Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Was an Art Major . . .

BECAUSE: i like art more that science, and this might as well have been in Greek . . . it makes no sense to me. And its not just because of the narrators science-y sounding accent.

apparently, Discover Magazine had an online video contest to see who could best explain String Theory in 2 minutes. and that was the winner.

well, i liked the ducky, anyways.

for Eastern European sounding accents, however, i prefer the more political science explanation of the end of the world seen here:

". . . here is ze Earth . . . chilling. Damn! That is a sweet Earth, you might say. . . "

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ah, online merchants, i love thee, i hate thee

soo, i'm sure we have all experienced the joy and wonderment which is online shopping. i know Andy has. he used to buy so many things online, that if a box showed up at the house, he would just open it, assuming it was his. he was often confused, not remembering having ordered The Art of Incredibles or Disney Treasures DVD's . . . (i dont know WHO ordered those. probably an artist . . .)

its just like Christmas, or your birthday, when the box shows up. being that, by time it arrives, you have been either eagerly anticipating its imminence, or you had forgotten that you ordered it in the first place (unless your roomate opens it first, in which case, its like getting a pair of hand me down socks. . ..) you rush to open it, wondering if this particular cardboard treasure chest contains that camera gear you've been lusting after, or that guide to little known hot spots around town, which will undoubtedly make you the coolest guy in your particular circle, famous in your own lunch line for your knowledge of the underground (i suppose, that is, until you realize that by time the guide was written, published and ordered on Amazon, the particularly unknown nature of that "hot spot" is not so clandestine after all . . . )

however, i'm sure that we, at least a few of us, have also experienced the furor generated by inept sales departments, broken promises and slow shipping.

both of these experiences have been my lot, of late. and i cant help but analyze my dependence on online shopping. is it really worth the wait time for shipping, the hassle of researching and ordering, entering your personal information time and again, hoping that the site is actually secure enough to protect your precious financial information from the prying eyes of the internet savvy, and the extra chore of returning an incorrect or unwanted item. is it really worth the cost savings?

i suppose i have to say yes/no. or . . no/yes. for example, i was recently in the market for a tripod. but all of the information i could find was subjective, and i couldnt find pictures of products big enough to make me even want to spend the small money on their lower internet prices. i lucked out and stumbled on a sale at one of my local emporiums of camera merchandise, and got a great deal. but that deal was definitely enhanced by my ability to be able to touch and use the item. so, in that case, the internet purchasing option was not optimal.

of course, many of my recently ordered items could not even have been purchased at a local shop, and are only available through an online resource, as it has allowed me to purchase from far off states like Texas and Georgia. and there is a big YES for the convenience of being able to buy at and have my items shipped to work, where i basically live, depending on the project.

i find that i would often prefer to buy my items at a local retailer, if only for the convenience of possible return and instant gratification, but i suppose, and fear, that in the end, internet commerce will continue to thrive, and local shops will continue to struggle to match the needs and demands of inventory and customer consumption. i know i am a prime example of going to a shop to research an item in person, then buying it online, for a cheaper price.

but there must be a way for local retailers to compete. perhaps with the model of Circuit City, where you can shop online, and then have the option to pick up your item in a local store, or have it shipped. this is great, because once i am in the store, i am obviously more likely to buy something that i had forgotten i needed, or at least on impulse. perhaps local stores will become small store fronts, where you can see an item in real life, and then order it on the internet, either there, or from home, thus allowing them to keep their inventory and, therefore cost, to a minimum.

it will be interesting to continue to observe the future of commerce in our digital age. what do i think? i dont know, i'm not a business man, i'm just an artist.

Monday, October 01, 2007

New Toys

so. . . i've been in the market lately for a camera. you know, for the production on independent video content. so, after a mind numbing amount of internet research, here's the beginnings of my rig.

i have decided to go with a Canon HV20 camera, with a Red Rock M2 cinema lens adapter. "but, mike," you may be inclined to ask, "why did you decide to go with THAT camera? cant you pick that up in the kiddie aisle at Toys R Us?"

"heh heh, funny you should ask. . . " would be the beginnings of my response to you, while shaking my head. . .

well, suffice it to say that, despite its limited manual control, it was its price tag that was the deciding factor. a camera that can shoot 24p, HDV for under $1000?! and, being that i could get this cam, and spend the bulk of my funds on a lens adapter kid, and still come in under the cost of a Panasonic HVX200, this seemed like the ultimate way to share ideas. and i can always get an HVX later. . . if i need it.

so, i'll be posting test footage, methodology, and anything else that comes to mind about my little cam, as we get to know each other. i still need to get a real tripod, a follow focus, and i need my monitor to come, and a few more peripherals, and i'll really be in business, but this is a pretty good start. . .

now i just have to figure out how to capture the test footage. . . :)