Monday, July 30, 2007

O Boy...!

I just made an early AM technology purchase!

I've been considering a new digital camera for a while, seeing that I'm growing out of my 4-year old Olympus. After long deliberation I settled on the Fuji s6000fd. From all the reviews/forums I've sifted through it seems that ~6MP is the sweet spot for P&S CCDs these days, and that the 9MP Fuji suffered from more noise and the lens (same one on 6MP Fuji) was reaching the outer edges of its capabilities when combined with the 9MP sensor. The same lens on the 6MP was deemed to be a better fit by the forum crowd. There didn't seem to be anything on the horizon worth waiting for, and my dream camera, a dSLR that does HD video, seems improbable with current sensors. And whadya know, Fuji's running a $50 rebate on it (final cost $283)! o0t!

Highlights are:

6.3 MP 6th-gen Fuji sCCD sensor
28-300mm zoom lens
fluid-dampened mechanical zoom ring on lens barrel
manual focus ring on lens barrel, albeit a focus-by-wire affair
VGA movie mode with simultaneous zooming and sound recording ability
takes lens filters w/o conversion adapter
runs on 4 AA batts

That'll do pig, that'll do....

Monday, July 2, 2007

They all know you by heart, but you still play the part...

So I'm on my way to pick up some quart-sized storage bags for our flight and I pass this Coke display and can't believe what I'm reading! It says that their soda hydrates you! I scoff in disbelief and continue down the aisle to find my bags. I think to myself, "Well, maybe it's caffeine free and their claim holds true for that particular beverage." Upon return to the aisle end cap, I read the ingredients in the box, and lo and behold, caffeine is listed as an ingredient. Caffeine is a diuretic!!! In order to avoid a lawsuit, coke must have done a study that found that there was a net hydrative effect. One must wonder what the net effect really is. Regardless, this is straight BS PR from coke. "Hey lookee here, our products are healthy for you!" More like "Dehydrate, while you hydrate." Don't even get me started on the deleterious effects of high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, or phenylalanine. Duping the public to make a buck is so not cool.

And has anyone noticed that there are like 3,000 different coke and pepsi products?! I've seen coke with vitamins, pepsi with ginseng, caffeine free diet cherry vanilla coke with splenda, wtf? That or the absolutely absurd explosion of "energy" drinks in the past few years. There are whole cooler-door sized sections of energy drinks now at the store. They all taste like shit and make me feel like I'm about to have a heart attack (I'll admit I've tried Redbull a couple times). It must be a new niche market targeted at all the meth-heads that can't score any of their nasty drug. 7-11 is now selling "energy coffee." Jesus! Where does it stop, why do we all have to be cracked out to the nth degree? Yuk, I'm going to go drink some water now...

On a side note, the irritation that I'm venting has to do with the apathetic decline of American society, unwilling to educate itself any further than the rudimentary education provided by our flagging public school system. It's no wonder there's so much depression and disease. Could it be that self-education is a relic and BS PR has got us all drinking soda thinking it's good for us? Hello adult onset diabetes! Adam Selzer of Norfolk and Western sums it up nicely in the song "A Gilded Age"

Well all of the great artists are dead, for sure.
It's entertainment, for all, and that's all we want.
Though we all know this is the gilded age,
well, the new king's court is in your home.

We can't deny the trends,
there's nothing to defend.
Ignore your neighbors, on all sides.
I won't watch the wars,
it's easy to ignore,
as long as I am still the favorite son-in-law.


Or this, by Professor Alexander Tyler,

"The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."