Chabot Mirrors … and Flickr
In honor of Joe’s Birthday, we visited the Chabot Space Center in Oakland on Saturday. It is a pretty nice place, for a planetarium. They have some large telescopes set up out back, and it is really more of an observatory that has sprouted a planetarium to entertain kids and other members of the public. Yayoi wants to go back some night and peer through one of the telescopes . . .
Anyway, being an observatory, they are naturally intrested in mirrors, and have an exhibit on this topic. As you can see, we had a bit of fun with our reflections in one of the demonstrations. Another thing that was totally interesting is this video camera they have set up with a variable delay between the top of the screen and the bottom of the screen. Some sort of illustration about how images get distorted when you have to deal with how slow parts of the image may get to you.
The top of the video image showed up in real-time, but as you travelled down the frame, the video was delayed more and more. I experimented and determined the maximum delay to be about ten seconds, and by raising my hand from top to bottom was able to get it so that my arm would turn in to a momentary blur. The easiest gratification is to walk in front of the screen and turn around, watching your body corkscrew like something from an Escher painting.
What I am really on about, is testing a “photo blog” feature from Flickr. Flickr is a web site dedicated to managing photos online. You could think of it as an online version of Picasa, or a much sexier version of Buzznet. It has lots of bells and whistles, but keeps a pretty streamlined interface. Anyhow, they only allow you to upload 10MB a month, which I have already done, but for $42 I can get the annual subscription, which would allow me to upload my entire photo collection, at the rate of 1GB / month, and keep it organized, not to mention backed up.
Well, I should think about it, but if it makes it dead easy to post with photos to my web site, all the more reason to seriously consider dropping some dough on it.
Verdict: The post feature has a very very annoying habit of putting <br /> in for every newline. And, the default template is pretty ugly, but they make it easy for you to edit it around, such that it shouldn’t be too hard for me to hack in my existing “photo with caption” style. I can test their technical support by inquiring about the BR thing.