Tag Archives: Lamp

3776 – Blue Mars

A lot of people hate science fiction or are at least completely unmoved by it. I keep hearing complaints about sci-fi’s speculative nature and that it does not relate to anything “real”.

That’s true in a way, but when the same people read crime stories and historic novels with gusto, I begin to feel doubt 🙂

Anyway. The Image of the Day strongly reminds me of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy. This is what his mars looks like after terraforming 🙂

The Mars trilogy is also a good example for the not-so speculative nature of “Hard Sci-Fi”. It was written in the first half of the 1990s and it is basically the blueprint of all current efforts to reach out for Mars. I’m afraid it’s also a blueprint of what awaits us on our way there politically, and I am not sure that KSR’s resolutions are more than desperate hope. It may turn out much worse.

If you haven’t read the Mars trilogy, and if you do enjoy science-based fiction, and if you are interested in where we go as a society, I can hardly recommend anything better. A mostly optimistic and non-dystopic look into a not so unlikely future.

3774 – Between the Windows

Blog-wise we are still in E-P5 territory. These images are half a year old and in the meantime I have upgraded both cameras. The E-P5 and the E-M1 share a shelf in a closet, the PEN-F and the E-M1 MkII are what I use these days. Or rather should use, I might say.

In reality I rarely take images at all, and if I do, I use the PEN-F. Last time I went to Vienna, I decided to take the E-M1 with me. Maybe with the 7-14/2.8 and the 12-40/2.8 only?

I grabbed an old, small Sony shoulder bag that I had originally bought for the E-P2, and really, I could pack the 7-14 and E-M1 MkII with the 12-40 mounted into that tiny bag. Even the 40-150/4.0-5.6 fit in. Cool!

But still too heavy. I replaced the 7-14 with the 9-18 and kept the 40-150. Nope. Off went the 40-150.

Didn’t make much of a difference. The 40-150 is a featherweight anyway. Basically the culprit was the 12-40. Dammit!

The next idea was a small kit with 12-32, 9-18 and 40-150. That’s what I had on the E-M5 when I was at Lago Maggiore a few years ago. In terms of weight this was much, much better, but neither the Panasonic 12-32 nor the Oly 40-150 focus particularly fast. Much more the opposite. They are hardly the right lenses to use on one of the fastest cameras on the planet.

9-18, 25/1.8 and 45/1.8? That’s what I finally packed. Mission accomplished, although in a somehow unsatisfying way. So unsatisfying in fact, that what I went out of the door, I found the other bag with PEN-F, 12/2.0, 17/1.8 and 75/1.8 hanging from my shoulder 🙂

3262 – Wood, Rocks And A Bar At The Sea

It’s Sunday evening while I write this. I’ve just read the news: SYRIZA has again won the elections in Greece. I wonder what this could mean and if, after Tsipras’ defeat in June (or was it July?) there could be any effect at all, regardless of the outcome of elections.

Today or yesterday I’ve also read another comment about Greece. I can’t remember the newspaper, most likely it was the Austrian “Der Standard“, but like in so many comments the blame for everything that went wrong in Greece was put on Yanis Varoufakis.

I can’t hear it any more, it’s so stupid. Fact is, Varoufakis was outstandingly competent for the job, but what he said, although logically correct, was not what his peers wanted to hear. I guess exactly the same principle was at work, that a study from Duke University just described, namely that humans tend to deny a problem when they don’t like the solution. You’ve invested in oil or coal? Simply deny climate change! You’re opposed to a cut of Greece’s debt? Just pretend that another credit of a hundred billion Euros will magically fix the preoblem! I really grow tired of seeing so many decisions (in politics as well as in business) based on ideology and not on facts.

But let’s get back to Greece. Tsipras seems to have won his bet. SYRIZA is first, the left splinter group seems to have failed entirely, and although he’ll need a coalition, he will have at least one or two options.

But then? I think his biggest problem is, that he has lost every degree of freedom. He tried to negotiate a better and socially more acceptable deal than the conservative governments before, he failed, gave in, and I can’t see any further option.

If, on the other hand, we ignore the outcome of the elections and assume a victory for Nea Dimokratia, the traditional party of the old oligarchy, how could that have been a change? Therefore I suppose SYRIZA is regarded the best option in an election without real choice. At least they try to put up a fight.

All in all it looks real bad for democracy, with only one bright spot: at least the Nazis of “Golden Dawn” did not take over. It’s bad enough that they’re in third place again.

2868 – The Circle Game

Modern architecture is mostly utilitarian, but frequently in big foyers you see artistically arranged lighting. Here it is one clever mobile made of lots of big but fairly normal cylindrical lamps, in different colors, hung at different heights. And it works 🙂

The Song of the Day is Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game”, interpreted by Zee Avi. Hear it on YouTube.