December 2010 Archives

Schizophrenics Anonymous

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Here's a wonderful youtube video about the founding of Schizophrenics Anonymous (SA):

This is from the website SARDAA (Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America).

I'm in the final stages of setting up the Withoutabox entry for the 2011 SVA Media Festival in Montreal. I've populated most of the entries and am just waiting on my steering committee to give the go ahead to make it live.

I just read a very interesting article in the Anthropology News titled "Listening to Kamagasaki" by ethnomusicologist David Novak (UCSB). He talks about the soundscape of Kamagasaki, an area near Osaka that has a large population of day laborers and homeless individuals. You can read it online here:

I'm beginning a new project on Japanese sexuality next year and I've been thinking of how to shoot it. For my mental illness project, I used the Canon XL-H1. This was ideal for the location and topic where I was working -- larger rural spaces, people who wanted a video camera that was obviously a video camera. This is an HDV format camera, which meant it shot on HDV tape, not flash media.

My next project will be largely urban and I'd like to get a camcorder that I can take into smaller spaces.  I've been testing out the various tiny SDHC based high-def camcorders such as the Canon Vixia series, and I've been impressed with most things (except for the pain of dealing with the AVCHD file format and the limited wide-end of the zoom).  So I think my next project will be entirely shot on flash media.

I'd like to use this space here to think about several options with the following requirements:

  • High definition 1080p
  • Interchangeable lens or at least 30mm equivalent on the wide end of the zoom
  • Small / medium size
  • High-quality onboard audio for times when I can't use boom or lav mics
  • Relatively inexpensive flash media
  • Easily usable file format  (aka not AVCHD)

In my initial survey, here are some options:


Canon XF100 HD   @ $3300
- Dual CF card slots, 50MBPS @ MPEG2, 1080P,  dual XLR, 30.4mm - 304mm zoom

JVC GY-HM100U ProHD @ $2795
- SDHC cards,  35MBPS@ MPEG2, dual XLR, 1080P, 39mm - 390mm zoom


Panasonic AG-HVX200a @ $3595
- Dual P2 cards,
40~100MBPS@ DVCPRO HD, 1080P, 30mm - 490mm zoom



If I put AVCHD back into the picture:

Panasonic AG-HMC150 AVCCAM Camcorder @ $2825
- SDHC cards  24MBPS@ AVCHD (H.264), 1080P, 28mm - 368mm zoom

Panasonic AG-HMC150 AVCCAM Camcorder @ $$1689
- SDHC card,  24MBPS@ AVCHD (H.264), 1080P, 40.8mm - 490mm zoom


Sony HDR-AX2000 AVCHD Camcorder @ $3498
- AVCHD....

Sony HXR-MC50U Ultra Compact Pro AVCHD Camcorder @ $1500
- AVCHD....



Just a little rant here:

Increasingly, many schools are asking for letters of recommendation to be sent via PDF.

I sign my PDF letters using the PDF secure signature feature in Adobe Acrobat Pro.  This embeds a digitally verifiable image and hash that links back through a public key system to me. It also locks and signs the PDF file so that it cannot be tampered with.

Adobe Acrobat Reader will automatically verify any embedded signatures that it finds in documents it opens, and let the reader know that the signature is bona fide.

I just found out that in Snow Leopard (Mac OSX 10.6) doesn't either:  1) display, or 2) verify signatures. It just leaves a big blank where the sig should be.



Stupid, just plain stupid.


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