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#EQNZ – A Social Timetable

Well, this isn’t going to be the definitive paper on the subject, but more a collection of facts and details.

In doing some research for an upcoming presentation for work, I decided to reference some of the data that came out of the Feb 22, 6.3 Christchurch earthquake.

This is also for showing that traditional media as a resource for reaching out and spreading the word about an event has now to deal with the implications of what is to all intents and purposes a real-time collaborative series of platforms, that work unfiltered by traditional rules.

And to save other people the trouble of trawling for the data, here is what I have found so far:

Times in UTC:

Quake: 2011 February 21 23:51:42 UTC: ( Source: USGS website )

Duration: 37 seconds (Source: Rebuild Christchurch )

23:52:19 UTC :Final time Post Earthquake:

(Timestamp on images in AEDT – Images link through to source tweet)

Feb 21 23:52:42 +0000 2011 First Tweet:

23 seconds after the quake.

(found by backtracking several users timeline to point of tweet to the timeof the quake ) –

Feb 21 23:53:17 +0000 2011 First Tweet Referencing #eqnz:

58 seconds after the quake.

Feb 21 23:53:17 +0000 2011 First Tweet Referencing Earthquake:

(Google Realtime Search)

Feb 21 23:55:47 +0000 2011 First Tweet from one of the 2694 people I follow:

3:28 seconds after the quake

Feb 21 23:55:47 +0000 2011 First Twit Pic:

3:28 seconds after the quake

Feb 21 23:55:47 +0000 2011 First=C2=A0 Twitpic with #eqnz tag:

Feb 21 23:57:37 +0000 2011 First Tweet from @nzstuff

Feb 22 00:06:52 +0000 2011 My First Official Data:

14 Minutes 33 seconds after the quake finished:

(My Tweet via refreshing the USGS website)

Feb 22 00:08:09 +0000 2011 First Confirmation of the Quake Data ( Tweet ):

15minutes 50 seconds after the quake finished.

Feb 22 00:08:55 +0000 2011 First Tweet from Australian News Source @abcnews

15minutes 55 seconds after the quake finished.


First Video on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Dqt0iIHXFnR0 ( Details still to confirm )

Feb 22 00:18:00 +0000 2011 Wikipedia

25minutes 41 seconds after the quake:

Page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch_Earthquake,_2011

(Source: Revision History )

Feb 22 12:15:49 +0000 2011 Official Christchurch Council Twitter Account goes live:

12 Hours, 23 minutes after the quake

By the time the Council come onboard, the rumour mill re blood donations, etc is in full over drive: For over 6 hours there were over 100tweets p/m just on the #eqnz tag.

The time to be prepared is not when the disaster has happened, but now.


Please tell me if I have missed any content, or tweets that should be in this timeline. ( I will update this post when I get more information as well )

Litter of Cubs…….

Posted: 25 Feb 2011 09:19 PM PST

Never ones to do anything by halves Mrs Wolfcat and I are expecting twins, due sometime in July.

So not only did I start a new job this year, I am starting a family as well. This is the reason the big summer road trip never happened as Mrs Wolfcat was not up to a trip for about 2 months.

We decided cubs is suitable as the description because it describes the young of both big cats and yet also wolves.

They say a picture tells a thousand words…. this photo shows the complete genetic detail of two soon to be people. The IVF Embroys are 3 days old….

The Cubs at 3 days old....

Then the first scan at 6 weeks old… where the OMG, we are pregnant, became OMG… we have having two of them and they look like something out of Alien.

6 Weeks Old Scan


And of course the 13 week ultrasound showed all on track (and in conjunction with an amnio test we had a few weeks later, gave us the all clear so far).

Current working title for them is either “Release Candidate 1 and Release Candidate 2″, or “B1 and B2″.

Of course I am willing to name them Nikon or even Canon if the price is right ( pending approval from Mrs Wolfcat).  Though she may consider Cadbury or Haigh’s…

I know I am going to need one of these t-shirts shortly….


Wish us luck…Â so far so good… and only what 30 years or so to go till it is finished……


Missing from the EXIF: Lightroom Tweaks to Contemplating the day that was

So I finally have a Nikon D7000 to play with.  Sadly it is not mine however, and I shall cry myself to sleep for a while over that.

To put the camera through it paces I thought I would head to one of my usual spots, take just the Sigma 150-500mm lens and see what I could get. Whilst looking for shots, I walked back from the jetty a bit and found the perfect composure I was looking for.  I am a big fan of taking photos of people, where you can’t tell who the person is.  If you want to enter shots into competitions for example, they often want release forms for the subject.  Not having the subject identifiable fixes this issue.

I took 18 shots to get this one,whilst it is either the first or last shot that ends up being the keeper, this was in the middle of the series.  I was looking for a breaking wave and the girls hair to be flowing just the right amount. All the while I was kneeling on concrete to get the right angle for the shot as well.

Here is the Final Version of the Image as you can buy it on Redbubble

Each of these images opens into a new tab/window, in Flickr Lightbox mode so you can see all the details.  These are untouched screenshots, so that you can see the whole process I went through. You will notice a few extra steps, where I tried a few things, which didn’t work, then carried on, such as a black and white version. But I haven’t commented on them.

The time frame for this processing was just under 5 min of actual sitting in front of the computer time.

Stage 1: This is the Raw Shot. So, I know I have the composition right, but the colour balance and weighting of the shot isn’t quite what I was after…


Stage 2: As my Sigma 150-500mm Lens is in the Lens, issues such as barrel distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration can be fixed in one click.


Stage 3: I knew I wanted to pull the blacks up in this image, so I did a quick tweak of the black clipping just to see if it was worth progressing with the image processing. Often, once you start processing, with an end result in mind, you will come across images that you just decide not to finish with.


Stage 4: Ah Autotone… I like you as much as I hate you. It always overblows shots as far as I am concerned. I always end up pulling the shot back, but it can be a good quick fix to a number of issues.


Stage 5: And yep, the next thing after the autotone, is to pull the exposure back from the +0.65 that Lightroom’s Autotone did, back to +0.23. So some of the image is brought out, but not to much.


Stage 6: And like Stage 5, this was a tweak to pull the brightness down, so that the image is a lot more muted over all.


Stage 7: I needed to go back and pull the blacks up a bit more at this point, to push detail out of the shadows that had crept in so that your eyes follow the lines in the image.


Stage 8: Hand holding a 3kg lens of camera and lens in high winds whilst kneeling on concrete does of course mean your shot is never going to be perfectly straight. This was just a tweak to the rotation to line up the vertical elements.


Stage 9: This is a two stage process. Firstly using the Brush Stroke tool, I selected the girl, and the pole she was leaning against so that I could apply a filter directly to just those parts of the image. As Lightroom, remembers the last settings, it of course made them over exposed, but it is handy to see the shapes that I was covering.


Stage 10: Now I just reduce the exposure on the brush tool path, from 1 to -0.88, which drops the colour and the detail from the girl leaving a stronger shadow and removes the distraction of the details of her clothing, but keeps her hair and the rest of the image in balance.


Stage 11: Once you have finished doing the major changes to the balance of an image, what looked straight before may not look as straight again. So this was to fix the aesthetic straightness of the image.


Stage 12: In all the above tweaks the golden colour had become a little washed out. So this was just a tweak to the Clarity and Vibrance to pull the image up a bit.


Stage 13: And to finish off, just a small push to the saturation to ensure the image colour and feel was as rich as I wanted.


And the Exif Data for the Shot:

Camera Nikon D7000
Exposure 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture f/5.6
Focal Length 250 mm
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire
Date and Time (Modified) 2011:02:19 23:02:36
Exposure Program Shutter speed priority AE
Date and Time (Digitized) 2011:02:19 19:56:42
Max Aperture Value 5.7
Subject Distance 10 m
Metering Mode Multi-segment
Custom Rendered Normal
Exposure Mode Auto
White Balance Auto
Focal Length In35mm Format 375 mm
Scene Capture Type Standard
Gain Control None
Contrast Normal
Saturation Normal
Sharpness Normal
GPS Latitude 37 deg 53′ 28.29″ S
GPS Longitude 144 deg 59′ 6.89″ E
GPS Altitude Ref Above Sea Level
GPS Altitude 2 m
GPS Map Datum WGS-84
Creator Tool Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.3
Lens 150.0-500.0 mm f/5.0-6.3
Approximate Focus Distance 10

and the Flickr Version of the Shot…
Contemplating the day that was

Scott Morrison never apologised!

The problem with all politicians, from all sides of politics, is they don’t speak English.  Well not the English that you or I would speak.  They speak a wholly different language, that in passing sounds like English to us mere mortals in the street as it were.

On the 15th of Feb, finally some of the victims of the Dec 15 Christmas Island boat tragedy were buried in Sydney.  Yet, instead of this being a time of reflection on our policies, it was taken by many to be a time not to morn, but to raise heckles and spurn any humane treatment.

The issue at hand, the cost of flying the detainees to Sydney for the funeral.  These detainees included a 8year old boy, whose father died, and a father who buried his 8 month old child, and whose wife and other daughter remains were never found.

Now before I continue, I need to say this in shouty capital letters. “IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO SEEK REFUGE IN AUSTRALIA”.  This refuge can be sought if you arrive by plane or by boat.

Yet, and I will single one person out, that person being Scott Morrison MP, who felt this was a prime opportunity to push what is nothing more than a campaign of fear. A campaign that was brought to light by One Nation, which ceased to be a major political force, when the underlying ideals of the party were taken to the main stream by John Howard, and in most cases, reflected by the then Labor Opposition and current Labor Government.

On the day of the funerals Scott Morrison said the Federal Government should not be paying for asylum seekers to be flown to Sydney for the funerals of people killed in the Christmas Island shipwreck. Why did he say this, to create division, to capitalise on the moment as it were, and to push his own agenda.

But, and the big but here, is despite the outcry, the media as a whole have brought his apology.  The ABC even ran that headline “Morrison climbs down in funeral row

But he didn’t. The weasel words he used were “Timing in terms of comments is very important … the timing of my comments was insensitive and inappropriate.”

The key thing here, is that he didn’t back down from his message.  A message that was given plenty of airtime, plenty of discussion, and little recourse.  He backed down from the timing of the message.  Timing he would have know to be optimal for getting his message out.  He succeeded.

He did not in any way shape or form back down from the content of the message. A message, that his leader Tony Abbott, went on today to praise for his “acknowledging he went too far”.

Sorry Mr Morrison and Mr Abbott, both of you went to far, you failed to show a single thread of human decency, then through “Political speak”, claim you have apologised.  No you haven’t . People weren’t upset with the timing, but with the message. (A Hat tip does have to go out to Joe Hockey, who did show some decency)

Initial estimates put the cost at less than 2cents per tax payer as a one off, for the cost of the funeral.  Please tell me where I can donate my $10 to cover a number of people and I will gladly show more heart for $10 than either Abbott or Morrison did.

I like the old twitter better than your new twitter…

Ok… now that I have murdered song lyrics for a title, I think I have set the tone I was after.

I don’t like the “New” Twitter layout. And the constant reminders that it is going to go… ” our using an older version of Twitter that won’t be around for much longer” fill me with what is in reality a #firstworldproblem kind of dread.

I run a lot of accounts off and on, and yes I am more than familiar with a number of apps and different solutions. I use Seemic on my phone, have used dabr on my old phone, tweetdeck on my computers and even twirl. But I like the simplicity of “Old Twitter”.

With 40k+ tweets, and having been on Twitter since May 2007, I think a: I crap on a lot and b: I am a regular user of the platform. And whilst I see all the benefits of the apps, I like the simplicity that the web interface gives me. Also it means that I am in my primary app for content creation and can just move between windows to share content.

I like the clean nature of the website and that it does just sit into the background, apps demand to much attention and show the flow of information almost to well.  I know every tweet and every link doesn’t need to be read, certainly, not in the same window. If I want the content, I am happy to let it load in another window for example, or just bookmark it for later reading. I like seeing when I have new Direct Messages, not have them hidden in a tool bar.

I like the stability of the old twitter as well. All the bells and whistles just create problems. I move between new and old computers all the time and find that new twitter eats content, breaks media and causes more frustration, ironically leading to me missing more content.

I can see why people do like the new twitter, but I am not one of them.

Given that my original tweet “dear twitter stop threatening to get rid of old twitter or I will write an angry blog post that 5 people might read.” made it to the home page of twitter, was rt by hundreds of people and has got me lots of comments about it, I don’t think I am alone in my thinking.

So I implore you kind folks at twitter, who give me a service that I have not paid 1cent to use, let me have old twitter as an option.



P.S can you please fix my direct messages count, and whilst you are at it… get rid of the people squatting on twitter handles for more than 12 months.

P.P.S I still like you Twitter, and I still want to be friends with your website.

Missing from the Exif: On the Edge of Night

Sorry for the lack of updates… between a new job and a new lens… hazahh… I’ve not spent much time behind the computer…. So here is a post based around a shot I always wanted and the new lens.

One of my favourite shots of the the setting sun, is the melting on the horizon version.   The one with the full disk of the sun visible through the long light, and just at the point it is touching the horizon, with the extra distortions that the atmosphere gives the shot.

When I first got my Nikon D90 DSLR, it came with an 18-55 and a 55-200mm lens kit.  All very nice, but 200mm still meant I had to crop a lot on the image to get the focal point out of the shots I was taking.  Next was my 70-300mm.  Much better… but still to much cropping on a 12megapixel image to pull the shot I wanted.

Finally I got my Sigma 150-500mm.  For two weeks after I got it, I was running down to the beach at sunset.  And every evening I either had something on at sunset, or as was the main case, a beautiful sunny day would turn cloudy at the last min, or the line of cloud 15degrees above the horizon would still be there.

Now I am lucky I live 10min drive from the water and that the sun sets over Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne for me.  To be honest I am not a morning person, so having to get up at 5am for the shot wasn’t going to happen.

Finally, I get the cloud cover I want, and the major bit of luck the atmosphere I wanted.  It is always hit and miss with sunsets as to what you will get, if the sun will slide cleanly into the water, or play nice optical tricks in that last few min before it sets.  Here I got that balance.

This is a hand held shot, although a tripod for the sunset does make life much easier, even though you have to tweak the position of the camera on the tripod as it will move a few degrees as it sets.

This is a touch of patience and a touch of luck, combined with a 500mm lens.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

On the Edge of Night

The EXIF Data:

Camera Nikon D90
Lens Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS
Exposure 1/3200 sec
Aperture f/9.0
Focal Length 500 mm
ISO Speed 160
Exposure Program Manual
Date and Time (Digitized) 2011:01:29 20:34:01
Digital Zoom Ratio 1
Focal Length In35mm Format 750 mm
Scene Capture Type Standard
GPS Altitude Ref Above Sea Level
GPS Altitude 5 m
GPS Date Stamp 2011:01:29
GPS Latitude 37 deg 53′ 54.11″ S
GPS Longitude 144 deg 59′ 4.98″ E

It was also featured on the RedBubble Home Page… ( Click on the link to buy the image )

On the Edge of Night