June 2006 Archives

Well, I'm at Kansai International Airport just about to leave for six weeks in western China traversing the Silk Road.

I'm bringing my trusty Leica M7 / Zeiss Biogon 35mm and my Canon 10D with 16-35mm L. I'm not bringing any digital video as we'll be doing a lot of trekking and my HDV equipment isn't designed for one-person use.

Should be an amazing time and I'm looking forward to posting from the field when I can. However, there won't be as many blog posts as normal -- please hang in and keep subscribed!

Alex Halavais has just retired from teaching at University of Buffalo. His parting essay is a plea to his students to try hard and work smarter ... at cheating:

I would prefer that students don’t cheat. Yes, they really are mostly cheating themselves, so fine. But it also reflects poorly on the community. Rationally or not, what particularly irks me is that it is disrespectful: of me, of their fellow students, of the university, of the institution of learning, and of themselves. And—did I mention—of me? It is particularly irksome when their cheating implies (reminds?) that I am a fool.

So, to help students across the country cheat better, saving themselves both from easy detection and from incurring the wrath of insulted faculty, and leading to a much more harmonious school environment, I offer the following tips, based on recent experience:

.....

4. Dont rite to good

When you “write” a sentence like “The veil of ignorance, to mention one prominent feature of that position, has no specific metaphysical implications concerning the nature of the self; it does not imply that the self is ontologically prior to the facts about persons that the parties are excluded from knowing,” you have two ways of being caught up. First, while I make no claim of having anything approaching an eidetic memory (more like an idyllic memory), it may ring some dusty bells and heck, I might be able to pull the book you stole it from down off my shelf, even if you followed the advice of #3. If my memory fails to serve, as is frequently the case these days, Google Print might help out.

As a corollary here, try not to plagiarize the teacher. You will be less likely to suffer her ire, since it will amuse her and her colleagues to no end, but you are more likely to be caught. Steal her ideas and rephrase them in your own prose, because there is nothing teachers like more than knowing that students can write well but have no original ideas.

Read his entire essay here: http://alex.halavais.net/?p=1427

Say you come up with a truly insane photo lighting concept -- mount a small photographic umbrella to a hard-hat helmet along with a portable flash unit and presto! You have instant portable bounced flash: http://www.juergenspecht.com/truestories/?number=1&storypage=2

Is it nutty enough to be patentable? Unfortunately, there's prior art --- from 1932! See: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2006/06/02/wear-a-flash-on-your-head/

I hadn't seen this blogged in English...
AVCHD.jpg
In May, Sony and Matsushita announced an interim high-definition recordable format for portable consumer camcorders. Called AVCHD the system uses 8cm recordable DVD disks (650nm laser). The compression avoids HDV's long-GOP (with its 0.5 second dropouts) instead preferring the MPEG4 AVC (aka H264) used in BlueRay.

Screen formats 1080/60i /50i and /30p and 720/60p/50p/24p are all supported. 1080 is really 1920x1080 rather than 1440x1080 although that is supported as well. Sampling is 4:2:0. Sound is AC3 (5.1) with bitrates of up to 640kbs or Dolby Diital (1.5Mbs on two channels). The max system bitrate is 18Mbps which gives a min record time of 10 min, although you can downgrade this to get more play time. On the average setting, you get around 20 minutes per disk.

Although the system uses standard DVD recordable disks, they won't playback on standard DVD players unless the firmware is upgraded to support AVCHD (unlikely).

The big question is: Why????

Data from the June 2006 Video Salon magazine in Japan.

My new book on deaf identity in Japan is quickly approaching its publication date! Cornell University Press has just updated its product information page with reviews from renowned Japan Studies scholars:

"Deaf in Japan begins to fill an enormous lacuna in the literature on contemporary Japanese society, namely how the society treats those with any form of physical or mental disability. Those interested in contemporary Japanese society and comparative welfare will learn much in this book about how Japanese social attitudes have changed over the past fifty years."—Roger Goodman, University of Oxford

"In addition to expertly introducing to an English-speaking readership the world of the deaf and deaf movements in Japan, Karen Nakamura provides a very interesting and useful perspective on Japanese social movements and the 'new' forms they are taking in the 'post-postwar' milieu."—J. Victor Koschmann, Cornell University

"Karen Nakamura combines history, life histories, ethnographic observation, and politico-linguistic analysis of sign language in Japan to open up sensible and much-needed debate on the multiplicity of the Japanese and their culture."—Sonia Ryang, The Johns Hopkins University

The book is scheduled to come out in August.

After much vacillating, I decided to get the Edirol R-09 digital recorder to record audio in the field. The other choice was the MicroTrack 24/96. The R-09 and the MicroTrack are almost identical in size, weight, and price. See my previous blog entries on this topic (here or here or here). The main factors were:


  • Replaceable AA batteries rather than proprietary
  • Built-in mic (one less thing to lose)
  • Time/date stamping

There are some notes and a more extensive chart comparing the two after the jump.


Here's an interesting fellowship announcement that dropped in my emailbox:

I am writing to you about the S&R Foundation, which sponsors a wonderful award for young artists in the fields of music, fine arts, drama, dance, dance, photography or film. Awardees receive a $5000 cash prize, and the Foundation also sponsors a gallery showing, concert or other showcase for the winner. It's a great opportunity for a deserving young artist.

Eligible applicants are 18 years of age or older, currently NOT enrolled as a student, and contribute to U.S.-Japanese understanding.

I was wondering if you -- or anyone you know - has any Japanese or Japanese-American former students who could be good candidates? (Or Americans who have incorporate Japanese techniques in their art could also be eligible.) We are interested in expanding our applicant pool, and would appreciate it if you could pass the word on to anyone you think might be appropriate. Please let me know, and feel free to pass along the news.

The deadline for applications is October 1, 2006. Go to www.sandr.org for more information.

DVInfo.net has a page up with Canon XL-H1 presets submitted by various cinematographers. Canon provides zilch documentation for what presets do, so this is great for experimenting with the settings.

DVFreelancer.com has a shotgun shootout article with sound samples from the following mikes:

  • Oktava MCO-12
  • AKG Blue Line
  • AKG C480B ULS (ultra linear series)
  • Sennheiser MKH50
  • Schoeps MK41 vs. MKH60 (flat)
  • Sennheiser MKH60 vs. Schoeps CMC6/MK
  • Sennheiser ME66 vs. the MKH60
  • Sanken CS-1
  • Sanken CS-3
  • Sennheiser MKH-416
  • AKG C480B vrs. CK69
  • Audio Technica 4073a

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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