Tuesday, July 31, 2007
"Thank you for releasing me from my lamp-prison," he says, "I can grant you three wishes- one for each of you."
The postdoc thinks a moment, and then she says, "I'd like to be out sailing a yacht across the Pacific, racing before the wind, with a crew of totally buffed-out, gorgeous guys."
"It is done," says the Genie, and Poof! the postdoc disappears.
The grad student thinks a moment and says, "I'd like to be riding my Harley with a gang of beautiful women throughout the American Southwest."
"It is done," says the Genie, and Poof! the grad student disappears.
The professor looks at where the other two had been standing and rubs his chin in thought. Then, he tells the Genie, "I'd like those two back in lab after lunch."
Monday, July 30, 2007
To have the image straightened and cropped back to a standard rectangular format, follow the steps above. This time just be sure to check the box in the tools option menu marked 'Crop Image'. This will probably more to your liking. Just remember when using this method that some of your image will be cropped away, along the edges.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Here, I chose to embed (nice option) the file. Optionally, I could have chosen to send the file as an attachment.
Having a friend, sibling or spouse who is overweight raises a person's risk of being obese too, US researchers say.
The study looked at data collected over 32 years
They said data on more than 12,000 people suggested the risk was increased by 57% if a friend was obese, by 40% if a sibling was and 37% if a spouse was.
They argued this showed social factors, such as the body sizes of other people, were important in developing obesity.
Experts said the New England Journal of Medicine study was not conclusive as other hidden factors could be to blame.
People come to think that it is OK to be bigger since those around them are biggerProfessor Nicholas Christakis
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, in San Diego, looked at data collected over 32 years as part of a heart study.
Participants gave personal information, including their body mass index, and the names of friends who could be contacted.
The authors were able to map social connections including both friends and family members.
The effects were generally larger between people of the same sex.
And their analysis suggested that the links could not be solely attributed to similarities in lifestyle and environment, for example the impact of friends existed even where friends lived in different regions.
The statistics may be meaningful, but in real life this is not very helpful to people who are overweightProfessor Andrew Hill
Author Professor Nicholas Christakis said: "It's not that obese or non-obese people simply find other similar people to hang out with.
"Rather, there is a direct, causal relationship. What appears to be happening is that a person becoming obese most likely causes a change of norms about what counts as an appropriate body size.
"People come to think that it is OK to be bigger since those around them are bigger, and this sensibility spreads."
Dr Richard Suzman, director of the National Institute of Aging's Behavioral and Social Research Programme, said the finding could have important implications.
He said: "This seminal study breaks important new ground in showing how social networks may amplify other factors and help account for the dramatic increase in obesity across the [US] population."
Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of charity Weight Concern, said it was no surprise that people who are obese tended to be friends with others who were obese, but that the fact that the link was more important between friends than siblings was "very interesting".
He said this suggested that social factors were even more important than physical ones in obesity.
He added that, on the positive side, if overweight people had friends who were obese, they could offer moral support to help each other lose weight.
But Professor Andrew Hill, of the University of Leeds, said it was purely speculation to suggest that people's body images change because their friends become obese.
And he said it was important not to forget things which are known as key factors in obesity, such as diet and exercise.
"The statistics may be meaningful, but in real life this is not very helpful to people who are overweight.
"We don't have an understanding of what is really causing the relationship - it might be very complicated."
Smoker's are being driven into their homes. More and more public areas are becoming off limits to smokers. Soon, the loonies will make it illegal to even smoke in one's own castle. Coming is the day when proposals will be made to ban obese people from public places. Sure, the beginning drives will be small. They will probably be unnoticed. Then the movement will grow!
There will be other 'causes' to come. Some you will like. Maybe some will scare you. When it hits HOME it will scare you.
Maybe it's nothing. Maybe freedoms and liberties are overrated.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
In the edited photo you will notice the leash and the branch are both now gone. Perhaps it's time to get those distracting objects out of your photos.
Monday, July 23, 2007
The second verse of this 1973 song goes -
Of the first bird singing
I was leaving for home
With the storm
And the night behind me
And a road of my own
It's Sunni again!
Sunni Kay said...
July Morning by Uriah Heep
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Although, the best cropping should usually be done 'in camera', it doesn't always work out the way it should. Sometimes we need a little help, after the fact. As stated in Corel's tutorial, cropping is the quickest and easiest way to improve the composition of your photos. Paint Shop Pro allows you to select from standard photo sizes or to go completely free form. You decide what works best for your usage.
I have used the crop tool, here, to remove distracting elements and to emphasize the important part of the photo. No more arms and torsos of headless people. Much better.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Off duty Sandstone County Deputy Hidrent blows a training wheel. When a fan enroute to a Village People's concert stops to offer assistance, Deputy Hidrent cites the man for impersonating an officer.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Directory with a Twist: Instead of just having the anchor text for your link be your blog's name, all links will be of the form "The _____est Blog." For example, "The Most Frequently Updated Blog" or "The Best Philadelphia Eagles Football Blog" or "The Yummiest Blog."
I had a few reasons for setting it up like this. First of all, I wanted this directory to be different from all the cookie cutter directories out there. More importantly was a closer look at the value of anchor text.
The anchor text of external links to your site is very important for determining your search engine results. For example one of my favorite blogs, "Flip This Body," a weight loss blog, already appears at #1 for Google searches of the term flip this body. This is because the majority of links pointing to Julie's site have this anchor text. But in my directory Julie's link could look something like this: The Thinnest Blog. Notice how the name of her blog still appears when you highlight the link. Also, having an important weight-loss word like "thinnest" in the anchor text, could help out future searches with that term.
So, if this appeals to you head over to The Bankest Blank Blog Directory and get registered.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The tutorial is pretty straightforward and I simply used the default settings, here. My photo is much lighter and definitely better exposed, now. A superb improvement with only a click of the mouse (once you are at the right screen). If desired one could adjust the brightness manually via the shadows, highlight, and/or the overall sliders. One can, also, manually adjust the saturation and sharpness in this screen. Using the advanced settings, you could continue to improve the color balance of the photo and adjust the lighter and darker areas of your photo using black and white set points. For this example I used no advanced settings and simply used the ones suggested by the program.
In the past, I have often found the 'Smart Photo Fix' generally and the 'suggested settings' specifically to do a great job much of the time. Often, though, I found it is better to manually adjust your photo with Paint Shop Pro's more general tools. It would probably be a good practice to try the Smart Photo Fix first. If this does not do the job sufficiently, or as you envisioned, then try doing the corrections yourself.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
This tutorial is like four mini tutorials in one. It has to do with making over a subject in a portrait or any photo with people, for that matter. It leads you through the 'Retouch and Restore' section where you then find the Makeover button. Clicking here, you are then able to use the Blemish Fixer (easy), the Toothbrush for whitening teeth (easy), the Skin Smoothing Tool (easy), and finally the Suntan Tool (moderately easy, depending on your photo).
Quick and easy (is this getting monotonous) fixes all, for any of the subjects that may need a little touch up. Give these tools a try.
Now, I must test it for a while. If it is everything I expect it to be then I will acquire another set. The second set will allow me to mount my 400mm lens directly and the female piece will go on my window pod setup. Wow, that will truly be convenient.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
We, also, took him to his first ever Twins game. He is obviously too young to follow the game but, he truly seemed to enjoy himself immensely because he is definitely a people watcher. The arena is of course a haven for people watchers.
My daughter chose the 'Family Seats' which I have never used before. The view from here was alright and it was less crowded than what I'm accustomed to, which is really to my liking. This may just be because of this particular game but, whatever the reason I enjoyed having a little moving room.
The Twins won 4 to 3 with Silva pitching into the 7th inning and allowing 2 hits.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I quit at this number because the wind picked up, making it quite difficult. In fact, I now see there is a wind advisory for the area. On the internet I read,
"West to northwest winds sustained from 25 to 35 mph... frequent gusts up to 45 mph are expected for much of the rest of today. . .Reports of some trees and power lines being blown down have already been received... and additional trees and power lines may be blown down by the winds for the rest of today across the entire advisory area. Anyone on area lakes this morning across east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin should seek shelter and prepare for the onset of strong west to northwest winds by midday.
A Wind Advisory means that sustained winds of at least 30 mph are expected for more than 1 hour. Winds this strong can make driving difficult... especially for high profile vehicles. Use extra caution.
One of the cedars I put in the ground went on the northern property line, while the rest were all placed on the southern border. I am very, happy that I only lost one cedar from last years planting and have now replaced it. I expected to lose more.
The trees I spoke of yesterday are in the ground, also. One is a Royal Red Maple. This too, is a replacement plant. It replaces a Northwood Red Maple, which I planted two years ago (pre-dating this blog). The rabbits ate the bark off the lower couple of feet and killed it. I have learned from this aggrivating incident and my current trees have protection in place.
The other tree I planted was a Bergeson Ash. This went in the backyard. I guess this is sort of a replacement tree, also, as I have been cutting out a lot of pine trees from the yard. I have many, many conifers in the yard and comparatively few deciduous trees. I am aiming for more of the deciduous type and here is a start.
All of these plants will be a welcome addition to my little domain. If only I could get them fifteen remaining cedars in the ground.
A photo is still hence coming, once all of the plants are in the ground.
Sadly, I'm still searching for a quick release for my Slik Ball Head. After much investigating on many photography forums, I came away somewhat confused. Different releases for different folks, I guess. At any rate, I finally decided on the Slick DG-L Quick Release. I was getting conflicting info on the forums, so I simple chose a matching release from Slik after talking to a rep from THK Photo Products. They recommended I order the DQ-L Quick-Release Adapter Set from B&H Photo.
So, about last Saturday, I broke down and tried to place an order for the quick release set. B&H said the product was not currently in stock. Bummer. Then, Monday I receive an email from B&H and they said the product was now in stock. They encouraged me to resubmit my order, which I immediately did. Today, B&H sends me another email stating -
"We regret to inform you that due to a system error the ordered merchandise is not in stock.
We apologize for this inconvenience"
There seems to be no other U.S. supplier I can order this from. I found a supplier from the U.K. but, was hoping to order from the U.S., thinking shipping would be much more reasonable. I guess I am still on the trek in search of a quick release for my ball head!
This tutorial was fun and again extremely easy to do. I do believe, however, that this would not always be the case. If your photo had less definition or contrast. Or many colors, shades, or hues then my guess would be that substantially more effort would be involved. I don't know this for sure but, will experiment further some day.
Monday, July 09, 2007
My wife was kind enough to find more chores for me to do today. Here are forty-two or forty-three new cedars she purchased for me (to put in the ground). Also, a couple of trees. Thank you, honey. Last year I planted about 50 of them on two sides of my front yard. We couldn't plant the last side because we bought all the cedars that the greenhouse had. I guess we needed to plant the remaining border.
The plants are pictured here before they went in the ground. I know it doesn't look like forty plants but, trust me there are actually more than forty. I only got some of them in today. I will take pictures of them when they are all in the ground. Hopefully tomorrow.
Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness
He built a cabin and a winter store
And he plowed up the ground by the cold lake shore
and who performed it?
Whoa, you're good Sunni
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Here, I followed the 'Add Depth of Field to Your Photos' Tutorial at the Corel website. I must say, at the onset, that I was very disappointed. While, I welcome all other additions to the newest version (PSPP XI), This one just doesn't make the grade. Ironically, this is the one feature I was most looking forward to. If you use the default settings with this tool it is quick and very, easy. If you don't use the defaults, it becomes tedious, time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating. And usually v...e...r...y..., v...e...r...y... slooooow! The problem is, that the default settings can seldom be used. To truly get this effect right it must be customized to your individual image. With that out of the way, there may be some rare times when this tool would be useful. During these moments it may be appreciated.
As far as the tutorial goes, it is quite straight forward. Open your image and then open the Depth of Field Dialog Box. You the select your area of focus. This is where it starts to get tricky and this tool needs some refinement, here. Once you get your area selected there are a couple of controls you may use to refine the area and the effect. You may set the amount of blur and you have a couple of choices in the shape of your aperture. Also, you may feather your edge for this effect and finally, you may adjust the size of your selection.
I wanted to emphasis the menu in this photo. Adjusting the depth of field allows me to do so by throwing the other elements out of focus. I used to do this sort of effect manually in older versions of Paint Shop Pro and was looking forward to an easier way. Sadly, the new method is not easier and can actually be slower and more frustrating. Give it a try and you decide. Maybe you will have a better experience than I.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Officer Hidrent is once again setting his priorities. It seems things have been slow in Sandstone County lately, and he started perusing some important cold case files, after an evening of watching a TV show of the same name. The popular TV show has given him the bug.
After, scouring through hundreds of files he selected the 'Case of the Ironman Poodle'. Of all that he studied, this is the file he deemed most important.
About 50 years ago (we have been unable to obtain the exact date) a visiting citizen had left her poodle tied to a parking meter on Main Street. During her shopping spree the pooch managed to damage some city property, namely the parking meter. A local resident managed to snap a picture of the event, as it happened. She sent the photo to the local newspaper which published it the following week. When the mayor saw the photo he went wild and demanded the legal authorities contact the responsible party. Of course, the visitor was long gone, by the time all this expired and the culprit was never caught.
Today, Officer Hidrent is on the job. His superiors say he is very, dedicated to this case and assure us that dilegence is the word for a case this important. Officer Hidrent himself was not available for comment.