cigarettes and chocolate milk

… the best power/weight ratio for humans is found in 12-year-old girls, but unfortunately they don’t have the stamina needed to be long range human powered aircraft pilots.

I recently spent a week and a half in Seattle attempting to take care of Tony, who just had all four of his wisdom teeth yanked out. It was, oddly, good times, even though I was sleeping on a cot on the floor and he was drifting in and out of hazy clouds of drug-hammered pain. As a bonus I tried get something new done every day, like hauling all the art downtown to be framed or finally getting the upholstery cleaned, that would improve his life but that he’d never get around to doing himself. I’m not sure how much success there was to be found in a week, but at least the surface changes were drastic. (Now if only I could bring the same zeal to my own housekeeping).

We also went to Seacompression together with Aleks, (who wore my Sputnik costume, ten points for giving it to a Russian to wear!), and danced our fool selves into exhaustion. The art there was amazing, as expected, but where we spent the most time was fairly simple, a boat filled with pillows that sat on the ground between three of the bars, stocked with two bamboo fishing rods and a bucket of “bait”, doughnuts, cookies with holes in the middle, and pretzels. It was surprisingly comfortable, (lending credence to my one-day-in-forever plan of using a small, hanging boat as a bed), and a ridiculously fun way to make new friends. I was hooked in with a chocolate doughnut, but when it was my turn I found the best return was in the cookies. Less of a commitment.


Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs.

We propose a method to realistically insert synthetic objects into existing photographs without requiring access to the scene or any additional scene measurements. With a single image and a small amount of annotation, our method creates a physical model of the scene that is suitable for realistically rendering synthetic objects with diffuse, specular, and even glowing materials while accounting for lighting interactions between the objects and the scene. We demonstrate in a user study that synthetic images produced by our method are confusable with real scenes, even for people who believe they are good at telling the difference.

Kevin Karsch, a Computer Science PhD Student, and his team at the University of Illinois are developing a software system that lets users easily and convincingly insert objects into photographs, complete with realistic lighting, shading, and perspective. According to their documentation, aside from a few annotations provided by the user, like where the light sources are, the software doesn’t need to know anything about the image. Even keeping in mind much demo videos are spot polished, I’m still astonished at how seamless it all seems. This could very well be ground breaking work.