Someone in my neighborhood left this massive box down by the recycling bins (not in or on the bins, but 5 feet in front of the bins) and didn’t bother to break it down and actually attempt to put it in or on the recycling bins. So of course it was left behind after the last pickup, and the recycling service folk1 scrawled a note on the box asking that the box be broken down and placed in the bins so that it can be picked up.
The fact that someone left a huge box down there cracks me up a little as it’s a pretty extreme example of either a cavalier disregard for or lack of understanding of how the infrastructure operates. The fact that a note was penned on the box is interesting. But even more amusing is the label on the box indicating that it was for a store display of “Fleshlights“. How many solo sex toys could one individual have received in a box the size of a refrigerator? I expect that guy won’t be coming out of his room for a couple of months, and it’ll be up to us neighbors to break down and properly dispose of the box.
- I think. Click the image to see it bigger and read for yourself. [↩]
Rachel encounters a sidewalk butcher shop on the streets of Hengdian. Hengdian is a 4 hour drive from Shanghai. Many movies and TV shows are filmed on the town’s huge sets, which include a full-scale1 replica of Beijing’s forbidden city.
Shot with a Canon 550D/T2i running the Magic Lantern firmware. Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens, Steadicam Merlin. Internal mics for audio, one channel without digital gain, one with about 18db.
If you are so inclined, you can download the video and watch it in higher quality from its vimeo page.
- I’d venture it’s actually 4/5ths scale, but it’s pretty huge [↩]
So here are the header images I threw together yesterday, along with brief explanations:
Due to the extreme horizontal aspect ratio, it’s a challenge to edit images for the header. But it’s fun. The header image displayed per visit is chosen randomly. Once I’ve installed more images, you’ll likely see a different image each visit.
I was a first-time visitor to Hawaii recently, and shot a lot of photos and video. I’ll be dribbling it to my blog in bits and pieces as I go through the footage. Here’s a taste: a green sea turtle at Ho’okena Beach in Kona, Hawaii. This turtle popped up as I was snorkeling in deeper waters and swam alongside me all the way back in to shore. A beauty. Perhaps she was amazed to see a film/video editor out in direct sunlight?
Meandering tech notes:
Shot with a Creative Vado HD solid state 720p camcorder (1st generation)1, in a Creative-branded Aquapac underwater housing.
The Vado HD is very similar to the Flip Mino HD and the Kodak zi8; I like it because it features a much wider-angle lens than its competitors. The Aquapac is basically a $30 very clear plastic bag with a watertight seal. Though this one’s branded for the Creative Vado HD, it’s probably large enough to fit two of them side-by-side2. One one of my snorkeling adventures I brought along my Canon HV20 in a dive housing, and its remote control (to start and stop the camera’s recording) in the Aquapac alongside the Vado. I probably could have put my cell phone in there as well but didn’t trust the bag yet and honestly didn’t really want it along.
This turtle clip is from the 2nd day of my trip, before I’d figured out that if I squeezed out all the air in the Aquapac before sealing it, the plastic would remain taut over the lens, resulting in a sharper image. Less air in the bag also would have resulted in a tighter fit against the screen of the Vado HD, which would have given me a fighting chance of seeing the image on the Vado’s screen underwater –most of the footage I shot on the trip, including this turtle clip, was shot by blindly pointing the camera and hoping.
I snorkeled with the Vado in the Aquapac bag all week and had no problem with leaks. I was a little worried about this, but wasn’t risking much as the 1st and 2nd generation Vado HD go for $49 these days (B-stock of the 4Gb versions on Creative’s website as of 7/2010).
5/19/2010 4:43pm Edit: I’ve been told this feature was in the previous version of the app. I just never happened across it
The official iPhone Twitter client is finally up in the app store, today, now. The app,”Twitter”, is actually version 3 of what used to be called “Tweetie”. Twitter bought Tweetie, and what was previously an excellent commercial app is now free and improved.
The “Nearby” feature of Tweetie v2, which showed a list of nearby recent tweets, has been updated for v3. It’s more difficult to find this feature in the new version of the app, as it is accessed via an unlabeled button, but it’s there and has been significantly upgraded. Now one can see not just a list of nearby tweets, but tweets in any area, overlaid on a Google map.
On the one hand, I’m all about openness, and it seems pretty cool to be able to see what people in a given area are tweeting, overlaid on a map.
On the other hand, the ease with which any of us iPhone Twitter users1 can now be tracked down by stalkers, paparazzi, their mothers, and other ne’er-do-wells is a little scary.
Change. Scary and neato, at the same time.
- iPhone Twitter users who opt-in for the app’s location feature when asked, that is. [↩]
This next paragraph is going to sound like a grade-school mathematics word problem, but bear with me. The Chevy Volt has an electric motor and a battery. When the battery is depleted, a gas generator kicks in to power the electric motor and extend the range. Chevy says their battery will power 40-miles of driving. So a person who drives less than 40-miles a day might only use gas on rare occasions. So for that person, a displayed rating of 40-miles-per-charge would be the most useful rating. For a person who regularly takes a 400 mile drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, 90% of their drive would be powered by the generator. For them, the number they’d need to see would be how may miles-per-gallon they’d get. The EPA’s current label design would fail to communicate anything of use to either the people in these examples.
Instead, they’re doing some kind of weird combined rating that relates to kilowatt-hours used per 100 miles of travel. This awards the Chevy Volt a rating of 236 mpg. Sounds impressive, but that’s not a number that relates to one’s experience of using the car. I typically drive less than 100 miles a week. If I were in the market for an electric vehicle, I’d use zero gallons of gas most weeks. ∞ mpg?
Here’s the EPA draft label, for the BMW Mini-E. That car can travel 156 miles on a single charge. It’d be much more useful if that range were just printed on the label, rather than “33kW-hr/100 miles (equivalent to 102 MPG)”.
EPA, if you’re listening, please label electric cars as follows. Show the distance the car can go on a single battery charge. If the vehicle switches to another fuel when the battery is depleted, then separately show the distance it can go on that fuel along with the size of that fuel tank. Nice and simple. 2 big numbers (distance ranges), one small number (size of secondary fuel tank). The car manufacturers wouldn’t be able to tout awesomely high miles-per-gallon ratings, but it’d be a more honest and intelligible way to rate methods of propulsion that use fuel not measured by the gallon.