Sunday, June 29, 2008


The summer after the drawing class I was in Italy for a science conference and I thought I'd like to see the Sistine Chapel. I got there very early in the morning, bought my ticket before anybody else, and ran up the stairs as soon as the place opened. I therefore had the unusual pleasure of looking at the whole chapel for a moment, in silent awe, before anybody else came in. ~"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"/Richard P. Feynman
I was in Hokkaido with my family earlier this month, and had the chance to visit the hot springs at Noboribetsu. One popular location is called Hell's Valley (Jikokudani Valley) The tour group arrived at the place in the afternoon and it was quite crowded. We were lucky to be staying at a hotel a few hundred metres away and the next morning I decided to do what Feynman did and went back at 4am (the sun rose at 3am) to have the whole place to myself. 400 pictures here; some good, others not so good...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Source: CNN

16 months ago... seems just like yesterday. 8 years since the Bush presidency, one of the few things that has kept me angry for a long while, and that's an understatement. At some point, it's going to get better, for the world, at least.

I had some hope then that it would not be too unreasonable to expect the improbable. At some point, America's going to turn up someone; someone that represents the best of what we expect from America. Someone who has the nuanced intellect, humility and humanity that the world needs right now. (I got kind of sold on Obama when at the end of one of the debates with Hillary, he stood up before Hillary did as a mark of respect for her, and then pushed in his own chair as he left the table.)

From now till November, it'll be dirty-tricks galore. How dare Obama rock the boat! And I really believe that this time, it'll be different, that people will see through the game. Oh, how I hope... Go Obama!

Speedlight Experimentation

So I've been experimenting with the SB-800 speedlight. My book says that directional light tends to be make a picture more pleasing to the eye, though I'm not sure technically that is the case. Anyhow, I've tried to make the light more directional by using the SB-400 to 'command' the SB-600 described in a previous post. Here's Jan cooking some nice pasta and spamming.