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Writing a book part three - Notes from my editor

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My friend who works as a translator (Icelandic - English) and editor was nice enough to edit the blog for me. I also offered to pay her (because of course, this is her job), but she did not want me to, because she is a super nice person. I invited her to a beer instead. She did a great job, though could not keep herself from injecting some sass into her comments.

She was confused by some of my more German English:


Whut? Is this a German idiom? I don‘t get it.

I think... I don‘t know what you mean by this really.




I also seem to be making up words


This isn‘t a standard word. What is this meant to mean? People who own yachts?


This is not a word. I don’t really know what you mean?




Sometimes I capitalise, sometimes I don't


You should be consistent.

Consistency!




Shouldn't I know that, being German and all

No c in Bismarck?




Sometimes all she could comment was:

What?





Picture of the week - Reykjavík in Black and White

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I made that picture last year when winter actually had snow. This year it was mainly rain and storms. Last week there was even a thunderstorm, which I have never experienced in Iceland. Thunderstorms occur when cool air collides with warm air. One of those is rare in Iceland.


Hans Rosling

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Hans Rosling died yesterday at the age of 68. He was the kind of person I want to be when I grow up. Go and watch his videos now!
Posted on - Categories: Research


Goodbye Hlemmur

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Hlemmur is the terminal bus station for Reykjavík centre close to my house. I always had a soft spot for this station as it has a nice retro look and it was one of the few non-commercial places where people could meet and hang out.



As it is a place where many people wait for connections one would think that having an indoor place for people to wait, buy tickets, check the time table and so on makes sense. But then this is Stræto. The company which never replaced the shelter at the bus station next to my work which got flattened by a storm in 2015.

Stræto decided that Hlemmur is not cost-effective (Stræto is a private company) and gave/sold (I'm not certain which) it to the city. The city decided to ask for ideas for Hlemmur on Betri Reykjavík, an online citizen consultation forum and it was decided that Hlemmur should be changed into a food market. This leads me to conclude the following:

People who have time to use a platform like Betri Reykjavík ∩ People who go to work by bus = 0


and/or

People who have time to use a platform like Betri Reykjavík ∩ People who care about the availability of non-commercial spaces = 0


I'm bitter, because the whole winter Hlemmur, the bus station where I wait for the bus to work, had no inside waiting option, while the bus station from work in the middle of a freaking field did not even have a basic shelter.




Fun with plastic bags and flash

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I only have my inbuilt flash to work with. That does not mean one cannot get creative. So the other night I got out my camera, some plastic bags and started experimenting. First I took a picture of myself w/o flash setting the white balance to tungsten light. As you can see, my ceiling light makes bad lighting for portraits, my face is in shadow.


With the inbuilt flash alone, there are hard shadows (look under my chin) and reflection from my glasses.Not really a good portrait.


Then I took the white plastic bag, blew it op and put it around the inbuilt flash. Viola, instant diffuser.


My portrait is now much better, the light is softer and more equal



But of course I did not stop there! I got the blue plastic bag and took a picture of it, using it to set custom white balance


Basically I told my camera that the blue of the bag is actually neutral grey, so when I took a picture with the setting everything had a red tinge


Now I set up my camera with the blue plastic bag as a diffuser (it was bigger and thicker than the white one and really hard to blow up)


Now my portrait has normal light while the background is red. Not really interesting with my closet as the background, but a proof of concept for now. I'm going to collect a lot of plastic bags and find a nice spot outside.



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