Dec. 5th, 2009

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Strobist: How to Photograph Christmas Lights

It being that time of year, the Strobist presents an article on how to shoot Christmas lights. Here's the summary:

1) Shoot in the twilight between sunset and darkness. Shooting in full darkness means the lights are overblown or the background is under-exposed.
2) Use a tungsten white balance because Christmas lights are generally tungsten balanced.
3) Use a tripod because your exposure times for ISO 100 will be between one-quarter and one second.
4) Decide in advance what you want to shoot, then take test shots every minute or so until full darkness. The window of time is only ten minutes so it is easy to miss it.
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Autism and schizophrenia could be genetic opposites - health - 02 December 2009 - New Scientist

Research at Simon Fraser University suggests that autism and schizophrenia may be at opposite ends of the same biological spectrum. The investigated four regions associated with increased risk of either condition and found that autism was associated with the presence of a particular copy-number variant while schizophrenia was associated with the absence of a copy-number variant. They suggest that these results support other studies "...that autism may be caused by overdevelopment of specific brain regions and schizophrenia by underdevelopment...".

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Labor Dept: Available Labor Rate Increases To 10.2% | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

The Onion reports that number of hireable Americans continues a robust trend upward, signaling an unprecedented robustness in the market for new workers willing to take jobs beneath their personal dignity and educational level.

If you've never heard of The Onion, I suggest you check out some of their back issues.
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"Panic Attack" Strikes Big! - Suvudu

Panic Attack was created by Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez and has been made an offer by Sam Raimi's film-making company to expand this into a full movie.

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Black Hole Drive Could Power Future Starships | Universe Today

In an earlier post, I mentioned two physicists who had worked out the operating parameters of a black-hole power source. The article linked in this post provides more details, including how someone would propel a miniature black hole. They postulate that particle beams could be used to simultaneously feed the black hole and propel it in the desired direction. They also note that black holes would make highly efficient energy sources, turning any matter into energy. In fact, a black hole with a radius of 0.9 attometres would generate 160 petawatts of energy. The only problem? Creating a single black hole of up to a few attometres in diameter would be a massive undertaking.

A PDF document of the original research is also available.

January 2010

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