Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘photos’

Alinskying Obama

Posted by Richard on February 4, 2013

By now, you’ve probably seen the picture released by the White House of the President allegedly skeet shooting. Did you know that the White House has strict rules limiting how such official photos can be used and prohibits altering them in any way? Of course, this edict has failed to deter countless wielders of PhotoShop. Resistor in the Rockies, citing Rule #5 from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (“Ridicule is Man’s Most Potent Weapon”), has collected a ton of them. Prepare to ROTFL.

Carl Bussjaeger has some, too, along with a good analysis of the original White House photo. His conclusion, which I find persuasive, is that it’s a fake. Obama may have posed with the shotgun on his shoulder, but the smoke plumes were PhotoShopped in afterwards to make it look like he was firing. Steve Sheldon, a “lifelong shotgunner,” came to the same conclusion. The administration is just trying to persuade the bitter clingers and other rubes that Obama isn’t really anti-gun, despite a political lifetime of statements and actions to the contrary.

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A great Memorial Day weekend picture

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2011

This is Memorial Day weekend, so it's appropriate for us to be thinking of our armed forces, right? Ever since Colorado allowed liquor stores to open on Sunday, I've received an email each Saturday night from Total Beverage about their Sunday specials. It always includes an appropriate photo, usually of a famous person whose birthday is that date. Here's this week's picture:

Welcome home 

Is that great, or what? After I figured out just what I was looking at, I got a great big grin on my face. I hope you did too.

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Excellent lunar eclipse pictures

Posted by Richard on December 21, 2010

The winter solstice lunar eclipse Monday night or Tuesday morning (depending on your time zone) lived up to the hype. Here in Denver, high clouds cleared right on time, and even in the light-polluted city, the view was spectacular. The moon was positioned right above Orion, and to the left of that was a very bright Jupiter. Quite a sight.

No, I didn't take pictures. I just stared. I figured that plenty of better equipped and more skilled people would do the photographic honors. And I was right. SpaceWeather.com has a nice gallery of photos. Unfortunately, they've messed up some of their links. So here's Page 1, and here's Page 2. I especially liked the shots by Jeff Berkes (on Page 2), in particular this one.

CBSDenver showed a really nice one as their "picture of the day" on tonight's newscast. It showed multiple shots of the moon at various stages from the beginning through totality to the end of the eclipse. But as of now, it's not on the website yet.

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Amazing urban ruins

Posted by Richard on June 6, 2010

Hashima Island, a.k.a. Battleship Island, is 15 kilometers from Nagasaki. At one time, it was the most densely populated place on Earth. Now, it's a fascinating urban ruin. Some call it the "ruin of ruins." Dark Roasted Blend has a great collection of photos of Hashima Island and the equally amazing ruins of the Walled City of Kowloon. Have a look.

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Further explanation of spiral over Norway

Posted by Richard on December 20, 2009

The YouTube video simulation below by djellison offers a possible explanation of that incredibly cool celestial event over Norway recently. I found it pretty convincing, but judge for yourself.

[YouTube link]

It is kind of a shame, though, to see all those wonderful theories about aliens and globalist conspiracies shot down. 🙂

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Luminous spiral over Norway explained

Posted by Richard on December 11, 2009

When Spaceweather.com posted this picture yesterday, they said:

The first reaction of many readers when they see this picture is Photoshop! Surely this must be a fake. But no, many independent observers witnessed and phtotographed the apparition. It is real.

Now, according to BarentsObserver.com, the Russian government has confirmed the authenticity of this and similar images and accepted responsibility. It is, in any case, one of the coolest sky pictures I've ever seen. Check it out

HT: Slashdot

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They’re taking Kodachrome away

Posted by Richard on June 23, 2009

I’m saddened to hear this, even though I haven’t shot any slides in years:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Kodachrome, the film brand touted as the stuff of memories, is about to become a memory itself as Eastman Kodak stops production due to overwhelming competition from digital cameras.

Eastman Kodak Co said it will retire Kodachrome color film this year, ending its 74-year run after a dramatic decline in sales.

“The majority of today’s photographers have voiced their preference to capture images with newer technology — both film and digital,” said Mary Jane Hellyar, president of Kodak`s Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group.

Kodachrome was once the film of choice for many baby boomers’ family slide shows and gained such iconic status that it was celebrated in the mid-1970s with a song of the same name by Paul Simon, with the catch-phrase: “Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away.”

Great stuff, the best slide film ever, IMHO, and the film of National Geographic. None of the E-6 process films — Ektachrome, Fujichrome, Agfachrome — had that wonderful Kodachrome look.

Great song, too. Enjoy.

[YouTube link]

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

— Paul Simon

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CatCam

Posted by Richard on June 20, 2007

Cats live longer, healthier lives if kept indoors, and you really shouldn't let your cat roam free. But if you're one of the many cat owners who does, do you ever wonder where your cat goes and what he does on a typical day? Jürgen Perthold did, and being an engineer type with a tendency to pursue "crazy" ideas, he did something about it. He invented the CatCam™.

Perthold's cat, Mr. Lee, wears the CatCam around his neck on his outings. A controller added by Perthold periodically snaps a picture. When Mr. Lee returns home, Perthold downloads the pictures. Check them out, they're pretty amazing.

If you want to try this with your cat, Perthold is offering kits and considering making complete CatCams. 

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Visual search plus humor

Posted by Richard on March 8, 2007

If, like me, you think Google Image Search, Flickr, and Photobucket are pretty useful, but not as useful as they could be — well, you might want to keep an eye on Riya. It's still a pretty young outfit (company, service, technology, …), but there's a lot of potential there, and no shortage of ambitious goals:

Riya is a new kind of visual search engine. We look inside the image, not only at the text around it.

Use Riya to:

  • Find similar faces and objects on many images across the web.
  • Refine the results, using color, shape and texture.

We believe the time has come to truly make photos searchable, to let people say I want "more like this" and get what they want, and to eventually allow every public photo in the world to be found. We are only starting on this journey. Image search on the web hasn't changed significantly in many years. We are a geeky (and proud of it) group of engineers and researchers who are slowly innovating in this area. We look forward to your feedback via email or via our blog.

Like Flickr, Photobucket, et al, Riya lets you upload and store photos online (free, and with no number or bandwidth limit, but they're all resized to 800×600). You can keep pictures private, share them with friends, or make them public. But Riya can do some stuff the competition can't. Like recognize new pictures of Uncle Ernie (once you've identified him, of course) and tag them appropriately. And recognize text in pictures and generate tags from that.

The image database doesn't rival Google's, but Riya has some nice features, like the clickable tag cloud showing the most popular image tags. The size of the words indicates their relative popularity.

One thing that really struck me about their site — I believe it's the first time I've ever seen someone kidding around in the legally binding Terms of Use:

3. Grant of License.

The Company claims all rights to every photograph you have ever taken, even if you have not yet uploaded it to the Web Site. We even claim rights to future photographs you may take or even think about taking. Mwaaaaahahahahahaha…

Just kidding – this is not the evil empire. We don’t approve of the large scale theft of intellectual property by corporations on the web today who claim ownership to everything you do on their site. Our ACTUAL policy is that you keep all copyright rights you have to all of your photographs that you, through use of the Web Site, upload to the Web Site.

Check these guys out. An attitude like that deserves your support.

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