Tuesday, 8 November 2011

What language(s) do you speak?

Chinese, English, German. Can read many more but speaking is eh.

Ask me anything

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Orion Proximity

This is how a Nikon D60 can capture stars we can't see with the naked eye.

Also, this animation (actually only three photos, but tweened to appear as though they fade in and out) shows how at longer exposure lengths, more and more stars are revealed and captured as pixel data, though are not necessarily bright enough to register as a discernibly different value such that one can actually make them out; that is, the camera will have captured a very dim or distant star, but it will appear so faint in the image you might not even see it.

Unless, of course, you were to artificially increase exposure through editing of NEF data; the brightest (and noisiest) photo in this animation shows how increasing the exposure to 175% original whilst bumping up the black depth dramatically changes the depth and population of the starfield around Orion's belt, a well-documented and highly active nebula.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Hi, I’m Jimmy.

I’m a nerd. I collect computers and then run them all at once to search for prime numbers. So far I’ve found over a thousand.

I’m a musician. I collect instruments from around the world and teach myself to play them. I play eight. I suck at reading music and have only ever taken lessons in guitar. For fourteen years.

I’m a photographer. It started with my high school yearbook. In 2010, 75% of the pictures in there were mine. A photo sold at one of my exhibits now hangs in the office of the governor of Colorado.

I’m pansexual. And genderqueer. The world may not be ready for that, so I accept “bi” and “male.” I’m not changing my body anytime soon. The only reason I rarely tell people any of this is because it involves so much explanation.

I’m a gamer. I admit to playing OpenArena, Urban Terror, and the original Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein series voraciously. OA is my favorite. If I’m not the best on my team, I’m disappointed. I also have a bit of an addiction to solitaire.

I’m (still) a nerd. I run a distributed computing grid amongst all the computers I own and some I don’t. I participate in 32 scientific and math-based research projects. I’m currently ranked 808th out of 2,268,748 worldwide based on CPU time contributions.


I’m shy. In person I’m very modest. I would never say most of this stuff in real life. Not because it’s exaggerated, made up, or that I’m ashamed of anything in particular. I just think I come across as an arrogant prick whenever I talk about myself. Am I actually? Doubt it. Lots of people don’t like me, but not for good (or any) reasons.
Honestly, if this was my biography, what would you think of me?

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Little Things About Me that I Don't Mind You Knowing!

I felt like getting some of this out there. Have a nice day, internet.


1. My life has never, ever been devoid of cats.
2. I wear retainers.
3. I have a line of scars on my left eyebrow; I had stitches there when I was 5.
4. I have never been to Europe.
5. I have spent very little time in New England, but people say I talk like I was born there.
6. My teeth have been an odd shade of yellow since I was 15.
7. I have been drinking coffee since I was 15.
8. If I wash my hair more often than every other day, it becomes dry and falls out!
9. I am probably allergic to grass, but have never been tested.
10. Lots of people think I'm anorexic. Thanks, people.
11. I have only ever sold one photo print to someone who wasn't a family member*.
12. I commandeer computers partially because I'm a total nerd and partially so I can use them to participate in BOINC.
13. I judge my boyfriend by how productive in Minecraft he is.
14. I am, in fact, a homosexual.
15. I failed my driver's test twice.
16. I have been collecting business cards since I was 10.
17. I have an affinity for tropical fruit.
18. I suspect I have a thyroid condition which makes me intolerant of heat.
19. If my thyroid is fine, then I suppose I just can't handle heat.
20. I don't exercise much - not always because of my back or ankles, but usually because I simply lack the motivation!
21. I had practically no female friends until I went to college.
22. I have been blogging for over 5 years, but am still unsure if anyone reads it/them.
23. I don't like wearing sandals or flip-flops.
24. I really enjoy ice-skating and am somewhat jealous of my siblings, who are quite talented and do so competitively.
25. I can tell you what's wrong with your diesel, but not your normal gasoline car.
26. I have a night light. It's a USB lava lamp and the computer is never turned off, so…
27. I own 20+ pairs of shoes, but you'll probably only ever see me wearing one or two different pairs.
28. No, I cannot understand what the Asians at the next table are saying. They don't all speak Mandarin Chinese.
29. I collect computer parts. This has come in handy more than I'd like to admit.
30. I handle my truck like a sportscar because sometimes, it acts like one.

* I believe that photo is now in the office of the governor of Colorado.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Always look on the bright side of death.

Many of my friends are not American citizens and thus have shown skewed reactions to the recent assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. While the circumstances of his death are rather odd ("U.S. officials had received specific information about where bin Laden may have been hiding in Pakistan" - CNN) and in typical military fashion, came to the public as a complete surprise, it is by no means unwelcome news.

Within several hours of the President's emergency speech, someone put up signs in my dorm saying "Is it ever right to celebrate the death of another human being? America, we're smarter than this." I can only imagine this person is not American, or is a new-age hippie - the kind of extreme liberal who thinks Obama is a failure. 

Yes, it is right to do so. Minds are constantly set at peace by the execution of murderers, rapists, and serial felons. The execution of Saddam Hussein - who was originally our friend - was met with cheers and a sense of relief. Go ahead, think of more examples. And please don't say "the Bible" or "Jesus." Jesus, in typical fashion, would have forgiven Osama as he waited to face Satan.

As long as I still live here, don't fuck with us. I see the good sides of this country shine from time to time, and am just as patriotic as the next guy. I'll sing along to Toby Keith while drinking shitty American beer and eating pork BBQ for as long as we do good in this world.

Don't push the buttons of someone who stands up for a country that still treats him like a second-class citizen. Just don't.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

It's that time of year?

Odd that my last post was in December, and it was called "Goodbye 2010." I didn't mean for the "goodbye" part to become semi-true or all-encompassing. Honest, I didn't mean to disappear.

In fact, I didn't notice until just now. I haven't even thought about writing a blog post lately. I probably forgot I had a blog. Who reads blogs anymore? People just want their constant feed of 140-character-or-less sound bytes which are ever-so-friendly to the increasingly short American attention span.

Also, when did dubstep get so popular? I mean, I don't do any drugs or anything, and I really enjoy listening to it as well. Is this a new or recent thing? Because, frankly, I'd not heard of it until maybe January or so.

I still take pictures. No, really, I do. I have a ton lying around waiting to be processed or uploaded. Many are family photos with an artistic touch to them - my youngest two siblings are figure skaters, which is an art form in itself - and then there are the loads of snow pictures from home and a bunch from the ice storm we had here in PA a few months back.

Also, I hope people got a chance to see 2010 - The Year in Photos. This is something I've done for two years now and which I hope to make a tradition; I collate what I believe to be the best photos I've taken all year and put them in an album. Usually, they have something to do with me personally, but often they include my friends and family. Sometimes they're pieces I've shared on some website or in an exhibit and am trying to sell.

That's another thing. I still have no job, because I'm at college. I'm applying for one soon, for the summer, but as of now I have no income and boy do I need it. Knowing that people like looking at my photos is great. Knowing that people might even want them hanging in their homes or offices or something is even better.

Usually, I say that I pursue my multitude of hobbies for my own edification. And usually, that works out just fine for me. But really, without any outside motivation, I quickly lose interest. There comes a point when I feel like I've exhausted the possibilities at present, and I move on to something else. It's all part of being introverted and introspective. I do a lot of little things because they add up after awhile and make me me. I love computers because I love what they can do and what I can make them do. I love photography because it's a form of visual art I feel I can actually "do". I love playing and (re)mixing music because often, people other than me find my songs to be "good."

But all this requires at least some degree of outside influence or motivation. If someone says he'll pay me to restore an old photograph, I'll be more than happy to set aside some time in my otherwise-hectic day and do that for him in a timely and efficient manner. If someone wants to buy one of my prints, I'll go out of my way to get it to her.

If no one wants me to restore photos, I won't do it, because I have other things to do. If no one wants to buy my prints, I'll stop making them. There's no point in taking lots of photos if no one is going to buy them, or even if there's no proof that people look at them!

That's why I'm making a few changes in my modus operandi. For one, I am going to watermark every one of my photos. Also, I will stop using the Creative Commons license I've been using. Now, no one may link to my photos or have them on their site without my permission. No one may make derivative works without my permission.

Obviously there are exceptions to this. If there are copyrighted items in my photos then legally I can't claim to own the photo itself in its entirety. This is something many people fail to realize. One that comes to mind is "Vices" and "Vices II," which contain (among others) the trademarked names Dr. Pepper, Anheuser-Busch, Marlboro, and Camel. I doubt anyone would buy those prints, though; they're just kinda funny and a bit worrisome to people who don't know me (stop worrying, you).

It's not hard to get permission to use my work in something, either. It's just polite to ask, you know? I'll likely take it as a compliment if you want to put one of my photos on your website or something like that. And since I do a lot of digital art, I can't think of a good reason to suppress those works. Especially once one considers that a lot of my digital works contain stock images. Similarly, a lot of the music I make uses at least a few royalty-free samples, although I tend to modify them extensively.

That all seems a bit...incoherent. Would it be better to just beg for money?

For those of you who don't know, I am at college in central Pennsylvania. I am 18 years old. I live with my family when I'm not at school. I do not live in Brooklyn. I own neither a fixed-gear bicycle nor a Holga. I don't like Pabst Blue Ribbon or Camel Turkish Gold(s). I can't grow an ironic mountain-man beard. I don't hang out in Starbucks. I can't afford Starbucks. Starbucks can't afford Starbucks.

I'm taking an economics class.

When someone has a problem with their computer or one of its components, all they need to do is call or e-mail me directly. But when I have such an issue, and can't fix it myself, I need to spend hours lost in a literal web of dead ends and vague/incorrect links and instructions written in broken English. You try searching a website hosted in Taiwan for an address, phone number, or e-mail in America. It is not easy and not a particularly great way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

If you can think of a good way to spend a Wednesday afternoon, just go do it. It's almost over, for crying out loud.