Category Archives: subject

The Nature of Terrorism

twitter-nov-17-blurred

And thank you both for inspiring this post.  (See?  Twitter isn’t useless. 🙂 )

Well… as an innocent civilian who hasn’t personally bombed anyone, it’s fairly obvious that I did not respond, directly.  But I do feel the need to make the record clear on where I stand in all of this, at least once.  Let there be no misunderstanding.

First of all, the definition of terrorism is rather simple.  The dictionaries may expand upon it, but we can see, these days, revelation of its bare bones.
Continue reading The Nature of Terrorism

Color Sense & Sensibility

I’ve been “color correcting”  the images taken with my camera phone for some time.  I put ‘correcting’ in quotes because it’s been done with my naked eyes—manually, attempting to fit the image with my vision, or close enough.

Much of the time the images come out bluish.  Color-balance with camera software on the phone is automatic without option, so there’s no way to get an even tone.

[image]
original (scaled)—taken 4/18, no more snow…
[image]
“corrected” (scaled, cropped)
But beyond the unsharpening to reduce JPEG ‘blockiness’ (prior to scaling), and RGB balance, I came across a bigger problem.  There were superfluous greens in the mix, and I’m not talking grass or moss.  The wood coated metal you see at the bottom of the original image, above (click to enlarge), is supposed to be bluish/purplish to the eye (how the bare wood returns light under a cloudy sky), not something turquoise with the camera.  Similar greenish blues show up with the tree barks.

Part of “correcting” this has been color rotation, moving some of the blue channel into the red to compensate.  For this particular scene, it took venturing outside a few times to see the desired colors.  And I know I’ve gone too far when the whites on trees turn orange…

Side note: all processing has been done with GraphicConverter and sometimes ColorIt (for effects and color grain reduction), using the Mac emulator.

Well, it turns out, I was on to something with the color rotation.

A while back, I had noticed that the rods of the Quartz heater, when lit, were showing up pinkish.  To the human eye, however, electrified Quartz emits an orange color.  At first, I thought the camera was picking up ultraviolet light.  So on Saturday, I did some testing…

[invheater.jpg]
(horiz.-sharpened to reduce motion blur)
The above image shows not only the pinkish, but the fact that the camera shows the rods visibly lit while my eyes did not; the heater was just starting up.  The camera is sensitive to light in ways the human eye is not.

In further testing, I used my glasses as a filter (they have a UV filter).  (I haven’t worn them though, in part because of a vein above my right ear—it gets pinched.  Not wearing my glasses may have contributed to my vision loss…)

[image]

It would seem UV pickup was a problem because the light through the lens comes out darker.  But upon wearing the glasses to view the new TV, the colors came out better.  Now, how could that be?  Turns out the glasses block some of the violet spectrum!  It’s no wonder I couldn’t fix the colors on the screen no matter the settings—the blue filter on the screen is letting through violet light!  Maybe that part of the spectrum wasn’t anticipated with the LED backlighting…

Back to the camera, curious about what I was dealing with I looked up what I could find for the camera’s spectral sensitivities, and how close it is (or would be) to human vision.  Guess what I found?

First, I couldn’t find the exact camera model for the phone, but it’s a Sony, apparently.  The smartphone is a Motorola Luge (2014 model), which is pretty much an enhanced version of the Droid Razr M/XT907, a 2012 model.

Second, the spectral sensitivity specs differ from camera to camera.  Some are better than others, of course.  You can download the 2012 PDF I found, detailing characteristics of several kinds of cameras here.  (NOTE: 9.6 MB !)

Third, not only do digital cameras not pick up UV light (to any significant degree, anyway), but they fall out of the violet spectrum as well.  So despite color correction software (also present in modern digital cameras), any given lens may not know blue from violet, or even pick up violet.  (Try shooting scenes in black light.)  I know my camera doesn’t translate violet into violet when viewing the TV, blue-only.

Lastly, the human eye does not see color in RGB.  And this is important—no camera that picks up RGB the way digital lenses do will see what we see, no matter the auto-correction software.  Here’s why, and what I’ve come to understand about the human eye.

Cone cells (which got the name because their tops have a physical shape of a cone) do not see RGB wavelength ranges, but short, medium and long wavelength ranges closer to magenta, cyan and yellow at their peaks.  Rod cells, which make up the majority of low-light vision, have a more narrow range.  (Because rods interfere with color processing, they’re usually deactivated during periods of normal light.)

[image]
(R denotes rod sensitivity range)
SVG source: Wikipedia
The cone ranges overlap a lot, so it’s in the subtraction of these natural overlaps that we get there’s an antagonistic nature when it comes to combining the cone signals for a relative color point.  In the outset, we get violet due to a second resonance of long range (L) wavelengths.  The second resonance in the graph above is clipped, but you can start to see L rise again (toward the left).

To produce one of the tens of millions of possible colors we see every some 50th of a second in exposure time, it takes hundreds to high thousands of photon hits.  This signal processing is so dense that it’s performed entirely in the retina.  The visual cortex in the brain works to process the eye’s signals into perceived colors.

In all, despite our advancements in technology, human vision is still far better than the conventional cameras we’ve made.  At the very least, rod cells each require only one photon to activate, and populate the eye to the count of roughly 125 million.  Only modern night-vision gear has improved upon our night-vision, albeit at lower resolutions.

…Well, that’s my 900-word two cents.  I know now that no digital camera that I know of will do photography justice, not just my own.

Thanks for reading, and if I’ve gotten anything wrong, feel free to tell me.

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

“Not functioning is not charming. Not being able to keep a job or friends isn’t cute. … Struggling all day, every day to even grasp some of the world around them isn’t amazing. …in real life, people have to live with the consequences.”

Yep, this August post still holds up today.

(Note: comments here are closed.  Go over to Parker’s post.)

yadadarcyyada

1asp16I think it’s tragic that people have so many prejudices, especially about things they don’t understand. They don’t know what they’re missing.

Have you even known someone with: ALS,MS, Parkinson’s Disease, CP, Alzheimer’s, Tetanus, Pinched nerve, meningitis, Huntington’s Disease, Migraines, Epilepsy, Polio, stroke, or any of the other neurological disorder?

Would you tell someone who’d suffered a stroke to just talk properly? Unlikely.

Would you tell someone with ALS to stop being so lazy? No way.

Tell someone with Alzheimer’s they could remember if they just tried harder? Doubtful.

Someone with Parkinson’s to stop shaking, that they were just trying to get attention? Improbable.

Yet people with Autism are constantly told to grow up, smarten up, man up, stop being so lazy. People scoff, blame, bully, abuse, mock, make jokes, call names, etc.
Autism is a neurological condition just like any other. They have as much control over how…

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Judge not?

There exists a confusion over the word ‘judge.’  We all judge in the sense of figuring out what’s best for us, personally.  We have to, and so we are compelled to.  And IB even adds the component of love, that love will compelled us to form opinions. Caving to fear, however… Indifference is no virtue.

‘Judge not’ is not an excuse to remain silent in the face of evil.

Christ said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”  That does not mean, do nothing.  Basically, it means there are consequences, and it may come back to you.  But, regardless of your past misdeeds, it is selfless to act on the behalf of those in need, and selfish to stand indifferent.

When your heart tells you to act, you act.  You can only harm yourself and others if you allow fear to dictate your actions.

See, there's this thing called biology...

“To judge” actually means to condemn, to administer justice. It is closely entwined with contempt. The biblical instructions to “judge not” are not a simple commandment, they are a rather elaborate spiritual concept. Often what we condemn and view with complete contempt in others is what we fear and are ashamed of in our own selves. To judge is to seek revenge, retaliation, to administer justice, to view with contempt.

To form opinions, to practice discernment, to recognize and identify sin is not to judge and condemn others. In fact, love often compels us to do that very thing. To sit there quietly like some sort of neutral force, refusing to take sides, claiming to be unable to pass judgement, can actually be a very immoral thing. To remain silent in the face of evil because you fear being accused of being judgmental is not love. It is actually an…

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Right v. Privilege …Again?

This post inspired by Religious Freedom (in other words, Freedom to Discriminate).  (And funny/sad, the last time I tried to write a response/inspired post to one of Becky’s, I trashed it…)  As politics manages to creep into everything, I don’t want to spend too much time on this, so this is a bit sloppy and looks more like a comment than a post.  (Sorry.)
Continue reading Right v. Privilege …Again?

Cultivating Honor

Brilliant post, IB.

(Note: comments are closed here; please visit her post.)

See, there's this thing called biology...

Honor is to “regard with great respect.” Who? Yourself!

It’s a concept that has plagued men for centuries. I say “men” because honor is simply something different in women, something more along the lines of empathy or charity.

I say it has plagued men for centuries because it has, because honor has never been an easy thing to cultivate. The world is not very good at rewarding honor. In the modern world, we watch people become successful by lying, cheating, acting like thugs, and often getting themselves elected to public office.

Where is the pay off in honor? Good guys always finish last! In the mediated reality we call culture, we see a lot of thuggery and women pursuing it, as if it is some desirable quality in men. The most tweeted photo by women recently was of a good-looking felon with turquoise eyes. Kanye West comes to mind, people…

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Chimeras

Holy crap.  It’s not science-fiction anymore—combining human and animal genes.  I couldn’t even stand The Island of Dr Moreau, with Val Kilmer, let alone…Chimeras.  Hopefully all the embryos never made it out of the laboratory.

(Note: comments here are closed.  Please leave your words of shock over on IB’s post.)

See, there's this thing called biology...

News on the biology front just gets scarier by the minute. Also, I need to stop reading the Daily Mail.

So according to the Daily Mail, Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories” I really hate it when my science fiction comes to life.

So, back in 2008, the Human Fertilisation Embryology Act and the desire to study stem cells have somehow led scientists to start creating human-animal hybrid embryos.

“Chimera” for those that don’t know is a rather broad term used to describe mixing cells from two different species. It’s based on Greek mythology, the Chimera being the monstrous fire-breathing creature that often looked like a lion with spare parts from a goat sticking about it. In the Iliad Homer calls it “a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle.” Catching sight of a Chimera…

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Why Do Poets Write of Love

Poets write of love as writers would anything
The attempt to capture the profound in words

The difference though
love is universally profound
as is truth
a necessity
it drives us when we let it
as we make ourselves vulnerable to it

The pain
withstanding without breaking
The pull, desire
the essence or quality of being
In part because
we long
we miss
we are incomplete
until content.

(That is my attempt to answer the question…)

And as Audrey states: “Michael is fighting an illness that may take his life.”  Pray for him.

The Vision of Poets

Spring Beauty 2

Caution:

The words upon the page before you are to be read at your own risk…
What is implied within them is left to the perceptions of the reader…
If you become engulfed enough within them to endure to its finality, I thank you.
Your comments will enlighten us all…

Why Do Poets Write of Love
 
Why do poets write of love?
Do poets possess an extraordinary
Amount of love within,
Requiring them to relinquish
The overflow onto a blank page,
In order to remain within the
Bounds of sanity?
Would withholding that anomalistic
Amount of love within oneself
Thrust the poet
Far beyond the borders
Of those who profess to be
Of normalcy?
 
Does writing of the touch
Of love upon someone’s heart,
Create love within itself?
It is most common of one
Who writes of love to also
Write of sadness…
Of sorrow…
Of lost hope…

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