nOS turns Nintendo Switch into a mini PC – and it’s weird


The Nintendo Switch is one of our favourite devices for gaming, but could it also replace your iPad or PC. A new app billing itself as a replacement Nintendo Switch OS claims that it could. 

The ‘new operating system’ or ‘nOS’ lets you make notes, to-do lists and calculations. It has a gallery of pre-selected images, a notebook an MS paint-like app and simple puzzle minigame, but some Switch fans are confused about what it is (not yet got the console? See our pick of the best Nintendo Switch deals).


Japanese Telescope Captures Image of Mysterious Spiral Flying Over Hawaii — See the Eerie Video


A Japanese telescope positioned on top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, captured video of an eerie flying spiral in the night sky on Jan. 18.

In the video, a small bright spot appears and slowly gets brighter and starts to dissipate into a spiral before getting small again and disappearing.

The Subaru Telescope — operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, a research institute — tweeted from their English-language account about its discovery two days later and included a hypothesis as to what caused the mysterious swirl.

“The Subaru-Asahi Star Camera captured a mysterious flying spiral,” reads the tweet. “The spiral seems to be related to the SpaceX company’s launch of a new satellite.”

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SpaceX launched the GPS III Space Vehicle 06 mission on Jan. 18 at 7:24 a.m. from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, according to their mission log. It was later that same day that the spiral was seen in the sky. On their website, SpaceX states it was “the second launch and landing for this Falcon 9 first stage booster.”

According to the Washington Post, this isn’t the first time the Falcon 9 has produced a bright spiral in the sky.

RELATED: ‘Jellyfish Cloud’ Takes Over Sky in Photographer’s Stunning Image of SpaceX Launch

A spiral was captured above Queenstown, New Zealand, in June. Another one was spotted in April, also over Hawaii. Both appearances of the swirling light came after launches of a Falcon 9 rocket, the outlet reported.

A "Mysterious" Flying Spiral over Maunakea 2023-01-18 UT

A “Mysterious” Flying Spiral over Maunakea 2023-01-18 UT

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The spirals aren’t the only formations captured after SpaceX launches. Last year, photographer Kyle Morgan of K.Morgan Artistry snapped a photograph of a “jellyfish cloud” left behind after a Falcon 9 launch.

“This morning’s Space X rocket launch 20,000+ kilometers per hour at this stage,” he captioned the image on Facebook. “Photo including the first booster drop that landed on the shortfall of gravitas with Venus and Jupiter under the ‘jellyfish cloud.'”

RELATED VIDEO: The Year’s Most Historic Moments in Space Exploration

Morgan said he took the image on Jekyll Island, the southernmost island of the Golden Isles of Georgia.

“[I] do a lot of astrophotography, I’m always out shooting the Milky Way and my wife actually sent me the information on the launch last minute so I took off to my favorite spot on Jekyll Island to capture it,” Morgan told PEOPLE at the time.


20 Funny Confusing Photos That Will Play With Your Mind


Here are the 20 funny confusing photos that will play with your mind. Confusing photos are pictures that challenge the viewer’s perception or understanding of what they are seeing, often because they are deceptive, ambiguous, or surreal. They can be created through a variety of techniques, including optical illusions, forced perspective, and digital manipulation. Confusing photos can also be found in everyday life, such as when objects or scenes are shot at unusual angles or under unusual lighting conditions. Confusing photos can be intriguing and thought-provoking, and they can often spark interesting debates or discussions about what is actually depicted in the image.

Here in this gallery you can find the best confusing photos, scroll down and enjoy yourself. All photos are linked and lead to the sources from which they were taken. Please feel free to explore further works of these photographers on their collections or their personal sites.

#1 Oh you fish-head, you!

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: EndersGame_Reviewer

#2 The bearded lady strikes again

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: EndersGame_Reviewer

#3 A face behind a mirror

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: PinheadGoo

#4 Just a giant “Tiny” man

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: HeavyGuidance

#5 “I’m sure I wasn’t wearing sandals when I left home”

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: EndersGame_Reviewer

#6 Someone lost their leg in the Eagles vs Giants game

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: PieOhMy33

#7 Why the long face?

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: The–Weasel

#8 Giant dog monster

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: yorklebit

#9 Double deer

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: Hratluf

#10 Empty or full?

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: EndersGame_Reviewer

#11 They’re really good friends

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: Lanoi

#12 If you know you nose

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: noonesguide

#13 Miss Cat found a pawtal to the top shelf

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: EndersGame_Reviewer

#14 Hands

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: samamp

#15 Careful now, don’t drop it, or else we’ll get moon juice everywhere

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: EndersGame_Reviewer

#16 A future rowing champion

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: EndersGame_Reviewer

#17 My (beautiful I know) friend and her dog

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: Veryc00llady

#18 Chicken strips on the grill

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: u/aleksabtc

#19 “What’s wrong with my cat”

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: u/bettertimeasleep

#20 Don’t fall in

Funny Confusing Photos

Source: u/justandswift

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Chattanooga Mensa members share an inquisitive nature and an inclination for stimulating talk on a variety of topics


The Chattanooga Mensa group features people from all walks of life. They include doctors, judges, engineers and military pilots, a number of whom are retired.

Although pursuing different vocations, they share a degree of intelligence that places them in the top 2% of the population and membership in a worldwide organization that recognizes their intellectual prowess.

Mensa was started in England in 1946 by barrister Roland Berrill and scientist/lawyer Dr. Lance Ware as a society that is non-political and free from all racial and religious distinction. Mensa is the Latin word for table, symbolizing a round table where race, nationality, age and social standing are insignificant. The organization has 145,000 members in some 90 countries. The only requirement for membership is placing within the upper 2% of the general population on an approved intelligence test properly administered and supervised.

The Chattanooga chapter was created in 1981. It currently has just under 100 active members who come from 14 counties in Southeast Tennessee and six in Northwest Georgia. They range in age from 12 to octogenarian. The median age is 52 to 53.

Boyd Patterson has held court with the Chattanooga chapter since the early 2000s, serving as local secretary (the equivalent of president) in the mid 2000s. In November, the 53-year-old Chattanooga resident was elected Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Division 3.0.

That followed undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, work as a counselor for delinquent youth, a juris doctorate degree from Duquesne Law School and 22 years as a practicing attorney. Patterson’s intellect and eclectic background make him a natural for Mensa.

“I enjoy hearing different perspectives,” Patterson said. “I’ve heard some enlightening, creative perspectives on various things from people of different backgrounds. My perspective has expanded around Mensans. It’s enriched my out-of-court life more than anything by offering well thought-out viewpoints.”

As local secretary, Patterson started meetings by asking members to write down a discussion topic. He then randomly drew a topic and facilitated discussions that lasted several minutes.

“Members suggested topics they were familiar with, resulting in some great conversations,” Patterson said. “Topics included machine learning, politics, great sports teams, conspiracy theories… Everything was fair game.”

There’s a quiet confidence many members of Mensa possess, recognizing they’re in a select group when it comes to intelligence. As such, when they get together, one might expect a highly charged, competitive environment to decide who’s the smartest person in the room. Several members of Chattanooga Mensa challenge that perception.

“I recognize I’m smart,” said Ernie Pierce, 83, a member of the Chattanooga chapter since 2003. “But I’m not the only smart person.”

Pierce joined Mensa in 1997 while living in Nashville. “I wanted to see if I was as smart as I thought I was,” said the Ringgold, Georgia, resident, who was an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War era before embarking on a 30-year career with Liberty Mutual. “I did really well on the Mensa test.”

Pierce said he enjoys talking to Mensa members. “It’s stimulating being around them,” said Pierce, noting he comes from an intelligent family — his father and brother. “They can converse on just about anything. I went to our picnic and found the two to three hours to be enjoyable and entertaining.”

Wilma Tucker started the Chattanooga chapter in 1976 with 24 members; prior to that, she said, it was an inactive group. Possessing a degree in history but discovering she didn’t enjoy teaching, the Hixson resident worked with computers and owned a bookstore. She, like Pierce, doesn’t flaunt her intelligence and Mensa membership.

“Mensans have that level of confidence where they don’t have to prove their intelligence,” said Tucker, who has become more active in Mensa over the past year. “They go beyond that and see what else they have in common.”

Tucker said she’s met some phenomenal women in Mensa, both locally and at regional meetings that draw members from Atlanta, Nashville and Knoxville. “They’re brilliant, have a love of the language and a desire to help out in the community. The men are phenomenal, too. Most are trivia buffs. Being a member has been one of the top five experiences of my life.”

There’s also the feeling of family that Tucker drew on during one of the most difficult times in her life.

“They were supportive when my son died at 18,” Tucker said.

One of the phenomenal women Tucker met in Mensa is Mary Duffy. The two have been friends for some 40 years.

Duffy was doing her residency as a family physician and didn’t have time to date. She joined the Chattanooga chapter in the early ’80s with the idea of meeting some “smart men.” Although she met a wonderful man in Mensa, he went to law school, and they subsequently married other people. Duffy didn’t part with Mensa, however, noting it provided a nice respite from her residency and offered a built in social life.

Retired as a physician and living in Chattanooga, Duffy remains a member of the local chapter.

“I enjoy getting together with like-minded people and having a good time,” Duffy said. “There are people with lots of different ideas who aren’t afraid to try new things. You can relax and be yourself.”

Other members are newer to Mensa. While recognizing they were intelligent through school and work, they joined later in life when the opportunity presented itself. For Michael Logue, it came through music.

Playing French horn in a community band, Logue was encouraged by several bandmates who were Mensa members to take the Mensa test. He passed and subsequently joined the Chattanooga group in 2017. He now serves as local secretary.

“The biggest thing is you can talk about just anything,” said the 65-year-old Ohio native who worked as a computer operator in the Air Force before moving to a 40-year plus career in IT. “You have like-minded, intelligent, well-read people. You never know what you’re going to talk about.”

The topics will become even more varied if Logue achieves his goal of energizing the chapter. “I want to make a better effort to get people involved,” he said.

Kathy Whitaker also joined Chattanooga Mensa in 2017, as did her husband, Everett. Trained as a civil engineer, Kathy worked in the electric industry. Everett was a nuclear engineer. They met while working at the Tennessee Valley Authority and retired to the Chattanooga area.

These days, Kathy gets a charge not from work but through Mensa.

“I enjoy the social activities of the local group, particularly the special events like our annual picnic and our holiday gathering,” Kathy said. “It’s an opportunity to catch up with friends and share different perspectives on current events. I also love the weekly emails from Mensa with interesting articles about new studies and discoveries (Mensa Weekly Brainwaves) and the (almost) monthly printed magazine (Mensa Bulletin).”

Stephen Prudhomme, 66, joined the Chattanooga Mensa group in July 2022. He is a New Jersey native who served in Army military intelligence as a French translator. He earned a degree in journalism from Georgia State University and has written for a number of publications for nearly 40 years. He lives with his wife and son in Pikeville, Tennessee.


Samsung Galaxy S23: The Features We Need to See


The Samsung Galaxy S22 has an upgraded camera that’s better at seeing in the dark, and it has an upgraded aesthetic. But we need so much more for Samsung to blow us away with its Galaxy S23, which is expected to debut Wednesday at Samsung Unpacked.

In particular, I’d like to see longer-lasting batteries, more photographic features, and faster charging that doesn’t require an expensive adapter.

Read more: How to Watch Samsung Unpacked

Samsung leads the smartphone industry, with 21% of the worldwide market in the third quarter of 2022, according to Counterpoint Research. Upgrading core features like the camera and battery could help it maintain that top spot, especially as it faces increased competition from Apple and Google.

Longer battery life for the regular Galaxy S23

Samsung Galaxy S22

The Galaxy S22

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Battery life can never be long enough, but the standard-issue Galaxy S device is in particular need of a boost. The 6.1-inch Galaxy S22 generally lived up to Samsung’s claims of all-day battery life, but sometimes just barely. After using it for a month straight, I noticed the battery level dipped roughly to 30% or 40% by 9 p.m., even with the always-on display turned off and the screen’s refresh rate set to standard. That’s enough to get through a work day, but you’ll likely want to pack a charger if you have after-work plans or a long commute home. 

The Galaxy S22 has the smallest battery (3,700-mAh capacity) of the three phones in the Galaxy S22 lineup, and it shows. For example, I was pleasantly surprised when the 6.6-inch Galaxy S22 Plus, which has a larger 4,500-mAh capacity, lasted for about a day and a half when I reviewed it in February. I also had the refresh rate set to high, which typically drains battery more quickly. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, which has a 6.8-inch screen and a 5,000-mAh battery, had similar battery life. 

It makes sense that the Galaxy S22 line’s smallest phone would also have the smallest battery. But I hope Samsung finds a way to improve battery life on next year’s 6.1-inch Galaxy phone, whether it’s through better power efficiency or a larger physical battery. After all, Apple made upgrades to the iPhone 13 Mini that gave it an extra two to three hours of battery life compared to the iPhone 12 Mini. Battery life is the main complaint I had about the Galaxy S22, and addressing that would make the Galaxy S23 an even more compelling choice for Android fans who prefer smaller phones. 

Korean news outlet The Elec indicates that could indeed be the case, as it reports that Samsung aims to increase the Galaxy S23’s battery capacity by about 5%. 

More clever camera features

Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra compared

From left, cameras on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S22 Plus and Galaxy S22.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Galaxy S22’s 50-megapixel camera and the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 108-megapixel camera capture impressively colorful and detailed photos. I only wish there was more you could do with those cameras when it comes to editing and software features.

The Galaxy S22 lineup has shooting options like panorama, night mode, portrait mode, slow motion, super slow motion and Director’s View, which lets you record video using two different lenses simultaneously. Then there’s Single Take, which creates multiple stylized shots with a single press of the shutter button. You can also download the Expert Raw app to get more granular control over photo settings. 

But not much has changed between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 when it comes to camera features and shooting modes. I’d love to see Samsung take a page from Google, which regularly adds nifty camera tricks that feel practical rather than gimmicky. For example, Google introduced a new feature on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro called Photo Unblur, which sharpens low-quality photos, even ones taken with an older camera. Photo Unblur builds on Face Unblur, a previous Pixel 6 and 6 Pro camera feature I also appreciate. As the name implies, Face Unblur freezes moving subjects that may otherwise look blurry.

Features like these show that Google is not just thinking about camera quality, but also ways to eliminate everyday annoyances with mobile photography. Many of Samsung’s updates, on the other hand, feel aimed at giving content creators more tools for capturing different types of shots and video clips. 

While the Galaxy S23 likely won’t launch for several more weeks, Samsung is already making enhancements to the cameras on its current Galaxy phones. It added a new feature to the Expert Raw app that helps stargazers take better photos of constellations, similar to Google’s Astrophotography feature for Pixel phones. There’s also a new Camera Assistant app that lets you enable or disable certain features, like a faster shutter or automatic lens switching. 

Faster charging that doesn’t cost so much

Samsung S22 Ultra

The Galaxy S22 Plus (left) and Ultra both support 45-watt fast charging. But you have to purchase an adapter separately. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Galaxy S22 lineup supports fast charging of up to 25 watts for the Galaxy S22 and 45 watts for the Galaxy S22 Plus and Ultra. But you have to purchase a separate charger to do so. Samsung charges $50 for the 45-watt charger and $35 for the 25-watt charger, although you can often find them for less through retailers like Amazon and Walmart. In some scenarios, I also didn’t notice much of a difference between the pricier 45-watt charger and Samsung’s less expensive 25-watt charger when powering up the Galaxy S22 Plus, which you can read more about here.

With the Galaxy S23, I’d like to see a more noticeable improvement in charging speeds, as well as more affordable charger options. The OnePlus 10 Pro, for example, offers either 65- or 80-watt fast charging depending on your region, both of which are speedier than what Samsung has to offer on paper. OnePlus also includes a compatible power adapter in the box. 

Samsung and Apple stopped including power adapters in their product packaging to cut down on waste, which is an admirable cause. But I at least wish Samsung would let you choose to include a fast-charging compatible adapter as an option for a discounted price when ordering a new phone, similar to the way it lets you select a storage option or add Samsung Care Plus. 

If rumors turn out to be accurate, the base Galaxy S23 model might have the same 25-watt charging speed as the Galaxy S22. That’s according to Ice Universe, a Twitter account with a history of publishing details about unreleased Samsung products. 

Samsung is already doing a lot right with the Galaxy S22, particularly when it comes to software support and display quality. But as year-over-year smartphone upgrades have become more incremental than revolutionary, focusing on core elements like the camera and battery are as important as ever.


Legendary Photography Critic Vince Aletti Turns Us Onto His …


(MENAFN- USA Art News)

The concept for the indomitable curator, collector, critic, and cultural arbiter Vince Aletti’s new book is simple: assemble and layout the contents of a single cabinet drawer.

is a pastiche of mostly gallery invites and magazine tear sheets. The compiled images touch upon art and fashion with plenty of (super-hot) homoerotic flourishes. An avid collector, Vince lives among his ongoing curation. He’s been in his East Village apartment since 1976 and it’s filled with towers of vintage magazines that have fueled his past books (such as the magnificent ) and shifting art and photography on display on the walls.

At first glance, is like flipping through the scrapbook of an adult with fine-tuned taste. But it’s more than that, Aletti’s assemblage captures a portrait of the man himself. It’s a window into his tastes and passions, and a look at what moves him. It says so much about the writer, despite containing no words (there are no captions and no introduction).

The cover of Vince Aletti’s visual deep dive. Courtesy of Self Publish Be Happy Editions.

“I didn’t realize how revealing it was,” Aletti said,“until I saw it all together, and then saw it through other people’s eyes and realized what they were seeing. I just did it very quickly and this is all the stuff that I think about and look at and process in various ways.” He continued,“I didn’t want to censor myself in any way. I didn’t want to think about how people would receive it. I just wanted to do it.”

Aletti’s selections are often more personal than meets the eye. For instance, the late photographer Peter Hujar makes a cameo (a self-portrait in a jockstrap) as well as one of his images of Susan Sontag. Hujar was an intimate friend and Aletti posed for him.

Aletti has been at the forefront of New York’s cultural vanguard since moving there in 1969. He wrote about disco before it had a name and went on to have a weekly column covering the discotheque beat (he donated his vast vinyl collection to what’s now the museum of pop culture in Seattle). He served as the ‘s art critic and contributes photo exhibition reviews to the New Yorker. In 2005 he won international center for photography ‘s Infinity Award for writing. He’s still moved and driven by art.

We talked to him about a couple of zeitgeist moments he was a part of that geeked us and what he’s collecting now.

A spread from Vice Aletti’s The Drawer. Courtesy of Self Publish Be Happy Editions.

On his Peter Hujar and the portrait that accompanies this story

“It’s one of those things where I’m sorry that I didn’t go home and take notes afterward. I just was glad he asked me to sit for him. I was his neighbor at that point. This was the East Village, it was a much rougher neighborhood than it is now. There were prostitutes and pimps on the block at night. It wasn’t threatening particularly, but it was seedy.

It was fairly straightforward. I don’t remember him giving much direction. My sense with Peter is that in general, he waited for someone to relax enough that you weren’t self-conscious. It wasn’t a long session, but it was a long enough for him to have me relax and sort of give up trying to please him.

Recently, a friend who works at the Hujar archive show me all of his contact sheets. There was much more than I realized. There were times when he photographed me on the street that I didn’t remember. And apparently he photographed me in my apartment lying in bed. I saw this whole contact sheet of that series and I could see why it didn’t work for him. It didn’t work for me either.”

A hot July night at The Paradise Garage in 1979. Photo: Bill Bernstein, courtesy of

The last days of disco and birth of house

“I lived down the street from The Saint, but I rarely went there. It was too white and gay. It was not very mixed at all. I wasn’t excited by the music, but It was a beautifully designed space. I could understand why people were drawn to it. I went to the Paradise Garage and the Loft for the most part, which were more mixed racially and many more women, just much more comfortable for me.

The first club that I went to regularly was the Loft. Paradise Garage was very influenced by the Loft. Larry Levan was very influenced by David Mancuso and they were friends and, and there was a real relationship in terms of the kind of music that they both played. Larry was a little more pop. It was very similar in terms of mixing and the crowd was super.

I tended to go almost every week because it was the one place I knew all my friends would be. I usually went very early, if I went at like three or four in the morning, which most of my friends did, there was no space to dance anymore. I would go as early as I could, because I was always really interested in what DJs play to warm up the crowd. It was things that they might not play later, but that were creative and unusual where they would test out records before the floor was filled.”

Bob Mizer was a renowned physique photographer, but sometimes captured his models clothed as well. Courtesy of Vince Aletti.

Bob Mizer photos

“bob mizer was the most eccentric of the physique photographers. He kind of did everything and had much more variety than anybody else, and seemed to be having fun. He certainly got his models to do just about anything. I’ve been collecting them for years and I have hundreds of them mostly late 1950s to ’60s. There was a place near me that sold physique material only to private customers, and I started buying pictures there in the ’70s when they were $1 each. It would be like a rainy afternoon visit to this place where I could paw through boxes. Now I mostly buy them on eBay.

This group of models is all dressed up. It’s another kind of revealing to see how these guys looked before they took their clothes off. I find it fascinating to see the models just being real people. They’re also fashion pictures. This is my favorite. You see the socks? It’s got everything. I think these would make an interesting small book.”


‘Know Your NATURE Center’ unveils new educational opportunities for future Placerita Canyon Nature Center visitors


The Placerita Canyon Nature Center cut the red ribbon on its “Know Your NATURE Center” exhibit on Saturday, opening the sliding doors to provide more opportunities to the next and current generations to learn more about the local nature.  

“This is a gem for not only the city, but the county and every single young person in Los Angeles who comes far and wide to be able to come to the nature center to understand nature,” said Santa Clarita Councilwoman Marsha McLean. “Sometimes they don’t have that opportunity, but we give them that opportunity here at the nature center.” 

From left, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo and City of Santa Claria councilmember Marsha McLean discus the new bird nest exhibit during the grand opening of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal

© Provided by The Signal
From left, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Assemblymember Pilar Schiavo and City of Santa Claria councilmember Marsha McLean discus the new bird nest exhibit during the grand opening of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal

The “Know Your NATUTRE Center” is a result of a year of work from 36 people (volunteers, docents, family members and friends) thanks to a community service grant provided by the city of Santa Clarita. 

The 36 worked on many aspects of the project such as video production, photography, carpentry and electrical work.  

“This is probably one of the most dedicated groups of volunteers in L.A. County and I really admire the work that y’all give,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the county’s 5th District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.  

The service grant consisted of two parts: producing three short informational videos and a video installation.  

The three videos (“Pick a Trail,” “Wild About Wildflowers,” and “Let’s Go Birdwatching”) are available to be viewed inside of the “Know Your NATURE Center” by simply pressing a button.  

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, right, looks on as Susan Grose, left cuts the cake during the grand opening ceremony of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal

© Provided by The Signal
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, right, looks on as Susan Grose, left cuts the cake during the grand opening ceremony of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Figuring out how to do things of inspiration and learning for all of our visitors so that they can love and respect nature as much as we all do,” said exhibit docent Cindy Gold.  

The exhibit also features displays and information on “Bird Nests of Placerita Canyon,” “Birds of Placerita Canyon,” and “An Adventure in Animal Tracks.” 

Docent/Naturalist Cindy Gold, left, thanks dignitaries and the dozens of attendees for their assistance in the creation of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal

© Provided by The Signal
Docent/Naturalist Cindy Gold, left, thanks dignitaries and the dozens of attendees for their assistance in the creation of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal

According to county Parks & Recreation Director Norma Edith García-Gonzalez, 130,000 people visit the Placerita Nature Center a year.  

“You know the best compliment that I’m going to leave with today was … someone said, ‘I raised my children here,’” said García-Gonzalez.  

The Placerita Nature Center is located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road and is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit  

Olivia, 9, and Emmitt, 6, Seyerly anticipate the cutting of the cake during the grand opening of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal

© Provided by The Signal
Olivia, 9, and Emmitt, 6, Seyerly anticipate the cutting of the cake during the grand opening of the Know Your NATURE Center at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center in Newhall on Saturday, 012823. Dan Watson/The Signal


Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens – Hands-On Review


Astrophotography is the answer. The question is, “what does this lens excel at?” I’ve proven it by being able to use it to film the northern lights in real-time, paired with the Sony A7S III. I’ve also tested the L-mount version of this lens with the Sigma FP-L. I have to say that in both instances, I’m sufficiently impressed at base-level, but there’s so much more. This is the Sigma 20mm F/1.4 DG DN Art lens. Let’s dive in.

Sigma have been in the game for over 60 years. Their experience has culminated in the launch of some incredible glass, and this new Art lens in their line-up really packs a powerful punch. This new lens takes everything that Sigma knows about wide, fast lenses and puts it all in one place.

This prime 20mm lens gives a field of view that isn’t unnaturally wide but is wide enough to incorporate enough of a scene to see a lot of features. In real terms, it’s 94.5˚. This perspective makes this lens particularly useful for astrophotography. Especially when we consider the maximum aperture of f/1.4. At the other end of the scale, the minimum aperture is f/16. I’ve found the 11 diaphragm blades create a nice bokeh effect as well as precise movement between aperture values. (Well, as much bokeh you can get with a 20mm lens anyhow).


The 82mm filter size is fairly common and makes it easy to find compatible filters. I have found this to be a problem with the often-uncommon filter size of other ultra-wide lenses. A lens that I’ve often labeled as my ‘go-to’ for astrophotography is the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8, but the bulbous face requires specialized filters. Those are not impossible to get, but they do cost. Sigma have avoided this problem altogether by using a common thread size and flat lens front.

By now, I’ve thrown quite a bit of technical info at you and actually refrained from giving my opinion, so it’s time for me to open up about this lens.

It’s amazing! Honestly, this is an Astro dream. I’ve been looking for the ultimate aurora filming lens for years, and this is it. The whole sky opens up to this lens, flooding the sensor with light from the huge aperture. Even with an APS-C sensor, the lens is still 30mm equivalent.

As someone who regularly shoots in cold conditions, one of my main considerations with lenses is the cold. This lens has a lens heater retainer which allows mounting a heater to the lens. The heater prevents the front glass elements from freezing or suffering condensation. The lens is made from thermally stable composite materials, so the whole thing feels very solid and sturdy. I never checked, but I assume the lens does not contract or expand under changing temperatures either. From what I can tell, it’s a beast that would battle even the most demanding conditions.

Optically, I could not detect any geometric distortion or chromatic aberration. There are 17 elements in the lens, so I guess Sigma were pretty generous with glass.

The switches and rings are easy to operate and feel very deliberate in their mechanisms. Speaking of mechanisms, the autofocus is driven by Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor, powering through the entire focus range in less than one second and hitting tack-sharp focus every time.

The Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens is pretty solid. It weighs in at 630g (22.2oz) for the E-mount version. This isn’t exactly small and light, but Sigma have clearly focused on the quality of the optics here. For what it offers, I wouldn’t really call it ‘heavy’. The images are very sharp.

The wide aperture allows for great focusing even in dark conditions, and although it’s largely up to the capabilities of the camera, this lens goes a long way to help. When I used this lens along with the Sony A7S III to film the northern lights it was really hard to miss focus. In fact, I encountered only user error when focussing. The lens and camera got it right. I often find that autofocus motors make a fair amount of noise, but with Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens it’s hardly noticeable, and it’s fast.

Photographing the night sky and its features is easy with this lens. It certainly isn’t going to pick out a galaxy, but for wide images of the sky it’s ideal. I’ve used it a lot to shoot the northern lights and even confidently included it in the Ultimate Northern Lights Filming Rig article I wrote recently. The key to aurora photography is to get as much light in as possible to retain the details of the motion of the dancing lights. This needs to be balanced against the available light and the sensor noise created by shooting in the dark. The best way to achieve this is with a wide aperture

I’ve put some emphasis on the fact that this lens is ideal for astrophotography, and rightly so, but it’s actually great for a lot for a lot of photographically demanding situations. While the field of view doesn’t exactly make it sound like a great portrait lens, despite the depth of field sounding great, I found that it creates a great visual effect. The lack of distortion helps retain face and body proportions whilst leaving plenty of space for the environment, all in a linear perspective.

My overall impression of this lens is very good. Comparing it to older variants there are certainly improvements and when compared to similar lenses by other manufacturers, this is my choice. It’s sharp, lightweight and robust. My only criticism is that I don’t like having an aperture ring that doesn’t lock in place. It’s easy to knock the aperture away from where it’s set. Aside from that, I can’t fault this lens. Sigma, keep it up.


New AGO exhibition asks us to expand our definition of photography


An aerial shot of several men standing on an blood covered ice floe, butchering a walrus. A small boat is pulled up next to the floe.
“Walrus Hunt” by Robert Kautuk. (Art Gallery of Ontario)

The Art Gallery of Ontario’s new exhibition We Are Story: The Canada Now Photography Acquisition takes a very broad view of the word “photography.” Photograms? That’s photography. Collage? Photography. Images from the internet, manipulated into a mosaic? Photography.

For AGO curatorial fellow Marina Dumont-Gauthier, who helped put the show together, it’s important to continually be reconsidering what photography is, because “photography is still a young art,” compared to painting or sculpture, and it continues to evolve rapidly.

The exhibition showcases ten new additions to the AGO’s collection, which come to the gallery as part of the Canada Now Photography Acquisition Initiative. Photographer Edward Burtynsky and gallerist Nicholas Metivier conceived the initiative in the spring of 2020 as a way to support artists during COVID.

A large image of an orange, next to a creature made entirely out of hands on a black and green background.
“Holding my Grandmother’s Oranges” by Aaron Jones (Art Gallery of Ontario)

The artists featured in the collection come from a variety of backgrounds, both artistically and culturally, and are based in all corners of the country. The thing they all have in common is that they each bring a unique approach to the medium.

Toronto-based artist Aaron Jones‘ piece “Holding My Grandmother’s Oranges” is the first image viewers see when they walk into the gallery. A five-foot-by-six-foot photo collage, it centres on an image taken from a postcard, advertising California oranges, that hung in his late grandmother’s kitchen. He says that for him, the oranges symbolize what he calls a “utopian access to food.” The oranges are guarded by what he describes as a “gollum” made out of hands. The hands were taken from pictures of NBA players from the 1990s and 2000s that were given to him by a friend.

“My grandma came here from Jamaica,” he says. “My mom and her sisters and brothers are all immigrants. I think it was the first time, when they got here, where they would for sure have food ⁠— not that they didn’t have food in Jamaica, but it was more for sure [here]. And for myself, growing up, I was given that privilege of, like, ‘Go in the fridge. Take whatever you want.'”

He adds that, as a “child of the ’90s,” even though he wasn’t a huge sports fan, the images of basketball player’s hands spoke to him.

A fractal pattern in black, blue and orange, in the Islamic ornamentation style.
“Tokyo/Damascus” by Sanaz Mazinani. (Art Gallery of Ontario)

“[The hands] are very well-lit, and I just liked how real they felt,” he says. “And it’s kind of bringing those childhood influences into the design of the gollum.”

At first glance, Sanaz Mazinani‘s “Tokyo/Damascus” doesn’t appear to be a photography-related project at all. The piece is done in the fractal style of traditional Islamic ornamentation. It’s a type of design that Mazinani — who was born in Iran and came to Canada when she was 11 — was surrounded by growing up. It’s only when you get extremely close that you realize that the pattern is made up of photographs of the Occupy Movement protest in Tokyo and Arab Spring protests in Damascus, Syria, repeated over and over again.

“The concept behind [Islamic ornamentation] is that it transforms your understanding of the space,” she says. “Within the religious context, it’s supposed to kind of transform you to this heavenly other world.”

The piece is meant to evoke that same feeling, but in a more secular context: to get us to transcend where we are right now and imagine a better world.

“In this context, I wanted to use it to take us somewhere else, where the world is not so harsh,” she says. “Somewhere that’s more interesting or better.”

A small row of soldiers sit in a trench in a desert landscape. Purple smoke wafts across the horizon.
“Afghan and Canadian soldiers in a trench mark their position with smoke during a drone strike on insurgents in Panjwa’i District, Kandahar, Afghanistan,” by Louie Palu. (Art Gallery of Ontario)

Other pieces in the exhibition also take a wide range of approaches to photography. Some of it comes from a documentary or photojournalism tradition, like photos of the war in Afghanistan by Louie Palu, pictures of Black Lives Matter protests printed on massive banners by Jalani Morgan, and Robert Kautuk’s drone shots of his home community of Kangiqtugaapik, Nunavut, including one of a walrus being butchered on an ice floe.

Others take a more experimental approach, like Laurie Kang’s series of photograms of onion and firewood bags, made by placing the bags directly onto photosensitive paper. Montreal-based Inuk artist asinnajaq took a photo of shallow water in James Bay, then printed it on a thin polyester sheet hung from the ceiling. As audiences walk around the piece, they cause the sheet to move, making it look like the water is shifting.

Mazinani says that, to her, the common thread between all the pieces in We Are Story is the ability of photography to inform the viewer about the world around them.

“All these projects are speaking about something that we’re experiencing together, in different ways, right now,” she says. “They’re current. They’re relevant.”


vAIsual inks landmark content deal with Seattle-based nature and travel photography agency


Image courtesy Danita Delimont Stock Photography

Image courtesy Danita Delimont Stock Photography

Image courtesy Danita Delimont Stock Photography

Image courtesy Danita Delimont Stock Photography

Image courtesy Danita Delimont Stock Photography

Image courtesy Danita Delimont Stock Photography

vAIsual Inc, pioneers in legally clean datasets for AI, today signed a deal with Danita Delimont Stock Photography, a leading provider of nature images.

This collaboration brings our collection of nature and travel images to the ethical AI industry. We want to be at the forefront of how the stock industry participates in the future of IP licensing.”

— Danita Delimont

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, January 31, 2023 / — vAIsual Inc, pioneers in legally clean training datasets for AI, today signed a deal with Danita Delimont Stock Photography, a leading provider of nature and travel stock imagery.

The deal will mean over 800,000 photographs will be available via the for AI training.

The partnership is a win for copyright holders in the text-to-image generation industry, and presents an ethical and legally clean way for companies to train AI in a fair and safe way.

According to vAIsual CEO, Michael Osterrieder, the deal is the first of its kind and provides the essential resources for AI engineers and researchers to get optimal results from their AI training.

“The AI industry is now under heavy review by lawmakers across the world. According to Forbes, 2023 will be the year of AI ethics legislation. This means every company offering AI tools needs to ensure the training data has been sourced with the consent of the original copyright owners, or their legal representatives, such as Danita Delimont Stock Photography.”

“When we imagine generating images using AI, it’s essential the training includes landscapes and photography from the natural world. With the Danita Delimont Stock Photography collection, we are providing high quality images from some of the best nature and travel photographers in the world. This will make a huge difference to the quality of the output,” says Osterrieder.

For Danita Delimont Stock Photography, the deal represents a chance to participate in the rapidly growing text-to-image generation industry.

According to Danita Delimont, “This collaboration will bring our huge collection of nature and travel images to the ethical AI industry, as well as offering a new opportunity for additional income streams to our globally-based photographers. We want to be at the forefront of how the stock industry participates in the future of IP licensing, and this deal is just the beginning.”

In the coming weeks, datasets containing over 800,000 images of nature and travel will be available via The datasets are specially prepared for engineers to add to their workflow for AI training.

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Keren Flavell
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