Archive for the ‘meta’ Category


To www.gravityloss.com.

All the old posts have been moved there too. This old gravityloss.wordpress.com site will stay on for a while.

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Noticed by Things Break. I’ve only seen Solaris. It had a lot of good in it, although it was quite uneven and somewhat overlong. Certain acting is very intensive and memorable. Having read the book twice, I even experienced it completely differently both times. The American version from 2002 with George Clooney I haven’t seen completely, but from the first quarter, it seems to have some large stylistic jumps from the book which I find odd – the props in the seventies Soviet version actually seemed much more fitting to me! Probably everybody just reads the book differently.

One of the great themes of Stanislaw Lem seems to be dysfunctional organizations. This should ring a bell with my readers… 😉 Though Solaris is very different from all of his other stories. But I don’t want to spoil too much.

I have also read the Strugatski brothers’ Stalker, which was also cinematized by Tarkovski. It was a peculiar book and felt somehow like a weird mishmash with too much familiar and unreal blended to work as a whole. With some changes it might actually work well with modern special effects – or I hear that the computer game of the same name actually is great, though maybe not very plot intensive. Stalker was actually filmed in Tallinn, Estonia I hear and you can see the place somewhere there (if they haven’t torn it down, they’re rebuilding at a pace there).

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Away Again

for a few weeks. The camera had some trouble transferring the pictures to the computer too so you didn’t see any cool stuff yet, sorry.

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I’ve come back from the Baltics and Berlin. The blog title picture is from Vilnius, the viewpoint near the old fortress. I’ll write and post more photos later.

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I might buy a cheap point and shoot digicam soon, just to enable me to at least document something, especially when traveling Shooting with film is so expensive (although some do it) and also it’s hard to put the stuff on the net anyway since you have to scan and it’s tedious and I don’t have a scanner at home. I’ll probably visit central Europe soon again so I might as well buy a digital camera.

What are my requirements?

  • It needs to be cheap
  • I don’t need a large zoom
  • I need very close focus (for digiscoping at times)
  • Good low light performance
  • No high megapixels
  • A rechargeable battery

Things could point towards a Fuji F series, except the price, one would have to pay 170 euros for a F70… and I don’t want a zoom monster really. It seems the Fuji A130 is a sub 100 euro camera that still has F 2.8 at the wide end, which many of its competition doesn’t seem to have. Hard to see any comparisons anywhere on these cheap cameras, nevermind sample pictures. It uses regular batteries for power so probably it’d be expensive to use.

Strolling by the nearby supermarket, it had an Olympus T-100 for 99 euros and I liked that it was thin. Older Olympus has awful XD memory cards, but the T-100 has standard SD. Canon A490 which it also had at 109 and Nikon S203 (which is probably elsewhere), the big names’ cheap ones, might be nice in image quality, though the Canon seemed a bit thick. Then there’s the 99 euro Panasonic DMC-F4 too which actually seems to have F 2.8 at the wide end. Nothing means much when you don’t know the sensor size anyway.

Most of the specs listed (megapixels, number of programs) by the sellers and companies are totally meaningless to me. The pics always look bad at full resolution anyway. I’d like to see perhaps:

  • lens diameter (I might elaborate in a future post)
  • or then the F number and sensor size
  • field of view at wide and tele
  • perhaps extra features like what video res and compression, close focus range

At times all this makes me wonder if all that stuff comes from the same factory and they just put it in different shaped frames, alter the menu texts a bit, fiddle with a few tuning parameters to give different image tones and then just sell more of them that way. We already know that for example in optics, there are Japanese subcontractor factories making lenses for many brands. Opticron is a UK telescope firm that orders its scopes from Japan from the same manufacturer that makes stuff for Nikon.

Oh, and I assume all cameras work with Linux just as normal USB drives, right?

EDIT: Found some unlikely T-100 sample pictures

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Eckerö Line

Trying it again. Might visit the sea museum in Tallinn too. http://www.meremuuseum.ee/ They also have a pre-WW2 submarine sitting in the harbor. Finland has one too, it’d be interesting to see the difference. I think it is English built. There’s also a sea mine museum, though no Finnish mines there AFAIK.

My internet is acting up so this post is crude. It works about one minute out of ten. Something probably went bad at Welho during the weekend.

Other stuff: Urjazz from Nepal is good.

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Ronnie James Dio

Rest in peace.

Here with Yngwie Malmsteen performing Aerosmith’s Dream On. Pay no attention to the picture of Yngwie.

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It all started fine. The may day, had some great time and met new people and finished it off with old friends and sauna. 3 am and time to ride home. The smooth spring night is filled still with some late Turdus Pilaris searching for food and a lot of Lepus Europaeus just standing there and lazily jumping away as I approach. Giant shadows cast by a moth in a streetlight. And I join the MĂ€tĂ€joki river from the west, it glittering behind the trees. The chain grease was washed out by a rain a couple of days ago so it’s a bit noisy when pedaling but the trip is short. No people around, only a few taxis on the roads in MĂ€kkylĂ€. The rest of the way, silence.

And then I separate eastwards from the river and start to approach the neighbourhood where I’ve lived since fall, KannelmĂ€ki. I see a yellowish light in the ground – a small fire. I get closer and I see some kind of burning thing on top of a wooden trestle that fences a car park. Drops of flaming goo fall down to the gravel. It’s clearly some kind of plastic, and it looks like a fabric. The fire doesn’t seem very intense but anyway I pick some stick and drop it to the ground and put it out. The wood is intact. Fire follows the laws of physics like almost everything else*. I’ve had my share of playing with it as a kid and know how to handle it.

Now, maybe someone just was polishing their car with a wrong kind of rag, and it autoignited when they left it there. I see nobody around, and I move on. Across a junction and under the railway bridge. There I see a jug of Lasol denatured alcohol used for windscreen washer and a rag. Perhaps not connected in any way. Perhaps nobody was trying to make Molotov cocktails. And I take a few corners, through the park and arrive home. See the night bus pulling out of the stop. Sometimes this part of the city does seem quite stupid, whether it’s trying or not, it seems somewhat irrelevant.

*:the human thought being an easy example…

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Part 2, Timing

[Soundtrack by Mark Snyder
This was originally written in July or August 2009]

After the longest
hundreds of years
and one night
dawn finally came

and all the beautiful sounds
and scents of the world
woke up in the
radiative stillness of mist

Life vision
The waters mirroring the hills
the fowls drawing their arrows
in the picture

We could live here,
we could prosper
this could be home
for the children

No, something’s wrong,
a restless young sun.
The heavens sizzle
and things start over

Yes we know we cannot stay
this beauty overwhelms,
it almost stabs you
but it can’t carry us yet

Another three hundred years
of cold blackness,
some other world somewhere
will be our place

This world needs time,
a recovery,
before we,
our children return

We do not hate thee
the most beautiful, kind
strong and noble
worldly heavenly sphere

Since we have the gift
of understanding,
the possibility
of moving on

Your mountains will erode
new ones will rise,
jungless will dry and
deserts turn lush

And some day ever
worthy beings
walk your gardens
we know

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I just updated the blog title and again just watched the page and the blurb.

It’s when we start working together that the real healing takes place, 
 It’s when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood.

It’s a quote of David Hume, my favorite philosopher. I haven’t read his books though. I was reading a Finnish translation of one but it seemed so tedious with the language that I couldn’t bother. So me favouring him is based on the works of others about him.

The quote reminded me of the conflicts that I’m witnessing. The subject line matter needs to be done. At the moment many parts of climate software seem to be science software – written by people in a hurry with little planning, and code that has seen different people adding bits and pieces here and there, making it a big mess. Fortran and supercomputers and all that. Well, most software is a mess. Twenty man years, said MT. That’s a small amount of money considering how much is at stake and even compared to the amount of huffing and puffing efforts around the subject. I am available.

What else needs healing and sweat spilling? Well, quite many things. Including stuff in my personal life.

There are lots of old (sometimes Fortran) code packages hanging around. Nuclear stuff, rocket trajectory calculations, rocket engine chemical/thermodynamics performance… You name it, anything a young man is interested in seems to depend on these archaic pieces of software. So there’s a lot of potential work here but it seems so big for just a lone person to do much on their own free time.

The blog title picture is just some hinge flapped NACA foils simulated with the vortex lattice method in QFLR5. That actually IS a free software project, mostly by Andre Deperrois and uses Mark Drela’s XFOIL for 2D calcs. In the picture, the front wing has NACA 4415 with 6 m span, 1 m chord, 25% chord 15 degree full span flap, and the tail is a NACA 0012 with 2 m span 0.5 m chord, 40% flap or elevator at -15 degrees. Flying at 5 degrees AoA (plus 4 deg to the front wing) and 18.9 m/s, lifting about 2000 N. Absolutely no guarantees about the results.

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