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Kind of expensive, but way cool

The thing on the left is actually the thing on the right. They reclaimed the image using a freaking particle accelerator.

It’s a daguerrotype and it sounds this particular technique (or variant of the technique) only works with daguerrotypes, because the images were developed using a mercury vapor. The machine finds and maps the mercury. Though I don’t see why it couldn’t be done with silver or platinum or any other photographic emulsion. On the other hand, I’m not a partical physicist.

It is, as you might expect, REALLY EXPENSIVE to rent a particle accelerator and it took eight hours per square centimeter. So, you know, don’t go digging out grandma’s daguerrotypes just yet.

Here’s the item in Science News. And here is a heavier, boringer version in Nature.

I used to subscribe to Science News. I loved that rag. It was a tiny weekly — a dozen pages, maybe? — with short, interesting but not dumbed-down science items. Then they disappeared up their own assholes with globular warming and gender studies.

SJW’s — is there no wholesome thing they cannot pervert?

Have a good weekend, y’all!

July 13, 2018 — 10:20 pm
Comments: 13

Infrared is magic

I’m a little late getting the surveillance cam going this year. Probably not too late to catch a hedgehog, if we have any (but, sadly, I haven’t seen any signs).

I have a little problem when I have the cameras going: I can’t look away. There’s almost never anything on them, and when there is, it’s going to be a cat, a rat, a fox or a hedgehog. But I got to stare at the pictures like Bigfoot is coming to dinner.

Would you guys mind if I use you as a note pad? It took me forever to get the camera going tonight. It’s super easy when you know, but I didn’t make notes last year. So FYI (or, really, FMI):

I don’t always use Chrome, but it has the IE extension that lets the browser emulation Internet Explorer, which the camera software wants for some reason.

Excuse me, I have to go keep an eye out for the Squatch.

June 4, 2018 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 6

Sometimes I think my Twitter feed is taunting me

Then I remember how gosh-darned photogenic stoats are. Of course, Twitter being Twitter, I couldn’t find the photo again when I went back to look for it.

But I found it in the real world. This photo was a runner up (boo!) in the junior category for Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013. Here’s the photo in glorious color, with a bit about the young man who took the picture. He will go far!

April 5, 2018 — 9:49 pm
Comments: 10

This is why I hate the art world

snowwhite

Alcoholic Snow White? That’s hilarious!

Oh. Wait. You’re serious? Like very, very serious? Like Disney Princesses face Rape and Murder kind of serious?

Sigh. My first taste of this was Dadaism, which I thought was playful and fun when I first read about it as a wee lass. Turns out, it’s not. It’s super cereal.

Eh. The photographer is a kid still in art school. Good on her for figuring out how to manipulate her milieu into giving her asspats. Which a mature her can convert into genuinely good art, I hope. Maybe even something playful and fun.

May 10, 2017 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 12

That cruel thing I did to Debbie Wasserman-Schlutz’s eyeballs

I ran across this Mashable series of photos of inmates from a Victorian mental hospital in Yorkshire. It’s a sad browse, but interesting. I was particularly struck by this woman.

The caption says she suffers from “general paralysis of the insane” but it’s more usually called general paresis. It’s a sudden onset bugfuck crazy that used to be blamed on bad character but was ultimately recognized as the third and final stage of syphilis, when the bugs finally eat the brain.

It was tricky to work out because the madness strikes abruptly as much as thirty years after the initial infection, so the bad character explanation made as much sense as anything (a Victorian with syphilis being the very definition). But somebody got a Nobel in the thirties curing paresis by infecting patients with malaria (the syphilis bacterium can’t take the heat, so one good fever can kill it off).

My mother describes seeing a tertiary syphilis sufferer on Bourbon Street, stumbling along the road suddenly freezing with one foot in the air, having forgotten how to walk. The diagnosis comes courtesy of my grandmother being a nurse and jazzmen being no better than they should be, *sniff*.

Anyway, I mention it because this condition informs one of my most cherished phobias: Lyme disease. On account of it’s a very similar disease with a very similar progression: spirochete causes a small rash, disappears, roars back with a leather mask and a chainsaw thirty years later. Except Lyme is a lot harder to kill.

Summer is coming. Tick check, people!

sock it to me

March 17, 2015 — 9:05 pm
Comments: 9

I’ll see your woodpecker-riding weasel…

Nope. Not my work. Oh, also there is this (which is apparently real).

We’re starting to see the new lambs appearing in the fields, which cheers me up no end. We haven’t had a bad Winter at all (sorry ‘Merkins), but I’m still ready to see it go.

sock it to me

March 12, 2015 — 10:19 pm
Comments: 12

Tee hee

 

 

 

Is this true? It’s true enough for a weasel!

A site called breatheheavy.com claims the ‘true’ picture was emailed to them by somebody from the shoot. (Beware: my browser gave me a phishing warning while I was poking around that site).

Thing is, one of them has to be fake. And — speaking in my capacity as Photoshoppiste extraordinaire — whichever one is fake is really, really well done. So hats off to the pixel pusher!

Bieber embarrassed. Hostage-taking Muslim nutcakes dead. This weekend is shaping up to be a little happier than it might have been.

Happy Friday, all!

 

 

 

sock it to me

January 9, 2015 — 8:43 pm
Comments: 12

If you take it, it will leak onto the internet

Yeah, it’s my moms circa 1960. Long time readers will have met my naked mother before. I think this is the third time I’ve posted it. On this blog; I prolly posted it first to USENET a thousand years before that.

In the old days, chilruns, none of this camera phone and iCloud for us. If we wanted nude pics to leak onto the internet, we had to take Polaroids and scan them and leak it all ourselves. *shakes fist*

I haven’t looked at any of the pictures from the latest celebrity nude snapshot hacker challenge. Not really my fetish. But I’m going to go out on a limb here. Unless the pictures were desperately unflattering (and why would anyone keep desperately unflattering nude pictures?), I’m’a guess the celebrities involved really are not all that outraged at the leak.

I mean, we’re talking a population famously on the high side for howling exhibitionist narcissism-bags.

Actors, not my mom. Well, okay, yes. My mom also.

sock it to me

September 2, 2014 — 9:36 pm
Comments: 17

Uncle B’s new camera

Actually, this is a lousy way to show off his new camera. There was so much foliage in the image, the filesize was huge and I had to squeeze the .jpg down to stupid lossy.

Suffice it to say it’s awesome, and the first picture he took was this handsome shot of Jack.

sock it to me

August 12, 2014 — 9:40 pm
Comments: 13

Messing about in boats

Yesterday, the RNLI Dungeness had an Open Day (that’s the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to you). Per Wikipedia, the RNLI has 444 lifeboats at 236 stations. Since 1824, they’ve saved 140,000 lives at the cost of 600.

They’re entirely funded by private money (legacies, donations and merchandise), which I think is unutterably awesome, so we try to turn out when they have a fundraiser and spend some money. I bought a hat and Uncle B bought a burger and we put some money in the thing.

It was a lovely sunny, breezy day, and I didn’t go watch the maneuvers. I plunked myself down on the warm shingle with the complete works of Kipling (I’m up to 2% now!) and listened to them sing sea shanties in the boathouse. That there’s some powerful local atmosphere.

Uncle B did go watch the maneuvers and, even though he only brought a little handheld camera, he got some great action shots of the boats. Black and white doesn’t do ’em justice. He’s a better photographer than I am, and that pisses me off no end.

If you squint at the background, those are the white cliffs of…Folkestone, actually. But the white cliffs of Dover look just the same and they’re the next headland along the coast to the Northeast.

Fun fact: the RNLI was originally called the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck. Or NIPLS.

sock it to me

August 4, 2014 — 9:23 pm
Comments: 20