Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Superstition Mountains, popularly referred to as "The Superstitions" or "The Supes", are a range of mountains in Arizona located to the east of the Phoenix metropolitan area. They are anchored by Superstition Mountain, a large mountain that is a popular recreation destination for residents of the Phoenix, Arizona area.
The mountain range is in the federally-designated Superstition Wilderness Area, and includes a variety of natural features in addition to the mountain that is its namesake. Weaver's Needle, a prominent landmark and rock climbing destination set behind and to the east of Superstition Mountain, is a tall erosional remnant  that plays a significant role in the legend of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. Peralta Canyon, on the northeast side of Superstition Mountain, contains a popular trail that leads up to Freemont Saddle, which provides a very picturesque view of Weaver's Needle. Miner's Needle is another prominent formation in the wilderness and a popular hiking destination.
As with most of the terrain surrounding the Phoenix metropolitan area, the Superstition Mountains have a desert climate, with high summer temperatures and a handful of perennial sources of water. The altitude in the more remote, eastern portion of the wilderness is higher than the western portion, which lowers temperatures slightly. Numerous hiking trails cross the mountains from multiple access points, including the Peralta Trailhead, the most popular. The Lost Dutchman State Park, located on the west side of Superstition Mountain, includes several short walking trails.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I am in doubt choosing my next camera between Nikon D90 and D5000, which recently are getting closer in terms of pricing.
I went on dpreview.com website (obviously) and I had the idea of using the excellent “Digital Cameras Side-by-Side” tool to compare the features of the two cameras:
Surprise: there are no differences! Only LCD, weight and size are not equal, but, from the technical standpoint, they appear to be the same camera!
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wired – at least the online version – it’s always great reading.
The global war on carbon has not gone well for the atmosphere. The really inconvenient truth: We’re toast. Fried. Steamed. Poached.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the planet we inhabit has always been fundamentally out of control, driven by fantastically complex, chaotic systems we scarcely understand. With or without our help, dear Mother Earth is capable of producing circumstances highly inimical to human life. Pick whatever black swan you like—how about the next asteroid or an avian superplague or that Yellowstone volcano? Climate change could end up being just a side note.
There are lots of reasons to avoid shifting the focus to adaptation. For starters, “We’re toast” is nobody’s idea of a call to arms. But in fact, an honest accounting of where we stand ought to be the jumping-off place for a more important (and way more interesting) discussion. The real question is not how we can keep things the way they are but how we’ll survive, and maybe even thrive, on a hotter planet. Yes, we should still work on cutting carbon. But we need to be realistic about what that can accomplish and what it can’t.
At the risk of sounding horrifically flip, change is good. Really. Without the challenges inflicted by our volatile environment, starting with some nasty 80 percent-plus species extinctions, Earth would still be the planet of the trilobites. We just need to find a way to do what we’ve always done: adapt and—dare I say—evolve. And then start getting ready for the next ice age.
For 70 years, mathematicians have been stuck on the Halting Problem: Computers occasionally hang on one line of code and fail to move on to the next, and no one can reliably predict when that will happen. (The result is the unending hourglass or pinwheel of death.) But a few years ago, Microsoft researcher Byron Cook and his colleagues did the unthinkable — they hacked a fix. When Cook tried to describe the workaround, however, he found it impossible to explain with existing mathematical symbols.
His only option, he decided, was to invent new ones. Cook phoned a friend, artist Tauba Auerbach, and after several months of brainstorming, the duo sketched out nine symbols, each of which indicates a function not easily describable with existing notation. Cook is applying the signs in a book on the Halting Problem and plans to submit them for inclusion in LaTeX, the typesetting program mathematicians use to publish their work. “Symbols change over time,” Cook says. “Some really convey what they’re after, and some don’t. Those that do stick.” Hopefully, Cook’s signs will stick around long enough to ensure a glitch-free future.”
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Live software demos often go awry, but what happens when the mayhem is intentional? The software demo becomes a bit of performance art foisted on an unsuspecting college classroom as students watch a man and his software both implode before them.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Un bellissimo segnavento visto su un tetto di Londra.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Directed by Ronnie del Carmen, this brand new movie based short film follows "the good-hearted dog, Dug [as] he is sent on a series of quests by his mean canine bosses." Of course, those plans always seem to backfire!
Up - DVD Clip No. 1 - Moviefone
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I don’t like the whole story of the Terminal Man, but this post is great.
I’m nearly two weeks into my trip, and I’ve had the pleasure of sitting next to some interesting people. One was an engineer working on San Francisco’s new Bay Bridge. Another was a PR director for the United Football League. I’ve also been next to some more, uh, eccentric individuals who are interesting in a different way. They range from neurotic to inappropriate to downright bizarre.
I doubt few will compare to Shauna, who I met on yesterday’s Newark to Orlando flight. I had just moved to an aisle seat in her otherwise empty row so I could stretch out. As the flight attendants finished the safety briefing, Shauna (We’ve changed her name) leaned in and asked if I was allergic to dogs. I replied that I wasn’t, and she pulled a chihuahua from what I thought was a handbag. Its faux-diamond necklace, spelling out KIKI, told me that I had just made one of the worst seating decisions of my life.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Time for the Fantastic Four to appear? Finally!
"In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we've seen in the past 50 years," says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. "The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions."
The sun's magnetic field is our first line of defense against these highly-charged, energetic particles. The entire solar system from Mercury to Pluto and beyond is surrounded by a bubble of magnetism called "the heliosphere." It springs from the sun's inner magnetic dynamo and is inflated to gargantuan proportions by the solar wind. When a cosmic ray tries to enter the solar system, it must fight through the heliosphere's outer layers; and if it makes it inside, there is a thicket of magnetic fields waiting to scatter and deflect the intruder.
Earth is in no great peril (remember this when your body will take fire – flame on!). Our planet's atmosphere and magnetic field provide some defense against the extra cosmic rays. Indeed, we've experienced much worse in the past. Hundreds of years ago, cosmic ray fluxes were at least 200% to 300% higher than anything measured during the Space Age. Researchers know this because when cosmic rays hit the atmosphere, they produce an isotope of beryllium, 10Be, which is preserved in polar ice. By examining ice cores, it is possible to estimate cosmic ray fluxes more than a thousand years into the past. Even with the recent surge, cosmic rays today are much weaker than they have been at times in the past millennium.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Playing video games while throwing back a few beers and eating pizza is the perfect recipe for a chillax Saturday night. Thankfully Pizza Hut has already helped us get our pizza fix easier with their easy to use iPhone app, and now Papa John's is going straight for the gold — the PlayStation 3. So now when you've racked up some serious points singing your brains out withSingstar but you've got the munchies and don't want to stop your sweet sounding music, just click on your PS3's browser homepage. From there you can go straight to the Papa John's ordering page and you can even check out some special offers.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I could not understand a single word, but the image is stunning! Here.
Scientists have created the final predicted form of stable ice, called ice XV, in the lab. But don’t worry — Kurt Vonnegut had nothing to do with it, and the exotic new form of ice can’t destroy civilization.
Monday, September 14, 2009
(Yes, it's possible to take action photos with an iPhone, some preparation required - you have to shoot well in advance)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Se chiedessimo a un appassionato di fumetti chi è Luc Orient, potremmo trovarci di fronte a due reazioni diverse, e per di più del tutto opposte fra loro: o uno sguardo interrogativo, tipico di chi non ha mai sentito parlare di questo personaggio, o uno nostalgico e sognante, che tradisce colui che torna con la memoria a un tempo remoto e probabilmente più felice di quello presente.
Almeno in Italia, infatti, Luc Orient è apparso tra il 1967 e il 1975, con nove delle sue diciassette avventure, e da allora è caduto in un oblio che ha pochi uguali nel mondo dei fumetti.
Leggete l’articolo, lungo e dettagliatissimo, qui.
Alla fine Luc Orient, con i suoi alti e bassi, si ricorda a lungo. Come scrivevo all'inizio, i suoi non pochi pregi finiscono per scavarsi un posticino nella memoria di quei pochi fortunati che ancora ne ricordano le avventure: è un personaggio che non conosce vie di mezzo, un retaggio di un'epoca particolare in cui la fantascienza non era così complicata, e nello stesso tempo gli alieni non erano semplici mostri animati da puri istinti omicidi, ma piuttosto creature complesse e ricche di sentimenti non diversi dai nostri. Molti storceranno il naso di fronte a questa fantascienza, banale in apparenza e capace solo di vivere alla giornata; ma che ne sarebbe, oggi, dei futuri pessimistici alla Blade Runner, delle realtà virtuali di Matrix, delle vite alternative di Philiph K. Dick e delle space opera alla Star Wars o alla Firefly senza le vecchie, buone, semplici trame ideate dai vari Alex Raymond con Flash Gordon e in seguito da Greg & Paape con Luc Orient?
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Il contrasto stridente tra le famiglie rom che vivono tra i rifiuti all'ombra del ponte di Via Bisceglie, e il lussuoso palazzo "Torre del Naviglio Grande", distante poche centinaia di metri. Il palazzo "si fa notare anche per un volume vetrato alla sommità che rappresenta un punto di vista panoramico su tutta la scena urbana milanese". Un folto albero fornisce ombra e riparo.
Gipsy families living in abandoned buidings, overlooked by a high-class condo.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
On October 31, 2009, MSN® Encarta® Web sites worldwide will be discontinued. I still remember how expensive the CD version was.
Why are these Encarta Web sites and software products being discontinued?
Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past. As part of Microsoft’s goal to deliver the most effective and engaging resources for today’s consumer, it has made the decision to exit the Encarta business.
Microsoft's vision is that everyone around the world needs to have access to quality education, and we believe that we can use what we’ve learned and assets we’ve accrued with offerings like Encarta to develop future technology solutions. In doing so, we feel strongly that we are making the right investments that will help make our vision a reality.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Garmin Forerunner 310XT
Garmin has shrunk the guts of this baby enough that it looks almost like a standard, if very odd, watch. Metrosexuals might give it a pass, but soul-sucking hipsters could probably get away with wearing it in public.
Vibram FiveFingers KSO
Vibram FiveFingers will make you look like you have plastic gorilla feet. They'll draw curious, often appalled stares from strangers and mockery from your family. Just like going barefoot, except without the cuts, abrasions and icky stuff between your toes. Ugly as a bucket of vomit. Just looking at the shoes is a one way ticket to the uncanny valley.
Benchmade 551 Griptilian
Flips open as smoother than 18-year Macallan. Grippy, textured handle. Well-balanced. Sturdy hinge-locking mechanism. Blade steel rates 58-61 on the Rockwell C hardness scale, meaning it will hold an edge.
5.11 Tactical Light for Life Pro Flashlight
The 5.11 shrugs off the yoke of battery dependence and instead uses ultracapacitor technology to propel photons. You'll never need to buy another flashlight in your lifetime, at least until they can keep your head alive in a jar. High-power pro flashlight pumps out awesome illumination and recharges ridiculously fast. Flashlight will outlive you. Seriously brilliant, blinding — a boon for flashlight junkies.
We wanted to love this skeletonized, futuristic knife, if only because it looks like it might be part Terminator. And we, for one, welcome our future robot overlords.
Gerber Metolius Fixed BladeGerber's Metolius is a versatile, inexpensive and fairly lightweight knife that looks incredibly macho. In other words, it's just what you want strapped to your hip when you pull your Prius into state park campsite #304 and start setting up your REI tent and your portable espresso maker. Looks menacing enough for Rambo approval.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Geavity makes it easy to see what your friends have, what others with similar gear say and recommend. Geavity introduces our members to our global community of photographers and encourages them to share their passions with their friends and peers. Geavity is the first social site focused on photography gear and will continue to innovate to bring together the world's photographers.
Our missionis to enhance the experience of photographers throughout the world by connecting them via the gear that they own and care about.
Center of GeavityGeavity's members can:
- build gear profile to showcase their gear to their friends and to the world
- explore and discover gear that are popular in their trusted circles of friends
- influence peers by rating and discussing gear online
- discuss and learn from people with similar gear
- get realtime updates on what gear their friends has just added
Friday, July 3, 2009
What's so exciting about the netbook platform is that it gives operating system designers a chance to start again.
They can forget the old-fashioned metaphor of the desktop interface that's been around since the 1970s. They can even abandon the file system concept. Instead, they can create an operating system quite simply geared-up for online activities. The computer becomes a gateway. It ceases to be an end in itself.
Moblin is an example of a platform from which you can launch your online adventures, whatever they may be. It's a jumping off point. It's the ultimate tool for online activities. It entirely shifts the user's focus to online activities, but that's cool because it's where practically all users spend their time.
Microsoft products just don't come close. It's laughable to even think they might. Microsoft is just too tied to the old-fashioned metaphors and ways of working, and could never have produced Moblin. Not in a million years. Technologies like Moblin are just one more nail in the coffin of the Redmond giant.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
With a great story:
Some of my best friends as a kid wore capes. No, I’m not talking about my neighborhood pals Eddie, Gary or Ethan. Well, sure, we all dressed up as superheroes at some point I’m sure. But what I’m referring to are the caped crusaders, the men of steel, the living legends who filled my head with stories of sacrifice and glory. Yes, I most definitely grew up on comics.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This is one of the most beautiful iPhone-related products I've ever seen: A stainless steel stencil kit to quickly draw iPhone applications user interfaces. It even comes with a Zebra mechanical pencil.
I want it badly. They have only made a hundred of these for $16.95 each. If you are one of the thousands of iPhone app developers, you better hurry up here.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I soldatini Atlantic , Airfix , Baravelli ci hanno regalato lunghe ore di gioco negli anni '70 e rimangono una parte ancora viva della nostra infanzia.
In questi siti puoi trovare informazioni storiche e curiosita' sui soldatini da gioco e da collezione piu' belli e piu' rari , da guardare o da comprare.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Great way to sell a crap camera producing ugly pictures – but there are some great ideas, too.
Back in 1946, the first Lomo Lubitel camera was created in Leningrad. Its name, meaning “Amateur” in Russian, reflected its simplicity.
Shooting with the Lubitel+ is different than anything you have shot before. The combination of its glass lenses, the flexible 120 or 35mm format, fully manual everything, fully automatic nothing, peering into a waist-level finder, slowing things down with focusing and dialing in the correct exposure settings, and a myriad of other analog factors make it a full-bodied experience that activates all of your senses and brings you into a special and very intimate place.
The key to keeping the spirit alive is VARIETY. Doing the same thing gets repetitive and a bit boring. Change it up and inject some fresh passion into your Lomographic relationship! No matter what your mood, the Lubitel+ has a film format to match it. For even if you’ve been around the block with 35mm film more times than you care to count, the union of PANORAMIC sized images (58mm tall!), exposed SPROCKET holes, and a fresh PORTRAIT format will let you see a new – and irresistibly tempting side of 35mm film that you never know existed before.
This is truly “auto-nothing.” This affords you total control over everything that happens. Lubitel+ pictures have their very own look and special analog character. Of course they are sharp, crispy, artistic, painted with light, and grand. But they’re also occasionally random, sometimes too vibrant, often vignetted at the edges, and totally flexible to your wishes and innovative tinkering. Rather than reflecting the objective reality in front of you, they reflect the subjective reality of the Lomographer behind the camera. They will make you look twice.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Staff picked, May 21st, 2009.
The free source for Marvel super-hero and super-villain wallpapers! Each click will randomly pick an image from Marvel comics, toys, movies, and video games to help you bring a little bit of excitement to your computer’s desktop. If you like a wallpaper, switch to back side clicking the “i” buttom on top-right corner, select wallpaper size and click “Get it” to download it.
What’s New in this Version
- More than 400 new wallpapers added!
freeComics 1.5: all comics are back, lots of new characters included, more than 150 strips supported!
Dilbert, Calvin & Hobbes, Garfield, B.C., Momma and dozens more are again available in freeComics, thanks to a huge redesign of the widget.
The list of comics has been updated to include all the latest release: moreover, several all-time classics are now in full color.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Often very funny:
The auto-focus tracking feature is straight out of the future: Tap a subject on the LCD, and the camera automatically keeps it in focus.
Although it had far less digital detritus than you'll find in most consumer camcorders, we did notice artifacts during fast pans. Reproduces colors like a Crayola factory - Great zoom tackles action better than Jason Statham.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
My dear friends, please be sure, I will not buy this camera: anyway, it’s very cheap on eBay.
Werra was a sort of a unique camera that it was developed and released by not Zeiss-Ikon but lens manufacturer, Carl-Zeiss Jena. It was well-known in Europe around 1950 to 1960.
The noteworthy feature of this camera is a way of winding the film.
On Werra, there is no film wind lever. Instead, the film is winded with the ring at the base of the lens. This is how it works: Turning this ring clockwise about 60 degrees transports the film to the next exposure, and also it charges the shutter. Winding operation of this is very smooth and easy.
For the shutter is charged at the same time as the film is transported to the next by turning the ring, there in no need to worry about the double exposures, but on the other hand, multiple exposures are not taken with this camera.
One other feature of this is a unique design of its appearance: buttons and other projections on operation around the camera body was omitted as much as possible, and its body design impresses a large number of people.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
It's about the camera.
The Kobayashi Maru scenario was an infamous no-win scenario that was part of the curriculum for command-track cadets at Starfleet Academy in the 23rd century. It was primarily used to assess a cadet's discipline, character, and command capabilities when facing an impossible situation as there is no one answer to the problem.
In the scenario, a cadet was placed in command of a starship on patrol near the Klingon Neutral Zone. The starship would receive a distress signal from the SS Kobayashi Maru, a civilian freighter that had been disabled in the zone after having struck a gravitic mine. If the cadet chose to enter the neutral zone in violation of treaties, the starship would be confronted by three Klingon K't'inga-class battle cruisers. The test was considered a no-win scenario because it was impossible for the cadet to simultaneously save the Kobayashi Maru, avoid a fight with the Klingons, and escape from the neutral zone with the starship intact. Electing not to enter the neutral zone to rescue the ship is considered a failure. A cadet's choice of how to handle the rescue operation gave great insight into his or her command decision making.
- There were likely several variations of the Kobayashi Maru scenario that existed at various times. It is probable that the Academy instructors periodically retool the scenario to fit current events in the galaxy.
In the 2250s, James T. Kirk became the first (and only known) cadet to ever beat the no-win scenario. After taking the test and failing twice, Kirk took the test a third time after surreptitiously reprogramming the computer to make it possible to win the scenario.
Kirk got a commendation for "original thinking", and later commented wistfully that his stunt "had the virtue of never having been tried." Kirk would later defend his "cheating" by arguing that he didn't believe in the no-win scenario. Ironically, Kirk also defended the test itself by suggesting "how we face death is at least as important as how we face life".
In 2285, Kirk, then an admiral serving as an instructor at the Academy, supervised Lieutenant Saavik's performance in the Kobayashi Maru scenario. Former USS Enterprise crew members Spock, Sulu, Uhura, and McCoy participated as "actors" in the simulation. Saavik's performance was predictably dismal; as Kirk observed, "She destroyed the simulator room and [the crew] with it."
The term "Kobayashi Maru" may be a slang term for any hopeless situation in the 23rd century, at least in Starfleet Culture. Leonard McCoy considered his and James T. Kirk's imprisonment on Rura Penthe to be a "Kobayashi Maru", and told Kirk as much their first night at the penal mine.
Trekkers are crazy!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Alain Jost, 2008
(BTW, another non photo-related post!)The swirling structure of this silicone lampshade is based on the Fibonacci Spiral, a mathematical rule that expresses sequences found in nature. Discovered by an Italian mathematician during the Middle Ages, the sequence explains the arrangement of pinecones, the spirals of sea shells, and other natural, biological patterns. This lampshade can be used with any kind of light bulb or hanging light kit to make an eye-catching addition to any room.
Available at the MoMa store.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
«POLADROID» generates images the same way than a Polaroid™ would do (Polaroid™-like). It produces high-defnition images (400 dpi) with the real aspect of a Polaroid™ and perfectly suitable for printing.
UsingPoladroid is straightforward: just drag an drop any JPEG directly on the icon of Poladroid and wait until the image appears... slowly... very slowly. POLADROID is an unusual software, completely crazy, which reproduces all the strange behaviours of a popular picture camera with its unique result but... so much copied: the Polaroid!
The resulting images reproduce all imperfections of a real POLAROID photo, such as:
- colour shifting and vignetting
- having to wait to get the result... can you believe this in a fast-running world?
- processing limitation of 10 images in a raw... yes, a Polaroid cardridge only contains 10 flms! You’ll have to quit the application and relaunch iit to be able to process 10 more fles.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
"I don't think, film will be completely dead,
but it could possibly become one of the most
luxurious things in the years to come."
THIAPS, "The International Analogue Photographic Society" is a platform for photographers who love the tactile quality of film-based images, who enjoy the wet and warm smell of developers and fixative, with a strong believe that ”Film is not dead it just smells funny".
A flickr group for photographers who are NOT using a digital camera.
Polaroid is transforming itself from an analog Instant Film Production Company to a global Consumer Electronics and Digital Imaging company. Production of analog Instant Film stopped in June 2008, closing the factories in Mexico (Instant Packfilm production) and the Netherlands (Instant Integral production).
Impossible b.v. has been founded with the concrete aim to re-invent and re-start production of analog INTEGRAL FILM for vintage Polaroid cameras. Therefore Impossible b.v. has acquired the complete film production equipment in Enschede (NL) from Polaroid, has signed a 10-year lease agreement on the factory building; and has engaged the most experienced team of Integral Film experts worldwide.
The Impossible mission is NOT to re-build Polaroid Integral film but (with the help of strategic partners) to develop a new product with new characteristics, consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analog material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is the first of the series with the round serial number 3,000,000. The set with this special serial number was presented to the Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Ribeiro Salgado in May of this year by Dr. Josef Spichtig CEO of Leica Camera AG. The award of special cameras with round serial numbers to important personalities is part of the company's long tradition. With this presentation the company is honouring the all-encompassing humansim of Salgado's photographic work which documents human fates in work groups such as 'Workers' and 'Migrations'. These are important contributions to subjects which occupy the world's attention. Condition A+, absolutely like new condition, absolutely without any signs of wear.
Not exactly cheap…