Being Green – Playing Games With Sustainability

Hi Folks:

Friday once again, and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post.  Before I get to that, however, I want to add a couple of things.  First, in last Friday’s ‘Being Green’ post I talked about taking the ‘long view‘ on making sustainable choices.  This past week I came across one person’s critical view of waterless urinals, here: Flush with environmental enthusiasm.  Second, Tim Fausch (publishing director with BNP Media) wrote a blog post this past week titled, ‘Moving On…It’s Time to Share Your Story‘.  In his post he mentioned how he’s getting tired of hearing only negative news on the ‘net, TV, radio, etc. and invites everyone to share postive stories instead.  You can add your story here: Moving On: Thriving in Tough Times.  BTW, if you’re looking for more good news, the following are a few good places to start:

Okay… this week’s topic is about playing games, and I must admit that I’m old enough to remember a time before computer games.  Yes, really.  Actually, somewhere in a box I still have the slide rule I used to use in a world before pocket calculators, and if you don’t know what a slide rule actually is, well, you’re not alone.  Continue Reading →

Marcia’s Meanderings – Sunbeams & Sand Paintings

Hello Dear Ones!

Have you ever seen the newspaper comic “Hi & Lois“? The baby of the family, Trixie, ‘thinks’ thought balloons visible to the reader. The baby lets you know how very much she adores sunbeams: the magic of them, the marvel of them, the elusiveness of them …

I got thinking of Trixie and sunbeams the other day. On my way to work I pass through a delightful path bordered on both sides with cedar bushes. The sun was rising blazingly in the east and streaming through the cedars, imprinting light onto the paved walkway before me. I actually stopped to admire the patterns portrayed so erratically, so spontaneously. Incredible artwork. Yet as I stood there mesmerized by the awesomeness of the impressions, the patterns changed: subtly, but they changed and shifted like a slow-moving kaleidoscope. It was breathtaking to watch!

Due to time constraints, I was unable to stay and observe anything further, yet as I headed to catch my bus I had an AHA moment – the play of light through cedar and the resulting beauty could be glimpsed briefly – only briefly, before there was change. The light was elusive; the pattern, impermanent. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month: Thunderhead

Hi Folks:

October 4th already and I just realized this morning that I didn’t do a ‘Photo of the Month’ post for September.  Yeesh!  So, in the ‘better late than never‘ category…

September’s image wasn’t very hard to choose.  I wish I could take credit for the clouds, but someone else gets that honour.  It was one of those ‘grab shot’ images; I was downtown and walking along the Inner Harbour and the clouds were just amazing.  I made several series of images for panoramas, but this one was the best in my opinion.  I use Autopano Pro to combine my images into panoramas and process everything in Lightroom.  If anyone’s interested, this image was converted to B&W in Lightroom, and then ‘coloured’ using the split-tone settings of:

Hue: 41
Saturation: 23

Balance: +100

Hue: 0
Saturation: 0

It’s a sepia effect that I like.

Here’s the image:


Okay, now go out and make some photographs!


P.S.  I entered this image in the recent ‘Tip Squirrel Lightroom Competition‘.  If you want to see the original (before) image and Lightroom-processed (after) image together, you can do so here.

P.S. II, the Sequel: You can find more of our posts on photography and Lightroom tutorials here, and you can find links to over 200 other sites that have Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos here.

He Says, She Says… Universal *Boinks*

Hello, Dear Reader:

Any fan of ‘The Three Stooges‘ knows that they had no difficulty getting their point across to each other.  We think they would have loved ‘Boinks‘!

For most of us, however, the Universe speaks in a much quieter voice.  There is a lovely Hindu poem, translated by Ravindra Kumar Karnani, that speaks well of this:

And A Meadow Lark Sang

The child whispered, “God, speak to me”
And a meadow lark sang.
The child did not hear.

So the child yelled, “God, speak to me!”
And the thunder rolled across the sky
But the child did not listen.

The child looked around and said,
“God let me see you” and a star shone brightly
But the child did not notice.

And the child shouted,
“God show me a miracle!”
And a life was born but the child did not know.

So the child cried out in despair,
“Touch me God, and let me know you are here!”
Whereupon God reached down
And touched the child.

But the child brushed the butterfly away
And walked away unknowingly.

For this week’s ‘He Says, She Says…‘ post we want to disuss the quiet voice that speaks to each of us from within.


Follow these links to read what He Says/She Says: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View

Being Green – The Long View

Hi Folks!

Happy Friday!!  The basis for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post comes in part from a couple of articles I read recently on the  ED+C magazine website.  The first, titled, ‘An Ethical Equation’ was quite surprising to me and begins with the following:

“According to a recent study by the University of Wisconsin, a developer could have saved more than $300,000 and spared the atmosphere more than 850 tons of CO2 (1,885,500 pounds) had he used an organic solvent-borne air barrier rather than a water-based product.”

The article is quite comprehensive and worth reading, but at its heart the author Ulf Wolf suggests that when considering a ‘green’ product or service that one considers everything related to the material or procedure’s ‘carbon footprint’.  Sometimes this may seem like a simple matter, but as demonstrated in the article, such answers are not always simple.

In a conversation I had with a friend recently she mentioned that while incandescent bulbs generate more heat than light, this may be a good thing in cold climates.  Such regions tend to have much longer daylight hours in the summer and therefore more natural light, while shorter daylight hours in winter create more need for artificial lighting but also for heating the space.  Therefore, according to her argument, one might spend less on electricity for lighting by using CFL or LED lighting, but this would be more than offset by an increase in other heating costs.  I don’t know what information she had to support this argument, but it’s something I hadn’t considered until she mentioned it.

Continue Reading →