Saturday, October 25, 2014

Porco Rosso: Panoramic vs Binocular Vision

Un discorso sull'aviazione maiale...

George: Why did Porco change into a pig?

Mario: Because he had self-esteem issues. His friends died in an air battle. He felt guilty so he transformed himself into a pig through remorse.

George: Self-esteem issues? So he became a PIG? Why didn’t he become a… a… LUNCHBOX?

Mario: Maybe it was because Miyazaki loved that era of antique airplanes and animated air races. Set among islands in the Adriatic. A Time of Cherries. An era when pigs might fly. Pre-Animal Farm.

Pig vision is an interesting hybrid concept. Pig panaoramic vision is 310 degrees and their binocular vision is 50 degrees. So they can see behind them to sense danger creeping up, but they still have some degree of bifocal stereoscopic vision for calculating distances. Un aviatore ideale.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Photographs in Tables

Stan is uncomfortable with Jan’s view of data and tables.
Stan: So you visited 30 museums in ten days?

Jan: For the purpose of finding out how technology encourages a more engaging and interactive experience for the visitor.

Stan: And you want to list the technological devices in a table. How many devices?

Jan: Eight or ten. Cameras, projectors, iPads, viewers, simulators, interactive booths, studios…

Stan: So you run technology down Column 1, and add the number of devices down Column 2.

Jan: Need more columns for other data. Like simulators could be flight simulators or code-making simulators. Need a column for photographs too.

Stan: Photographs? In a table?

Jan: Sure. Visuals are data too.

Stan: Huh. Next we’ll be seeing video clips in tables.

Statisticians see data as numerical and linguists take words as data. Their tables are traditionally filled with alphanumeric data. Artists regard visual images as data, so it seems legitimate to include photographs in tables.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Nobel Prize in Physics 2014

Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura
Bad news, good news…
Joaquin: Ebola doesn’t look good.

Scarlett: Isn’t there any good news this morning?

Joaquin: Good news? Oh, there’s the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Scarlett: Another Higgs particle?

Joaquin: Something easier to comprehend. Three Japanese are awarded the Nobel for developing blue LEDs. There was red, there was yellow, they needed blue to mix them to make white light.

Scarlett: LEDs are better than ordinary lights?

Joaquin: Good Lord yes. Most of the energy they use goes into light, not heat, so they use far less energy, shine brighter. Good for the environment and poor people can run them from solar power and batteries.

Scarlett: Proper marvels.

Joaquin: And to cap the good news. Other scientists were full of praise for these three clever and persistent scientists. Companies gave up, they pressed on. “Fantastic,” says an Oxford researcher. “Thrilling,” says a Cambridge professor.

A splendid example of upbeat reporting. The story of a reward for the inventors, the widespread benefits, and the supportive comments from peers. As good as it gets.

From the BBC.