10/20/14

Gronk You Answer - Stock!StockStock!


Linda wang say...

Dear manager,
Many thanks for your time to read my email.
This's Linda, i learnt you from internet, we are a supplier of grains and oil in China mainland.
The main product include: beans, nuts, seeds&kernels, grains, edible cooking oil, canned food...etc, with high quality and good price, welcome you to choose.
If you are interested, pls contact me with no hesitation.

Linda wang
Jilin Tian’En Grain and Oil Imp & Exp Co.,Ltd

Thank for letter, capital Linda small Wang. First, Gronk want say that everyone need somebody. So, it good to see that you belong to This. I hope This treat you right. Maybe some day you stop being capital Linda small Wang and blossom into capital Linda capital Wang.

Gronk eat lots of thing in Gronk day. Extra hand that viking not using any more. Cat that Gronk found under other cat. Chalupa. But Gronk got to draw line somewhere. Gronk not interested in eat good price bean or nut from China. Gronk not crazy. But Gronk wonder about quality of good price imp. Gronk not have imp in long time. How much for imp?

!

Me gronk


boneza say...


From: bozena
To:
Subject: HELLO
Did you receive my previous mail?

Thank for letter, boneza. Yes, Gronk receive you previous mail. It delicious. But Gronk still not ready for relationship.

Me Gronk.


Dasiy say...


Good day!Stock!Stock!Stock!
With promotion pricingWe are electronic cigarette factory. Pls check following our electronic cigarette price.
Windrose mod $19.8
HARIBON 18650 MOD $14.5
Corsair mod $14.9
manhattan MOD $13.65
Windrose mod $19.9
GIVO Mod $16.5
26650 Big nasty $15.9
Waitting for your further inquiry .



Best Regards,
Dasiy
BBCSUN CO.,LIMITED

Thanks for letter, Dasiy!Stock!Stock!Stock! Yes, Gronk need electronic cigarette. Gronk VCR not have good smoke in long time. VCR is jonesing big time! Can't concentrate or play Mama's Family tape any more! HAW HAW! BAH HAH HAH HAH hahahahaha! Gronk zing you good!


Gronk!Gronk!Gronk!


10/17/14

New ideas and tips... from science!

New radial arm drill press is radial, is on arm. Also compatible with non-gigantic trousers.

Paint brush ferrule can be used as leather punch. May require development of new, sturdier, sharper paint brushes.

Otherwise useless air from stupid, pointless spare tire can finally be used to power crucial, very important windscreen wiper.

10/16/14

Lucozade - The sparkling glucose drink.

Excitement, readers! There is finally a way to get glucose without a prescription! Lucozade!

Lucozade was originally formulated by English chemist William Owen, who was trying to "create a source of energy for those who were sick with common illnesses". So... sugar water. Lucozade is still around, but since 1952, has re-marketed itself as a "sports drink" to get away from the negative imagery of being "for sick people". One might say they have simply re-aimed their marketing at "gullible people". You can see the seeds of this truly clever idea in the imagery of this old ad. See the two happy, energetic people presumably having just played tennis? Sporty!

Interestingly, the Wikipedia page on Lucozade has a link to this Telegraph article about the bogusness of sports drinks, and how the sugar in them generally cancels out any benefit of exercise recently completed. Articles I've read in bicycling magazines always say the same thing: water is better and sports drinks are pointless. Additionally, a common thread in "sports drinks evaluation roundup" articles is this: Yes, elite athletes physically stressed to the very brink of exhaustion can possibly be dangerously short on glucose, but short of a marathon, your average person shuffling along a lakeshore path has never been - nor are they likely to ever be - in such a state.

But never mind that. Clip art time! You're going to need the right recovery drink after right clicking the hell out of this sporty picture of two people having recently played a spot of tennis. You're welcome!

Click for big.

Click for big.




10/15/14

Bronco Toilet Paper - "Injurious matter".

There's a brand of toilet paper running commercials with animated bears in them. The company would very much like you to be horrified if your toilet paper leaves a few fibers of paper on your butt, Quoth the cartoon bear at finding out, "Eew! I don't want that on me!" This is not new. Bronco toilet paper, way back in 1947, seemed very concerned that you may have "injurious matter" in your toilet paper. Like what? Surplus blasting caps? Nazis? Mussolini?

How vulnerable are the butts of the free world to foreign invasion? What's the worst that could happen? Your backside's not exactly a delicate snowflake. What's grosser than poo? Type "contaminated toilet paper" into a search box and enjoy your afternoon. Also consider that, before your TP meets its final destiny where the sun don't shine, it does spend a few critical moments in your hand. I suppose it's a fair expectation that your toilet paper be something close to sterile, as pointless as that sounds.

Art criticism time! File under "broken perspective". Look at the sink in the illustration. That's the angle of view you'd get from about five feet off the floor. Either that girl is the largest toddler in history or the sink is about 14 inches high. Something to think about next time you're on the Seat of Power.

Here's the star of today's baffling illustration lifted gently from her native ad. Maybe she'll come in handy next time you need to put a sign on the door at work, to remind the filthy animals to flush the toilet, or consider washing their hands before they return to the task of performing heart surgery. You're welcome!

Click for big.

Click for big.



10/14/14

Elephant tricks.

Dear readers,

We have concocted a brief list of quips that the figures in the below-presented Illustration may be saying, or may be said about them. We think you and your family will find our japes witty and hilarious!






Jape #1 - "Using only this elephant, I have bagged an elephant!"


Jape #2 - "O! Jumbo! That's no stool!"



Jape #3 - My word, good sir! Your elephant seems to have a deleterious case of "elephant ear"! Ho ho ho ho ho!



Jape #4 - Is that the elephant's tail, or has he had a bowel-movement on the other's head?


Jape #5 - But sir, that's not how elephants rut! It shall take a long time to make a baby elephant in such a manner!


Jape #6 - Said the prone elephant, "I think I can hear a distant rumbling."


Jape #7 - It's fortunate that circus animals aren't fed spicy foreign food, isn't it?


Jape #8 - It is a wonder that elephants don't destroy us all.


Jape #9 - My friend, I believe your circus needs more attractions!


Jape #10 - If you look closely, the gentleman in the drawing isn't holding down the elephant by mean strength. There's an elephant helping him.


Jape #11 - Sometimes, elephants wish they could forget.

Jape #11 was quipped by new frequent reader Mat Black, a bawdy jokester if there ever was one! - Despite numerous political connections, the Governor General was quietly replaced after reports of his Inter-species menage a trois began circulating in Parliament. "Old Peanut Bottom" lived out the remainder of his life in relative obscurity as a roust-about for the Ringling Brothers.



[Quips submitted by our Dear Readers shall be included in the Picto-Post.  -Mgmt.]
Click your Indicator-Puck for an Enlargement.



10/13/14

Tanky Manfield

Joke #1 - Gary was supposed to come in when the street lights came on, but he didn't listen. So now dad got out the tank.

Joke #2 - Al-Qaeda's devastating roadside IED vest.

Joke #3 - Testing new tanks capable of scaling the steepest hippie.

Mrs. Bug wasted no time in joking us up a number four today. Thanks, Mrs. B! - GM finally got fed up with those Negative Nancys over at Consumer Reports and decided enough was enough.


Click for big.


[Commenter jokes will be added to the post.   -Mgmt.]


10/10/14

Vintage Lens Test - Three fast fifties (and a wee bit of radiation).

Waaaay back in 2011, we did a lens test featuring three goofy old lenses, which give you fun or "arty" effects when stuck on your otherwise perfect modern camera. Since then, I've leveled up my photography skills (I now get a special attack) and have expanded my old lens collection, by sort of dragging a fishing net through Ebay.



The Lure of Vintage Glass.

It's hard to say "no" to really old lenses. They really don't build them like they used to, and modern lenses that DO approach the tank-like build quality of old lenses come at a premium. For example, there's a famous German company called Voigtlander that makes really good modern manual-focus lenses that go for at-or-beyond the one kilobuck price point. If you're interested in an all-manual control (no auto-anything) lens, I definitely suggest buying an adapter and investigating vintage equipment. One thing I can tell you is that, in the couple of years I've spent messing around with old lenses, the fact that you have to work the lens manually has accelerated my understanding of F-stop, depth of field, and angle of view in a way that modern automatic lenses failed to do. One man's opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Adapt Adopt, and Improve.

On the subject of adapters: The camera I shot this test on is an Olympus E-M5, which uses what they call the "micro four-thirds" lens mount. One of the cool things about the M43 standard is the fact that, with the proper adapter, you can use just about any lens ever made on your camera. Now, one of the bad things about micro four-thirds is the fact that the smaller sensor size means that any lens you put on it is more "zoomed in" than it should be. This is called the "crop factor". Without getting too far into the geekdom of it, basically a 50mm lens becomes a 100mm one when you stick it on a M43 camera.

That is, unless you use one of a new breed of lens adapters that has corrective optics in it, that basically "focuses down" the image onto the smaller sensor,  so that things look the size they were meant to. A happy side effect of funneling the light in this way is that the image is brighter, too. Less wasted light gives you a brighter image. More light means lower ISO means faster shutter speeds means less blurry pictures. Generally, these kinds of adapters give you an extra F-stop's worth of brightness. Yes, please. These new adapters are called "speed boosters" (because you can use faster shutter speeds) or "focal reducers", which sounds to my ear like a more descriptive term.

Yes, these are pricier than a regular adapter, which is about twenty dollars. Some of the Metabones adapters go for up to five hundred. Oof. However, if you're planning on buying heavily into a particular family of lenses, it can be really, really worth it to have a really good focal reducer/speed booster to make them all work better on your camera. Each of the three lenses tested here are from different "families" - Canon, Nikon, and Pentax. So, I have a speed booster of different quality for each. My Canon adapter is from Metabones, who I'm pretty sure came up with the first speed booster.  They're the best in the biz. The Nikon adapter is made by Fotodiox, and costs about 1/4 what the Metabones costs. The Pentax lens is an "M42" threaded lens mount, and the adapter I'm using for that one is also a cheapo model. Hey, I'm not made of adapters! The disparity in quality of the corrective optics in these adapters will doubtlessly have a small effect on the sharpness of the images, but I can't see any appreciable drop in image quality from the cheapo adapters. Build quality? Oh, you absolutely get what you pay for, there. The Fotodiox adapter (with the red ring around it) was not machined precisely, an I had to carefully sand it down to get it to fit on my E-M5. The Metabones has never given me trouble. Oddly, the no-name M42 speed booster fits perfectly, too.

Sheesh. Sorry about all the tech babble. On to some testing.

Prime Targets.

All three lenses in this test are 50mm primes with big, fast f/1.4 apertures. "Prime" means "no zoom". What I've found out is that, if you're going digging for some vintage lens gold, prime lenses are good candidate. There are some brilliantly made prime lenses from past decades that rival the best of the best examples from current product lines... if you don't mind manually focusing, that is. As far as the aperture goes, you have to adjust that by hand as well, but I usually shoot with the aperture wide open to grab as much light as possible, because I hate flash. Lenses like these can be found on Ebay for $30 - $120.

Zoom lenses? You can definitely find those at Chez eBay, but here's a secret: the magic mojo of making a zoom lens that looks good throughout it's full zoom range is something they figured out how to do relatively recently. Zoom lenses built before 1990 or so are not very desirable. I have several, and they're fun to tinker around with, but even a cheap modern zoom lens will be sharper, smaller, and faster than a vintage zoom.


Meet the contendersThis is an exhibition, not a competition. Don't make me choose. I love them all.


On the left is a circa 1972 Canon FD-mount 50mm f/1.4.

In the middle is a Nikkor F-mount 50mm f/1.4 from about 1966.

On the right is a 1963(?) Eight-Element Pentax Asahi Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 with an M42 screw-type mount.

There's something about Asahi

Here's a funny thing about the Asahi lens. It's kind of radioactive. Many lenses in the 60s and 70s had lens elements made with thorium, which gave the glass desirable refractive properties. You can search for yourself on the topic of "radioactive thoriated lenses". The radiation given off by these lenses is only alpha waves. It only travels an inch or so from the glass, and is easily shielded by almost anything. Gamma rays are the ones that go through steel, make your sperm go funny, and turn you into Spider-Man. You might develop health problems if you slept with this lens under your pillow for about ten years. Apart from something like that, there's no real risk.

A side effect of thorium lenses is that, over the years, many of them have developed a yellow tint in the glass. There's some debate as to why, but it seems as though the radiation given off by the thorium in the glass stains the glass yellow. However, this is curable. Exposing the rear element of the Supertak (as the kids call it) to strong ultra-violet light for a few days will clear it right up. I used a GE CFL blacklight bulb to cure mine. I put it in a box lined with foil, with the back of the lens pointing at the bulb. Worked like a charm. It took about two days.

Incidentally, this Saturday on UHF, they'll be showing "Asahi-Super-Takumar vs. Mecha-Asahi-Super-Takumar". I love that movie.

Sample Set #1: Fiestabot

Here's Fiestabot all dressed up for Cinco de Octobero. Oh, Fiestabot. You're always getting up too late! Please disregard the framing discrepancies in these shots. I was leaning a little closer sometimes.  They're all 50mm lenses, so things should frame up identically with each. Also, all of these were shot with the aperture wide open at f/1.4, with no post processing. These are straight out of the camera.

The Super-Takumar has good contrast and nice soft bokeh in the background. Maybe there's a reason this lens has such a cult following. The depth of field is nicely shallow, but not absurdly so.
The Nikkor, with wide open aperture, is really really soft. Also, it loses contrast wide open. Believe it or not, I focused on his "face lens". Some lenses just get soft at wide apertures. In fairness to the Nikkor, there's a picture down below shot at f/2. It sharpers up and looks normal. However, I like being able to open up this lens and get the dreamy Barbara Walters effect. This would be great for portraits. The look is a bit like an old Diana lens, actually.


The Canon looks a lot like the Super-Takumar. I'm having a hard time telling the difference. Both are really good fast fifties. Nice contrast and shallow depth of field. The blurry background outside the window seems a little darker than with the Super-Takumar.
 Sample Set #2 : Done the dishes.

Really nice colors. Really sharp where you focus, and DOF is shallow, but not too. I focused on the orange glass, and the blue dish towel is still in focus an inch or two in front of it.
No surprises from the Nikkor. Soft and glowy. Next.

I think the Canon has a slightly shallower depth of field. Again, I focused on the orange glass. Notice how only a little bit of the blue towel in front of it is in focus.
Sample Set #3: Drums from Doumbekistan. These are Egyptian drums called Doumbeks. Similiarly-shaped drums are found all over the world. In Africa they're Djembes. In Turkey they're called Darbukas. They all work the same.




Sample Set #4: Xanthophyl and chromatic aberration. 

Chromatic Aberration or "CA" is that blue or purple fringe around the black tree branch in front of the white sky. It's present in most lenses to some degree, and shows up in areas of very high contrast where dark meets light in a hard edge. The Super-Takumar has some nice fuzz at the edge of the picture, where you can see the leaves going out of focus. Great saturation.

In this picture, I stopped the aperture down to f/2, or else the sunlight would have been a fuzzy mess. F/2 is still a pretty wide aperture, and the Nikkor has the "swirly bokeh" that some lenses do. Look around the edges of the picture where the blurs form concentric circles around the center of the image. Technically, it's a flaw, but lots of people love it. I do.

The Canon just looks nice and normal here. Yes, there's the CA, but most lenses would do that in this situation. Even wide open at f/1.4, it's still pretty sharp.

Sample Set #5: Atomic Clock.

This image shows the lenses' vignetting (darkened corners). Again, all lenses do this to some degree. Purists dream of a lens that is infinitely sharp and has no dark corners - and, if you ask me, no personality. The Super-Takumar shows us its good contrast and slightly warm color. Very nice.

The warm color of the Nikkor wasn't apparent in the other samples, but here, it's obvious. The green wall has lots of yellow in it. I'll have to remember that one. If you were to narrow the aperture to sharpen it up a little, you'd still have nice warm color, since adjusting aperture shouldn't effect the saturation.

The Canon has slightly cooler colors than the other two. It still has some vignetting that I like very much, and is still super sharp.

Summary:

Asahi Super-Takumar 1963 - Sharp and with warm color and smooth bokeh. Depth of field is nice and thin, but not crazy-thin. The radiation won't hurt you. A physically small lens, if that's important to you. Mine is a slightly rarer eight-element model produced some time before 1966. The seven-element version appeared in 1966, and should be a bit cheaper, and most people say they can't tell the difference in the images they produce.

Nikkor F 1966 - Way soft and dreamy wide open, but sharpens up if you close it up a little. If you use it in low light, you'll miss being able to open it up all the way without the glow. A great special effect portrait lens that acts normal if you stop it down to f/2 or f/2.8, which makes it an exciting rare find. Build quality is beautiful. It's a heavy lens with a retro design clearly of The Sixties.
Canon FD 1972 - Similar to the Super-Takumar, but with cooler colors. It acts like you want a fast fifty to be. Sharp and accurate with super-thin depth of field if you want it. Also has beautiful build quality and heft.

This is not a competition, so I'm not going to choose a winner. The winner is (gasp!) you!... if you know what to look for on eBay or in resale shops. The seller should mention three things.

-Scratches. Some? None? At the center or near the edge? Edge scratches aren't the end of the world. Near the center, and it's gut-check time. Can you find another copy of the lens without scratches?

-Fungus. Yep. Lenses grow fungus in them, over the years. Little black dots, usually on the inner elements where you can't reach it, where moisture get trapped if the lens was stored improperly. Fungus is a deal-killer. Cleaning a lens costs more than you're likely to pay for the lens.

-Aperture blades action. The words you're looking for are "snappy" or "quick" and "dry". A sluggish aperture may get stuck open or closed. Also, visible oil on the aperture blades tells you that someone had the lens open, trying to remedy sticky blades at some point in history. Oil on the blades doesn't scare me too much, personally, so long as the blades are snappy and quick.

Thanks for reading. Maybe we need to do a test on vintage zooms? That should be an adventure.