May 6th, 2001

(no subject)

New toys! I came back from Best Buy today with all sorts of fun computer stuff for my Embodied Intelligence project -- did you know web cams are down to $29.99? At that price, how could I *not* buy one? And I got a wireless ethernet card for my mobile robot, so it doesn't have to trail a cable (assuming, of course, that I can get the controller to run off batteries for a "reasonable" amount of time). Fun, fun, fun. Now to get linux to play nicely with all this stuff. Could be interesting. Especially, since the version of Linux we're talking about in is fact an obscure StrongARM port...

Crazy Russians!

Have you ever wondered what tsarist Russia really looked like? Have you ever had to do a set or costume design for a Chekov play? Or --- more to the point --- have you ever had to lighting design 'The Seagull' and were running out of inspiration with b&w source photographs? Well, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii is your man!

Twenty-plus years before the commercial advent of color photography, and just before the fall of the tsars, Prokudin-Gorskii travelled Russia to document the land for the tsar. And, in an amazing display of foresight, he realized color photography would one day be possible and so took all of his pictures through red, green, and blue filters. The Library of Congress has obtained his glass plates, scanned them, and digitally recombined them to yield color prints. The results are stunning.