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Another timelapse, this time of a basil cutting over the past 7 days:
I took this one with an old Casio QV-R51 point and shoot camera I no longer use, since I’d need to leave it in place for the duration of the shoot. I had a hard time getting it to save settings, so it flickers a bit as the white balance changes from shot to shot. I built a bracket on my growlight to hold the camera (a 1/4-20 threaded bolt has the same threads as a tripod mount; the nuts held everything in place and acted as spacers to fit the bolt length I had on hand) :
Shot with an Olympus E510 & Sigma 30mm, f/8 at 1/250; 15 seconds between exposures.
Soundtrack: “Marathon Man”, by Jason Shaw.
This morning’s Tuscaloosa carried an article from the associated press about a petition Don Siegelman has filed with the President asking for his sentence to be commuted. The unnamed AP author states that “Siegelman realizes the odds of getting a presidential commutation are about the same as winning a state lottery.” Just how long are those odds, you ask? “More than 5,700 people convicted of federal crimes have asked Obama for a commutation of their sentences. . . . only one has been approved.”
And that’s why lotteries continue to be so profitable. The odds of winning a lottery are nowhere near 1 in 5700, or even 1 in 57 million. Try 1 in 175 million.
Andrew Hacker’s New York Times editorial is right on target–should we really be forcing millions of kids through algebra when there are much more important quantitative literacy skills that we aren’t teaching?
This time, last night’s sunset. Not the most spectacular sunset ever, so I made it into an overly large animated GIF.
I’m still playing with timelapse videos. In this case, I intended to take a longer timelapse, but the camera shut down when the battery died, so I needed to stretch the video. (With ~1000 photos, at 1 frame/photo, it runs 40 seconds.) The obvious (and easy) way is to just use more frames per image, but the resulting video is a little jerky (see below).
I remembered reading awhile back about software to smoothly slow down videos, but it required an nVidia video, which my laptop lacks. Just for kicks, I checked it out again, and now SlowmoVideo works with other chipsets as well. I downloaded and installed it, and it works just like it says on the tin: it renders additional intermediate frames to smoothly slow down a video, and also renders video directly from a sequence of still images. The downside is that it takes a long time to work: OpenShot renders a ~1:20 timelapse in just a minute or two on my machine, but SlowmoVideo took about four and a half hours.
Production was similar to my previous videos: gTimelapse to capture images, SlowmoVideo to render the video, and OpenShot to add a soundtrack and titles
For comparison, here’s the same sequence of images put together with 2 frames per image to stretch to 1:18 in OpenShot rather than using Slowmo:
Soundtrack by Blue Dew.
Production was easy as can be. Plug the camera into the computer, unmount and start gTimelapse. Set the photo interval and how long for it to run (2 seconds and 5 minutes in this case) and point it to the directory you want the photos to end up in. You’ll wind up with a series of sequentially numbered photos. Import the first one into OpenShot and click yes when it asks if you want to import as an image sequence. Tell it how many frames per image (5 in this case) and let ‘er rip. I added a soundtrack from the Free Music Archive tracks to sync collection, and Bob’s your uncle.
Edit: replaced Flickr video w/ Vimeo embed because the Flickr upload wouldn’t play sound.
I was using the Nook last night to display a recipe and needed some way to hold it up. “Sure wish I had a stand for this” says I. “Yeah, that would be good,” says Claire, who continues prepping dinner. I go out to the recycling bin and bring a piece of corrugated cardboard in to the kitchen table and start cutting. “What are you making, Dad?” Without turning to look or missing a beat, Claire says, “He’s making a stand for the Nook.” She knows me so well.
To make the stand, I folded a piece of cardboard in half and eyeballed the general shape of the legs, the notch to hold the tablet, and the height of the back. I then put the tablet on the stand and cut down the back until it rested at a comfortable and secure height.
In case your wondering, the recipe in question was tomato salad with anchovy-lime dressing.