Sunday, November 24, 2013

Apple - Chris Sharma

Rock climbing is not a well known sport and it receives little media attention outside its own inner circle. But among climbing fans, it does have its professionals... and then it has its superstars. Chris Sharma is easily the most well known rock climber in the world and he deserves it. There are only a few people who have sent the hardest routes that he has climbed.
Apple - Chris Sharma from Corey Rich on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

'The Writer' Automaton

This is the work of an engineering genius. The automaton was made by a clock maker 240 years ago. It is built from over 6000 moving parts and its hand actually dips a quill pen into ink and then moves over and writes a complete sentence onto a piece of paper. It could be thought of as a mechanical predecessor to the modern programmable computer.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rebecca Vitsmun: I'm Actually An Atheist

Do you remember that devastating tornado this past Spring in Moore, Oklahoma and the VERY awkward CNN interview where Wolf Blitzer asked the woman who had survived the tornado but lost her house, "You've got to thank the lord, don't you?" And she replied, "I'm actually an atheist"... Well this video is a very moving interview with her months after the tornado and the Wolf Blitzer interview that went viral and changed her life.

What I didn't realize at the time of the original CNN interview is that up until that point she was in the closet as an atheist to her family, her extended family and many of her friends. So her decision to say, "I'm actually an atheist" on national television meant that now all of those people knew about her lack of belief in god, divine intervention, the afterlife, etc... And in a place as conservative and religious as Oklahoma (my entire extended family lives in Oklahoma, so I know), that is a truly brave thing to do given the potential fallout of relationships with friends and family.

Honda Illusions, An Impossible Made Possible

My hate for advertising is the reason I haven't owned a television for twenty years...Which makes those rare commercials that are great worth sharing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New Technology in Bicycling

I've recently come across two unexpected and possibly revolutionary inventions for bicycles as the mode of transportation becomes a more and more viable way to commute around cities that are becoming increasingly dense.

The first is an "electric bicycle wheel", which fits on most bikes and turns any regular bicycle into a motorized rechargeable electric bicycle.

And the second invention is an "invisible" bicycle helmet. How it actually works came as a complete surprise to me, so I won't spoil it by describing. Just watch, it's amazing.

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Miracle of Flight: A Cutout Animation by Terry Gilliam

While we're on the subject of Terry Gilliam, I thought I would post one of his great Dada inspired cutout animations.

Sarcastic Talking Masterpieces

One of the best things I've seen since the old Terry Gilliam 'Monty Python' animations.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Harald Haas: Wireless data from every light bulb

Another bit of up and coming technology of which I was totally unaware.

From TED:
What if every light bulb in the world could also transmit data? At TEDGlobal, Harald Haas demonstrates, for the first time, a device that could do exactly that. By flickering the light from a single LED, a change too quick for the human eye to detect, he can transmit far more data than a cellular tower -- and do it in a way that's more efficient, secure and widespread.

Erik Johansson: Impossible photography

This guy is doing with photography and digital manipulation what René Magritte and M.C. Escher did with drawing and painting. Pretty interesting stuff. I wish they didn't cut off his talk at the end, he was just getting around to explaining how he actually created these images.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ponte Tower

The tower was designed to house high end luxury condominiums but has since fallen into a state of complete neglect and is now a vertical ghetto. The original intent for the architecture was to allow light into both the exterior and the interior sides of the condos, but so little light actually reaches the bottom that it feels like a dystopian nightmarish bottomless pit. At the ground level trash has accumulated over the years and has become a garbage pit almost three stories tall.
Ponte Tower from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.