Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dalek inventer dies

Ray Cusick the man who invented the Daleks for the Dr Who tv series died at the age of 84, he passed away in his sleep from a heart attack.
Many of us will remember hiding behind the sofa when the Daleks first appeared on tv's early Dr Who, and I'm sure many of the younger viewers still do.
Your creation lives on Ray, some of us will remember the man behind it too.
God bless you.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Energy saving bulbs/Fluorescent Tubes

I'll start with so called energy saving bulbs, the issue I have with these is they are not as energy efficient as some would have us believe.  Yes it's true to say they use less electric to actually run, but they use vast amount's more energy to manufacture, they also don't last as long, I['m changing these so called "long life" bulbs every few weeks, the old light bulbs lasted years, the other problem with them is they actually take a few minutes to give out full light output.
Fluorescent Tubes, well where do I start, a great idea, they give good all around light, but...... the problem with these is they just don't come on when you turn the switch, my kitchen light for example can take as long as 30-40 seconds to actually burst into life after throwing the switch, what a pointless idea, when I want a light I want it then, not in a few minutes when it feels like lighting up.   
The other issue with these things is the so called starter (something else that only lasts a few weeks) I have a draw full of these to change as they keep packing up, which then leaves you the choice of bugger all light or the flickering-flashing insanity that follows 5 minutes of trying to work with the bloody thing going flash flash over your head, thats assuming you don't manage to have an accident before that every time the light goes out.
I do wonder how the conversation with the inventer went, something like this I suspect.
"I've invented a new kind of light bulb"
"Have you?"
"Yes, it's great, it uses less electricty and give more light"
"Wow does it?  Has it got any drawbacks?"
"Well.... it doesn't actually come on when you turn the switch.... but it does come on eventually...."
"Ahhh.. thank you, see yourself out, don't call us we'll call you..... maybe"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mobile phones (again)

Well I've done it, I've finally been dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century.  Yes I've got a "proper" android phone.
My mobile history is a bit of a mixed bag, my brother had a chain on phone shops at one time, during the beginning of the mobile phone peak, this meant I was pretty much one of the first people to have them, I remember feeling very self conscious using one in public at first.  Recently though and now having to buy my own phones I've lagged behind, still using and old crappy Spansih phone (well it does actually work) anywqy to cut a long story shorter I've now got a proper modern android phone. 
Well what a supprise, I did think I'd never use things like the internet on a phone..... but, well yes I have used it, even read the paper on it, and somewhat supprisingly it makes calls too.  But the best feature for me (well after it being a phone) is the camera, the quality is very good, much better than I expected, yes I know it "says" 8 mp but with the small sensor I wasn't too hopefull, but it's actually got a ton of detail and a big image, it'd print to A4 easily.
Now the question is do I really need to carry a 16mp compact around everywhere....  ???

The phone pic

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lensbaby effect in photoshop

I decided some years ago that actually buying a lensbaby was a waste of money, they are very good at what they do but it's quite limited and I cant justify the price for the used I'd get out of it. 
I figured it shouldn't be too difficult to mimic the effect in photoshop, I got pretty close ages ago but at the time I couldn't work out how to add enough chromatic aberration, the lens correction filter just didn't give a strong enough effect, anyway I was playing with the effect again (making an action actually) and the penny dropped, all I needed to do was move the red and green channels slightly out of register and job done.


People used to take the mickey out of Russians queuing for bread, but are we any better in the UK?

I've just come back from my doctors surgery, even with an appointment I was still seen promptly 50 minutes late   On Tuesday a 10 minute visit with a hospital doctor and a 2 minute blood test took four and a half bloody hours, it's disgraceful, and that's with appointments, although the word appointment actually means having a set time for something, totally meaningless as far as most things are concerned.

I wouldn't mind so much but I watched the blood test people at work for the best part of an hour, during that time on average only one of the three people doing tests actually worked while the other two talked, they are being paid to take blood not chat, worse we are paying for it.  No wonder they can't afford to keep hospitals open, half the staff are doing bugger all as far as I can see, it's only the nurses on the wards who are really understaffed.

But it's not only the health service, I queued at the bakery to buy a cake, then I queued again to get petrol, then I queue at the supermarket.  I queue again at the post office.... and we take the mickey out of the Russians, I bet they are taking the mickey out of us these days!