(vid) Japanese charring technique of preserving wood – Shou-sugi-ban

Red cedar looks outstanding!

Preserving wood with fire!

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Bois Brulé. Burnt wood, an alternative to aging … according to ancestral techniques came from Japan for giving a durable finish to wood siding. The ancient technique of charring the wood to make it more durable is rooted among the Aztecs. The Japanese, who named it Shou-sugi-ban, have extensively used it. The charcoal acts as a protective layer that resists decay and fire, producing a long-lasting and maintenance-free material. This method of wood preservation is restarted by architects looking for green solutions in different parts of the world including Japan and Europe. In simple terms, the wood is burned for about 7 minutes using a torch or more traditional methods, before being doused with water and brushed to remove char dust, revealing a light silvery sheen. The timber is then washed and dried. It can be left unfinished or a finished oil can be applied to bring out shades of gray, silver, black or brown. This technique is used for siding, decking and outdoor furniture. The method earns interest both for its environmental history and for its aesthetic appearance. The materials can last at least 80 years, without chemicals. (YouTube comment)

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Gordon Laing: Canon EF 24-105mm STM for Video

Gordon Laing at Camera Labs writes:

Canon EF 24-105mm STM review so far

The unique selling point of the EF 24-105mm STM is its focusing system: it becomes (and so far remains) the first full-frame EF zoom with Canon’s lead screw-type stepping motor, allowing it to focus quietly and smoothly in movies and live view. It’s also the only full-frame STM lens with image stabilisation and that’s wider than 40mm. These all make it the ideal walk-around companion for full-frame bodies with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and in my tests it punches above its weight in terms of image quality. I miss the weather-sealing of the L models, but the optical quality for the relatively low price makes it a bargain in the Canon catalogue, and if you want an STM zoom for a full-frame body, it’s the only game in town at the time of writing.


Universe Contains 123 Quintillion Stars! That’s 123 billion billion. 123 million million million!!! — Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Extrapolating from this Hubble image, scientists have estimated that the universe contains at least 200 BILLION GALAXIES, EACH HAVING an average of 100 BILLION STARS!!!!!!!

Also, our sun is an average sized star.

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According to the Space Telescope Science Institute, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field has an angular size of 11.5 square arcminutes. That means that it would take 12,913,983 Deep Field images to cover the entire sphere of the sky!

Just for fun, let’s calculate roughly how many stars that implies in the observable universe: The ultra deep field image has about 10,000 galaxies in it. If we assume that each galaxy has 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) stars, then the approximate number of stars in the visible universe is absolutely staggering: 123,000,000,000,000,000,000

123 quintillion stars! That’s 123 billion billion. 123 million million million. (source)

(vid) Sony RX10 Mark IV, 25x Superzoom Review – Ideal camera for many – Gordon Laing from Camera Labs

First superzoom 1-inch sensor camera with phase detection autofocus, which locks onto moving subjects with precision. [Smaller sensor cameras have noisy, mediocre image quality, and previous 1-inch superzooms couldn’t track moving subjects well.]

24-600mm (35mm equivalent focal length) and f/2.4-4.0 lens. 24 fps. 2.4 pounds, weather-sealed.

Gordon discusses video during the midsection, and resumes discussing still photography features at 37:00.

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This Crop Factor Calculator Makes Sensor Math a Breeze

You can’t avoid crop factor these days. Whether your camera sports an APS-C, Micro Four Thirds, 1-inch, or some other size sensor, there will come a time when you’ll have to calculate a “full-frame equivalent” and that’s when the mmCalc Crop Factor Calculator will come in very handy.

mmCalc is a simple online tool that uses your sensor size to instantly convert any focal length and aperture f-stop into its 35mm equivalent.

Whether you’re using a Canon APS-C camera (crop factor 1.6) a Nikon APS-C camera (crop factor 1.5), an old Nikon 1 with a 1-inch sensor (2.7x crop factor), or something completely wacky, chances are the mmCalc calculator has you covered. You can even convert down from medium and large format, although the auto-fill bit under “Education” falls apart once the sensor gets bigger than full-frame.

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(vid) The Iron Cowboy Did It! — 50 Ironmans in 50 States in 50 Days!!! – Friend, Rich Roll surprised him on the last adventure!

The Rich Roll podcast of this AMAZING achievement:


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“Just be empowered to do that hard thing in your life…however low you are, wherever you are, there’s someone out there that loves you and there’s someone out there that can support you and there’s a way to climb out of it.”


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