Archive for December, 2016

Best of GoPro 2016 [video]

 

XnRetro – FreeFile Review

xnretro-logo

XnRetro is a quirky little image editor, that I must admit I enjoy using. It seems to be a smart phone filter app that also has a desktop version. On mobile, it is available on Android and iPhone; on the desktop, it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. I’m reviewing the Windows desktop version. It required no installation, just unzip, open folder, and click XnRetro.exe to launch the program.

The Good – Clean, simple interface. The interface is pleasant enough, and organized with basic color control sliders on the right side, and filters on the bottom. Filters include Retro color presets, Light effects (think lens flare), Vignette, and Frames. Personally, I don’t care for the Retro color filters; I found the Vignette and Frames very useful.

The Bad – The color adjustments seem to be rather slow – move a slider and wait to see the results – not a long wait, but noticeable. Quirks. Quirks aren’t necessarily bugs, but merely unexpected ways of doing things. The program will open with all of the adjustments that were applied to the last image saved. Many users may find this useful, I don’t. The Reset button on the right side only resets the color adjustment sliders; the Reset button on the top tool bar resets everything. The strength of the Light effects is controlled by a slider on the right. If the slider gets adjusted to zero, the Light effects seem to do nothing. Through experimentation, I found that it could open and edit JPG, PNG, and GIF files, but save only as JPG or PNG. Saving JPG quality is a relatively low 75%. This is fine for mobile, but it should be adjustable on the desktop. A Help file would have helped, but I couldn’t find one.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

XnRetro has a number of quirks, probably due to its mobile origins. I found no real issues, and once you get used to it, XnRetro is a very nice, very useful image editor. Try it just for the Vignettes and Frames.

Download XnRetro for desktop HERE

Get XnRetro for mobile HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

There Is A Bridge In Vietnam That Looks Like A Dragon

dragonbridge-s

According to Wikipedia

The Dragon Bridge (Vietnamese: Cầu Rồng) is a bridge over the River Hàn at Da Nang, Vietnam. Construction of the bridge began on 19 July 2009 (the same day as the inauguration of the nearby Thuận Phước Bridge) when the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung and many high-ranking government officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony.[1] Dragon Bridge is 666m long, 37.5m wide and has six lanes for traffic. It opened to traffic on March 29, 2013… The bridge was designed and built in the shape of a dragon and to breathe fire each Saturday and Sunday night at 9PM.

Continue reading HERE.

Larger view of the bridge HERE.

Photo By Bùi Thụy Đào Nguyên – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26183858

Weaving Harris Tweed [video]

Graphene-Fed Silkworms Produce Super-Strong Silk That Conducts Electricity

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According to Futurism.com

The researchers sprayed mulberry leaves with aqueous solutions containing 0.2 percent by weight of either carbon nanotubes or graphene, and then collected the silk after the worms spun their cocoons. Collecting the as-spun silk fibers is standard in silk production, so feeding the silkworms the carbon nanotubes and graphene was a much simpler method than treating regular silk with the nanomaterials dissolved in chemical solvents after collection. According to the study, the carbon-enhanced silk was twice as tough as regular silk and could withstand at least 50 percent higher stress before breaking.

Continue reading HERE.

A Peacock Spider Christmas [video]

11 Holiday Carols From Around The World

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A collection of videos rounded up by mental_floss

Ready or not, the holidays are here, and from now until New Year’s your ears will be filled with the glorious “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Silent Night,” and “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” tunes. To see how the rest of the world pa-rum-pum-pum-pums, tune into one of these global holiday carols for a toe-tapping, enjoyable change of pace.

Enjoy the videos HERE.

 

Snack Food That Was Developed By A Livestock Feed Producer

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What ever you call them – cheese curls, cheese puffs, corn curls, or whatever, this snack favorite was developed by a company that produced animal feed in the 1930s. [insert your own joke here]

Read all about it at AtlasObscura.

More details at MadeHow.com.

9 Holiday Characters From Around the World

krampus

From mental_floss –

Most American four-year-olds can tell you all about beloved holiday characters like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. But in other countries, talking about Rudolph and his ilk might earn you little more than a blank stare. Here’s a look at some holiday characters who might not be familiar to Americans, but who play a big role in celebrations around the world.

Continue on to mental_floss.

Paraguay’s National Flag Is Two-Sided

paraflag

Paraguay is currently the only nation to have different designs on front and back of its flag.

See Wikipedia page HERE.

It seems that a few other countries have had two-sided flags in the past, and a few states and smaller jurisdictions currently do.

Two-Sided Flags on Wikipedia HERE.

Photographs of Shattered Mirrors

bing-s

According to ThisIsColossal.com

Broken Mirror/Evening Sky is a series of images by New York photographer Bing Wright who captured the reflections of sunsets on shattered mirrors. The final prints are displayed quite large, measuring nearly 4′ across by 6′ tall, creating what I can only imagine to be the appearance of stained glass windows.

This post is 3 years old, and sadly, the photographer’s website is no more.

See the images at ThisIsColossal.com

90 Years Of Wedded Bliss

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BBC reported in October 2016 –

A man who was one half of what is believed to be the longest-married couple in the UK has died aged 110. Karam Chand, of Bradford, died on Friday after 90 years of marriage to his wife Kartari. The pair, who tied the knot in India in 1925 during the British Raj and moved to England 40 years later, have eight children and 27 grandchildren.

Continue reading HERE.

A little more background info is available HERE.


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