Friday, April 29, 2011

Three Fragments of a Lost Tale

John Frame creates dark, surreal stop-action animation that is very similar to the Brothers Quay, but the work that went into the intricately carved sculptural puppets help define this film on its own terms. It is also interesting to note that the score of the soundtrack was done by him as well.


Three Fragments of a Lost Tale from John Frame on Vimeo.
This animated/live film is a part of an ongoing project entitled, "The Tale of The Crippled Boy." There are currently thirty five hand made articulated characters along with several sets and a theatrical stage. This twelve minute film is the first segment of a complex and loosely narrated story of a lost culture where things have gone rather awry.

Nick Veasey: Exposing the invisible


Nick Veasey shows outsized X-ray images that reveal the otherworldly inner workings of familiar objects -- from the geometry of a wildflower to the anatomy of a Boeing 747. Producing these photos is dangerous and painstaking, but the reward is a superpower: looking at what the human eye can't see.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Supersilent 10.8

The beautiful eighth song from Supersilent's recent album "10".

The footage is from the aftermath of the San Fransisco earthquake from 1906. It kind of puts a historical lens on things that are currently happening in Japan and how catastrophes like this are viewed from those of us who are looking at it through the eye of the camera...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

iPhones Track the Whereabouts of Users

If you own an iPhone that uses OS4, watch this...

Iphones keep a database of the latitude, longitude and timestamp of users when they move from one location to another, I'm assuming for marketing purposes. So your iphone knows everywhere you've been and when you were there for as long as you've had the phone. I know we are living in an increasingly privacy-free world and I'd better get used to it, but to me this is just plain creepy.

These guys who discovered this secret database have invented a free downloadable application where you can plug the contents of that database into the program and it will map out the points for you. So you can see a visual map of everywhere you've been. Kind of cool, but I still think it's creepy.

Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan talking about how they discovered the existence of the tracking database on the iPhone, and what it might mean. Also how they went about exploring and visualising the data once they knew it was there, and show how it could be used to track individuals movements over time.
 Here is a video of the application at work.

Washington DC to New York from Alasdair Allan on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

China's Ghost Cities and Malls


I didn't know any of this was going on.

China just keeps building entire cities of apartments that no one can afford to live in and malls that stores are not occupying, so miles of this brand new architecture are just sitting gathering dust. The ongoing construction is apparently good for the GDP of China, but this is a real estate bubble of epic proportions and the laws of supply and demand tell me that we are going to see that bubble bust sometime soon.

Cordyceps: attack of the killer fungi - Planet Earth Attenborough BBC wildlife

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

David Christian: Big history


http://www.ted.com Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.

'Morality: From the Heavens or From Nature?' by Dr. Andy Thomson, AAI 2009


Dr. Andy Thomson gives a talk on morality at the Atheist Alliance International 2009 Conference in Burbank, California. Dr. Thomson uses Francis Collins' claim that morality is proof of God as a jumping-off point to discuss what we know about how morality works and where it came from.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tim Minchin's "Storm": The Animated Movie

I've posted the audio to "Storm" once on this blog before, but now someone has gone and put it to animation in that wonderful early 1960's future-mod style which perfectly fits with Tim Minchin's original idea to create a beat poem set to music. Ken Nordine is well known for popularizing that style which he calls Word Jazz.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Einst├╝rzende Neubauten- Sabrina

Some fairly disturbing late night listening from the best German rock band ever... You can disagree with me in the comments if you have a better nominee.

A Driverless Car


I apologize, TED Talks and Blogspot just do not seem to work well together. Blogspot always cuts off the right side of the TED talk screen and TED talks simply will not reduce down to the width allowable by Blogspot. So here is the link if you want to watch it fullscreen.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Lennon Sisters singing Dry Bones

Makes my inner goth smile.

Is my date religious?

I saw this entry today on OK Cupid: Best Questions for a First Date.
I had to share.

If you want to know...

Is my date religious?

 Ask...

  • Do spelling and grammar mistakes annoy you?
If your date answers 'no'—i.e. is okay with bad grammar and spelling—the odds of him or her being at least moderately religious is slightly better than 2:1.
As someone who is not himself a believer, I found it rather heartening that tolerance, even on something trivial like this, correlated with belief in God, although I should've figured out that religious people are okay with small mistakes. Next to intelligent design, what's a couple typos?
It's also nice when two completely independent datasets corroborate each other. Last summer, we analyzed the profile text of half a million user profiles, comparing religion and writing-level. For every one of the faith-based belief systems listed, the people who were the least serious wrote at the highest level.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Genius of Photography- BBC Documentary

The Susumu Yokota video got me thinking about the history of the moving image and of photography itself. I did a bit of research and stumbled on this great BBC documentary.
Episode 1- Part 1 of 4

Episode 1- Part 2 of 4
Episode 1- Part 3 of 4

Episode 1- Part 4 of 4

Susumu Yokota 'Kaiten Mokuba'

Friday, April 1, 2011

Handspring Puppet Company: The genius puppetry behind War Horse

TED Talks never cease to amaze. In this one puppet makers create an unbelievably convincing full scale horse, complete with movable legs, neck, ears and tail. At points you seem to forget you are only looking at a lifeless puppet.