April 26, 2012
No wonder the TV picture in public places is always distorted
Have you ever noticed that at least 90% of the time, when you see a TV in a bank, business, or bar, the picture is not rendered in the correct aspect ratio?
More often than not it's been stretched laterally such that it's obviously distorted, but people don't seem to notice or if they do they don't seem to care enough to say something.
When I do remark on the failure — something I am wont to do, I must admit, both because I like to make things better and because I'm kind of an annoying person — to someone who works at the offending establishment, they're first surprised that I said something, then surprised again when I point out the incorrect proportion, and finally not interested in fixing it.
Only rarely will the individual yield enough to let me have the remote and adjust the picture.
Invariably, those who witness the exchange and the subsequent correction say, "That's much better," and the employee shrugs and goes back to whatever she/he was doing.
Anyway, all that's prologue to an amusing distortion of a TV picture unintentionally published in yesterday's New York Times (top), accompanying an article by Patricia Cohen on using copyrighted works of art in the Google Art Project and in movies like "Titanic."
Excerpts from the Times story follow.
It is there in the new 3-D version of "Titanic," as it was in James Cameron's original film: a modified version of Picasso’s painting "Les Demoiselles d’Avignon" aboard the ship as it sinks.
Of course that 1907 masterpiece was never lost to the North Atlantic. It has been at the Museum of Modern Art for decades — which is precisely the reason the Picasso estate, which owns the copyright to the image, refused Mr. Cameron’s original request to include it in his 1997 movie.
But Mr. Cameron used it anyway.
After Artists Rights Society, a company that guards intellectual property rights for more than 50,000 visual artists or their estates, including Picasso's, complained, however, Mr. Cameron agreed to pay a fee for the right to use the image.
Filmmakers are not the only ones who sometimes run afoul of artists' copyright law. In recent weeks Google Art Project, which just expanded its online collection of images to more than 30,000 works from 151 museums, agreed, because of copyright challenges, to remove 21 images it had posted.
Some news media outlets, including The New York Times, have agreements with the companies that set the terms under which they can make use of copyrighted images from the artists the companies represent.
Here is my question: Does the Times have permission to publish a distorted version of a screenshot from "Titanic," as it in fact did yesterday?
Will James Cameron sic his lawyerbots on the Grey Lady as a result?
I'm betting not.
Because more likely than not I'm the only person on the planet who both noticed the erroneous ink-on-paper aspect ratio and bothered to mention it.
Which either speaks highly for me as a noticer or even more highly as a master of the art of being annoying.
Which I will now take to the next level by forwarding this post to the Times to see what they have to say about their publication of the picture.
Of interest also is that the distortion — a stretching of the picture — is precisely the one I alluded to above in the second paragraph.
Melting Wood Table
Designer Ferruccio Laviani calls it the Twaya table.
Made for Emmemobili, it was exhibited at this year's International Furniture Fair in Milan, which ended on Sunday.
[via the New York Times]
Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours: Satchmo at the National Press Club
Long story short: It only took 41 years to finally release a recording of Louis Armstrong's January 1971 live performance at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The artist died five months later.
Wrote Matt Schudel in yesterday's Washington Post, "The original album, 'Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours: Satchmo at the National Press Club,' had a limited pressing of 300 vinyl LPs. The new release [top], from the Smithsonian Institution's Folkways recording label, will be available as a compact disc, on iTunes , and from other digital sources. It marks one of Armstrong's final performances on trumpet."
The new release happens tomorrow (Friday, April 27).
Absolute Shoulder Strap
It must be fo shizzle 'cause Erin Biba just ordered one.
Looks pretty good to me too.
I'll wait for Erin's road test, then take the plunge — or not — accordingly.
$30 (bag not included).
You say your bag cost less than that?
Helpful Hints from joeeze: Use a comb to drive a nail
No, like in the picture, booboo.
[via Kay (Leah) and theCHIVE]
World's most expensive salmon jerky — is $100/pound good for you?
It's new from Patagonia — yes, the Fauchon of outdoor clothing is now in the food business.
Yesterday's New York Times Dining section featured the company's new line, Patagonia Provisions, whose "first product is salmon jerky, in three flavors, all smoked. The chile pepper and black pepper versions delivered pleasantly chewy, hot sweetness; the teriyaki flavor is less complex, a little woody on the palate."
"In two-ounce packages; $12.50."
Do the math: 8 X $12.50 = $100/pound.
That's some fancy-pants jerky there.
On the brighter side: Free shipping.
1949 Chevy Bookmobile
Wine Seal Glass Markers
From a website:
For those who love the Party People and those who are real wine enthusiasts, Vacu Vin has produced Glass Markers Classic. These new Glass Markers have been designed to look like wine seals, and each one features a Party People character. The unique figures attach themselves with a suction cup to any smooth surface. Give every guest a character by sticking one of the Glass Markers to his or her glass."
- Looks like a wine seal
- Set of 12 unique fun characters
- Not suitable for children under 3 years
Full disclosure: I had no idea who the Party People were until I happened on them here.
If that renders me out of the loop, well, so be it.