Archive for June, 2007

Rip-off Motorway Services

June 23rd, 2007 No comments

We all know that fuel is that bit more expensive at motorway services, usually a few pence more per litre, and the prices in the Burger bar are higher than on the high street, basically because they have a monopoly as there is no local competition, but this weekend I saw one example which can only be described as taking the piss:

A pasty will cost you about 75p at your local bakers, a sausage roll about 40p, but Tebay services were charging £2.25 for each of these. That represents 3-5 times the price.

I’d always regarded Tebay as different to the large chain services, but they have gone down in my estimation.

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Tips for Good Panoramics

June 14th, 2007 No comments

Before digital photography, panoramas involved the use of a guillotine and tape, but now it’s much easier with several photo-stitching software packages available; they may be bundled with your camera or be part of a photo editing package such as Photoshop Elements. The tips for good results, however, are still the same:

  1. Keep the camera level. Ideally mount it on a tripod and use one of the many hot-shoe mounted spirit levels available. Failure to do this results in ‘banana’ panoramics.
  2. Do not be tempted to use wide-angle lenses ‘to fit more in’, as the distortion makes it harder to marry up the frames. Use either a standard or telephoto lens.
  3. Keep foreground objects out of shot. Due to the difference in view between frames, the photo-stitch software will not be able to match up both distant and closer objects.
  4. Take all frames at the same exposure settings. This will avoid obvious contrast and colour changes between adjacent frames. If you don’t have a manual mode, then exposure lock can be used. If you are using film, you also need to get them printed with the same settings.
  5. Overlap the frames at least 50%. Back in the days of film, this could have seemed expensive, but with digital there is nothing lost and the photo stitching software will have a lot more to work with. Most digital cameras have a stitch assist mode where the current frame is overlaid onto the previous frame on the camera’s screen.
  6. Experiment! panoramics can be vertical too.
Categories: Photography Tags: ,

Not so Tricky Maths Trick

June 13th, 2007 No comments

Got this email circulating this morning:

Here is a math trick so unbelievable that it will stump you.

Well firstly, this has obviously come from America, since maths has been spelt without the ‘s’.

Personally I would like to know who came up with this and why that person is not running the country.

err… why? It’s hardly rocket science.

Grab a calculator. (You won’t be able to do this one in your Head)

A sign of a failing education system

I think this only works with 7 digit (e.g. 123 4567 – area code excluded) landline numbers.

Not surprising when you see how this works.

Now for the so called clever bit of maths:

1. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT the Area code)
2. Multiply by 80
3. Add 1
4. Multiply by 250
5. Add to this the last 4 digits of your phone number
6. Add to this the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
7. Subtract 250
8. Divide number by 2

Do you recognize the answer ??

Of course you do, it’s your phone number.

If the first 3 digits of your phone number are x, and the last four digits are y, then this calculation can be represented as:

(250(80x + 1) + 2y – 250)/2

which simplifies to:

10000x + y

so basically:

1230000 + 4567 = 1234567

Surprise, surprise

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Steve Ballmer’s Secret

June 4th, 2007 No comments

Is it just me, or does Steve Ballmer look like the monster from Young Frankenstein?

Steve Ballmer or Young Frankenstein?
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