Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Month: April 2022

How Does Mastodon Work?

Given the Muskrat shenanigans taking place over at “the birdsite,” it’s probably a good idea to have this link handy: How Does Mastodon Work?

I’ve put a lot of time & energy this past couple weeks into being “the Mastodon guru” for friends online, mostly on Discord servers, so if you have questions I am happy to answer. My qualifications are that I ran a Mastodon instance for a few months and have been a regular boring user for several years now, and that I’ve read a lot and listened to both praises and complaints along the way.

Timey-wimey Time

I’m absolutely digging this GoPro HERO9. I did another session outside, because I cannot get enough of watching clouds go ‘vroom’.

And yes, I learned how to “blur” out sections of video in Hitfilm Express for the neighbors’ sake.

I also wanted to play a bit with slow-motion video, and this afternoon I got that chance. I put together the light tent (as all advice I’ve read about doing 240fps video emphasized the need for good lighting), I gathered some handy duckies, Vyx had the bright idea of putting cling-wrap onto a small mixing bowl, and I found a pillow with a nice bit of “bounce” to it. The results are… modestly amusing:

We got some good hang time out of this method.
This was the 2nd pillow test, where I dropped a couple more ducks in more rapid succession instead of one at a time with pauses between.

My original plan was to do “speed ramping” in Hitfilm Express, but I learned today that the software is kind of… actually terrible at that. (Speed ramping is that moderately-overused “things are going fast then they slllloooooowwww doooooowwwnn and then go fast again” visual effect you see in a lot of action shows/movies lately.) So I just loaded up VirtualDub and said “yeah, take this 240fps thing and make it 30fps for me” and here we are.

Look, if nothing else I’ve found a fun new thing to do with duckies. Can’t go wrong, there.

Look at him. He’s shredded.

Life tip for y’all: Don’t save up so many years’ worth of medical bill notifications and insurance notices and similar needs-shredding materials that you nearly burn out the motor on your budget-level paper shredder.

How do I know this? Because experience is what you earn when things go sideways, that’s how.

In related news, I’ve done a little bit of de-junking around the place. Wires and connectors I’ll never use again, thrown out. Gear that will never be plugged in again in this household, into the Goodwill box. (It’s not busted gear, I’m not a jerk. It’s just stuff that’s obsolete for my needs.) Old papers (warranty notices, instruction sheets, etc) without personal info on ’em, recycled. And, old papers with my personal info on ’em, shredded.

Some of them, anyway. Once the shredder cools down a bit I’ll try to do the rest…

Squishing Time Into A Quick Rectangle

Not much happening lately, but my GoPro HERO9 showed up last week. I set up a couple of tests to get the hang of how it works.

I did not, in fact, realize I’d be pointing at the sun in that test but… it didn’t turn out too badly.

And if I’d realized just how simple this model kit really was I’d have selected a more frequent frame interval. Ah, well, live and learn!

Add Dejah Thoris To The Roster

Over at Cat Valente’s Discord, someone posted this image:

Ostensibly, the image is a cover photo of an edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars," but the person displayed on the cover looks like Disney's Snow White as rendered by an anime production.
Almost everything about this amuses me on some level or another.

And yes, at first glance it’s kind of ridiculous and definitely hilarious on at least one level. Then I got to thinking.

Dejah Thoris is the titular (ahem) Princess of Mars. (She’s Princess of Helium, which makes one wonder if she talks with a weird squeaky voice, but that’s beside the point.) The Disney corporation released a movie, John Carter, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian novels, and Dejah is in that movie.

Therefore, Dejah Thoris is officially a Disney Princess.

And that cover you see above tracks better than it really ought to.

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