Here are some of my favorite Android apps for various purposes (I’m omitting very popular web services like Gmail, Facebook, You Tube, and Twitter).
DoggCatcher (Podcast software, Paid) -> Fantastic. I love this product and have never looked back. I use it heavily.
Feedly (RSS feed reader) -> Pretty good in a post-google reader world.
Chrome (web browser) -> Great browsing experience.
Pocket (getpocket.com–place to put stuff to read with text-to-speech for audio) -> Fantastic, now how do I get time to read / listen to everything I put on there?
FBReader (read ebooks, also has text 2 speech module) -> Very useful at times
VLC (video player) -> Fantastic, versatile, and much better than what the phones/tablets come with
Audible (audio book service) -> Good, if you have an audible account
ESV Bible -> Descent, simple Bible app, not many bells and whistles
GoodReads (reading social network) -> Excellent, with barcode reading for indexing a library.
Todoist (todos) -> Superb todo tool. I would improve some things, but overall it is quite good.
HabitBull (setting habit goals) -> Just started with this one, seems a great way to record progress on various habits
eBird (bird sighting reporting app) -> I like it, but don’t use it as much as I like.
iNaturalist (general wildlife reporting app) -> Not as good as the website, but still handy and fun since it automatically does the location data and date for you.
Flashlight -> Great to have
JuiceSSH (ssh client) -> delightfully powerful and simple
SSH Server (ssh server) -> Not a huge fan of the program, but having an SSH server on my phone is useful
Dropbox -> Use it a ton
Google Drive -> Use it a ton
The Weather Channel -> Essential for a nature buff
Flickr -> Great way to browse flickr galleries, uploading photos?… not so much.
Starbucks -> Well, you know!
Duolingo (language learning) -> I’ve fallen away from using this one to learn German, but I still regard it as fantastic
(3 paper books, 1 ebook, 1 audio book)
(3 paper books, 1 ebook, 4 audio books)
Starting off with my new (to me–it’s actually about 12 years old)
Nikon D70S and a Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro lens, I decided to try out extension tubes. I bought a set of three Fotodiox extension tubes for $15. The set includes 7mm, 14mm, and 28mm, stacking together for a total 48mm. Basically, the extension tubes sit between the camera and the lens.
Here is a photo of the camera with the lens and the full stack of extension tubes:
The initial problem with this setup is that you (a) lose tons and tons of light, (b) lose the ability to autofocus, and (c) lose the ability to tweak your aperture.
My strategy for overcoming this had to be simple: reduce movement and increase light!
First, I rested the camera on a disk. Then I turned off the autofocus on both the camera and the lens. Then I zoomed the lens all the way in and positioned the object I’m photographing so that it is just under a inch away from the subject. Then I turned off the flash and figured out an external light source. Sometimes I used an overhead lamp. Sometimes I used the flashlight app on my phone. Sometimes I used both. I experimented pointing my phone light at different angles for different results and different shadow configurations. Then I manually focused and shot away!
I’m very happy with the result. I estimate that I get almost twice as much magnification with the $15 tubes! Objects that are in reality 1 cm appear in my images well over 20cm long. What I lose is photo quality and I have to with external lighting and obsessively remove movement.
I look forward to warmer weather and a chance to try this setup out on invertebrates. For various reasons, this setup is not very practical for field work. However, I’m hopeful that it will be very helpful in getting better macro photos of invertebrates.
Here are some links to some of my tests on Flickr:
“Coelius Secundus Curio wrote a book of eighty-eight pages which was published in Basle in 1544. The name of his book,
, shows that it was in effect a sermon, Curio took his facts, both true and false, from the writings of Pliny and interpreted the life and work of spiders as evidence of the wisdom and goodness of the Creator.” – Theodore H. Savory in Spiders, Men, and Scorpions: Being the History of Arachnology, 30 (University of London Press, 1961).
The treatise mentioned by Savory, which was the first work ever exclusively devoted to spiders, begins on page 52
of this document. Curio (1503-1569) was an Protestant Italian living in exile in Switzerland. According to Robert Baird in Sketches of Protestantism in Italy, Curio was “the most regretted loss” of those who left Italy for the sake of Protestantism.
(2 paper books, 2 ebooks, 3 audio books)
February 1, 2016 | Posted in:
In 2015, I’ve finished the following
Van Til, Defender of the Faith: An Authorized Biography by William White
The God Who Draws Near: An Introduction to Biblical Spirituality by Michael Haykin
Hiding In Plain Sight by Nuruddin Farah
They Call Me Sparky by Sparky Anderson and Dan Ewald
The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World by David Murray
Common Grace and the Gospel by Cornelius Van Til
The Indian Tribes of Canada by Eileen Jenness
Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller
by Richard Belcher and Anthony Mattia A Discussion of the Seventeenth Century Particular Baptist Confession of Faith
Orr: My Story by Bobby Orr
Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully: The Power of Poetic Effort in the Work of George Herbert, George Whitefield, and C. S. Lewis by John Piper
The Stricken Deer: Or, the Life of Cowper by David Cecil
How to Study History by Norman Cantor and Richard Schneider
Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemisms ed. by D. J. Enright
In Search of a Heart by Henrietta O’Neil
Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England by David D. Hall
William Cowper by Hugh l’Anson Fausset
Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle by Slavoj Zizek
Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch
Give Me Back My Dad! by Robert Munsch
William Cowper: The Man of God’s Stamp: A Bicentenary Evaluation, Vindication, and Appreciation by George M. Ella
Pyjama Day! by Robert Munsch
The Gospel in Genesis: From Fig Leaves to Faith by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Searching for the Sound: My Life With The Grateful Dead by Phil Lesh
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray
Orthodox, Puritan, Baptist: Hercules Collins (1647-1702) and Particular Baptist Identity in Early Modern England by G. Stephen Weaver
The Ethics of Jesus: The Believer as Salt and Light ed. by Daniel G. Lundy
Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era ed. by Allan Briesmaster and Steven Michael Berzensky
The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent
John Owen: The Man and His Theology ed. by Robert W. Oliver
Praying Always by Frans Bakker
Point Pelee: Canada’s Deep South by Darryl Stewart
If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath
Java 8 in Action: Lambdas, Streams, and functional-style programming by Raoul-Gabriel Urma, Mario Fusco, and Alan Mycroft
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism (Reformed Historical-Theological Studies) by Willem J. Van Asselt
Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World by Stephen J. Nichols
Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom by Carl R. Trueman
National symptoms. A discourse preached in the First Baptist church, New Haven, on the day of the annual state fast, April 18, 1862 by S. Dryden Phelps
Holy Land: With Glimpses of Europe and Egypt by S. Dryden Phelps
Rest days in a journey to Bible lands and other journeys abroad; sermons preached in the four quarters of the globe by S. Dryden Phelps
Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson by D. A. Carson
by Roger Scruton A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein
Memoir of the Rev. James H. Linsley by Sophia Emilia Lyon Linsley Phelps
Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ by Tony Reinke
Packer on the Christian Life: Knowing God in Christ, Walking by the Spirit by Sam Storms
The River: A Memoir of Life in the Border Cities by Paul Vasey
Writers to Read: Nine Names That Belong on Your Bookshelf by Douglas Wilson
Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement by Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael Haykin
A Family of Noblemen by Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton
Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz
by Christopher Hitchens The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
Family Inc.: Office-Inspired Solutions to Reduce the Chaos in Your Home (and Save Your Sanity!) by Caitlin Friedman
Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz
Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
The Man With Two Left Feet by P. G. Wodehouse
The Day of Sir Wilfred Laurier: A Chronicle of Our Own Times by Oscar D. Skelton
Paperweight by Stephen Fry
The Negro Problem ed. by Booker T. Washington
Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur
The Growth of Love by Robert Bridges
A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor
Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Jonah by Aldous Huxley
Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
by Ashlee Vance Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart
BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner
One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead by Bill Kreutzmann
Frozen Assets by P. G. Wodehouse
Money for Nothing by P. G. Wodehouse
The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner
Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
This Is All A Dream We Dreamed by David Gans and Blair Jackson
January 1, 2016 | Posted in:
(3 paper books, 1 ebook, 5 audio books)