has it really been two decades?

I look forward to seeing you all on March 22.

Facebook can suckaduck -- we can run our own infrastructure.

you all suck.

except for zsazs.

he blows.

the impossible project makes it possible

a couple years ago, Polaroid shut down the last integral film plant in the Netherlands. some crazy people got money together and bought the entire plant, including all production machinery. the shutdown was due to lagging demand, but also due to lack of chemical availability, specifically a titanium dioxide powder made by Dow chemical. the only plant for producing this particular substance to Polaroid's specifications just so happened to be located in Louisiana and was destroyed by hurricane Katrina.

Polaroid, I hardly knew ye

Yesterday, February 21st, 2008, was the 61st anniversary of Edwin Land's first demonstration instant photography to the Optical Society of America. Yesterday was also when Polaroid officially announced their withdrawl dates for instant film.

Beer Bread Time

I've recently been getting into making beer breads. Here's what you need:

1 medium cast-iron skillet, lightly greased with oil
1 small cast-iron skillet or melting pot
1 mixing bowl
3 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
12 oz. beer
1/4 stick butter

Netapp on disks

after the two disk-related papers at FAST07 from Disk Failures in the Real World to Google's Disk Failures, netapp responds to disk failure.

RAID5 is crap, SMART isn't, MTBF is a lie, and consumer-grade disks are A-OK.

I don't know what that means for the gigantic gaggle of ancient hardware in my basement, but certainly I'll grind it until it gives up...

Dye Transfer

Dye transfer is a photographic process usually reserved for color archival work and high-quality copy. For the large part of the 20th century, it remained the color gold standard due to its high saturation, contrast, detail, density, and fade-resistance. Technicolor was originally a dye transfer process. Kodak discontinued all chemicals and films necessary for the process in 1995, but some dedicated folks have continued to slog on. Technicolor was reintroduced in 2001, but discontinued again in 2003.

So what the hell is dye transfer about?

Creating dye transfer works is an extremely time-consuming process. The source (color transparency) is exposed through red, green, and blue filters to make black-and-white negative separations. These separations are then used to expose gelatin-coated matrices. Each matrix sheet is exposed and developed, causing the exposed gelatin to harden. Unexposed gelatin is rinsed away, leaving a relief image. The matrices are soaked in acid dyes, and the remaining (negative) gelatin absorbs the dye, which is then transferred to the final print. The printing stage requires manual registration of the three matrix dye carriers, as shown in the above image.

Invisible light

After getting a new digital camera, I found I didn't use the old one much anymore. They're pretty similar but one's four years older technology. So instead of leaving it to gather dust in the back of my drawer, I sent it off to be converted to shoot infrared! Now it sees people as having waxy skin and foliage as glowing and delicate.

Visible Light

Invisible Light

JWNED: Anti-Zionism from Babylon to Birobidzhan to Farrakhan

A couple months ago I got around to seeing "Munich" in the theater. The movie was a fictionalized account of the Israeli covert agency Mossad's execution of Operation Wrath of God, a long, systematic program of assassinations of accused Palestinian terrorists. A number of things bothered me about the movie; many of these were intended by its creators to be catalysts for debate. But one thing I would never see myself being bothered by was its portrayal of Palestinians as human beings.

Barely Spared

A man in his late 50s walks into a Sacramento cafe. He has the shabby yet formal look of a humanities professor--- old slacks, a jacket with leather patches on the elbows. Says he's a writer. He asks the girl at the counter: can I leave some of my stories here? For your customers?

The girl isn't so sure. The place has a lot of 'struggling artist' customers; she's worried about opening the floodgates. And it isn't her call. The manager isn't around, she says, as politely as she can manage without seeming encouraging.

OK, he says, producing a few photocopied pages stapled together. Here is one of my stories. I write children's stories. Leave it for him and see what he thinks.

After her shift, she reads the story.... and a legend is born.

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