Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Powerful Chinese Essay by a Primary School Child Using Bombastic Phrases

Funny Responses to Test Questions

Friday, October 23, 2015

Les incroyables photos de la construction de la Tour Eiffel | Paris ZigZag | Insolite & Secret

Dans une France en difficulté, et encore marquée par le souvenir de sa défaite face à l’Allemagne en 1870,  s’impose l’idée d’une Exposition universelle capable de restaurer l’image de la France au regard du monde.
Prévue à Paris en 1889, année du centenaire de la Révolution française, l’Exposition est tout entière dévolue au fer, et son clou  est la tour haute de 300 mètres dessinée par Maurice Koechlin et construite par Gustave Eiffel.
Il aura fallu plus de 2 ans et 200 ouvriers sur le chantier pour construire ce Meccano géant de 18 000 pièces. La Tour Eiffel resta « la plus haute structure du monde » pendant 41 ans,  jusqu’à la construction en 1930, du Chrysler Building (319 m), à New York.
Revivez en photos la construction de la Tour Eiffel de 1887 à 1889 !
Le premier croquis de ce qui deviendra la tour Eiffel – Par Maurice Koechlin
Vue du Champ de Mars avant la construction de la Tour Eiffel – Février 1887
contruction tour eiffel
Démarrage de la construction de la Tour Eiffel sur le Champ-de-Mars, en février 1887
Fondation de la Tour Eiffel en mars 1887 – Pierre Petit – Musée d’Orsay
Avril 1887
Août 1887, les 4 piles de la Tour devant l’ancien Palais du Trocadéro – © Musée d’Orsay
Août 1887
janvier 1888
janvier 1888 – © Musée d’Orsay
janvier 1888 – © Musée d’Orsay
ouvriers-eiffel jksdcioe
Ouvriers sur l’échafaudage d’une poutre en arc du « Campanile » – 1888 – ©ADAGP
Janvier 1888 –  © Musée d’Orsay
histoire tour eiffel 1888
Mars 1888
histoire tour eiffel  contruction 1888
Mai 1888
tour eiffel  contruction 1888
Juin 1888
juillet 1888 – © Musée d’Orsay
tour eiffel  contruction1888-
Aout 1888
juillet 1888
chantier-eiffel pourtre eiffel chantier
Les visites de chantiers en 1889 – ©ADAGP
Les étapes de la construction de 1887 à 1889 – © Musée d’Orsay
Gustave au sommet de sa Tour en 1889 !

Les incroyables photos de la construction de la Tour Eiffel | Paris ZigZag | Insolite & Secret:

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Why It Can Look Like Your Watch Has Stopped When You Glance At It (Even Though It Hasn't) — HODINKEE

You may have noticed, during a long stint in a boring lecture or class, that when you glance at the clock, it sometimes seems as if the clock has stopped running. You stare in disbelief, wondering briefly if you’ve fallen into some sci-fi time warp, but then, to your relief, the clock starts advancing again. You might even have noticed the same phenomenon when you glance at your wristwatch – more often, when you’re wearing a quartz watch, and you may have wondered if time flows at different rates sometimes, or if you have some weird ability to briefly stop time.
Neither is the right answer. What you’re actually experiencing is a phenomenon called “chronostasis” – the illusion of a temporary suspension of the passage of time. The key word here is “illusion.” You may not ever have thought about it, but when you rapidly move your eyes and look at something new in your field of vision, you don’t see any motion blur. This is because of so-called “saccadic masking” – your brain actually edits out the blur and fills in the blank with a prolonged image of whatever you’ve glanced at. This phenomenon of filling in a blank so there is no jarring discontinuity in perception happens in other ways as well; for instance, even with one eye shut, you can’t see your own blind spot (which is a gap in your visual field, due to the fact that in the back of the eye, where the optic nerve leaves, there are no retinal cells).
The overestimation of the duration of a stimulus can be up to 500 milliseconds. So no, when you’re bored out of your skull, and you glance at the clock, and time seems to have stopped, it hasn’t – but it sure looks that way for a half a second or so.
Read up all about it on Wikipedia, natch.

Why It Can Look Like Your Watch Has Stopped When You Glance At It (Even Though It Hasn't) — HODINKEE:

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You Too May Be A Victim Of Developaralysis | TechCrunch

Dear developers: Do you feel insecure because you’re only fluent in a mere eight programming languages used across three families of devices? Does exposure to yet another JavaScript framework make you shudder and wince? Have you postponed a pet project because you couldn’t figure out which cloud platform would be best for it?
You too may suffer from Developaralysis. Be afraid. There is no cure.
The panoply of options available to developers today is ridiculous. We’re choking on a cornucopia. Over the last few years I’ve been paid to write Java, Objective-C, C, C++, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, PHP (sorry) backed by various flavors of SQL/key-value/document datastores (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, BigTable, Redis, Memcached, etc.) Do I feel good about this? Good God, no. Mostly I just feel guilty that I haven’t done anything with Erlang, Clojure, Rust, Go, C#, Scala, Haskell, Julia, Scheme, Swift, or OCaml.
I’m a victim of Developaralysis: the crippling sense that the software industry is evolving so fast that no one person can possibly keep up.
Take almost any of those languages, zoom in on the various frameworks and toolkits and libraries available for it … and try to keep your head from exploding. It would take months just to complete a serious evaluation of all the permutations of JavaScript frameworks and libraries out there today. And do you have any idea how many Ruby gems are available? Or iOS frameworks? Or NewSQL/NoSQL datastores? And don’t even get me started on Hadoop vs Spark vs Google Dataflow, or Avro vs Thrift vs protocol buffers, or or or …
At least the mobile world has shrunk to an Android/iOS duopoly — although that hides crossover alternatives, like Xamarin or cross-platform HTML a la PhoneGap or Sencha — but just try figuring out where and how to deploy your back end. I’ve worked on systems deployed to Heroku, Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine, and Parse…which just makes me feel bad that I know little about the guts of OpenStack, Force.com, Azure, AppFog, the many AWS services I’ve never actually used, et al.
Developers today face such a thronging armada of available options that we now use a plethora of tools which exist just to help us manage our lists of other tools: Bundler, Bower, CocoaPods, Pip, etc. Which are great! I wouldn’t want to live without them! But still. And then you start using those other tools, and half the time when you really get down into their weeds, you begin to realize that configuration isn’t quite enough, you actually want to rewrite them … just a little … or maybe replace them with another alternative …
The sad fact is that the sheer number and diversity of languages, tools, frameworks, and platforms available to developers today is incredibly daunting. Of course nobody wants to admit this. Everybody wants to pretend to be a master/mistress of all trades. But the truth is that we all suffer from the stigma of Developaralysis.
Even gathering the information required to make an informed decision is almost certainly counterproductive. If, before embarking on a project, you actually took the time to analyze all the possibilities, and then climbed the resulting learning curve, you’d promptly get beaten to market by some teenager using PHP and Swift with emoji variable names
–but on the other hand, if you settle on Swift and PHP, then you live in constant terror that some ninja C#/Haskell programmer will wind up running rings around you in the same way that Paul Graham did with Lisp, back in the day:
When you choose technology, you have to ignore what other people are doing, and consider only what will work the best … In fact we did have a secret weapon … We were just able to develop software faster than anyone thought possible … We wrote our software in a weird AI language, with a bizarre syntax full of parentheses.
Hence: Developaralysis. Do we choose what we already know, because we can move now without crawling up a learning curve, and live in terror that someone somewhere else is doing it better, faster, more elegantly–and our skills will be obsolete and uncompetitive next year? Or do we expand what we know, because we love to learn and better tools are both more fun and a huge competitive advantage…at the expense of copious time, effort, and cognitive load?

You Too May Be A Victim Of Developaralysis | TechCrunch:

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sony's new RX1R II might be the ultimate pocket-sized camera

Sony just announced the RX1R mark II at a small event in New York City. It's the newest camera in the company's RX1 line of compact full-frame sensor cameras, and the first update since the RX1R was released in 2013. And after a brief, early look at it, it's even more impressive than its predecessors.
The RX1R II is tiny despite the relatively large fixed 35mm lens that it sports. The camera body itself is roughly the size of the company's other popular pint-sized camera, the RX100, and it feels nearly as light. The big difference between the two is that the RX100's retractable zoom lens makes it truly fit in a pocket, whereas the bulky, immovable f2.0 lens on the RX1R II means you'll have to carry the camera on a strap or in a bag.

But what you get at this size is a true powerhouse of a camera. The RX1R II has a 42.4-megapixel, full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor. It's also backlit, allowing for an ISO range of 100-25,600 (expandable to 50-102,400). Sony's done a number of things to the structure of the sensor that ups the data transmission speed, making this version 3.5 times faster than the original RX1R.

Of course, performance speed is a moot point if you can't get the shot you're looking for, and one of the problems in the RX1 line to this point has been autofocus. Sony says that RX1R II's autofocus is 30 percent faster, and from my (very short) time with it that sounds about right. Another issue that users had with the original line was that there was no built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). That's been changed this time around, too, as the RX1R II has a pop-up, 2.4-million dot OLED EVF — similar to what's found on the Fujifilm X-T1 or the Olympus OM-D line of cameras, or Sony's own RX100. To top it all off, the 3-inch LCD screen on the back now tilts; on older models, it was fixed.
There's some other really heady stuff happening on the RX1R II that will please the more hardcore photography enthusiasts. Sony's built what it's calling the "world’s first optical variable low pass filter," which means that you can toggle how severely the low pass filter affects your image or turn it off completely. If you're shooting a shirt or a fabric that could cause moire, you can turn the low pass filter on and tweak the strength to your liking. If you're shooting a plain landscape scene with no wild patterns, you can turn it off and get the full detail from your sensor. (The camera can also take multiple images with the different filter levels, and you can choose after the fact.) Until now, cameras either had or didn't have a low pass filter, but Sony's found a way to introduce more control and choice in the matter.
While Sony's RX100 and A7S II have the ability to shoot 4K, the RX1R II can only shoot video at 1080p (at 24, 30, or 60 frames per second). But those other cameras are meant to be much more multi-purpose, with zoomable and interchangeable lenses, respectively. The RX1R II is a premium digital camera for still photographers, and because of that Sony is commanding a premium price — it will cost $3,300 when it hits store shelves in November.