Alternate History Thursday: Thursday

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Like last month, I’m going to dump some raw history on you.  Be forewarned.

  • The month of June used to have 32 days.  It wasn’t until the Battle of the Bulge in 1649 that we lost 2 days.  We literally lost two days of the Earth’s orbit around the sun.  So much firepower, and so many explosions increased the earth’s orbital velocity just enough to remove 2 days from existence.  Let that sink in why don’t you
  • Don’t confuse the 1649 date, that is the one that caused the time loss.  The Sceptres materialized along the coast of present day Nebraska.  Slowly they moved eastward toward the primitive American settlements.  Americans back then were just like they are now, trigger happy.  Unfortunately, they were no match for the Sceptres and destruction ensued
  • The Americans soon came to trust and love their new overlord allies.  It was through the Sceptres that the idea of independence came about.  For the years between 1707 and 1777, Americans, supplied by the Sceptres, battled the British.  They wanted out.  The British didn’t know what they were up against, the Sceptres were ruthless in their march across the continent
  • On July 02 (previously June 32), 1791, the Sceptres accepted the surrender of the British.  They then left the planet as peacefully as they came from the shoreline of Nebraska.  All people who had direct contact with them were invited (forced) to come along.  By 1792 the Sceptres were all forgotten. It wasn’t until I uncovered old Revolutionary War memorabilia in my great-cousin’s attic that I came across a map.  The map opened my eyes to the great conspiracy that has plagued this nation since our founding
  • I brought you this information on the Sceptres so that you could let your friends and colleagues know.  Tell your teachers, you read it on the internet, when has that (or I), ever lied to you?

Wooden Analog Clock

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You know Japan isn’t just known for their crazy perversions.  They’re actually insanely good woodworkers too.  Case in point, this crazy complicated mechanical clock that draws out the time on a magnetic board.

Look at the intricacies of it:

wooden gears

Now here you can see, and listen to it in action:

{Withnews|reddit}

The Milky Way, From an Airplane

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Milky Way wing

At one point in time, I tried to start up a website for people to share photos they took from airplane windows.  I never had a chance to finish it which is a shame because it could have been cool.  Anyway, Alessandro Merga one-upped every wing-shot I ever took with one of the Milky-Way.  He took many different shots and had to process it in post, but eventually, he got the above, which is quite impressive if you ask me.

As much as the minimal light pollution, and less atmosphere that the light travels through, I really like the composites that Ian Norman has put together with light pollution from cities and the airplane itself.  It’s really much nicer, but that’s photography for you, everything is an opinion.

Here, you can watch his 20 minute video on how he achieved this feat:

I’m pretty sure I’ll be too exhausted from my Alaska trip to do much of the above, especially since half of my flights will be during the day.  But maybe in a future trip I’ll attempt that.  There’s really nothing to loose except time and frustration with the advent of digital.

{Peta Pixel| APOD || Peta Pixel}

1 Trillion Frames per Second

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Light is the fastest thing we currently know about.  It travels at 6.7 times 10 to the 8 miles per hour.  That’s fast.  Wicked fast.  Researchers at MIT have come up with a  hardware and software camera that can record at 1 trillion frames per second.  By firing a laser for less than a trillionth of a second, they are able to watch the light travel over time and illuminate objects.

The still life photograph was nice, but I really like the coke bottle one.  One of the interesting side effects of this is because of the hyper speed of the camera, the distance the photons of light have to travel relative to the camera sensor is important.  You see this towards the end with the colorized wave image of the coke bottle.  That’s where the software comes in.  They have to modify the resulting image so that the waves are in the right order chronologically.

Pretty neat.  One of the few TED talks I’ve been able to make it through all the way (partly because it’s only 10 minutes) and understand everything they said in.  You should watch it.

{F/Stoppers|MIT}

Grand Central in 360°

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I think that 360° video will be the next big thing.  I’ve posted quite a few 360 videos in the last few months.  Well this year might be the time when consumer grade 360° video takes off.  Last month Samsung released the Gear 360 camera in Korea, they’ve been mum about when it will actually be released for the general public in America, right now you had to be at VidCon in Anaheim, I wasn’t there.  Instead I bought it on eBay, super great about that.

Anyway, this weekend I took my brand new camera out to NYC to try it out and see what it could do.  The best shots came from when I set it up in Grand Central.  I took a short video, and then I held it up for half a minute to take a time-lapse.  Both came out pretty well.  Here is the two time-lapses, and a video.  Enjoy

Smart Shoes? (Or useless shoes)

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Not exactly smart, they actually make your phone less smart, and less distracting.  How we evolved to need a special shoe to take the place of self control I’ll never know.  The idea that In Good Company has come up with is to make a pair of shoes that pair to your smart phone and, through settings on a special app, disable certain settings and messages and alerts on your phone at certain times.  Again, WTF do you need special shoes for this?  Most phones have settings that already let you do that.  I don’t get it.  Oh well, if people are willing to pay, someone will make it, that’s a given in the world today.

{MAKE}

1,000,000 Photo Time-Lapse

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Over the course of 3 years, photographer Ken Loutit took 1,000,000 photographs of Singapore.  You can see the different scenes and scenery in the shots as he re-visited places to get shots of construction progress.  If the 1 million photos wasn’t impressive enough, know that the above time-lapse used only about a quarter of those, and that the total space was 10 terabytes.

He used two camera bodies with old Nikon lenses that he modified himself by removing the aperture pins.  Above I said there was 10TB of data he created, well instead of spending thousands of dollars on local RAID arrays, he had just one, and mirrored it to Google Drive for a backup.  I bet Google loved that.  135MB/s internet speeds helped make the data collection and saving easier, I know I’d kill the server performance by uploading all of that here.

{Peta Pixel|DigitalRev}

The last Person of Interest

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This is it, the final chapter in the 5 year saga that has been Person of Interest.  I’ve posted before, I’ve tried to get you all interested, but it didn’t work out, in the end, CBS decided to cancel the series.  At least the show is going out on it’s own terms, so we will have closure there.  This final season has been a typical Person of Interest roller-coaster ride, I’ll be sad when it ends.  Tune in tonight, let’s make the numbers giant.