Kino (Part II)

In Part I I’ve translated some Kino songs for Alan.

I’ve realized that I never translated “Группа крови ” (Gruppa Krovi “Blood Type”), even though I promised.

We aim to please here, so here is the translation:

Теплое место, но улицы ждут
Отпечатков наших ног.
Звездная пыль – на сапогах.
Мягкое кресло, клетчатый плед,
Не нажатый вовремя курок.
Солнечный день – в ослепительных снах.

Pleasant (lit: Warm) place, but streets wait
For footprints of our feet.
Stardust is on our high boots.
Soft chair, tartan plaid,
Firing pin not depressed on time.
Sunny day in blinding dreams.

Группа крови – на рукаве,
Мой порядковый номер – на рукаве,
Пожелай мне удачи в бою, пожелай мне:
Не остаться в этой траве,
Не остаться в этой траве.
Пожелай мне удачи, пожелай мне удачи!

Blood type on the sleeve
My sequencial number is on the sleeve.
Wish me luck in fight, wish me
Not to remain on this grass
Not to remain on this grass
Wish me luck, wish me luck!

И есть чем платить, но я не хочу
Победы любой ценой.
Я никому не хочу ставить ногу на грудь.
Я хотел бы остаться с тобой,
Просто остаться с тобой,
Но высокая в небе звезда зовет меня в путь.

And I something to pay with, but I don’t want
A victory at any cost.
I don’t want to put my foot on anyone’s chest
I want to remain with you,
Just remina with you
But sunrise (lit: High star in the sky) is calling me on my way.

Группа крови – на рукаве,
Мой порядковый номер – на рукаве,
Пожелай мне удачи в бою, пожелай мне:
Не остаться в этой траве,
Не остаться в этой траве.
Пожелай мне удачи, пожелай мне удачи!

Translator’s note: Tsoj wrote songs in a rather terse way, with setenses that are not really complete. He is trying to conjure up imagery, and imagery that he is trying to conjure is not necessarily easy to translate into a different language.

Of course Victor Tsoj is dead (in spite of the “Tsoj lives!” graffitti that pops up every once in a while). However Ленинград (Leningrad) did a kind of tribute to Kino’s Gruppa Krovi:

Ð’ магнитофоне играет группа “Кино”,
Ты говоришь мне: “Выключи это гавно”.
Тебя ломает от всякого старья,
Заткнись, это любимая песня моя.

Tape deck is playing group “Kino”
You are telling me “Turn off this shit”
You are getting headache from random old stuff.
Shut up, this is my favorite song.

О, группа крови на рукаве.
О, группа крови на рукаве.

Oh, blood type on the sleeve.
Oh, blood type on the sleeve.

Ты можешь помолчать хотя бы пять минут,
Или пожелай мне удачи в бою.
Группа крови – моя любимая песня,
И когда мне плохо, её я пою:

Can you be quite for just 5 minutes,
Or wish me luck in the (upcoming) fight.
“Grouppa Krovi” is my favorite song,
And when I feel down, I sing it.

О, группа крови на рукаве.
О, группа крови на рукаве.

Ð’ магнитофоне играет группа “Кино”,
Ты говоришь мне: “Выключи это гавно”.
Тебя ломает от всякого старья,
Заткнись, это любимая песня моя.

О, группа крови на рукаве.
О, группа крови на рукаве.

О, группа крови на рукаве.
О, группа крови на рукаве.

О, группа крови на рукаве.
О, группа крови на рукаве.

repeat first verse and reprise as needed.

MP3 is available while it’s available.Translator’s (mine!) notes:
ломает is a conjugated form of ломать – to break. However it is also used as slang for ломка (literally: breakage), which is the general unwellness feeling one gets when one is craving drugs (or coming down from a trip).

On a separate note about drugs…. Don’t do them, m’kay? I don’t really want to project my morals onto anyone else on the interweb, however not too long ago I’ve read a book by Eugenij Roizman (Евгений Ройзман), called “City without Drugs” (Город без наркотиков). Oh, my…. He talks how in the late 1990s city of Ekaterinburg in Russia got flooded with drugs of all kinds, and how he got involved in fighting drug distribution, rehabilitating addicts, and generally fight the lack of care by law enforcement (that was commonly bought off by the drug dealers and distributers).

Most effective method that actually worked was to handcuff the addict to the heating radiator for a month, feeding him, and once the initial craving got broken, getting him into hard physical labor – construction, etc.

Parents that had “connections” and had clue, were arranging, paying even, police to arrest their teenage kids, and jail them for a year. Jail their children! That’s because even though situation in Russian jails is not great, and cases of tuberculosis and hepatitus are common, people with clue realized that chancing that in jail is infinitely better then guaranteed death from OD, AIDS or hep C in 2 – 3 years. “Normal” rehab didn’t work, and people were back to being on the street and addicts in weeks after leaving care. So people without connections were bringing their children to Mr Roizman, into the care of a NGO fund that he created. Many of addicts to whom Mr Roizman helped went on to lead normal lives – finished universities, married, have kids, and now are thankful to him.

Identifying unknown PCI devices

If I ever want to identify unknown device installed in a system….

First I’ll attempt to obtain a PCI device ID:

Under Linux, I’ll use lspci.
Under Windows, I’ll use Unknown Devices (And ignore any other piece of software that claims to be called “Unknown Device Identifier”, and that was stolen from Mike Moniz
Under MacOS X, I’ll use system_profiler
Under Solaris, I’ll use /usr/X11/bin/scanpci -v

Then I’ll reference the PCI device ID with the Canonical list of PCI device IDs from Craig’s site.

At that point I can grep the pcidevs.txt, and learn exciting things.
For example, suppose I wonder what an unknown device in a PowerMac G5 is.

From system profiler I know this:


  Type:	Ethernet Controller
  Bus:	PCI
  Slot:	SLOT-3
  Vendor ID:	0x8086
  Device ID:	0x1010
  Subsystem Vendor ID:	0x8086
  Subsystem ID:	0x1012
  Revision ID:	0x0001

So I do a bit of grepping:

stany@gilva:~/Desktop[01:54 PM]$ grep V.*8086 pcidevs.txt 
V       8086    Intel Corporation
stany@gilva:~/Desktop[01:54 PM]$ grep ^S.*1012 pcidevs.txt 
S       1012    SiS650 GUI 2D/3D Accelerator
S       1012    DFE-580TX 4-Port Server Adapter
S       1012    PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter
S       1012    PRO/1000 MF Dual Port Server Adapter
S       1012    PRO/100 S Server Adapter (D)
S       1012    PRO/100 S Server Adapter (D)
S       1012    Realtek AC'97 Audio
S       1012    Intel USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller
S       1012    PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
stany@gilva:~/Desktop[01:54 PM]$ grep ^D.*1010 pcidevs.txt 
D       0020    LSI53C1010-33 PCI to Dual Channel Ultra160 SCSI Multifunction Controller
D       0021    LSI53C1000/1000R/1010R/1010-66 PCI to Ultra160 SCSI Controller
D       1010    SST-128P Adapter
D       1010    Duet 1S(16550)+1P
D       1010    C101/PCI Super Sync Board
D       1010    82546EB Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Copper)
D       0003    SG1010 6 Port Serial Switch & PCI to PCI Bridge
stany@gilva:~/Desktop[01:54 PM]$ 

(V stands for Vendor, S for subsystem and D for device ID)

So logic would imply that this is an Intel Corporation PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter, specifically 82546EB Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Copper).

An excercise for the reader is to identify the following device:
pci bus 0x0006 cardnum 0x04 function 0x00: vendor 0x1106 device 0x3044

VIA Technologies Inc VT6306 VIA Fire II IEEE-1394 OHCI Link Layer Controller

Merging Keychains?

Does anyone know how to merge multiple Keychains in Mac OS X?

I know I can copy items from one keychain to another, but that involves authenticating twice.

I tried going in and adding those other keychains to be part of my list, but they don’t stay. Frustrating.

Why am I doing this? I replaced my computer, and was not able to transfer my account at setup time, so I ended up with some old keychains that got copied over.

Suggestions, comments, rants?

All are welcome!


Pelican Case Guarantee: unconditional? Not!

A photographer friend of mine, in the midst of the “controlled chaos” of his daughter’s 3rd birthday party, somehow got on to the topic of Pelican cases. He has been using them, and abusing them, for many years, and will do so for many more. But, he warned us that even though they are guaranteed against almost anything they are not covered against damage from toddlers! Being curious I decided to check.. and lo and behold, kids under five are put into the same catergory as Bear attacks and Shark bites, which their guarantee also does not cover.

Pelicanâ„¢ Products Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence

Let’s put it into perspective though! Go and read a few of the Survival Stories and then wonder just how destructive a toddler can be.

Advanced Google Tips

Well, I certainly learned a few more Google tricks!

CyberWyre >> Advanced Google Tips

For future reference:

  • Use quotation marks
  • mark esstial words with a +
  • omit unwanted words with a –

Use these with a url;

  • – search only on this site
  • – find related sites
  • – who links to this site?
  • – show the cached version, highlight search words.


  • filetype:PDF – search for results only in PDF files
  • daterange: use a julian date. – what’s a Julian date range?
  • allinurl: and inurl: – search only or partly in a url
  • allintitle: and intitle: – search only or partly in page titles
  • allinlinks: – search only in page links
  • allintext: – search only in page text

Thanks Matt!

Ecological Impact of Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar)

I had to do this paper as part of independent research for BIOL 1004 (Biology II) at Carleton this summer. As I’ve handed it in (two days ago), I am posting it here as well.

Stany, 20060622

Department of Biology

Introductory Biology II
Summer Term 2006

Ecological Impact of Gypsy Moth

(Lymantria dispar)

Date Due: 20060720

“This paper is the sole work of the undersigned, does not contain unattributed material from any source and compiles with the Academic Regulations section 14.1-4 (Instructional Offences) of the Carleton University Calendar.” (Biology Department, 2006, p10).


Превед Кроссафчег

Stanislav N. Vardomskiy


In North America, gypsy moth is a serious pest of agriculture and deciduous forests that causes significant economical and environmental damage.

Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is an insect native of Asia and Europe with very few natural predators in North America (Chaplin III, 2000). Asian and European races of Lymantria dispar differ by size, flight characteristics and host preferences. Asian gypsy moth is larger then it’s European counterpart and is known to prefer over 500 tree species. In addition, both genders of Asian gypsy moth are strong fliers, compared to only males of European gypsy moth (Humble and Stewart, 1994).

Until recently, most of attention to gypsy moth in North America centered around European gypsy moth, however in 1991 a race of Asian gypsy moth was discovered in Vancouver, BC and in the states of Washington, Oregon and Ohio (Humble and Stewart 1994 and APHIS 2003).

European Gypsy Moth

In late 1860s, Etienne Leopold Trouvelote, an amateur entomologist, imported a gypsy moth egg cluster from France in hopes of cross-breeding disease-resistant gypsy moth and local varieties. He cultured some of these eggs in the trees of his suburban Boston home, when some of the larvae escaped and infected nearby trees – first on his street, and soon in the neighborhood of Boston. (Leibhold, 2003)

Trouvelote realized the significance of escaped larvae, and notified local entomologiests, however for close to 20 years problem was largely ignored (Leibhold, 2003). Gradually more and more trees in the vicinity got infected.

First outbreak of moth occurred on his street in 1882, just as he left the country, but at the time very little was done. First attempt at containment and eradication of gypsy moth larvae was organized by Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture in 1889. At the time efforts consisted of manual removal of egg clusters, application of early insecticide, and burning of infected trees. A lot of money and effort was spent, however infestation continued to spread. Eradication methods in Massachusetts were abandoned by 1900 (Leibhold, 2003).

In Canada European gypsy moth is well established in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario and threatens parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (Humble and Stewart, 1994).

Asian Gypsy Moth

Asian race of gypsy moth was accidentally introduced to Vancouver in 1991, when larvae hatched on ships in harbor was blown ashore by the wind. Male moths were trapped, and application of insecticide Btk eradicated the problem. Currently egg masses are increasingly detected on the ships, and since 1991 infected ships have been banned from inshore areas during periods of egg hatch and larval development (Humble and Stewart, 1994).

Asian gypsy moth is not established in Canada, however egg masses have been intercepted in shipments as early as in 1911, and have been intercepted almost yearly since 1982 (Humble and Stewart, 1994). In United States individual infestations occurred in Washington and Oregon 1991 and in North Carolina in 1997. In 2000 Asian gypsy moth were again discovered in Portland, OR. In all cases infestations were eradicated through aggressive trapping and spraying (APHIS 2003).

Gypsy Moth Life Cycle

Life cycle of gypsy moths consists of four stages: eggs, larva, pupae and adult moths. Adult moths generally lay egg clusters on tree trunks and branches, however any sheltered location can be used. Egg clusters are laid in August and the embryos develop over the warm days of summer. In about a month larvae is fully formed, and ready to hatch, however, instead larvae shuts down metabolic activities, and goes into diapause, becoming insensitive to cold. In the spring, as the temperature increase, larvae inside the eggs becomes more and more active. In mid-May larvae chews through the egg shells, and emerges (Duvall, 2006)

Before commencing feeding, larvae spreads through the forest by a behavior called ballooning. The larvae climbs to the top of the tree on which it hatched, and proceeds to dangle in the air on a silk thread. At this point larvae is still very light, so when wind catches larvae and breaks the thread, larvae is carried on the wind. Silk thread and long body hairs slow larvae’s descent. Most larvae land within 100 meters of where whey hatched (Durvall 2006), however some travel as far as a kilometer away from the hatch site (Sharov 1997).

Once larvae lands, it proceeds to feed. Depending on sex, larvae will feed for five to six weeks. Females feed longer, in order to collect fat necessary for laying eggs. Approximately once a week larvae grow too big for it’s exoskeleton, and molts. Molts separate the larval periods into stages called instars. In the first three instars larvae feeds during the day, however by fourth instar they start to feed at night and hide during the day in order to avoid predators (Duvall 2006). Approximately 90% of total leaf mass will be consumed by larvae in the last two instars (Herms and Shutlar 2000).

In five or six weeks, larva grows to the size of 4 to 6 cm. By mid-June – early July, larva reaches maturity, and starts looking for a safe place to pupulate. Once a safe spot is found, larva sheds its’ skin, and it’s new skin hardens into a brown shell. In process larva can hide on vehicles and spread further during pupitation. Pupae is immobile during most of this stage, as its’ body is transformed into that of a winged insect. After one to two week pupation, adult moth breaks free of a pupal shell and emerges (Duvall, 2006).

Adult gypsy moth females are about 4 cm long, and are white with black stripe on their forewings. Females of European race can not fly, and will fall to the ground if disturbed, while Asian race females will fly away. Male gypsy moths are larger then females, have large feathery antennae, and a mottled grey and brown in color, giving them similarity to native moth species. Male gypsy moths search for females in late afternoons, that allows to distinguish them from native species that search for mates at night (Duvall, 2006).

In the adult stage gypsy moths can not feed, and have about 2 weeks in which to mate. Females release pheromones that assist males in finding them. Male searches for pheromone trace, and flies up wind until finds a suitable female. Once a male and female moths find each other and mate, female lays all her eggs in a single tear-dropped shape and camouflages them with it’s own yellowish hair. Depending on how well female larvae fed in the last two instars, female can lay between 50 and 1000 eggs (Duvall, 2006).


In the larval stage of the lifecycle, gypsy moth consumes tree foliage. European race is known to favor approximately 300 plant species, while Asian race is known to consume foliate of approximately 500 plant species (Humble and Stewart, 1994). During the first three instars, gypsy moths prefer foliage of a limited selection of trees (apple, aspen, birch, larch, oak, willow, alder, hazel, etc), however once larvae gets to approximately 2 cm in size (third instar), it starts to consume foliage of many more trees, such as spruce, pine, chestnut and hemlock (Ravlin and Stein 2001).

As majority of foliage is consumed by larvae in the last two instars, very wide variety of trees can be affected.

Ravlin and Stein did work on tree classification that permits to statistically analyze forest composition, and predict the defoliation effects of an infestation. Generally forests that have a high composition of ash, balsam and Fraser fir, juniper, maple, mulberry, red cedar or sycamore are significantly less affected then forests that primarily consist of oak and birch (Ravlin and Stein, 2001).

Approximately once every 5 to 10 years a very severe infestation, termed outbreak occurs. In case of gypsy moth, early theories postulated that in low density infestation small mammal predators, such as deer mice, regulate the population, keeping equilibrium. At some point natural population of predators drops because of random failure in some other food source, and moth population rapidly jumps to a higher equilibrium level. As the density of moth population increases, various pathogens rapidly infect the population, causing the collapse of the outbreak. Current theories suggest that this is only part of a story, and involve induce-defence hypothesis, that postulates that decrease in available foliage causes a decrease in moth population (Stone 2004) – in other words, moths consume all available food and starve out.

Furthermore, Jones demonstrated that while in the northeastern United States large population of the white-footed mice control outbreaks of gypsy moth, white-footed mice also spread Lyme disease, whereas small population of the mice decrease incidence of Lyme disease but allow gypsy moth to breed (Jones 1998). Relationships such as these make theoretic explanations of outbreaks extremely complicated.

Depending on the severity of infestation, up to 100% of the tree foliage can get destroyed. Normally a healthy tree would survive such an event, and generate a second generation of trees by end of July, however any strained tree would be further stressed. In turn, stressed trees are more susceptible to fungus and diseases, and do not grow as much as unaffected trees.

Establishment of gypsy moth in any new habitat can causes economical damage. Any lumber, tree nursery products or natural products leaving affected area could have trading restrictions applied to them. Affected forests grow slower, with higher incidence of tree death. As larvae eats leaves of fruit trees, blueberries, strawberries and other foodcrops, gypsy moth has potential to severely affect agriculture (BCgov 2006). Asian race of gypsy moths is less picky about their food, and consumes coniferous trees, such as larch (Humble and Stewart, 1994).

During outbreaks, gypsy moth caterpillars are considered to be a nuisance in residential areas of Eastern North America. In urban environments larvae can congregate on buildings, driveways and sidewalks, as they search for food. Caterpillar hairs, shed by larvae are allergens that cause hazards to human health. (BCgov 2006).

Containment and Control

Gypsy moth is an exotic invasive species in North America, and doesn’t have as many natural controls in North America as it does in Europe or Asia. In North America natural predators of gypsy moth include birds, insects, and small mammals (Herms & Shetlar, 2000) with most important being shrews (Sorex spp), deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) (Leibhold 2003b) and white footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) (Jones 1998). As most small mammals are generalists, there is no strong correlation between abundance of moths and abundance of small mammals (Leibhold 2003b).

Presence of hair on larvae makes that moth lifestage unattractive to most birds, but a few species, such as yellow-billed (Coccyzus americanus) (MSU 1997) and black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) seem to enjoy eating larvae. Overall, in North America birds do not significantly contribute to the decline of gypsy moth population (Leibhold 2003b).

It is established that gypsy moth in North America can not be eradicated (Leibhold, 2003) so current efforts are concentrated on reduction of damage and on prevention of infestation (Diss 1998).

Damage reduction consists of silvicultural (change in tree planting and harvesting) control to make forests less habitable by the moth and minimize the damage, biological control to slow the growth of population and control outbreaks, killing the caterpillars and removal of egg masses (Diss 1998).

Prevention consists of inspection and quarantine of vehicles that might transport larvae (Humble and Stewart 1994), combined with monitoring for new infestations.

Mating pheromones of gypsy moth, disparlure ((7R,8S)-7,8-Epoxy-2-methyloctadecane and cis-7,8-Epoxy-2-methyloctadecane) were synthesized in 1970s, and since then many attempts were made to manage low-level infestations by disrupting mating habits. Disparlure was found to be effective only in low density infestations (Sharov et al. 2002), or as trap bait in order to check for presence of males (Humble and Stewart, 1994).

Over 20 species of insect predators and parasites have been released in wild in order to control population of gypsy moth (Leibhold 2003a) with various degrees of success.

Natural bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki is the base of a commercial available insecticide Btk that is commonly used against gypsy moth infestations (Humble and Stewart, 1994). Unfortunately Btk is extremely sensitive to timing, and is only effective for a few days after being spread. In that time slot it must be consumed by feeding larva in order for it to be effective (KC 2006). Statistics gathered by Washington State Department of Agriculture indicate that Btk based insecticides are fallible, and possibly produce effects that are not better then disparlure (WSDA 2005).

Gypsy moth is most susceptible to nucleopolyhedrosis virus (NPV), more commonly known as the “wilt”. Infection happens once the larvae consumes foliage that is contaminated with viral bodies. Once inside the larvae, NPV invades through the gut wall, and rapidly reproduces in internal tissues, disintegrating internal organs and eventually causing rapture. Once host raptures, viral oclusion bodies spread, and infect other individuals (Leibhold 2003c).

NPV particles persist in the soil, and in low density gypsy moth populations, however with fewer hosts to infect, NPV causes little mortality. During moth outbreaks, NPV rapidly propagates, and inflicts heavy casualties on the larvae population. NPV is the most common cause of the collapse of the outbreaks.

Research is being performed on development of NPV into a biological pesticide. Currently limited qualities of this material, referred to as “Gypchek” are available for control of the outbreaks, however it is costly to produce, as manufacturing process currently requires moth larvae (Leibhold 2003c).

While total eradication of gypsy moth in North America is currently not possible, containment measures consisting of infestation prevention and damage reduction are slowing down gypsy moth proliferation (Diss 1998). Leibhold indicates that only about 25% of the potential habitat of gypsy moth have in fact been infected so far (Leibhold 1992, Leibhold 2003).


APHIS 2003, Asian Gypsy Moth, United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Accessed 20060620

Biology Department. 2006. Introductory Biology II BIOL 1004 Summer Term Laboratory Manual, Carleton University Press, Ottawa, Ontario

BCgov 2006 Gypsy Moth Government of British Columbia Accessed 20060617

Chaplin III, F. Stuart, Zavaleta, Erica S., Eviner, T. Valierie, et all. 2000. Consequences of Changing Biodiversity, Nature, vol 405 p234-242

Diss, Andrea, 1998. Containing Gypsy Moth, Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine, Accessed 20060619

Duvall, Matt. 2006 Gypsy Moth in Wisconsin – Lifecycle and Biology Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Accessed 20060614

Herms, Daniel A., Shetlar, David J. 2000 Accessing Options for Managing Gypsy Moth Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Humble, L., Stewart, A.J. 1994 Forest Pest Leaflet: Gypsy Moth Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, Burnaby, BC. Electronic version accessed on 20060619

Jones, C. G., Ostfeld, R. S., Richard, M. P., Schauber, E. M. & Wolff, J. O. 1998. Chain reactions linking acorns to gypsy moth outbreaks and Lyme disease risk. Science vol 279, p1023–1026

KC 2006 Pest Control Public Health, Seattle and King County Accessed 20060613

Liebhold A.M., Halverson J.A. & Elmes G.A. 1992. Gypsy moth invasion in North
America: a quantitative analysis. J. Biogeog., 19, p513-520. Electronic Version Accessed 20060615

Leibhold, Sandy. 2003 E. Leopold Trouvelot, Perpetrator of our Problem USDA Forest Service Accessed 20060617

Leibhold, Sandy 2003a Gypsy Moth in North America USDA Forest Service Accessed 20060620

Leibhold, Sandy 2003b Gypsy Moth Natural Enemies – Vertebrates USDA Forest Service Accessed 20060619

Leibhold, Sandy 2003c Gypsy Moth Nucleopolyhedrosis Virus USDA Forest Service Accessed 20060619

MSU 1997 Natural Enemies of Gypsy Moth Michigan State University Accessed 20060918

Ravlin, William F., Stein, Kenneth J. 2001 Feeding preferences of gypsy moth caterpillars Virginia Tech Accessed 20060619

Sharov, Alexei. 1997 Model of Slowing Gypsy Moth Spread Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech. Accessed 20060619

Sharov Alexei A, Leonard D, Liebhold A M, Clemens NS. 2002. Evaluation of preventive treatments in low-density gypsy moth populations using pheromone traps. J. Econ Entomol. 2002 Dec 95(6) p1205-15.

Stone, Lewi. 2004. A Three-Player Solution, Nature, vol 430, p299-300

WSDA 2006 Gypsy Moth Facts – January 2006 Washington State Department of Agriculture Accessed 20060620

WSDA 2005 Gypsy Moth Report – Summary Report 2005 Washington State Department of Agriculture Accessed 20060619

Video: Video archives

I digitize various video footage, some of which is obtained from degrading video tapes, and needs to be color corrected.

Oldest footage so far was from a 1982 black and white Beta video, that was converted to VHS in 1988, timecode added, yet improperly stored since.

I keep the scenes that I feel are important, and eventually create DVDs in iMovie/iDVD, however I am not 100% sure that bits that I discard are not important.

Thus I am interested in preserving full footage as well, at least for 5, although realistically for over 10 years.

I can keep it on video tapes, yet am not certain that it’s a good idea, considering how much some of this footage degraded already. I am also concerned about availability of VCRs capable of reading video tapes in 10 year time frame.

One approach is to keep it in uncompressed DV format on a hard drive, drop the hard drive into a bank vault. As I am dealing with ~300 hours of video all together, this is not realistic, esp if I want a backup. Besides, will I be able to read HFS+, ext3fs, NTFS or whatever? EIDE? SATA? Firewire? USB?

I’ve been considering compressing it in full NTSC (or PAL) resolution to DivX 6 format, and burning it to DVDs (or on one or two external hard drives). Yes, I technically lose quality, but then again, most of my source material is not stellar as it is.

At this point I am concerned as well… Will I be able to decode it in 10 years? Will DVD drives still be available, or will they go the way of (5.25″) floppy drives?

Re-copying every 3 years?


Is there anything better then DivX that I should look into? I am concerned about the disk space to quality ratio, and this project has no budget (ie I currently finance it out of my own pocket)

Video: Video digitization workflow

It so happened that I got involved in video digitization project. Here is a quick description of my setup and workflow.

Key points

Video capture of DV video streams using QuickTime is not effective, as QT will try to encapsulate DV stream, resulting in both high cpu usage/dropped frames. Capture can be performed either using iMovie or using digital VCR application in FireWire SDK 22. This normally results in less then 50% CPU usage on a 1.2 Ghz iBook, and generates a proper DV stream.

In order to speed up exporting and importing data when working with iMovie, one can select “show package contents” in finder, and look inside the iMovie project. Capture.iMovieProject/Media/ contains the video streams, which can be moved out and edited in stand-alone applications, or moved in to speed up import procedure a great deal (it helps if streams that are being imported are of the same format as the project, although in iMovie 6 anything that QT supported seemed to work, I just pay for it in terms of conversion time at the final export).


Currently my tools are a Sony Hi8 video camera, essentially a consumer model, two different VCRs (A Mitsubishi and a Hitachi), and a Canopus ADVC-110 analog to digital adapter.

Canopus box emulates a DV camera, and speaks a subset of DV protocol, so as far as host system is concerned, it is a somewhat dumb DV camera. Somewhat dumb because it silently ignores any of the DV commands that have to do with reading the tape markers or rewinding the tape. Some of the commands tend to confuse it, and it in turn changes from “analog to digital” to “digital to analog” conversion. But in 99 out of a 100 cases it works really well.

Not all VCRs are born equal. My Hitachi generates grainier image using the same footage, however it is more resilient to video tape damage, and doesn’t loose tracking as easily as Mitsubishi does.

Usual way of performing digitization consists of plugging a video camera or VCR into Camopus box, which in turn gets plugged over firewire into an external hard drive, which in turn gets plugged in over firewire into an iBook, that runs iMovie.

iBook runs either iMovie HD 5 or 6 (depending on which iBook). iMovie project is set to “DV” quality, and saved on the the external drive (or wherever there is plenty of storage space). My rule of thumb is 12.5 gigs of disk space per 1 hour of DV video.

Difference between iMovie HD 5 and iMovie HD 6 that I’ve noticed is in the resilience to interference. iMovie 6 seems better at dealing with damaged tapes with dropping video frames. What iMovie HD 5 would show as a full frame dropout, iMovie 6 will only show as a horizontal black line across the image. No differences if source material is of reasonable quality.

Most problems I’ve had were primarily caused by length and quality of firewire cables. Short, well shielded cables and only a couple of devices on firewire bus work best in my experience.


In iMovie I enable the video camera capture mode (should be automatic the moment it detects a video camera plugged in), and hit play. iMovie sends a “play” command to Canopus box, which Canopus box happily ignores.

Then I manually cue up the video tape to about where I want to start capturing from, keeping in mind that capturing more is better then capturing less, I can then cue and splice things up in software.

Once I am happy, I click “import” in iMovie, and “press play on tape” (str) , and watch for a while that things are happy.

iMovie imports video in 1 hour chunks, so 12 gig files are about the largest size I deal with.

Once I am done digitizing, I quit iMovie, and look inside the .iMovieProject/Media/ folder, that by now contains Capture nn.dv files. I move .dv files out of the iMovie project, and open these in QuickTime. If video was filmed with a mono audio track, before further editing, I adjust the audio signal to be center-center instead of left-right in the dv stream (Apple-J in QT Pro, followed by clicking on audio, and adjusting the position of the audio channels)

I do rough cuts of the stream in QuickTime as well.

Main .dv file is opened, and scenes out of it that are of interest are copied and pasted into new QT windows, and trimmed as needed.

At this point my usual procedure is to create a folder, and export scenes that are worth preserving out of QT in DV fromat into this folder, using xx0-filename.dv naming scheme. This naming convention is similar to naming lines in BASIC, and allowes me to roughly adjust the scene sequence before importing these back into iMovie.

Once captured streams are edited, I open iMovie again, and create a new project, again in DV format. I save the empty project and again quit iMovie. In my experience iMovie takes forever to import things as it both converts the stream that it imports to the project format, and copies it into project’s Media sub-folder, so it is alot faster to just drop .dv files into Media subfolder of the iMovie project, and re-start iMovie. On a re-start iMovie will complain that there are new tracks in the project, and asks if I want to delete them, or just move them to trash. I select to move them to trash, and once iMovie starts, move them out of the trash into the timeline.

It takes me about an hour and a half to cut and export a moderately representative sample of what I capture, and I discard on average between 40 and 60% of source material.

Video: NTSC vs PAL

Technically SECAM cameras internally store data in PAL format, so for all practical purposes, when dealing with VHS signals over RGB signalling, PAL/SECAM is 25 fps, 576 lines per frame, NTSC is 30 fps, 480 lines per frame. Both are interlaced, PAL is higher resolutioin, lower frame per second rate.

The following deals somewhat with over the air transmissions.

National Television System(s) CommitteePhase-Alternating LineSéquentiel couleur à mémoire
VarietiesNTSC I, NTSC II
NTSC III came about due to digital television routing during the 1980s; all aspects of NTSC III are rigidly mathematically defined.
PAL B, D, G, K, I, PAL-M, PAL-N and PAL-NC. Fear.French SECAM (SECAM-L), used in France and its former colonies
SECAM-B/G, used in the Middle East, former East Germany and Greece
SECAM D/K, used in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe (this is simply SECAM used with the D and K monochrome TV transmission standards
Lines per frame525 lines per frame, of which 480 visible lines.625 lines per frame, of which 576 visible lines.625 lines per frame, of which 576 visible lines.
Refresh rate59.94 interlaced fields (60 Hz/1.001), (29.97 full fps). 50 Hz – 50 interlaced fields (25 full fps). Note: Motion pictures are usually shot at 24 fps, resulting in 4.2% speedup when telecined.50 Hz – 50 interlaced fields (25 full fps).
Color encodingluminance-chrominance encoding system. Quadrature amplitude modulated subcarrier carrying the chrominance information is added to luminance video signal.  Red and blue are transfered together.phase-alternating line encoding system.  Quadrature amplitude modulated subcarrier carrying the chrominance information is added to luminance video signal.  Red and blue are transmitted together resulting in bleeding in high contrast scenes.fixed frequency subcarrier modulated by color signal.  Frequency modulation is used to concode chrominance on the subcarrier, Red and Blue luminance are transmitted one at a time, separated by delay line.  As color information is approx. the same between two consequitive lines, information from preceeding line is used to make up for bandwidth shortage.
BenefitsGreat vertical color resolution, esp in NTSC VHS or NTSC laserdisks.higher then NTSC line resolutionhigher then NTSC line resolution, good color separation thanks to luminance bein transferred separately.
Shortcomingslow number of lines per frame. color bleedingcolor bleedingVertical color resolution is 1/2 of that  NTSC or PAL.

On camps and money

Yesterday was a Tim Hortons Camp Day. It was preceeded by “Send a kid to camp” advertising in all the stores. Basic premise is that on June 7th, proceedes from every coffee sold at any Tim Hortons store go towards funding of operation of childrens camps.

When I face a “Send a Kid to Camp” poster, I invariably think “Concentration Camp or Labor Camp?”, but I freely admit that it might make more sense to Merkins who didn’t grow up in the society where at any given time, half the population was uniting with workers of the other countries, and the other was doing hard labor, roles reversing every once in a while.

But this is not a story about labor or kid camps.

Food services on Carleton U campus are managed and operated by Aramark, a multinational company that is in the food catering business. They operate the Subway store, Tim Hortons store, and pretty much everything else.

So yesterday that were contractually obligated to give all of their proceeds to Tim Hortons Children Foundation.

This morning I wander in, and see a sign saying that “Due to computer problems, coffee prices are 10 – 20 cents higher today”. Indeed, computer wants 1.71$ instead of 1.59$ for an extra large cup of coffee, 1.31$ instead of 1.23$ for a medium, etc. When I attempted to give them what I know to be correct change (prices for extra large cup of coffee are still listed as 1.49 + tax on the wall) of 1.59$ to Aramark employee at the counter, she apologized, but told me that she can’t accept less then what computer says.

*sigh* Coincidence?

I don’t blame the employee, she is just a cog in the machine, but…..

Dear Aramark.

If you want to steal money from students, please find a somewhat less blatent way of doing it.

Money grabbing bastards.