christopher heiser <christopher AT heiser DOT net>
April 20th, 2014 Last Update: Tue, 25 Feb 2014 15:12:46 -0500
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Harold Ramis, RIP

Harold Ramis has died.

Thanks for helping write, produce, and act in some of my all-time favorite movies. You brought brilliant wit and humor into our lives, and for that we're deeply in your debt.

by Christopher Heiser on February 25 15:12

On Addiction

Addiction is when you do the thing you really, really most don’t want to be doing.

- Attributed to Philip Seymour Hoffman

by Christopher Heiser on February 25 15:07

Kodachrome

These WWII factory photographs are definitely staged and well-lit, but their quality and color are truly amazing. Thanks to Matt for the link.

by Christopher Heiser on January 22 15:42

New Knee Ligament Found?

How is it even possible to have missed one of the human knee ligaments for so long? Amazing.

by Christopher Heiser on January 6 00:26

Sci-Fi Ship Size Comparison

From last year, but totally worth it. Which is bigger, the a Star Destroyer or the Borg Cube? All this and more is answered with this fantastic image.

by Christopher Heiser on January 6 00:32

Schumacher and Ski Helmets

First off, Michael Schumacher's condition has improved slightly which is welcome good news. As one of his F1 compatriots noted, there is no one more fit to come back from an injury like this than Schumacher. While he was a driver, his rest heart rate was 36 beats per minute. What's more amazing is that he could hit is rest heart rate in under two minutes after leaving the cockpit where pulse rates regularly top 180 bpm. He is an incredible athlete with an iron will; let's hope that's enough for him to make a full recovery.

Like most, I was somewhat perplexed to learn that Schumacher was wearing a helmet and yet sustained such a serious injury. Sadly--and as per usual--only the NY Times made the effort to write a halfway decent article explaining that brain injuries have increased at almost the same rate as helmet use. Incredible, right? It turns out that helmets aren't particularly effective at abating hard impacts, and in many cases give wearers a false sense of security. The glorification of extreme sports has led people--predominantly men from their teens to mid 30's--to increase risk taking and consequently get injured and killed more often despite helmet use approaching 70% in many resorts.

Technology has a long way to go before it can compensate for human nature.

by Christopher Heiser on December 31 16:45

Schumacher in Critical Condition

Following a head injury due to a ski accident, Michael Schumacher had emergency surgery after being admitted to the hospital in a coma.

Hang in there, Schuey.

by Christopher Heiser on December 30 01:34

Perspective

One of my favorite Steve Jobs videos.

by Christopher Heiser on October 8 01:09

Space Race

by Christopher Heiser on July 29 03:59

Loeb

Undoubtedly in my mind the best living driver in the world. A stunning record at the mighty Pikes Peak.

by Christopher Heiser on July 29 03:47

Anderson Silva

I'm still bummed about the Silva fight. But after seeing this video, I'm not sure it didn't turn out exactly the way Anderson wanted it. Anyway, the rematch is Dec 28th and I'm a sucker so I will be watching it for sure.

by Christopher Heiser on July 29 03:40

Every One Of All The Games

by Christopher Heiser on June 28 01:48

Colorado Wildfire

Our thoughts and hopes go our to our friends and families in Colorado Springs battling a fast-moving wildfire that has burned a hundred homes and threatens the areas northeast of the city.

by Christopher Heiser on June 13 03:25

Super Mega Update

Work has kept me from my sporadic blogging; it's downright nonexistent now. So here's a list of a ton of things that I've bookmarked over the past few months.

First: TMBG ARE OK! Hell yeah, they are.

The images that won the 10th annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest are as inspiring as they are humbling. Last year's solar eclipse:

After denials, equivocations, delaying tactics, and general lameness, Google finally admitted that their maps project violated the privacy of private citizens when drive-by cars "casually scooped up passwords, e-mail and other personal information from unsuspecting computer users." Privacy is not a lost cause. Customers, make demands of your service providers.

David Ranta was finally freed from his prison term for a crime he didn't commit. He had a heart attack within days of his release. Let's hope he survives and find some semblance of a life outside of prison, and that someone is held accountable for this miscarriage of justice.

Quantum computing feels a lot like cold fusion of the 1980's--promising, but forever beyond reach. Maybe that's about to change? I'll wait to see the results, thanks.

I read some interesting history on Leland Stanford and some egalitarian ideas he had late in his life (after the death of his 16-year-old son). I find it so interesting that the most ruthless captains of industry often find compassion so late in life, and often after some personal tragedy. The parallel between conservative fathers changing their thoughts on gay marriage only after one of their own children is counted amongst the discriminated should not be lost on us.

I've been thinking a lot about personal data backup, lately. I'm using Bitcasa and CrashPlan, and ran across a very cool article show how to run CrashPlan on Synology hardware. Going to be implementing this later in 2013.

The Metabones Speed Booster will be my next purchase for my E-Mount NEX7.

Chinese hacking has been in the news a lot these past months. It's serious, but so is the militarization of the Internet. Both are a huge threat to us all.

I have absolutely no love for Monster, but the story of how the Beats empire basically hosed them completely makes me have enmity for the entire industry. I wish people actually understood how to make great audio devices, and consumers new how to pick them. Beats is jewelry. Cool, very slick, very clever jewelry.

I don't know if they ever found out what the hell this was on Mars.

As a father, I find the competition to get kids into the best-best-best school program exhausting, and I'm not even doing it yet. Articles about child prep classes for four-year-olds is insane. My god. Where will our childhoods go?

Here's some nice informal conversational Japanese for you to practice.

Dubstep is mainstream, love it or hate it. Here's how it got here.

Nocera goes off on the IPO market and the games the underwriters play to screw their "clients". Infuriating. Wall Street, when will you return to providing value to capital markets, I wonder?

All the cool optical illusions you remember, and lots you've never seen before. Visual cortex, we own you.

And finally, some watch updates:

  1. Bronze is getting popular. I like it. Here's a relatively inexpensive mechanical watch in the B-uhr style with a beautiful bronze case and crown Harry Winston 3D Tourbillon is a yawnfest. Sorry.
  2. However, the new Cartier mystery movement watches are awesome.
  3. And yet nothing comes even close to the new Spacecraft by Romain Jerome. One part 1965 Mustang dashboard, one part dilithium crystal, and one part mechanical wristwatch. Brilliant!

by Christopher Heiser on March 25 01:28

Beauty

To be decoded with this:

by Christopher Heiser on February 7 04:14

True

by Christopher Heiser on February 7 04:03

Lens Manufacturing

I think it's odd how prevalent camera lenses are, and yet how mysterious their manufacturing is (and even more so their design). I'll post some design stuff in the future, but this Discovery Channel video on how lenses are made is fascinating, if a little light on details:

by Christopher Heiser on December 5 02:26

Yeeee-Haw!

F1's back in the states. It's the only way this could ever happen:

Congrats to McLaren. Championship goes down to the wire in Brazil next Sunday!

by Christopher Heiser on November 19 03:33

962C Porsche on the Street

This video was posted last week and then taken down...I'm so glad it's back. Thanks to Robin for the link. A beautiful video portrait of a very special road car.

MotorHEAD モーターヘッド // Racing In The street : Group C Porsche 962 from Maiham-Media.com on Vimeo.

by Christopher Heiser on October 15 15:43

Get Rid of HFT

I've been bitching for a while about high frequency trading. Too much responsiveness in a market makes it unstable, and HFT does nothing to benefit the companies for which the capital market was originally created. Glad to see the topic is getting some press. Let's hope some regulation of this practice happens before the next market gyration does even more damage.

by Christopher Heiser on October 9 19:52

Shuttle's Last Flight in HD

Vincent Laforet, Mr. HDDSLR grabs a Red EPIC and an 800mm lens for some breathtaking video of Endeavour's last flight:

Shuttle Endeavour: A piece of space history flies by in slow motion from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

by Christopher Heiser on September 25 01:30

Descent

by Christopher Heiser on September 14 06:28

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