Monthly Archive: September 2009

helicopter trails

helicopter trails

Originally uploaded by kaiyen

One of the wonderful things about film photography that I really enjoy is the kind of mystery about the results. You literally have no idea how it’ll turn out until you not just get home but develop the results. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes you missed the shot that you wanted.

Last night, even though I was shooting digital, I got the mystery, but sadly also got the disappointment.

Getting star trails – where the stars turn into lines streaking across the sky – via “stacking” is done by taking a series of photographs of a shorter duration, each with a little tiny streak. Then you put them all together and all those small streaks become long ones.

Once you get your initial exposure settings down, you just start shooting. Sometimes it’s 12 one minute exposures, sometimes it’s 60 one minute ones. Both are for an hour of time and star trails, but done very differently.

You don’t know the results until you get home, though, and use the software to stack everything together. Unfortunately, I did sometime wrong, I guess, and the trails aren’t that prominent. In this one, only Jupiter, which is far brighter than other heavenly bodies, came out and it’s a small streak at that.

The helicopter that was flying around looking for a wanted man (what a night) made for some interesting results, but the star trails bit didn’t work…oh well.

Oregon Coast Days 6 & 7 – Pacific City and the Three Capes

I am extremely late in getting this last post out about our trip to Oregon.  This was in June, for gosh sake’s.  But I owe it to the trip (which was so great) to send out this last little bit, with a few more photos.  My hope is that I show off what can be done as one moves up and down the coast.  Yes, there were parts we liked more than others, and there are parts we wish we had explored more.  But we did

Cape Meares Light infrared no. 2

Cape Meares Light

all of this and the previous posts in just 7 days, including driving to and from home in Santa Clara.

We spent 2 nights in the Three Capes area, which is to the west of Tilamook and includes Cape Kiwanda, Cape Lookout, and Cape Meares.  These are all accessed via the “Three Capes Scenic Route” which splits off from 101 at Tilamook in the north and reconnects just before Lincoln City to the south.  It’s not a fast drive, but it’s not a winding one, either, so it’s quite a feasible detour.

Over the two days, we saw all three capes, drove by Netarts Spit (but didn’t quite make it out there), saw Three Arches Rocks and crawled through a sea cave et still never saw all three arches, was by the Haystack Rock at Cape Kiwanda, and did an amazing hike down Cape Lookout.  We also went to Sandlake Beach, which is quite nice and secluded.

To be honest, I’m not sure this area is worth 2 days – I would have probably preferred more time in Yachats and some time in Florence, and still done the 2 days in Bandan.  But it’s worth it to go to the Three Capes and find out for one’s self whether it’s the right place or not.


BBC NEWS | Americas | US objects to Google book deal

BBC NEWS | Americas | US objects to Google book deal .

I’m not sure why I’m linking to a BBC article on this considering it’s a super-heated topic here in the states but…I just go with the flow, I guess.

I’ll add links soon, but there is so much discussion about whether this is good or bad, different groups taking different sides, official statements from universities (ie – not just publishers on one side, but institutions on the other facing off).

Some interesting stuff:

From Feral Librarian:

More to come, hopefully, for more context

A Chevrolet Camaro for the MBA set – BusinessWeek

A Chevrolet Camaro for the MBA set – BusinessWeek.

My little secret, just for announcement on my open blog…I would love to get one of these new Camaros (Camaroes?).  29mpg on the freeway with a powerful V6, and talk about passing power.  And it looks sporty, powerful, and just…yeah, manly.

Hybrid this, hyrbid that (actually, I relish in the fact that hybrids are not the most “green” cars out there, with the large carbon footprint of their batteries).  304 horsepower at 29mpg on the freeway?

Oh yeah.

For Airlines, Fees Become Lifelines – BusinessWeek

For Airlines, Fees Become Lifelines – BusinessWeek.

What strikes me about this article is the percentages that revenue from fees for ancillary items – luggage surcharges, paying for blankets, etc – account for some airline’s total income.  It’s quite amazing.  Rynnair is 20%, and it outpaced overall revenue growth by a huge margin (35% revenue growth in ancillary items revenue, compared to 21% for overall).

I see paying for these things as just part of doing business now.  If I looked at them any other way I’d probably go insane from frustration.

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | South of Scotland | Bomber publishes appeal documents

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | South of Scotland | Bomber publishes appeal documents.

So…as if it weren’t controversial enough that Scotland released the terrorist behind Pan Am 103, now he has released documents that “prove” his innocence.

Newsweek had a mini-article – the stuff they have in the front now, that are analysis but not a full blown article – about how Scotland asserted itself with the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi as a legit international state.  It wasn’t clear whether it was a good move or not, just that at least Scotland pushed forward their existing compassion for convicted felons with terminal illnesses.

For all the times that I have been tired of rhetoric, especially lately, where it feels half of what the administration says is because it needs to say it, not because it’s what should be said…I am behind all those that have condemned this move.  I have two reasons.

The first is personal.  I do remember Pan Am 103, even though I was only 10 when it happened.  No, I did not quite get the fact that this was a terrorist act, or what it meant that someone had done this in the name of something.  What did hit me was that someone had meant to do this.  And why would anyone want to do something so terrible?  Selfish reason, I guess, to let my own pre-teen shock be a factor.  But it’s my blog so..

The second has to do with a book I read a few years back called “Explaining Hitler.” *  The book put forth the following notion – is Hitler on the spectrum of morality within which we all exist, but on the very, very extreme edge?  Or is he actually off the chart (meaning that we exist in a “normal” range, though with some pretty crazy extremes nonetheless)?

I think that the same question can be asked here.  Megrahi is at least at the far extreme, IMO.  I don’t think he’s off the chart, if indeed Hitler was, and I don’t think he’s as far over as Hitler, either.  But the point is that there is a spectrum, and if Megrahi is towards one end, then maybe Scotland’s political history of compassion shouldn’t apply in this case…

*NB – I don’t think anyone will ever be able to explain or help us really understand Hitler.  But Rosenbaum tried to examine each of the arguments for what forces created such a…I’m loath to say “monster” in general but maybe it’s right this time and their validity in terms of history, etc.

NB^2 – I am not saying that this book is “the” book on the topic.  Just one that I read.

Review: Linda Kamas, Economics, Leavey School of Business

ECON 405:  Macroeconomics
At a glance

  • Workload:  Moderate
  • Teaching Style:  Lecture
  • Interest in students: High
  • Relevance to outside world: High, especially if you’re into economics

Overall Professor Rating: 3 (she can get a bit impatient at times)

Overall Course Rating: 4 (but she can also make the course entertaining while getting the teaching across

The Review

This is the latest of my reviews on the professors I’ve had while an MBA student at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. There are lots of sites out there that provide feedback and rates – ratemyprofessor is the most notable. The SantaClaraMBA Yahoo group also has a big database of comments and lots of additional information in its message archive. That database can be a bit hard to wade through, and the comments are short and often just link to other threads, which are themselves pretty short and superficial. Only here can I write as much as I want  🙂

I review professors from a variety of perspectives.  First, I explain the context(s) under which I took the class.  Time of year, time of day, etc.  Then I talk about the quality of the class and the professor, and finally about the professor as a person.  After all, we are trying to learn about our interactions with people, so knowing that side of a teacher is critical, too.  So these would be interactions outside the classroom, etc.  I also just write whatever it is that I think is relevant or will be helpful to others.  That is my overall goal.

The facts

I took ECON 405, Macroeconomics, in Winter 2009.  This is the second of two required economics courses, and Professor Kamas teaches several sections.  I took the later section of the evening, and I think that some of my comments about her patience, etc might be a result of that.

Them’s the facts (slim as they are). Now read on for the review.



Originally uploaded by kaiyen

This is the fencing around a building that caught fire…probably a year ago. It’s been quite a while for the renovation, of course, and it’s been locked off like this for some time. They have finally started work, and the bricks in the background are from ones ripped out by the renovators and contractors.

I’ve had a chance to photograph this building quite a bit. It’s on my way to work, and it makes for good fodder when I’m carrying my camera around with me. I am pretty happy with with the sharpness of the image, with the fence in focus and the bricks much blurrier.

In this case, I think the combination of the low-grain film, shallow depth of field, and sharp lens worked really well.

CogDogBlog » Hashtag Per Post Works!

CogDogBlog » Hashtag Per Post Works!.

I caught this post by Mr. Cog Dog via my RSS feeds the other day.  It’s the ability to add a hash tag automatically to WP posts, which are then posted to one’s twitter account.  Hash tags – such as #educause or #hiking – are ways of saying “this post belongs in this general group of tweets” and makes for easy searching.

Rather neat.  Downside is that if you don’t put a hash there you got a problem.  DB errors like crazy.  It tries to put an empty value in the database.  Since my blog isn’t specific to any one topic, I might have a problem.

Still a nice feature, though.

Stanford study: Media multitaskers pay mental price

Stanford study: Media multitaskers pay mental price.

Just an interesting article about multi-tasking.  I think that what needs to happen is for those that are studying this breed of “new” students (the NetGen, the Millenials, whatever) to consider that there are perhaps more than one generation already.  There are those that grew up with computers, then there are those that grew up with the rise of Facebook and social networking by the time they were in, say, their middle school years or earlier.  I think there is a major difference in how those two groups approach multi-tasking.

I know that the way I look at multi-tasking, and the way I looked at it during college, seems very different from how those I know from the ages of around 20-25 do at the university in general and the law school in particular where I work.  And these are upperclass undergrads and graduate students.  Think about high school students and those just entering college.

If the NetGen is allowed to extend back to 1977 (end of Gen X and a liberal interpretation of this next generation, which is also often identified as starting in 1982), then the debate about Napster would have come out around age 22-23 or so.  Facebook reached my alma mater when I was 26, and the masses at 28.

For those born in 1982, they would have been ages 19, 23, and 25, respectively.

For those born in 1999 (so back to my argument of the 20-25 year olds), we’re now talking about Napster hitting the big scene when they were just 12 years old.  Facebook would have reached them at age 17, when their current age restrictions kicked in.  I argue that there is a pretty big divide between gaining access to P2P music-sharing all the way to iPods and iTunes when one isn’t even in his or her teens, and then using Facebook before even leaving high school, and those that are at the early reaches of the NetGen.