On Julius Shul­man:

He doesn’t shoot dig­i­tal and has no plans to start. He bought an expo­sure meter in 1936 and tossed it the same year because he didn’t want to lose the abil­i­ty to read light him­self. If you can’t inter­pret light and the way in which it plays with and defines its sub­jects, if you can’t under­stand the sub­tle and not-so-sub­tle rhythms of the sun, if you can’t rec­og­nize an architect’s intent the minute you walk into a room, no amount of mon­ey you spend on a cam­era will make you a pho­tog­ra­ph­er.

Source: Lens Mas­ter – Los Ange­les Mag­a­zine

May 18, 2015 May 18, 2015 photography by Scott No Comments

Sonic Arboretum at the ICA

This was amaz­ing. With­out ques­tion the coolest thing at the ICA. See it before it clos­es!

Son­ic Arbore­tum
Ian Schneller (speak­ers) & Andrew Bird (music)
ICA Boston
Feb­ru­ary 4–May 10, 2015

May 6, 2015 May 6, 2015 reviews by Scott 1 Comment

I read a lot of tech jour­nal­ism. Not because I con­sume a lot of tech­nol­o­gy, but because I cre­ate it–this is my world, and I feel oblig­ed to know what’s going on. But most tech writ­ing is pret­ty bad.

So I was not very sur­prised that, since the announce­ment of the Apple Watch, every­one start­ed writ­ing about it as if the smart­watch itself was a new tech­nol­o­gy that will dis­rupt every­thing. Apple could release a new doorstop tomor­row and, though I’m sure it would be very nice and pack­aged in an attrac­tive box, it would be hailed as a rev­o­lu­tion­ary change in the his­to­ry of prop­ping doors.

What I did not expect is a flur­ry of sto­ries writ­ten as if the high-end wrist­watch itself has just been invent­ed. What are the rel­a­tive mer­its of this band or that? How do they get it to be so shiny? Look how dif­fi­cult it is to man­u­fac­ture a com­pli­cat­ed thing in such a small pack­age– I saw it myself in this flaw­less­ly-illu­mi­nat­ed indus­tri­al film!

Sor­ry, but these prob­lems were solved ele­gant­ly 100 years ago with gears, cre­ativ­i­ty, imag­i­na­tion, and mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. And for the record I’m no longer impressed by the for­mu­la of, “It’s like X, but with a com­put­er inside.”

April 12, 2015 April 12, 2015 tech by Scott No Comments

Inves­ti­ga­tors announced today that the plane crash in the French Alps was an inten­tion­al act by the first offi­cer. It hap­pened while the cap­tain was locked out of the cock­pit and unable to regain entry.

After the ter­ror­ist attacks in 2001, hard­ened cock­pit doors were uni­ver­sal­ly laud­ed as a sen­si­ble anti-ter­ror­ism mea­sure. It is clear from this inci­dent that there is at least one draw­back: they fun­da­men­tal­ly under­mine one of the safe­ty ben­e­fits of the 2-pilot sys­tem. I have to won­der, will any­one pub­licly revis­it this dis­cus­sion?

March 26, 2015 March 26, 2015 in-the-news by Scott No Comments


From August!

February 24, 2015 February 24, 2015 photos by Scott 1 Comment

As if I need­ed more proof that 2015 will be a crazy year.

January 30, 2015 January 30, 2015 engineering by Scott 1 Comment

GoToMeeting fail

Things I am thank­ful for: con­fer­ence calls with slideshows. Because I love hav­ing to infect my com­put­er with your shit­ty cor­po­rate soft­ware that can’t even upgrade itself like it’s 2014.

December 19, 2014 December 20, 2014 rants by Scott No Comments

I’ve been clear­ing out our base­ment on and off through­out the year. And by “clear­ing,” I mean that I have demol­ished pret­ty much every­thing that wasn’t hold­ing up the house. Some find­ings:

2014-11-08 18.11.35 Jars of fas­ten­ers, most­ly attached to the ceil­ing. Already prov­ing use­ful. Giv­en the num­ber of jars, I can safe­ly con­clude that a pre­vi­ous own­er had a seri­ous weak­ness for her­ring!

2014-11-08 18.13.22 Haz­ardous chem­i­cals and out­dat­ed elec­tri­cal para­pher­na­lia. Inevitable.

2014-11-08 18.28.12 A giant bun­dle of col­or­ful cloth-braid­ed tele­phone inter­con­nect wire. I can’t bring myself to throw it out. They don’t make wire this visu­al­ly inter­est­ing any­more. Back in the hey­day of cop­per phone ser­vice, Ma Bell had a com­pli­cat­ed col­or cod­ing sys­tem to help dif­fer­en­ti­ate the hun­dreds or thou­sands of pairs found in cables and wiring plants. I’m more famil­iar with the major/minor 2-col­or scheme used today, but some of these wires have 3 col­ors. Good luck sort­ing that out!

2014-11-08 18.23.22 A lump of coal. Sav­ing it for Christ­mas.

2014-11-08 18.15.19 A wood­en box for a David­son Patent Foun­tain Syringe, No. 16. Suit­able for use as “irri­ga­tor, vagi­nal, anal, childs, sprin­kler, and nasal.” I’d pre­fer not to think about it. The box is full of mis­matched iron hinges.

2014-11-08 18.22.45 From above the ceil­ing and behind the walls, a cor­nu­copia of tools. Every­thing from a tiny oil­er to an arborist’s pole saw to a hefty axe marked “prop­er­ty of City of Boston, Sew­er Divi­sion.” And a rusty cleaver (Hal­loween?).

2014-11-08 18.17.29 Ancient and mod­ern sand­pa­per from Minnesota’s favorite Min­ing and Man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­ny.

2014-11-08 18.26.34 2014-11-08 18.26.53 The “Win­ter Vaca­tion Sec­tion” from the Decem­ber 4, 1949 Boston Globe. I wish we could still trav­el to Flori­da on the only rail­road “stream­lined for stream­lin­ers.” Or get trav­el plan­ning help from Miss Hos­pi­tal­i­ty.

2014-11-08 18.27.23 It was rolled into a tube bound with wire and used as pipe “insu­la­tion.”

2014-11-08 18.29.01 A bot­tle of booze hid­den in a secret crevice behind the work­bench. Because life was hard­er back in the day.

November 8, 2014 November 8, 2014 home by Scott 2 Comments