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Fun with flags - and gimp

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During one of the many protests this spring I took a picture of our union flag. The following was the result of rainy afternoons.

Background removed

To remove the background you add an alpha layer under "layers". You can use the fuzzy select or colour to alpha / select by colour. Colour to alpha can go wrong (things with the same colour which are not in the background being removed) but here it means that the semi transparent quality of the flag fabric got preserved, which comes in handy in the last picture.

Blurs

I followed this tutorial, but instead of rendering plasma clouds and map -> displace I used a simple horizontal motion blur. I set a black background and added some flare ray gradients.

Threshholds and comics

I followed this tutorial, but used for the last layer I inverted the colours and then set white to alpha, ending up with the black areas seen in the flag. I played around with available patterns until I had the stripes I liked.

Add a sun and blue sky

Here the semi-transparency of the flag comes into play. I used a supernova effect below the flag layer, added a blue background and a radial flare gradient in the corners.


Vífilstaðir

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My workplace is Vifilstaðir, a house built beginning 1900s to be a tuberculosis sanatorium. Part of the structure is in disrepair, such as the old terrace, where patients used to lie for hours under thick blankets in the cold, fresh air, which was faultily believed to be beneficial. It is all very "Magic Mountain" a book I incidentally never finished to read.




Now the house is used as a temporary home for elderly who are waiting for a place in a nursing home. The house is spacy, with high ceilings and from all the rooms as well as the physiotherapy there is a great view of the surrounding landscape, which now in summer is in bloom.



From the house we can see "Gunnhildur", a hill which patients in the sanatorium climbed as a final test if they were ready to go home. There is also a trail called "Tuberculosis trail". It is connected to other trails in the area. There are many recreational areas. There are picnic areas, lava caves and Vífilstaðirlake, a lake where couples from Reykjavík meet in secret during lunch brakes, as me and my colleague found out when we decided to go for a short walk there.




In the pictures I tried to create the feeling of old photographs using Gimp. There are lots of ways to get there, but the one prefer is playing around with contrast and colour balance of the picture and then adding a layer in the hard-light mode and add a gradient in a pastel colour (yellow for daylight, violet for evening light). I feel I start getting the hang of Gimp.


Cookies!

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This is one of my favourite shirts, given to me from a friend. Has anyone else noticed that English speakers seem to be obsessed with cookie inspired figures of speech?

  • tough cookie

  • smart cookie

  • that's the way the cookie crumbles

  • caught with the hand in the cookie jar

  • website cookies

  • what, do you want a cookie now? (as a sarcastic comment)

  • cookie-cutter houses or other things that all look alike.

  • come to the dark side: we have cookies.


The only German cookie related figure of speech i can think of is:
  • Du gehst mir auf den Keks! (You are stepping on my cookie = you are annoying me)

We Germans are so much fun...


Posted on - Categories: Geekery


xkcd must have found my blog project....

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On Christmas I decided to spend most of my holidays fixing some bugs for my blog and to include some more markup options. I ended up looking a lot at others peoples code and noticed how "unusual" my coding style was.
I came to the same conclusion as the self-taught person in the comic, but had already written hundreds of lines of code .


Comic by xkcd
Posted on - Categories: Geekery


I hate power point

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Just spent 15 min trying to transport our 10 slogans for the IWW Ísland "Know your rights" campaign to power point. Should have been a simple copy - paste job. Weird newlines everywhere. Not possible to reformat text. Gave up after 15 min for 2 slides and still not in right format. I refuse to use this piece of shit ever again.

Update
So when I came home from work I decided to see if Libre Office would do this better. And behold! I copied the text into the slide and no unwanted newlines in sight. Time used: 15 min. Impulses to throw my computer against the wall: 0


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