Tag Archives: Rubber Duck

Rubber Duck Tech Tip: RD wants the iPhone 6Plus

fullbirdseye88

Apple iPhone 5s. High noon light, rocking platform. Shot was “normal”, not HD.

Shot this Saturday waiting for the Cut Bridge to go up (high tide) after Mug Up trying to get a duck and the Birdseye Plant being taken apart in the background (They are working Saturdays.)

Non-descript photo, a snapshot, no real subject, point and shoot. But considering the conditions, it captures some detail. There was a lot of light but the boat was rocking. So the iPhone 5s shuts the aperture down to get a long depth of field but it should be muddy in the resolution and indeed it is a bit. We zoom in:

fullbirdseye888

The rod holder probably got the center of the depth of field but because the aperture is shut down to a F22 pinhole (guessing) the focus stretches from the duck butt to the paint factory. The software digital stabilization gives the Birdseye Plant some muddy painterly effects (the shot is right out of camera unprocessed) but still shows some detail of the demolition of frozen food history.

So what does this have to do with the new Apple iPhone 6Plus? The 6 Plus is going to make this shot better. The six Plus has optical image stabilization. (The iPhone 6 does not, it sticks with software fake focusing.) What is the difference? A lot. When I snap that photo two weeks from now there will be micromotors moving the lens around to lock on the Birdseye Plant while the lens is open. So if you are shooting from a rocking boat it still comes out clean.

But wait, there’s more. Something called pixel focus. Remember when you had that five pound Nikon DSLR and you manually focused the lens and you tried to get that little split image in the center to line up? 20 years ago but they looked like pixels which suddenly cleared when you focused on your subject? That (sort of) is pixel focus. There will be designated pixels across the field that need to match up, and when they do the lens is focused on that subject. When you tap the screen with your finger to light balance on the birdseye plant you are also selecting it as your primary focus (thank you Adam Bolonsky for pointing that out). Pixels in the birdseye plant will be used to “pixel focus”.

But you don’t need to know any of this. What it means is that iPhone 6Plus shots will be cleaner, sharper right out of the camera so you can fill your Facebook feed with more selfies than ever. The focus will be on your subject the entire time in a movie so your cat gifs you upload on #Caturday in G+ will be even more sickeningly cute.

The take home message: Tech marches on led by Apple. That used to be cool point and shoot digital camera you have covered with dust in the drawer next to your film cameras? Get ready for some company. High end point and shoots are history and this phone is going to start nibbling into the professional camera category. OK, you filmsters who said nothing will kill film quiet down. The three to seven thousand dollar DSLRs have plenty of life left. But everything underneath those price points I would worry if I was making a living selling them. People want to take snaps. More snaps on iPhones this year than all photos combined. Compact cameras will go the way of compact video will go the way of the Dodo bird. Because you use what you have. Since you have to have a phone in your pocket to check facebook and text you are going to shoot with your smart phone. Everything else is a slide ruler. Neat to own, but gathering dust in that drawer.

When and what to buy: The new Apple phones are the 6 and the 6Plus. I just described a few advantages of the six Plus. The six Plus also has 37% more screen, more pixels, and also better battery life than the 6. But I am still going to wait until next Friday, September 19 so I can touch them before deciding in the Boylston Street Apple Store. Everything points to the six Plus. For a hundred bucks more you get a ton more features. The battery and the camera are the deal maker. The downside is that the thing is an air craft carrier, a cross between a phone and a tablet. A “Phablet”. An awful portmanteau. I don’t want a phablet in my front pocket. “Is that a phablet in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?” Bend over and start singing falsetto. But I will likely go big. I was poking fun at Toby’s Androidy Phablet just a few weeks ago. (Can you land jet planes on that?) I will live through his eyebrows raising when I pull out my Fabulous Phablet. Or my Fab Fablet out of my Euro man purse.

if you read this far …

Disclosure: I have been an Apple fan, Apple Fan Boy, member of the Apple Sheeple flock, ever since I used a Macintosh 512 to make graphs in a paper published in 1985. I find Apple is like real Science, it just works and makes my life simpler. I am biased towards simpler. Sue me.

Unnecessary detail: the Info on the shot says F2.2 ISO 40. So instead of shutting the aperture down the camera digitally selects “slower” film to capture more detail. I’m not going back to change the verbiage just to make film school graduates happy who want to argue about the size of silver halide crystals.

info888

Rubber Duck still remains hostage

mug up rd ransom continues

It was a lovely but tense Mug Up this morning at YUPO Gallery. Paul Morrison arrived promptly with a bag filled with ransom demand fulfillment. Joey arrived late with Rubber Duck, but refused to release her to Paul, only allowing him a brief viewing of her to prove that she was unharmed (it was not Paul’s RD that had been crushed in the GE press after all). Joey told Paul that he needed to return to Mug Up next Saturday at 9:30am with more ranson, and he would come back again with Rubber Duck and the two “Kind” ducknappers, who would decide then if his ransom was sufficient to warrant RD’s release. This is dragging out much longer than any of us anticipated, and Paul was showing pronounced signs of tension and anxiety. We all pray he can hold out until next Saturday and that this ordeal will reach a satisfactory conclusion. Joey does seem to be enjoying making Paul squirm after all the times Paul has attempted to have RD usurp Homie’s rightful place as mascot of GMG. Karma can be tough.

Mug Up and Rubber Duck Ransom Saga, Saturday 9:30 at Madfish Wharf

mug up and art walk

rubberduckarmy88

2013-06-07-HK-Rubber-Duckie-at-Lunchtime-041_thumb.jpg

Last week’s Mug Up ended with Rubber Duck being taken hostage by a pair of adorable but vicious ducknappers. Come to Mug Up this Saturday at 9:30 to see how this drama plays itself out. Will Paul Morrison buckle under and give in to the hostage takers extreme demands to gain RD’s freedom, will RD remain imprisoned (or maybe totally forgotten about and relegated to the back of a closet), or will Paul Morrison pull off bringing a massive rubber duck to Gloucester harbor to float outside Joey’s window and stare relentlessly at him until his Flexilis anatidaephobia forces him to give up RD? Come to Madfish Wharf Saturday morning and find out.

E.J. Lefavour
http://www.hobbithousestudio.com

RUBBER DUCK ARMY ASSEMBLING ON THE ISLAND in a secret location. Homie is on sentry duty.

83RubberDuckArmy

88 Rubber Duck sisters form the Rubber Duck Army. We have a Navy. We have NERF guns. We know this island like the back of our rubber wing. You cannot hide. Because the secret to our success? We have way too much time on our hands. FREE RUBBER DUCK! FREE RUBBER DUCK!

If You Care To Ever See Rubber Duck Alive Again You Better Comply With Our Demands

DSC07938

RD is weary after an extensive day of travel which brought him in and around Cape Ann.

Demands:

Fabric (Floral designs and stripes)

Safety Pins

Needles and Thread

These items need to be dropped off at Hobbit House Gallery On Madfish Wharf Or Else The Duck Becomes Pate.

September 16th or the duck gets it!

Rubber Duck says, “Yeah, yeah, Schooner this, Schooner that …”

mellissa

It would be insane to miss any of the Schooner doings all weekend and RD has a plastic card she will carry so as not to miss one event but remember Cape Ann has other stuff going on. Rockport Farmer’s Market stop by Saturday at 9AM and get a jump on the weekend. Pick up Anadama, Abbott Honey, Sasquatch Smokehouse Salmon or mussels. Then go to Schooner festival but take thick slice of Anadama, butter, honey, add smoked mussels and stuff that in your face while watching the Schooners. Do it early so you have room for the lobster mania at Harbor loop later int he afternoon. Almost forgot the tomato jam stuff which sounds as weird as my above sandwich but it’s crazy good.

“Oh My God, It’s a Rubber Duck!”

Let’s reel the tape back to 2004. The European Space Agency (ESA) shot a rocket off to land the spaceship Rosetta on a comet. Rosetta has been cruising since then, swinging past Mars and a few other planets to line up so when this comet swings by the sun on November 11, 2014 she will actually attempt to land on it! Here is where it gets weird. As it gets closer Rosetta has sent back photos of the comet. They are calling it a “contact binary” which means two comets collided very slowly a few billion years ago and stuck.

But on closer inspection the first ESA scientist to look at the photos said, “Oh My God It’s a Rubber Duck!”

See for yourself.

spaceduck

A Rubber Duck the size of Cape Ann is slowly spinning through the universe ready to make a close encounter with our sun on November 11, 2014

I swear I am not making this up. Our own Rubber Duck is starting to act peculiar after I told her the news. I will be posting regular updates of the Close Encounter of a Rubber Duck as we get closer to the the actual contact on November 11. I will be interviewing EJ to find out if her higher beings have lost a bath toy.

 

[edit] Fun Fact. Rubber Duck rotates every 12.4 hours. So imagine a rock the size of Cape Ann (in diameter, dig the thing up and get a big ball), the head is Rockport, the body is Gloucester, the lips enclose Sandy Bay rotating in synch with the tides. Twice a day, jut like the tides the lips point towards earth and you can slip under the bridge without calling to raise it.

Blackburn Challenge This Saturday: July 19, 2014

blackburn

You can still race. Registration closes at midnight tomorrow (Tuesday July 15). Do you want to challenge yourself to something not quite ordinary? Jump in a craft powered only by the paddle or oar in your hands and head north from Gloucester High School down the Annisquam then start turning right until you went all the way around and pulled into Gloucester Harbor and aim for the Birdseye plant and the Greasy Pole Finish?

You get a T-Shirt proclaiming your completion as well as pulled pork, beer and a band at Pavilion Beach.

Rubber Duck will be on the halfway-point boat anchored in Straitsmouth Gap to record your number as you go by. Yell the number out since she has very small eyes and no ears.

Sign up now. No walk-ons. Or come out to a viewing area anywhere on the Cape. The times are similar to a marathon. Fast boats make it in two to three hours whereas working dories take five to six hours. Cheer them on.

Here is a handy map. You can check out the list of boats already registers. 245 boats of all kinds, over 370 paddlers or rowers. Click link on this page to see current list of registrants.

photo from official website

The start which is just north of the MBTA Railroad Bridge on the Annisquam

Blackburn-Challenge-011.jpg

The finish is the Greasy Pole after a circumnavigation of the entire island. WOOT!

Blackburn Challenge Registration is Open!!!

blackburn

Click the emblem to register. It is so easy. Do not be put off by the scary registration form. This is the year you do it. Paddle all the way around Cape Ann with 300 other boats. Rubber Duck has done it five years in a row and although there are amusing videos of Paul exiting his kayak the 23 miles was fun. The cold beer and the pulled pork sandwich at the end was awesome.

Since Rubber Duck now has the Blue Duck with a 225HP Suzuki on the transom she may go around the Cape this year a little quicker than the last five. Yes, she may be wimping out this year. Does anyone want to take the real Rubber Duck on their kayak?

WTD? Part 5: Where The Duck?

WTD

Where is the Rubber Duck?!? If no one gets it I will start leaving hints at 6PM.  Leave your guess in the comments and win a brand new GMG sticker and a hand blown Rubber Duck. In order to win, get specific. Judging is arbitrary and capricious. The winning answer will contain the most details. If you think someone nailed it, steal their answer, add a detail and pile on. Start with the state, … Is that a leaf fragment of quercus rubra with two needles from a pinus rigida? Clues!!

[edit1] OK, maybe shaved it down too much. David Tapley on Facebook says Falmouth. Nope.

Clue 1: Barnyard Animal

Clue 2: Oldtimers with good noses might get it first.

Clue 3: Anyone remember the pigs?

Clue 4: Who had pigs in Gloucester?

Rubber Duck Dreaming of Future Gin & Tonics With Lime

Rubber Duck is trying to convince Joey to buy a lime tree. Fragrant blossoms that turn into limes that are the tastiest limes for Bombay Gin and Schweppes Tonic. Or skip the tonic, just gin on ice and a nice fact wedge of lime ripened on the tree.

Rubber Duck is trying to convince Joey to buy a lime tree. Fragrant blossoms that turn into limes that are the tastiest limes for Bombay Gin and Schweppes Tonic. Or skip the tonic, just gin on ice and a nice fact wedge of lime ripened on the tree.


After spending the winter in the dusty old shop the lime tree is so happy to be outside in the fresh air and sun. A blast of fertilizer a few weeks ago and it is already cranking out the flowers for this summer’s gin & tonics, and pad thai.

« Older Entries