This is the archive for October, 2009.
- Day 304 – Happy Halloween!
I decided at the last minute to drive home today and go to HankD and Jackie’s (my cousins) halloween party. I am glad I did! I had fun and enjoyed seeing everyone. Above is a photo I took of my Dad’s jack-o-lantern. I placed a strobe inside of it, a smoke machine behind it, and two skulls and a candle beside it.
Their yard looked pretty awesome:
- Day 303 – Spring Semester’s Schedule
It is time to schedule classes for next semester!
After talking to a few professors, friends, and my advisor, I finally worked out my schedule for next semester, The number after the class name denotes the number of credits it is worth:
Symbolic Logic (3)
Theory of Probability (3)
Sophomore Math Seminar (1)
Intro to Philosophy (3)
Intermediate Macroeconomics (3)
Austrian Economics II (3)
Philosophy and Literature in Comics (1)
I think I am most excited about Logic, Probability, and Austrian II. In Austrian II, we read through and discuss Mises’s Human Action in a small group. The math seminar will focus on proof writing, oral presentations, literature research, and using programs like Mathematica to enhance our math skills. It is geared for math majors/minors. As of right now, I am working on a math and economics double major.
- Day 302 – Patri Friedman at Hillsdale
Tuesday, political theorist, activist, former Google engineer, and World Series of Poker player Patri Friedman came to Hillsdale to give a talk on structural activism and seasteading. Friedman is the founder of The Seasteading Institute, whose mission is “to further the establishment and growth of permanent, autonomous ocean communities, enabling innovation with new political and social systems.”
He gave a very interesting talk on structural activism and the seasteading movement. The talk was the culmination of his past few years of thought on how to change political structures in order to maximize freedom in a society while still maintaining the stability of that society. While significant work has been done on how to set up political systems to preserve a high level of freedom and stability while minimizing coercion, little –if any– work has been done on how to actually get to political systems like this. Until now. That’s where Friedman comes in.
Does this interest you? If so, check out Friedman’s essay from April on the topic of structural activism and why he thinks it is the only way to make systematic changes that will lead us to a realistically freer world in our lifetime. The essay is basically an outline of what he spoke about on Tuesday night. Also check out Let A Thousand Nations Bloom.
- Day 301 – Dilemma
Yesterday afternoon, I was pulled over by a Michigan State Trooper for a traffic violation. I received a citation for violating code 257.637: passing a vehicle on the right.
After reviewing the code, I believe I was not in violation of that code.
Here is the situation: A vehicle in front of me stopped to make a left turn off of a two lane road into a driveway. There was a line of vehicles in the other direction, so it was clear he was going to sit there for a little while. The shoulder was fully paved, and as wide as a normal lane, so I slowed down and went around the vehicle in front of me–on the right. I thought this was perfectly okay, but apparently not. A State Patrol car happened to be traveling in the other direction and pulled me over immediately. I was not speeding, I was wearing a seat belt, and following all other traffic laws. The only thing I was cited for was passing on the right. The Michigan Vehicle Code has a clear exception for passing a vehicle on the right if that vehicle is making a left turn. The code also states, however, that “the driver of a vehicle shall not overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway.” I did not drive off the pavement (the very wide shoulder was paved), but a shoulder is not technically the “main-traveled portion of the roadway.” Still, the vehicle in front of me was making a left turn, I slowed down, and was fully on the pavement.
Should I challenge it? My ticket is $100 and there are no court costs involved if I decide to schedule a hearing, so the most I can lose is $100 plus my time in the hearing. How much of a chance do I have of winning the case? I realize the odds are stacked against me, as it is my word against an officer of the state’s word and another officer of the state’s interpretation.
By the way, since I am an out-of-state driver, the court needed either $50 or my driver’s license as bond, to make sure I pay the ticket. Since I did not have $50 in cash on my person, I had to hand over my license, so I have to at least pay $20 to get it back. If I lose the case, that $20 goes towards my total $100 fine. (I was told I am allowed to drive without my physical license for the time being. If I am asked for it, I just need to show the ticket I received, which shows that my license was posted in lieu of bond.)
What do you think, should I challenge it, or suck it up and hand over $100?
- Day 300 – More Autumn Photos
Here are more of the photos from yesterday:
- Day 299 – Wonderful Autumn Day
The weather was absolutely beautiful today. I took a little time this afternoon to go out and take photos. I will post a few more tomorrow!
Click on the photos to enlarge them.
My friend Kahryn:
Dr. Hutchinson’s class:
- Day 298 – Two Little Known 40D Settings
Here are two settings on the Canon 40D that few owners know about. If you know someone with a 40D, send this along to them!
1: ISO Expansion
In normal mode, the 40D only shoots in ISOs 100-1600. Once ISO expansion is turned on, ISO 3200 is made available, denoted as ISO H. This is a HUGE help in low light situations, especially capturing action, such as football games under the lights or indoor volleyball games.
To turn it on:
Menu > Scroll over to the Custom Functions menu (the orange square with the camera) > Select C.Fn I: Exposure > Set > Scroll over to 3: ISO Expansion > Set > Select 1: On > Hit Menu to go back to the regular menu.
There you are! You can now shoot in ISO 3200! (I suggest using something like Noise Ninja in your post-processing to clean up some of the additional noise.)
2: Highlight Rendition
This little known setting improves the details in highlights. You won’t notice a difference in most shots, but it becomes wildly apparent when shooting photos with strong highlights, such a sunset lighting up a few select clouds with others in shadow. Ken Rockwell has a great writeup on this setting.
To turn it on: Menu > Scroll over to the Custom Functions menu (the orange square with the camera) > C.Fn II: Image > Set > 3: Highlight Tone Priority > Set > 1: Enable > Hit Menu to go back to the regular menu.
As Ken Rockwell points out, this setting won’t help you if you overexpose a photo, and it limits your ISO from 200-1600 if you have it on. I only turn it on when I notice a scene with strong highlights I want to get more detail in.