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Wednesday Open Thread

by afew Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:36:50 AM EST

This thread is open

Open is this thread.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:37:27 AM EST
Check out this concert video. In particular 00:00-03:15 (especially around 03:00), 06:20-07:05 and 08:55-09:40. I found some article that said that the girls (the band Perfume from Japan) wore rings with beacons to synchronise the CG with their hand movements; but how does the live hologram itself work?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:57:06 AM EST
Assuming the sound and lighting effects are all playback and in sync, AND the song-miming dancers have rehearsed to perfection, it is possible to make it appear as if the live dancers 'control' the phantom dancers. Whereas, in fact, it's the other way round.

I'd have to examine the video several times to be sure, but that would risk the imprinting of the song in my neurals. I don't want that.

The Rings: motion capture makes possible the real time operation of a 3D simulation of a human character using motion and location data captured from a live performer. But this usually requires at least 20 markers on the body - the more the merrier. These markers are usually optical and therefore would be inappropriate for live performance with an audience.  I've read of wireless non-optical marker systems (could be concealed in clothes), but never heard of them in operation.

A ring - as a single marker - would be useless for motion capture. Not enough data, unless the live movements have been rehearsed and already loaded into the model. In which case, the 3D model is doing its moves according to a 'script', but is kept in synch to the live performance by using keyframes triggered by the ring marker.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:19:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't clear, so to be more precise: (1) I also read that the dancers were filmed earlier and that's how the 'phantom dancers' were generated; (2) the synchronisation which the rings were for was the other graphics next to them, like the spinning diamonds or the "sparks" coming from the ends of their hands in the later sections.

But that's not what really startles, me, instead, it's how the hologram was made. I think a fake hologram with semi-transparent screens can be ruled out, and the only possible sign of a projection I can see are the faint stripes on the black behind the phantom dancers before 03:00. (I also read this technology has already been used in a rap concert waking Tupac Shakur from the dead, but less realistically.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 12:47:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The 'hologram' is probably an old-fashioned trick called Pepper's Ghost - which is how some of the more famous recent 'holograms' were created.

We're maybe 20-30 years away from having the CPU power and projection technology to do real live stage laser holography.

The 'ring' could be a combined magnetometer and gyro system, as used in mobile phones. The chips are getting pretty small now.

But it's also fairly easy to do something like that with a camera feed and live video processing, especially if you use a Microsoft Kinect.

I made a live video painting patch in Max last year.

Here's another Max project that does something a little more complicated. (But not much.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 01:07:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same effect can be achieved by a black mesh that reflects bright frontal projection, but 'disappears' when lit obliquely, or when objects behind the screen are lit. (there is, of course, an ND effect).

To rig a single screen like that full stage is quite tricky - I guess it would have to be there throughout the show, although there were some obvious light transitions in the video that could have masked all sorts of palaver.

PS I spent a pleasant day figuring out how to use motion stencil maps between textures in Strata. Oooolala.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 01:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using a laser lock on and follow a target has been around for 20 years.  Using a helmet with a sight has been around for 30.  Neither system has the information capture bandwidth of Digital Motion Capture but they'd do a Good Enough job for the crude images in the link.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 02:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just checking in after another couple of shitty days. I think I'm gonna give up the recovery forecasts.

I'll be well when I'm well but it ain't gonna be for weeks

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 02:33:47 PM EST
So sorry. Yep, you have to knock on wood each time you say you think you might be feeling better.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 05:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been suffering a prolonged cold or attenuated flu since the third week in January. It started the day my flu shot 'officially' became effective and I just felt generally sick, then, in about a week my nose started running non-stop. I probably abused anti-histamines, as it is just so damned annoying to have mucus strings forming out of your nose any time you lean forward, to always be sneezing, to have my inner ears plugged and to generally have an inflamed face and sinuses.

I controlled the worst of it with heat packs on my upper face, over the eyes, as hot as I could stand it and the same along the backs of my ears and over the ear canal. I used wet washcloths that I put in the microwave. Each treatment takes several minutes and you can't do anything else while a hot compress is over your eyes. The effect is like a highly localized very high fever - 120F+ and it feels so good.

Friday I thought I was so much better, so I went to Walmart,(Arkie cliche alert!), to replenish some bulk items only they carry in town. While riding around in an electric cart I suddenly felt very dizzy and would have fallen had I not been seated. I also felt nauseous. I was stricken with the thought it might be a stroke, but then quickly remembered a previous episode - 20 years ago - when I had been similarly struck down by vertigo while driving home on Victory Boulevard in the SF Valley. I managed to pull over and then vomited all over myself. It was a mile further home and it happened again as I pulled into the driveway. I was prescribed Dramamine by my Dr. and that helped. So this wasn't as bad as it was then, not yet, but I was concerned about getting the 6 miles to home in safety.

Since I was in the Pharmacy area I went to the window to see if I could get Epherine nose drops. Kaiser in California had recommended that solution as it minimized the drug in the body. But there has been the Krank epidemic and Pseudofed, Actifed, and all phenylepherine products have been made available only through the pharmacy. The pharmacy, in typical CYA manner, required a prescription, and it was 5:00PM on Friday. When I said Epherine they heard Apherine, which may have once contained phenylepherine, but no longer. So I got what I could and it helped enough that I could get home - relying on all the driving drunk/stoned tricks I learned in college - watch the speedometer, keep extra distance, watch the lines in the road, go at traffic speed, etc.

Monday I called my doctor's nurse to see if I could get a prescription for Epherine nose drops. The nurse called and my wife picked up to be warned that those Epherine nose drops were highly addictive and would rot the membrane separating the sides of my nostrils, which had been history 25 years ago when I quit smoking. The wife had a great night ragging on me about my addictive personality and how men never listen. :-) The nurse had recommended I see the doctor, which I did today. As the infection had dragged on for weeks he gave me some Amoxicyllin, which actually seems to have helped - at least for now, though the effect wears off after about 8 hours but it is only to be taken twice a day. Two hours after I took the first dose my ears felt clear for the first time since sometime in December. And this was just complications to a mild cold.

At one time I would have insisted on Duracef or better, but hadn't even asked for antibiotics. I know now that antibiotics must be saved for the feed lots and only used in humans as a last resort. Its a wonderful world we live in.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 11:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds horrible. I once had a similar follow-on to a cold, with secondary bronchial, sinus, and ear infections. The inner ear is affected and vertigo (dizziness, balances problems, nausea...) follows. It only cleared up for me after a strong course of antibiotics. The common cold is viral and doesn't call for antibiotics, but the secondary infections are bacterial.

Feed lots... Oh, right, the economy isn't run for people but for big money interests. I keep forgetting.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 01:54:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, they probably sell far stronger antibiotics to feed lot operators than what I got for my vertigo.

I have a weakness to inner ear infections, it appears. I was told that I almost died of acute otitis media in my first year of life and was saved by the then new wonder drug, penicillin, which was not generally available as it was being saved for the troops. Fortunately, my mother was living with relatives in Houston, TX at the time. Had she and I lived in rural Oklahoma instead the drug would likely not have been available.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 12:10:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was prescribed amoxicillin. Two weeks at a fairly high dose.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 12:24:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mine is 875mg every 12 hrs for 10 days.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 at 12:45:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TB resistance

The latest issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports that cases of "totally drug-resistant" TB have now been seen in South African clinics.

"It shows every sign of weathering the storm of potent anti-tuberculous medications," they added, noting that the disease is capable of "potentially turning the clock back to the 1930s," when TB clinics and sanitariums were commonplace.
by ElaineinNM on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 03:36:02 PM EST
Welcome to the postmodern 1930s...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 04:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's how (TB sanatariums) Colorado Springs survived the first half of the 20th century, and with the DOD going out of business, maybe that's how we'll survive the 21st century, too!

...without TB, Colorado Springs might not have become the city it is today.

"For 30 or 40 years, tuberculosis was our sole industry," said Matt Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. "We were not a mill town like other communities. That was really the only industry we had."

And for a long time, business was good. From its founding, the men who built Colorado Springs had a vision: an orderly Christian colony where liquor was banned, a college town, a vacation destination, a great place to live.

It also became a great place to die.


by asdf on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 10:10:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had an aunt by marriage who was a nurse. She and my eldest maternal uncle lived in Colorado Springs during the depression and one of my adolescent maternal aunts went to live with them after my grandfather's bank in Wann, OK went bust, his store went into decline and his back was broken in an automobile accident. Probably because Aunt Billie was one relative that had a steady job, likely at one of the sanitariums.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 12:17:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not just South Africa.  Also Iran, Italy, and India.  

That last is Bad News for the people trying to contain the spread of the strain.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 14th, 2013 at 04:26:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad · How to Start a Battalion (in Five Easy Lessons): In Syria · LRB 21 February 2013

For decades, the dictatorship in Syria worked to stamp the people into submission: every pulpit, every media outlet, every schoolbook sent out the same message, that people should be subservient to the ruler. In Syria (as in a different way in Iraq, Egypt and the rest), those in authority - from the president to the policeman, from the top party apparatchik to the lowliest government functionary - exercised power over every aspect of people's lives. You spent your life trying to avoid being humiliated - let alone detained and tortured or disappeared - by those in authority while somehow also sucking up to them, bribing them, begging them to give you what you needed: a telephone line, a passport, a university place for your son. So when these systems of control collapsed, something exploded inside people, a sense of individualism long suppressed. Why would I succumb to your authority as a commander when I can be my own commander and fight my own insurgency? Many of the battalions dotted across the Syrian countryside consist only of a man with a connection to a financier, along with a few of his cousins and clansmen. They become itinerant fighting groups, moving from one battle to another, desperate for more funds and a fight and all the spoils that follow.

Officially - or at least this is what many would like to believe - all the battalions are part of the Free Syrian Army.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 13th, 2013 at 08:23:51 PM EST

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