Kategoriarkiv: English

WhiteTV: Mind control and stolen tanks

Henning Witte, a German-Swedish lawyer and conspiracy theorist, held a very strange and unfocused lecture in 2015, link here (in Swedish). The theme of the lecture was the connection between mind control and the immigration wave, or crisis, in Europe in 2015. During the slog of a lecture Witte went on a number of different tangents.

At first I had the ambition to dissect the lecture point by point, but then I came across one of the strangest claims on the subject of conspiracies and immigration I ever heard. Reducing all the other offenses on fact during the lecture to side issues.

Half-way into the lecture Witte claims he received solid information from an unknown higher-up in Germany that not only 400 000 terrorists from ISIS were already in the country by 2015, but during a supposed refugee raid at a military camp the following was stolen:

  • Arms and gear belonging to or being equivalent to 7 airborne battalions in Frankfurt/Oder, close to the Polish border (whatever that means).
  • 23 Leopard tanks.
  • 2 armored transports.
  • 2 military multi-purpose transports.

This claim struck me as much more outlandish than even the already cooky claims of mind control, as it’s so specific – and backwards. Looking around online for claims of stolen Leopard tanks I find nothing. Nobody else seems to have shared or made this claim in the past, not even the alarmist radical alt-right groups who are otherwise quick to jump on the scaremongering train with little regard went there.

How are a bunch of refugees, or anyone, supposed to steal tanks equal to almost two tank battalions and get away with it – let alone without huge spectacle? Filling the blanks I imagine Witte to believe there’s a conspiracy within the German military to let these items get stolen for an upcoming Islamist military coup. But nothing adds up.

If the there were a plan for a Islamist military coup in Germany, with infiltrators tall up in the German chain of command, the time window between stolen military assets and the actual coup would have to be small – or immediate. To what end would an armed group hellbent on a coup have a sudden pause, hide their stolen tanks and aircraft, and risk being detected or having stolen assets decay through lack of maintenance? As a peripheral detail, a Leopard II tank has an operational range of 550km with its internal fuel tank of 1200 liters of diesel. To fuel up the supposedly stolen tanks again you’d need a total of 27 600 liters of diesel. There’s a reason tank units are followed by a huge logistical chain and used sparingly.

This just did not happen and I have no idea what makes Witte believe that it did. While he says the strangest things I do believe him to be genuine. His website is poorly constructed and doesn’t run any ads, so there’s little incentive for him to bait for money-generating attention.

On his website there are a few articles written in English if you dig around for them: http://www.whitetv.se/

Preacher Steven Anderson banned in Schengen

Out of the countries scheduled to be on the radical preacher Steven Andersons European tour the Dutch authorities were the fastest to issue a travel visa ban, effective through the entire Schengen territory. Stevens European tour now looks to be a trip to Ireland and back.

This is not the first time Steven Anderson stir up enough attention to get on the immigration and security offices radar in EU. He’s already banned from entry to England for one. His style and rhetoric is extreme even for American standards; calling homosexuals pedophiles and plague-bearers, praying for the death of his perceived antagonists and using generally inflamed and hysterical rhetoric. While his church organization in Arizona is small, his outreach online much grander. With a decent Swedish audience.

I’m a bit torn about the decision to ban Steven from entry. My immediate and positive response risks being colored by my fondness for the Netherlands, whose authorities issued the ban. With enough domestic cooks and extremists, the import – albeit temporary – of another we can do without.

With that said there’s a danger in European countries authorities shifting an increased focus on banning foreigners from entry based on unpopular opinion alone. There’s value in having extremists and radicals into the public discourse, in person and through correspondence. It highlights their ideas, ideologies and motivations and makes the individuals, the groups and its supporters open for criticism that would have otherwise been evaded. A lack of radical voices in the religious debate also risks reducing the already fairly poor and confused domestic religious discussions to be colored solely by the harmless softball rhetoric used by the including, community-centric religious communities. Where the divisive, hateful and radical commandments, preachment and policies are seen as extreme peripheral views instead of common, under different levels of disguise, in Sweden just as everywhere else on the planet.

Steven Anderson is not unique. Through the years I’ve mistaken him for one of many Kent Hovind sycophants. One of the bunch. And I believe the two main reasons he sticks out here enough to even write about here is his Swedish family name and his criticism of Sweden and Scandinavia. An agitator that paves way through strong opinions conflicting with the perceived norm – both in content and in level of conviction. A little bit like a Jordan B Peterson replacing the metaphysical substrates for swearing and screaming.

I can’t shake my gently positive attitude towards the ban. But I hope Dutch and Swedish authorities take some time to pause and analyze this method and attack vector. To minimize the risk of the visa bans become a political weapon as opposed to a tool for national security.

(Eng) Fujinon 90mm F2

For the past one and a half year I’ve used Fujifilm as my primary walkaround camera system, using it alongside my Nikon gear. With the small and handy 35mm F2, well-rendered 56mm 1.2 and flexible 16mm 1.4 taking turns mounted on my XT-2.

As I have a strong preference for telephoto the Fuji 90mm F2 has always been on my radar ever since I first got my XT-1. It’s flattering reviews all over the Internet are hard to miss.

(All photos on the article has been edited in Captured One 10.)

First impression
The first thing that struck me was how light the lens is in relation to its length. It looking much like a enlonged 56mm 1.2 it’d be easy to imagine the weight to translate similarily. But the lens is overall fairly light, especially compared to the equivalent 135mm F2 lenses for full-frame cameras, with my experience with a Samyang 135 F2.

Rendering and image quality turned me off slightly. Though mostly for two reasons; me coming in with way overblown expectations and also – against better knowledge – expect it to render and perform like a 135mm F2 on full-frame cameras. Images do turn out sharp, overall well corrected – at the expense of what some might call character-giving optical flaws.

Autofocus performance for AF-S was OK. While quite fast it’s no speed-demon. Again, I was coming in with overblown expectations from reading tons of essentially hysterical reviews praising the lens.

Opinions overall

Talking sharpness is boring and something given perhaps too much focus in many other reviews, much thanks to being something you can test and quantify, so I’ll keep it brief. Modern lenses go from very sharp to super sharp, with post-processing often being used to make very sharp images turn super sharp.

This lens is sharp. Slightly sharper than the 56mm 1.2.

XT-2 – 90mm F2 @ F2 – 1/500 – ISO-250

One of the qualities of the lens I never think I heard a reviewer bring up is the solid minimum focus distance with decent magnification. It’s minimum focus distance being at least 20cm shorter than my old Samyang 135 F2 made a big difference and makes the lens much more flexible. At close to the minimum focus distance at full aperture it’s also quite easy to completely smush the background.

Out of focus backgrounds are rendered well with background highlights or ”bokeh balls” rendered quite round and smooth even close to the extreme corners. Only gaining a slight [American] football-shape in the uttermost corners. Sharpness transition is unintrusive and looks fine.

XT-2 – 90mm F2 @ F2 – 1/1000 – ISO-200

Observations The floating elements in the lens is causing a clucking sound when it’s not powered on and rocked about. Harmless, but could be a slight distraction and something that takes away from the otherwise quite solid exterior build.

Autofocus – AF-S The autofocus performance of the lens is OK. Some seem to describe it at blazing fast or instantaneous. But comparing it to real fast lenses like brand-name 70-200 2.8, 300mm 2.8 or even the Tamron 90mm 2.8 VC – it’s no speed demon, while being adequately fast in good light. In dim light the autofocus risks of being reduced to a crawl due to limitations in the current Fuji cameras.

Autofocus – AF-C/Tracking I seldom use anything except AF-S on the XT-2, but I wanted to give the tracking a shot and brought the 90mm F2 to an airsoft game. Conditions weren’t ideal with rain and moderate light. But despite that I was surprised how well the combo performed despite me being ill-experienced with AF-C/tracking use on the XT-2.

Most of the photos I shot in continuous-high were sharp enough and the photos that turned out out of focus I’d be willing to blame on my perhaps sub-optimal settings or handling. Many photos I shot in long sequences looked kind of out of focus and dull in the viewfinder, but turned it sharp when reviewing them. Odd how that works.

XT-2 – 90mm F2 @ F2 – 1/500 – ISO-640

Aperture ring
Finally Fuji got the aperture ring tightness narrowed down. Out of the Fuji lenses I’ve tried this has the best aperture ring, with solid clicks and good resistance. Much better than the borderline dreadful ring on the 56mm 1.2 or just a bit too loose ring on the 16mm 1.4 – and slightly better than the good ring on the 35mm F2.

XT-2 – 90mm F2 @ F2 – 1/500 – ISO-2000

Final words
Fuji found a good balance with this lens between performance, price and weight. The relatively tight minimum focus distance is also a great bonus. For portraits the 90mm F2 and 56mm 1.2 perform quite evenly from an image quality perspective, with different working distances and light sensitivity.

For primary Fuji shooters who has the slightest interest in medium telephotos the 90mm F2 is a given. The only real competitor would be the more expensive, bigger and less well-rendered 50-140mm 2.8.

Using this lens on the XH-1 and future sensor-stabilized cameras Fuji is releasing should make for an excellent combo further improving its versatility.

(Eng) Fabriken “Good old Rush” 2018-08-11

Borås, Sweden.

Whenever I go to Borås it seems the rain is waiting for me. Today was no exception. But the rain particles in the air can make for some more dramatic photos, so – fine by me.

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Today’s game is a variant of the ”Rush” mode video-gamers should be familiar with from the Battlefield series, a mode that was – to my knowledge – introduced in Bad Company (2008).

The players are split into two teams taking turns acting as attackers and defenders. The play field starts off quite small but as the attackers complete certain tasks they receive a spawn point further onto the field which naturally pushes the front line further onto the field. While a time limit promises some variety to avoid locked down games to drag on for too long.

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The play field is divided into two general parts; the outdoors segment and the inner factory complex. The outside is dominated by the slightly curved, streamlined concrete path with provisional cover leading up to three-four openings to the factory – along with a smaller green path up the cliff side of the path leading to the absolute edge of the field.

Second part is the factory area dominated by thick brick walls in varying degrees of health with machines, forklifts and some tarpaulins acting as cover in the dark.

During this game I spent pretty much the entire day outdoors with the camera. The lighting conditions were a bit too poor for decent indoor photos. Last game I attended I shot a few photos indoors.

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In an attempt to spice up some of the photos a touch I added some slight letterbox black bars. The result were a bit mixed, especially since I had to use Photoshop for the job – with no real plan or template. It’s something I might try again in the future first when I have more of a recipe for how to do it right.

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The prolonged rain caused the player base to eventually whither. But the game carried out close to the announced end time thanks to a few brave players fighting it out through the whole day.

About the location

According to a short Wikipedia article (Swedish) the factory plant dates back to 1896 and was back in the day one of the first rubber factories in Sweden. In 1960 the American company Firestone bought the factory and manufactured rubber products, such as tires and hockey pucks, until 1990 where the factory was essentially abandoned.

As fairly typical for factories like this I’ve been unable to find that much resources about the more nitty-gritty details online. I did however stumble across this blog showing off some more detailed photos of the factory in 2014.

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An assortment of photos from the game in total below, with more photos on Flickr.