Monthly Archives: August 2013

Help Bring Water to a Town in Orissa


Tues 08.27.13 – Anil Dash is participating in charity: water’s September campaign to bring running water and sanitation to 1000 towns in rural India.
Anil asks that we help him bring water to one town in Orissa, India:

‘As I said in the video above, I’ve been haunted by a simple quote from Gandhi: “Sanitation is more important than independence.” Those were the words of a man who gave his life fighting for that independence. It’s that important.’

I think we should. Particularly the we of us who live in California, be it LA or San Francisco, and depend – whether we know it or not – on an intricate system of imported water. We in California’s cities are so removed from the water that comes out of our taps, yet we take it completely for granted that it will come out 24/7 clean, drinkable, and reliable.
Let’s help one town in India have the same as we do every day: clean, reliable water.
The video that Anil played in his presentation above:

September Campaign 2013 – India from charity: water on Vimeo.

Magnolia(s)

Nokia Lumia 1020: Close-up of a Magnolia blossom
Nokia 808 PureView: Close-up of a Magnolia flower

Click on photos for larger versions and captions, both taken by Ms. Jen whilst wandering around Seal Beach. First photo is taken by the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the second one by the Nokia 808 PureView

Thurs 08.22.13 – As Scruffy and I were on our evening walk through Seal Beach, I saw this magnolia flower peeping out from a line of small magnolia trees acting as fence. The flower was right at my shoulder level and I didn’t have to strain or zoom to take a photo of it, other than moving a few leaves and getting both the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the 808 PureView close-up to the flower.
Best part was that with the Nokia Lumia 1020, I just had to tap on the screen to tell it where I wanted to focus and I didn’t need to set the manual focus in the Pro Cam app. I was about 5 – 6 inches (12-15cm) from the center of the flower. On the Nokia 808 PureView, I did have to set it to “close-up” mode and even then it had the red focus rectangle and not the green.
The Lumia 1020 is very clear and the 808 is a bit soft, esp. in the area of focus – the center stalk of the flower, given how close I put both camera phones to the subject. But the 808 PureView’s color is much truer to real life. I find that if I remember, in the moment, to set the Lumia 1020’s white balance off of Auto and to the actual light situation (sunny, cloudy, etc.) the color will be more accurate and not as yellow-ish.
Sorry about the attack of Magnolia leaf in the bottom right hand corner of the Nokia 808 PureView, but top of holding the leaves back I also had two camera phones and one dog leash to only two hands.

A Nearly Full Moon at Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Nokia Lumia 1020 - The nearly full moon, shadows, and benches on a rise Nokia 808 PureView: The nearly full moon and the curve of the path

Click on photos for larger versions and captions, both taken by Ms. Jen at Bolsa Chica Wetlands. First photo is taken by the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the second one by the Nokia 808 PureView

Mon 08.19.13 – I have been turned around on my days since Saturday’s crazy jaunt from Tiki Oasis in San Diego up to Thomas’ graduation in Pasadena and have thought it was one day later than it was for the last two days. Today I thought it was Tuesday most of the day, even when all my technology was telling me it was Monday the 19th. Thinking it was Tuesday, August 20th the evening of the full moon, I dragged my Mom out for a walk just before sunset to the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, which has a great open view of the east and south for risings of the sun (not that I go see that much), the moon, and any other planet or star on the epliptic.
But the moon rose at least 40 minutes before the sun set, and not even that clued me into the fact that it was the Day Before for Full Moon. Silly me. But here are two of my photos of the nearly full moon taken from the walk around the wetlands, one taken with the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the other with the Nokia 808 PureView.

Sunday Tidbits: Scythians to Starbucks, the Dame of Dictionaries

Mutations : From a Scythian goddess to a Starbucks logo
The Dame of Dictionaries:

“Once, during a trip to London in those early days, she came across a tattered copy of The Ladies Dictionary at a bookshop. Printed in 1694 in Gothic script, it was the first dictionary that dealt solely with women’s concerns, she explains, with rules about dancing (it’s okay, but not wantonly) and clothing (low-cut gowns are fine, but not in church) as well as an essay on hair.
“I was so charmed when I opened the book and saw how to treat split ends,” she says. “I knew I had to have that book.” But she only had enough money for train fare to get to Nice, France, where she was visiting a friend before flying back to New York. Faced with this dilemma, she went ahead and blew her last penny on the book and hitchhiked to Nice. “That’s really dedication to a book,” she says.” – Madeline Kripke

Charlie Stross on Snowden leaks: the real take-home

“Are we ready? All together, now:
The big government/civil service agencies are old. They’re products of the 20th century, and they are used to running their human resources and internal security processes as if they’re still living in the days of the “job for life” culture; potential spooks-to-be were tapped early (often while at school or university), vetted, then given a safe sinecure along with regular monitoring to ensure they stayed on the straight-and-narrow all the way to the gold watch and pension. Because that’s how we all used to work, at least if we were civil servants or white collar paper pushers back in the 1950s.
But things don’t work that way any more. … Here’s the problem: they’re now running into outside contractors who grew up in Generation X or Generation Y.” – Charlie Stross

Read and enjoy having your brain tickled. Happy Sunday to you!

At the Corner of First & Marina

At the Corner of First and Marina

Photo by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 PureView.

Thurs 08.15.13 – The field at the corner of First St. and Marina Dr. in Seal Beach fascinates me. It is the former site of the old steam / electrical plant that was taken down sometime in the 1960s or 1970s and the land has been contested ever since. Thus, an open field with a rusted chain link fence around it on the edge of the San Gabriel River.
Ripe for photography and the play of light through the chain links.

Sunday Tidbits

A few short thoughts for a Sunday evening:
1) I like how friends and family when they lose my email or phone number they can’t seem to find it online or find how to contact me at all, but SEO and other link ‘specialists’ always seem to find my email and Google Voice number even when they are not listed. Amazing. Not.
2) Daft Punk: This summer’s big pop hit by Daft Punk “Get Lucky” illustrates why up to this point Daft Punk has been mostly instrumental electro-DJ outfit with occasional very modified robotic vocals, because even with autotune Mr. Daft Singer sings flat. So much so, that I have to turn the song off about 1/3 of the way into the lyrical verse. If you can’t sing in tune even with auto tune, just say no and go instrumental.
3) I know I have lamented about this before in a tidbit, but why do I only seem to remember to get a haircut on Sunday or Monday when the salon I go to is closed?