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Informational

The Fermi Paradox

I just recently re-discovered the mind warping Wait But Why website thanks to the Back To Work podcast. If you want to feel really small and change the way you look at the night sky then read the article The Fermi Paradox.

Continuing to speculate, if 1% of intelligent life survives long enough to become a potentially galaxy-colonizing Type III Civilization, our calculations above suggest that there should be at least 1,000 Type III Civilizations in our galaxy alone—and given the power of such a civilization, their presence would likely be pretty noticeable. And yet, we see nothing, hear nothing, and we’re visited by no one.

They rest of the article continues to speculate as to why.

Independence Day

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Happy Independence Day

Zach Snyder on "The Man of Steel

Director Zach Snyder on "The Man of Steel" movie in an interview with the New York Times.

ZS: It’s a more serious version of Superman. It’s not like a heart attack. We took the mythology seriously. We take him as a character seriously. I believe the movie would appeal to anyone. I think that you’re going to see a Superman you’ve never seen before. We approached it as though no other films had been made. He’s the king-daddy. Honestly that’s why I wanted to do it. I’m interested in Superman because he’s the father of all superheroes. He’s this amazing ambassador for all superheroes. What was it about him that cracked the code that made pop culture embrace this other mythology? What we‘ve made as a film not only examines that but is also an amazing adventure story. It’s been an honor to work on. As a comic book fan, Superman is like the Rosetta Stone of all superheroes. I wanted to be sure the movie treated it respectfully.

Yes please. This makes me even more excited about the release of the new Superman movie. June 2013 is a long way away.

Pike Place Market

On the Avenue

This last weekend my wife and I spent our Saturday at the Pike Place Market in Seattle Washington. We went there for one reason and one reason only, the OMG peaches. If you visit the market, go about half way down the main section of the top floor. You'll see a jocular young man or woman with a knife and a peach in front of a humble fruit stand. If you make eye contact they will gladly slice a portion of this mouthwatering fruit and hand it to you with a knowing smile. Go ahead, take it, and try not to cut yourself on their knife. They present you the segment with the same hand they cut it out with. Careful. Then they watch you, scrutinizing your reaction as you taste it suddenly realizing how little you've experienced in life. The only thing you can think to say is their nick name for the fruit. 

The humble fruit stand.

Pike Place Market is full of gems like this, from the endless rows of women constantly making beautiful flower arrangements, to the tiny donut stand turning out tiny donuts. Not to mention the guys tossing fish to each other like it's the Super Bowl. And that's still just the first floor. Venture "DownUnder" into the bowels of the market and you'll come across shops even more interesting and eclectic. 

Troubador

You could spend hours inside, going through each and every shop, but there are fascinating things to be found on the street outside as well. The best of which are the musicians. A man playing a upright piano is on the corner of Pike Place and Pine. Tell him we say hello. Go to the Starbucks, besides the fact that this is the first Starbucks, you'll find a person or persons serenading the customers as they literally cram themselves inside. And both times I've been to the market I found a man playing the guitar; while hula hooping, playing the spoons and the harmonica. A modern day troubadour. 

If you get the chance, go. Bring cash, most places don't take credit cards. And expect to see, smell, hear, and taste the most distinctive of what Seattle has to offer.

Outside the first Starbucks

 

 

The photos in this post were taken with an iPhone 4S using the Hueless app and the Olloclip, which are both amazing.

Chosing My Next Camera

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There are so many good cameras out right now. The Sony Nex-7 and RX100 and the Cannon EOS M are the ones that have caught my eye this last year. But these cameras are all different from the DSLR I currently own. The Nex-7 is Sony's take on the mirrorless system, and it costs the most. The RX100 is essentially a pocket camera, a point and shoot. And the Cannon EOS M is a new compact mirrorless camera that seems quite capable.

The DSLR I currently own is almost 6 years old. In the time I've owned it Apple has developed and released the iPhone (original, 3G, 3GS, 4 & 4S). Blackberry has all but lost it's hold on the smartphone market. And the US has finally pulled out of Iraq. It's time for an upgrade. But I won't, because as desirable as these newer cameras are my "old" one is still just as good as it was 6 years ago. I really have no good reason to upgrade, or have the disposable income to do so. For me, cameras are unlike phones or even computers. Digital cameras have finaly made it to a point where development is no longer at a steep incline. You can sit it out for a few years and not miss out on too much. Sure the cameras that have come out in 2011 and 2012 are great, and have amazing capabilities, but in a couple more years they will be even better.

And that's exciting.

The mirror less interchangeable lens camera has been one of the most unique developments in the last few years. Simply put, these cameras take the sensors of their DSLR cousins and stuff into a point and shoot sized body.

Source 

No moving mirrors or prisms can be found inside either. The light from the lens is directed in a straight line onto the sensor itself. This design allows manufacturers to create smaller camera bodies while still being able to have the flexibility of a DSLR. Yes, you can actually swap out lenses too. See image above for what is possible with a system like this.

When I'm ready, my next camera will most likely be one of these. I would gladly forfeit my DSLR for something flexible enough to actually carry with me everywhere. If I were pro I'm sure I would want something different, or both. But I'm not. Of course in a couple years I may be saying something different. So don't hold me to this.