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Hexcells Infinite: Wot I Think
ksteimle shared this story from Rock, Paper, Shotgun:
This is a really really good game. Highly recommend you play the first and second ones first. Thank me later!

I wasn’t subtle about how much I enjoyed Hexcells last year. The original Hexcells appeared from nowhere in my inbox in September, and I fell instantly in love. The second game, Hexcells Plus, arrived in December, after we’d already decided the original deserved a spot in our top games of 2013. I’ve replayed both games multiple times, because it’s a puzzle game of exquisite pleasure, delivered with calm poise and utter beauty. I was primed to think I might quite like Hexcells Infinite. Here’s wot I think:

… [visit site to read more]

via Karen’s sharin’ September 11, 2014 at 12:41PM
This Judge Just Destroyed the Stupidest Argument Against Gay Marriage Ever
ksteimle shared this story from MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones:

On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional and issued a withering take-down of marriage equality opponents.

Kentucky had argued that legalizing gay marriage would harm the state’s birth rate. These arguments are not those of serious people,” wrote US district judge John Heyburn. “Though it seems almost unnecessary to explain, here are the reasons why.

"Even assuming the state has a legitimate interest in promoting procreation, the Court fails to see, and Defendant never explains, how the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage has any effect whatsoever on procreation among heterosexual spouses. Excluding same-sex couples from marriage does not change the number of heterosexual couples who choose to get married, the number who choose to have children, or the number of children they have.

"The state’s attempts to connect the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage to its interest in economic stability and in ‘ensuring humanity’s continued existence’ are at best illogical and even bewildering…The Court can think of no other conceivable legitimate reason for Kentucky’s laws excluding same-sex couples from marriage."

Heyburn stayed his ruling while Kentucky appeals, meaning no same-sex marriages are taking place just yet.

Read the full ruling:


via Karen’s sharin’ July 02, 2014 at 04:44PM
Android “L” Feature Spotlight: Write Wi-Fi Passwords To NFC Tags Directly From Android
ksteimle shared this story from Android Police - Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets:
This is brilliant


You know the scenario: friends come over, want to use your Wi-Fi, and expect you to just hand over the password. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty weird about just giving my password to everyone who walks through the door, regardless of how well I know them. Most of time I opt to type my password in for them, but there is an easier way: store your Wi-Fi info on an NFC tag.

Android “L” Feature Spotlight: Write Wi-Fi Passwords To NFC Tags Directly From Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

via Karen’s sharin’ June 27, 2014 at 12:28PM
ksteimle shared this story from Poorly Drawn Lines:
Best response!


via Karen’s sharin’ June 27, 2014 at 08:33AM
vampmissedith: When I was a freshman, my sister was in eighth grade. There was a boy in two of her…
ksteimle shared this story from Sincerely Facts:


When I was a freshman, my sister was in eighth grade. There was a boy in two of her periods who would ask her out every single day. (Third and seventh period, if I remember correctly.) All day during third and seventh she would repeatedly tell him no. She didn’t beat around the bush, she didn’t lie and say she was taken—she just said no.

One day, in third period, after being rejected several times, he said; “I have a gun in my locker. If you don’t say yes, I am going to shoot you in seventh.”

Read More

via Karen’s sharin’ May 30, 2014 at 03:52PM
#577: Being pushed to forgive because faaaaaaaamily
ksteimle shared this story from
Sharing/Saving this because I may need to describe my lack of interest in my dad the same way some day…

Hey Captain & Company,

I haven’t seen my father since I was 8. We were in contact until I was 16; he was emotionally abusive throughout that time. I have a brother and sister by his previous marriage, and part of his abuse involved keeping us from having a relationship with each other. We have reconnected as adults and are tentatively trying to learn how to be siblings. It’s very difficult with my sister because she is very close to our father and is really insistent that I should be as well.

My husband, on the other hand, has a great relationship with his parents, his brother, his extended family. And that’s good! They’re all great people! (His mom and mine are like bffs now). Sometimes at his family events I feel like Jane Goodall observing emotionally healthy apes.

“Clay” doesn’t understand why my family isn’t the same as his. I was, admittedly, not very forthcoming about all the issues I have with my father and siblings earlier in our relationship, so he was a bit weirded out when, for example, he found out I’d never met my nieces & nephews. We finally had a discussion about it when he objected to not inviting anyone from my paternal side to our wedding, and I thought he understood.

But now I’m pregnant, and looming fatherhood has made him VERY WORRIED about my father’s feelings. Clay wouldn’t want to be cut off from his child for mistakes he made years ago, and although my father’s mistakes were terrible and I have every right to be angry, can’t I see it from his point of view? (spoiler: no). My sister mentioned that my father has been sending annual Facebook messages to me, reminding me that he loves me and if I “ever need to talk” he’s there for me, and Clay has taken that as evidence that he’s changed and deserves a chance to know his grandchild. The last time Clay and I argued about this he called me unreasonable, and I’m sorry to say that after that point I pretty well lived up to it.

I’d like a script to SHUT IT DOWN, but I guess it’s possible that Clay’s right and I am being unreasonable. I still have a hard time calling my father’s behavior abuse out loud; maybe I haven’t gotten across how really really terrible just the idea of him makes me feel. He does superficially seem like a better person than he was, but I still don’t want him near my child, and I don’t want him near me. I’m hoping someone on Team Awkward has suggestions how to fix this mess or myself.

Thank you so much!

Ugh, I’m so sorry that this is happening to you. Let’s start with founding principles:

1. It’s possible your Dad HAS changed and IS really sorry.

2. It’s also possible for you to not care and not want to talk to him, ever. A visual aid:

An old timey-sampler that says "Behold the field in which I grow my fuck. Lay thine eyes upon it and see that it is barren."

Are you the creator of this? I think everyone who reads the site wants to buy your art. Inbox me.

Let’s start with your sister, because she is the source of the information and the pressure about your dad.

Sister, I am going to tell you something, and I need you to hear me.

I do not want a relationship with Dad.

I do not want to hear from Dad.

I do not want to hear about Dad, from you.

I am glad that you and Dad have figured out a happy way to be in each other’s lives, but it’s not the same for me, and I need you to respect that. Please stop passing messages to me. Please stop pressuring me to re-open contact. Please do not give him any information about me or my family. I believe you that he feels bad and has changed. I need you to believe me that my feelings about him have not changed. If my feelings change I ever want to talk to Dad, I will, of my own volition, track the dude down. You are not our go-between in this, and I need you to stop. Do you understand?

She’ll have some stuff to say, then tell her what is going to happen. “Going forward, if you bring up Dad, I am going to ask you to change the subject. If you won’t, I am going to end the conversation for that day, and we can try again another time. I really don’t want this to come between us or be an issue in our relationship, but the best way to accomplish that is for you to stop making it an issue for me.”

Then give her some time to process, and going forward, implement the boundary setting you told her you would. It may take several tries, especially since he will do everything he can to keep pushing her on the subject (b/c he is a jerkface and hearing “no” just emboldens him to try harder). Be really nice and friendly to her overall, but if she brings up the subject, change it, and if she won’t stop, do the “Well, so nice to talk to you, let’s do this again soon” and GTFO.

Here’s a script for Clay.

“Clay, I’ve talked to my sister about this, and now I want to talk to you.

I need you to hear me, because I’m only going to say this one time.

I do not want a relationship with my dad. I do not want him around our child. 

I believe Sister when she says he has changed, he feels bad, he cares about me, he wants a relationship, etc.

That doesn’t obligate me to invite him back into my life, ever. He can go be a better man someplace that is else. I have asked her to stop pushing on his behalf, and now I am going to ask you. Please stop.

You’ve said that this brings up worries for you, for instance, what if someday our child won’t talk to you because you made “a mistake?” Well, if you or I were to terrorize and control our child the way my dad terrorized and tried to control me, that would be a real risk. We’re not talking about one mistake, or the kind of “fight” that would happen in your family, we’re talking about years of systemic maltreatment. (Be forthcoming if you have held anything back; this is your time).

I don’t have to “move past that” in order to make you feel better. If I ever want to talk to my dad, I know where to find him, and I can reach out of my own free will. But it’s not going to happen because you and Sister push me into it. If I’m making a terrible mistake, I can live with that. This isn’t about you as a father, this is about me having a better life because he is finally out of it. Hear me. Believe me. Please stop trying to make this happen.”

He’s gonna say some stuff. Keep some phrases in your back pocket.

  • “I don’t need you to understand or agree with me, but I do need you to respect my wishes about this.”
  • “You can feel however you want to about it, however, if you bring him up, I’m going to change the subject, and if you keep bringing him up, I’m going to leave the conversation.” 
  • “This isn’t an argument that you can win, or a negotiation. If you keep pushing, you’re not going to change my mind, but you are going to hurt and annoy me.”

Or, the most positive way you could put it: “Clay, you can’t fix my childhood or my family history. But you are my family now, and I love you. So believe me; let this go and let me finally have a happy family.”

You already know what to do and say and have been doing it. This isn’t about your dad, this is about boundary-setting with the people you do care about. Defend those boundaries without guilt.

via Karen’s sharin’ May 29, 2014 at 02:43PM
The woman is in a room we can’t get into.
ksteimle shared this story from BREAKING CAT NEWS:
This is good stuff


via Karen’s sharin’ May 14, 2014 at 01:36PM
Amazon Instant Video Getting Select HBO Shows Starting May 21, HBO GO Coming To FireTV ‘By Year’s End’
ksteimle shared this story from Android Police - Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets:
well, cool!


Guys, the final piece of the puzzle is now in place: Amazon just announced that FireTV will be getting HBO GO. Since it launched without the service, it raised the question of whether it would ever be available to FireTV users; it looks like Amazon was just busy inking the deal with HBO, because there’s actually even more to this story than that.


Not only will GO be coming to FireTV, but Amazon now has exclusive multi-year rights to certain HBO shows that will be available on Prime Amazon Instant Video.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Amazon Instant Video Getting Select HBO Shows Starting May 21, HBO GO Coming To FireTV ‘By Year’s End’ was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

via Karen’s sharin’ April 23, 2014 at 03:02PM
Unusual horse colors
ksteimle shared this story from imgur: the simple image sharer:
For lisa!

Unusual horse colors

The Cremello Akhal-Teke

This Ahkal-Teke horse makes the rounds on /r/pics periodically, so I thought I’d show you guys some of the other awesome colors horses can come in. This is cremello, a creme color base with blue eyes, but not albino or white. This is a result of the creme dilution gene, which has several variations.

Dappled Grey

Grey is an unnatural color in horses that is a result of artificially selected breeding. All grey horses will eventually fade to white, including the one pictured here. What differentiates a white-grey from a true white horse is all greys have black skin. A true white horse has pink skin.


Pinto is the combination of white and another solid color. The combinations very greatly. This is a black/white pinto.

Buckskin Pinto

Dappled grey pinto

Blue roan

Black base with silver/blue.

Red roan

Bay Brindle

Grey brindle

Chocolate Flaxen

Classic Champagne

Champagne is a dilution gene, similar to creme. Classic champagne is black base diluted by the champagne.

Gold Champagne

Chestnut base diluted by champagne gene.


A creme gene variation. Perlinos have a more reddish color, especially in the mane and tail.



A buckskin variation.

Leopard spots

Commonly associated with Appaloosa horses, there are a couple breeds that are spotted, including the Danish Knabstrupper.


A combo of two solid base colors, this is very uncommon.

Red rabaicano


Silver buckskin

Sooty on chestnut

There are many more color variations, but this is a good subset.

via Karen’s sharin’ April 11, 2014 at 06:10AM
Cinematography of “House of Cards” – interview with Igor Martinovic
ksteimle shared this story from Pushing Pixels:
Some interesting stuff on House of Cards here

With two stellar seasons under its belt, “House of Cards” is one of the best things that happened to the world of episodic TV productions in the last few years. After speaking to the production designer of the show a few months ago, it’s time to turn the attention to the show’s cinematography. Igor Martinovic has joined the second season, collaborating with different directors and shooting all thirteen episodes. In this interview Igor talks about advances in accessible digital cameras and how it affects his field of work, intertwining technical and artistic aspects of cinematography, switching from the feature world to join an existing TV show and defining the visual approach for the second half of the original story arc, the pace of working on multi-episode production and the changes his craft is undergoing in the transition from film to digital.

Kirill: Please tell us about yourself and your path so far.

Igor: I am originally from Croatia where I graduated from film school. During my college years the war broke out so I ended up shooting lots of documentaries during that time. In 1993 when the war ended I moved to New York and have been living here ever since.

Kirill: Were you interested in shooting movies growing up?

Igor: Not really. I started taking photographs when I was 9-10 yrs old. My brother had a black-and-white lab at our home, and I joined him in taking photos, developing them and making black and white prints. It was a nice little hobby of ours. I had no clue that I would end up working as a cameraman one day.

At the end of the sophomore year at high school we were supposed to decide a direction in which to continue our education. I ended up in a high school class specializing in TV and film production. We watched a lot of movies, and instead of chemistry we studied photochemistry as well as optics and other related things. It was an experimental class but it gave me a direction. I realized that this could be an interesting profession.

Kirill: What did you work on when you moved to US?

Igor: I started on documentaries back in Croatia, and continued working on those after I moved to the States. My desire was always to shoot narrative and fiction. I slowly started to shoot short films and features, and it all went from there.

Kirill: In the last decade or so we’re witnessing a transition from shooting on film to shooting digital. Do you see that it’s opening doors to a wider group of people, providing a wider access to the shooting equipment and removing certain technical hurdles like buying film reels or doing lab processing?

Igor: I agree. There’s definitely democratization of the process happening right now. It is a progressive process because it brings so many new people into the field. It opens up possibilities for young and talented kids to come out and present their own vision, their own way of thinking. It is an infusion of a fresh energy.

It feeds on itself. The industry that is producing camera devices is broadening, and the base is broadening as well. They’re helping each other to develop the new visual language. In the last ten years we’ve seen an amazing change in the way people capture images. It’s been a small revolution.

It’s happening on both sides. It’s technical, but at the same time it’s a creative evolution as well. People are using these cameras in many different ways that were not even possible or technically achievable before. And it also opens up ways of seeing things, of presenting things in new perspectives.

Kirill: On the one hand some of the newcomers don’t go through the “official” academic channel of learning the history and the theory, but on the other hand they are not artificially, if you will, bound by those limitations.

Igor: There’s nothing wrong with learning your craft academically. I think that one would want to learn how things were done in the past – in the 20s, 30s, 70s… And the same applies to the theory of filmmaking – you can only benefit from it. But at the same time, if you’re talented, if you know what you want to do and how you want to do it, you absolutely should not limit yourself by having to go through those stages. If one is curious he or she can learn these things outside of the institutional framework.

There are few ways people can come to the point where they have a successful career. One is to work in the industry in supporting positions – camera assistants, gaffers – slowly developing and going up the ladder to become director of photography. The other is to finish a school and go straight to doing things as director of photography. Everyone has their own way to find themselves, their voice and their visual language that represents who they are, that shows how they see the world.

Kirill: Is there a transition point between the technical side of things – pulling focus, operating the camera, tracking lights etc – and the artistic side of things where you as the director of photography are in charge of the entire visual language, with all the nuances of setting up the lights, planning the angles, choosing lenses etc?

Igor: I think that cinematography is both. It is as much as a craft as it is about artistic expression. I don’t think there’s a clear line where one stops and the other starts. It’s also about concept, especially in the narrative film making. The point is to discover what that concept is, and apply it consistently. The concept comes from the script, from the story, and once you discover it you have a direction to follow.

Take “House of Cards” for example. Its look sprang from the idea that at the end of Season 1 the series took a turn towards film noir. I realized that the dark dealings, the cynical attitude and crime story Underwood got involved with could be represented through low-key lighting – which is a characteristic of film noir. From that moment on it was clear what direction we needed to take.

We hid our characters in shadows, in half lights, turned them into silhouettes, kept them on the edge of being too dark. Once we’ve discovered that concept, it was easy to apply it. That idea informs your way of shooting, lighting, framing. It is also technical as you have to understand and have the knowledge of the technical part of the process in order to translate that concept into technically acceptable form, but discovering those concepts is something that defines your photography.

Kirill: And for you that happens in the pre-production phase, sitting with the director for feature work or with the creators and the producers of the show for TV work.

Igor: In case of “House of Cards” the look was already established in Season 1. It was defined by David Fincher who wanted a very controlled look in terms of the framing and the camera movement. Framing was very precise, with a lot of central compositions and a lot of space around the actors. The camera doesn’t move when it doesn’t have to. Tight close up shots are used only for really important moments in the story. You don’t pan and tilt at the same time. Most of the movements are done by the dolly. All these elements were already defined in the first season.

In Season 2 we changed the lighting. In the first season, majority of scenes were lit from the top, from the ceilings and overheads. We went into a different direction. We motivated lighting by the sources, and shot it considerably darker.

Kirill: Did you have any particular references from the 40s and 50s, from the glory days of the film noir era?

Igor: Not necessarily. Sometimes film noir can call a lot of attention to itself. We wanted to base it in reality. Every source of light had its motivation – a window, a lamp, a TV screen, a computer screen. We didn’t go for complete stylization. What we did use from that period was the higher contrast – keeping characters in silhouettes, wrapping them in shadows. We did a lot of things to keep characters on the edge.

Somebody once said that the good photography is one that is always on the edge of failure. We were trying to be on that edge in terms of darkness. A lot of television tends to be really bright, offering readily consumable content to the viewer. My theory is that not fully seeing what is going on in the image is one of the most powerful elements of film-making. You can hide characters in the darkness, keep them out of focus, show them reflected in mirrors… We applied all these elements, trying to engage audience, make them participate in the experience. It’s not presented to you right away. You have to look into it to see it. Working like this is a rewarding experience for a film-maker, and hopefully it is rewarding for the audience as well.

Kirill: It also seems to be a rather rare approach to have a single cinematographer shooting the entire season. On episodic TV you usually have multiple teams of directors and cinematographers doing two-three episodes, with the production designer staying for the entire season.

Igor: That was David’s idea. He didn’t want to have two visions in the same piece.

The approach was still much the same since it’s still episodic television. You don’t have that much time to work with directors. They come in, you meet them on location scout over the weekend or late after the wrap, and there’s not much time to discuss the look. The look is designed mostly in advance. Each director brings their own sensibilities to the piece, and the way they approach the scenes and the coverage. But a lot of it is already designed.

On the set of Season 2 of “House of Cards”. Courtesy of Igor Martinovic.

Kirill: So on a certain level the directors of episodic television are more restricted.

Igor: It’s different from feature film work where you come in and completely design everything from scratch. In episodic TV there is a certain language that is already developed. A director could come in in the middle of the season, and he/she has to follow that language. Each of them do their own touches, they change things, they think of a particular coverage, work with actors… For example, there was a rule about no hand-held, no Steadicam – and in a way that already dictates how things are going to be done. If we all know that the camera moves are done in a way that the dolly takes you from a wide shot to a close-up without the operator touching the camera, that’s already established rule and cannot be changed by the director of the specific episode.

At the same time directors define the ways a scene is covered, they set the pacing and the rhythm etc. It’s a collaborative thing, but a lot of it came from David defining the elements for the first two episodes.

Kirill: And you were shooting individual episodes as blocks.

Igor: It would be two episodes at a time because most of the time we would have a director who would do two episodes back-to-back.

Kirill: How would you compare the shooting schedule on “House of Cards” to your feature work?

Igor: The shooting schedule is as in any episodic television. You’re doing 6-7 pages a day. You just work harder and try to make it as best as you can.

The quality of the crew on the show was extraordinary. We had really great camera operators – Gary Jay (who worked on many Michael Mann’s films) ; Ludovic Littee; amazing gaffer Frits De Yong… There are people helping you to achieve the vision, and they are all artists in their own right. It is really important to have a good crew to help you achieve what you’re after.

Kirill: Do you see the wave of high-quality television productions as sort of a revolt, if you will, of creators against the deluge of reality shows that has flooded the landscape in the last few years?

Igor: That’s interesting. I’ve never thought this way about this relationship. Part of it is that the film market was a little limiting as well. It started to shrink. There’s not much place where writers can express themselves, and they’ve started to look elsewhere. And reality television overpowered the landscape, appearing boring and repetitive. People are always looking, especially in these diverse market, to become something better. Netflix has shown that and now everybody is trying to follow in their footsteps. It’s the desire to create something new and different and better than what’s already out there.

Kirill: Original content on Netflix is not traditional TV in the sense that it’s being distributed on a digital platform to a variety of screen sizes and form factors, as opposed to the “regular” broadcast distribution. Do you still call it episodic TV?

Igor: When you think about it, it’s not much different from TV. In the way things are produced, it is still using the old TV model that was established long time ago. In that sense it is TV. Majority of people that worked on the show are coming from TV background. The difference is that executive producers like Scorsese, Fincher and now Soderbergh – people from the film world – come to television world and work in a way they have been working while shooting feature films. That’s where the change comes from.

On the set of Season 2 of “House of Cards”. Courtesy of Igor Martinovic.

Kirill: But then once you start shooting, is it much different from your feature work? You have roughly the same departments working together, roughly the same structure of your own crew and division of responsibility within it.

Igor: Absolutely that’s the same from the technical perspective. It’s more about having the time to pay attention to detail. That’s where the difference comes into play. And I think it’s changing, and it’s a good thing that people from film are coming in – not to say that there was no good television before.

The television is the territory of writers. It’s where they can expand their ways of telling a story. Instead of having only 90 minutes, you have 13 or 26 hours. That’s a huge change. You can develop characters, expand or contract their presence. In the feature film you can’t do that. In the TV, when you see that something doesn’t work you’re able to adjust without compromising the whole narrative. If you see something working really well, you expand it. The narrative is not as strict, and the way of telling a story is more flexible.

In the feature film world it’s all about telling your story in the most efficient and compact way that fits into 90 minutes framework. In TV you are open, you are influenced by what is happening on the set, by how certain actors are performing and interacting with each other. You see a bit of attraction between two people, and you incorporate that into the script.

Kirill: My impression was that the show was pitched to Netflix as a 2-season block with all the major plot lines already defined.

Igor: In a sense yes because it was following the narrative of the original BBC series. But a lot of things changed. You have a new actor coming in, and you see a great tension between two characters, and the next episode will definitely utilize that. Or you see some actors giving a really great performance, and you expand that role.

Major things like the outline were done in advance. But you have around 26 episodes with total of around 20 hours, and I don’t know who would be able to map all the details way in advance. It would take a really long time.

Kirill: Did you stay through post-production to do color correction or perhaps additional shooting?

Igor: I was fully involved with color correction for months after we finished shooting. We used a system called Pix during the production. The dailies were posted on Pix so everybody could see them and comment on them. We also used Pix in post. Color correction was done in LA, they would post files on Pix and I would check it and send them really detailed comments about what needs to be done. In this system you can actually draw on the image, mark places where you want to correct brightness or color, make notes on the specific frames. Color correction process took a while because we had to grade 13 episodes.

Kirill: Netflix is a streaming service and people watch the new season in a more private setting, mostly at home. Was there any equivalent of the premiere party that you have when a new feature film is introduced to the public, at a festival or a big LA / NY movie theater?

Igor: There was a premiere of the first two episodes in The Directors Guild screening room in LA. We approached the series as one would approach a feature film, and it was good to see it projected in a dark room with a few hundred people in the screening room. First two episodes were shown at the Berlin Film Festival as well.

Kirill: Now that you’ve tasted the world of episodic TV, do you see yourself mixing feature work with television work in the future?

Igor: I don’t make any distinction between documentaries, feature and television. It’s either a good project that excites you where you connect to the story, or not. But I don’t exclusively do one or another, taking a job just because it’s feature film or just because it’s TV.

Kirill: How much information do you have when you decide to join your next project?

Igor: It’s the same thing as when you watch a movie in a theater. You sit down and you read the script, and if it hits you, it hits you. If there is a story that resonates at some level with my way of seeing the world, that tells a story in a compelling way, I would just go for it. In any art form, you’re either taken by something or you’re not. That said, sometimes you make a mistake and take a job that you think will be great and it doesn’t turn out that way but at the end you always learn something.

You look at who’s directing – which is crucial. You look at how the story is going to be told, who is acting to see how the characters can be portrayed in a new and exciting ways.

Most of the time the primary cast is known. Films gets approved once the actors are attached. That’s when they start looking for director of photography, unless you have a relationship with the director where you read the script in advance. But most of the time you get the script after the actors have been attached.

Kirill: What stays with you when you look at your productions from a few years ago?

Igor: They become part of your life. In a way, camera work is a state of mind. You live it, you spend 12-14 hours a day just on the set, and then a few more waking hours thinking and talking about it. It becomes your life. It becomes part of your DNA.

You remember the moments of making the movie, but also you remember a moment a movie gets shown, the moment when you share it with the audience. That moment is crucial. That’s why we do what we do. The moment of sharing your vision with the audience fills me with joy in case of a good movie [laughs] or fear if it’s not.

Another part that really excites me is pre-production. You conceptualize the film, you create it in your mind before you start shooting it. You search of ways of presenting that story, and that’s the most exciting part of the job. When you shoot, it’s a lot of logistics, trying to be faithful to your idea and your vision. It’s great, but it’s very focused and hard work. Conceptualizing is fun cerebral process but you have to trust your guts as well.

Kirill: Does it feel that you’re relinquishing some of the control when it goes to post-production?

Igor: It’s certainly possible and it does happen. It all depends on director’s approach, and that’s different between different directors. Sometimes they only shoot things they think will be of use, and you decide those things on the set. I prefer this approach since in this way you’ll tell the story the way you want to tell it. If you shoot for the extensive coverage, there’s going to be one thing missing – your point of view.

Obviously there are other directors who approach things differently. They cover a lot, and it’s a valid way of working as well. A lot of television used to be done like that, and I think things are changing a little bit now.

Kirill: And specifically on “House of Cards” you’ve worked with the specific directors on post-production phase of each individual episode.

Igor: Yes. There’s always a pair of editor and director for two episodes. It’s fairly quick, because everything is quick in television.

Kirill: Going back to the transition to digital, do you think that your craft is losing something in the process of moving away from the physical medium of film?

Igor: You can’t lose something without gaining something else. The important thing for me is not the technical aspect. It’s the stories we’re trying to communicate through the visuals that matter. I’m sure one can use any camera from any period of time in the last hundred years and make a compelling film, a visually appropriate film. In my opinion technology is secondary.

If in five years somebody decides to film a movie with Google Glasses, I’d say lets let’s do it. Let’s find what the Google Glasses bring to the equation, let’s find whether there’s a new way of covering things. Look at the new technology – GoPro cameras per example. It’s an amazing tool. You can put a camera anywhere you want. Suddenly you can have a POV of a cheetah by attaching the Go Pro on actual animal… There are so many application of a small camera like that. The best thing of all is that it is opening new ways of expression.

To say that film is dead and that movies will suffer because of that? I think that’s very limited thinking. It will bring a new aesthetic, a new way of seeing things, and we will all benefit from it. Otherwise we will stay the same. We would probably stagnate if there’s only one way to do things. When you think about it, it’s just a means in the process of telling the story. With this new technology you can tell the same story, but in a different way. And it’s exciting to find these new ways, because that’s how progress works. You have to embrace the new and try to find what you can do with it.

Kirill: And on the set the feedback monitor loop is immediate. You don’t need to wait for the dailies to be developed and hope for the best.

Igor: That’s something that has its positive and negative sides, like any process. The beauty of shooting on film was that you had to imagine everything in advance. You had to see it in advance and then to create it. It was your imagination. Now everything is open, and it’s more about your reaction to it. You’re immediately reacting to what you see, and you’re changing it as it happens. It’s just a new way of seeing things.

That’s why I think the initial concept is really important. To know what you’re doing allows you to control it. Other people can comment on it and you’ll know if you want to listen to those or not based on how that fits into your concept.

Everyone on the set where I shoot is encouraged to suggest things, and I often ask people to get involved in the process. But at the same time you have the guidelines that you’ve set up, and you play within those rules.

Kirill: Do you have a chance to see almost-final cuts before the public release? Do you still get surprised by how it all comes together after editing and sound are done?

Igor: You do get surprised. You see certain things in your own way, and they turn out to be different for various reasons. Sometimes the way you thought about it just doesn’t work. On feature films I usually get to see the rough cut and comment on it.

On “House of Cards” it was different from episode to episode. I got to see the rough cut directed by Robin Wright because it was a very open collaboration, and we had extensive discussions while shooting and in the post.

Kirill: Was it weird having the same person directing and playing the lead role in the same episode?

Igor: On the contrary. She was very open to suggestions, very collaborative. We played things back on set so she can see herself and decide if she likes certain shot or not.

She started directing at the time where the crew was really tired – five months into shooting. She realized that and brought really good fresh energy into the set. She asked for everyone’s opinion and she was a team player. It was a fantastic experience.

Igor Martinovic and Robin Wright on the set. Courtesy of Igor Martinovic.

And here I’d like to thankIgor Martinovic for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk about his art and craft. Second season of “House of Cards” is available on Netflix.

via Karen’s sharin’ April 06, 2014 at 11:13AM
(Click through for the gallery) A kitten who was rejected by…
ksteimle shared this story from Your daily dose of fluffy:
Sharing for people who still don’t follow the adorable animal blog that I curate (John).

(Click through for the gallery) A kitten who was rejected by it’s mother was taken care by a golden retriever.

via Karen’s sharin’ March 14, 2014 at 09:32PM
Behind the Scenes at Fee Brothers
ksteimle shared this story from Drinks:


[Photographs: Nick Guy]

On the eve of its 150th anniversary, Fee Brothers is busier than ever. In fact, Joe Fee, who owns and runs the company with his sister Ellen, says 2013 was the best year they’ve ever had, and things aren’t slowing down. “Growing isn’t even the word for it. I prefer exploding before my very eyes,” he said during my recent visit to the company’s Rochester, NY headquarters. “The last several years have been very, very good.” Things are so good that at the time of my visit, a new building was under construction, to be used just for holding finished product.

What started in 1864 as a grocery and liquor store is now one of the most popular cocktail ingredient brands in the world. Best known for its cocktail bitters, Fee Brothers actually makes almost 100 products, all with a staff of only 13 employees, in a surprisingly compact factory.

Fee Brothers in Rochester, NY

On the production floor, ingredients are mixed in giant pots that hold up to 1,500 gallons, before they’re bottled, sealed, labeled, and boxed for shipment. When it comes to bitters, for example, flavor extracts are mixed with glycerin in huge quantities. “My grandfather started making bitters during Prohibition. He couldn’t get alcohol,” said Joe Fee. “He got extracts; people who were making flavors could get alcohol, very tightly controlled, but they needed it to continue making flavors. So his next best thing as a base was glycerin, and we’ve continued using glycerin as a base ever since.” The alcohol-based flavor extracts do give the bitters some proof: “If you absolutely gotta get a buzz on,” jokes Fee, “and all you have is bitters, grab for the lemon. It’s like 45% alcohol. And when that bottle’s done, grab the mint, which is like 35% alcohol. And your breath will be minty fresh when you’re done.” (Don’t try this at home, kids.)

Joe Fee

Joe Fee shows us some historical Fee Brothers product labels, including wines and spirits the company used to produce.

Many of the processes at Fee Brothers are mechanized. The finished bitters are piped from the pots to a 12-nozzle bottle filler, which automatically puts the right amount of liquid into each container. Then a dasher is added, care of a vibrating machine that makes sure the plastic piece is facing the right way before being forced into place. Another machine screws on a cap and a tamper-evident seal, which shrinks around the neck of the bottle when run through a heat sealer.

But there’s still a necessary human element to the whole thing. From unloading boxes of empty bottles onto the line, to removing them when they’re full and capped, to pressing the big red button when something goes wrong, the Fee Brothers crew takes an active part in the operation. Each bottle is hand-labeled, including the bitters, which are wrapped in a paper sleeve.

Bitters, Bitters, and More Bitters

I asked Joe Fee if he’s open to adding new flavors to the lineup. “We are not against the idea of doing anything new—in fact we have something in the works,” he said, although he wouldn’t get into details for fear of a competitor beating him it. Normally Ellen Fee is in charge of developing new flavors, but it was Joe who came up with Black Walnut, the most recent bitters addition. He said it took about 10 or 12 attempts. Says Joe, “When you’ve made 50 syrups, when you’ve made 15 bitters, their bases are essentially the same, so now it’s a matter of playing around with flavors.”

New flavor ideas come from a few places. “It’s a combination of things. Listening to bartenders talk, that’s what I do most of,” says Joe. “The rhubarb was a good example. Looking behind the bar (we asked) what flavor is not represented back there? What flavor don’t they have readily available to them? At that time, there weren’t any rhubarb spirits at all.”

When asked about the ingredients that go into Fee Brother’s products, Joe says they try to use natural components as much as possible. “Not everything releases its flavor well, like strawberries. You don’t get a particularly strong flavor, so we augment with artificial. I’ll use the natural flavors if I can, if it’s going to taste great. If not, I’m going to use a little bit of artificial.” The flavor is the most important thing, he says. “I don’t want to put out a bland product.”

Head over to the slideshow for a peek at the Fee Brothers factory »

About the author: Nick Guy is the accessories editor for iLounge, and covers barware and drinking accessories for The Sweethome. He is based in Buffalo, NY, and on Twitter is @thenickguy.

via Karen’s sharin’ March 10, 2014 at 10:49PM
Some cute comics
ksteimle shared this story from imgur: the simple image sharer:
Good stuff!

Great comics by Jim Benton (with artist’s permission)

Do check out Jim’s website: His Facebook page:

via Karen’s sharin’ March 03, 2014 at 11:39AM
More firepit porn! Resubmitted with an approved host this time. [1280x1024]
ksteimle shared this story from r/designporn on Imgur:

via Karen’s sharin’ February 26, 2014 at 10:30AM
Rock balancing
ksteimle shared this story from imgur: the simple image sharer:
This is pretty awesome

This rock balancing is done by Michael Grab. He is an artist and has killer patience. On his site <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”></a>, Grab explains: “The most fundamental element of balancing in a physical sense is finding some kind of ‘tripod’ for the rock to stand on. Every rock is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations that can act as a tripod for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks. By paying close attention to the feeling of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest clicks as the notches of the rocks in contact are moving over one another. Parallel to the physical element of finding tripods, the most fundamental non-physical element is harder to explain through words. In a nutshell, I am referring to meditation, or finding a zero point or silence within yourself. Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise.” Pretty sick, amiright?

via Karen’s sharin’ February 20, 2014 at 09:06AM