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Chrono-synclastic Infundibulum February 12, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Photography, Toys.
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I texted this picture to my stepdaughter. She wrote back:

“Did it work???”

“Can’t tell; everything is still weird.”

 

NOTE: it’s funny how you can remember something as strange as “chrono-synclastic infundibulum” and spell it off the top of your head after having read it once in high school, nearly fifty years ago.

Whale Skeleton in the Sahara January 29, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography.
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Wedding Photo January 28, 2020

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, Uncategorizable.
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I’m the tall one in the back.

Two-headed Bearded Dragon December 23, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Photography.
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Octobrella December 11, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Octopus, Photography, Publishing Tools.
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Post image

Purloined from reddit.

3D Scanning to Print (Photogrammetry) October 8, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in 3D Printing, Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Photography, Publishing Tools, Star Trek Technology.
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Due to an unfortunate incident while moving from the ver parted lips of Hell (Greenville, CA) I have had to replace a few parts on my Casio CDP-120 piano keyboard. Basically, the highest key (C for those who need to know) was/is smashed and needs a replacement. Aha! I have this iPrusa printer and can whip up a new key post-haste using
Fusion360 to measure and design a new key.  Right?

No. It’s a part with surprisingly complex geometry, so I thought I would try photogrammetry to create a model and see how that works.  I never tried this before, so what could it hurt? Can’t be any harder than Fusion360 to master. Right?

No. There seems to be no (free as in beer) software which can do this which is simple enough for me to install (grumble, grumble) on this company Mac, and I’m not sure company policies built into the security suite on this company Mac would permit it (grumble, grumble) anyway. Since my replacement Windows box isn’t here yet (grumble, grumble) I have to pay for a cloud-based solution…Altizure.com.  So I took 56 pictures of the C key an octave down with my cellphone camera, submitted them to Altizure.com‘s loving embrace and was rewarded with a fairly competent render of my key:

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I say “fairly competent” because it has lots of hole in the sides.  No matter; I can probably fix it in software modify it in Fusion360 to fill in the holes.  I will likely need to use Fusion360 to get the dimensions useably correct in any case.

Now I have to steel myself to pay the subscription rate of something like $70 per project. It would be worth it if I was a company making a prototype with great prospects for the future…but I’m not (grumble, grumble).

The key costs about five bucks from Casio’s parts subcontractor, plus six or so to ship it. I know which I am going to choose.

It’s a shame, really; I was looking forward to monkeying around with it. Maybe next time.

However, I don’t give up easily; I got 3DF Zephyr and used the (limited to) 50 pictures in it at the highest defaults in the wizard to create this render:

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My army of loyal and discerning readers may notice a bit of degradation here and there…yeah.  I will try again, but this took an hour or so and was NOT automatically rendered, but went through stages. In all fairness it would have been shorter if my graphics card had CUDA…but I don’t have a graphics card, just whatever Lenovo thought was cheap but still enough to get by on. Still, it needs work, and it’s midnight.  Possibly updates to follow, if I get any sleep.

EXCITING UPDATE:

I got a better render with 50 pictures and the most extreme settings I could figure out:

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It’s got the holes that Altizure’s render had, but 3DF Zephyr is free to use.  Now I have to figure out how to make the save-able form of this (an .obj file) into an .slt and thence to gcode. With luck, I will have a hideous key to use before my real one arrives.

 

 

 

This Speaks to Me May 14, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Photography.
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freee-kitten

Fluorescent Pink Flying Squirrel February 8, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in Mutants, Photography, Science.
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Think Pink: Texas A&M student aids in discovery of fluorescent pink flying squirrel

Not a punk band name, the North American flying squirrel fluoresces pink at night under ultraviolet light. Not a mistake, either:

“I looked at a ton of different specimens that they had there,” Kohler said. “They were stuffed flying squirrels that they had collected over time, and every single one that I saw fluoresced hot pink in some intensity or another.”

In order to expand the search, the team at Northland College in Wisconsin went to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and gathered more specimens. In all, they researched over 100 specimens ranging across numerous states, all confirming the “pink theory.”

I mean it’s not hunter’s orange, but it’s a start.

Tentacle-nosed Catfish February 8, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in Mutants, Photography, Science.
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This is one of six catfish species recently discovered in Amazonian basin rivers and streams.sixnewspecie1

Cute little creatures, aren’t they?

AI Detects Rare Syndromes From Images January 9, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Photography, Science, Star Trek Technology.
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Rare disorders often present with patterned discoloration of the epidermis, distortion of features and other visibly-detectable aberrations in appearance. Marfan’s syndrome presents with long, flexible body type. Noonan syndrome may present wide-set eyes, and Down’s syndrome is well-known to nearly everyone. Now, researchers have developed a facial analysis framework, DeepGestalt, using computer vision and deep learning algorithms, that quantifies similarities to hundreds of genetic syndromes based on unconstrained 2D images. DeepGestalt is currently trained with over 26,000 patient cases from a rapidly growing phenotype-genotype database, consisting of tens of thousands of validated clinical cases, curated through a community-driven platform. DeepGestalt currently achieves 91% top-10-accuracy in identifying over 215 different genetic syndromes and has outperformed clinical experts in three separate experiments.

In results published in Nature Medicine, DeepGestalt  outperformed doctors in diagnosing patients with Angelman syndrome and Cornelia de Lange syndrome versus other disorders, and in separating patients with different genetic subtypes of Noonan syndrome.

It’s a neat study in that it controls for a bunch of conditions including ethnicity and gender, so it’s a bit more robust than previous studies.

 

Homework: [PDF] https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.07637

Barbie pagoda fungus (Podoserpula miranda) January 3, 2019

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mushrooms, Photography.
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Image shamefully stolen from Reddit.com

Breakfast at Kitten-ese December 3, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, Uncategorizable.
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We cleared the table and seats for breakfast, but before we could sit…

Needs No Title November 20, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, Uncategorizable.
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Arizona Exposure October 30, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, RV and camping.
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Arizona is pretty much paradise in the winter months.  We spent the winter of 2017-8 there and had an interesting time staring at Nature’s landscapes. It  was a  bit of a shock for me to realize how much I like desert landscapes. I really didn’t expect it.

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Someday I will learn how to stack images, and then I will show you only one photo.  Until then, however…

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Please bear in mind that all sunsets are much redder than my camera will capture,or my eyes are really going (could be).

Yellow Creek Campground May 29, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Mushrooms, Photography, RV and camping.
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in Plumas County is a delightful PG&E-owned small campground with nearly no amenities. It has eleven campsites, two without raccoon boxes, two vault toilets and at least running water.

It is, however, beautiful beyond compare.  Located on a meadow with a stream

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passing one-third of the campsites and with a canopy of pines and firs to shade the campers, it’s a little garden spot all its own…and then there are the mushrooms.  Oh my goodness, the mushrooms.

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I fear I have left out a few.  Don’t worry; it’s raining right now so I should have new ones for you soon.

I relaxed after a hard day of squatting to photograph mushrooms (that weren’t there when I left camp this afternoon) by photographing their newer brethren, freshly emerged into my camera’s eye while being serenaded by at least six different kinds of birds (a red hawk among them) at sunset.  After dark there are frogs to keep the gentle susurration going, so that my sleep is as peaceful as can be…except knowing there are black bears about (my first day here there was a mound of bear evidence1).

Also, there are cute ice flowers to be admired, if you look carefully for them.

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1. I may continue to use “evidence” as an euphemism for all things scatological in future.

Glories March 4, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, Publishing Tools, Toys.
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I grew up in a devoutly Methodist household, and we had paintings  of Our Lord  which often featured the suggestion of God’s presence through rays of light streaming through clouds.  In fact, I don’t usually see these rays which I call Glories all that often; apparently the particles necessary for such diffraction are rare enough that glories don’t come standard with every sunset.

Then, too, when I see them I don’t have a nice camera with me…just my cell phone.  The current default camera app in Android 6.0.1 does not feature exposure control, making it very difficult to catch the rays (usually sunsets present as a bright band of yellow in my camera).  Thankfully, the Google Play store offers other camera apps, such as CameraZOOM. I have been able to finally capture a good enough sample to share (cropped in The GIMP):

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Glories near Lake Havasu

EXCITING UPDATE:  Glories viewed from ISS

Image: A rare optical phenomenon spotted from orbit

Joshua Trees National Park February 8, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Photography, RV and camping, Uncategorizable.
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Warning: foul language

JTNP is a dangerous place for the unwary naturalist or hiker.  Forget about scampering naked through the desert during a full moon; this place is populated by a truly bewildering variety of spiked, barbed,pointed and sharp plants guaranteed to impale an incautious passerby on the briefest hike, or trip to the restroom.

Take, for example, this beautiful specimen of Darwinian selection:

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This is known as the Spanish Bayonet, the Pointy Bastard or the Unwary Thighstabber. My wife says this is her least favorite plant, possibly due to unfortunate personal experience.  Spanish Bayonet is very stiff and the point is very hard.  I do not doubt this pointy bastard could be used as a bayonet.

Next a more delicate, elegant stiletto of a plant:

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Note the barbed thorns and tips. This herd-culling flora is known as the Lacerating Motherfucker, for good reason. Sometimes called the Wait a Minute, it grabs anything organic which brushes it and drags it towards itself in a series of painful spasms.  One presumes the plant benefits passively from the organic matter of its victims decaying around it, thus enriching the local soil. It is perhaps worth noting that many desert species secrete chemicals which inhibit the germination of other plants.  This helps explain why there are small bare patches surrounding most plants in Joshua Tree National Park.  Worth noting, too, is that the space is just large enough for small critters to pass, but not humans.

Ouch.

Then there are the more obvious instruments of torture, the standard cacti, some of which are exceptionally well defended1, such as the Malevolent Spiny Fucker:

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Closely related in terms of armament and disposition is That Dangerous Spiked Fucker:

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Not lastly (because I’m typing this in a very cramped camping chair and I need to go have a beer) is the Psychotic Rapier Clusterfuck.  Do not trip near this plant.

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As usual, the wonders of Nature make me sit back and admire her ingenuity from safely inside a locked room with air conditioning, a stereo system playing Vivaldi and powerful adult beverages to celebrate my narrow escapes.2

I would not have you finish reading this little note without understanding that the grandeur of the place is unparalleled in my experience. The Flintstonesesque scenery will make any visitor think they have landed on another planet designed by Irwin Allen, or maybe Ray Harryhausen.3:

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1.  The best defense is a good offense.

2.  I haven’t even talked about the night hikes through the Stabby Wastelands following an experienced madman to “my spot”, nor the boulder scrambling urges that demand to be addressed by the Flintstones’ rock formations here. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking.

3.   Seriously. Maybe Luc Besson?

EXCITING UPDATE:

Patrick’s Point, Postage-stamp Park January 12, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Mushrooms, Photography, RV and camping.
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In December I had the most delightful visit to Patrick’s Point Park, a 1.5 mile by about 1.0 mile-wide campground and park. Being pretty darned cold, it was mostly empty, the way I prefer my natural surroundings. It was peak mushroom season and shrooms were found about every five feet on the nature trails.  Only one hallucinogenic (amanita mascara), so don’t rush there to pick’em; their are signs all over the place admonishing visitors to leave the shrooms and flowers untouched.  And since nobody is around, violators will be easy to spot.

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This set of photos is just me on a maybe one-mile hike. For comparison, that is a size 11 men’s foot you see in the images. Also; there is ample scenic beauty besides my unnatural interest in mushrooms.

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Leavis Flat Campground January 5, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Photography, RV and camping.
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Leavis Flat campground is a charming little side-of-the-road spot, with no pavement, no water (except the creek; see photos, below) and nobody else here, at least in January.  The ranger did come by (with a gun and a bullet-proof vest—I wonder what’s going on here usually?) to determine we were not bums, transients, bindlestiffs nor other kinds of ne’er-do-wells and that we had, in fact, paid to get in.  Leavis Flat is perhaps too close to Los Angeles for comfort.

Regardless, our little campsite had lovely views of the nearby creek, beautiful scrub oaks, chestnuts and mulberry treeIMG_20180104_091720819s  and, except for the very occasional car, just the sound of the creek to lull us to sleep. It’s a welcome change from having to spend several days in the SF bay area.

The creek is surrounded on all sides by the kinds of rocks you expect in the California foothills; bring your boots if you like to scamper up a creek bouldering.

Nice.  There are also lovely little bare areas with just leaves that look like floors

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freshly strewn with flower petals:

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Very relaxing, with nobody around at all.The real reason we camped here is (besides the low cost of entry) is proximity to California Hot Springs, which we intend to visit before departing for Joshua Trees.

IMG_20180104_160902217 EXCITING UPDATE:  California Hot Springs is closed for the nonce, so we charged up the hill to see the 100 Giants,a redwood grove here in Sequoia National Park.  A nice little ride (11 miles from Leavis Flat campground up to about 6700 feet)in the missus’ Vanagon, the show and ice hardly mattered.

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…or…

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I have left out the devastation of certain pine species along the way; apparently beetles ran rampant (or drought killed just this one species among other trees such as sequoia and cedar), as most of the long-needled pines are dead, dead, dead. Very sad and kind of spooky, seeing these dead trees among the live ones.

The Best Things in Life January 1, 2018

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Photography, RV and camping.
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The momentous stuff in my life pales in comparison with a good camping trip…like this one. At our favorite local (abandoned) campground:

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Within walking distance of here we found, well, this:

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All found within twenty minutes, each cluster was part of a greater whole.

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This is the view across the pond…reflected in the water, then rotated and cropped in GIMP, the poor man’s Photoshop.