Archive for August 16th, 2007

All it takes is some creativity

Late at night, when I am working with my Powerbook on my lap, I leave the TV on the background sometimes at the Music-in-HD channel. I usually watch this so I can get inspiration for music video clips that I could potentially shoot. At least once a night, they play videos from Fiona Apple. I don’t particularly like Apple’s music, as I personally find it weird — although I prefer it over Björk’s.

Anyways, one of her videos, “Not About Love“, is an interesting one to me (YouTube link). It’s a cheapo video clip, co-starring Apple and comedian of Greek descent Zach Galifianakis. It apparently was shot on video, and so quality suffers and I would not be surprised to hear that it was actually shot with a consumer widescreen DV camera (yes, the ones that cost $250). However the director does a good job in creating a funny, interesting atmosphere.

This is what I am after. Given the fact that I actually own a much better camera than he did when he shot the video, all it takes is some imagination on my part and some basic editing skills. Am I ready for it? I think so. Especially if JBQ helps me out during shooting with his photography skills, I think I can ultimately create something worth watching.

Video game addiction

We were watching last night a documentary about the history of video games. Among the “subplots” discussed was an 8-year old kid (or was he 10?) that had game addiction. His addiction was mostly on FPS and MMORG online games (he had little interest in non-violent games). At some point the camera showed the kid glued to the Mac, with the father trying to get him away from it telling him that he had enough for today, while the kid was shouting not wanting to go away. The parents already knew that their kid had an addiction (a psychologist actually confirmed it). And yet, they still let the kid log in to Mac OS X and play these games and then they had to fight to get him away from the computer.

Why didn’t the parents take the following action instead?
1. Remove all games from the Mac except Chess.
2. Install a few freeware puzzle and table games just so the kid doesn’t die of boredom.
3. Remove his current OSX user account.
4. Create a new non-administrative user account with very limited Internet access. Internet access should ONLY be allowed for the following sites:
a. *.wikipedia.org (for help with his school work and personal education)
b. *.mail.google.com (for his email needs, friends)
c. *.cnn.com (for potential news interests the kid might have)

And that’s it. Let the kid cry his way out of this. He should accomplish nothing. He has everything that he needs, that a kid of his age should need that is, and nothing more. Heck, he can still connect his camera, load iPhoto and email a picture to his friends via Gmail. Or use iMovie and burn a DVD. Or write a document, or edit a picture. What more than that a kid should need? Internet access and application installation rights should be limited — especially in his case so that he can’t download or install new games.

Δωσ’του και δυό μπάτσες άμα δεν κάθεται καλά, και τελείωσε η υπόθεση.

Great monitor on sale

For those who either do HD video editing, or they mostly watch TV on or next to their computer, this monitor is one of the best purchases one can make right now.

It is a 24″ 1920×1080 monitor selling for $399 after rebate. So far nothing special. The special treatment is all the extra TV-related ports it has: HDMI, S-Video and Component! It has no TV tuner, but it is perfect if you want to use the same monitor as TV-via-cable-box or plain PC monitor, and even more perfect if you are doing video work and you need to test the gamma values of your video via a component or S-Video signal. Using an HDMI switcher you can even connect the monitor to two of your graphics card’s DVI ports (via a DVI-to-HDMI cable), or one VGA and one DVI, or S-Video/Component out — depending what your graphics card supports.

And of course, the full 1080p resolution makes it great for 1:1 video zoom which results in better 1080p video quality. This is the cheapest solution today for 1080p testing with general usage also in mind. Two functionalities in one at a respectable price point.

I don’t work for Westinghouse or Newegg btw. But I salivate over that product. :D

The other side of abuse

“Madonna is reported to have started injecting herself with vitamins to boost her energy levels. The singer, who turns 49 on Thursday, is said to have surprised passengers on a recent flight from New York to London by injecting herself with a vitamin shot in her arm. Nutritionists said that such a drastic practice could have potentially harmful long-term effects on her health. […] It is understood that Madonna was injecting herself with B6 and B12 vitamins to boost her energy”, writes ThisIsLondon.co.uk.

This is the other side of “drug” use. And that’s not the only thing that Madonna overdoes. According to a physician’s opinion in a UK magazine 2 months ago, she is addicted to endorphins that are released after many hours in the gym (she spends 4 hours a day, everyday, in various gyms and that almost cost her marriage recently). Madonna does not smoke or drink much anymore, and she is against recreational drugs. But what she does with these injections, gym and her crazy macrobiotic diet (I hope that she doesn’t impose this to her children), she is not far off a “junkie” either.

For the 1000th time I will have to write this in this blog: Παν μέτρον άριστον (”all good things in moderation”).