newsworthy (otp221)

The assignment was newsworthy this week. Not surprisingly with my other work I went for the mundane. The good folks at the library do a good job with their story time, and its much appreciated.

Windmill Library Storytime
Windmill Library Storytime

But while uploading the photo, I realized I had shot another “newsworthy” thing earlier this week after having listened to the episode. The flags at Ikea were half mast again! But over the past couple months, with Orlando, Dallas, and Baton Rouge, such a display of mourning is so regular, it didn’t even trigger this fit with the assignment until now.

Ikea, half mast yet again
Ikea, half mast yet again

splash (otp110)

I had a tough time with this one. Moving water is not particularly easy to get right, especially since my setups are so rudimentary (me and my camera). I ended up trying three approaches, the first just shooting the river in Zion National park, then behind a waterfall (also at Zion), but my favorite came up a couple days ago when Dara decided to help grandpa water the plants.

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But Zion National Park was pretty cool too.

River

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forgotten (otp220)

I flipped my lens to do a the macro for the old basset hound that my parents just brought down from San Jose. I have no idea when I painted this little ceramic fellow up.

Red Lips
Red Lips
Blue Eyes
Blue Eyes
Setting
Setting

Ikea and Maarten Rots

Ever since running into Maarten Rots work , I’ve been quite a fan. I love his semi-abstract images, relishing the flatness and indeterminacy but avoiding pure blur.

Here’s a photo that feeds off of his aesthetic from our visit to Ikea. Dara was playing with my Nikon with the 105mm f/2.5 and she snuck her hand in front of the lens for this shot.

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She’s old enough now to point the camera in the right direction, but she still doesn’t know to look through the view finder. And since my slr is an ancient D40, there’s no live view on the machine – this is a totally pure exercise in spray and pray! Here’s a pair of photos from my wife shooting us shooting her.

diptych

distortion (otp133)

Last month, I had quite a bit of fun with a glass of water and Jing’s camera phone. And just this past weekend it was interesting to playing around with them on the computer and seeing the different styles each image seemed happy settling into during post processing.

The setup
The setup
Black and White
Black and White
Abstractish
Abstractish
Yellowed
Yellowed
The Three Ladies
The Three Ladies
Darkened
Darkened
Unicorn!
Unicorn!

Swedish Meatballs

I happen to be geeky enough to hang out in a group on Boardgamegeek called the “Meatballs”, founded by a guy from Sweden. So naturally, the food of the crew is their meatballs. I did one a few years ago when I first joined, but with the new Las Vegas opening, it made sense to jump in and update it. And of course the baby.

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2012
2012
2016
2016

My new wallpapers

With the theft of my office laptop, I had to resetup my machine again. Here’s the trio of wallpapers…all from Ikea over memorial day weekend since that was what was on the phone.

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In the IKEA play tents

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In line at the IKEA

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And one that didn’t make it, since I only have 3 desktops, but I like it quite a bit.

Digging around Toy Safety Standards

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On Boardgamegeek I got into a conversation about toy safety standards and ended up doing some digging around. Since I end up digging up random regs and technical standards at work, this is pretty familiar process for me.

The question that got me searching was the anecdote that the game Flash Point was rated “12+” because the publisher did not want to pay for the additional costs for toys for 10 year olds. So I started with googling “toy safety for 10 year olds testing” which led to some dross but the following two interesting website:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy_safety#Appropriate_age
(as to be expected, wiki has their fingers everywhere)

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Business–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Toy-Safety/
(as a rule always go to the federal government website)

For those not familiar with safety standards, typically, the technical standards are written by private organizations. Then the government will enact a law that references that technical standard. So in this case, the currently adopted standard is the ASTM F963-11 (the “-11” signifies that its the 2011 edition that was adopted, which makes sense since the most recent law was passed in 2012…as an aside, the Fair Housing Act adopted the ANSI A117.1-1986 handicapped codes and have never updated the regs to reference a more recent one, most current being 2009).

http://www.astm.org/Standards/F963.htm
Not a bad index and summary on that page

However the problem is that the American Society of Testing and Materials owns the copyright over their technical standards – so you gotta pay to see the actual contents. So, sometimes the next best thing is to find summaries of the standard (again via google) though now that I know the regulatory agency, I know where to focus.

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Business–Manufacturing/Business-Education/Toy-Safety/ASTM-F-963-11-Chart/
http://www.cpsc.gov/Business–Manufacturing/Testing-Certification/Third-Party-Testing/Initial-Testing/

That said, sometimes industry powerpoints are also good starting points because of the fact that any good powerpoint contains a miniscule amount of content, so its a very quick read.

http://www.toyassociation.org/App_Themes/tia/pdfs/safety/TF13Seminar/Kaufman.pdf
(from this presentation it seems that the different age levels is about chemical composition which would explain the increasing cost as you go down in age, NB this is pure conjecture)

But going back to the CSPC, it turns out that there was a very good summary page of how things are tested at the bottom of one of the pages. (such a high when you find something like this buried on a website!)

http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/109675/testtoys.pdf
(Not the actual regulation, but a really comprehensive document for how to test those toys and for different ages. Pictures included!)

Now, we still haven’t gotten to the actual document at this point. So the next step is to go to one of my favorite places on the internet – Archive.org. And here’s a gratuitous plug for public.resource.org who was were important in fighting the copyright holders and obtaining the right upload scans safety regulations (because you can’t get governments to adopt a code, but then prevent the public from freely accessing said codes). So in my world, even though the International Code Council owns the copyright to the International Building Code 2012, a scanned PDF is available for download due to the efforts of public.resource.org (which I think actually buys a paper copy and then scans the paper copy).

Unfortunately, unlike Building Codes which are widely adopted and thus end up being needed by more people and thus available online, a search of Archive.org doesn’t turn up any copies of ASTM F963-11 So I fell back to digging around with different search terms in the Archive.org search bar and “toy safety” came up with this super cool little gem.

https://archive.org/details/ERIC_ED152405
“Voluntary Product Standard PS 72-76: Toy Safety.” First sentence of the synopsis: “The purpose of this voluntary product standard is to establish nationally recognized safety requirements and test methods for toys intended for use by children in age groups through 14 years.” And if you look at the little two digit numbers…yup the publish date is January 1977!

Well, that’s plenty of reading material…Have fun!

multiple exposure (otp131)

The assignment for OTP 131 was multiple exposure. I don’t have that “feature” on my camera, so I just did it in Photoshop playing with layers and different blend modes. I’m not sure about any of the images that came out, but two I liked well enough and its nice to have in the back of my head for future assignments.

Two shots of the same scene
Two shots of the same scene
two related shots.
Two related shots