Reje-X-men Profile #1 – Captain Above Average American

Reje-X-men profiles applicants who weren’t accepted to Charles Xavier’s elite team of mutant superheroes.

Reje-X-men Profile #1 – Captain Above Average American

What powers do you possess that your average countryman does not?

My mutant DNA gives me two powers the statistically average American does not have. The first power is tallness. I am 6 feet 8 inches tall. That makes me three standard deviations taller than the average American male.

Intriguing. And what other power do you have that most Americans do not?

I know what a standard deviation is.

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Potential Onion Headline

Potential Onion headline: Google Maps Blamed for Rising Unemployment Among People Who are Good at Giving Directions

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Trying something different with photos

I have a science degree and a little journalism experience. When I started photograpy my pictures were very literal, like I was using the camera for documentary purposes. That gets old after a while. The more I shoot the more I avoid boring pictures. For the pictures from the corn maze I used posterization to get a different look.






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Oniony – Local Band Led Zeppelin Unaware Another Band Already Had That Name

High school senior Connor McHenry had just received the UPS delivery for his band, Led Zeppelin, when his friend came over for X-Box. “My buddy Paul looked at the Led Zeppelin t-shirts and was like, I think there’s another band with that name. They were this ancient British band that literally sold millions of records out of their pickup truck at sockhops and discos all around the country.”

McHenry hit the history books to learn more about his band’s namesake. “They were basically a J.R.R. Tolkien tribute band. So for example, ‘Ramble On’ is about Frodo’s journey and ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ is about Tolkien firing his literary agent.”

“They’re fossils now, but they were definitely ahead of their time,” McHenry says with admiration. “Timmy Page was the first person to play an electric guitar and Robert Planet was an openly hippie transsexual. This was before Roe vs. Wade, so you can imagine the discrimination he endured.” He says wistfully that he would have liked to see the old farts perform, but that “they all died in a scarlet fever epidemic.”

The Chesterfield High band has gotten a lot of ribbing from classmates who remembered hearing about the heavy metal dinosaurs from their grandparents. It’s mostly good-natured, but Zep bassist Scot Bhatnagar feels that some people are pushing their buttons a little too hard. “They act like we’re drooling morons who didn’t learn our ABCs,” says Bhatnagar, who plays on the football team. “We can’t be expected to know about this stupid swing band from the 1940s.”

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iPhone Video – Playing Around with Slow Motion and Video Editing on the iPhone

I got my new iPhone 6s Plus and the first thing I wanted to do was film some things in slow motion. The car hood worked the best. You intuitively know how quickly a car hood should fall, so you instantly recognize the video is in slow motion. The loud noise is a bonus.

This is the first video I’ve made entirely on the iPhone. I used Apple’s free iMovie app to trim it, convert it to black and white, and add a title and background music.

That’s admittedly really basic video editing, but as an Adobe Premiere snob it was an eye-opener that I could do it on the phone and do it so quickly. The whole process from shooting to editing to publishing took about 20 minutes. Now I understand that doing everything on the iPhone could speed up video creation dramatically. I’ve downloaded some other video editors to explore this some more.

PreviouslyiPhone Video – My First Time Using an iPhone Instead of a DSLR for Club Video

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The world’s second funniest knock knock joke

At SayUncle’s.

Speaking of jokes that don’t translate well when written, there’s my mom’s old joke…

Don’t eat at that woman’s house. She cooks carrots and peas in the same pot.

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Word of the Day – Page Parking and Parallel Browsing (Web Browser Tab Usage)

From Jakob Nielsen:

Summary: Browser tabs separate the stages of collection and comparing and serve as memory aids to keep many alternate pages available for consideration as users are shopping or researching. Follow 7 UX guidelines to better support this user behavior, which is particularly common among younger users.

How do people use the tabs in modern browsers? The ability to keep multiple pages open at the same time in different tabs can be used for parallel browsing, where a user alternates between tasks and resurfaces a tab when it’s time to work on the task in that tab. For example, a user might keep Facebook open all day in a tab that’s checked for updates from time to time.

Our recent user studies for the course Designing for Millennials found that young adult users engage in another tab-related behavior, which we call page parking: opening multiple pages in rapid-fire succession as a way to save the items on those pages and revisit them at a later stage. This behavior often occurs when shopping, researching, or reading news, but can happen in any task where it’s useful to open several similar items, each in a separate tab. Later, after users review the content in the tabs, they may cross off many of the parked items and close the corresponding tabs.

Previous WOTDJenny Haniver

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The Only Funny Knock Knock Joke

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Impatient cow.
Impatient c

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Metal Bird Sculpture


2-DSC_2370 3-DSC_2354 4-DSC_2361

Old Knoxville Pike Maryville, TN

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Word of the Day – Jenny Haniver


Jenny Hanniver PictureJenny Haniver is the carcass of a ray or a skate which has been modified and subsequently dried, resulting in a grotesque preserved specimen.[1][2][3]

One suggestion for the origin of the term was the French phrase jeune d’Anvers (‘young [person] of Antwerp‘). British sailors “cockneyed” this description into the personal name “Jenny Hanvers”. They are also widely known as “Jenny Haviers”.[1][3]

For centuries, sailors sat on the Antwerp piers and carved these “mermaids” out of dried skates. They then preserved them further with a coat of varnish. They supported themselves by selling their artistic creations to working sailors as well as to tourists visiting the docks.[1]

Jenny Hanivers have been created to look like devilsangels and dragons. Some writers have suggested the sea monk may have been a Jenny Haniver.[1]

The earliest known picture of Jenny Haniver appeared in Konrad Gesner‘s Historia Animalium vol. IV in 1558. Gesner warned that these were merely disfigured rays and should not be believed to be miniature dragons or monsters, which was a popular misconception at the time.[3][4]

The most common misconception was that Jenny Hanivers were Basilisks. As Basilisks were creatures that killed with merely a glance, no one could claim to know what one looks like. For this reason it was easy to pass off Jenny Hanivers as these creatures which were still widely feared in the 16th century.[5]

In Veracruz, Jenny Hanivers are considered to have magical powers and are employed by curanderos in their rituals.[6] This tradition may have originated in Japan, where fake ningyo similar to the Fiji mermaid that were produced by using rogue taxidermy are kept in temples.[7]

Previous WOTD - Sunday Watermelon

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Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Have an Enemies List meme


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iPhone Video – My First Time Using an iPhone Instead of a DSLR for Club Video

I’ve been shooting video with a DSLR for about five years. A while back I realized that iPhone video was pretty darned good, so I decided to try using an iPhone as a second camera. Then I could mix the DSLR footage and iPhone footage in my video editing software and have multiple camera angles. Heck, maybe I could even leave the heavy DSRL gear behind and use a system built around smartphones.

iPhone Video

The video quality for the Labron Lazenby video was OK considering, in this case considering this was a dark club. If you play the video fullscreen it’s easy to see the noise and grain in the video. Smartphone cameras have small sensors. (The sensor is the chip that converts light into electrical signals.) Small sensors don’t perform as well in low light as the large sensors in DSLRs. Advantage – DSLR.

For the sake of comparison, here is a different show I shot in daylight with my wife’s iPhone 6. With plenty of light, there’s no grain or noise.


One big advantage of DSLRs is their interchangeable lenses. To close the gap I bought an Olloclip 4-in-1 lens that fits over the iPhone’s lens. It combines a wideangle, fisheye, and two levels of macro in one unit. I used the fisheye for this video and liked the different look. I’ve wanted a fisheye lens forever, but couldn’t justify $800 for the Nikon or $240 for the Rokinon. I was happy to pay $70 for the Olloclip. I’m finding that iPhone gear is cheap compared to the DSLR equivalents.

Continue reading

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Books vs. Movies

Never judge a book by its movie. - J.W. Eagan

It’s cliche that the book is better than the movie. Anyway, you can use the rule in reverse. If you like a movie that’s based on a book, read the book. I did that with Game of Thrones, No Country for Old Men, and some others and it worked great.

Lots of F-bombs in the video

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Word of the Day – Sunday Watermelon (Burning Man)


From Phil Greenspun, who just got back from Burning Man:

Sunday watermelon: a gift that is more about the giver wanting to get rid of something heavy/bulky (the Man burns on Saturday evening so a “Sunday watermelon” would typically have been purchased at least one week earlier)

Previous WotDHerblock’s Law

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And Now, Deep Thoughts



I realized that words are funnier when you put them in a meme, so I started making memes.

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