Weekly digest – 2012-06-24

Explosive Photoshoot – Behind the scenes

If you think that the only thing that separates you from professional photographer is  a more expensive camera, watch this 2-minute video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPBeqNC-Lp4]

That’s a team of at least 3 people – photographer, model, and a make-up artist (not counting the person making the video).  It’s not just a a single shot, but multiple takes, even with all the post-production editing.  It’s not just a cool idea, but hours and hours of work.  And that’s not even counting all the effort that went into the learning curve.  But, when you factor all that in and add a little luck, what you get is this.

Great work, Marios!

Lada

Lada, also known as Zhiguli, is brand of a car from my home city – Togliatti, Russia.  While it’s somewhat known around the world, I was still surprised to find it as a theme to a Flickr blog post.  After all, Lada cars were never known for the beauty of their shapes or lines.

Interestingly, Flickr blog post talks about the end of production for Lada 2107, but none of the images in that post are of that model.  Flickr crew is not to blame though.  There are so many models of Lada cars in existence, and they look so similar, that not even every Russian will be able to tell which is which.  And on top of that, the blog post links to a pool of Lada car images, where pretty much every model is presented.

Weekly digest – 2012-06-17

  • Fingersports skateboard #skateboards #sports http://t.co/CRm7cZV2 #
  • This is seriously hilarious http://t.co/J6UwPo7K #
  • New note : Automatic web login script for Deutsche Telekom Hotspots http://t.co/S9dnd4uB #
  • Wishful thinking + masturbation = wishful masturbation. But that's redundant, I guess, since every masturbation is wishful. #
  • All our office discussions seem to be like a very complex flowchart with every path eventually leading to "That's what she said!" node. #
  • One day jQuery will cure cancer. In two lines. And one line will be with settings to control if you want it to just disappear or fade away. #
  • I just used the phrase "cultural pluralism" as part of my commit message. And it made sense. #
  • GOAL!!!!!!!! #
  • Apparently, Gaylord is a real name. Quite popular too. http://t.co/1UobC49y #
  • The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats http://t.co/iFZoAglS #
  • A glass of water #earlybird #drinks #water http://t.co/oUxe4srD #
  • New note : phpQuery – server-side, chainable, CSS3 selector driven DOM API based on jQuery JavaScript Library. http://t.co/1j8SIiZH #
  • @marios Happy birthday, mate. :) #
  • @vsemenova Если бы я жил в удалённой горной деревушке, через которую шляются всякие проходимцы, то я, наверное, тоже бы так думал. :) #
  • I wish I could have version control for my dreams. git clone hot-neighbor-dream; git branch alt-ending; git checkout alt-ending … #
  • #VaginaMovieLines "I love the smell of 'gina in the morning. It smells like… victory!" #
  • Homa made apple pie with ice cream #earlybird #food http://t.co/EnBcUUxC #
  • Double espresso #brannan #coffee http://t.co/A3HXj0Gh #
  • After coffee pint #valencia #beer #uefa #football http://t.co/fyuS7feJ #
  • Sexiest video game characters? Z. With S and M following nearby. L and P are the unsexiest ever, I think. :) #
  • Tiny forex trading bull #lofi #work #forex #bull http://t.co/N1sj1Nxk #
  • This is a test tweet. I will embed it into my next blog post. Because I've just upgraded to #WordPress 3.4. #
  • Upgraded to WordPress 3.4 http://t.co/dq8Pasfp #
  • Skype 4.0 for Linux – a present or not? http://t.co/QeKwHqGl #
  • Drinks #kelvin #drinks #vodka #zivania http://t.co/ghNAUwJe #
  • @BlogCyEu thanks! #
  • @mattcutts That's funny. But I'd never stop doing things that make my wife smile or even laugh. :-) #
  • Ham and cheese sandwich #sierra #food #sandwich http://t.co/Yv2ljbTg #
  • Traffic jam on highway, Chesters exit. #limassol #

Skype 4.0 for Linux – a present or not?

Slashdot points to the release of Skype 4.0 for Linux, a much delayed update:

Anyone who uses Skype on Linux will be happy to hear that a new version has been made available today, bringing with it a host of essential updates and new features. Skype 4.0, codenamed “Four Rooms for Improvement,” is long overdue, and Marco Cimmino makes a point of thanking Linux users for their patience on the Skype blog. The main improvements Skype is delivering include much improved audio call quality, better video support, and improved chat synchronization. For video specifically, Skype has spent time implementing support for a much wider range of webcams, so if your camera didn’t work before today you might be surprised to find it does in Skype 4.0. Visually, Skype has received a new Conversations View, which brings all chats into a single, unified window (you can revert to the old view if you prefer). There’s also a new Call View, presence and emoticons have been redesigned, and you can now store and view numbers within each Skype profile.

Until recently, Linux users were limited to Skype version 2, which, while worked, was way behind the Skype experience on Windows.  It’s been a really long time since the last release.  Even Skype got itself acquired by Microsoft in that time.  So, now, the question arises why the sudden interest?  Slashdot comments, as always, point to the right direction, to one of the earlier Skype related news:

Skype will be introducing a new ‘feature’ into calls for users don’t have subscriptions or credit. Giant ads. They are actually calling them ‘Conversation ads’ because they hope the ads (as large as the picture of the person to whom you are speaking) will ‘spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences.’ The ads, of course, are tailored to each individual user, though there is an opt-out for that.

All of a sudden, the news of the version 4.0 aren’t as exciting anymore.  Should I upgrade?  Or should I stick to the old version, in hopes that it won’t support the giant ads? Or should I maybe look for an alternative to Skype?

Upgraded to WordPress 3.4

WordPress 3.4 was released a few days ago.  I didn’t have the time to take a better look at it, but once I read through the new features today, I got excited.  Theme options preview and embeding tweets are the two sweetest features.  Here is a test for the tweet embed.

Which features are your favorite?

The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats

By following comments at Chris’ blog, I came across the fascinating story that I haven’t heard before – the story of The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats.

The Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats is regarded as a sacred cat haven in Cyprus, as it’s name has been linked to felines for almost 2,000 years.

The original monastery was built in 327 AD, by Kalokeros, the first Byzantine governor of Cyprus, and patronised by Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. At that time, a terrible drought affected the whole of Cypus, and the entire island was overrun with poisonous snakes which made building the monastery a dangerous affair. Many of the inhabitants left their homes and moved off the island, for fear of the snakes, but Saint Helena came up with a solution to the plague – she ordered 1,000 cats to be shipped in from Egypt and Palestine to fight the reptiles.

In the following years, the cats did their duty, hunting and killing most of the snakes in the Akrotiri Peninsula, which soon came to be known as the “Cat Peninsula”.

Weekly digest – 2012-06-10