Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

This trailer looks like the documentary could be very well done. They’ve at least got a lot of the big names in hip hop history. Gotta see it.

‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap’ Trailer – YouTube.

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virtual lighting setup

Wanna try out a bunch of lighting setups, but don’t have an assistant to move the lights around for you? Only got a couple lights and you want to see what more would look light? Wish you could try out a ring light? Now you can do it virtually. Check out this brilliant website, http://www.zvork.fr/vls/ that allows you to add lights, move them around, adjust distance, height, strength, light type, gelled and see the results quickly before having to create the setups for real in the studio.

Check out this “Jill Greenberg-esque” setup I tried out. It was so fast to change light locations and light strengths to eliminate nasty shadows I didn’t want.

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Once you’re done, you can save an image of the lighting diagram and the resulting portrait image.

Try out some lighting at http://www.zvork.fr/vls/

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Be frugal with your time

I found this quote inspiring, it’s what I think of frequently. Time is more valuable than money. Frequently ask yourself – am I using my time the best way I can right now?

Your time is limited.
If we’re fortunate, we’ll live 80-100 years.
Money is unlimited. There are trillions of dollars in the world. There’s more money in existence than our minds can grasp.
So why do we cling to money like it’s in short supply, but trade our time like it’s never-ending?
Be frugal with your time, not your money.

via Think Like a Creator, Not a Consumer | Afford Anything.

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How to survive a rip current

6 years ago, I lost my father to a swimming accident in the Dominican Republic. My parents were on vacation at a resort and went for a swim on what appeared to be a calm morning. They got caught in a rip current and had never experienced one before. My mom luckily escaped and made it to shore, but my dad got swept out further and exhausted himself trying to swim in against the current.

The resort beach doesn’t have lifeguards, has no posted signs about the dangers of swimming there or rip currents. Many people drown because of rip currents, and some simple education about them can save lives. Take a minute and watch this video on how to properly get out of rip currents – it could save your life or the life of someone you know.

The resort my father drowned at was Secrets Excellence in Punta Cana. If you google “Secrets Excellence drowning”, you get lots of results. It seems to be a regular occurrence, and they haven’t done anything to improve the situation. Please be cautious if you’re going there. Look at this page from Tripadvisor, littered with people’s accounts of watching drownings and attempts of other vacationers having to rescue people (and drowning themselves) since there aren’t any lifeguards. I at least got my dad back. Family of Canadian Hady Quan, didn’t when he drowned in 2008.

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Must listen music of 2011

One thing I really enjoy about the end of the year is the “Best Of” lists, especially for music. I don’t get to pay much attention to all the music happenings and this does some of the sorting for me.

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What music do you recommend someone “must listen to” for 2011, that if someone overlooked they’d be missing out on something great. Last year, for me it was Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus. This year, it is Foster The People – Torches. Neither of these are unknowns or overlooked music, but they were unknown to me. Actually, those two I found via their Saturday Night Live appearances. The Foster The People album is good from start to finish.

Hip-hop is my primary music genre, so it’s great to find exposure to bands of other genres that are undeniably good. What is good that I’ve been missing?

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For 2011 in hip-hop, you’ve obviously got to listen to Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. And his other album from this year, with Jay Watch the Throne. It was a good year for Kanye Fans. There’s lots of other great stuff, but I’ll let you read about it in the year’s Best Of lists.

What have I missed that I should be listening to right now?

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Hint: Enable AirDrop on older Macs

My work machine is one of the newer unibody MacbookPros and my main home machine is the previous model MacBookPro. I needed to move files between them and decided to try out AirDrop. For some reason I couldn’t find it on my older home laptop. Did I forget to enable a preference? Did I have security tight so it can’t work? I did some googling and found out that even thought both machines have Lion installed, AirDrop doesn’t work on some older machines. Further digging found a way to enable it and it even worked in my case.

from MacWorld Article “Enable AirDrop on Macs without supported wireless hardware

AirDrop is a handy way to share files between Macs. Unfortunately, it is only supported on newer models which have the hardware necessary to support a certain type of point-to-point WiFi connection. There is, however, a hidden setting to enable AirDrop on older Macs. Just type:

defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1

into a Terminal window, hit enter, and relaunch the Finder.

Note that:

  • You must do this on both the sending and receiving macs, even if one of them already has the correct WiFi hardware (I think).
  • You will be able to see other macs on the same network, and they will be able to see your Mac (when AirDrop is open), even if they are not physically nearby. On a larger network with many Macs, this could potentially cause some confusion, although it shouldn’t be a real security issue. This may be why Apple decided not to enable this feature by default.
  • Both macs must be connected to the same network somehow (ethernet, existing WiFi network, etc.)

After restarting Finder, AirDrop appeared and I could transfer files from the old machine to the new machine. The old machine still didn’t appear visible on the new machine (I only did the steps above on my old machine), but I could have done it to get file transfers working both directions.

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Quotes

Yardwork

As a kid, doing yardwork was called chores. As a father with kids, doing yardwork is now called relaxation.
Blaine Kendall
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Mercedes photo shoot 2010

Mercedes Moffatt by blainekendall.com
Mercedes Moffatt, a photo by blainekendall.com on Flickr.

Here’s a photo from a shoot I did last summer with Mercedes, aka Lexi Tellings. I owe her some more editing on these pics and I’ve been trying out some new techniques.

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