usual trail, which, winding around a lake, was his favorite. As he walked, he came to a place where there was a path branching off. That path had not been there last time he went this way. On a whim, he decided to follow the new path to see where it went. It was a nice, pleasent path. He couldn't imagine how it had been put here so quickly. It meandered up and around, coming to a view of the lake. The lake seemed bluer, shinyer than it had looked from down on his usual path. As he continued on, he noticed that the trees were getting taller and greener. The whole landscape was greener. There was much more vegitation; ferns here, bushes of some sort or other there. As he went on, he became aware of a hissing, roaring sound. Not a evil sound, just a powerful one. He saw below him that his path had gone from hard packed dirt to soft moss. The light shining through the trees was green and warm. He went on. The roaring sound grew louder untill he, all of a sudden, came out to a mountain streem. Before him he saw a tall water fall. Everything was so magestic. Suddenly he was starteled out of his thoughts by movement near him. Something was moving quite swiftly in the bushes. He became aware of other things moving, all of them hidden form sight. Then he heard a horn. Not a normal horn, but one that had a very tree like sound. In fact he wondered if it were just two trees rubbing togeather. Then he heard something wizz by. It was an arrow. He looked up and saw a small creature standing on a branch in a tree near him. It was holding a bow and had a quiver on his back. It had a green hat that made it look rather like a miniture robbin hood. To him, it looked like and elf or a gnome. Then, out of the bushes, there came a dwarf. Not a kind looking dwarf, but one holding a broad axe and dressed in metal armour. More elfs and dwarfs appered. Soon the place was swarming with both creatures. The dwarfs were marching in, chanting in a language he could not understand. The Elfs were swinging from vines, hopping from tree to tree. Arrows were flying. It did not take him long to realise that the elfs and the dwarfs were at war.
He did not know what to do or where to go. There was a battle all around him. So he logged out, turned off his computer and stepped outside.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I just started using twitter. Its like a mini blog where all posts must be less than 140 characters. The idea is that you just post what you are doing / where you are at that very moment.
The only problem is it takes forever to load (I think they need more servers).
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I recently installed linux on an old (2001) machine. I left windows installed as a fallback.
Today I was cleaning out the windows partition (about 8 1/4 GB were used). I did the basics, uninstall old programs, delete temporary files (with Ccleaner), get rid of unwanted pictures and so forth. But when I finished, (I got the hard drive usage down to about 4.5 GB) I opened up WinDirStat and found that there were 2 GB of .CPY files. After a little pocking around, I discovered that they were all in a hidden folder (C:/_RESTORE/temp/). This folder is for system restore points. I had previously set the system restore points to only take up 200 MB. So then I googled: 'system restore cpy'. I found out that they are caused by an error in windows ME, the version of windows that was installed. I tried to delete them, but they were "protected". After a few failed attempts to get rid of them, I resorted to linux. I opened up the terminal window (effectively a command prompt for you windows users) and did: rm *.cpy. Guess what. There were so many files, linux would not delete them all at once. I had to section off the files in groups of about 1,000 (fortunately they were named with consecutive numbers) and finally wiped them all away. Now the windows partition only has about 2.6 GB used.
Monday, February 19, 2007
I recently started using Pandora internet radio. It's a music player that choses what to play based on what you've told it you like. The best part is, its free. I like free.
It's helped me learn about some of the current style in music. I have found a lot of good music on there. It's nice to here some of the lyrics of a song and actually have a clue what the song is.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Did you know that video games waste a half million years of time per year?
Given some conservative numbers - 4 hours per week of game play, 25 million people playing - you find that video games are played for over five hundred thousand years annually.
To do the math for you:
4 hours per week * 52 weeks per year * 25,000,000 people playing games
24 hours per day * 365 days per year
To be precise, that equals 593,607.306 years per year (208 hours per year for one person).
Thats a lot of time wasted on video games.
If you multiply that times ten years or so,....
Now factor in TV usage, which is a few orders of magnitude greater than video games....