@Mikal@sfba.social
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Mikal

@Mikal@sfba.social

Interested in All Of The Things, which is probably why I follow you.

Things I do: #LandscapePhotography and #Protest #Photography, #paragliding, #StormChasing, #border and #HumanRights #activism.

Intellectual hobbies I watch from the sidelines: science, security/privacy, online sociality and general internet theorizing. My camera shoots fascists. Photos my own unless noted. Direct sharing photos: yay! Scraping: no.

You can write to me via my website, though Signal gets the quickest response.

This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. Browse more on the original instance.

divya, to random
@divya@sfba.social avatar

I was so peeved Alameda Antique fair had port-a-potties — PORT-A-POTTIES — that were gendered. WHY?? I pointedly used a men's one.

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@divya
I still see this all the time in permanent toilets as well, such as at service stations and parking lots at public lands trailheads. Some of it may just be inertia (no one bothered to change the signs) and in other cases it may be a conservative middle-finger to modern views on gender. It's all just so dumb sometimes 🤦
Le Sigh.

jordinn, to random

In an extremely unbelievable and yet also perhaps predictable turn of events, the house two classmates and I are in the process of renting, furnished, looked like just another way-overpriced 3bd airbnb thing. But then a particular feature caught my eye, a room-length custom desk ..

Friends, we are about to rent the house we almost bought. And got blocked from buying. So that as an international graduate student I don't exploit and damage the market.

It's now corporately owned, with 38 others.

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@jordinn

This assumption about property/houses always increasing in value is so pervasive, especially as a current homeowner who grew up with middle-class values. I've used it myself a lot lately when considering where I might permanently call my new home base. The assumption is that buying a place where I want to experiment with living for a while is better than renting for a year because, hey, I can always sell it for more later if I decide that place is not for me. That is on the face of it likely true — that I'd come out ahead financially after a couple years if I resold it instead of renting — but the underlying dynamic that makes it true needs to be seriously examined.

Mikal, to Flowers
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

I have always fancied columbine. I'm a sucker for new varieties I see at nurseries. These and a couple of others have naturalized at my place.

Two showy purple flowers with yellow and violet cup-like centers, hanging downward, with green leaves in the background.

kate, to random
@kate@fosstodon.org avatar

In the same way most of us say “goodbye” without realising it derives from “god be with ye”, maybe one day people will end conversations with “likensubscribe”

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@kate

Somewhere in the future I suspect "linkinbio" might find a niche as well.

Mikal, to random
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Y'all...please stop with the "scorpion and the frog" metaphors. Scorpions only sting when hunting prey or when threatened. They raise their stinger aggressively when threatened, giving any would-be predator or attacker ample warning, much the way rattlesnakes rattle or skunks raise their tails.

Scorpions are reclusive creatures and want to be left alone. So, not only does this BS fable pointlessly demonize innocent creatures, but it completely fails in a literary sense.

See also: "boiling frog." Just cut that shit out, k?

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

I've been thinking about what would make a better metaphor to replace the parable of The Scorpion And The Frog. How about this: The Capitalist And The Sea Turtle.

A capitalist is shipwrecked on a remote island. He sees a very large sea turtle on the beach and asks if it will carry him back to the mainland.

The turtle says "But you are a capitalist. If I let you onto my back, you will kill me and sell my flesh and shell for profit."

"But that would be foolish because we would both die," said the capitalist. "It is inconsistent with my own enlightened self interest!"

Accepting this logic, the sea turtle allows the capitalist climb upon its shell. Halfway across the strait, the capitalist tries to strangle the turtle. But the turtle, being at home in the sea, dives deep, forcing the capitalist to let go. Safely out of reach, the sea turtle asks the capitalist, now flailing helplessly, "Why did you do that?"

"I am a capitalist. I could not help myself," the capitalist replied, before sinking out of sight.

Mikal, to random
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Remember when airline passengers talked with each other? I just had a lovely experience with a seat mate who asked me to listen to her read the eulogy she'd written for her grandfather, whose funeral she was flying to attend. She wanted a stranger's opinion. I'd seen her wiping tears beforehand.

The eulogy was a beautiful tribute to a man who had clearly been very special and important to her. I felt honored.

We then chatted about travels and hiking and her recent trip to Volcán de Fuego, a place high on my to-do list.

Before e-devices became so ubiquitous, people often read paper books, of course, but there was much more conversation between passengers. Even as a rather shy introvert around strangers, I miss this.

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Question: what was the most interesting random-seat-mate convo you ever had on an airplane?

GottaLaff, to tesla
@GottaLaff@mastodon.social avatar

A owner says his car’s ‘self-driving’ technology failed to detect a moving train ahead of a crash caught on camera

A video viewed millions of times on social media shows a Tesla almost crashing into a train. Documents from Tesla show the car was in Full Self-Driving mode at the time.
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/tesla-owner-says-cars-self-driving-mode-fsd-train-crash-video-rcna153345

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@GottaLaff

Blame it on all of us failing to properly "identify all squares with a moving train" on the captchas.

Mikal, to math
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Can someone help me with this #Geometry volume problem?

I'm trying to calculate the volume of water in my storage pond. It is a section of a cone with these dimensions: the bottom is roughly circular and 40 feet diameter; the top is roughly circular and 65 feet diameter. It is 16 feet deep when full.

I probably could've done this in high school geometry class, but that was…er...a very long time ago.
#math #FediHelp

flexghost, to random
@flexghost@mastodon.social avatar

Oh, what a beautiful mornin'
Oh, what a beautiful day
I've got a beautiful feelin'
Everything's goin' my way…

الدنيا دوارة، والله ما بينسى حدا

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@flexghost

There should be a day of mourning.
For the helicopter.

RickiTarr, to random
@RickiTarr@beige.party avatar

What is your dream road trip? Where would you start? Where would you end up? What stops would you make along the way? It can be short or long, whatever interests you!

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@RickiTarr
I'm a road trippin' fool, so it took me a while to find something I haven't just gone and done, but I've never driven the complete Alaska Hwy. i've been as far north as Fort St. John, BC.

Also, doing more long road trips in Mexico, but that feels way too dangerous now. I drive around Sonora a lot, but never at night. Driving the length of Baja California again would be fun.

RickiTarr, to random
@RickiTarr@beige.party avatar

What is the thing(s) that attracts you to a person romantically or otherwise?

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@RickiTarr

Romantically speaking, do you mean "from across the room" or "after crossing the room and chatting for a while"?

"After chatting a while", which applies non-romantically as well: intelligence with kindness (arrogance is a turn off), a large range of interests and activities that only partially overlap with mine. Ideally some obsessive or professional specialty that I want to hear all about. Having a probing curiosity about the world (I usually get along with journalists and scientists, for example). Being, uh, "unconventional" or misfit or offbeat in some way (even if passing as normie).

"From across the room", romantically speaking: being fit, strong, thin-ish, having good posture, cute (to me), no makeup. Petite with dimples = im ded.

🤷‍♂️

lauren, to random
@lauren@mastodon.laurenweinstein.org avatar

In a somehow fitting but still bizarre twist of fate, the exterior sequences of the notorious Nazi-oriented exploitation film "Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS" (1975) were filmed on the same POW camp set as the comedy Nazi-oriented TV series "Hogan's Heroes" in Culver City. While a comedy series about Nazis was controversial even then, it's clear that Mel Brook's original "The Producers" (1967) cleared a path for such endeavors.

The final sequence of Ilsa required the camp to burn to the ground. Since Heroes had ended production in 1971 and the set needed to be demolished anyway, it was set on fire to provide Ilsa with her dramatic exit.

Only here in L.A.

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@lauren
I used to love Hogan's Heroes as a kid. Now, this makes me weirdly want to watch the Ilsa movie.

Mikal, to random
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

From last night. Humboldt County, CA, about 40°8' north latitude, so much further south than the NOAA map suggested. Glad I went out! That's local landmark Bear Butte just right of center.

Shot with a Canon 8-15mm f4 at 15mm, ISO 8000, 8 seconds, RAW, then cropped in Lightroom. Adjusting the highlight slider (way down) brought out more of the color, but I didn't otherwise enhance the colors as the camera saw them.

The "rays" and some pinks and greens were very visible to the naked eye, so it was super fun to watch. The camera picked up much more color. This and any others I post were shot as timelapses, but they'll take more work to edit.

seachanger, to Alaska
@seachanger@alaskan.social avatar

straight up blowing my mind in rn

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@seachanger
Pics or it didn't happen ;-)

Mikal, to random
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Northern California and the aurora is going off! Pics later...!

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Giant sky-filling rays that are moving, with light colors. Very, very visible to the naked eye. I'm doing a time lapse with my DSLR and those pics look fabulous.

I saw it once in Northern British Columbia back in the '80s with waving sheets of color ripping across the sky. This is the closest I've ever seen to that. Completely did not expect it this far south.

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

This is so fucking coooooool!

I had been contemplating driving to someplace like maybe south of Mount Shasta so I would have that in the frame with the northern lights, but NOAA's map showed the aurora not being visible that far south. I went out on my rooftop this evening, snapped a couple long exposures, realized it looked kind of cool so I came up here on the ridge. And then it went OFF!

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

After a lull, the aurora is picking up again. My iPhone SE doesn't pick it up, so you'll have to wait till I process my DSLR pics. I have my second camera but feel a little sheepish at not bringing both tripods 🤦‍♂️ I really didn't expect much. 🤷‍♂️

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Another big wave of pink rays!

Fuck. I'm not going to get any sleep tonight, am I?

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

It's so cool the way the light moves from one part of the sky to the next. Now it has shifted off to the east of north. It was way off to the west earlier.

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

Imagine this aurora event, but 30 years ago. Only a very few dedicated photographers would be getting photos and it would've taken a few days at least to get them processed and printed and put "online", had there been an online back then.

10 years ago DSLRs sensitive enough to record good aurora pics were fairly common, but expensive. Now, cell phones are good enough to take shareable photos.

So, because of the democratization of camera technology, we get to have this fun, global, real-time shared experience of a beautiful astronomical event.

Wonder what would Copernicus think of it all?

flexghost, to random
@flexghost@mastodon.social avatar

After the parasite, that feeds off brain activity, starved to death leaving only a black spot, RFK jr was asked for a comment:

“Sometimes duck with cheese can purple. Tartar baby staples. Vaccines bad.”

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@flexghost
"Doctors find RFK Jr is a worm with a dead brain."

stefan, to accessibility
@stefan@stefanbohacek.online avatar

I was saving this for the upcoming one year anniversary of the Alt Text Hall of Fame in August, but I figured I'd share some thoughts on how the project started while it's getting a bit of attention.

https://stefanbohacek.com/blog/why-i-made-alt-text-hall-of-fame/

Mikal,
@Mikal@sfba.social avatar

@stefan

I never used alt text or realized its importance until joining the fediverse a year and a half ago. TBH, when I'm out in the street live-blogging an event, alt text can get a little tedious, so I keep it a bit more stripped down. But otherwise, it's become a standard part of posting and I like to make it fun when I can.

At the risk of too much shameless self-promotion, here are three of my best:

https://sfba.social/@Mikal/111602278454046589
https://sfba.social/@Mikal/111211394846370620
https://sfba.social/@Mikal/111902962063521099 (second image of the nun)

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