Categories
Geopolitics Human behavior

Stupidity and power

During the turbulent times that United States is going through, it is appropriate to remember the Third Basic Law of human stupidity as defined by Carlo M. Cipolla : « Is stupid a person who causes a loss to another person or a group of other persons while not deriving any benefit for himself and possibly even inflicting losses on himself ». Losses can be of all kinds, such as a rapid decrease in the support network, a greater difficulty in accessing financial resources, loss of credibility or even possible civil lawsuits for inappropriate acts.

According to Mr Cipolla, « the destructive potential of stupid people depends on two main factors. First, the genetic factor […] and second, the position of power and eminence in society ». « Essentially, stupid people are dangerous because people have difficulty imagining and understanding unreasonable behaviour ».

To know a bit more on the subject : human behaviour.

Categories
Photos of Canada

A view of mount robson

A view of Mount Robson in 2014
A view of Mount Robson in 2014

A view of Mount Robson in 2014 on our way to southern British Columbia, bound for Kamloops. We were fortunate to see enough of Mount Robson as there are more and more forest fires in the summer in western Canada and visibility is often reduced.

Categories
Photos of Canada

Old Ford and Ford Mercury Pick-up Trucks.

Old rusted Ford pick-up alongside the Yellowhead highway in British-Columbia.
Old rusted Ford pick-up alongside the Yellowhead highway in British-Columbia.
Old Ford and Ford Mercury pick-up trucks alongside the Yellowhead highway in British-Columbia in 2014.
Old Ford and Ford Mercury pick-up trucks alongside the Yellowhead highway in British-Columbia in 2014.

These two photos of old Ford and Ford Mercury pick-up trucks were taken in British-Columbia in 2014. As we were driving  between Mount Robson and Kamloops, we saw the trucks parked alongside Yellowhead highway. I could not resist a few shots that were later digitally processed.

Categories
Photos of Canada

Jasper National park in Canada.

Jasper National Park, Canada, 2014
Jasper National Park, Canada, 2014

A photo break en route to Jasper, Canada, in 2014. The inability to travel during the COVID-19 period allows me to return to my archives and bring out some photos of past trips, including this one from Jasper National Park.

Categories
Photos of Quebec

On The Road (3)

Province of Quebec landscape in Autumn.
Province of Quebec landscape in Autumn.

On the road in Chaudière-Appalaches, a beautiful region in the province of Quebec, I saw an interesting landscape in my rearview mirror. This was the perfect start for autumn photography.

Rather than getting out of the vehicle to capture the scene and its autumn colors, it seemed to me that a modified « frame in the frame » technique could be applied very well to capture most of this bucolic landscape.

In order for the photo to be sufficiently in focus, it is necessary to stop the engine. Otherwise, the minute vibrations are transmitted to the rearview mirror, making it impossible to obtain a correct focus, even when using the manual mode.

The photographic composition is determined in the rearview mirror by a zigzagging path through houses and forests. The leaves are starting to change color and the buildings in the foreground as well as the shades of green in the fields help bring the scene to life.

Categories
Flight Simulation

List of the Orbx freeware and payware airports. Halloween 2020 edition.

I have reviewed and edited my list of the Orbx freeware and payware airports, with runway description and airport elevation. It includes most airports that were created up  to Halloween 2020.

The addition of airports are based on what Orbx releases on its “Orbx Release Announcements” section. There are airports for Microsoft 2020 (MSFS), X-Plane, P3DV4+, AFS2 and FSX.

Payware airports often come with secondary, smaller virtual airports included in their package. The data is included in the list.

There are several airports included in the older Orbx regions on the west coast of USA that are not shown here. So the list is not perfect, but it does help the flight simmer. For the rest of the planet, the list is pretty accurate.

You have access to a free download PDF file on my website.

Have fun!

Categories
Environment Photography

Blue Jay in Autumn in Quebec City.

Blue Jay in a Russian Mountain Ash tree.
Blue Jay in a Russian Mountain Ash tree.

The picture above, taken with a Canon 5DS R full frame camera equipped with a Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS II USM telephoto lens was taken in the Fall morning in Quebec City , after a night with frost. The Russian Mountain Ash berries have not yet been eaten by all kinds of birds, so we can use them for our bird photography  session before it is too late.

In anticipation of the cold winter days, I designed a retractable feeder to help the family of five blue jays   which lives in the neighborhood. I thought it would take several days for them to get to grips with the new system, but in less than 24 hours, they were gleefully stuffing themselves.

Blue Jay eating peanuts
Blue Jay eating peanuts

The five blue jays each have a well-defined behavior. I have one who accepts to eat peanuts in my hands, but he mistakes my fingertips for the tip of a peanut. He pulls but nothing helps : the peanut does not follow. He probably suffers from myopia…

There is another who spends his time changing his mind; he chooses a peanut, then puts it back in the pot, then chooses another. After procrastinating and swapping the peanuts multiple times, he flies away. Another is an aerobatic ace; it arrives at high speed and catches peanuts in a fraction of a second without stopping. It rarely drops it.

Hermit Thrush in a Russian Mountain Ash.
Hermit Thrush in a Russian Mountain Ash.

During this time, the Hermit Thrush in the tree continues to taste the small red berries, indifferent to the activities of the blue jays.

Categories
Photos of Canada Photos of Quebec

On The Road (2)

Old American Ford pick-up on the road to Lyster in Québec in 2020
Old American Ford pick-up on the road to Lyster in Québec in 2020

This photo was taken at the end of a beautiful day in the Chaudière-Appalaches region. The sun is almost on the horizon and is hitting the sides of the trees directly, further enhancing the autumn colors .

By this time, people are home having dinner and there are hardly any vehicles on the road. Rather than photographing an empty road, which certainly would have been a logical choice, I waited for a vehicle to show up and advance into the foreground of the photo. We are in the countryside and, luckily for me, the old Ford pick-up   fitted perfectly in the landscape.

In terms of the photographic composition , the ideal position to capture the scene seemed to be near the curve, so as to use the white line of the road as a guideline leading to the subject of interest. The 16×9 format also allowed for a photo large enough to include the set of transmission line poles on the left, which itself was certainly as old as the pick-up. The latter was positioned according to the rule of thirds , without any compromises being necessary.

The posts on the left allowed a better framing of the subject. In the distance, the sun shines on the road and we assume there is a field on the left that lets the sun’s rays pass through.

The picture was taken with a Canon 5DS R full frame camera.

Categories
Photos of Quebec

On the road (1)

Cows and autumnal landscape in Quebec 2020
Cows and autumnal landscape in Quebec 2020

The picture above was taken from my car as I was driving on the roads of Quebec in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, looking for interesting subjects that would show the first autumn colors. The sound of the engine idling attracted the curiosity of the animals. Ears are pointed and the two cows kept their eyes on me the whole time I was adjusting the camera. Coincidentally, they stood in an ideal position for a photo taken in vertical format. The photographic composition was thus simplified. A few yellow leaves in the tree show that Autumn was only starting. The picture was taken with a Canon 5DS R full frame camera.

Categories
Photography

Blue Jay and Russian Mountain Ash

Blue jay and Russian Mountain Ash. Autumn 2020 in Quebec City.
Blue jay and Russian Mountain Ash. Autumn 2020 in Quebec City.

Every Autumn, a Blue Jay lands on our patio knowing he can stock up for the winter. After hearing his calls, I quickly get the peanuts and the camera.

The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 5DS R which allows significant cropping without loss of quality. In the photo above, the branches of the Russian Mountain Ash surround the bird and provide a natural setting.

I place the peanuts in front of the tree, just to include a few small red fruits in the photographic composition.

Blue jay with a peanut in front of a Russian Mountain Ash. Quebec City 2020.
Blue jay with a peanut in front of a Russian Mountain Ash. Quebec City 2020.

Capturing the blue jay in flight is a bit more difficult, but in the digital age and with a Canon EF 70-200mm f / 2.8L IS II USM lens, photographing birds in flight is made much easier. The photo below was taken with a shutter speed of 1/8000, an aperture of 4.0, and an ISO set at 1250.

Blue Jay in flight. Quebec City 2020.
Blue Jay in flight. Quebec City 2020.

I have yet to see a Blue Jay eat the fruits of our Russian Mountain Ash. On the other hand, the ravens of the neighborhood have no problem with them.

Raven in a Russian Mountain Ash
Raven in a Russian Mountain Ash

Here is a link for more pictures of Quebec in Autumn on my website.