Friday, March 27, 2015

Foto Friday: Frozen falls

Cathedral falls is an awesome site any time of the year.  I grew up seeing it on trips to my grandparents camp and then their home.  In the winter, when its cold enough the fall will freeze and when it does it tends to make a great image.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

25 Years of Photoshop

I started using Photoshop..well a good time back and I uses it both in my day job and in my photography.  Not grated these days I use more Lightroom than Photoshop there still comes times when I need to get my hands dirty and I push the image over to photoshop and do some down and dirty edit work.  Not my preferance as I would much rather get it right in camera but still I do use it and I love it.

I first learned it when I was working for the local branch of New Horizons Leraning Centers and then when I started getting into digital photography I became really proficient with it.  Now don't get me wrong Im no master at the program but I can do a good deal of things with it.  IT's hard to belive that the product has been around 25 years now.

The folks over at CreativeLive created a little video where they took some of the modern Photoshop wizards and put them on Photoshop 1.0...all the way at the beginning.  Take a look at how far it has come.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Our next giant leap

Peter Diamandis says it's our moral imperative to keep exploring space — and he talks about how, with the X Prize and other incentives, we're going to do just that.

Peter Diamandis is the founder and chair of the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is simply "to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity." By offering a big cash prize for a specific accomplishment, the X Prize stimulates competition and excitement around some of the planet's most important goals. Diamandis is also co-founder and chairman of Singularity University which runs Exponential Technologies Executive and Graduate Student Programs.

Diamandis' background is in space exploration -- before the X Prize, he ran a company that studied low-cost launching technologies and Zero-G which offers the public the chance to train like an astronaut and experience weightlessness. But though the X Prize's first $10 million went to a space-themed challenge, Diamandis' goal now is to extend the prize into health care, social policy, education and many other fields that could use a dose of competitive innovation.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Feildman Flix and the Outer Worlds - Jump (Part 2)

Chapter – 2 

“Yes sir, I understand.” Replied the security crewman from the communications panel.

“Do not let him know.”

“Yes sir. I will handle it personally.”

“That will be all.” The captain clicked off the small screen and turned back to regard the larger display and the Star Patrol bulletin it held. On the screen was a smallish man with an unimpressive build. According to the bulletin he was wanted for the murder of a University Professor in the Jovian system.

 “How the devil did he end up all the way out here, on the rim, and where did he get the credentials?” System ran background checks on all passengers and Dr Feildman Rynolds had checked out. No flags, no alerts, nothing.

Chapter – 3 

 “Why dear what a fascinating story.” tutted Lady Chamberlain “I would love to have been there.” With that simple statement her interest in Feildman was gone “I hear they have very different forms on Vondervant, I hear they are water breathers and that they abhor clothing.” Her face scrunched up in mock disgust “How positively colonial of them.” The group gathered around her table followed her in a dignified chuckle. Lady Chamberlain was by far the richest person on the ship and quite possibly the richest person in the quadrant. She always traveled with an entourage of other well to do citizens of the galaxy, Most of them were about as useless as they came, at least when the chips were down. Their idea of hard work was to throw credits at the problem until it went away.

For Feildman this was good news. Using his persona of Dr Rynolds he had approached the Lady and with a little luck would manage to get an endowment from her for the phony research project. The funds of course would go into his own accounts and be used to pay for transport further out. Maybe once he hit the rim he could stop for a bit and rest.

“Have you been to Vonervant Dr. Rynolds?” asked one of the other guests at the table.

“No I have not had the pleasure of that world. Most of my travels takes me into uncharted systems and worlds that no form have set foot on. In fact I am preparing to mount an expedition to system 553zeta-epislon.” He warmed into the part knowing that this was the best time to lay the ground work for his con. He only hoped that his research had paid off.

“What is in this system you are going to?” asked the youngest member of the dinner party.

“Well lots of things the most notable are the temples of the third world…”

“Temples? I though there was no life out there except where we have colonized? How could there be temples on this world?” asked an incredulous air head of an aristocrat. She had no concept of galactic history but on this point she was one hundred percent correct. The human race had traveled far and wide across this part of the explored stars and had placed down many colonies. What they had not done was find life other than themselves. Way back in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries the human race had been hopeful that the galaxy teamed with life. They had been half right, life did abound on many worlds but not intelligent life.

As the ships became faster and void travel had made the stars reachable in single life times they began to set colonies out. Some worlds could not house humans as they were and that’s when the genetic research started. The genome had been mapped and with a little more work we were able to adapt ourselves to the worlds we found.

Now there were dozens of different forms. Forms adapted to cold planets, forms adapted to hot planets. Some adapted to high or low gravity you name it we created a form to overcome it. Of course this had happened over a century ago and today those forms had well established societies and planets. For the most part the forms were slight variations of the pure strain. Maybe a world was darker than Earth and the settlers opted to have their children’s genetic structures altered so that they could see better in the lower light or perhaps the air was a bit thin and sound would not carry so they had their ears enlarged. The changes were minor at first but over time they became more and more pronounced as the generations progressed.

The discovery of ancient temples on a world would of course be a major find and would forever change the course of history. The entire story was made up. There was no third planet in the 553zeta-epislon system. In fact there was only two planets in that system and it was very unlikely that anyone around this table knew that. A fact that Feildman was counting on.

“Not that we have found so far, that’s why I am proposing a team visit the system and verify or refute their existence. Expeditions are expansive to say the least. I plan to start raising funds properly once we reach Whitefall.”

“What does an expedition of this type need?” came another quests question.

 Feildman settled into the role and the con “Well for starters we will need transport to and from the planet. Not to mention a team of scientists from the various disciplines. To completely study the ruins will take a large team but the initial visit needs to be only a small team, most likely a xenoarchologist and a xenobiologist. The initial visit for confirmation will likely run between half a million to a million, give or take.”

“Why Dr. Rynulds I would be willing to fund half of your initial visit.” Came the voice of Lady Chamberlain. “If you find something then I would be willing to consider an endowment for the return visit.”

Feildman turned and regarded the Lady and put on his most gracious face “Why thank you Lady Chamberlain but I must decline your offer, it would hardly be appropriate for me to accept funds from a traveling companion.”

“Pish-posh come to my suite later and we will discuss the arrangements.”

“Very well.” Feildman gave a resigned look “After dinner then.”

Saturday, March 21, 2015

AI is BACK!!!

For those that follow the blog you know I like Dungeons and Dragons and love a good game.  Fore a number of years now a celebrity game has been run at the conferences and I have been trying to get them shared up here on the site.  So with out any more annoying text let's see what happens to the heros this time.

Friday, March 20, 2015

River memories

The Cranberry River has always been a great place to go and spend time.  It's also a great place to make images.  Take for example this one made during a family camping trip.