Squeak

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Squirrel, Hyde Park, London  © P.J. Croft 2008, 2013
There’s a mouse in my house
He scuttles around
Not making a sound
Looking for his spouse?
Too late, I’m afraid
She’s in a cupboard
Like Mother Hubbard
But permanently delayed (i.e. daid)
So welcome little mouse
I think it’s grouse
That you chose my house
In place of a louse.

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It’s Christmas and maybe time for another camera! I discovered yesterday that a Chinese company is making adapters to fit my Zeiss Contax G lenses to a variety of camera bodies, with a clever focus ring to allow manual focus.

These are legendary lenses that I bought in a film camera set up in 2001 but almost never use now. They don’t have a focus ring, so they’ve always been a problem to adapt to other cameras.  Now I’ve found that a newish Panasonic Micro 4/3 body has IBIS, In Body Image Stabilisation (the GX7), a first for Panasonic. So by adapting these lenses to the Pana body, I’ve instantly got a very high quality camera with three super quality lenses. Hmmm.

6.30pm:  Naaah. I get these urges, you see, but then I sleep it off. I have ordered the Contax G adapter ($160), but I’ve already got a Micro 4/3 body so I’ll stick with that.

The digital camera scene is absolutely amazing at this moment. Complete paradigm shifts in sensor size, pixel count, quality from the sensor, body and lens sizes, viewfinder types, body shapes … You used to need a 4″x 5″ or 8″x 10″ film camera to get quality good enough for 30″x 40″ prints (and you couldn’t possibly print that size at home). Not any more. A $1,200 digital camera (of a certain type!) will give the same quality as these old film cameras or better.

No sooner do we think, “Oh yeah, this is the one” than something better comes along. And cheaper in real terms. I remember clearly being infatuated with the Canon 5D full frame in 2006 and it was about $4,000 body only. (I didn’t buy it!)  Now you can buy a camera with the world’s best full frame sensor, capable of testing the world’s best lenses, for $2,400. Like TVs, wait a month and the price will come down further and there’ll be a new, better model. Good for us, but you wonder how the makers feel.

The sun is set to “flip upside down” within weeks as its magnetic field reverses polarity in an event that will send ripple effects throughout the solar system.

Although it may sound like a catastrophic occurrence, there’s no need to run for cover. The sun switches its polarity, flipping its magnetic north and south, once every eleven years through an internal mechanism about which little is understood.

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Hey, watch out! The Sun’s magnetic field is about to reverse.

The sun is set to “flip upside down” within weeks as its magnetic field reverses polarity in an event that will send ripple effects throughout the solar system.
Although it may sound like a catastrophic occurrence, there’s no need to run for cover. The sun switches its polarity, flipping its magnetic north and south, once every eleven years through an internal mechanism about which little is understood.
The swap could however cause intergalactic weather fronts such as geomagnetic storms, which can interfere with satellites and cause radio blackouts. [The Independent]

I read a book in about November 1974 called The HAB Effect. HAB stood for Herbert Alan Boardman, and he was a scientist who was trying to warn the US government (and hence the world) that the Earth’s magnetic field was going to reverse (quite true, it does). It made a lasting impression on me, as you can tell.

So this is the Sun, not the Earth, but it’ll be interesting all the same.

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