Archive for May, 2008

Little Things

May 13, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos, Photoshop, Travel

My tilt-shifting habit apparently knows no end. I’m starting to look at all photos with a “What would this look like in miniature?” attitude. Two of these photos are ones I took in Dublin last weekend. Another one is a very unique medieval castle in Slovenia. And the final photo was taken by my friend, Hubbers, in Tuscany last weekend (his excuse for not joining me for a Guinness in Dublin). I’m starting to notice that the better the initial photo, the better the tilt-shifted version turns out.

Dublin Trip – May 2008

May 11, 2008 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Travel

First Guinness (with flash)As mentioned in my previous post, we spent this weekend in Dublin. Upon landing and boarding the bus for the city centre, Marga and I both had a strange feeling come over us. What was so strange was how so incredibly not strange Ireland felt. Nothing felt foreign. The cars driving on the left seemed perfectly normal. The style of the houses, buses, billboards, shops, etc. was all so completely familiar. It was just weird. Three years ago, we moved to Spain after spending four years in England, and the architecture and culture of Ireland is so incredibly similar to that of England that it was like going back home. Of course that statement will incense some Irish people, but I think they’ll have to agree that no other culture is closest to that of Ireland than that of the UK.

We didn’t really have much of a plan other than to walk around and enjoy the city for what it is. So we embarked on a cycle of building up thirst and quenching it with stout Irish nectar. (more…)

Because exported Guinness just isn't the same

May 09, 2008 By: erik Category: Complaining, News, Travel

Black HeavenThis morning my wife and I are going to Dublin for two days. Santander-Dublin is one of the cheap routes provided by one of the leading “budget” airlines in Europe, Ryanair. Their web designer should be shot. What is it about selling things at a discount price that requires having a wacky waving inflatible arm flailing tube man on the roof? Gross.

Our flights cost 0.00€. Really. When we started the checkout process we owed nothing. (more…)

Are you paying optional fees?

May 08, 2008 By: erik Category: Complaining, Spain, Weird

I’ve been living in Spain for almost three years now, and I have seen variations on this story play out quite a few times. It amazes me every time.

Shifting and Tilting

May 08, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photoshop

Rainbow Tilt ShiftI’ve trained my eye to spot photos that can be easily tilt-shifted. A few of them I found by searching for tags like “birdseye” on Flickr. To see the original photos, click on a photo and then follow the link to the original. Behold…

North Carolina Primary Results

May 07, 2008 By: erik Category: Politics, USA, Voting

Before sending off my absentee ballot in March, I took photos of each side of the filled-in ballot so that I could remember who I voted for and compare my votes with the final results.

Inky, The Baby Squid

May 05, 2008 By: erik Category: Uncategorized

Inky with his eight little legsWithout a doubt, one of the strangest dishes in Spanish cuisine has got to be chiperones en su tinta (squid in its ink). That’s the dish they’re referring to when they say that Spaniards are the only people that will eat completely pitch black food. The sauce is actually tomato sauce, but with just a little bit of ink, it turns jet black. Last weekend, my mother-in-law made some chiperones en su tinta for us to bring back with us, and today we had it for lunch. It’s really very delicious if you can get past the superficial psychological color barrier. Normally the squid are about fist-sized and filled with ground beef, but occasionally a little baby one will get into the mix and remind you just what you’re eating. Today, as I was soaking up the excess sauce with my bread, I noticed a little straggler was left behind and I took his picture. I’ve decided to name him Inky.

Dominos Tournament

May 04, 2008 By: erik Category: Mondragon, Photos, Spain

DominosWe went to the in-laws for the weekend. Not much happened, but I did spend some time on Saturday watching a dominos tournament at my father-in-law’s social club. It was pretty interesting. The dominos have this little nub in the middle, presumably to make them easier to pick up when they’re face down. The men playing insist on slamming each domino they play hard on the table and then sliding it into place.

Google Earth Tourism

May 02, 2008 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain

Cabo de Ajo - Faro - Google Earth ScreenshotLast Saturday, the weather was great. Sunny and warm. So we decided that, on Sunday, we’d get up early, like 10:00 AM (this is Spain), and drive to some nearby village to take a walk and investigate the town and surrounding area. But by the time Sunday morning rolled around, we hadn’t picked a destination, or even a direction. Marga went about solving the problem with a low tech solution, getting our map from the car and looking for some place that was printed in a slightly bolder font than the rest, thus indicating being larger or more interesting. But we quickly realized that some tiny, tiny boring towns that we did know about were printed in huge bold font, so that idea had to be scrapped. Meanwhile, I went high tech…opening Google Earth.

Crookes Radiometer

May 01, 2008 By: erik Category: Geeky, House, Science

Crookes Radiometer in SunlightA few Christmases ago, my parents gave me a Crookes radiometer. Although I did not know the official name of the device, I had first learned about them watching Mr. Wizard, and had later seen some in science classrooms during my jaunt through the public school system. The explanation I was always given of how it worked was Crookes’ original “light pressure” theory that was disproved back in 1876. Go public schools!

From what I can tell from the Wikipedia article, it sounds like the best explanation we have for why a Crookes radiometer spins is a combination of two theories put forth by Osborne Reynolds and some unknown guy named Einstein. They are both sound theories given what we know about radiation and fluid dynamics, but they, due to the nature of the object they describe, haven’t been (and can’t be) tested experimentally.