Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Time warp

I tend to be a little obsessive about the accurate reporting of place and time (as a corollary to my obsession about the accurate reporting of fact). For that reason, twice a year (at the beginning and end of DST), I photograph a display of my presumably-accurate computer clock, before and after I have reset my digital camera's date/time setting to the correct time, so that if ever I might wish to report the actual time that a photograph was taken, I can translate the camera-clock time (in the EXIF data) into real time.

For example, when I did this album of a Toronto Wildlife Centre goose rescue, I had to subtract 2 minutes and 34 seconds from the photos' time stamps because the camera clock had gained that much since I last calibrated it in March.

By coincidence, it was back in March when my iPhoto additions first no longer appeared in the 'photos' section of the application. The pictures were still accessible through the 'events' section and I put the matter down to an application bug resulting from the sheer number of photos (over 44000) it had to display on my aging infrastructure.

This morning, I noticed that the date stamp for a recent picture had the year as 2011. In the four-and-a-half months since I last calibrated the camera clock I had never noticed that the year was incorrect. The photos had in fact all been added to the 'photos' section of iPhoto, but they were back in 2011 where I never once occasioned to look. Fortunately it was easy to correct all of the bad dates in a batch date/time adjustment.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Jump for joy

I came across R.L. Burnside by way of Lightnin' Malcolm (who I caught on a WNED/PBS show last week). This Burnside video from 1978 says it all:

See my jumper, lawd, hangin' out on the line
See my jumper, lawd, hangin' out on the line
Know by that, something on my mind

Would'na been here baby, lawd, if it had'na been for you
Would'na been here baby, lawd, if it had'na been for you
Way down here, way you wanna do

Fix my supper baby, lawd, let me go to bed
Fix my supper baby, lawd, let me go to bed
This white lightnin' done gone to my head

The uninnuendoed meaning of jumper is a smock (on a clothes-line), as evidenced by just such an article of clothing being washed/starched/ironed in a couple of other blues numbers.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Going the distance

The Gar Creek mudslide on the morning of July 12 had me, at the time, trying to accurately place the disaster on Google Earth. Unlike bimmjim, one of the commenters to the Yahoo! retelling of that news, I knew that Johnsons Landing was (obviously) slightly north of where Google Earth spotted the location. David Petley (who writes a landslide blog) had the correct map placement, verifiable by this helpful graphic.

The Fairmont Hot Springs mudslide on July 15 had some in the media trying to relate this event to the Gar Creek one by proximity. The National Post headlined it as 45 km away. I had already measured the distance as ~78 km (as the crow flies) and decided to let the Post know of its error. Incredibly, this evening's CBC - The National suggested that the distance between the locations was only 30 km (at 4:50 into the broadcast), which had me remeasure the damn thing in case I had made some dumb mistake. A little later, I chanced upon Brad Giffen (a CTV news-channel anchor) using the 45 km figure. What is this contagion?

Update: At least one subsequent story got it right.