Tuesday, January 16, 2007

'May I urge you to consider my liver?' asked the animal

Would it be unreasonable to expect that evolutionary forces will ultimately make chicken want to be eaten? By us? How do we know that is not already the case?

In a way that is different from other predator-prey relationships, it seems reasonable to assume that human beings have the capability to ensure the proliferation of a species which isn't on the brink of extinction (think poultry). The devices of modern science can ensure a rate of growth of these species, which would far exceed what would be possible in an uncontrolled environment. Certain genes would thrive; Prof. D nods.
Arthur: I just don't want to eat an animal that's standing there inviting me to. It's heartless.
Zaphod: Better than eating an animal that doesn't want to be eaten.

Battery Care

My Canon battery pack (BP511A) died on me recently at a rather critical moment. It now charges from 0% to 100% in less than an hour, and goes dry in less than 30 shots. This left me quite perplexed, considering I had been quite careful with the way I handled the battery pack: no extremes of temperature or humidity, never been jarred or charged using the a third-party charger.

Spadix introduced me to the concept of storing with 40% charge and pointed me to the excellent Battery University website.

Storing modern Li-ion batteries at near-zero charge is risky because they apparently contain a critical life-support circuit which may drain the last mC. Once this happens, it's death with no possibility of resuscitation.

At the other extreme, Battery University discourages users from storing Li-ion packs with a full charge. The optimum is 40% charge, a level which is conveniently indicated by one of the LED patterns on the charger.

It doesn't seem like a good idea to waste precious shutter cycles on a camera to discharge the battery to safe levels before a period of hibernation. Discharging by shorting or via a resistor seems positively risky.

So then, happily, the only safe course of action that comes to mind is to keep shooting.