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3D images from still pictures

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • July 24, 2013 - 12:45 PM

Summer: that was all you get. Sorry! Now, today's non-essential links.

SCIENCE!If you’re wondering whether Disney has been working on Scene Reconstruction from High Spatio Angular Resolution Light Fields - well, do you really have to ask?

 

 

This is pretty cool; the first example shows you they can get 3D out of a static photo, which brings up the possibility to re-rendering the bygone world through old photos.

It’s from Disney Labs. I had no idea they had their own Skunk Works / JPL.

 

WHOA This is horrifying: the mountain shrugs, and down comes the forest.

 

 

TRICK QUESTION If someone asked you how Americans got to work, you might scratch your head, kick the dirt, twist your shirt in your hands, and say in a small pained voice “gee, I don’t know. Cars maybe?” Correct! NPR explains, and notes that the number of people who work at home has actually declined, which seems counterintuitive.

 

Related: Are strollers making our kids fat? No. Do they train our kids to be passive and uninquisitive, as this article suggests? Probably not. But let’s read the article anyway, and find something new to worry about, or feel superior to others about.

 

Strollers have gotten a lot of attention lately, in large part because people without strollers often find those with strollers to be overbearing and threatening to their ankles — especially when these are double-wides or triple-longs. Sidewalks, Starbucks, shopping aisles and subways weren’t designed for them, and as such they have added another layer of navigational havoc to urban life.

 But it turns out that sidestepping and ankle bruises might be the least of society’s worries. Strollers may also be interfering with how their riders connect with the world around them. Moving passively changes our interaction with our environment, but does so in ways we as yet only dimly understand.

 For kids under a year old, prams make sense, of course, and for those under two strollers can be extremely handy. But the stroller period seems to be growing in duration, like a pro-sports season. It once drew to a close around age two, after which kids were expected to toddle around on their own. Now, parents keep them harnessed in strollers far longer, in part because it’s more efficient in getting around, and in part because it’s an easy solution to the global whining crisis.

 "It is a worrying trend,” Dr Martin Ward-Platt, of the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, England, told The Guardian. “But one now takes for granted the sight of big children being pushed around in buggies, when in the past this was simply not the case.” (Laura Miller of Jersey City launched a short-lived Tumblr a couple of years ago featuring photographs of kids obviously too large for their strollers — limbs all akimbo and feet dragging on pavement. Stroller-using parents attacked Miller as a cold-hearted, barren bitch.)

Instead of just ignoring the tumblr and moving on with life in a fashion designed to make everyone happy. The Tumblr is here, by the way.

Is it better if kids walk, instead of being pushed everywhere for the first five years of life? Probably. Will I stop putting things in the form of a question to avoid making any assertions of my own? Eventually. Meanwhile, there’s this:

Shielding children from the inconvenience and hazards of walking is an experiment that’s only several decades old — hardly a blink in the millions of years since we’ve become bipedeal. The early results of this experiment are just starting to trickle in, but the conclusions haven’t been encouraging: childhood obesity, behavioral problems, a vague sense of disaffection from the environment, an increasing reliance on prescription meds to put the world upright, a growing absorption with faux, digital worlds.

Really? The results are trickling in? Let’s go to the middle of the article:

How does a child’s perspective and personality change if they learn about the world solely by peering out a window of a moving car rather than immersing themselves traveling through by foot?

 Nobody knows for sure.

Okay. On the other hand, there’s significant evidence that pushing a stroller causes you to lose your mind in public:

 

 

It’s the modulation on CARE that makes it so oddly compelling. This vine is being dissected down to the molecular level at Gizmodo.

 

ART Not that you’re planning on doing this anytime soon, but here’s the Smithsonian on “How to Destroy Priceless Works of Art.” Wouldn’t be complete without some head-scratching relativism, though. When discussing the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the article notes:

Carved into a cliff face along the Silk Road in Afghanistan in the 6th century, these caught the ire of the Taliban who decided, “the statues were against Islam“. In the late 1990′s, holes were drilled into their faces for dynamite. This actually parallels a Christian practice of transforming pagan Roman temples into churches, and one of the acts was typically to behead or deface (literally ruin the face) of statues of Roman deities, often burying them under the new Church’s foundation.

No, it doesn’t actually parallel it at all. In the case of the Taliban, they destroyed it. In the case of the temples, they reused them and co-opted the architectural vocabulary for the next 1500 years. Other than that, sure.

The article also describes the vandalism of the Pieta in St. Peter’s, for some reason, which was hammered by a fellow named Lazlo Toth. Years later this would prompt Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko to pose a question.

 Think on that and get back to me with the answer.

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