Nothing really new going on here…but then ya’ll already knew that since we’re still in Covid lockdown. Went out to the Elks a couple times and picked up some take out dinner…did some bike rides for Neil…Connie got her bangs trimmed and nails done…and that’s about it for highlights. He did get up to 209 riding miles for the month of March on his last ride of the month this morning and that’s a new monthly high for him…16 rides averaging a bit over 13 miles each.
On the idiot politician front though…the liberals are all up in arms over ‘common sense gun laws’ that are simply mandatory after the shootings we had the other week…but as usual they’re mostly just trying to not let a good crisis go to waste and use them to further their agenda. This time…well, every time actually…they’re demanding a ban on ‘military style assault rifles’ as well as ‘improved background checks’. There’s a couple problems with their argument though. First off…it’s already illegal for a regular citizen to have a military style assault rifle…the definition of that term actually means that it’s capable of firing in full automatic which means you hold the trigger down and it shoots over and over again. Yes…military weapons have that feature but its very rarely used as all it does is waste ammo since accurate fire is pretty much impossible. The AR-15s and such you see described by the media are actually just semiautomatic rifles which means one bullet per trigger pull…they’re functionally identical to your standard deer hunting rifle…except they’re black and look scary. The second thing about ‘improved background checks’ is that the bad guy in Colorado and the bad guy in Georgia both passed the required background check and bought their weapons at fully licensed gun stores…and closing of the ‘gun show loophole’ would have done nothing in either case.
I keep finding it funny how liberals are all in favor of restricting constitutional rights they don’t like while allowing no discussion of limiting constitutional rights they do like. Like many of them…we personally believe that in a perfect world keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people, criminals and such is a good idea…but that’s already illegal. Most guns used in homicides by non criminals are purchased legally…and criminals are well…criminals…so they don’t mind breaking the law to get a weapon. Likewise…we personally believe that some voting requirements…like a photo ID to verify citizenship and identity…are also a valid idea…but liberals refuse to even consider those. Finally…and it’s a tragedy that people were killed in mass shootings…but the total number of rifle deaths in the country is minuscule compared to many other causes of death…illegal handguns, knives/axes/edged weapons, cars, abortion, heart attacks and on and on. I’m all for decreasing death from any cause…but it seems the liberals are fixated on the nonsensical ‘military style assault rifles’ and ignore many other things that cause far greater numbers of deaths. Heck…over across the pond in England handgun possession by citizens is pretty much illegal…but it hasn’t stopped crime much…so now they’re realistically talking over there about banning knives. What’s next…hammers and screwdrivers? Cast iron skillets? Golf clubs? Baseball bats?
Here’s a second instance…although this one is really more about lying and hypocrisy than limiting rights. Ya’ll probably saw on the news recently all the hubbub about raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour…right? While the debate about this is reasonable and it’s worthy of discussion…in response Amazon unilaterally raised the minimum wage for their employees to that number…and remember that Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos who owns 11% of the stock (or maybe 16%, I saw both numbers in different places and didn’t bother to research the correct number…but it’s not relevant to the discussion anyway). One would think that the liberals would be praising Amazon for doing so and holding them up as a pillar of fairness…but that wouldn’t suit their agenda. No way. In fact…there was a tweet which their human kid retweeted the other day that carefully complained how Amazon warehouse workers only made $31,200 per year while Jeff Bezos makes that in 18 seconds. That didn’t seem quite right to me so I did a little googling and used my calculator. If you work the standard 2,080 hours per year (40 times 52 weeks) at $15/hour that works out to $31,200…so that part of the tweet is accurate despite being framed as ‘only’ instead of the equally accurate but much less inflammatory $15/hour. Moving on to the claim that Bezos makes that in 18 seconds one multiplies $31,200 times 4 for approximate earnings per minute then times 60, 24, and 365.25 to convert it to annual income one comes up with $65 billion income per year to Mr. Bezos. A quick check shows his total compensation from Amazon is about $1.7 million per year and while he probably makes money from the Washington Post and other businesses he works for his actual income is probably $10-$20 million per year…easily putting the lie to the ‘Bezos makes that in 18 seconds’ claim. I next checked and his net work is about $200 billion so I have no idea where they came up with that number other than to throw their fellow liberal under the bus. I really wonder if their human kid actually asked any question before he retweeted those lies and distortions…or whether it just agrees with his political leaning so he just put it out there. They tried to teach him that ‘just because you read it on the internet doesn’t make it true’…but apparently either it didn’t take or he’s ok with fake news that he likes. Neil read through the entire thread of that tweet…and it was just an echo chamber…there were pretty much no replies or comments that challenged the so called facts in the original tweet. As President Reagan once said…Trust but verify…but apparently using common sense or actual truth/facts doesn’t work for liberals since lies and falsehoods rile up their supporters more. Of course…the other side does pretty much the same thing so there’s that.
Lemme tellya a story about receiving pretty much useless things.
Back in Feb I talked about some camera upgrades Neil was thinking about and he ordered things to get that ball rolling. He’s been using what is known as a crop sensor DSLR body and it’s going on towards 5 year old technology now and since technology continues to march on the current crop of hardware just has more capabilities than 5 year old stuff…and while the old stuff still works he’ll get more keepers with the better autofocus and better noise performance on newer stuff. In addition to a general technology upgrade…his new body will be of the mirrorless type rather than a regular DSLR…they look pretty much the same externally but have some key internal differences which assist in the better image quality. In a DSLR…the sensor is at the back of the camera and in front of it is a mirror that while focusing/composing reflects the image up to an optical viewfinder and to the autofocus sensors down on the bottom of the body. This leads to potential misalignment between the autofocus sensors and the image sensor at the back with the result that potentially what the camera is focused on at the autofocus sensor isn’t what is in focus when you take the picture, the mirror flops up and out of the way, and the mechanical shutter opens to expose the imaging sensor…so although the autofocus sensor might have been perfectly focused on the eye of the critter as it should be you end up with the focus on the image sensor on the end of the bill or the ear or nose or whatever…resulting in a less than satisfactory image. That’s not anything but how the various tolerances line up.
In a mirrorless body…there is no mirror and the autofocus points are directly on the image sensor so that any focusing tolerances just aren’t there…this effectively moves the imaging sensor forward in the body towards the lens…this in turn allows you to have a larger lens mount opening which allows the lens designer to design better lenses. The drawback…and it’s not really a drawback but rather is just a different approach…is that there is no optical viewfinder and instead there’s an electronic viewfinder that shows you the image as he sensor is seeing it and gives you an accurate picture of how the image will be exposed when you click the shutter…thus letting you better adjust the exposure to get the image you’re looking for. Mirrorless bodies also are smaller and lighter than the equivalent DSLR body since you don’t need a place for the mirror to flop up and out of the way…and also are generally able to shoot more frames per second which is important for action photos or birds in flight and things like that.
Long story short…the days of the DSLR are coming to an end and 5 years from now they’ll be considered antiques…but for today there are still some things they do better than mirrorless.
Looking at all of that…he decided to start his transition into mirrorless but will keep his DSLR crop sensor body for the advantages it has with long telephoto lenses until the mirrorless catches up for that scenario…with the ongoing transition it makes more sense to start rather than stick with the older technology.
So he ended up ordering himself a new Nikon Z7II which in addition to mirrorless is a full frame sensor…due to the size and weight reduction in mirrorless it’s the same physical size as his crop sensor DSLR body but with more megapixels on the sensor which means better image quality as it will put more pixels on the target. To go along with that he needed a couple lenses…so he ordered a 24-70mm zoom and a 70-200 zoom in the new larger size mount…along with assorted new (faster) technology memory cards, card readers, extra batteries, filters and lens caps and all that jazz.
So…this was supposed to be a story about receiving pretty much useless things…guess I need to get ‘round to that part.
He’s received everything he ordered…except for the camera body and the 24-70 lens that comes in the box with it. New Z mount 70-200 check…filters check…batteries…well you get the idea. It’s all here…except for the one part that none of the other parts work without. Bummer. He was able to test the 70-200 lens out to make sure it works by mounting it on Connie’s Z50 she got for Christmas as all of the Z bodies use the new mount so he doesn’t need to send it back…it’s almost as big and heavy as his new bird lens but it (a) zooms internally so it doesn’t get any bigger as you zoom in or out like most zoom lenses do and (b) it’s an f2.8 lens which means it’s bigger around but has better low light performance. With trying it for a few shots out back on Connie’s Z50 body he can tell he will like it a lot when he gets it on the full frame high megapixel Z7II…if it ever gets here. Currently it’s on back order with an estimated shipping date of 4/22…but we’ll have to see how that holds as we get into the month. He was able to review all of the various setup guides for the Z7II available on the web and come up with the list of how he’s going to set all the controls and settings for his wildlife and landscape images.
Anyway…that’s the story of useless stuff…now it’s a waiting game for the body to arrive.
I got nuttin’…absolutely nuttin’.
No images to show you since we’ve not seen much out back…but then it’s been pretty hot and we put the A/C on the last week or so…summer in Florida is approaching.
Interesting things found on the net.
As I’ve noted before…mathematicians definitely have waaay too much free time on their hands as they keep coming up over the centuries with more and more completely useless ideas. Here are the latest examples I’ve found.
Back in the day a mathematician named G. H. Hardy went to a hospital to visit his friend Srinivasa Ramanujan…and he happened to mention when he arrived that he was in a taxi with the number 1729…G. H stated that it was 1729 seemed a rather dull number and he hoped it wasn’t a bad omen. Srinivasa responded and said that 1729 was rather an interesting number as it is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways…
While that is technically correct…it’s completely useless…no practical value whatsoever other than it is now called the Ramanujan-Hardy Number.
Then there’s the number 73,939,133…which is the largest right-truncatable prime number…which means that if you remove each of it’s digits one at a time from the right side…each resulting number is also prime…for those of you not paying attention a prime number is any number that is divisible by only itself and 1…for instance 3, 5, and 7 are prime but 4 is not since it is divisible by 2
Again…technically correct…but also again completely useless.
Ok…what else I got besides useless math stuff.
We have this at our house.
Again…some thought required.
This is a monocot tree…but it’s actually a grass and not a tree…when you cut the bark or leaves it oozes a reddish resin which results in the tree being called “dragon’s blood”.
Indian bullfrogs decided that various bird species were getting all the credit for spectacular mating plumage so they developed their own counterpoint.
Patience pays off…sometimes.