Posts Categorized: ideas + opinions

Has the Internet become too Slick?

Dooce writes today:

“During the panel I shared a sadness I’ve felt about the increasing lack of independent storytelling online, how so much of the content being produced now is all about images and beautifully styled vignettes. So much of the web has become a giant Pinterest board”

While I don’t read many lifestyle blogs, I have noticed that many of the food blogs I have read for years are now more like a slick food magazine than a blog. More and more of the bloggers I know have either gone professional or they have stopped blogging.

I enjoy the holdouts who are not sponsored and who are blogging/writing/sharing their passions for the joy of it, even if their passion is also their profession. A few of my current favorite blogs are:

Myth & Moor
Astro Bob
Box Elder
Poemas del rio Wang
A Totally Impractical Guide to…
Moby’s Los Angeles Architecture Blog
Leonid Tishkov: art in progress
Fixing the Hobo Suit
The Bitten Word

What are you reading these days that is good storytelling or blogging for the love of ideas, a subject, or just for sharing one’s life?

In Other News…

Local Passion vine flowers blooming...

In other news, the last 13 days:

April 15th – Tax day AND go to Chicago for super cool HERE Maps and Human Automated Driving demo day. Write up on the HERE day coming to a browser near you very soon.

April 17th – Ms. Jen moved away from Seal Beach for good, due to the damp/mold causing too many migraines and sinus headaches. Ms. Jen waves a fond goodbye to her fave little town by the sea with very good night star viewing. Ms. Jen does not wave a fond goodbye to the evil black mold that lived perniciously through out the town.

April 17th – May 17th – Ms. Jen sits on a house in West LA area whose inhabitants have buggered off to Europe for a month.

April 24th – Ms. Jen and this blog both have birthdays.

April 25th – 28th – Nokia Devices and Services finally is subsumed into Redmond’s Borg. Nokia HERE Maps and Nokia gets new CEOs.

April 26th – Real rain, yes – wet water, fell from the sky for a bit in the greater Los Angeles area. Followed by big wind and a nice chill.

Evening of April 28th – Ms. Jen still loves all of you. Ms. Jen does not love the Santa Ana winds that just started and the heat predicted for the next two days.

April 28th and forward – Ms. Jen is available for new career opportunities, esp. one that will include relocating and mobile.

Photo of local passion vine flowers taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia Lumia 1020.

È finito

È finito.

Truly it is finished.

Many things have died or have been on life support the last few years and as of today, they are finished.

The funny dream that I had early last summer, long before any announcements, that a dashing Indian born man would become CEO of Microsoft, and not a certain platform burner, came true today.  I am amused that I have predictive dreams about people I will never meet.  Life is truly funny.

On to a new beginning, shall we?

A play on words, or I should go out and take more sun-pixels

I love the web comic xkcd, as it is so much more than a comic with layers of commentary and critique – some so grokkingly subtle. Yesterday’s xkcd was a delightful, gentle play on words – Winter:
Winter
Today, the Economist has an article on English Purism: What might have been, which is channeling a more explanatory side of xkcd’s word play. The Economist is delightful in their own way:

“Any language in contact with other languages borrows words. And English has always been, of course, a master borrower. A west Germanic language brought over with the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, it first took a lot of Norse from invading Vikings, then even more French from the Norman conquerors of 1066. When the English later themselves became conquerors, they promiscuously took on words from languages all around the world. And as science and medicine advanced, English writers took to coining words from Greek and Latin roots.
Barnes, who wrote poems in his Dorset dialect, didn’t like this. He thought the English showed no self-respect when they reached to classical languages to make learned words. He deplored the loss of old Anglo-Saxon words like inwit, earthtillage and bodeword, replaced by conscience, agriculture and commandment. And where terms had to be coined for new things, Barnes wanted them to be created from Anglo-Saxon roots: he recommended sun-print as a calque for the Greek-derived photograph (“light-writing”).”

I love spacelight for the sun, inwit for conscience, little flappers for birds, whale-road for the sea, and sun-print for photograph.
Although, what should we call a digital still photograph? Sun-pixels?
;o)

Thank you, Sir.


Thur 12.05.13 – Thank you, Sir. Thank you for your patience, perseverance, hope, and the leading the push for honesty and forgiveness to crack open the very tough nut of apartheid.

Who Said Girls Can’t Jump?


From the NYTimes Sunday Magazine, “Who Said Girls Can’t Jump?“:

The resistance to women in ski jumping makes frustratingly little sense when you recognize what female jumpers can do. “The gap between men and women in ski jumping is so small, you can’t believe it,” Bernardi told me. “Every year, with girls like Sarah, the girls are flying better, better, better.” Today, he said, there might not actually be another sport in which, at the superelite level, the differences in male and female capability are so minimal. “Maybe there is something with horses? Equestre? But even there it is half the horse.”
Van said she believed that this is also the reason women have been excluded from the top competitions in the sport for so long. “If women can jump as far as men, what does that do to the extreme value of this sport?” she asks. “I think we scared the ski-jumping [establishment].”
There is so little difference between women and men in the sport because lightness and technique count just as much as muscle and power. A jump can be separated into four sections: the in run, where balance is crucial as the athlete pushes off a start bar and goes down a track; the jump, where within a tenth of a second the athlete transitions from rushing down the track to a hard-push takeoff; the flight, where skis are kept in V-formation, and the ideal model for the body is a kite, paper thin, but with enough surface to catch good air; and finally, the landing, which is often done in telemark style, meaning one ski in front of the other. A ski jump is measured by judges for both distance and style. Women are allowed to start from a higher point on the jump because of their lighter weight (for heavier women, this can be an advantage).

Girls can ski jump. Girls can code. Girls can do math. Girls can be astronauts. Girls can be pro photographers. Girls can be pro surfers. Girls can jump. Girls can do it.
Read the article.

Tidbits for a Friday: Camera Size and a Form of Naming From Without

1) In today’s “The Ideal Retro Camera” at The Online Photographer, Mike talks a bit more about the new announced Nikon Df and what would be the perfect retro digital camera. Amusingly, he uses the Nikon FM3a in size comparison against the new Nikon Df and states that the perfect lens would be a Zeiss Planar 50mm not the new special edition Nikon 50mm.
When I shoot film with my Nikon FM3a, I do not miss digital. But when I use my Nikon D800, I wish it was the size and weight of the FM3a. I would be wildly excited in a new Nikon professional level DSLR that was small and light like the FM3a. The new Nikon Df is still a bit big.
I realize that many of you would say that Fuji has already made that camera with their mirrorless X-E and X-Pro series cameras, but honestly I would rather invest in a few more F mount lenses than get a new body or a whole new system right now. Also, my Nokia 808 PureView and the Lumia 1020 satisfy my pick-up, go and shoot, urges than remembering to bring a mirrorless along with the lenses.
But the guts of a Nikon D800 or D4 stuffed into a FM3a body? A Nikon Df2…
2) Patrick J Endres’ wonderful photo of the Big Arctic.
3) A great quote from 3 Quarks Daily’s Abbas Raza:

“There should be no dividing line between science and the arts. I think they should all be taught as equally important intellectual activities. And that’s what we have tried to do at 3QD; we try to find things that are interesting. It doesn’t matter what subject area they’re in.”

4) Well worth the read, an essay on naming, slurs, and college by professor Amardeep Singh:

“But when someone calls me “raghead” or “towelhead” or “Bin Laden,” that can be a form of naming from without. This is why it’s not enough to say, “oh, it’s just words, you can shake them off.” Actually, you can’t shake them off so easily, any more than you can shake off the primal association you have with your own first name. As with ethnic slurs, the names we are given by our parents are not chosen by us. And yet we accept them as helping to define who we are. Do slurs that are wielded against me also then define me?”