Fascinating legal implications of biometric input.  

Take this hypothetical example coined by the Supreme Court: If the police demand that you give them the key to a lockbox that happens to contain incriminating evidence, turning over the key wouldn’t be testimonial if it’s just a physical act that doesn’t reveal anything you know.
— Wired Article
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AuthorMatthew Certain

This is the full parking lot at the Silk Sheets 50 mile ride. Lots and lots of riders.  

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AuthorMatthew Certain

Yes, two posts from Strava in a row, but it was an awesome week in the cycling world.  

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AuthorMatthew Certain

Fascinating read.

 

Every Pixar movie is connected. I explain how, and possibly why. 

"Several months ago, I watched a fun-filled video on Cracked.com that introduced the idea (at least to me) that all of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe. 

Since then, I’ve obsessed over this concept, working to complete what I call “The Pixar Theory,” a working narrative that ties all of the Pixar movies into one cohesive timeline with a main theme."

 

 
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AuthorMatthew Certain

Introduction: 

A friend asked me the other day for a few tips on some of the things I've learned about photography. Clearly, I'm not trained in the art of photography, but I feel like I appreciate a well staged shot, or the classic portrait.  

I've included a few of my favorite blog posts on the art of photography basics. 

 

Canon T2i, 50 mm f/1.8 II

The Knowledge:  

This is a nice start. The key thing to understand is that photography (and especially, exposure)is based on a balance of three of aspects: aperture, iso, and shutter speed. The aforementioned tutorial walks you through the basics of understanding your camera and what assumptions it makes for you while you're learning. 

 

Hardware:  

There are two main camps in camera: Nikon and Canon. Both companies make fine hardware, but I'd recommend an entry level consumer SLR in either case, just to get your feet wet. Several years ago, when I purchased my camera (the Canon T2i), the price was around $750. You can get the upgraded model, the T5i for similar prices on amazon, and avoid sales tax at the same time. This camera offers an entry level SLR with most of the bells and whistles that you could want. It shoots 1080p video, takes 5 pictures per second, and offers excellent image quality. 

Lens: 

When you buy the camera, I'd buy just the body, and not pay extra for any kit lens. The lenses that sell with the camera are pieces of shit. Take my word for it. If you want to feel like you wasted your money, and wonder why your pictures don't look like the ones on the internet, then use the kit lens. However, for the $120 you can get one of the best lenses out there. The Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II is a fantastic lens. No, it doesn't zoom; its a fixed focus "prime" lens. This is okay, it will make you a better photographer. It's small, has a wide aperture (aperture = that blurry effect you love in portrait photography), and cheap. After you've fallen in love with it, you can splurge for the Canon EF 50 f/1.4 lens, which is an even better lens. It has more of that blurry background and bokeh that you'll love. 

 

The Software: 

There are two main camps in photography post-editing: Aperture for the Mac and Adobe's Lightroom for Mac and the PC. Personally, I'm an Aperture guy, though the Lightroom lovers of the world are strong. Editing your photographs in post is simple fun, and I find that it's the most rewarding part of taking pictures. Sure, shit in is shit out, but you can really make a picture pop with some post editing. There are tons of youtube videos showing you how to do some basic editing in Lightroom or Aperture, so I won't get into that now. I think that each piece of software is  around $80, but it's well worth it. I'll mention it now, that Aperture even has a Auto Enhance button which increases the saturation, edits the exposure, and just make the photo stand out from the basic shots. You can look at pictures on Facebook or the web and notice the ones that were taken with a nice camera, and those that were taken with a nice camera, and edited in post. 

 

Remember, the best camera is the one you have one you. Just take every picture you can. iPhone, SLR, compact camera, its doesn't matter. Just take pictures - it will make you better, and make you see the world in a different light.  

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AuthorMatthew Certain
Many have seen the early Ralph McQuarrie sketches of Boba Fett sporting the all-white helmet and armor. What you haven’t seen is the original white Fett costume in action. A videotape was rolling to capture “proto Fett’s” reveal to Lucas and company at the filmmaker’s home on June 28, 1978. In the video, sound designer Ben Burtt “hosts” Fett’s reveal, describing the different weapons, functions, and characteristics of the costume (worn by Empire’s assistant film editor Duwayne Dunham for the test).
 
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AuthorMatthew Certain

The previous logo worked nicely in that it was four letters neatly arranged in a tight grid of rounded-corner squares but in order to make all the letters fill out the squares the typography has been stretched, making the “S” and “C” particularly aggravating. I will blame it on the nascent technology of phototypesetting that allows far more play with the fonts than ever before. But the agency should know better than letting technology drive their aesthetics. Five years makes a big difference and the SCDP logo — name change notwithstanding — was starting to feel out of date in this drastically changing decade.

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AuthorMatthew Certain
There have been countless words written about Stanley Kubrick’s visionary masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey — some good, some bad — but after 45 years, this superb book remains the only one you’ll ever really need. It is such a shame that this book is out-of-print. It is filled with everything you ever wanted to know about 2001. It leads off with Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel” and closes with a complete reprint of Stanley Kubrick’s interview with Playboy magazine. In between are profiles, interviews with technical advisors, effects secrets revealed, letters to Stanley from the moviegoing public, as well as reviews of the film, both good and bad. A fascinating snapshot of a moment in history when the world was caught off guard by a motion picture. Search your local used book stores, like I did. If you’re a Kubrick fan, it’s worth the effort.
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AuthorMatthew Certain

Another NPR link:

I think the answer is we all need a little help, and the coffee’s a little help with everything — social, energy, don’t know what to do next, don’t know how to start my day, don’t know how to get through this afternoon, don’t know how to stay alert. We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.
— Jerry Seinfeld

So many accurate points on coffee and our culture.

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AuthorMatthew Certain

If you're not listening to This American Life, you're missing out. This American Life is a program on NPR hosted by Ira Glass which focuses on news, culture, and social issues. I have no idea when it airs on the radio, and thus I listen to the podcast during commutes or while I'm running. This week's episode, Music Lessons, struck a chord.  While I was never a good pianist, I have a significant amount of respect for anyone who plays an instrument. 

Take a listen to this week's podcast.

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AuthorMatthew Certain