atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7573: To be honest, I'm not so sure.

This is half of the story.

This is the other half.

And I'm sorry to say it, but there is a prosaic explanation which is a hell of a lot more likely than what these folks are all saying. There are some issues, yes, but not these.

In the first one, the way the top of Biden's head keeps disappearing? That's a compression artifact. The color of his hair, and the way it's combed, it's almost exactly the same color as the background. I'm coming back to this one, though.

The second one?

The microphone that his hand keeps passing in front of, it actually is just behind him, and to his right (the left side of the image) because it's a boom mike, held out there to catch what he's saying. When we're looking at him from his right side, the mic that his hand passes in front of is down and more to his left. It's not a bad greenscreen. If the video quality were higher, it would look less like a bad special effect and more like what it is, which is a trick of perspective. I went over the videos, single-framing them, and looking at the angles and so forth; and in them you can see the boom microphones being held out there, low and to his sides.

Believe me, I'm right there with everyone on this; I'd love it if Biden were actually doing his thing in front of a green screen on a soundstage, and the people in charge of compositing the video were making dumb mistakes like this. But fooling ourselves with wishful thinking isn't going to get us anywhere. I mean, come on: this is the US government we're talking about; they have the resources to hire people who can do this work competently. How many Hollywood SFX people would be happy to help the democrat who beat Trump?

But I said, "if the video quality were higher", and there is the sticking point. That is the suspicious part, not egregiously stupid beginners' errors with layering and compositing. This is the president of the United States; there's no reason to compress the shit out of the video like that, and yet every time we see Joe Biden, the video has a crapton of compression artifacts in it. The scene of him walking, where his head disappears--that wouldn't happen if the video quality were good enough, but why is it so bad in the first place?

There's no reason to compress the video that much. Most people in the United States have good enough Internet access that you can run video at 480p, which--as a digital video format--is a hell of a lot better than NTSC analog video ever was even though the resolution's not that much higher. But the stuff we're seeing would have looked crappy on a TV made in 1985, for friggin' my snack! This is 2021; we have video codecs which can compress the shit out of video, so its bandwidth isn't insane, yet have it play with such crystal clear fidelity you can barely tell it was compressed at all. Okay, that stupid "let's fight the Battle of Winterfell in the dark with lossy compression" episode of Game of Thrones looked better than these Joe Biden videos do. I mean, in the case of that episode, you could still see the outlines of everything; it was just when broad areas of the screen were about the same color that the solarizing was bleeding obvious. Jon Snow's black hair didn't blend into the dark background such that it looked as if the top of his head was missing.

But the thing is, there is one reason, in the field of modern broadcast video, to compress the shit out of video like that: when there's something that a clearer image would reveal.

There is something about Joe Biden that they do not want us to be able to see; and they are using a shitty, lossy codec to compress the video, because that way the details get lost. The video is just good enough not to look suspicious (I mean it can't look like fullscreen video from a CD-ROM game from 1993) but it's also just bad enough not to show any detail.

I don't know what they're hiding, but they're hiding it.

* * *

So, the "six-foot distancing" thing was a number that CDC pulled directly out of its loathsome, spotty behind.

* * *

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for democrats and the media to express their outrage that Biden is holding 13,000 kids in cages.

* * *

Guy kills four people because his "baby momma" refuses to give him any of her stimulus money. The "baby momma" was only injured, but three other adults, and a 7-year-old girl, were killed in this useless extrusion's rampage.

* * *

Sarah Hoyt makes the point that America is still shocked and stunned that the democrats stole the election. Maybe that's why there's a division of troops in DC: the democrats expect the people to shake off their stupor any day, now.

They'd better hope the people don't, though, because if they do? The NG and the fencing and all the other stuff won't be nearly enough to keep them safe from the rampaging mob. I don't advocate it and I hope the issue can be resolved peacefully, but if the governed decide to withdraw their consent, things will probably get really ugly down that way.

I plan to stay far away from DC for the foreseeable future.

* * *

Got complete and utter crap for sleep Monday night because Mrs. Fungus wanted to use her CPAP machine for the first time in, well, ever. So when I got home from work, I ended up collapsing in bed with the CPAP on for nearly three hours.

At 4 AM Tuesday morning I was looking around on the Internet and found that there are sites where you can get it all done. Still, Tuesday afternoon I made an appointment to see my doctor, to get the "sleep study" ball rolling. But then I thought about it, and looked into the web site stuff a little further.

Pay $190 and get a test kit, which you wear to bed. Their docs evaluate the output of it, and make a recommendation; since the site is in business to sell CPAP gear, guess what they'd recommend? Assuming that the machine shows that you have trouble breathing in your sleep, anyway? They have to do some kind of test to keep people who do not need the things from getting them (because stupid regulation is stupid) but as long as it shows that you're waking up, gasping for air, they can prescribe the thing. Which means you can basically get tested and get your machine in less than two weeks, which was how long I had to wait for my freaking primary care doctor's appointment (March 31, first available appointment).

And I already know I need it.

The practical upshot of all this is that I can get the test done at home, a lot cheaper than if I went for a sleep study, and a lot more convenient to boot. Not to mention a fuckton faster since here's how it would go if I went to the doc:
1) Wait two weeks to see my primary care physician, then get referral to the sleep clinic and its otolaryngologist (ENT doc).
2) Make appointment to see ENT doc, wait to go see him, and then he says, "Yep, we'll have to do a sleep study."
3) Make appointment for sleep study, wait for the day, go do it.
4) Wait while they analyze the results, then get back the report that says, "Well, shazam! You have sleep apnea! You need a CPAP."
5) Go to the supply company and deal with whatever delays they may have.
And by that time, it's probably late May. And by the way, I have copays to pay, and I have to miss work to get to the doctor appointments, and-and-and.

Meanwhile, with this thing, I pay for it all out of pocket...but I can afford it, and there's nothing stopping me from submitting the costs to my health insurance company. Who knows? They might apply it towards my deductible. And it's very likely that going this route ends up costing me less, out of pocket, than it would if I went the traditional doctor and insurance route.

...and I still need to get an ass-rogering this year.

Anyway, Mrs. Fungus now wants to use her CPAP, since I've been having such good effect from using it, but she told me I could use hers until I got mine if I got on the stick. So I ordered the test kit last night, and I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes.

* * *

Foggy this morning, and cold; temps stayed below forty all day and it's been cloudy. Now it's raining, too.

Well, it's not spring until Sunday, anyway.

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