dangerousmeta!, the original new mexican miscellany, offering eclectic linkage since 1999.

Can you say ...

“Pepto-Bismol”?

04/26/05 • 09:24 PM • Photography • No Comments

Photo.net:

There may be problems with the Photoshop CS2 updater.

04/26/05 • 09:23 PM • Photography • No Comments

The Economist:

Congress is getting bullish on China; batten your wallets.  “Over the weekend, the head of China’s central bank also gave a speech indicating that the yuan could be revalued in the near future (though he blamed international pressure, rather than internal imbalances). Once this happens, the People’s Bank of China can stop stockpiling dollar reserves—meaning its demand for American government securities will also dry up. Critics wonder if Congress, which has made little effort to curb America’s soaring budget deficits, has quite thought things through.”  My italics.  You’ve heard many of these arguments here before.

04/26/05 • 09:00 PM • EconomicsPolitics • No Comments

There’s something wonderfully ironic

about Mr Bush applying ‘DeLay’ to Social Security reform.

04/26/05 • 07:01 PM • Politics • No Comments

CSM:

A new federal move to limit teen abortions. Girls less than 15 years of age, from my reading of the latest stats (2000), were less than 1 percent of all abortions.

04/26/05 • 06:58 PM • HealthReligion • No Comments

Returned WA.

In the interest of being able to reach wide angles, there aren’t many options for those using 1.6x factor sensors.  My Canon EOS 20D has just a few options, for zooms.  Planning ahead for a larger sensor, I thought I’d be smart and order a Sigma 12-24mm EX HSM, which will function on a full-frame.  This one’s going back today, after testing (and really wanting to like the lens) for the following reasons:

1. Unsharp at any speed.  Less sharp than the cheap $100 EF-S 18-55, which is only average in itself.  A significant letdown from my recent Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 purchase.  That lens is a gem.

2. F/8 was the best and only ‘nearly acceptable’ sharpness.

3. Autofocus was useless.  Manual focus on infinity, let depth of field handle the rest.  Don’t even think about close focus.

4. Right side, esp. bottom, had prismatic breakup of detail.  Smear.

5. Unpredictability.  You could use the same settings on two different shots, and get out-of-focus *infinity* detail in one.

6. Random “ERR-99” communication problems with the 20D.

The only benefits?

1. Sturdy construction, heavy (I count that as a plus), excellent fit and finish.

2. Beautiful rectilinearity [less time-intensive workflow].

So many others have had problems with this lens [scroll down; this is the unsharpness I was seeing].  I was hoping that I had stored up some sort of “Sigma Karma”, because all my previous Sigmas had been sharper than my Nikon equivalents.  I love most Sigmas, but I count this one as not recommended.  I just don’t have time to do the return-and-exchange stuff to end up with a random sharp model (which may not be sharp enough for my tastes anyway).

I’ll be putting the “dead-end” Canon EF-S 10-22mm on order.  I’ll live with PTLens for defishing.

04/26/05 • 06:19 PM • Photography • No Comments

End of blogging break;

back to work.

04/26/05 • 09:51 AM • Personal • No Comments

Yahoo:

Fairy tales linked to violent relationships.  Depends on what fairy tales you’re reading.  There are many more than the two they mention, with dark and mysterious conclusions.  It is more a situation of limited exposure; certainly mythical archetypes would help youngsters make *better* choices.

04/26/05 • 09:50 AM • BooksChildhoodHistoryPsychology • No Comments

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Priceless pipe organs are suffering from ‘leprosy.’  The culprit may be the combo of central heating and oak.  Speaking of pipe organs, a tip for when you purchase your next stereo: bring Bach’s Toccatta and Fugue in D minor along with you.  Highs, lows ... if the speakers don’t do well with this, you’ll be unsatisfied.  Most sound guys I worked with in NYC might like metal or pop, but to test speakers, Bach.

04/26/05 • 09:42 AM • HistoryMusic • No Comments

Reason:

Ancient treasures for sale.  Corollary from the BBC: Where are Iraq’s artifacts?  Remember the total count controversy?  15,000 are still missing.  And a positive sign from Discovery: Italy returns stele to Ethiopia.

04/26/05 • 09:38 AM • History • No Comments

NY Times Op-Ed:

Kristof, North Korea and Mr Bush.  I said this during the Chinese spy plane fiasco, I’ll say it again.  The foreign policy education of Mr Bush will, ultimately, be so costly I don’t know if we can pay it.

04/26/05 • 09:31 AM • Politics • No Comments

NY Times Editorial:

The disappearing wall.  Efficacy of faith-based programs should be measured *before* taxpayers spend money.  Try this.

04/26/05 • 09:26 AM • PoliticsReligion • No Comments

SF New Mexican:

Ute Mountain protected under private-public effort. With this Administration, one must celebrate every inch of land preserved.

04/26/05 • 08:57 AM • EnvironmentalSanta Fe Local • No Comments

SF New Mexican:

Bid for LANL contract delayed again.  “The seven-year contract is potentially worth $2.2 billion per year. Extensions of the contract could raise the total value to $44 billion over 20 years.”

04/26/05 • 08:57 AM • PoliticsSanta Fe Local • No Comments

SF New Mexican:

Butterflies swarm the area after wet winter.  Oh, Vanessa ...

04/26/05 • 08:54 AM • NatureSanta Fe Local • No Comments

I’m going to be

very busy all this week, so lay your browsing plans accordingly.

04/25/05 • 12:09 PM • PersonalSanta Fe Local • No Comments

NY Times:

A Boldface Name Invites Others to Blog With Her.  I think she’d be more successful highlighting lesser-known webloggers.  Putting up the ‘big names’ just gives us more of the same, in a different format.  Whee.

04/25/05 • 08:08 AM • NewsWeblogs1 Comment

SF New Mexican:

Changes in WIPP operations suggested by DOE.  For New Mexico, the nuclear waste version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”  Who knows what kind of waste will be driving within a mile of my house, with *no* disaster escape route if there’s an accident.  Happy happy, joy joy.

04/25/05 • 07:58 AM • EnvironmentalPoliticsSanta Fe Local • No Comments

I see

a slew of hits from “stumbleupon.com/refer”.  What’s up with that?

04/24/05 • 05:19 PM • Personal(5) Comments

A Whole Lotta Nothing:

MSM? MSM. Ah, MSM!  It’s good for the joints, bad for Matt ... [heh].

04/23/05 • 05:19 PM • HealthNewsWeblogs(2) Comments

IAIA Powwow

pix.  I’m still running in my lenses, so the framing isn’t the best.  But for 800 and 1600 ISO, and distant bleachers hand-held, not bad really.

04/23/05 • 05:09 PM • PhotographySanta Fe Local(2) Comments

I feel I should

remind all that liberty is preserved by the infrastructural separation of powers, including the independence of the judiciary.  To weaken that, is to weaken the freedom of each man, woman and child in America.

04/23/05 • 10:48 AM • HistoryPolitics • No Comments

CNN:

Email is bad for your brain.

04/23/05 • 08:29 AM • ComputingHealthPsychology1 Comment

PDN:

Nikon responds to those who rose ‘encryption’ red flags:  Get the SDK, and stop crying.

04/22/05 • 03:39 PM • Photography • No Comments

NY Times Arts:

Witness to a Dying Way of Tribal Life.

04/22/05 • 12:49 PM • ArtsHistory • No Comments
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