I found an article on sixgill sharks which states that sixgills have “small, flourescent [sic] green eyes with a black pupil.”
That a perfect example of a writer writing about something he/she has never seen before. In many photographs, the eyes of a sixgill shark do glow green, but that is because sixgills have a tapetum lucidum (like cats do), which reflects light (and thus, appear to glow green when the light source is close to the camera’s lens). In fact, I’ve seen shark eyes reflect like frickin’ laser beams at night when the light source is moved around a bit. It’s creepy.
I’m going to write an article about cats. I found this photo:
Photo: Una Smith (Creative Commons)
… and have concluded that cats have one fluorescent green eye, one glowing red eye, and generally look pissed off. (read more »)
At the time, the MTRON MSD 3000 SSD appealed to me because it is a single-level cell (SLC) SSD, which tends to perform evenly and consistently, especially when being accessed at smaller transfer sizes. Cheaper drives use multi-level cell design (MLC), which historically has had a lower mean time between failures (MTBF), and has been less consistent in its performance. Still, big flash vendors like Samsung have recently switched from SLC to MLC for their consumer products, which suggests that a great deal of progress is being made on MLC drives. MLC drives are MUCH cheaper than are SLC drives, and most consumer solid-state drives use MLC designs, while the enterprise environment still relies on SLC. (read more »)
Kim McCoy and I manned the Sea Shepherd booth at the LUSH press event at the Hudson Hotel in New York a couple of days ago. I had never before in my life been surrounded by soap people and members of the fashion/fitness press! The female to male ratio was at least 10:1 (which is always nice). (read more »)
In the few minutes before running out for dinner, I set a tripod up and snapped a few images out of the window. They turned out OK, but I think the exposures were too long. The swaying of the building actually shows up in some of the frames!
I spent most of the day fighting with encryption on the Mac. Yargh.
I did, however, get out for meals. I went to Candle Cafe 79 with Kim today, and had some really fantastic vegan food. She hates being in front of a (still) camera, but I’m trying hard to get her used to it. Met up with Tony, Scott, and Ai-Jen for dinner at Josie’s, which was also delicious.
Did I already mention that Dave and Kim’s wedding was the most incredible wedding I’ve ever been to? I think I did. Cipriani is a great venue for weddings. It features 60′ ceilings, and Dave and Kim packed the venue with yummy appetizers, beautiful floral arrangements, club-like/dynamic lighting, a 12-piece band, and more. Pat Suh came with me (the first time I’ve ever brought anyone to a wedding), which was great because I only know most of Dave and Kim’s friends in passing (and I enjoyed getting to know you all better. :).
Here are about 40 photos from the event; most of the images are of the people I knew best, but there are plenty more on the full gallery site, which also features inexpensive print sales and full resolution downloads. Dave has the link, and should be sending it out to everyone soon!
As a side note, I shot virtually the entire wedding using a 15mm fisheye lens on my Canon 1Ds Mk III. There was a small army of hired photographers there as well, who seemed to be taking lots of portraits. I focused on shooting the mood. (read more »)
I have never been to a wedding quite like this one. It was really, really well organized, and everything was pretty much perfect. There was a 12-piece band and the most insane spread of appetizers. Congrats, guys! (read more »)
I’m totally sold on CoolBook, a Mac OS X utility that sets the voltage levels supplied to a Mac’s CPU at different clock speeds. I became tired of my 2.33Ghz MacBook Pro’s fan spinning up all the time, but I didn’t want to compromise by running it a clock speed. After using CoolBook and tweaking fan settings with Fan Control , my computer is now cool and quiet most of the time. I’ve even tweaked my settings so the fan rarely spins up when I’m on battery power (and the CPU stays relatively cool). (read more »)
Pat Suh and I went to Dave and Kim’s rehearsal dinner tonight, which was held at Water’s Edge in Long Island City. The restaurant has a beautiful view of Manhattan and the Queensboro Bridge. I was looking out the window all night wishing I had brought my tripod. Instead, I propped my camera up onto a railing and tried to hold it steady for the exposure.
Exposure details: Canon 1Ds Mk III, 24-105/4L lens @ 24mm, 0.5s @ f/4.5, ISO 1600
I had a beautiful encounter with this 14′ female manta ray this morning. She stalled in front of me for 20 seconds or so before gliding over her cleaning station, literally inches from my face. I lowered my camera and savored the moment.
I wandered down the road yesterday and set up a camera and tripod to take time-lapse videos of clouds. The clouds here in Yap are incredible, and every time I see a particularly voluminous one, I think of time-lapse. Unfortunately, the big ones are often way off on the horizon and would require a really long lens and heavy tripod to do properly, but I still managed to shoot some interesting proofs of concept. I want to shoot a really long cloud time-lapse as a background video I can play in the framed 46″ LCD on my wall.
I snapped a few HDR shots on the way out to dinner last night. The clouds in Yap are incredible, and I’ve wanted to take this shot for some time, along with a mostly-clear sky and stars twinkling. But by the time the sky is dark enough for this sort of shot, exposures become quite long (the brightest exposures of the HDR series can be 8-10 seconds or more). And because the Mnuw is a boat, it rocks back and forth slightly, and wind pushes the tarp and other elements around.
I plan on doing some time-lapse photography of clouds moving sometime in the next day or two.
I had this conversation with a couple of tourists the other day:
Them: Hi — you were sleeping?
Me: (umm.. was that a question?) No.
Them: Yes, you were sleeping.
Me: Uh… no, I wasn’t.
Them: Yes, you were.
Me: You’re free to believe whatever you want to believe.
And people wonder why I stay in my room so much.
I don’t like to argue about anything factual — I typically end arguments by telling people to look it up on Google. Either they are wrong, or I am wrong, but no amount of arguing is going to change the outcome. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t know (yet) whether I was sleeping, and in any case, the (lack of) internet speed here is a big barrier to casual Google use.
I discovered toonel.net shortly after I started traveling to places with crippled internet connectivity. Toonel.net’s website says that it is “an experiment in a technique for conserving network bandwidth” — but it doesn’t mention how useful the experiment actually is!
When I need to conserve network bandwidth, I use toonel for all http (web) traffic as well as IMAP and SMTP connections. I’ve had really good luck with web compression. Alongside standard text compression, toonel has the option to recompress web images. I currently have JPG images set to be recompressed to a quality level of 90 (a noticeable degradation in image quality — but it can save as much as 50% in traffic). At the moment, I’m averaging around 38% outbound and 37% inbound compression. Not bad.
Success with IMAP and SMTP has been less than perfect; I frequently get an unresponsive proxy when I connect to check mail. Still, when it does connect, compression is good.
Toonel is easy to use — you just download the java proxy client, run it, and set up port mappings and web image compression settings. The toonel website has online tutorials for how to do this on various platforms.
I’ve also been investigating e-mail solutions for satellite connectivity, since traditional email protocols require too many network round-trips to be used in high-latency connections. XGate email gateway looks to be a good solution. Anyone out there used it before? :)