SF New Mexican/AP:
Attacks cost Iraq oil exports $16B. “Among problems was plumbing so bad that dirty water from sinks and toilets drained through concrete upper floors throughout the building and dripped into first-floor cadet dormitories, threatening health and possibly weakening the structure.” Remember the furor over using American construction companies for rebuilding Iraq? Sounds like a great big skim-off of profits, to me. I’ll say again, for the umpteenth time: Where’s the oversight?
SF New Mexican:
Candidate-veteran blasts Bush on Iraq. Can’t think of a better to replace Henry Hyde, of Clinton impeachment fame (and low, low profile since). The Republicans may face a strong “been-there, done-that, you suck” minority come ‘08. I hadn’t considered that possibility ...
It strikes me
that there are many more important items to discuss than whether former Rep Mark Foley wanted to diddle his pages; the political maneuver of ‘circling the wagons’ within any particular party to prevent sensational reports before an important election is old, old news. However, it’s a ‘perfect storm’ to draw attention away from the plethora of revelations about this Administration: Powell’s firing, etc. ... read Woodward’s excerpts in the Post.
Related: NYT, Sept. 11 Panel Wasn’t Told of Meeting, Members Say. What else did they ‘miss’? If you’re charged with doing a complete investigation, do you wait to be ‘told’? Stinks to high heaven.
What would bring me back into the Nikon system from Canon? Besides better high ISO noise performance and some tilt-shift wide angles for their 1.5x crop factor? Zeiss lenses.
In thinking about eventually upgrading the 20D, I’m in agony. Best to sit tight and keep watching. 8MP isn’t really challenged by 10MP. 12, I’ll think about upgrading. But I want a real viewfinder with pentaprism and proper focusing screen, and weather sealing for less than $3k.
And just a few short years ago, spending a couple of grand on an F5 seemed insane. Look at the kind of green we throw around now!
Boy, I know some great places to shoot if I could rent one of these babies ...
Sugar linked with mental problems in Norway study. Not a great study, because it didn’t catalog all sources of sugar in a child’s diet, but one can easily extrapolate the idea that if you medicate a child for ADHD without taking away their sugary foods and sugar-and-caffeine drinks first, you’re being a fool.
I can imagine some twisting the results of this to prove that soda is beneficial for students (“Those who drank no soft drinks at all were more likely than moderate drinkers to have mental health symptoms ....”). Students who know of their sensitivity to sugar may already avoid these drinks, or do so without conscious thought.
Of the world’s 100 largest economic entities, 51 are now corporations and 49 are countries. Read the note at the bottom, however, and click the link before you start screaming about the present administration, capitalism, and the evils of the 21st century. It was the same in 1995/6.
NY Times Opinion, from yesterday:
Pirates of the Mediterranean. If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it (and you expected I’d say that).
Scientists see the softer side of Tyrannosaurus rex. I know a local place where you can see a petrified tree that changes from crumbly rotten wood to the solid rock of petrification on the same trunk.
Galisteo cemetery at dusk:
Adobe PS Lightroom Beta 4 update.
I’ve been using this software almost exclusively now since released. I am more than pleased. A fine point, not communicated well by any of the online sources I’ve read, is that Lightroom incorporates an extension of Photoshop Camera Raw. It has more features. Some recent architecture shoots allowed me to use fewer destructive processes after raw conversion, and the quality of my images went up by a good percentage (IMHO). Download it, watch their videos on the Lab site, and use it. The videos added gobs of technique to what I was discovering by mere use-and-repetition. Someone needs to work up a key-command shortcut sheet. You’ll be very satisfied.
I’ve been comparing it to Bridge, Camera Raw, Breezebrowser, RawShooter Essentials, Canon DPP ... and the plethora of image adjustment tools are a standout, both in function and in UI. I have some speed issues, but I think I need to push my desktop box to 2 gigs of RAM to cure those, so I can keep Lightroom and Photoshop open at the same time with reasonable performance. I hope they do more speed tweaks to Lightroom before release, however. [As I’ve said before, I’m not happy with the performance of the Pentium D dual-core chip in my relatively new VIAO, compared to AMD offerings.]
Once I get all used to this software, I hope I can afford it once it releases ...
Off we go, building our own Maginot Line. I’m overusing that metaphor, but what the hell. The ends of the fence will be Belgium and the Ardennes. I do wonder if the contractors will be using immigrant labor ...
NY Times Travel:
Paris la Nuit. Yes, yes ... walking the great cities at night. Would that I were there.
SF New Mexican:
Young hiker finds old bowl near Gila Cliff Dwellings. At Chaco Culture National Historical Park, you routinely find shards ... usually around the middens piles. They ask that you don’t remove them, but hikers tend to pick them up anyway ... because they’re all over the trails, too. Guilt then ensues, and a short distance from the middens piles you’ll usually see a boulder covered with dozens of shards, samples of the diverse patterns the ancients used for their pottery. Evidence of morality in modern homo sapiens.
Make your own tilt-shift lens. With a Zeiss front end, if you’re so inclined.
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
starts on the 6th. List of events. I’m trying to bolster my will so’s I can get there at opening, like around 5 AM for Dawn Patrol (it’s at least an hour from SF, barring the usual traffic pileup before parking). This year, I have to capture specific images for a gig; if anyone needs balloon pics for a particular project, let me know. I’ll be taking hundreds.
Northern New Mexico
stinks to high heaven. Chamisa (rabbitbrush) is blooming, overgenerously, thanks to our recent rains. Can’t decide whether it smells like rotten dog food or year-old sweat socks. I’m not shoving my face into a clump to decide the issue, however. Pretty to look at, for all its rhinitis glory (some folks are very allergic).
Bob Woodward: Bush Misleads on Iraq. “According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret.”
Postings will be thin today.
SF New Mexican:
Céline Cousteau lives in Santa Fe. “I enjoy the contrast of water versus desert.” Exactly.
SF New Mexican/AP:
Happy 2,557th birthday, Confucius!
NY Times Washington:
A dark day. Once again, Congress heels for the Executive Branch, in spite of a couple of pulls on the leash. Too much power is being arrogated to the Presidency. This, and other facets of this bill, will come back to haunt us indeed. Congress is leaving the White House’s door wide open to authoritarianism.
Try this: “What’s wrong with military trials of terrorist suspects?” And, read a bit about “Combatant Status Review Tribunals.” Also, scroll down to “IV. The Prosecutorial Benefits of Summary Proceedings.”
What’s left? To sit back and watch other countries follow our example, as they have with other ‘precedents’ set during this Administration ... interpreting the Geneva Conventions in their own particular warp. Drumhead trials for all.