Kim Jong-un, supreme leader of North Korea, recently released a new photo, with many interpretations appearing on the internet, including Kim Trump, Lil’ Kim, and Mona Kim. Kim Jong-unicorn is my contribution to this endeavor. No word yet on whether Kim Jong-un intends to photoshop his way up Mount Everest a second time.
In breaking news, President Elect Donald Trump has announced that he will appoint Peter Theil, Paypal co-founder and Facebook board member, to a new cabinet level position, Secretary of Alternate Reality. In his new role, Peter Theil will be responsible for altering reality to fit Trump’s view of the world. Theil will be expected to develop photoshop technology within the United States, as well as import the latest in photoshop technology from North Korea. He is expected to photoshop all evidence of global warming, air pollution, and any signs of positive economic growth under the Obama administration out of existence. He will also be responsible for removing all evidence of Trump’s double chin. When asked about the new position, President Elect Trump stated, “Everyone should see the world as I do. It doesn’t really matter what’s true.” Rumor has it that Peter Theil will also be working with Trump ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin to enhance photoshop technology within Russia.
According to Periodic Tales by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, every element has a use, or at least most of them do. The rare earth element, europium is used in European banknotes for security, along with TVs and fluorescent light bulbs. It is responsible for the unique red and blue fluorescence seen when the 5 euro note is illuminated with UV light.
Europium is one of the rarest elements in the universe. It makes up only about 5×10−8 % of all matter in the universe.
Is the use europium in the euro fortuitous, or does it have a purpose? It is probably a little of both. The chemist who added europium to the euro clearly enjoyed the accomplishment, but it also adds a unique security feature to Europe’s banknote.
By the way, if you live in Europe, don’t study the banknotes carefully, since it is apparently against the law to investigate the fluorescence of banknotes. See Suyver, Europium Secures the Euro, 2002 for more information on the fluorescence of the euro.
December 2, 2016: The real reason that Europe decided to use europium may be that they could not find sufficient supplies of unicornium.
Eat your meat takes on new significance with Britain’s movement to a new £5 banknote that contains traces of tallow. Tallow, which is made from beef or mutton fat, is also commonly used in candles and soap. Apparently, some vegetarians are objecting to this use of animal fat; consequently, I would like to volunteer my services to take these tainted banknotes off their hands. Please send them to me in stacks of 100!
For more details on this new banknote, see The New £5 Note Contains Animal Fat – And Vegetarians Are Furious and Vegans Are Pissed That Britain’s New Money Contains Meat.
November 30, 2016: Good news! Canadians can eat their money too. See Canada’s Money Is Made of Meat Too.
November 30, 2016: Here’s a more complete list of countries with meat in their money:
- Australia – First issued 1988
- Brunei – First issued 1996
- Canada – First issued 2011
- Chile – First issued 2004
- Costa Rica – First issued 2011
- Dominican Republic – First issued 2010
- Guatemala – First issued 2007
- Honduras – First issued 2010
- Hong Kong – First issued 2007
- Malaysia – First issued 1998
- Mauritania – First issued 2014
- Mauritius – First issued 2013
- Mexico – First issued 2002
- Mozambique – First issued 2011
- New Zealand – First issued 1999
- Nicaragua – First issued 2009
- Nigeria – First issued 2007
- Papua New Guinea – First issued 1991
- Paraguay – First issued 2009
- Romania – First issued 1999
- Singapore – First issued 1991
- United Kingdom – First issued 2016
- Vanuatu – First issued 2010
- Vietnam – First issued 2001
A bit harsh, but John Oliver raises some interesting points in his video on Multilevel Marketing. He point out correctly that if a company relies on recruiting and sales to distributors for the majority of its income, rather than sales to end customers, it is a pyramid scheme. The video talks specifically about Herbal Life, Youngevity (the parent company of Heritage Makers), and some other companies. Note: the language is relatively frank so do not watch this if you are easily offended.
Fortunately, I live in Minnesota and ballot selfies are legal here. I voted this morning, wanted a record of my participation in the election, and now I have it. I just have to wait until this evening to find out the results.
Note: The states where ballot selfies are illegal are Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee,Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
Forever is using a new printer to produce photo books and other products. I wanted to learn more about their new supplier. For my sample photo books, I used Artisan 5 to create a photo book for my trip last year to Disney World. I wanted to evaluate the new printing service just as any other customer would, although perhaps with somewhat of a technical slant. My photo book had 44 pages. Forever supplied soft cover, hard cover, and layflat samples.
Pages – Indigo printers produce the pages. In my experience, Indigo printers produce higher quality photos than the Xerox printer that were previously used. I was not surprised that printing in the samples I received was high quality and accurately reflected the books as I designed them. I did not find that any of my photos were unacceptably dark. I did, however, carefully auto fix all photos that were remotely dark with Perfectly Clear in Artisan 5 .
Paper – Paper for all pages is acid-free, lignin-free, and buffered. These are the ISO requirements to ensure that paper will not yellow or become brittle.
Covers – Covers are printed on a Xeikon printer. Using the Xeikon printer for the cover ensures that the protective laminate will not bubble or become separated from the from the printing over time. Laminates do not, in general, adhere well to Indigo prints. It is always challenging to match color output from two different printers and I did notice some color variation between the cover and the inside pages. For my sample book, the difference was not significant enough to be objectionable.
Binding – Forever uses side-stitching for hard cover books and PUR adhesives for soft cover photo books. Both of these methods ensure that pages will not become separated over time. Binding in my samples was tight and uniform.I choose black end sheets and was pleased with my choice.
Layflat Books – Forever uses hinged pages for their layflat books. These pages have a black hinge. that helps the pages lay flat. I did not find that the black hinges interfered with my page designs, although they might be distracting with light colored pages. The heavy weight, satin pages used for layflat books is very nice.
After comparing a soft cover book, a standard hard cover book, and a layflat hard cover book, I recommend either the soft cover book, if you are concerned about cost, or the layflat book if you want a quality hard cover book.
Note to self – I need to be more careful about left to right placement of my photos on the page. I did not realize that I had some of my photos closer to the outside edge or closer to the spine than they should have been. Part of the difficulty I had with photo positioning is that the computer display does not accurately reproduce the feel of a physical book. Other than the photo positioning, I wouldn’t change a thing with my photo books.