A quick bit of FFMPEG magic to improve VHS rips

fmpeg -i Old_VHS_copy.avi -threads 0 -aspect 4:3 -vf “pp=ac/lb/ha/va/dr/al,frei0r=brightness:0.625,frei0r=contrast0r:1.05,frei0r=saturat0r:0.10,hqdn3d=4:4:7,scale=480:-1,unsharp” -codec:a libfaac -b:a 64k -codec:v libx264 -profile:v high444 -preset:v placebo Much_Better.mkv Found the frei0r contrast/brightness/saturation controls MUCH better than the MP2 ones. Amount of de-noise (before downsize) and sharpening (after) is to taste, obviously, as is the amount of brightness/contrast improvement. This source was AWFUL!

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A second fragment of fiction

“This is my boomstick,” yelled Bob. The villagers looked at him incredulously and returned to their business, if perhaps a bit more slowly. Bob cycled the bolt on his rifle, which made a satisfying thunk as it fed a cartridge into the chamber. The villagers continued going about their business with nothing more than a… Continue reading A second fragment of fiction

Canada to Ban Foreign Strippers

via FlyerTalk OMNI: Canada Stripping Visas for Foreign Strippers What’s this debate over Canada’s move to ban foreign strippers, escorts and massage-parlor workers really about? On one side, you have the Adult Entertainment Association, which is upset that the government is stripping away a pool of potential moneymaking workers, whereas on the other side, you… Continue reading Canada to Ban Foreign Strippers

“‘Depraved’ sex acts by penguins shocked polar explorer”

‘Depraved’ sex acts by penguins shocked polar explorer 9 June 2012 Last updated at 20:36 ET By Matt McGrath Science reporter, BBC World Service Accounts of unusual sexual activities among penguins, observed a century ago by a member of Captain Scott’s polar team, are finally being made public. Details, including “sexual coercion”, recorded by George… Continue reading “‘Depraved’ sex acts by penguins shocked polar explorer”

I (heart) weird government publications

Obliterating Animal Carcasses With Explosives There are times when it is important to remove or obliterate an animal carcass from locations such as recreation areas where a carcass might attract bears, at a popular picnic area where the public might object, or along the side of roads or trails. Large animal carcasses can be particularly… Continue reading I (heart) weird government publications

Flyertalk really needs a “Like” button…

In reply to: Does the $20 or $50 trick (bribe) work for upgrades Hello MR CUSO I represent certain AMERICAN AIRLINES INTEREST IN AFRICA. As a SENIOR ASSISTANT CHAIRMAN to CHIEF ELECTED OFFICIAL GERARD ARPEY I have recently been promoted to start NEW ROUTES TO LAGOS NIGERIA. Due to systems malfunctions during computer installation, I… Continue reading Flyertalk really needs a “Like” button…

A first fragment of fiction: Bob discovers the multiverse.

I haven’t written much fiction in years, but I found some handwritten bits and pieces from a very boring training a few years ago. I’m not planning to ever try reusing these, so while I’ve slightly edited in retyping them, I’m sharing them here. First one today, second soon, probably limited to two. I’ll consider… Continue reading A first fragment of fiction: Bob discovers the multiverse.