Sunday, April 23, 2017

How Does A SECURITY Camera Work?

Basically, a camera set into position with the help of what is known as a video transmitter running to a receiver allows the view from a security camera in a specific place or aimed in a certain direction, such as in a parking lot or door entrance.  The security camera whether it is wireless or not, then makes it possible for the surveillance of anyone or anything through sending visual signals through the lenses back to a security monitor which is connected directly to the system.

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. ...
Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In some cases security cameras are remotely operated, while others rely on the actual surveillance of a person sitting in front of the security monitor at all times in a separate area. Another form of security camera, simply records the surveillance and it can be viewed at another point and time. Security cameras all have to have power of some kind in order to work however. 

Additionally security cameras work on frequencies as well as range. Different concepts are taken into consideration when a security camera is installed. Therefore, there are many security cameras on the market today. Some are better than others, while some security cameras are basic and simple, to those security cameras that are very complex.

One of the worst materials a security camera would have to go through would be metal, these types of security cameras are high frequency cameras and are very expensive. Most wireless cameras are limited to four different frequencies while others that must have hidden video lines such as in ceilings or walls can have additional frequencies. The range of reception on security cameras vary.

Security cameras provide the initial perception that the issue is safety, while the second of course is protection, from theft or vandalism of property. The security cameras come in many different designs as well as types. Some security cameras help assist authorities when trying to apprehend suspects in crimes or other acts of violence, or vandalism.

You want to have a good reception especially if the security camera that is in use, is the type that simply records surveillance. As opposed to a security camera that has a person monitoring at all times. In this case you want good reception as well but it doesn't have to be nearly as clear. Security cameras can be as small as a button on a shirt, while others can be the size of an average camcorder. The size of a security camera varies as well.

Price doesn't necessarily mean better, depending on what the security camera will be used for. If the camera is going to be for personal use then one that isn't that expensive will probably do  what you need it for.  Security cameras are made to work for the security of people, places, and things of value, as well as keeping places safe and protected. In some cases security cameras are used to give people the peace of mind of feeling safer than they normally would without one.

Some security cameras work on batteries while others require an alternate power source.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

EASTER Traditions On A Budget

Easter postcard circa early 20th century
Easter postcard circa early 20th century
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every year moms scramble to find just the right easter basket. Will it be the sports easter basket for $20 or the Spiderman one for who know how much? When did easter gifts become so expensive?

The average family has 2.4 children and easter gifts can break a budget in a hurry. Here are some wonderful easter memory creating ideas that won't break the bank.

1. Bunny Paw prints
Grab an old shoe box lid and cut out big bunny paw print to make a stencil . On "Easter Eve" use the stencil to make paw prints through your house by sprinkling baking soda in the stencil. Turn it over to make left and right feet. (the baking soda vacuums up off the carpet)

2. Easter Eggstravaganza
For most kids, easter is not easter without decorating eggs. This year instead of letting the kids have all the fun, start a tradition that involves the whole family. Throw an annual Easter egg decorating contest. Choose enough categories so everyone gets a chance to win. Some categories might be: funniest egg, most original egg, scariest egg, or celebrity egg. The wackier the categories, the more fun you will have decorating and judging. Ask everyone to submit an egg and display them on the kitchen table. Ask Grandma and Grandpa to be the judges. Before you know it, you will have trouble finding judges because everyone will want to decorate an egg!

3. Follow the Ribbon
This is a simple tradition that doesn't take much preparation. All you will need to do is buy some narrow inexpensive ribbon from a local craft store. Choose a different color for each member of the family (15 to 25 yards per person depending on how crazy you want this to be). Once the kids are in bed, tie a ribbon to each of their hidden baskets and wind them in and out of the furniture and the other ribbons until you can't see where they began. Bring the ends to one central location (perhaps the kitchen table) as a place where your family can begin the entangled maze to find their baskets. Before you know it, everyone will be tangled in ribbons and laughs.

4. The Big People Egg Hunt
On Easter Sunday, gather the adults together and have them each hide one or more eggs somewhere on themselves. It might be in Grandma's apron pocket, Uncle Bob's boots, behind Dad's glasses, or under Grandpa's hat. This hunt isn't just for the little ones, it involves everyone and is a wonderful way to connect the generations. Your family will be sure to get a laugh as the kids poke around looking for hidden eggs. No one and no place is considered out of bounds. You'll definitely want your video camera ready for this Easter Egg Hunt.

5. Personalize Letter from the Easter Bunny!
What child does not get excited about getting mail? How about a personalized letter to your child from the Easter Bunny. This letter will be mailed directly to you child and talk about how mom and dad have told the easter bunny that he/she has been good. What an exciting memory for your child!

Easter baskets and gifts do not have to ruin your budget in order for them to be meaningful. These are just a few ways in which you can start some family easter traditions with your family.
Here's to a wonderful traditions filled Easter!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

GARAGE spring cleanup

Imagine a beautiful spring day. You want to go biking, go fishing or even enjoy a picnic with your family. When you enter your garage to gather your gear and head to having fun you have a tremendous surprise: your stuff is all over the place, on the floor, messed up in corners, misplaced in various drawers. Organizing your garage is as easy as figuring out where to start. The first thing is to purchase some cabinets, some shelves and hammer a series of nails into the walls. 

English: garage sale. Spring cleaning Fran├žais...
Garage sale. Spring cleaning  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The storing and sorting goes as follows. Categorize each object and place it in a place specially designed for it. For example sporting gear should be placed in a cabinet or on some shelves, tools should be placed in drawers or hung on to some peg boards. Be ruthless about throwing away and don’t think twice before you throw away anything that you haven’t used recently or anything that’s broken. If you haven’t repaired it yet, chances are you won’t repair it.  Seasonal gear should also be sorted, boots and out-of-season coats should be organized in small closets. 

After you finish organizing, sorting and throwing away unwanted items you will be surprised to see your garage floor and corners again. Maybe your car will fit in the garage again.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A History of HUNTING

Hunting game for food, clothing and shelter is a big part of the story of the human race. It predates the human civilization we know today in many ways. There are many discoveries that are being made that confirm that notion. An Asian fossilized spearhead discovered recently was dated at over 16,000 years old, for example. There is also evidence that we used larger animals for food almost two million years ago.

American author Ernest Hemingway poses with ku...
American author Ernest Hemingway poses with kudu and oryx skulls while on safari in Africa, 1934.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The earliest form of hunting involved, as far as the experts can tell, involved weapons like spears or bow and arrows shot from a distance. Believe it or not, our ancestors caught their food using the same method we use to catch the bus to work when we’re late. We ran after it. Before he learned to use long range weapons, early man had no other way of catching his dinner than being persistent and wearing it down over a long trek, sometimes even in the oppressive midday heat. 

Some early hunters would chase antelope over 20 miles in heat over 100 degrees. Persistence hunting would be the order of the day. African hunters would chase a Kudu, which is an early version of the antelope, by startling the animal so it ran away. They would chase the beast at a fast pace, and, while the faster Kudu would always be further ahead, the hunters would catch up to it when it took time to rest in the shade. The hunter would eventually finish the animal off with a spear, but not until he was at close range. This type of hunting is still practised in Southern Africa.

With changes in human society, hunting evolved. As we began to grow our own food and keep animals, hunting became a specialized task. Not just the traditional masculine endeavour anymore, hunting became a specific duty with tradesmen acquiring precise training. The other trend was hunting becoming the sport and leisure domain of the upper classes. It was here that the English word ‘game’ became common.

Hunting has had other effects on our modern society as well. Various animals have been used to aid the hunter, but none has become as important to us as the dog. The use of the ancestors of the wolf to retrieve prey and be our loyal companions has set the dog apart. Its domestication, which took thousands of years, is considered a remarkable accomplishment. The tie between hunting man and dog goes so far back that the very word for hunting in ancient Greek is derived from the word dog.

Perhaps the most famous type of hunting is the safari, which was popularized by the American author Ernest Hemingway. The word itself is from the Swahili, meaning long journey, and the most common type of safari occurs in Africa. It was frequently several days or weeks of camping while stalking or hunting big game, but in a more modern sense, it also encompassed trips through African national parks to hunt or watch the big game. 

Unlike their predecessors who ran their prey down years before, the modern African hunter often acquires a special licence and enlists the aid of local professionals. There is even a type of modern safari where no animals are killed. The photo-safari is exactly what its name implies and a Polish photographer first used the term “bloodless hunt”.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SCOTCH WHISKY: On top of the world.

English: Oban west highland single malt scotch...
Oban west highland single malt scotch whisky 1992
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In terms of export, Scotch whisky amasses approximately 90% of all export sales combined in England and is a principle export commodity. This income is in great part foreign currency.  This trend has been followed since the turn of the 19-century as the value of overseas marketing was discovered.

Between 15-20% of all scotch whisky consumed in Scotland is first purchased in Britain.   Although the reason for this is unknown, they do not dwell on it since their Scotch seems to be more popular in other countries.  This is proven by the fact that scotch whisky is within the top five export earners and makes a considerable profit while making very large contributions to Britain’s foreign exchange.

Approximately 200 markets are in the exchange for Scotch whisky with the European Union being in the forefront vying for top spot with the United States, Japan and other Asian markets following suit. The European Union is accountable for at least 50% of all Scotch whisky sales with the other countries rounding up another 40% or so.

A nine-year sales projection is in reserve of scotch stock maturing or already matured.  In 1996 the stock of matured scotch was sitting at 2,741 million liters up a tenfold from 1945 at 247 million liters.  The stock was higher in 1939 at 374 million liters.  Obviously the Scotch whiskey market is predicted to grow based on the amount of maturing stock.  

It is a difficult trade dealing in stocks with a scotch manufacturer as they sit and wait on maturing product, they cannot accurately gather information on what the market years down the road will be for their product.  This is a commercial problem.  The most significant undertaking is the capital investment of maturing stock.

There is a very small portion of fine scotch that actually makes it out of Scotland and into other countries.  Matured whiskies as well as fresh fillings are an enticing profit grabber; however the time it takes for this product to turn over and give way to said profit makes this a risky endeavor. It is very hard to determine whether or not the products value will hold in the future.

In closing the value of these company’s finely distilled products is not likely to lose appeal any time soon, although one never knows what the future will bring.  For Scotch lovers, another drink is always in their futures.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Let There Be Light - FILMMAKING

Filmmaking is an orchestration of various elements that brings about the desired result, your story literally brought to life.  Screenplay, crew, actors, location, camera, lighting, sound, and editing are all working together to bring you the finished product.  One literally cannot do without the other.  Lighting however is what makes your production look professional and if you are looking to actually market your film you want it to be as professional as possible.  

Illustration of three-point lighting
Illustration of three-point lighting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many professional lights kits on the market and many of them are quite reasonable, but in many cases they are not necessarily needed.  You can make your own light kit with a few things that can be purchased at the local hardware store.  There are lights found at the hardware store used in garage repair shops that are metal and that have a high reflectance.  These come with clips at the end and can be clipped and moved wherever you might need them.  These are great to use and you can use a number of different bulbs that will give different wattage and color.

The next items you must have in great numbers are extension cords.  These will be used in every other part of your filmmaking, but you really need them with setting up your lights.  Another very useful tool would be old sheet music stands or something similar that has a 3 leg stand that can be raised and lowered.  These can either hold the clip-on lights or a light diffusion material of some sort.  You will also need white board for white balancing your camera before you shoot, also white boards can be used as bounce cards for bouncing light back on a subject.

The last thing in your light kit will be some sort of diffusing material.  That can be any gauzy white material that the light will pass through.  You can use your stands with binder clips on them to clip the material too.  Shine your light through the material and this in turn will diffuse the light on the subject keeping it from being to bright or "hot" as they say in the business.

A consideration that most people starting out with lighting don't consider is that light comes in different colors.  Only when you start using a camera do you find this out.  If you shoot in a room at night and you have only the interior lights to use, you may find the overall color of the light will be a little yellow.  This is because the bulb lights in your house are Tungsten light and these give off a yellowish cast.  Fluorescent lights give of a greenish cast that is quite unattractive, so if you film in an office building then that is a consideration as will.  Outside light is blue light and while you always want natural light, things may be a little too blue for you, especially when you shoot in the shade.

The absolute best time to shoot, to get that magical quality, is that time right before the sunset.  The sun is hanging low and directly on the faces of the subjects and gives everything a Carmel colored warm glow.  The only drawback here is that the sun sets quickly so have everything ready in anticipation of shooting the final minutes before the sun set.  Look at things at this time of day during late spring or in the summer and you will see what I am talking about.

The first thing to learn is the three-point lighting set up.  This is a standard lighting technique used by professional photographers, television taping, and shooting film.  This consists of three things: a key light to shine on the subject, a fill light to fill in the shadow created by the key light, and a backlight or kicker to use behind the subject to add dimension the subject.  You will use variations of the 3-point lighting set-up in most work you do.  I advise strongly that you practice this lighting set-up and shoot it to see how effectively it works.  You will have to move the lights a little here and there to get the desired effect but this is the must useful lighting strategy that there is.

It is always good to use natural lighting whenever possible.  Always remember that high noon is usually a harsh lighting situation and will cast unflattering shadows under the eyes and nose of the subject making them appear tired.  You will have to use a light low down on the ground to counter-act this effect.  Also anytime you light a subject from the ground as opposed to above the subject, you will get an eerie spooky effect that can be used in moments of suspense.  If you are not looking for this effect though it might be disturbing to viewers.

This is lighting in a nutshell and I would highly recommend that you take some production classes in order to practice and get some tips on lighting.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Heroes And Villains In COMIC BOOKS

Heroes and villains in comic books have made their mark in society. Not just in comic books but in literature throughout the ages. Essentially literature and comic books bring to life the drama associated between good and evil, and it is that premise that becomes an indispensable guide to understand human nature.

Terrific 01
Terrific 01 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a nutshell, you will not know evil if you have never experience goodness. The antithesis holds true. If you never experienced good, you have never experienced evil. In comic books, the heroes and villains try to ante up the stakes by pitting their resources against one another for the sake of besting the other. The heroes usually come out victorious but criminals can be just as successful. If the heroes always won, it would make comic books dull and uninteresting. The villains have to be counted on to cause ruckus and mayhem otherwise; the storyline does not coincide with a balance that must be struck.

Today's comic books have smarter criminals, weaponry that is more sophisticated and more behavior that is aggressive. Does this make the hero more steadfast in his or hers reaction to the villains aggressiveness? It depends on the hero. You do not have to possess superhuman powers to outsmart a villain. In today's comic books, a hero can employ a great deal of cunning to outsmart a villain. The comic books of today offer a recipe for the balance of power.

A villain usually takes on a key role and if the hero does not thwart the diabolical plan, the hero may lose confidence. In that vein, the comic book looks at the human condition. Why was there failure? What could have prevented the villain from escaping? With the loss of self-belief, the hero of the comic book must take necessary steps to assure success or the villain, sensing something amiss with the good guy, can utilize plans that are even more ambitious. With the balance askew for the time being, the hero must reassert his or her authority to impede the villains plan. The hero does not have to be in the superhero genre. It could be any comic book that pertains to the right or wrong in making a decision. 

Heroes and villains in comic books enable the reader to make choices, and within that framework, can get a better understanding of what both the villain and the hero had to do to succeed. However, success is only a temporary distraction. It permits a continuation of the story. So then, who is really the victor and the loser? If both hero and the villain continually face off against one another, where and when will it end? Quite possibly nothing short of the demise of one or the both of them. Perhaps the villain may go to jail, but eventually he or she will be released and the comic books prevail. There is clearly no winner or loser. The only winner will be found out in the next installment. Moreover, the only loser is the person who does not read the next issue.