Google Images gets new look

In case you haven’t searched for an image today, Google Images has a new look! There are several differences, the major two being what shows on the inital search, and what shows when you click on the picture itself.

I like the first change. When you search for an image now, many more show up on the same page, with less gaps inbetween. While it looked a bit cleaner with the white-space, I’d rather have more efficiency per page when I’m trying to look something up quickly. When you hover on an image, it also blows it up just a bit larger, making it easier to see. Also along the same easier-to-see-more lines, the pages now scroll from one “page” to another– which, of course leaves it no longer as a page, but instead views the whole thing like one continuous webpage. Why even bother leaving a page number if it’s just going to be one continous list of images going down?

The second change on the other hand…I just don’t quite get! When you click on the image of your choice, previously it would open up the website containing the image and have a bar above which you could see the image in thumbnail form. Then you could blow it up. But now, the “thumbnail” is at a much higher resolution– something like 500 x 600 or so, pasted on top of the site. Here’s the kicker, though–after it loads this too-large thumbnail, the image then GOES BLURRY!! Now this is completely  and entirely confounding to me. Why–after already loading a clear image–would you have it go blurry?

At this point you have the option of clicking to see the full-size image or pressing the “X” button to reveal the webpage behind the image. But seriously–blurry? AFTER spending the time to load? Not cool.

So there it is. I’m sure many people will complain, and then eventually everyone will likely get used to it and accept the new look for what it is! At this point I’m complaining–a little bit.

Cheers,
-r-

EDIT: So it seems this blurring phenomenon was temporary. I have no idea why it was happening here, but I tried multiple computers and it was all the same. I did notice that when I was trying this, the new images format had not yet been launched for google.com.kw, so maybe that had something to do with it. So that’s a big improvement. Still, the popup is a bit clunky.

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Dust Devil!

I had seen a dust devil once before, but this one was a good bit more impressive. AND I was able to get a photo with it!

dust devil. there.

Just one of those things one doesn’t USUALLY see back home. Then again, apparently they can and do happen in all sorts of places including soccer games:

They can also get quite large, apparently:

It was fun to see how quickly the intensity along the vertical column changed– at some moments it seemed the whole thing was going to fall apart, but within seconds it would pick up some steam and get higher and more menacing! Reminded me of the tornado machine at the Maryland Science Center We watched it move for a good half mile or so, and it was still going when we walked away. Not surprisingly, there were several smaller ones also seen that day. For more info, the Wikipedia article on the topic seems to be nicely put together.

Cheers,
-r-

original vs. remix: Robbie Williams' Last Days of Disco

I’ve recently come across this Robbie Williams track called “Last Days of Disco” off his 2009 album Reality Killed the Video Star. By itself, you’d have to be a fan of Eurythmics or Pet Shop Boys to like the song:
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Personally, I like this Black Van remix better, though:
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Also fun is this Ricky Ryan mashup:
ytaudio(6ljfpMNrL1A)  which utilizes an otherwise thoroughly boring tune by College called “Teenage Color”
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Hope your day’s going well!

-r-

World cup final!…and psychic animals

Not exactly an inspiring game, but it got a lot more fun as the first half came to a close. The winning goal for Spain was well-deserved, as they were clearly the better team throughout the game–and the fact that at least 4 Spanish players had a touch to set up the goal was a great illustration of how Spain had played.

Meanwhile, on a level of at least as much attention as the Cup game itself (at least in America and Germany) was that Paul the Octopus was right, again! This means he has a better record (7 wins-0 losses) than the Spanish team (6wins-1loss) in this World Cup. So, kudos, my cephalopodic friend! Other animals have tried to grab the headlines, but been somewhat less successfull:  Harry, the Ozzie Crocodile, Mani, the Indian parrot, a Malaysian parakeet named Meena, a Dutch Chimp named Pino in an Estonian zoo, and even Jabulani–named ominously the same as the soccerball used for S. Africa’s World Cup matches– another octopus. I find it unsurprising that there are people who would listen to the predictions of various animals, and equally funny that there are people who are willing to believe in some supernatural being governing all their worldly (and post-worldly) doings but find it odd that one should believe in a cephalopod’s powers! On the other hand, while multiple sources have reported that PETA asked for Paul the Octopus to be released into the wild following his string of victories, I haven’t been able to locate anything on their website to that effect. I’m thinking throwing an animal raised in captivity out into the wild is somewhat less than wise.

We were lucky on base to have a couple of similarly sized rooms, because both got filled up! I hear from the workers here that this is by far the most interest they have ever seen in soccer. I knew the other football is growing in the USA. Here’s the room I was at:
Hope you had a fun place to watch the game at–where did you watch?

Cheers,
-r-