Archive for the ‘Special Collections’ Category

Our images of Pauling’s Nobel Chemistry medal used by The Daily Show?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Last night while watching The Daily Show, where the first segment was on Gore’s winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, I noticed a familiar image used in one of the graphics. Several of the websites we’ve created (I work at Special Collections at OSU Libraries) feature one or both of Linus Pauling’s Nobel medals, and I’ve either created the images myself or prepared them for the web (I think Eric did the best one we have and I’m using it here). On the show they used an image of a Nobel medal along with Gore for one of the graphics, and I believe the Nobel medal image they used was ours (again).

It’s hard to be 100% sure that they used our images, but they’re one of the few high-quality Nobel medal images available online and we’re also the 3rd result for a Google Image search of ‘nobel prize‘. None of the other images available really look like ours, and there’s a few telltale signs (highlighting on the chin, slight leftward slant of ‘Nobel’). And, at least this time around, they didn’t use a Peace medal (which is quite different from the others). I wish I had higher quality images to compare, but these are the best I could find.

Here’s our image of the medal, followed by screenshots of the two specific episodes (most recent first). See for yourself:
Linus Pauling's Nobel Chemistry medal (1954)

Exhibit A: Linus Pauling’s Nobel Chemistry medal (1954) from our website, Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History.

The Daily Show, October 15, 2007

Exhibit B: The Daily Show, October 10, 2007

The Daily Show, November 11, 2004

Exhibit C: The Daily Show, November 11, 2004

I’m very pleased that one of my favorite shows used something I had a part in. You never know what being highly ranked on Google will get you. Now I just have to get something on The Colbert Report…

FlasKMPEG is a great little app

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

I’m finally getting around to processing and posting some video clips to some of our websites. Recently we copied all of our VHS tapes to DVDs, so I can now rip video clips from a DVD instead of a VHS tape, as we’ve done in the past. It had been a few years since I’d done much video processing, and I couldn’t really remember the old reliable apps, so I had to go looking for programs again. I wanted something quick, but powerful, and needed certain features, such as ripping only specific clips from a DVD. After trying several programs and being frustrated with awful interfaces, crippled shareware and missing features, I remembered the program FlasKMPEG.

It’s not the cleanest looking program in the world, and some of the interface is arcane, but it does pretty much everything I wanted. It knows how to handle a DVD, allows for selecting a specific clip’s start and end points down to each individual frame, provides for cropping and adjusting the video frame, and gives more control over the output codecs than I know what to do with. There are a few interface additions that would come in handy, but with the last software update in 2002, I’m not holding out for much. It’s open source, however that means little if no one wants to work on it anymore. All things considered, FlasKMPEG is a very powerful app that will be useful for years to come.