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Monday, February 10th, 2014
8:50 pm - Corporate greed…
You've probably heard about how the CEO of AOL stuck his foot down his throat. I'd caught the news, but this article really drives home what an entitled asshole Tim Armstrong actually is.

From the Toronto Star article by Deanna Fei:
“Two things that happened in 2012,” Armstrong said. “We had two AOL-ers that had distressed babies that were born that we paid a million dollars each to make sure those babies were OK in general. And those are the things that add up into our benefits cost. So when we had the final decision about what benefits to cut because of the increased health care costs, we made the decision, and I made the decision, to basically change the 401(k) plan.”
...
Because the day of her birth was the furthest thing from a happy event, because so many of her first days were lived under the spectre of death, I’ve never had the luxury of taking her presence for granted. Every time she wakes with a dazzling smile and goes to sleep with her soft head against my shoulder feels like a wonder. It can be a struggle to set aside my lingering trauma amid the daily realities of coordinating her care to simply celebrate the fierce, beautiful girl who has completed our family.

All of which made the implication from Armstrong that the saving of her life was an extravagant option, an oversize burden on the company bottom line, feel like a cruel violation, no less brutal for the ludicrousness of his contention.

Let’s set aside the fact that Armstrong — who took home $12 million in pay in 2012 — felt the need to announce a cut in employee benefits on the very day that he touted the best quarterly earnings in years. For me and my husband — who have been genuinely grateful for AOL’s benefits, which are actually quite generous — the hardest thing to bear has been the whiff of judgment in Armstrong’s statement, as if we selfishly gobbled up an obscenely large slice of the collective health care pie.

The rhetoric seems pretty familiar to me. This guy is paid more than six times the supposed cost of those babies, yet that has nothing to do with the lack of cash he feels the company has. Quarterly earnings are up, yet we have to cut back. I heard the same thing at NorTel, back when management was looting the company and running it into the ground.

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Sunday, January 26th, 2014
12:38 pm - Winter Wonderland: Interactive eBook
Via Flickr:
Cover of my new book, available from the iTunes Book Store.

On December 20, 2013, southern Ontario was hit with an ice storm followed by a deep freeze. Over an inch of ice accumulated in some places, breaking branches and cutting off power to many houses. In the deep freeze that followed, hydro crews worked in -30° temperatures to reconnect electricity, but many households were without power for a week.

I was lucky. My neighbourhood has underground power lines, and while it was dangerously slippery we could actually enjoy the beauty of the storm and its aftermath.

This short 14-page book contains photographs and interactive panoramas showing the beauty of the ice storm.


Download for free here: itunes.apple.com/us/book/winter-wonderland/id799194141?ls....

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Sunday, January 12th, 2014
3:36 pm - Dinosaur Provincial Park 2011
Palaeontology is a small world…Edge of the Badlands Little PlanetEdge of the Badlands (A)Edge of the Badlands II Little PlanetEdge of the Badlands II (B)Edge of the Badlands II (A)
Dino Dig I Little PlanetEdge of the BadlandsEdge of the Badlands (B)Edge of the Badlands IIBadlands TerrainBadlands Morning 360° Panorama
Badlands Morning Little PlanetBadlands MorningDino Dig IDino Dig I (B)Dino Dig I (A)Dino Dig II (A)
Dino Dig II (B)Valley of the Moon Little PlanetValley of the Moon I (A)Valley of the Moon I (B)Valley of the Moon II Little PlanetValley of the Moon II (A)

Via Flickr:
I wanted to visit Dinosaur Provincial Park because it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and because I wanted to visit the site where the Royal Tyrell Museum found so many specimens. When visiting the web site I was surprised to see that there was still space in a one-day dig, so I immediately signed up for that (and a couple of hikes).

I got even luckier: I was the only person signed up, but rather than cancel the dig the palaeontologist had some work she wanted to do, so she offered me the chance to go ahead anyway. Once we got out there it was too windy to dig, so she gave me a tour of some of the more interesting parts of the natural preserve while she prospected for fossils. It was an incredibly cool day, and I'm going to go back.

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Saturday, January 11th, 2014
12:01 pm - Ice Christmas 2013
Winter Wonderland I - print versionIciclesFrozen BranchIce Storm Christmas IIIWinter Wonderplanet IWinter Wonderland I.bottom
Winter Wonderland I.backWinter Wonderland I.frontWinter Wonderland I.leftWinter Wonderland I.rightWinter Wonderland I.topWinter Wonderland I mirrorball
Winter Wonderland I zigzagWinter Wonderland I BWinter Wonderland I AWinter Wonderland IIWinter Wonderland III - print versionWinter Wonderland III B
Winter Wonderland III AWinter Wonderplanet IIIFallen TreesWinter Wonderland V mirrorballWinter Wonderland V zigzagWinter Wonderland VI

Ice Christmas 2013, a set on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm just before Christmas, followed by snow on Christmas itself. Not good for things like power and property, but nice for photography.

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Friday, January 10th, 2014
10:28 pm - Winter Wonderland V zigzag
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

This panorama was stitched from 33 hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 20000 * 10000 (200.0 MP; 1.02 GB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Thursday, January 9th, 2014
7:33 pm - Winter Wonderland X - print version
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

Here you can see the trees fallen on the pathway, and the routes through the bushes people used to squeeze past them.

This 360° panorama was stitched from 33 hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 20000 × 10000 (200.0 MP; 969.36 MB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
11:42 am - Winter Wonderplanet III

Winter Wonderplanet III
Originally uploaded by etherflyer
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

This panorama was stitched from 32 hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 13000 × 13000 (169.0 MP; 844.01 MB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Sunday, January 5th, 2014
8:35 pm - Winter Wonderland XI

Winter Wonderland XI
Originally uploaded by etherflyer
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

You can really see the damage to the trees here, and these are relatively small branches that have come down. On the bright side, no other damage and trees grow pretty quickly, so a few years will see things back to normal.

This panorama was stitched from eleven hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 12625 × 11300 (142.7 MP; 755.85 MB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
4:47 pm - Winter Wonderland XIII

Winter Wonderland XIII
Originally uploaded by etherflyer
Via Flickr:
I loved the contrast between white snow, blue sky, and red sumac.

This panorama was stitched from seven hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, and touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 9418 × 9418 (88.7 MP; 472.41 MB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
10:05 pm - Winter Wonderland III - print version
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

This panorama was stitched from seven hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 20000 × 10000 (200.0 MP; 1018.15 MB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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6:38 pm - Winter Wonderplanet I

Winter Wonderplanet I
Originally uploaded by etherflyer
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

This panorama was stitched from 33 hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 13000 × 13000 (169.0 MP; 131.03 MB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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5:35 pm - Winter Wonderland II

Winter Wonderland II
Originally uploaded by etherflyer
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

This panorama was stitched from seven hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 10852 × 7824 (84.9 MP; 444.34 MB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Friday, December 27th, 2013
8:09 am - Winter Wonderland
Via Flickr:
We had an ice storm before Christmas, and snow on Christmas day, so travel was rather tricky. On the bright side, my local park was easy enough to walk to, my new Baffin boots were really warm and waterproof, and I managed to get some decent panoramas at my local park.

This panorama was stitched from 33 hand-held photographs with PTGUI Pro, processed with Color Efex, then touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 20000 × 10000 (200.0 MP; 1.02 GB).

Location: Richvale Greenway, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

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Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
9:07 pm - Autumn Colours

Autumn Colours
Originally uploaded by etherflyer
Via Flickr:
Playing around with intentional camera movement at the local park (making the best of indifferent lighting). This is a sumac, just turned brilliant colours, processed with the Kodachrome 64 filter in Colour Efex.

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Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
4:12 pm - First eBook Available
I've got my first ebook available on the iTunes bookstore:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mongolia/id689419525?ls=1

It's a cross between a travel diary and a portfolio, with lots of pictures and interactive panoramas. And it's free, so no reason not to download it! :-)

It's got at least one good review so far:
If you are passionate about photography, travel and adventure, then "Mongolia Within the Frame" is for you. In this IBook, Robert Prior shares his beautiful images of superb quality taken last year during the photo adventure organised by David DuChemin and Jeffrey Chapman. Mongolia as never seen before.

The IBook has great content, both visually and textually. From Robert's personal touch: his expectations, experiences, processes and results, to the detailed information on this amazing country, with references to various sources and links. Robert gives us an insight into the cultural developments and the extraordinary changes that Mongolia is going through, its interesting geological history, complemented by images and perspectives never seen before.
So blowing my own horn a bit, but check it out.

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Friday, July 19th, 2013
6:13 pm - This looks interesting...
2013 Public Lecture


THE WORLD IS FLAT.
No, the world is not actually flat, but there are still people out there who would like to make it so. Join us for the Bridges 2013 Public Lecture to learn why and how. In this special celebration of art-math connections between Canada and The Netherlands, researchers Jack van Wijk (Eindhoven University of Technology) and David Swart (Christie, Kitchener-Waterloo) will discuss their shared interest in the impossible task of cutting up the earth in order to make it lie flat. Learn about this fascinating topic through images, animations, and live models.

When: Saturday, 27 July 2013
Where: Grote Kerk, Oude Markt, Enschede
20.00 Reception
20.30 Lecture

Too bad I'm on the other side of the world...

http://bridgesmathart.org/bridges-2013/2013-public-lecture/

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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
1:03 pm - PMO asked staff to supply 'enemy' lists to new ministers
From the CBC:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office asked staff to include a list of "friend and enemy stakeholders" in their transition binders for new ministers appointed in Monday's cabinet shuffle, according to a leaked email.
As we move closer to a presidential system — without the built-in checks-and-balances one designed that way would have.

current mood: cynical

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Saturday, July 13th, 2013
9:52 am - New Canadian Army Ranks
Had coffee yesterday with a retired Colonel. When I asked him about Harper's 'new' ranks for the Canadian Army (ie. going back to the old British ranks) he said that it meant nothing to anyone in the Forces, as even the oldest had only served under the current rank system. He thought the change was pandering to voters 'out East', and the money it would cost could be better spent on things the Forces actually needed, rather than new rank badges.

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Thursday, June 13th, 2013
7:37 pm - Filter Operating Galleries, West Wing, Filter Building Little Planet
Via Flickr:
The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant is an architectural jewel — legacy of an age when infrastructure was celebrated. Its elegant styling reflects the importance given to clean water. We should remember that sentiment: clean water has saved more lives than all the hospitals of Toronto, even if we take it for granted nowadays.

"Each gallery is over 110m long and provides access to 20 filters. The floors and base heaters use the same materials found in the rotunda. The filter operating tables still have their original Valternache (green-black) and Rosata Clair (honey-coloured) marble facing and bronze doors. Each filter doorway has a Rosata Clair surround and a threshold of yet another type of marble — Endsley Pink Tennessee.

"The west wing dates from 1932-35, while the east wing was added in 1955-56 to double the plant’s filtering capacity. The addition closely resembles the original wing, but has a brass-covered expansion joint, subtly different skylights, and a mid-point staircase (which, relative to the original wing, allows workers to more easily access the pipe gallery below.)"

This High Dynamic Range 360° panorama was stitched from 72 bracketed images with PTGUI Pro, tone-mapped with Photomatix, and touched up in Aperture.

Original size: 18600 × 9300 (173.0 MP; 161.01 MB).

Location: R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
10:00 pm - Filter, Filter Building

Filter, Filter Building
Originally uploaded by etherflyer
Via Flickr:
The R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant is an architectural jewel — legacy of an age when infrastructure was celebrated. Its elegant styling reflects the importance given to clean water. We should remember that sentiment: clean water has saved more lives than all the hospitals of Toronto, even if we take it for granted nowadays.

This is one of the filters, seen through the glass. I was able to get rid of most of the reflections by using my coat as a camera hood. If I'd been thinking ahead I'd have put some gaffer tape in my bag, which would have made the job a lot easier. (So would an assistant, but I was alone on this trip.)

This High Dynamic Range image was tone-mapped from seven bracketed RAW with Photomatix and touched up in Aperture.

Location: R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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