We propose a method to realistically insert synthetic objects into existing photographs without requiring access to the scene or any additional scene measurements. With a single image and a small amount of annotation, our method creates a physical model of the scene that is suitable for realistically rendering synthetic objects with diffuse, specular, and even glowing materials while accounting for lighting interactions between the objects and the scene. We demonstrate in a user study that synthetic images produced by our method are confusable with real scenes, even for people who believe they are good at telling the difference.
Kevin Karsch, a Computer Science PhD Student, and his team at the University of Illinois are developing a software system that lets users easily and convincingly insert objects into photographs, complete with realistic lighting, shading, and perspective. According to their documentation, aside from a few annotations provided by the user, like where the light sources are, the software doesn't need to know anything about the image. Even keeping in mind much demo videos are spot polished, I'm still astonished at how seamless it all seems. This could very well be ground breaking work.
A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line), a satellite (55sec) and the stars of our galaxy.
The New York whirlwind weekend seems to have sprouted wings! It just so happens that Dances Of Vice is throwing a party the Saturday we're there, Enchantment Under The Sea, a 50's prom themed gala at Morningside Castle, and then the Coilhouse crew has just scheduled their Black & White & Red All Over Fundraising Ball for the Sunday! Given that I planned this about as carefully as a drunken carpenter, this is brilliant luck. Apparently there couldn't be better timing!
Today's other good news: I've scored a ride to Burning Man with my friend Jordan.
Today's other good news: I've scored a ride to Burning Man with my friend Jordan.
Essential Reading: Iceland's Ongoing Revolution.
"What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum. [...]
To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections."
From Portuguese - Saudade. According to Wikipedia:
"...a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return."Photographs of you make my heart hurt, as if I miss you the way I'd miss my second self lost in an accident, as if my heart is no longer a gift, but only a muscle slowly closing and unclosing with a strength too small to taste, too unhappy to sing, a shout in a room that will never be heard. This is a funeral, a year as hungry as an empty highway, a broken radio, days numbered, months stretching into false dusty infinity. Every morning I wake up the same way, watching for reality, waiting to be. I was there, where were you?
She opens her bitten, rose-petal mouth and rain drops spill out. She opens her cloud blinded eyes, now the colour of steel locks, and the sound of torn paper falls from the air. (Your city is still carved in the nape of her neck.) Walking out of sunshine, a stolen, wilted flower in her hair, into life the texture of bone, there was something about his smile, eyes always as bright as unexpected lightning, something about his body standing cynically by the side of a road, that was held sharply enough to slice through glass.
There are certain roads I hesitate to step foot on, the same way I try not to look down your street, as waves of pain constrict my soul, as I resent your vacancy, your undeserved intrusion into my life. Memories float to the surface, all wax on water, like bruises swollen with a tender, fierce regret. Should I have come out swinging? It was unnatural how fast you turned, changling child, honey tongued fairy fire, a shape-shifter in the clothes of a friend. You were faithless, even as I relied on you, a star that burned a dirty hole in my trust, the deep-language reason my laughter started to feel so much like lying.
You know the drill. Stream Zoe Keating's glorious new album through this widget or do the slightly more clever thing and click through to download the whole thing for $8 or more, depending on how much it's worth to you that she keeps making music. For example, I've been waiting for this album to come out for what feels like half of forever, but I am poor, so I can only give $10 instead of the $25 I'd rather.
Shane's show last night blew us all away. I truly think it's one of the best things he's ever crafted for the stage. Jordan's music hit perfect notes, Shane's performance was exquisite, there was drama, and hope, and cruelty, and love, and everything balanced. You have to go. You must. There's only a couple of shows left, but they're essential.
I would like my name legally changed to my name already, a clean house, and any suggestions or help at all with my masquerade costume.
Which, admittedly, is more like two and a half, but that's the best I can do.
Today I've been puttering through the BoingBoing coverage of the media fallout from yesterday's American Day Without An Immigrant, a 24 hour period where immigrants and friends boycott their workplaces and notify their employers that the absence is due to the upcoming immigration reform. It's been fascinating to see how many people were involved. Apparently thousands of businesses closed for the day simply because they had no workers. The largest rallies were in Tampa, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Tijuana, Portland, and Chicago. There are photographs that show no end to the crowds, they simply continue on for blocks.
Also yesterday, a not-to-be-missed video of Stephen Colbert's viciously attacking the Bush administration during a White House Press Corps annual meeting went live on-line. [thank you stephen colbert] [youtube video mirror] [boingboing article]
Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, "and reality has a well-known liberal bias."
He attacked those in the press who claim that the shake-up at the White House was merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. "This administration is soaring, not sinking," he said. "They are re-arranging the deck chairs--on the Hindenburg."
P.S. Alastair needs some film extras, (any age/size/weight), for the film: Casting Couch and How to Use it. Your pay will be love and hugs, but it looks to be fun. People are needed to be part of an audience watching a presentation. The shoot will at 4:30 at Vancouver Film School Main Auditorium this Thursday, May 4th and should take about 20-30 mins. If you're interested, contact him at al at glasgowkiss dot com.