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Two Dogs One Office

I know I promised not to post any pictures of cats. But dogs are okay, right?

Faces in Places

Bag Face

faces in places… found in a department store in Munich.

A Hundred Grand to Spare…

Today, I got the most unusual spam mail ever.

I am a filmproducer and actress from such films like “Gangs of New York” and “Soundman” etc.

It begins in the way those Nigerian scams begin, with some rich fellow from Africa asking you to deposit some money so he can give you vast riches in return. But this is something else, right? Surely no scam for money…

There is a filmproject called “On the Roof”. I am an executive producer on it, meaning I found the financing for the film. We filmed it in 2001 or 2002 in Los Angeles. The film is a mixture between “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Shall we dance”. I had the female leadingrole in it.


I am looking for 100’000 Dollars for post-production. Are you interested in being an Executive Producer on this project or do you know of someone who would be? Or are you interested in providing editingfacility and an editor?

No way! It is a scam for money. Or something like that. But the sender, a woman called Eliane Chappuis, is for real. In her e-mail to an undisclosed number of recipients, she goes on about her acting carreer, but it seems that apart from some being an extra on Gangs of New York and despite her pretty face, her carreer has been stagnating for quite a while. And after watching her reel, a psychedelic edit of C movies excerpts, it’s kind of clear why that is:

Or maybe this is all some kind of viral marketing campaign for a Mulholland Drive kind of movie about her life, you know, the pretty actress from Switzerland, stranded in Hollywood, failing to get big, doing modelling and singing instead, then trying to restart her movie carreer by resurrecting a capsized 2002 B-movie that has been gathering dust in a basement for years…

Or maybe the 100 000 dollars will end up in the pockets of some kind of “cult leader” she mentioned in her biography? I have no idea.

Anyway, opening up this e-mail made my day 🙂 Do I feel bad about making fun of her? After all, she’s the daughter of a Vietnamese aristocrat! Well, attached to all of this was a huge 10 megabyte image.  A scan of a TV magazin cover. Whoever does this in a mass e-mail deserves no better…

Eliane Chappuis

iPhone Panorama Stitching

All photos on my travel blog have been shot with a 1st generation iPhone. The picture quality at the original resolution of 1600×1200 is lousy. However, if you scale them down to something tiny like 640×480 it’s actually alright for my purpose: posting them on a blog or sending them by email.

I wondered how difficult it would be to stitch panoramas from those grainy, blurry iPhone photos and those images in my previous post are the result. I used the free open-source toolset Hugin. It’s 0.8 version for Windows is a bit difficult to find, and you need at least that version for the photometric white balance compensation, so here’s a link to a pre-compiled EXE installer.

I’m amazed at how mature the imaging algorithms are, or that those algorithms exist in the first place (and I’m working with digital images on a daily basis :-)). Hugin not only managed to undistort and blend the images perfectly, it also removed the camera’s vignetting and compensated for the difference in exposure. This is an important bit because the iPhone adjusts its shutter speed automatically which is usually a bad thing for panoramas.

Shanghai Panorama - Baustelle

The only thing I had to do (apart from clicking two buttons) was entering the camera’s focal length. It’s not included in the EXIF data which is a bit of a disappointment. Maybe Apple wanted to hide it from other smartphone manufacturers? Well, google turns up the required data pretty quickly. The iPhone (2G) has a film-equivalent focal length of 37mm or a field of view of about 50 degrees.

Of course the final panorama doesn’t allow for severe color corrections. The colors are dull (it was an overcast day as well) but you could play around a bit more to create a more vibrant result. Anyway, it’s good enough for me to snap some more in the future for my Shanghai reports. Stay tuned!

Airports and Laptop Batteries

Since I’ve just flown across the globe to China, this comic from xkcd seems a bit familiar I must say 🙂


Da wird mit großem Hype die Rittersport Olympia wieder eingeführt, also hab ich sie mal probiert. Nee, nee, nee. Selten so eine wirre Geschmacksmelange auf der Zunge gehabt! Eine ganz seltsame, aber dennoch flaue Süße, die man am besten – will man dem Hersteller dennoch treu bleiben – mit einem Stück Marzipan- oder Minzschoki wieder los wird.