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Graduation

Graduation

The 23rd of November mom, Jules and I went to Scotland to attend my graduation at the University of Edinburgh. In McEwan Hall I meet with most of my old study colleagues and we were in turn hit by the hat which graduates us and bestow our academic titles upon us. This could have been a nice introduction to John Searle and his speech acts, but I will save that for later.

Anyhow, this marks the end of my second round of formal education, and the start of a new era in which I hope to bring with me the ideals and inspiration I’ve accumulated through five years at universities in Oslo, Stuttgart and Edinburgh. It’s been five interesting years, and I meet a good deal of great people which I hope I will be lucky enough to work with at a later occasion.

I try to keep my blog semi-professional and I try to write more about various topics than about myself. However, as I use this little place as a way of keeping track of what I think, care about and do from year to year I think I should mention my newest little achievement. On the continuous line of life, which is dived into past and future by the razor-thin present I think it’s important to think back and hopefully this can be a little personal milestone for future me.

I do hope that I can put my studies to use, and that I can still learn and develop my skills and thoughts. Learning is not just formal degrees, nor a profession, or an intrest, it is a life-long process which enrich me, and hopefully you as well. There are still big questions to be explored, questions to be answered and arguments to be presented. I look forward to the next challenge

 

Leaving Edinburgh

Leaving Edinburgh

I try to keep this blog semi-personal, by writing not so much through myself, but rather through writing about topics that interests me and on which I am working. This post has to count as an exception. The occasion is that Jules and I are soon bound for Norway after a whole year in Edinburgh. We actually moved here one year ago on this day. On Thursday we are leaving our lovely home for the last year, The Lodge House in Greenhill Gardens, and moving to Norway, first to Hamar and then latter to Oslo.

It has been an intensive and interesting year in Scotland, and both of us have handed in our dissertations and finished our degrees. Compared to the previous years this year has not left much time for traveling, but living abroad gives is in many ways an adventure in itself.

Instead of writing a narrative of the year in Edinburgh I put some pictures online. For those who likes people in pictures, sorry, I choose some non-human objects for this little album. I have now “blogged” for three years, and one of the intentions behind this album is to create something on which can reminiscence of the year in Edinburgh in a three years time. Perhaps you also have been studying or living in Edinburgh and is now living somewhere else. Here are some assorted pictures from the four seasons we lived in Edinburgh.

 

 

Here is a little greeting to all of you I met in Edinburgh, through the university and through friends. Let us keep in touch!

 

The article picture is taken by yours truly (but please reuse according to Creative Commons attribution). The motive is the old town on its side towards new town. The picture is taken from outside the National Gallery and may be used as evidence that it does not always rain in Britain. 

 

Workshop Weekend: Timelapse

Workshop Weekend: Timelapse

A month ago I had a little workshop weekend where I built an electronic camera controller using a relay and an Arduino, this weekend it was about time to try it out.

What do you need to make a time lapse? Well, the most important thing is the camera. No camera, no pictures, no time-lapse. In addition you should find somewhere (location) with an OK view and a motive where some changes are bound to occur over a longer amount of time than normally. One of the reasons to do a time lapse shoot is to convey a temporal understanding which cannot be understood through a 1:1 time frame. On one hand we can see the tiny details making up a whole macro movement when we shoot a video in extreme slow motion (the opposite of time-lapse), or we can see things which normally occur over a long time span in a shorter presentation. Both these changing of time is one aspect discussed after the introduction of photography and cinematography. No longer were the possibility to document the present limited to painting canvas, it was moved to the domain of mechanical reproduction. Utilizing this we could learn more about the world. The photography did not just change the temporal realm, also the spacial changed: Tiny thing could be viewed as large (electron microscope), big thing could be viewed as small (as in satellite photos). To exemplify the temporal realm exposed to video I’ve added two different movies below. The upper video presents a short amount of time in a long time span, and the other video shows the opposite: A long amount of time presented in a short amount of time

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/19819283[/vimeo]
[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/18792120[/vimeo]

Pretty cool, right! Well, the first video is shoot on a Phantom Flex which is a pretty amazing camera able to do an impressive amount of exposures each second, but unless you have lots of money to spend on one of those you have to be happy with something which shoots at one third of the Flex’s speed or less. The good news is that making a video like the second can be done with more affordable equipment, so it may be no surprise that I went for the time-lapse function. Here is the result:

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/20725917[/vimeo]

This video is shoot between 5ish and until around 7.30 from the School of Informatics’ offices in the top floor of Appleton Tower in Edinburgh. The presentation lasts from 23 seconds, and shows the view toward McEwan Hall with the old town and the castle in the background. The movement in the frame was unintended, but happened as my tripod (which is 5 cm high) was gaffed to a metal pole close to the window and probably the result of a weak construction with force created by the shutter. In the beginning I shot a picture every 30th, then every 20th and then finally every 10th second. The latter is the frequency which most of the movie is shot, and only a couple of frames are in 30 and 20 second intervals. If you go for a 10 second exposure you will get 360 pictures per hour.

Creating many pictures is not enough; they have to be compiled together into a video file. I did this in a two-step procedure, first by resizing and renaming the files. This was done by a Python script you can find beneath the article. The second thing to do was to make the pictures into a video. As you probably know, the illusion of motion picture is nothing more than still pictures in an ordered sequence running at a higher speed than the absorbance rate of the eyes (and the rest of the cognitive apparatus). The video frame rate here is around 20 pictures per second. The frame rate and the commands to the mencoder encoder are fixed with a shell script from Mario Valle (mencoder.sh) with some modifications to fit the name structure generated by the Python script.

Well, it was very fun setting up the equipment, and the photography process is done without the help from human hand and the result is done almost by itself, so I hope to get more videos of Edinburgh running at a high pace.

The resizing Code

#!/usr/bin/python
import os
import sys
import Image
import re
# You need to create a folder called zepics a subfolder to the executive folder of this script
# The pictures you want to transform has to be in same folder as the script
width = 1290
height = 864
ext = ".jpg"
counter = 0
path = os.getcwd()
dirList=os.listdir(path)
dirList.sort()
for fname in dirList:
if (re.search(".JPG", fname)):
print("Resizing image: "+fname)
im1=Image.open(fname)
im2 = im1.resize((width, height))
tempcounter = 100000 + counter
im2.save("zepics/img"+str(tempcounter) + ext)
counter = counter + 1
else:
print "I could not resize: "+fname

The Arduino Code

int ledPin = 2;
void setup() // run once, when the sketch starts
{
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
}
void loop()
{
digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
delay(500);
digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);
delay(10000);
}

The remote controller:

The prototyping board:

Update 21. March

Here is another time lapse video shot from the top of the Appleton Tower, this time the skies are documented. Interestingly did we not see much movement of the skies in chronological clock time, but with a shot taken each 7th second, the movement are clearly visible

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/21238949[/vimeo]

Edinburgh in Pictures

Edinburgh in Pictures

Throughout the four months I now have been living in Edinburgh I have occasionally taken some pictures. Here are the pictures I have taken in Edinburgh and uploaded to Flickr.

Igjennom de fire månedene jeg har bodd i Edinburgh har jeg av og til tatt noen bilder. Her er bildene jeg har tatt i Edinburgh og lastet opp til Flickr.

I have some other pictures from other places as well, if you want to check them out, they are available through the Flickr link in the box to the right.

Jeg har noen andre bilder fra andre steder også, hvis du vil sjekke de ut er de tilgjenglige gjennom Flickr-linken i boksen til høyre.

Student demonstration in Edinburgh

Student demonstration in Edinburgh

The UK government coalition of Tories and the Liberal Democrats has annonced cuts in welfare due to the economical situation. Edinburgh students were demonstrating today for what the call a lie, and it is especially the cabinet deputy and LibDem leader Nick Clegg students are raging against -We know you are a Tory, furied the rally as they went from the Edinburgh University towards the Scottish Parliament. After the demonstration in front of the parliament some of the students went back to the university where they have been occupying a building for the last couple of days. Here are some photos I took as I followed the demonstration.

The photos are shared under a creative common, non-commercial, attribution licence. Please take contact for commercial use.