Building Your Bag: Lenses

Mike:

There’s always another lens to try!

Originally posted on Photofocus:

Over the years, I’ve found myself purchasing, trading, selling, tactfully acquiring, or otherwise receiving and getting rid of lenses. I’ve journeyed through pages and pages of reviews and online forums, spoke to many wonderful skilled photographers and dissected people’s images to find out what I wanted and what I needed in terms of glass.

My Experience

Well, gosh. I’ve earned, hustled, found and borrowed money to get my grubby hands on some of the best consumer and professional throughout my career all after spending a tremendous amount of time doing ridiculous amounts of research. Most of my research was done by reading reviews, but searching through sites like Flickr and 500px and sorting through images by the model of lenses used helped me see how certain lenses were used. Nothing wrong with that, but when I was younger, I ended up adding what was seen with what I’d read in the…

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U.S.P.S. Evaluating Benefits Of Revenue Contract To “DATA MINE” Your Mail…. [ Posted for "Let Justice Prevail" ]

Mike:

Shocking! USPS considering more tracking of OUR mail and selling the info to the highest bidder.

Originally posted on The Last Refuge:

REMEMBER THE BIGGER BROTHER? – If we had unlimited resources I would love to put a research team together to research all of the information data-mining that’s currently going on.   After some research on my own I was astounded to read the “business models” of quasi-private businesses who are currently engaged in analysis for the legality of various information sharing concepts with governmental agencies.

It looks like THIS

large_postal-serviceAPLR collections and various registration/information hubs are evolving rapidly and there is no currently proposed legislation to allow people to “opt out”.   I’m not even sure if there ever will be a technological way to opt out.

WASHINGTON DC - As if many Americans needed another reason to dislike the post office, word now comes that it wants to begin mining and selling private data gathered from the personal mail of Americans.

USPS chief marketing and sales officer Nagisa Manabe recently told the PostalVision 2020 conference that the post office is…

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What the Photo Experts Say

Mike:

Interesting points. I agree with Victor. Hard and fast rules aren’t helpful in an art. Suggestions and critiques, however, are great to get.

Originally posted on Garden Walk Garden Talk:

Goose-Reflection

I recently was at a few photography club presentations to see what the experts had to say, one, a photography club juried meeting. Images were displayed and a judge critiqued them.

I did not enter my images, I was just there to watch the process. It really got me thinking on how much should you show, like I explored last post. The subject was not mentioned in this particular judging, but it jumped out at me because of a number of points critiqued.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

Congrats to Ron the Scubadiver! Your photos have brought great pleasure many of us.

WSJ on ESA and Jordan Visser

Mike:

Great points!

Originally posted on Jay P. Greene's Blog:

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The Wall Street Journal has a news story on the Arizona Empowerment Accounts program today. Notice especially the intellectual incoherence of the Scottsdale official trying to explain how it hurts the finances of the district to lose special needs students:

School districts say that even though state funding doesn’t cover the costs of special-needs students, they don’t necessarily save that money if a student leaves the district. The Scottsdale district says it pays about $10 million to $12 million more than it gets from the state and federal government to educate its special-needs students.

“If every student with special needs left, then maybe we would save that $12 million, but at the same time, it’s pretty implausible,” said Daniel O’Brien, chief financial officer of the Scottsdale district. He added that the schools would still have students with all kinds of other needs who may not…

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The Texas K-12 Testing Debacle

Mike:

Texas Train Wreck in student testing.

Originally posted on Jay P. Greene's Blog:

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

So Texas once had a system of testing and accountability that was the envy of the nation. Texas boasted for instance the highest Hispanic scores on NAEP in the nation not so long ago for instance. The Texas system served as the basis for the No Child Left Behind Act that required testing in grades 3-8 and once in high-school in return for federal education dollars.

Hanuskek 4

The Texas system grew long in the tooth over time.  Other states developed better standards and better testing systems and embraced more parental choice while Texas seemed to rest on its laurels. The Houston Chronicle revealed statistical hocus pocus that greatly inflated the number of highly rated schools committed by the Texas Education Agency. Gnomes in the basement of your state education agency can wreak havoc with any centralized system. Still, a system that gets you into the upper-left…

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Homemade Marzipan

Mike:

Wow! Homemade marzipan!

Originally posted on Tasty Eats:

Homemade Marzipan Ronit Penso

Marzipan is one of the most ancient candies we know. It started as a simple mix of almond meal and honey, and once sugar was introduced, it eventually became the refined sweet we know today.
France, Spain and Germany are all claiming to be the place where the cooked version, which is the supreme form of Marzipan, was created, but it most likely have happened simultaneously.
The version I bring here is the Sephardic one (see this post for information about Sephardim and Ladino), therefore with origins in Spain. For Sephardic families, Marzipan is the ultimate candy and is served in every family or social gathering for hundreds of years.

Commercial Marzipan is probably the reason why some people do not like Marzipan. It lacks the delicate flavor of the original and has all kinds of additions such as glucose and glycerin that prolong its shelf life, and harsh flavorings…

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