Tuesday, November 27, 2007

29 + 1

A certain somebody has said that my blog would gain coolness points if I allowed anonymous comments. So, I am handing over the keys of the asylum to the inmates: you no longer have to be a registered Blogger user to comment on my inanities. Have at it.

Also, for those of you who like snooping into my blog-reading habits, I now keep an automatic, continuously updated list on this site of article links which I recommend. This will hopefully cut into my rather tedious linkyloos, which, let's face it, I only do in order to clear out my brain so that I don't go insane from all the unshared coolness I constantly find in this world. If I'm going to go insane, let's hope it's for a far more entertaining reason. Like, say, demonic possession. I've seen The Exorcist, and you know, I think my life could use a little excitement along those lines. "What's wrong with vomiting a little pea soup here and there?" is what I frequently say to people.

Moving right along, I am now thirty years old. I had hoped I'd magically wake up feeling like an adult, but that has yet to happen. I've started flossing again, actually, but that's more because I'm back in touch with my zany ol' college pal Jimmy, who has now become Dr. James Boynton, adjunct professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of Michigan, and even if a dentist makes a point of NOT telling me to floss, the unspoken guilt trip is still there and I start flossing again anyway. Regarding Jimmy: we're talking about a dentist who, in our freshman year at Michigan, told me that he wanted a dental drill which would hum the theme to "Love Boat," which would make folks that much happier about visiting their dentist (ideally Jimmy). So, if anybody out there has any leads regarding drills which can play "Love Boat," let me know. There's already a Japanese guy who figured out how to make road bumps play music, which might be a potential avenue (hee!) of inquiry.

Other than the flossing and lack of demonic possession, there's not much else to report on The Astrid Frontier currently. I threw a slow-motion party, which I call 'slow motion' because it was more of an open house stretched across a whole day, which was very chill and very cool. And I've had turkey with my mom's homemade stuffing, along with that excellent cranberry sauce which retains the ridges from the can it came in. And I got to see the inside of the Yale Club in Manhattan for the second time in my life, and you know, I still say they don't have nearly enough mounted elk heads on their walls yet. There are a few, but they still have a ways to go, those Yalies.

OH, WAIT A SEC: I made a new website! I've been stricken with the flu for the past few days, which is why I haven't been up to much, but just before the flu hit, and just before I got to see how few elk heads those silly Yale people have in their silly, not-nearly-elk-headed-enough club, I made a website! This is the website I made:

What the doctor saw

I am very proud of this site, but not because of my own work -- really, it's because I'm proud of my dad's work, since my dad is the doctor in question. The site is a showcase of his photography, and even if he weren't my dad, I'd still have to say: he gives a very convincing impression of knowing what he's doing. Go check it out, then e-mail him and tell him how awesome he is. Don't tell him I sent you, or he'll think I bribed you.

Here are some phrases I've been using entirely too often:
loose cannon
madness & mayhem
29 + 1

Here is a word I haven't used often enough:

What I consider an elegant centerpiece idea:
A ring of blue Jell-O, with gummy fish suspended within it

Who else agrees with me about the Jell-O centerpiece idea:

My current favorite literary heroine, second only to Jane Eyre:
Dagny Taggart (from Atlas Shrugged, which I'm currently reading)

Here is what I don't get about Atlas Shrugged:
Why is everybody always kissing each other so violently? Once or twice, okay, but every time? Weirdos.

Something which just popped into my head:
What if you had a wall which was jammed full of mounted elk heads? I mean, to the point where you couldn't even see the wall any more, so it's just a solid mass of elk heads staring at you? And what if each of those heads suddenly burst into song, doing a full choir rendition of "I Feel Pretty" from the film West Side Story?

Welcome to my brain, everyone. The information desk is temporarily closed, the cafeteria downstairs is currently serving an excellent pea soup, and don't forget to visit the gift shop at the main entrance. Tipping the coat check guy is optional, but always appreciated.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

HD Camera Smackdown!

I e-mailed a friend of mine that I'm going to the HD Expo's Sony F23/Band Pro camera demo tomorrow night, and he snapped. He started ranting and raving about how the F23 is obsolete before it's even been released, that it's a "cheap Genesis knockoff," not even good enough to lick the boots of the Panavision Genesis (or the Arri D-20 for that matter), yadda yadda yadda. I sent back my counter argument, and then figured, hey, somebody else might want to see this, too, in case they're on the fence about the latest HD-shooting fanciness out there. My e-mail to my friend is reproduced below (except for the personal bits); please tell me if I have any of the info wrong/outdated, and I'll adjust things accordingly.


To address your F23 rant, though: I don't think the debate is quite so cut-and-dried. The Genesis actually uses a big chunk of Sony imaging technology, so rather than the F23 being a 'cheap Genesis knockoff,' it's more like a different branch from the same tree. And although the Genesis does have an impressively-sized chip, it still (as far as I know) translates into the same ho-hum 1080 resolution. Mainly, it was developed to be usable with Panavision lenses, which is definitely terrific, but I don't think this makes the Genesis an inherently superior camera to all others. Most others, yes, but not all. Now, if it could use Cooke S4s, I might change my tune....

As for the D-20, it would be mind-bendingly magnificent, outstripping all others (even the Genesis), except for one teensy problem -- all the good stuff is only available in 'data' mode, which is still unavailable! I mean, come ON! Nice idea, but I'll reserve my confetti and party hat for next year, when the data mode will presumably be fully operational and the D-20 can show us its full range. Until then, pbthfthfthft. And that's the technical term, I believe.

For my money, it's the the Dalsa Origin which currently kicks the most ass -- depending on how you capture, it has what I like to call 'hyper HD' resolution, plus it uses 16-bit instead of everybody else's 12-bit approach, so it has a latitude of about 12 stops. W00t!

I suspect the RED camera is a whole lotta hype, but I'll hold my judgment until it's fully rolled out (with all accessories, widely available etc.) tested by lots of people and reviewed accordingly.

As for the F23, it has full 4:4:4, and the highest rez is the blah de blah 1080 (snore), but get this: it has 14-bit capture, which definitely makes me curious about its latitude. I fully intend to badger the Band Pro folks on this, as well as about lenses/depth of field/variable frame rate (I'm not so hopeful about that last one), we'll see what happens.

In case you haven't seen this, I strongly recommend the downloadable chart at http://www.hdcompare.com/Cameras.htm. It doesn't mention the D-20's belated 'upgrade' next year, but it's otherwise pretty impressively comprehensive.

. . . .

Geekily yours,


Ladies and gentlemen, the smackdown has commenced. If you'd like the join the fray, e-mail/comment away!

Monday, November 5, 2007

tales from the drafts folder

It's a curious thing, going through my e-mail drafts folder; it's like going through a time capsule of things I meant to act upon, things never finished, or perhaps things finished later and yet the older versions remained undeleted. All very curious. Here are some gems I unearthed today:

Dec 12, 2005, to a gal in Chicago
P.S. I love going to museums by myself! I like to think it makes me seem mysterious. Next time you go, break out some serious eyeliner (artfully smudged), pile your hair up and wear something asymmetrical. As you gaze at various works, strike artful poses and look doleful. This never fails to secretly cheer me up, and it sometimes gets the attention of various indie boys who may be hanging around....

May 18, 2006, from overheardinnewyork.com
How About Gefilte Fish and a Halogen
Guy #1: So what should we get him for his birthday?
Guy #2: I don't know....what about a menorah?
Guy #1: What? But it's not Hannukah.
Guy #2: Yeah, but he's Jewish. And his room is dark.
--Union Square

May 19, 2006, from overheardinnewyork.com
Say Cheese, Chucky
Mom taking photos of son: Smile, sweetie.
[click click]
Mom: Smile from within, honey.
[click click]
Mom: Smiling from within means smile like you're happy on the inside.
[click click]
Mom: Okay, not that much.
--Prospect Park

July 12, 2007
Yung Joc featuring Gorilla Zoe - Coffee Shop
I like hip hop like I like my humans: brash, silly, self-aware, smart, and tons of style to spare.

Sesame Street -- How Crayons Are Made
A commenter on YouTube called the music "synth-baroque," and I agree. Synth-baroque = awesome, and this is one of my all-time favorite Sesame Street shorts.