OMG. I just now, after years of using Waze, started poking around the app. And found that under "routes" (once you find it) you could see alternate routes laid out. WHAT a discovery! Today I'm going to do a wine country jaunt, okay? And the winery that I was aiming to start at is way up on Rt 128 in the middle of sleepy, scenic vineyard action. I asked Waze how to get there and it answered 1 hr and 37 minutes along Rt 101, a boring BORING highway and just blast up to Healdsburg and then cut over. Fine. But I had been planning on a far more scenic route.
Well, interestingly enough, Waze had that route as the 3rd listed choice. Hidden down in the menu. One I never knew it calculated and only just now uncovered in the previously mentioned "routes". Exactly the way I'd have chosen, up along the famous Rt 29 through the Napa Valley, past Calistoga and then the winding and beautiful drive along Rt 128 to the winery. And how long would this FAR more soul soothing trip take? 1 hr and 39 minutes! A whole 1.8% longer. Two freakin' minutes.
Waze needs another setting. Let's call it "Beautiful Drive" and assign it an equal worth to a 10% time penalty. I'd have that one active by default.
I was looking through Yelp recently as part of a wine trip. And when I was checking out the pics for Goldeneye Vineyard I came across a bunch that were just KILLED with red. I'm supposing there was some kind of red umbrella filtering all the light. Anyway, this is that it looked like:
Crazy bad, right? I immediately wondered "Hmmm, can I photo correct that?" And then proceeded to do it three different ways. I thought I'd let you know the most effective of the three in this morning's quick "how to fix crappy photos" lesson.
Step one - bring it into Photoshop.
Step two: open Channel Mixer. A bit of background needed here. Your monitor and your TV and your phone, etc, all create their color images with just three components - something that glows red, something that glows green and something that glows blue. RGB. That's all you need. And so this Photoshop tool looks at these three color channels. What I've done below is open the Channel Mixer and then chosen Red as the output channel. And I slid the Red slider to 61%. So what that means is that I'm saying "take what red there was originally and output only 61% of that". The images changes as shown:
Already it looks better but also dimmer. We'll fix the dim in the end. But first, on to the other channels! Punch up the previously weak and almost not present Green slider to 140%. Boost that green!
Next, boost the blues in the same manner. Select blue as the output and slide the slider up:
Ah ha! That picture looks pretty good now, doesn't it? Time to brighten. To do that I'm going to choose curves. This lets me smoothly alter how much brighter I want things to be. The darkest darks and the lightest lights stay the same and all the rest in between get increased, most strongly in the mid-tones:
And with that, I'm done. A pretty reasonable pic from what was a pretty horrendously bad one. The power of color alchemy!
Uh huh. You know, I'd be far more inclined to believe in this unsolicited text message if, in fact, I had any prescriptions that were being filled. They're remarkably persistent - they've sent over half a dozen of these "please please answer - we want to scam you!" texts already.
English vs metric. British vs American. Sheesh. I was watching a documentary on Scotch whisky and they said there's 16 drams in an ounce. Well, that got my attention because I've long known there are 8 drams to an ounce - if your shot is an ounce worth then that's 8 drams. And this was a documentary on SCOTCH. How could they get that wrong?
Well, I looked it up and they DID get it wrong but they also got it right. It turns out there are several drams. As if life weren't complicated enough. In the avoirdupois system of WEIGHT, a dram weighs one sixteenth of an ounce. Not terribly useful to use when speaking of liquids and my guess is their research person didn't research closely enough.
In the apothecarie's system (also weight based) a dram is an eighth of an ounce. However, if we look at liquid measures, then in the US a dram is 1/8 of a fluid ounce. Finally, the definition I've been familiar with. And in the British lands, a dram is apparently a volume equal to 0.217 cubic inches. Give me a break! Pulling out my trusty calculator and 25.4 mm to an inch finally let me determine that they're agreeing with the Americans: 8 drams per liquid ounce. Exactly as shown below, next to a spice jar for reference.
So there you have it. Cheers!
As my patrons know, every day two new Crowtoons are shown on my Patreon page (here). And so normally if you want to see them, you'll need to be one of those wonderful folks who choose to support their grateful cartoonist. Thanks, guys!!
However, today's offering is one that's special enough that I wanted to show it more widely. It appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which was nice, but what's more interesting is that it shows me doing my thing at the blackboard, as I've done for years and years. And ... rather than showing some random algebra on the board, as is traditional in most blackboard cartoons, what you'll see if you look closely is some fancy pants maths. Symbolic math. More specifically, excerpts from a paper of mine, one that helped get me tenure.
My wife liked it so much that she secretly made a print of it and framed it for my birthday. And it's up on the wall in my studio, and I'm literally looking at it right now as I type.
So there you go. More than just the gag this time.