Sunday, November 17, 2019

Video Ladies

At his blog Noblemania, writer Mark Tyler Nobleman published a series of interviews a few years ago with the actresses who played in iconic music videos (The item at the link is with the woman who played in Journey's "Separate Ways" clip). Most of them had fun and even a few years of moderate notoriety in their own communities or among friends.

Which makes this a nice little piece of nostalgia, rather than the series of creepfests it could have been.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Clears That Up

Pictures taken underwater use the light that penetrates the water's surface to show the image. Obviously at great depths that light is nonexistent, but even at relatively shallow, brightly lit levels the water affects what color the light is. All but the very clearest water can give objects a blue tint when they are seen underneath.

Which means that the colors we see in underwater photography are not always true, by being shaded with a blue tint that's more or less heavy depending on how deep the water may be. It may also flatten colors and cause them to look the same when the objects being photographed actually range widely in color.

Enter oceanographer Derya Akkaynak and engineer Tali Treibitz, who developed an algorithm to shift images' color so that we can see what the objects in the photos would look like in normal above-the-surface sunlight. As you can see scrolling through the pictures, the differently colored light that filters down through the water can alter the color considerably from what the item would look like if it were not underwater. Like a lot of little digital tweaks that exist in the world, it may or may not wind up offering much benefit to people -- but it is pretty cool to look at either way.

Thursday, November 14, 2019


Poor Opus! Two of the smartest, well, one smart person and one smart basselope, anyway, differ on how to uncover meaning in the life around them and he just wants direction.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Still Wrong

Once the Disney+ streaming service was finally up and running, fans watched favorite shows and movies to which the mouse owned the rights. Including Star Wars. Which now has yet another version of Greedo the bounty hunter confronting Han Solo that doesn't acknowledge the plain and simple truth: Han shot first. No simultaneous shots, no quick-draw attempts from Greedo, no provocative utterances -- just shooting first in order to save his skin, 'cause that's the kind of guy he was supposed to be then.

Although it's not really possible to top Jar Jar Binks as the worst digital development new technology allowed George Lucas to put on the screen, this whole mess is coming close.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


In a BBC interview promoting her new book, former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost two major bids for the White House, said "many many many people" are urging her to think about running again.

We have frequently noted how many skills of retail politics Ms. Clinton lacks. Anyone with two eyes and ears has noted how divisive her last run was. Since she would face the same opponent again and be no more likely to draw forth his good side now than then, we may expect at least that much division. We sometimes overlook how her 2008 run brought more than a few grumbles among Democratic women party leaders who thought then-Senator Obama's campaign staff adulterated (heh) their primary campaign against her with sexism. Some even publicly toyed with the idea of voting for GOP candidate Mitt Romney. In short, this woman is no unifying figure and has not been for many many many years.

Now, in the event that these people she mentions actually exist and are not a) all in Ms. Clinton's head, b) members of her household staff wanting freedom from her presence, c) a few folks wildly exaggerated the way politicians (and, of course, some clergy) do or d) a flat-out bald-faced lie, I have but one thing to say to them:

Shut the hell up, you morons.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Open Field

At Nautilus, Brian Gallagher makes a case for having professors who study why people are sometimes stupid, as well as the phenomenon of stupidity itself.

The subhead asks the question, "Why aren't there more people studying the science behind stupidity?" and it seems to me that the clear reason is data glut.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Test Pattern

Early dark makes a middle-aged grump sleepy. Back tomorrow.