Thanks to Norman Yarvin II for solving a problem that's been driving me
nuts. With its built-in microphones, my camcorder records stereo audio.
But when I connect my wireless mic to the audio input on the camcorder,
it records only mono audio on the left track. I didn't notice
problem at first, but several people on YouTube have pointed it out and
said that it's annoying. I thought the problem would be easy enough to
fix in Cinelarra just by copying the left track to the right track, but
I haven't been able to figure that out. Norman posted the following
over on the messageboard. I already have ffmpeg installed, so I'll give
it a try.
left audio track on your videos to the right audio track, so that it
comes out in stereo, you can use the magic incantation
only changes the audio track, and leaves the video as-is.
"128k" is the bitrate to re-encode the audio in; change it as
desired. I've picked the same codec YouTube serves the audio
in (AAC), as output codec, and also have chosen the same container
format (FLV) for the output file. The option "-ac 1" is the
that says to mix the audio down to mono (which, when played on a stereo
system, will get duplicated on both speakers).
While you're at it, though, you might as well deinterlace too, to
remove the horizontal zebra stripes on moving objects:
a different video codec from what YouTube serves up, but I figure
they'll do the conversion for you. I tried this on your
video, downloaded from YouTube, and it worked well.
this of course requires the ffmpeg package. Since you're
working with a different input format, the commands might need a bit of
tweaking. But ffmpeg understands a vast number of formats, so
shouldn't be a big problem.
Thanks! To quote
Willow in Buffy, "I knew it! I knew it! Well, not knew it in the sense
of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't
the problem is not yet solved. Using ffmpeg works for Norman, but not
for me. I spent an hour or so messing around with it. The first problem
was an error message about not being able to find the aac encoder. I
tracked down the solution to that, whereupon I got another error
message about the audio tracks. I tracked that down and fixed it,
whereupon I got an error message about not being able to find the mpeg4
encoder, which is pretty strange. Alas, I'm out of time for now, but
I'll continue plugging away at this.
We have more winter weather on the way in today, but nothing compared
to what's expected in the Washington, DC area. We're supposed to get
some more snow, sleet, and freezing rain. They're supposed to get
another 20 inches (50 cm) of snow.
The Toyota mess continues to
get worse. When it was announced a few days ago that Prius models
manufactured since last month could be updated by a software patch, but
Toyota was still working on a solution for models produced before last
month, I wondered what that meant. Why couldn't earlier models also
have software patches applied to fix the sudden acceleration and
braking problems? The most likely explanation is that Toyota must have
made hardware changes in Prius models produced since last
some independent authorities are claiming that the problems with
earlier Prius models have nothing to do with software, carpet, or the
gas pedals, but are inherent in the older electronics used to control
the engine and brakes. Toyota strongly denies this, but if it's true
that takes the problem to a whole new level. Rather than a simple
software update or a minor mechanical fix, Toyota could be looking at a
major physical overhaul of affected vehicles, including replacing some
or all of the controlling electronics and wiring harnesses, and
possibly engine and remote sensors. Will the service departments at
Toyota dealerships really be able to handle these problems on this
massive scale? I suspect Toyota dealers will soon be frantically hiring
whatever qualified mechanics they can find, if they're not doing so
And, of course, it's not just Prius models that are
affected by the sudden acceleration problem. Hundreds of thousands or
millions of other Toyota and Lexus models are potentially affected. If
the independent experts are correct and this is a systemic problem,
Toyota is in deep, deep trouble. Not the least of their problems is the
loss of trust. Almost literally overnight, Toyota has gone from being
one of the most admired and trusted car companies to one of the least
admired and trusted, with many Toyota owners now afraid to drive their
cars. Toyota isn't going to be selling many new cars until they put
this problem behind them. At this point, it's not clear to me that
they'll be able to do that.
Nothing is ever easy. Ray Thompson over on the messageboard suggested a
quick fix for my left-channel-only audio problem. My wireless mike is a
mono source, and plugging it into my camcorder results in audio being
only on the left channel. Ray suggested stopping by Radio Shack and
picking up an adapter to split the mono signal over both audio
channels. There's a Radio Shack in a strip mall a mile or so from our
house, so I called them Monday to see if they had such a thing in stock.
guy knew exactly what I was talking about; he uses the same adapter I
need on his own camcorder for the same purpose. He looked and said
there weren't any on the shelves but that they'd just gotten a delivery
that morning and there should be some in that box. So I waited while he
looked for the packing list, which someone had made off with. He
couldn't find it, so I told him I'd call back the next morning. When I
called yesterday morning, there was still no sign of the packing list
and they hadn't had a chance to unpack the box yet. Also, they had
another delivery arriving, and he said he was sure that if there
weren't any in the first box there'd be some in today's box. I was
going to call back to check, but I finally decided just to drive over
there and see if I could get some action face-to-face. I arrived there
at a few minutes before 4:00 p.m. and he was busy with another
customer. He said they still hadn't unpacked either box because they
were short-staffed, and he was due to leave at 4:00. So I drove home
without the adapter.
I asked Barbara if she'd mind stopping by
on her way home to pick up the adapter, assuming that when I call after
lunch they tell me they really do have it. I'll ask them to put one
aside behind the counter for Barbara. A lot of effort to go to for a
$2.69 part. But if it solves the problem it'll be worth the effort.
Here's an important video from Pat Condell about the heresy trial in the Netherlands that may eventually impact all of us.
Incidentally, don't mistake Mr. Condell for a conservative;
politically, he's definitely liberal. However,
he's an honest liberal, not afraid to speak the truth. With the
increasing Islamization of Europe, he may eventually find himself
in the United
States as a political refugee. If Muslims don't assassinate him
The left-channel-only audio problem with my camcorder is fixed, thanks
to the $2.69 adapter that Barbara picked up at Radio Shack on her way
home from work yesterday. That breaks the logjam, so I can get some
more videos shot and posted. Here are the ones I have in progress:
016 - Synthesize Copper(II) Acetate and Copper(II) Chloride 017 - Progressive (or Serial) Recrystallization 018 - Forensic Presumptive Drug Testing - Part I 019 - Testing for Boron with a Kitchen Spice 020 - Black Powder
be shooting, editing, and posting these over the next couple of weeks.
I seriously thought about not doing the one on black powder, since
it seems that everyone does it. But I made lots of black powder as a
teenager, 40 years ago and more, and I learned a couple of tricks that
yield a better grade of powder. In case you're curious, the kitchen
spice in 019 is turmeric, which contains a compound called curcumin.
Curcumin forms an intensely colored complex with boron compounds (such
as borax, sodium tetraborate) that can be used for colorimetric
determination of boron level. The curcumin test is still used
professionally, primarily for testing water and soil for boron levels,
because it's fast, cheap, and has threshold sensitivity below the
one part per million level, which is nearly as good as instrumental
going to shoot the intro and trailer talking head segments for two or
three videos today, but before I do that I need to clean up my lab. As
I've shot the earlier videos, I've just been rinsing and stacking used
glassware, and the pile is getting too high.
More snow in the forecast for today and tomorrow, although we're
expecting only an inch or two. We're fortunate compared both to those
in the DC/Philadelphia area and those to our south, who are currently
getting record snowfalls. Since December, all-time winter weather
records have been set at numerous cities throughout the South,
Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast regions.
AGW alarmists are claiming that this is a manifestation of global
warming. Uh-huh. If we have warm weather, it's AGW. If we have record
winter weather, it's also AGW. They can't lose. No matter what happens,
it's AGW, or so they claim. Only in retrospect, of course. It'd be nice
if they'd make some actual falsifiable predictions, but of course they
haven't done that, even once. Perhaps the billions in taxpayer funding
they've received isn't enough to produce predictions.
insult to science to call the AGW idea a scientific theory. It's not a
theory. It's not even a hypothesis. In science, to qualify as a
hypothesis, a statement must be falsifiable by experiment. In other
words, it must be possible to generate falsifiable predictions from
that statement. And I don't mean predictions about what will happen in
a thousand years, or even a hundred. Nor do "predictions" of past
events qualify. Monday-morning quarterbacking isn't science.
the AGW crowd has so-called models that don't predict anything
successfully. Worse than that, if one inputs past observed data and
rolls the models forward, their output bears no relation to observed
reality. Computer scientists who look at their code are horrified at
its bugs and poorly-constructed algorithms. These models are
essentially black boxes. You put data (or, more likely, estimates)
in, and numbers come out. No one, including the people who wrote the
code, have much of a clue about how those numbers were arrived at. Much
of the motley assortment of "data" being input is actually
estimates or "proxies" rather than actual data in the scientific sense,
and the remainder has error bars larger than the changes they're
claiming have occurred. And even the "hard" data have been
intentionally corrupted to the point that they're worthless. There's a
famous saying in computer science: Garbage In, Garbage Out. In this
case, the input data is definitely garbage. Process that garbage
through garbage code, and you get garbage squared as the output.
never considered "climate science" to qualify as a real science.
For a long time, I thought it might, eventually, qualify as a
protoscience, but it's certainly not reached that level yet and may
never do so. For now, "climate science" is pure pseudoscience, akin to
astrology or numerology. AGW alarmists exhibit all the
characteristics pseudoscience nutters, including the doomsday
scenario predictions and the demands to take extreme action and
spend massive amounts of money in the absence of any evidence that a
problem actually exists. AGW isn't a scientific concept; it's left-wing
Fortunately, the AGW fantasy appears to be
collapsing like a poorly-built house of cards, at least among real
scientists, more and more of whom are realizing that they've been the
victims of intentional deception and (although a scientist is always
hesitant to use the phrase) scientific misconduct. Scientists trust
other scientists and give credence to their statements. It's the way
science works. For a chemist, for example, it would be
extraordinary to question statements by biologists about
biology or physicists about physics, just as it would be extraordinary
for them to question statements made by chemists about
chemistry. The assumption is always that any mistakes, let alone
intentional distortions, will be caught and corrected by other
scientists in that field. But that assumes that there are many
independent scientists in the field in question, and that's simply not
the case for climate "science".
I expect the AGW fantasy to
collapse within five to ten years, but that may not be soon enough. In
most scientific fields, there's little outside interest in their
disputes, which are essentially tempests in teacups. Alas, climate
"science" is highly politicized, and neither politicians nor the
general public are well known for changing their minds based on
evidence. Much of the damage may already be done or unavoidable. And
we'll all be a lot poorer for it.
Happy Valentine's Day. This year, once again, Barbara has agreed to be
my Valentine. I never take that for granted. Each year, she thinks
about it for at least a few seconds before she agrees.
just realized yesterday that I was pursuing something I didn't want to
catch: a YouTube partnership. I was reading Pat Condell's FAQ, and one
of the questions was why he wasn't a YouTube partner. (Condell has more
than 100,000 subscribers and millions of video views, so he seems a
prime candidate.) Condell's reply was that he didn't want ads to appear
with his videos. Urk.
I don't want ads to appear with my videos,
either, but until that moment I had just been assuming that I didn't
have a choice and that there were already ads appearing with my videos.
I run Adblock Plus, so I see zero ads. All this time, I was assuming
that Adblock was blocking the ads on my videos, but apparently they
don't have any ads to kill. I was pursuing a YouTube partnership
because I figured if they were making money by selling ads on my videos
I might as well get some of that revenue, since my viewers were being
subjected to ads anyway. But instead it appears that YouTube doesn't
put ads on the videos unless one becomes a partner. So I'm obviously
not going to become a partner.
That doesn't mean I don't want
tens of thousands of subscribers and millions of video views for my
channel. I do. Things are still proceeding nicely. In about a month,
I'm up to 16 videos posted, about 1,600 subscribers, roughly 35,000
video views, and 10,000 channel views. Still small numbers, but growing