Hemingway on Writing

via Dustin Curtis. Earnest Hemingway:

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.

How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.

This is the part that got me: “He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.” But what is success? To me: When I can put into writing the juxtaposition of what goes on in my head and heart, and to have the reader experience just that.

Zeiss T✻

Karen Bartlett:

Paul Rudolph first designed a symmetrical lens now known as a ‘Protar’ which was a highly corrected single combination lens which could be mounted with another lens in a single barrel to give even greater performance and a larger aperture.

His most important work was still to come, however, with the development of the Tessar lens in 1902. The Tessar comprised four elements in three groups, one positive crown glass element at the front, one negative flint glass element at the center and a negative plano-concave flint glass element cemented with a positive convex crown glass element at the rear.

The Tessar was hugely popular in mid-range cameras, and made photography a truly mobile activity for the first time. (A Tessar lens is still used on the Nokia Lumia 800 today.) With its small size and outstanding performance it delivers superb images.

There was one final step in the development of the ultimate ZEISS lens – the technique of applying anti-reflective coating to lens surfaces. Applying multiple layers of coating was invented in 1935 and developed from this basis after World War Two, and known as “T✻” (T-star).

Does the Lumia 800 use a T✻?

Three Tips on How to Look Fantastic on Video Chats

Amber Mac, Fast Company:

  1. Look up, not down.
  2. Light in front, not in back.
  3. Go external, not internal.

Good tips, but: Don’t look up or down; be even with the cam. Light in front is better than back, but front, back, and sides are much better. And don’t go searching for a new external webcam to buy, the internal one built into the notebook/monitor/all-in-one is good enough. Just make sure there’s enough lighting.

The TV Experience Minus Commercials

Patrick Rhone:

I turn to that, Beatrix approves, and we watch. Then, a few minutes later, a commercial comes on. The volume difference is jarring to say the least. I would safely guess it is fifty percent louder than the show. I hurriedly reach for the remote and turn it down…

“Why did you turn the movie off, Daddy?”, Beatrix worriedly asks, as if she has done something is wrong and is being punished by having her entertainment interrupted. She thinks that’s what I was doing by rushing for the remote.

“I didn’t turn it off, honey. This is just a commercial. I was turning the volume down because it was so loud. Shreck will come back on in a few minutes” I say.

“Did it break?”, she asks. It does sometimes happen at home that Flash or Silverlight implode, interrupt her show, and I have to fix it.

“No. It’s just a commercial.”

“What’s a commercial?”, she asks.

”It is like little shows where they tell you about other shows and toys and snacks.”, I explain.

“Why?”

Why indeed.

Why Do iPhone 4S Users Consume More Data?

via John Gruber. Marco Arment:

The camera, of course. Every iPhone after the 3G has shipped with a higher-resolution camera than its predecessor. People capture and share a lot of photos on their iPhones, so a very likely culprit for higher data usage, controlling for OS version and tethering abilities, is that the photos are simply much larger with each new iPhone.

The camera on the iPhone 4S is a significant upgrade in terms of quality and performance over the iPhone 4. Great photos mean more iPhone 4S users will take more photos. And it would be reasonable to assume more photos taken also means more photos are shared, consuming more data. If the camera gets better in the next iPhone, which is quite likely to happen, expect even more data consumption.

Hugo Director Martin Scorsese on 3D

Martin Scorsese:

We see in 3D, we see in space… most of us do. Space is part of our lives. It means something. I think, for the individual person who has a vision of telling a story through images, how that person uses space—that extra element, that extra dimension—to tell a story is very, very important.

Don’t trick my eyes, instead give me a real third dimension like the real world.

A Military Approach to Camera Shooting

Alex Heie:

I am by no measures a “pro,” but I understand my fundamentals very well, and this specific set has been drilled into my head so many times that it is now second-nature. I am going to teach you how to “shoot” your camera like a high end rifle because at the end of the day, the fundamentals stay the same in every aspect. If you are an avid shooter (of the projectile type), then you do all of this probably without even thinking about it, especially if you are like some of my friends that exited the womb wielding a 30 Aught Six (7.62mm for those of you unfamiliar with American calibers).

Excellent tips on how to securely hold and shoot your camera.

Quality When Possible

via Patrick Rhone. Minimal:

Often I find myself longing for a simpler life, a life that might be harder – like those of my grandparents and parents – but a life that was simpler. People didn’t buy disposable, people bought quality when possible.

Quality, if at all possible, is the way to go. Spending more now for quality will save you money and time in the long run.

Lessons I Learned Reading Over 200 Books

Julien Smith read one book per week for five years and shared his 140-character CliffsNotes. Here’s just a few examples:

  • How To Succeed in Anything by Really Trying by Lyman MacInnis: The three A’s of careers are Ability, Ambition, and Attitude. If you have those three down, you’re good.
  • The Dip by Seth Godin: The real rewards come to those who can outlast the competition. If you can do that while staying unique, you win.
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser: Simplicity matters. Clarity matters. “Writing improves in direct ratio to the number of things we can keep out of it.”
  • What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson: Follow your passion or you’ll regret it. Speaking from experience, this is true.

Good stuff.