20,000 rpms

Current F1 engines are 3.0 liter V10s. The FIA governing body has decided to move to 2.4 liter V8s or rev-limited V10s in 2006. They site cost-cutting and safety as the rationale, but I’m not thrilled about the change — I worry about the change in engine note.

Cosworth, the ex-Ford engine manufacturer has a little mpeg up on their site of the early version of the new F1 engine revving up to 20,002 rpms. The sound is incredible. You think that it would surely shatter itself in a million pieces at 16,000 by the sound. 20,000 is amazing to hear. I have been told that F1 engines spin so fast that a traditional tachometers don’t work, so it is all based on harmonics.

Direct link to MPEG 2.2mb

[via Pitpass]


Big-Assed Spiders

P7100160 (Large)

Lamma Island, Hong Kong, China SAR.

Took an opportunity over the weekend to get out to one of the outlying islands of HK for some hiking. On the way to the beach, in a bit of a damp valley, there were these huge spiders everywhere. This was one of the medium sized ones that I could get close enough to for good perspective shot. Upon reflection it might not have been smart to use my Amex because if that spider had made a move for my hand I would have dropped it in a heartbeat and it was headed for a good 15’ drop from there. Although maybe American Express could have used my story in one of those travel commercials.


vonage at the ritz

Not wanting to pay the ridiculous fees charged by the hotel from Hong Kong back to the states, I decided to pack some extra gear and try to find a better way.

Boy howdy this is great.

If you click to see the Flickr version, you can see my annotations that point out what’s what more clearly, but along the bottom of the image are the essential components. I connect the Linksys wireless (and wired) travel router to the hotel’s high speed ethernet connection. Then I attach my Vonage ATA packed up and brought from home and connect a $6 Radio Shack old-people-special POTS phone (with extra large buttons). Open up the laptop, connect to my wireless router, open up the browser, and hit the hotel’s “click this button to charge 24 hour internet access to the room”. Pick up the phone, get a dial tone, call anywhere in the US & Canada for f-r-e-e! The quality is impeccable. Absolutely no lag whatsoever.  

Granted I have to pay the hotel’s internet charges, but there was no question I was going to be doing that anyway. The only downside of all this was the amount of equipment needed, especially having to plug everything in.

I signed up for Skype and brought a headset as a backup solution, but my initial tests using this method were really disappointing, especially in the lag-time area.

Eagle-eyed readers might spot Emily’s Holga camera. Interesting things Holgas.


photoshop cs2 lens blur

My work as Emily’s photoshop man continues. Stuff I’ve done lately follows.

Lens Blur: This is useful if you want to emulate depth-of-field, i.e. blur the background, but leave the foreground in focus. This is useful if you take a portrait with a cheap point-and-shoot, but you want to emulate a more sophisticated “pro” look. Photoshop CS2 has a specific lens blur filter for this purpose, but you need to build a depth map to tell it where the foreground is. Photoshop is smart, but not smart enough to do a 3D mapping on its own. I won’t go into all the details, because this tutorial from RetouchPRO has it all.

Double Chin: I won’t be linking directly to my celebrity edited images here. Again RetouchPRO to the rescue.

Simple tip. I use CS2’s Shadows and Highlights for almost every image I work on. It is amazing.

I have subscribed to WebLogs, Inc.’s the unofficial photoshop weblog


butterfly boucher is her real name?

I’ve been listening to this album quite a bit. Just checked allmusic.com to see if she had any other albums and thought the biography was interesting enough to share with y’all.

Born in the middle of a seven-daughter family with creative and free-spirited parents, Butterfly Boucher’s first name was suggested by some divine intervention her mother was experiencing. A picture on an elementary school wall, a print on a dance teacher’s leotard, and a 45rpm single of “The Butterfly Song,” brought home by one of her other daughters, all pointed to the name. Her father had pursued a professional career in music but when that failed, all their possessions were given away and the family piled into the car and traveled to Australia’s outback. Things settled down, but the wandering spirit stuck with Butterfly. Since most of her young friends had little interest in creating music, Butterfly was left to play all the instruments herself when she started experimenting with a four-track recorder at the age of ten. She later joined her sister’s band, the Mercy Bell, on bass, but when a record deal fell through some of the siblings headed to Europe to form a busking “street theater” group. A friend and fellow musician Mike Dixon appreciated Butterfly’s stage presence and talent and suggested she try a solo career. Spending every bit of money she had, Butterfly bought a laptop for recording and headed to Stockton, England to refine her writing and playing. She recorded demos, playing every instrument once again, and through Dixon‘s connections in the business, she ended up with a contract with A&M records. The fully realized demos didn’t need much added to them, and appeared mostly untouched on her debut, Flutterby, released in late 2003.

Now playing: Butterfly BoucherAnother White Dash


at least it is a wet heat


Leaving Monday for Hong Kong, coming back after ten days. Emily is coming and bringing the full compliment of camera gear so expect pictures.