A Rant About Something Stupid...then a video

This post is mainly to make note of how to mange time-lapse moving making with a Raspberry Pi and Magix Edit Pro...Mainly. Here is the video, and I know it is crude, but I think that adds to its charm.

Soooo...in years past I have noticed that at the first of spring in most years the bamboo in our back yard can grow at an astounding rate! Thinking about it this year I remembered the Raspberry Pi I played with a year or two ago but put aside because it kind of got hacked.BUT, this time I decided to be less cavalier about permission and worked through installing an OS, webcam software for my really old webcam, and for fun installed a web server (Apache) and a wiki (Dokuwiki current hosted on said RaspberryPi sitting in the second bedroom with  a USB cable snaked out the back window to the old usb webcam).

With the help of the Internet I quickly setup the webcam software and started a linux job to take a picture every 30 minutes for the duration of this project.

Then after I had to reinstall everything because I used too small of an SD Card...I was set and you can see the video above.

Unfortunately this year seems to be a particularly UN-spectacular growth-wise. So it mainly became a project for time-lapse digital photography.

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Now for my curmudgeonly take on video editing...I appreciate Adobe premiere but God damn it you have to by a monthly subscription?!? Sorry that is bullshit.

Yeah I know it is good, and in the late 2000’s I used a then old version and was pleased with it. But I  got a slightly old version for free from a sales rep who had one laying around,  and to buy it would have been may hundreds of dollars, it is was cool and I got to use it for a fee years. And now I see you can only get it with monthly subscriptions? I repeat myself..that’s Bullshit!

Anyway after using my Adobe Premier version 6.5 for a few years I discovered my version couldn’t handle HD video, and since I couldn’t actually afford Adobe Premiere, I bought Magix Edit Pro Plus for around $40 and have been using it ever since. Amazon now has it at $70 and compared to Adobe it is well worth it. I suppose if you made professional video there might be reason to use Adobe, but maybe not. I guess this is partially a gripe about following the software herd. Of course sometime there is reason to go where everybody else is going, but if you happen to be a grumpy contrarian you might look elsewhere. Not that corporate Magix could be as bad as corporate Adobe.

Another anyway..this is how you import a bunch of still pictures into Magix Movie Edit Pro and make a time lapse movie.

First, get a bunch of images

then import them all into Magix Movie Edit Pro
go to Effects

Video Effects


for this I settled on .07 second frame time


Book Review - Just to show the blog is still breathing

A Colony in a NationA Colony in a Nation by Christopher L. Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good stuff. But I have to admit is seems a little rambling at times. HOWEVER, I really like the paths he takes when he rambles. The ironic observations he tosses out are well received by me, but I do wonder if more academic types might quibble with some of the comparisons, especially the Rebellious American colonists apparently quite similar to the poor and oppressed of today (See below)

Hayes takes the title from a Nixon speech and he provides some context how that administration used the idea of white fear to play with political power. But the core idea of the book transcends historical timelines, especially given his philosophical closing argument.

But officially the idea is of viewing some people, usually poor and black as part of a separate Colony and this Colony is administered by the Nation (various local and nation forces) as a colonial occupation with military style actions. The resulting oppression is justified by need to keep Order for the nation, even at the expense of Justice (the Law) for the people in the colony.

He may be more organized than I see but is seems he offers a number of explanations at random as to what motivates this oppression.

Partial explanations-

Primarily it is white fear as the force that drives this oppression. The fear of loss or order in society. Basically taking outsized offence to anything to might disrupt the classic white suburban ultra-quiet neighborhood. He does offer examples of whites (with his own examples) committing non-violent crimes who are ignored or let off easy, against the shocking prison rate for blacks doing the same things

He makes some attempt to describe where this fear comes from but basically says it is obvious. And I guess it is.

Like a magnet tugging countless tiny filings into the bands of force around its poles, a profoundly political force was at work acting on the thousands of individual systems, actors and institutions, bringing them into tyrannical alignment.

That force was white fear
Pg. 115

The fear is mostly racially bound but it also breaks those boundaries to go beyond race. White fear can expand its horizons.

Part of the fear come from a Desire for Order over law (both items are actually perceptions rather than objective facts). So even if someone's rights are not considered it is OK. After all you don’t want to feel stressed out by people arguing outside your house.

American Culture its sense of Justice and Punishment

“…to say Black people wanted this too (more prisons and arrests) belies [the] fact that Blacks in the U.S. are AMERICANS. Americans LOVE punishment." Pg. 125

Related but somewhat sidebar observations

Irony of American Colonial reactions compared to the current oppressed Colony

John Hancock...was one of the most famous smugglers of his day. He was a criminal, basically-and he and his fellow smugglers kept the colonies running. Without the smuggled goods there would have been little local economy to speak of.
Pg. 52

“...the British crackdown (getting taxes) essentially inaugurated America’s first tough-on-crime era. It was a classic crackdown: more customs officials were granted more expansive powers. While courts were streamlined to produce swift punishment...(officials) began operating in ways that looked a lot like what we now call ‘stop and frisk’ ” Pg. 54

And the creepy way cities and towns across the country target the poor in order to fund the city (probably because it is apparently illogical to raise taxes anywhere)

[Ferguson – the colony] “...the purpose of policing and courts isn’t the maintenance of safety and provision of justice but rather some other aim. In north St. Louis County that aim is to produce revenue, the same aim of the British Empire’s customs regime in the American colonies.” Pg. 76

Guns and Iraq
[guns as protection against a tyrant] despite the fact that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had one of the highest rate of gun ownership in the world. Pg. 104

How language is used to confirm the threatening nature of The Colony

Racecraft: the Soul of Inequality in American Life, Karen and Barbara Fields trace the semantic trick of racial vocabulary, which invents categories for the purpose of oppression while appearing to describe things that already exist out in the world.

His and my conclusion

But in the end I think the most important point he makes is a Philosophical appeal to compassion. It is the not explicitly stated, but I think it is a central theme of his book and goes beyond this particular, but huge, injustice...How do we view our fellow humans?

Imagine a person commits a crime, perhaps even a violent crime, against you. Is that person even a human being? A neighbor, a fellow citizen? What do we as a society owe that person? Could he be someone you know and love in the throes of addiction? Or is he a member of a group you’ll never encounter again? What dignity is due the perpetrator? Do you and the perpetrator belong to the same country? This is the question before us. The question we’ve answered wrongly for too long. Pg. 210

You see the philosophy student peek through sometimes, his passionate outrage is obvious but like the quote above he also has the occasional dispassionate appeal to logic, which in this case it is used to encourage compassion, even for the criminal. But, I bet some people can't get past that. Once you commit a crime you are basically a damned soul.

One more thing, just to be clear. If you are a comfortable white guy, like me, you should be upset by the truth of this book

View all my reviews