Testing – Deep Zoom

Finally found another site that allows the sharing of deep zoom images. Basically they are just super high resolution images that exceed the maximum properties allowed by regular JPEG files, allowing gigapixel sized images that load detail based only upon the area you are viewing, rather than attempting to load the entire image into memory at one time.

https://easyzoom.com/imageaccess/cf7be06756884c95908597463e6ef861

This image is only a bit over 200 megapixels, and about 60 megabytes in size. I just used my phone, set at 2x, and took scanning shots of the front yard and assembled them with Microsoft ICE. With a better camera and better/longer lens, much higher quality/detail images should be easy to create. Just another nerdy photo thing to test, in case I ever need it for something…

Hmm… I think I’ve actually got two old HD Zoom gigapixel images of Lancaster from Mt Pleasant from several years ago (taken with the dSLR) that I should be able to convert and upload.

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How Could I Not?

Here I’ve been, telling my friends “Nah, I’m not going out for Black Friday. I can’t even think of anything I need, and especially if I have to be out among the sea of people.” and I thought I was telling them the truth. 😏 Actually, most of those two sentences are still true… because no way would I consider going out to fight with the thousands of other assholes at the crack of dawn come this Friday – but it turns out that I did need something, and I didn’t even realize it until a just few minutes ago. (Deja vu… heh)

I’ll go ahead and describe the item, then I’ll get to the “deal” part of it. I already have a Playstation 4, and about a year ago Sony came out with a virtual reality headset for it which has been selling for $299. Also known as way too friggin’ much. Well, now that they’re preparing to come out with an updated version of the headset soon, prices in some places are dropping to $199 for the current model. Still expensive, but much more reasonable.

For me, any VR gaming that I end up doing will just be a bonus. Because, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve played a game on that system. 😕 Things over the past couple of years have warped my brain, taking away the desire to do many of the things I used to find fun… but anyway…

I had actually given the PSVR system a brief look when it originally came out, but mainly  because of the photo and video applications. I have a 3D television, but I’ll now be able to watch 3D movies or videos on the headset. Same thing with 360° virtual reality videos. 😎 Does anything start to sound familiar? 🤔 At this price point, this thing sounds perfect for me since I’ve got a cheap 3D video recorder and a camera that can shoot 360° photos and videos. Honestly, the thing is made for me to own.

But it wasn’t even floating around in my brain as recently as 15 minutes ago, that is, until I saw a post from Cheap Ass Gamer that showed the system available at Kohl’s for $199 – plus for every $50 that you spent, you’d earn $15 in Kohl’s Cash which can be used for in-store purchases later. So I hit the site, put the PSVR in my cart, added a $1.00 foaming face mask (to push the total to just over $200) and boom… $60 in Kohl’s Cash, effectively making the final price only $140. 🤓 Giddyup.

This should really encourage my shooting in those alternative mediums.

The Pot vs. Sins of the Kettle

It’s surreal what we’re getting to see from our government these days, and specifically from our President. Donald Trump, who has been caught on tape bragging about how he can (and does) sexually assault women, how he can’t even control himself or stop himself from doing it… the same man who has at least SIXTEEN different women who have accused him of sexual assault of one kind or another… again, this man is President of The United States… but there he is on Twitter, trolling Al Franken for taking an inappropriate photo with an allegedly sleeping woman – and giving him shit for lecturing other people on not being the type of person who sexually assaults someone.

I know, that’s a little hard to follow… but yeah, Donald Trump, proud sexual predator, focus of a dozen+ sexual assault claims including the alleged rape of a 13 y/o girl and the rape of his own wife – he’s lecturing another man accused of sexual assault, for lecturing others on sexual assault. I’m not joking when I say that this is legitimately making my brain hurt and my eye twitch.

I don’t know if Donald Trump forgets that he’s on tape bragging about how he grabs at women’s vaginas without consent, or if he remembers but just doesn’t care… but whatever is going on in that man’s head, there’s no doubt that he has some serious psychological problems. Perhaps he knows that some new information is coming down the pipe tomorrow, maybe regarding his son-in-law who was once again caught withholding Russian communications from the Senate – or perhaps it will be about his biological son, who was recently caught having secret communications with Wikileaks for months despite everyone in the administration denying it. And let’s not forget about Jeff Sessions and the perjury charges that he could be facing for the many lies that he has told congress.

Because if he didn’t tweet what he did in order to distract from any or all of those topics – then the man is simply psychologically damaged, because all that this is going to do is bring all of the negative attention back on him  – along with reminding the world about all of the women who have made accusations against him. Oh… and it took him less than a day to tweet something inflammatory about (Democrat) Al Franken, when it has been more than a week since the (Republican) Roy Moore scandal came to light, which (instead of just being about a tasteless photo) includes allegations that Moore sexually assaulted a minor, otherwise known as child molestation. But of course Trump hasn’t said a word about that, and being the coward that he is – he wouldn’t say anything about Franken in front of reporters, but instead waited until he was back at home, sitting on the toilet, with his dick in one hand and his phone in the other. (How’s that for some mental imagery?)

Good lord… this is what we are now. This is what the world sees when they look to America as an example of how people and countries should be. It’s fucking disgraceful, and has me going from being completely speechless – to where all I want to do is rant about it, because it’s disgusting, shameful, and it makes me sad that kids growing up these days will think of this as the normal way that people in government function.

I’m honestly getting sick to my stomach as I type this… but this is our inescapable reality.

Ranter’s Gotta Rant

Woke up today and checked Twitter to discover that Republicans and Trump supporters are losing their damn minds over an incident that Senator Al Franken was involved in about a decade ago. People are calling him disgusting, repulsive, a predator, a monster, and of course – almost all of them are calling for his resignation. This is the “blood in the water” that folks on the right have been waiting for, and they’re going to attack whether it is justified or not. And just like the accusations against Trump and Moore, it’s not up to me to decide whether or not the claims are truthful.

But what I will say, is that two of the main complaints from Tweeden are that he kissed her – while rehearsing a scene from a USO skit where the two would be (you guessed it) kissing… and that he “groped her” while she was sleeping, with her evidence being a photo where he was cheezing for the camera and acting like he was going to grab her and startle her awake. It appears that he wasn’t even touching her flak jacket, let alone “groping her breasts in her sleep” as she claims.

If she was actually asleep, and he thought it would be funny to do that pose, then obviously, if the two weren’t the type of friends where goofy shit like this was the norm, it was a bad idea. I only say that because I know plenty of people who pull tasteless jokes and gags on each other, but it’s never more than just that… a joke. I’m sure that I’ve joked like I was going to grab someone’s ass, just as I’m sure that someone has joked the same way towards me. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that when Franken wanted to rehearse, her reply was “Okay, whatever.” Why is he the bad guy when the skit was written that way and she agreed to rehearse it?

But anyway… it’s not so much that I’m trying to excuse the behavior, it’s that I’m finding it hard to equate the things that Franken is alleged to have done to the things that Trump and Moore are alleged to have done. (And in Donald Trump’s case, bragged about doing.) The GOP pitchforks and torches are now out for Franken… meanwhile President Pussy Grabber is in office, and the wagons are being circled around Roy Moore in hopes to protect that senate seat. They are both accused of preying on women or girls (and many of them), getting them in situations where there were no people around, and then forcibly touching their genitals or otherwise molesting them. There was no skit that was being rehearsed, there were no cameras around to cheeze for, and if the allegations are true – you know exactly what Trump and Moore were doing to those women. I’m sorry, but that’s significantly different from rehearsing a scene that involved a kiss and then taking a dumb faux “grabby” pic that never went anything beyond that.

I understand that right now the politically correct thing to do is to always believe any accuser/victim that comes forward. Especially if many of them come forward about the same person. That’s the way it is, because you certainly don’t want to be the person that doubted the claims of someone if they end up being verified as true. And if you believe someone, and their claims end up being false, you still look good – giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and then having become a “victim” yourself for believing them and getting played. But when someone claims they were groped, and not because they know or remember that it happened, but because they saw a photo of someone pretending to sneak up and grab them – you can call it tasteless, but I don’t see how you can call it sexual assault. It lessens what those words means for the women (and men) who have been through much worse. And when you’re complaining that someone kissed you without your consent, you can’t then say that the kiss was part of a scene that you were rehearsing and that you agreed to that rehearsal.

I know, I should just keep my mouth shut about all this so I don’t offend anyone myself… but hell, everyone is offended by everything now – to the point where people are afraid to say or do anything because of the social shaming risk involved. I’m sure more info will come out about the Franken incident, and there have already been unconfirmed reports that Tweeden was “in on the photo” at the time, and that it was some gag that they mutually decided on. That’s scary if it ends up being true… and again, nobody likes to doubt a “victim” but there’s always a possibility that even if he wasn’t being set up at the time, since she’s a frequent guest of Sean Hannity (Fox News) – so it is possible that something relatively innocent is being turned into something much more sinister for political reasons.

People really need to stop forming their beliefs based on political affiliation though. Investigate every one of these incidents that have happened, and punish people accordingly if the facts call for it. If you’re a Republican and you haven’t been outspoken about the allegations against Trump and Moore, then take it down a few notches with all of your outrage against Al Franken. And if you’re on the left and you’ve been vocal about Trump and Moore, you can’t just ignore the incident with Franken. And whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or whatever… you have to acknowledge that every “case” isn’t the same, that none of these things are black and white, and they can’t be treated as if there should be a “one size fits all” way of handling them. And you have to understand that if these folks truly believe that they’re not guilty, they are going to take a stand against the accusations – just as anyone would do if they were being falsely accused. It looks awful if you don’t believe them, but what choice do they have?

I probably wouldn’t have even bothered making this entry if it wasn’t for the dozens and dozens of sanctimonious politician assholes that are speaking out about Franken, with all of their hyperbole and incredulousness – as if all of them have been 100% straight shooters their entire lives, and have never done anything that someone might find objectionable. The “holier than thou” bullshit that everyone sees for what it is, just another way to further their party and agenda. It’s all fucking sickening.

But yeah, investigate the Franken thing… and investigate the Trump and Moore accusations with just as much enthusiasm. Let the chips fall where they may with any/all of the people who appear to have been caught doing whatever sketchy thing that they’ve been accused of – and if the facts dictate that they be punished, let the punishment fit the actions regardless of political party. Fuck… nobody should even have to say that last part, but sadly it does need to be said.

Alright, I suppose that’s enough rambling to give everyone a reason to angrily disagree with me. 😏

Progression

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Four renders… quick, quick/good, slow/better, slow/best. It’s a bit difficult to see the differences between 1 and 2, and then 3 and 4, at this image size – but the larger the render, the more subtle details and changes you will notice. (Shadows, reflections, translucency, etc.) I’m going to work on a plug-in to see how close I can get it to photo-realistic.