While I really enjoyed the photography exhibit during my visit to the Art Institute Of Chicago something else REALLY caught my eye. I came to understand the art of mezzotint – demonstrated by a master Hamanishi Katsunori.
Described aptly by our friends at Wikipedia:
“Mezzotint is a printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple. Mezzotint achieves tonality by roughening the plate with thousands of little dots made by a metal tool with small teeth, called a “rocker.” In printing, the tiny pits in the plate hold the ink when the face of the plate is wiped clean. A high level of quality and richness in the print can be achieved.”
I attempted to take some photos but they turned out terrible. Thankfully the AIC itself has some smallish photos and an explanation here. And even more thankfully I found that the Ren Brown Collection has some GREAT LARGE samples. Below is one of my favorites:
Mezzotint by Hamanishi Katsunori
They also have a brief biography of the artist here.
A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend Educause – the annual uber-conference for IT professionals in higher education. I’ve attended just twice and on both occasions have been wholly impressed with what is being done in IT in higher ed. Yes there are challenges but there is also a mountain of potential and there are huge successes being enjoyed by my counterparts throughout the US (and the broader world).
Jane McGonigal at Educause 2013
This year one of the two outstanding keynote speakers we had was Jane McGonigal who is a world renowned game designer. (notice I didn’t say video game designer) I had heard Jane speak on Ted before and I entered her keynote skeptical but open minded.
I have to say that by the end of her session my skepticism had been silenced and I was a believer. Jane presented a clear, insightful, fact based argument for the adoption of ‘gamification’ within education. Specifically she spoke of the 10 major positive emotions that gamers enjoy, the disillusion of students as they trudge through the educational system, the amount of effort that gamers are willing to invest to achieve goals, the sense of community that gamers enjoy and how these various elements can (and should) come together to deliver an engaging and fruitful educational experience.
I believe that her Educause keynote will be publicly available in a few months but in the interim I encourage you to head on over to TED, or Jane’s Blog, sit down with your skepticism and listen with open ears.
Here is a link to all of Jane’s Ted talks
One project in particular that struck a cord with me was her project with the NYC Public Library. You can read all about it courtesy of an interview with Jane and the NYPL (New York Public Library)
Jane is clearly a lateral thinker and a most impactful woman !
I’ve posted about Canada’s own Shane Koyczan before. Imagine my joy at having this bit of brilliant beauty grace my facebook feed today.
My pleasure was doubled with the ‘new to me’ discovery of Hannah Epperson.
I continue to be amazed with Shane’s skill at story telling and his ability to summon up such deep emotions with his words. Hannah is new to me but I’m looking forward to learning more about her. Check our her homepage at hannahepperson.ca
You can learn more about Shane via his homepage at shanekoyczan.com
Thanks to my office-mate Phil, I learned that Google has just release a new filter for SnapSeed that promises HDR (high dynamic range) photos from a single exposure shot !!!
I downloaded said update onto my GS4 and you can be the judge for yourself – I think it does a commendable job.
If you’re wondering what the big deal is with HDR – the basic idea is to overcome the camera sensors intrinsic range of colour limitation to better reflect what the human eye can discern by combining multiple versions of the same image taken at different exposure levels. Most often one does this either in-camera with a high end camera that can bracket photos or using something more along the lines of photoshop to merge together photos that YOU took at varying exposure levels. The most notable result is that colours will look more vibrant and shadows will not be nearly as murky as the camera often captures them to be. There are plenty of fantastic samples out on flickr – just search HDR.
What google has done to achieve this with single exposure shots AFTER THE FACT I will have to read some more on but the effect is VERY impressive !
Here is the original as taken by my very capable Samsung GS4:
Original single exposure shot of the Orange County Convention Center in Anaheim (I was attending educause).
And here it is with the HDR filter applied:
And here is that same single exposure photo after the SnapSeed HDR filter has been applied.
At one time we had a subscription to a service which provided cross platform raw compute comparisons. That subscription has lapsed but I had a need today to compare an older intel processor against a newer one and our onsite Dell guy referred me to CPUBenchmark.net
600K+ Systems Tested and 1,200+ CPU Models – Updated Daily!
PassMark Software has delved into the thousands of benchmark results that PerformanceTest users have posted to its web site and produced five Intel vs AMD CPU charts to help compare the relative speeds of the different processors. Included in this list are CPUs designed for servers and workstations (Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors), desktop CPUs (Intel Core2 Quad, Intel Core i7, Intel Core2 Extreme and AMD Phenom II processors), in addition to mobile CPUs.
This chart comparing high end CPU’s is made using thousands of PerformanceTestbenchmark results and is updated daily. These are the high end AMD and Intel CPUs are typically those found in newer computers. The chart below compares the performance of Intel Xeon CPUs, Intel Core i7 CPUs, AMD Phenom II CPUs and AMD Opterons with multiple cores.
Nice -no fuss graphs of literally hundreds of CPU models. I am comparing the CPU’s used in Dell PowerEdge 2950s circa 2008 to those found inside the latest iteration of the Oracle Data Appliance x3-2.
Old: quad core Intel Xeon X5355 processors @ 2.66 GHz = 3,247
New: 8 core Intel Xeon E5-2690 processors running at 2.9 GHz = 14,511
Delta = 4.5 x.
I would be remise to not point out that any given systems performance is reliant upon much more than raw CPU speed but it’s a good starting point.
As you know I am a firm supporter of disadvantaged women and in particular efforts such as TheGirlEffect which seek to empower younger women. I received a very nice email from one of the ambasadors of a project under the GlobalGiving.org umbrella today and I’m thinking my mom might be a bit proud of her little boy if she were still with us.
Thanks so much for your recent donations to ‘Empower girls like Priti in slums in Pune, India‘.
Your recurring donations do not go unnoticed. The cumulative effect of yours, and others’, contribution has meant that we have been able to expand this project to benefit almost twice as many people. Thank you for that.
Without this valuable work, these chldren would remain trapped in the cylcle of ill-health, illiteracy, and child labour which has bound their community for generations. Now, they not only have an opportunity to break this cycle, but also play a part in the uplift of their entire community.
Please keep checking back for reports on the project’s progress and stories from the ground. As always, I ask you to consider spreading news about the project to your friends and family. If they are interested in making a donation that would be great, but I am just keen for more and more people to know about the work we are doing in India.
Thanks again for your donation,
With gratitude, and very best wishes,
Please support the deserving, rewarding and impactful programs run by organizations such as GlobalGiving.org. Even the smallest amount of financial support combined with an organization that is truly committed to improving the world goes a long way towards improving the lives of individuals and families who are not nearly as fortunate as you are.
As pointed out by CBC2Music morning show host Tom Powers – it’s truly impressive how he has been able to simplify the complexities found in the original.
And if perchance you don’t recognize the song from that cover (or the title ) here is the version that appeared in a film adaptation of my favoritest book from childhood (and yes the film was very well done indeed).
And again a thanks to CBC Radio 2 morning for sharing.