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.

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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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Printer. My old foe. We meet again.

“Printer not found on network” is the new PC LOAD LETTER ERROR.

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Some may think these are just two chairs hanging on a wall


But oh, no.


Seen at the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston. I like art, but this sort of thing is just a parlor game cleverness bluff.

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Quote of the Day – Aziz Asnari

“I read too much Internet. We all do. Imagine printing out all of your Internet reading from the last year and putting it into a leather hardcover. Would you go to your best friend and say ‘This is a great book, you need to read this’? No, it would be the world’s shittiest book.”
– Aziz Asnari

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Are you old enough to remember Simon, the electronic memory game?

Are you old enough to remember Simon, the electronic memory game? It turns out it’s older than you and me.

screenshot-www.amazon.com 2015-08-14 23-51-15

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Future Nostalgia for Today’s Middle School Kids

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I needed to print something

I needed to print something. I fought the printer for 10 minutes, doffed my hat to the victorious output device, then quit the field of battle.

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Conversation About a Thermostat

::interior, conference room::
ME: Before we start, do you think it’s a little hot in here?
CLIENT: I was thinking the same thing.
::checks thermostat::
CLIENT: Whoa. Someone set the thermostat on 80.
ME: It was probably my wife.
CLIENT: Your wife?
ME: I turn the thermostat down, then she comes behind me and cranks it up. She probably drove from Knoxville to Nashville, snuck in the building, and set the thermostat to 80.

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My Million Dollar Idea for a Reality TV Show

I have a million dollar idea for a futuristic reality TV show called Cloud Storage Wars. People of questionable ethics bid on unpaid storage accounts on Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud. Once they win the auction they determine how much money they can make by selling the previous owners’ credit card numbers or unpublished screenplays, or by blackmailing them with their boudoir photos.

PreviouslyMy Million Dollar Coffee Creamer Idea

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New Video – Heartache by the Score

I’ve gotten back into making videos. I’m spending more time on the beginning and ending credits and having fun with it. This is a local band covering an Allen Toussaint tune. If your RSS reader doesn’t show YouTube videos, use this link.

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