History lesson

This is a typical sunset as seen and painted by William Turner in 1838:

Flint Castle in Wales, 1838

During that time (which is called “Biedermeier”), paintings often had these intense colours. So what was different?

What was different was the climate. 200 years ago today, the Indonesian volcano Tambora (see Wikipedia in English, German, or in Malay) exploded with the force of approximately 170.000 Hiroshima bombs, cutting off its own peak from about 4300m (before) to around 2800m (after).

This lead to the “year without summer” in 1816 (English, German) pretty much around the world, as seen in Northern America or in Europe.

Follow these links to the Wikipedia pages in your preferred language if you want to know more. What happened was the coldest summer since the beginning of measurements, just some 25 years after Captain Bligh of the Bounty was dropped off his ship on Timor, which was nearby.

Thanks for reading.

Had a Prius for a day

Our car had to have its front brakes repaired, so it had to stay at the dealer for a day. And this time finally I asked for a hybrid replacement – and got it:

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Toyota Prius

Lovely car. Surely not everyone’s cup of tea, but for the daily suburban commutes, you’d hardly find a better one.

I took that photo this morning at my employers’ garage. By now we have back our Corolla – and I’m still happy with that one as well. Even if it takes 2 liters more on each 100 kilometers than this bigger cousin.

Thanks for viewing.

Countershot

Here is one photo which Mélanie took of me yesterday:

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It’s awesome, isn’t it? Told everyone that she’s good…

Merçi beaucoup Mélanie!

And thanks to everyone else for viewing.

A busy week

It was a busy week for me. On Wednesday after work I went to the local meeting of some group within the German “Model Kartei“, which was quite nice.

On Thursday it was Mitchie’s birthday. Here are some flowers which Zuleikha got for her Mama:

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And today we had to go to Zuleikha’s school which had some open day for interested kids and parents of next semester’s new 5th classes. So we had to ‘cater’ them a bit, selling coffee and cake.

Oh, and Zuleikha had her first public stage performance with her brass class, which was very nice. Gut gemacht, Schätzchen!

Thanks for reading.

Windows 7 support

A day or two ago one of my colleagues told me (or rather us) that Windows support for their version 7 of the operating system ended this week. And yesterday I told the same to a friend who’s also in IT (in a manager position even), and his reaction was a bit like:

“What? We just rolled out version 7! Cannot be – I’m sure you’re talking about Windows XP?”

Well yes and no. For XP, even the “extended” support ended last year, that is correct. But if you look at Microsoft’s “Lifecycle” page, their so-called “mainstream” support for version 7 ended this week indeed. But the “extended” one will continue for another 5 years, time enough for most enterprises to upgrade to some newer client operating systems.

Should you have any questions about this, the page lists 3 commonly asked ones, and have a look at the “what does it mean?” page as well.

Basically, for Win7 that means that you have to install Service Pack 1, and/or to enable automatic updates. That way, your Win7 will still be supported until its “end of life” in about 5 years from now.

Vista? Oh well – two more years if you’re on Service Pack 2 (see my first link above).

Hope that clears any questions.

Roadblock

Today was the last day of my 2 weeks of summer holidays. And after dinner, we went out to see why the road over the bridge out of our small village will be blocked for the next three months. Nothing much to see yet, but:

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Timber

Whatever they will do, they seem to need wood for doing it. Anyway – the road out of the village is blocked already:

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Roadblock

Which means that for the next three months I (and lots of others) will be forced to drive through the whole village with 30km/h to reach another bridge, or to go around the airport over a different motorway where there’s even more traffic, and that’s about 17km more. Or take the train, which would easily double or perhaps triple the normal commuting time.

Let’s hope it will be worth it. And let’s go at least 15 minutes earlier for the next three months.

Thanks for reading.

Photos of the FIFA half finals, and the world’s best stalker lens

Boston.com is always a good source for photos, and they also have an impressive set of pictures of this years’ FIFA half final matches. Well worth a look if you’re into football (or ‘soccer’, like the US and parts of England call it).

Mike Johnston from T.O.P. (The Online Photographer) once declared the Hubble Space Telescope as being the world’s best lens. That was in 2006. In 2030, there could be a better one, called ‘ATLAST‘. Found this in Telepolis who wrote that it should be 2000 times better than Hubble (in German). See also in the English Wikipedia. Would be a lens for Tim Allen‘s ‘Home Improvement‘, right? It also reminds me a bit about Crocodile Dundee’s

“A knife? This is a knife!”

😉

Thanks for reading.

Happy Independence Day to all Americans!

Qotd comes from Roger Cicala of LensRentals, who explained:

“(For those of you who aren’t American, the 4th of July is when we celebrate our Independence by getting sunburned, making burnt offerings of animal parts in our backyards, and then eating said offerings. During the entire day, we drink massive quantities of American beer and once it gets dark we shoot off massive quantities of Chinese fireworks. All too often, the results of mixing alcohol and explosives prove that Darwin was correct — but hey, that’s what celebrating is all about, right?)”

Hehe, awesome. Thanks for a good laugh, Roger!

Update, later in the evening: And here’s a candle for you folks:

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Tea light and alarm clock. Olympus E-520 and 40-150mm lens at 58mm.

I love that lens. And tho I have an adapter for it, I still should get the same one with a Micro Four Thirds mount for my “Pen”. Best value in the whole business IMHO.

Thanks for viewing.