Sunny afternoon at Fort Funston (a timelapse)

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

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Timelapse of a pleasant sunny afternoon at Fort Funston, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

This is the first time I've tried to shoot a timelapse using my Pixel 4 XL. It's easy enough to work with, although frustratingly you can only deal in 5x's and 10x's and not actual intervals. It would be great to have a bit more control. But given time to kill and no good camera it was a lot more fun than no timelapse at all.

(Previously: Humpback Whale at Fort Funston)

(Related: Golden Gate Bridge Timelapse; Amazon Alexa Echo Wall Clock Review; Got It)

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(More Timelapses)

Fog Heart

Twin Peaks Loop

Twin Peaks Loop

Twin Peaks Loop

Twin Peaks Loop

I have previously described Twin Peaks as not much of a hike, which is absolutely true if you drive there. When I first moved to San Francisco I lived in Noe Valley and used to cycle up to Twin Peaks and then try to get home without pedalling. For many years after that I'd take visitors up to the top and developed a somewhat weird tradition of taking each new child there soon after they were released from the hospital.

Post lockdown I'm up there most weeks. This is my five mile loop which starts heading up Ulloa from West Portal to Portola. Portola breaks the climb briefly as you pass the striking herchurch and controversial Twin Peaks gas station before heading up Twin Peaks Boulevard to the 922 foot summits. For a while Twin Peaks Boulevard was entirely closed to traffic (although you really had to keep an eye out for high speed skateboarders). Unfortunately it's now open all the way to Christmas Tree Point. Head down the north side to Clarendon and follow this all the way down to Forest Hill and then back to West Portal.

(Previously: Twin Peaks 360 4KTwin PeaksSan Francisco from Twin Peaks)

Hike starts at: 37.741879, -122.471354. View in Google Earth.

(Related: Remnants in the Sunset; Twin Peaks; Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill and Museum Concourse)

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(Hike Map)

Remnants in the Sunset

Remnants in the Sunset

Remnants in the Sunset

Remnants in the Sunset

During the pandemic induced lockdowns last year we started hiking locally using random trails generated by Routeshuffle. Sometimes these were repetitive death marches along indistinguishable avenues (my kids would say 100% of the time). A few have emerged as favorites that I walk regularly and I'm going to add these to the ITHCWY hike collection.

Remnants in the Sunset is a three mile loop named for the islands of rock and dunes visited along the way. The west of San Francisco used to be all dunes and these parks are now all that remains of that original ecosystem.

Walk up 15th Avenue from Taraval to Grandview Park. Go up the steps, admire the view and then down the other side and follow 14th Avenue to Rocky Outcrop Park. This is a wind tunnel with houses on one side and cliffs on the other. Then head up to Golden Gate Heights Park and Larsen Peak at 755 feet. The return leg down Pacheco and Magellan provides views of Hawk Hill which has some unofficial trails but is closed to the public.

(Previously: Grand View of Fog, Post Storm Sunset)

Hike starts at: 37.741905, -122.471336. View in Google Earth.

(Related: Lands End; Hill 88; Golden Gate Park - Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill and Museum Concourse)

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(Hike Map)

Book reviews for September 2021

Shadow Land (Gordon Pope Thrillers, #3) by B.B. Griffith

Shadow Land (Gordon Pope Thrillers, #3) by B.B. Griffith

4/5

 

(Related: Bishops; Nonfiction; Año Nuevo)

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(All Book Reviews)

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

A four mile out and back hike from the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve trailhead. Interesting wetlands with lots of birds and some good views over the bay.

Hike starts at: 37.433507, -122.098799. View in Google Earth.

(Related: Lands End; Devils Kitchen; Lake Merritt)

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(Hike Map)

Autumnal Equinox 2021

Updated on Sunday, September 26, 2021

Catfood Earth render of the Autumn Equinox 2021

Autumn starts now (September 22, 2021 19:21 UTC) in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring for the Southern Hemisphere. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

(Previously: Autumnal Equinox 2020)

(Related: Autumnal Equinox 2014; Autumnal Equinox 2016; Autumnal Equinox 2015)

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Adobe Super Resolution Timelapse (Crystal Growth)

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Adobe Super Resolution Timelapse (Crystal Growth)

This is the third batch of crystals from our National Geographic Mega Crystal Growing Lab kit (see the previous two).

I have been meaning to experiment with Adobe's Super Resolution technology and this seemed like a good project for it. The video below has the same timelapse sequence repeated three times. If you're not bored of crystals growing yet you soon will be (don't worry, this is the last for now). The first version is a 2x digital zoom - a 960x540 crop of the original GoPro footage. The second version uses Super Resolution to scale up to full 1920x1080 HD. Finally I added both side by side so you can try to tell the difference.

Super Resolution generates a lot of data. I tried to use it once before for a longer sequence and realized that I didn't have enough hard drive space to process all the frames. In this case I upscaled the 960x540 JPEGs which went from 500K to 13MB, quite a jump. I don't see a huge difference in the side by side video though and wouldn't go through the extra steps based on these results. It's possible that going to JPEG before applying super resolution didn't help with quality. It's also possible that Adobe doesn't train its AI on a large array of crystal growth photos so I can imagine it might work better for a more traditional landscape timelapse. I'll test both these hypotheses together the next time I 10x my storage.

(Related: Improving the accuracy of the new Catfood Earth clouds layer; Style Transfer for Time Lapse Photography; The Secret Diary of a Xamarin Android Developer, Aged 48 1/3)

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(More Timelapses)

Home of the Whatevers

Home of the Whatevers

We have tried Common Core, Race to the Top, Charter Schools and No Child Left Behind. The US ranks #37 in math according to PISA, behind China, Russia, and Estonia. And we're not making any progress:

"Test scores on the federally funded National Assessment of Educational Progress—known as “the Nation’s Report Card—have been stagnant for the past decade. The scores of the lowest-ranked students declined."

Of course poverty, ideology and unions all play a role here. But none of these challenges are unique to the US. I think the problem is sports.

Something that has always bothered me as I travel around America is that most schools primarily identify themselves by their sports team. Home of the Tigers! Or whatever. What must that do to the majority of non-Tigers turning up for school every day. Nice work on the math test but the only thing we're actually proud of is the football team.

Sports are important of course, to build teamwork and for exercise and as a future career for a tiny minority of students. Nearly everything else the school does is far more impactful.

An important and easy (although likely unpopular) Federal education reform would be to force schools to promote all extracurricular activities equally. Schools could choose to promote nothing and just be a school (like the vast majority of the rest of the world). Or they could give each activity, club and society an equal share of their jumbotron to represent the full diversity of the student body.

(Related: NailMathAndScienceFirst.org; California November 2020 Propositions; San Francisco November 2020 Ballot Measures)

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(All Politics Posts)

Catfood WebCamSaver

Updated on Friday, June 24, 2022

Catfood WebCamSaver

Catfood WebCamSaver is a Windows screen saver that streams live views from random webcams around the world. Download for Windows. You can choose to display 1, 4 or 16 webcams at the same time, and WebCamSaver fully supports multiple monitors. Catfood WebCamSaver was first released in 2004.

Download Catfood WebCamSaver

Catfood WebCamSaver Settings

When you install Catfood WebCamSaver a shortcut is created to Screen Saver Settings. You can search for Catfood WebCamSaver Settings and run the shortcut, or open Screen Saver Settings directly (on Windows 10, Start -> Settings -> Personalization -> Lock screen -> Screen saver settings). From Screen Saver Settings make sure that Catfood WebCamSaver is selected and then click Settings. On the Windows settings dialog you can also choose how many minutes to wait before starting the selected screen saver and if the login screen should be displayed when the screen saver exits.

Catfood WebCamSaver Settings has three tabs:

General

Under Description choose if the description of the webcam and the local time if available should be displayed. Click Font to pick the font, color, and optional outline color to use for the description and time.

Under Display choose the number of webcams to show at the same time (1, 4 or 16), how often to switch to a new webcam and how often to refresh the webcam image.

Under Offline Display you can choose a fallback screensaver to start if the Internet is not available.

Webcams

Please note that recent releases of WebCamSaver will delete and recreate the webcam list on install. This means you will lose any customization of the list on upgrade. See the import and export instructions below to back up any changes you have made.

The Webcams list shows the current library of webcams. Click the column headers to sort (and click again to sort in the opposite direction). You can enable to disable a specific cam using the checkbox in the list.

Click Add to enter details for a new webcam.

When a webcam in the list is selected click Open to launch the web page associated with the webcam, Edit to update details or Delete to remove it from the list entirely.

Click Delete All to remove all webcams from the list.

Click Enable All or Disable All to toggle the checkboxes for all webcams in the list.

You can save your customized list by clicking Export and restore it by clicking Import.

Advanced

If you prefer day (or night) scenes you can set a local time range here. If this option is enabled webcams where the time zone is unknown will never be displayed.

Click Proxy Settings to configure a proxy server.

Catfood WebCam Browser

Catfood WebCam Browser is a companion application installed with WebCamSaver. When you open WebCam Browser it will start showing a random webcam from the library.

Pick Cam opens a window where you can select a webcam to view from the full list. You can sort the list (click any column header, click again to sort the opposite direction). There is also a filter that only shows webcams matching text that you enter.

Random Cam will select a new webcam at random from the list and start streaming images.

Control Cam launches a URL where you can control the currently selected webcam (if available).

About shows the version and copyright information for the application.

Installation and Support for Catfood WebCamSaver

Catfood WebCamSaver requires version 4.8 of the .NET Framework. You almost certainly have this already and the installer will download it if necessary. The installer for Catfood WebCamSaver is digitally signed. You may get a warning about it being infrequently used which you will need to ignore to install.

For support please visit this post, check to see if your issue has already been addressed and if not leave a new comment.

Customer Reviews

Updates

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.28

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.28

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.28 is available to download.

This release updates the webcam list.

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.27

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.27

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.27 is available to download.

This release contains the latest webcam list and will upgrade any current set of webcams. I'm currently releasing updates for WebCamSaver every three months with the latest cams.

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.26

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.26

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.26 is available to download.

This update includes the latest list of webcams. It has also been updated to use .NET 4.8 which means it will install with no additional downloads needed on Windows 10 and 11. The installer is now signed. You might get a warning from Defender about the program being infrequently used, you will need to ignore this to install. Lastly WebCamSaver will now automatically check for updates so you'll get a desktop notification when a new version is available.

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.25

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.25

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.25 is available for download. This release includes the latest webcam list.

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.24

3.24

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.24 is available for download. This release includes an update to the default list of webcams.

(Previously: Catfood WebCamSaver 3.21)

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.21

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.21 is available for download.

This update fixes a screensaver install issue on recent versions of Windows 10 and has the latest webcam list.

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.20

Catfood WebCamBrowser

Catfood WebCamSaver 3.20 is available for download.

WebCamSaver is a Windows screensaver that shows you a feed from open web cameras around the world. It also includes WebCamBrowser which allows you to explore the directory and launch a URL where you can control each cam.

Version 3.20 includes an updated list of working webcams - if you are an existing user this will replace any current list the first time you run the updated version.

(Previously)

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