kottke.org posts about video
This four-minute bit by Louis CK puts me on the floor every time I watch it and then makes me feel really horrible.
Everybody has a competition in their brain of good thoughts and bad thoughts. Hopefully, the good thoughts win. For me, I always have both. I have like the thing I believe, the good thing, that's the thing I believe and than there's this thing. And I don't believe it, but it is there. It's always this thing and then this thing. It's become a category in my brain that I call "of course, but maybe".
I love his gestures throughout this bit...the material is great but the physical comedy really sells it. So so good. (And, of course, terrible.)
Photographer Clayton Cubitt started a project in 2012 called Hysterical Literature. In each of the project's resulting videos, a female participant is filmed from the waist up reading a story of her choosing while she is stimulated to orgasm with a vibrator by Cubitt's partner, Katie James. His first subject was adult film star Stoya; her thoughts on the experience are here.
Vanity Fair recently sent writer Tony Bentley to participate in an HL session. Her reading choice? The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James.
With Katie now in position under the table, takeoff is imminent and the stakes are high: the sessions are a one-shot deal, no retakes, and no editing of the footage after the fact. It was not lost on me that a perfect triangulation between Clayton (auteur, cameraman), Katie (Hitachi artist), and me (the canvas) was in play, and it mirrored my internal mixture of curiosity, exhilaration, and stage fright. I couldn't help wondering if this adventure qualified as having a threesome with two strangers. But soon enough such intellectualizing sexualizing was rendered naught.
"Rolling," says Clayton, and everything instantly disappeared except the book in my hands and the words on the page. The world was out and I was on.
By the time I'd read two pages, I was struggling mightily to keep my countenance. "She spent half her time in thinking of beauty, bravery and mag-nan-nnn-im-im-ity..."
There's no nudity in the videos, but you might still find them NSFW.
Each year, using traditional Incan techniques, communities along a canyon in Peru rebuild a rope bridge that has been in continuous use for hundreds of years.
That you can take thousands of thin grass stalks and, through the careful application of engineering and hard work, make them strong enough to hold the weight of several people over a canyon still seems magical. (via cynical-c)
This video from the MTA shows some of the vintage technologies that are still in use to control many of the NYC's subway lines and how they are upgrading (ve. ry. slow. ly.) to safer and more reliable computerized systems. Some of control systems are more than 80 years old.
Whoa, after watching that, I'm shocked that the trains ever get anywhere at all. (via the kid should see this)
In 1981, ABC's news program 20/20 aired a segment on the rising phenomenon of rap music called Rappin' to the Beat. It is painful to watch in parts, but ultimately worth it for the footage of street scenes and artist performances.
Here is part 2. (via open culture)
I had no idea Ol' Dirty Bastard and medieval paintings had something in common. One of ODB's AKAs was also the reason why babies in medieval paintings looked like ugly middle-aged men: Big Baby Jesus.
I mean, this baby looks like he wants to tell you that a boat is just a money pit.
How many times have you seen a car parked in the bike lane and wanted to somehow move it out of the way? Well, this very large cyclist felt that way and lifted this small car right out of his way.
I would love to see someone do this to an NYPD cruiser.1
From Zerega Pasta, a video that shows, in slow motion, how farfalle (aka bow-tie pasta) is made at their factory.
Incredible combination of precision and quickness.
Using images found on the internet through Google's visually similar images feature, NASA, U.S. Geological Survey, and various mapping services, Kelli Anderson recreated part of the Eames' iconic Powers of Ten as a flipbook. Watch a video here:
Or play around with a virtual flipbook at Anderson's site. This could not possibly be anymore in my wheelhouse. Here's the nitty gritty on how she made it happen.
The inspiration for making discontinuous-bits-of-culture into something continuous goes back to 2011. Some of my friends camped out on a sidewalk to see Christian Marclay's The Clock. Like a loser with a deadline, I missed out-only catching it years later at MoMA. In the day-long film, Marclay recreates each minute of the 24-hour day using clips from films featuring the current time-on a clock or watch. It runs in perfect synchronization with the audience's day (so: while a museum crowd slumps sleepily in their chairs at 6am, starlets hit snooze on the clocks onscreen.)
There's a documentary on Steve Jobs coming out called Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. The director is Alex Gibney, who directed the excellent Going Clear (about Scientology), We Steal Secrets (about Wikileaks), and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. The trailer:
While the members of On A Friday, the band that later became Radiohead, were on a break as they attended college, Thom Yorke was a member of a band called Headless Chickens. This is a video of a circa-1989 performance by the band of "High and Dry", a song that later on Radiohead's second album, The Bends, released in 1995.
Casper Christensen cut together footage from dozens of movie car chases into one big coherent chase. Well, as coherent as you can get when you're dealing with car chases.
There's some fun and clever editing in here...I particularly enjoyed the stitching together of Indiana Jones and Axel Foley. And I loved the brief clip of C'était un rendez-vous, which if you haven't seen it, is a quick and thrilling watch.
Artist Sam Van Aken is using grafting to create trees that bear 40 different kinds of fruit. National Geographic recently featured Van Aken's Tree of 40 Fruit project:
The grafting process involves slicing a bit of a branch with a bud from a tree of one of the varieties and inserting it into a slit in a branch on the "working tree," then wrapping the wound with tape until it heals and the bud starts to grow into a new branch. Over several years he adds slices of branches from other varieties to the working tree. In the spring the "Tree of 40 Fruit" has blossoms in many hues of pink and purple, and in the summer it begins to bear the fruits in sequence -- Van Aken says it's both a work of art and a time line of the varieties' blossoming and fruiting. He's created more than a dozen of the trees that have been planted at sites such as museums around the U.S., which he sees as a way to spread diversity on a small scale.
If you are a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark -- and who isn't? -- then this is your holy grail: a feature-length commentary on the movie by Jamie Benning that includes seemingly every tidbit related to the film, including deleted scenes, audio commentary from the cast and crew, behind the scenes video, and much more. An incredible resource in understanding the film.
Benning has also done similarly excellent commentaries for Jaws, Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. (via @drwave)
The Associated Press and British Movietone are uploading 17,000 hours of archival news footage, some of dating back to the late 19th century. The videos can be found on the AP Archive and British Movietone channels. Some notable videos from the collection follow. Coverage of the Hindenberg disaster:
The celebration of VE Day in London:
Coco Chanel fashion show from 1932:
Martin Luther King Jr. and marchers being arrested in Selma:
See also British Pathe.
Every day, a program written by Julien Deswaef selects a war-related news item from the NY Times, formats it in the style of the infamous Star Wars opening crawl (complete with John Williams' score), and posts the results to YouTube.
Published yesterday, the crawl for Episode XXVII was taken from a NY Times article about an Obama speech about the Iranian nuclear deal.
Here's how the project was made and if you'd like to try it yourself, grab the source code. (via prosthetic knowledge)
Clothing retailer Forever 21 hired product and prototyping company Breakfast to build them a giant screen made out of spools of thread to "print" people's Instagram photos. The screen, which Breakfast bills as "one of the most complex machines ever built for a brand", weighs 2000 pounds, measures 11 ft high, 9 ft wide, and 3 ft deep, and has a resolution of 80x80 spool pixels. Here's how they made it:
If you want to give it a try, just tag an Instagram photo with #F21ThreadScreen and it'll print it out for you (watch the live stream). Prior art alert: the first time I remember seeing something like this was Daniel Rozin's Wooden Mirror (1999) at ITP (video here).
This video was shot in NYC on July 18, 1990, mostly in Times Square and Central Park.
The first 30 seconds of the video (stumbling drunk, trash digger, overheating car) is pretty much a perfect representation of how NYC felt to many at the time. A squeegee man can also been seen at work near the end of the video.
Slow motion video of a South Dakota lightning storm shot at 2000 fps.
I love the little tendrils "sent out" by the clouds before a big strike happens. It's like nature is searching for the optimal path for the energy to travel and then BAM!
For the first time since 2005, Pixar didn't release a movie last year but are doubling up this year with Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur. Here's the trailer for The Good Dinosaur, which looks like much more of a just-for-kids movie than Inside Out.
Still, where did the lighter fluid come from?
Sister is my new mother, Mother.
I'm afraid I just blue myself.
I'm about halfway through season two of Arrested Development again on Netflix and it might be the best show ever on television. I'm not even kidding.
Update: NPR has been obsessively cataloging the show's running gags here. Holy shit, the extensive foreshadowing of Buster losing his hand! This show is amazing. (via @Nick__Vance)
Man at Arms is a YouTube show in which real-life weapons from movies and TV shows are recreated. Recently they made the Bride's Hattori Hanzo sword from Kill Bill. They started from scratch by building a furnace from before the Edo period (before 1603) to smelt the iron ore.
I know zero about swords, but it looks like these guys really did their homework in making as close to a traditional katana blade as they could. (via devour)
A nice short animated video on the power of empathy and how it differs from sympathy.
Rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.
Related: Empathy is a Choice.
Some kinds of people seem generally less likely to feel empathy for others -- for instance, powerful people. An experiment conducted by one of us, Michael Inzlicht, along with the researchers Jeremy Hogeveen and Sukhvinder Obhi, found that even people temporarily assigned to high-power roles showed brain activity consistent with lower empathy.
But such experimental manipulations surely cannot change a person's underlying empathic capacity; something else must be to blame. And other research suggests that the blame lies with a simple change in motivation: People with a higher sense of power exhibit less empathy because they have less incentive to interact with others.
Paul Cezanne's The Large Bathers is the subject of the second video in The Nerdwriter's series, Understanding Art. (The first was on Jacques-Louis David's The Death of Socrates.)
The Large Bathers is part of a series of similar paintings by Cezanne. The one used in the video is housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art:
Other pieces include those from (top to bottom) The National Gallery, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Barnes Foundation:
That's it. That's the joke.
A compilation of some of the world special effects ever to make it to the big screen. Some of these are almost too bad to believe.
...and he FREAKS OUT. I can't tell if he's laughing or crying or both. His reaction when he goes outside and sees green grass for the first time: "it's so pretty!"
The glasses he wears to adjust his color vision are made by EnChroma.
The Met recently cleaned and repaired a 1660 painting by Charles Le Brun called Everhard Jabach and His Family. It took ten months of painstaking work, as this video shows:
Colossal has some before-and-after shots of the painting.
Tony Zhou is back with another installment of Every Frame a Painting. In this one, he examines the evolution of Looney Tunes animation master Chuck Jones and how his approach and style changed as his career progressed.
I love Looney Tunes. In my mind, Duck Amuck and Rabbit of Seville are some of the finest images put to film. Related: watch Chuck Jones draw Bugs Bunny and the 11 rules of making Road Runner cartoons.
The New Yorker did a short feature on Charlie Pellett, the voice of the NYC subway.
This deep, sometimes vexing voice -- which also apologizes for "unavoidable delays" -- belongs to a man named Charlie Pellett. A radio anchor for Bloomberg News, Pellett was raised in London but cultivated an American accent by listening to the radio. His work for the M.T.A., which is done on a volunteer basis, is the only non-reporting voice-over work that he's done.
Clips of Peggy Olsen from Mad Men set to Drake's Started From the Bottom.
(via av club)
Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso recently tried his luck at a go-kart track in the UK. Starting from last position, he worked his way up to first in less than three laps.
That's neat, but I'm more interested in the person in the lead kart, who presumably hasn't won two F1 championships and hasn't been racing karts since age 3, who holds Alonso off for an entire lap before being passed. Nice work, mate! (via digg)
With the pace of the excellent Sherlock series slowing down a bit because of scheduling (Cumberbatch, Freeman, Moffat, and Gatiss are increasingly busy), they still somehow found time to shoot a Christmas special that will air in December 2015. Here's a short teaser scene:
They showed this 3 minute 30 second behind the scenes video of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Comic-Con yesterday.
Fans at San Diego Comic-Con's Hall H were treated to a special look behind the scenes of Star Wars:The Force Awakens by director J.J. Abrams, producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and writer Lawrence Kasdan. The filmmakers were joined on stage by cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford to the surprise and delight of fans.
At the end of the Hall H presentation, the entire Hall H audience of more than 6,000 fans were all invited to continue the celebration and join cast and filmmakers at a surprise Star Wars Fan Concert. The San Diego Symphony performed the classic Star Wars music from John Williams at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.
I have zero interest in Comic-Con, but that would have been pretty cool to see.
The opening scenes from dozens of movies, including 2001, There Will Be Blood, Lost in Translation, Seven Samurai, and Star Wars.
Chris Umson is the Director of Self-Driving Cars at Google[x] and in March, he gave a talk at TED about the company's self-driving cars. The second half of the presentation is fascinating; Umson shows more than a dozen different traffic scenarios and how the car sees and reacts to each one.
It will be interesting to see how roads, cars, and our behavior will change when self-driving cars hit the streets. Right now, street markings, signage, and automobiles are designed for how human drivers see the world. Computers see the road quite differently, and if Google's take on the self-driving car becomes popular, it would be wise to adopt different standards to help them navigate more smoothly. Maintaining painted lines might be more important, along with eliminating superfluous signage close to the roadway. Maybe human-driven cars would be required to display a special marking alerting self-driving cars to potential hazards.1 Positioning of headlights and taillights might become more standard.
Human drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians will necessarily adapt to self-driving cars as well. Some will take advantage of the cars' politeness. But mostly I suspect that learning to interact with self-driving cars will require a different approach, just as people talk to computers differently than they do to other humans -- think of how you formulate a successful search query, speak to Siri, or, more to the point, manipulate a Wii remote so the sensor dingus on top of your TV can interpret what you're doing.
On his YouTube channel, Dylan Marron is cutting down films to only include dialogue spoken by persons of color. Under those conditions, Moonrise Kingdom is 10 seconds long. Her is about 40 seconds. Noah is 0 seconds.
♬ With the shovel out, the ice's less dangerous / Drop the shovel, entertain us / I feel stupid and contagious / Drop the shovel, entertain us ♬
Magisterial. I love the internet. This is even better than the door that sounds like Miles Davis. (via @slowernet)
Update: Oh, and this nightstand door sounds like Chewbacca. (via @steveportigal)
Books loom large in Wes Anderson's movies. Several of his films open with opening books and Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on an actual book. Here's a nicely edited selection of bookish moments from Anderson's films.
In the work of Wes Anderson, books and art in general have a strong connection with memory. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) begins with a homonymous book, as does Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) begins and ends with a book. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) ends with a painting of a place which no longer exists. These movies have a clear message: books preserve stories, for they exist within them and live on through them.
Saul Bass designed the opening sequences for dozens of films, including North by Northwest, Psycho, West Side Story, and Goodfellas. Here's a look at some of his best work:
(via art of the title)
Eater's Nick Solares accompanies the proprietor of Peter Luger Steakhouse to one of the few remaining butchers in the Meatpacking District1 to see how she selects meat for the restaurant.
Stephen Colbert recently guest hosted Only in Monroe, a public access cable TV talk show based in Monroe, Michigan. His guest? Michigander Marshall Mathers.1
God, he is so good. I might actually have to watch the Late Show this fall. (thx, michelle)
Here's something that I knew as a kid but had forgotten about: if you get a bike going on its own at sufficient speed, it will essentially ride itself. MinutePhysics investigates why that happens.
Interesting that the bike seems to do much of the work of staying upright when it seems like the rider is the thing that makes it work. (via devour)
At 6000 fps, you can see just how much the racquet flattens a tennis ball on the serve.
I Am Chris Farley is a feature length documentary on the comedian and movie star. Here's a trailer:
The film is out in theaters on July 31 and will be available as a digital download in August. (via buzzfeed)
Before we embark on the important business of another work week, we should all appreciate the simple genius of a bird walking in time to Beyonce's Crazy in Love.
See also bird laughs like a supervillain and goats yelling like people.
Inside the Making of Dr. Strangelove is a 45-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about Stanley Kubrick's kooky masterpiece (and one of my two favorite movies).1
And speaking of Kubrick, director Marc Forster is making a trilogy of films based on Kubrick's script for The Downslope, a movie about the Civil War. *tents fingers* Interesting...
Brown Bunny, Cannibal Holocaust, The 120 Days of Sodom, and The Last Temptation of Christ... they are among the most controversial movies of all time.
Perhaps a little NSFW. (via devour)
In the 1960s, the idea of an overpopulated planet took hold, sparked by the publication of The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich.
The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.
Ehrlich advocated radical population control methods, including voluntary incentivized sterilization, a tax on things like diapers, and adding chemicals to temporarily sterilize people into the food and water supply. Retro Report has a look at how the Population Bomb was defused by a combination of different factors, including urbanization, the Green Revolution, and a decrease in poverty.
This rule never seems to make it into any of the pre-flight checklists: please remove all cats from inside your wings before takeoff.
In talking about an upcoming game (more on that in a bit), Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka discuss the process they used in designing the levels for the original Super Mario Bros. Much of the design work happened on graph paper.1
Back in the day, we had to create everything by hand. To design courses, we would actually draw them one at a time on to these sheets of graph paper. We'd then hand our drawings to the programmers, who would code them into a build.
Here's the full video discussion:
Now, about that game... Super Mario Maker is an upcoming title for Wii U that lets you create your own Super Mario Bros levels with elements from a bunch of different Mario games. So cool...I might actually have to get a Wii U for this.
You might remember seeing this microscopic photo of vinyl record grooves a few months ago. Ben Krasnow has one-upped that with this slow-motion video of a record player's needle riding in the groove of a record.
In a video called America's Most Controversial Food, Zagat explores the controversy surrounding foie gras, including a visit to a production facility and interviews with chefs, a PETA representative, and an avian expert.
I eat meat (and foie gras) but many of the chefs in this video come off looking smug, petulant, and idiotic. I believe I've said this before, but I think in 50 years time, the idea of people eating animals will be widely viewed as wrong and barbaric, akin to how many feel about fur and animal testing now. (via devour)
Update: In a Washington Post column entitled Free Willy!, Charles Krauthammer makes a similar case for the future extinction of raising animals for meat.
We often wonder how people of the past, including the most revered and refined, could have universally engaged in conduct now considered unconscionable. Such as slavery. How could the Founders, so sublimely devoted to human liberty, have lived with -- some participating in -- human slavery? Or fourscore years later, how could the saintly Lincoln, an implacable opponent of slavery, have nevertheless spoken of and believed in African inferiority?
While retrospective judgment tends to make us feel superior to our ancestors, it should really evoke humility. Surely some contemporary practices will be deemed equally abominable by succeeding generations. The only question is: Which ones?
I've long thought it will be our treatment of animals. I'm convinced that our great-grandchildren will find it difficult to believe that we actually raised, herded and slaughtered them on an industrial scale -- for the eating.
If you are ever down and need an instant pick-me-up, watch this video of an aerobatic pilot doing tricks with his daughter as a passenger for the first time and your mood will improve greatly. The good stuff starts at about 50 seconds in.
Oh my, that laugh! (via @ianpierce)
SethBling wrote a program made of neural networks and genetic algorithms called MarI/O that taught itself how to play Super Mario World. This six-minute video is a pretty easy-to-understand explanation of the concepts involved.
But here's the thing: as impressive as it is, MarI/O actually has very little idea how to play Super Mario World at all. Each time the program is presented with a new level, it has to learn how to play all over again. Which is what it's doing right now on Twitch. (via waxy)
Derelict is a feature-length black & white film that splices about an hour of Alien and 90 minutes of Prometheus together into a single narrative.
'Derelict' is an editing project for academic purposes. 'Prometheus' wasn't exactly an Alien prequel, but this treats it as such by intercutting the events of Alien with Prometheus in a dual narrative structure. The goal was to assemble the material to emphasize the strengths of Prometheus as well as its ties to Alien.
An update as to what's going on in China with prefab skyscrapers: Zhang Yue's company recently completed a 57-story building in just 19 days. And they're still planning on building a skyscraper taller than the Burj Khalifa in a matter of months.
The revolution will be modular, Zhang insists. Mini Sky City was assembled from thousands of factory-made steel modules, slotted together like Meccano.
It's a method he says is not only fast, but also safe and cheap.
Now he wants to drop the "Mini" and use the same technique to build the world's tallest skyscraper, Sky City.
While the current record holder, the 828m-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai, took five years to "top out", Zhang says his proposed 220-storey "vertical city" will take only seven months -- four for the foundations, and three for the tower itself.
And it will be 10m taller.
Lonnie Mimms has a gigantic collection of vintage computers, software, and peripherals. You don't realize the scope of the collection until you see him walking around the Apple pop-up exhibit he built inside of an abandoned CompUSA.
Amy is a documentary film about the life and career of singer Amy Winehouse. The director is Asif Kapadia, who also directed the excellent Senna, one of my favorite documentaries from the past few years. Here's the trailer:
The film studio behind the movie, A24, has been making some interesting films: Ex Machina, Bling Ring, Obvious Child, A Most Violent Year, The End of the Tour, Spring Breakers, Under the Skin, etc.
The completion of the US transcontinental railroad in 1869 in Utah was also the birthplace of the newsflash. The news was delivered via telegraph through a clever scheme: the famous golden spike and a silver hammer were each wired to the telegraph so that when hammer struck nail, the circuit completed and the news raced out along telegraph wires to the rest of the nation.1
Where were you when you heard the news of the completion of the transcontinental railroad?
Meet Joe Bollard. Joe lost his eyesight at the age of 2. In this video, he talks about his experience of being blind and the great difference having a guide dog has made in his life.
Steven Spielberg is directing Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies, a movie about the negotiation to release U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers from Soviet custody. Here's the trailer:
The script was punched up by none other than the Coen brothers.
This is an amazing video visualization of military and civilian deaths in World War II. It's 18 minutes long, but well worth your time.
There's an interactive component as well, allowing you to explore the data. (via @garymross)
I have not read the book it's based on, but the movie version of The Martian, starring Matt Damon and directed by Ridley Scott, looks quite promising:
I am going to have to science the shit out of this.
Apollo 13 with a touch of Interstellar...I can do that.
Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting looks at the use of production design in movies. Specifically chairs. Chairs can tell you something about the world the film is set in, the characters who use them, or a specific situation.
From The Flintstones to Band of Outsiders to Miller's Crossing, here's a look at some of the films referenced in Quentin Tarantino's movies.
The Tribe is set at a Ukrainian high school for the deaf. The film employs no subtitles or voiceovers; all communication is sign language and non-verbal acting. Here's the trailer...somewhat paradoxically, you'll want to use headphones or turn the sound up.
Winner of multiple 2014 Cannes Film Festival Awards (including the coveted Critics' Week Grand Prix), Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's The Tribe is an undeniably original and intense feature debut set in the insular world of a Ukrainian high school for the deaf. The Tribe unfolds through the non-verbal acting and sign language from a cast of deaf, non-professional actors -- with no need for subtitles or voice over -- resulting in a unique, never-before-experienced cinematic event that engages the audience on a new sensory level.
Could you imagine floating out in the vastness of space, even the relatively tiny vastness of space in low Earth orbit, in a tiny space capsule waiting to hook up to a slightly larger space station and if something goes wrong, you might die? But on the other hand, look at that incredible view! This HD video of a Soyuz capsule docking with the International Space Station gives you a small sense of how that might feel.
The docking itself takes place starting at around 17:00. The whole thing takes a bit longer than I remember from that Gravity movie. (via @badastronomer)
From Sarah Urist Green of The Art Assignment (and former curator of contemporary art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art), The Case for Andy Warhol, in which Green discusses Warhol's importance as an artist.
Like Jay Z but far earlier, he understood that to be an artist in a market economy meant not being "a businessman" but being "a business, man". And he turned himself into a globally recognized brand.
This goal by Lionel Messi in the Copa del Rey final over the weekend is just out of this world.
1. He takes on three defenders at once and beats them all by himself, even though they had him pinned against the sideline.
2. There is only a brief moment during his run that the ball is more than a foot and a half away from his feet. The combination of his fierce pace and that delicate delicate touch is unstoppable.
3. The ball never gets away from him because by the time that he kicks it, he has already moved to receive it. This is most evident on his final touch, right before he tucks it inside the near post...he's already moved to the left to receive the pass before he taps it to himself.
4. How did he find the space between the keeper and the near post for that?
Update: ESPN Sport Science breaks down Messi's goal by the numbers...how fast he accelerated, touches/sec, and the angle at which he shot at goal.
Google just announced Project Jacquard, an effort to introduce interactivity into textiles. Swipe your sofa cushion to change the channel on your TV,1 tap a special "knock" on your collar to unlock your front door, or control your party's playlist with a few taps of your pants.
Jellyfish Lake in Palau is home to approximately 13 million jellyfish. Their mild stings mean you can snorkel in their midst and capture beautifully surreal scenes like this:
If I had a bucket list, I think a swim in Jellyfish Lake w/ classical accompaniment might be on it. (via colossal)
Oh, this is my favorite thing of the month: Shelby Mitchusson performing Eminem's Lose Yourself in American Sign Language.
Great song and a great performance. Em, sign this woman up for your next tour! (via devour)
Update: Amber Galloway Gallego is an American Sign Language interpreter who specializes in doing rap and hip-hop concerts.
As an American Sign Language interpreter who specializes in music performance, Gallego has interpreted over 300 rap, R&B, and rock concerts, and has worked with everyone from Aerosmith to Destiny's Child. After a deaf friend told her that "music wasn't for deaf people," she embarked on a quest to prove otherwise; today, she's hired by major music festivals all over the United States to make auditory performances more relatable for the deaf.
To do so, she employs a tireless mixture of hand signs, facial expressions, body movement, and sensibility.
This video features a man who plays with marbles for several hours each day, his custom-built marble alley, and his very patient & understanding wife.
The man has been playing with marbles for 60 years and owns over 1500 marbles, which are stored according to how quickly they move down the track. (via boing boing)
Update: I think this guy's head would explode if he saw this mega marble run with 11,000 marbles.
It is what it is. What's done is done. My name is not my name. My name is my name.1 Derek Donahue found all of the tautologies from The Wire and collected them into one video:
These types of phrases characterize the immovable forces the characters feel govern their lives and actions: poverty, bureaucracy, addiction, institutional corruption, ethnicity, etc.
The NY Times has a short documentary on Chris Burden's Shoot, a conceptual art piece from 1971 in which Burden is shot in the arm by a friend.
Burden passed away earlier this month. (via digg)
University of Minnesota student Daniel Crawford and geography professor Scott St. George have collaborated on a piece of music called Planetary Bands, Warming World. Composed for a string quartet, the piece uses climate change data to determine the musical notes -- the pitch of each note is tuned to the average annual temperature, which means as the piece goes on, the musical notes get higher and higher.
A cleverly constructed mashup of all the major Hollywood studio intros -- MGM's roaring lion, Disney's castle, Paramount's flying stars, Miramax's skyline -- into one mega-intro.
Netflix will air a Christmas special starring Bill Murray and directed by Sofia Coppola. That is an amazing collection of proper nouns all together in the same sentence.
Written by Sofia Coppola, Bill Murray and Mitch Glazer and directed by Sofia Coppola, A Very Murray Christmas is described as an homage to the classic variety show featuring Bill Murray playing himself, as he worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snow storm in New York City. Through luck and perseverance, guests arrive at the Carlyle hotel to help him; dancing and singing in holiday spirit.
(via several kind people)
Wine ratings are all over the place, particularly when price enters the picture. This video explains that the most expensive wine is not always the best tasting wine, but you might prefer it anyway.
Miriam Weeks was in the news last year as the Duke freshmen who performed in pornographic movies as Belle Knox. In this five-part documentary video series, Weeks discusses her decision to work in the porn industry and how it has affected her life.
I'm 18 years old, and I travel across the country having sex with people on camera, and every dollar I make goes to tuition. I've built a name for myself. I'm building a brand. I love the porn industry. It makes me feel like a strong independent woman. It's given me back my sense of self.
Probably NSFW, although all the nudity appears to be blurred.
A time lapse of the first three weeks of a bee's life, from egg to adult, in only 60 seconds.
Some explanation of what's going on can be found in this video. (via colossal)
Conrad Milster is the chief engineer at the Pratt Institute, which means he's in charge of the 19th-century steam engines that provide the school's heat and hot water. Dustin Cohen made this lovely short film about Conrad, an oddball who fits right into his life.
On the topic of New York, Conrad says, "It sucks, but it's the Big Apple!" (via acl)
Software from a group at the University of Washington and Google discovers time lapses lurking in photos posted to the internet. For example, their bot found hundreds of photos of a Norwegian glacier on the Web, taken over a span of 10 years. Voila, instant time lapse of a retreating glacier.
First, we cluster 86 million photos into landmarks and popular viewpoints. Then, we sort the photos by date and warp each photo onto a common viewpoint. Finally, we stabilize the appearance of the sequence to compensate for lighting effects and minimize flicker. Our resulting time-lapses show diverse changes in the world's most popular sites, like glaciers shrinking, skyscrapers being constructed, and waterfalls changing course.
This is like a time machine, allowing you to go back 5 or 10 years and position a camera somewhere to take photos every few days or weeks. Pretty clever.
I have been doing a poor job keeping up with my Steve Jobs-related media. I haven't had a chance to pick up the new Becoming Steve Jobs book yet. And I had no idea that the Aaron Sorkin-penned biopic was still in the works, much less that Michael Fassbender is playing Jobs and Danny Boyle is directing. Here's the trailer:
The trailer debuted during last night's series finale of Mad Men, which was possibly the most appropriate venue for it. [Slight spoilers...] Draper always had a Jobs-esque sheen to him, although the final scene showed us that, yes, Don Draper actually would like to sell sugar water for the rest of his life.
Update: A proper trailer has dropped. I don't know how much we'll learn about the actual Steve Jobs from the movie, but it looks like it might be good.
First the bird laughs like a supervillain, then you start laughing like a supervillain, and pretty soon everyone is laughing like a supervillain.
This is the new goats yelling like people, which I still watch about once a week and it always makes me laugh until I'm crying. (via ★interesting)
If you hold a lit match an inch or two over the smoking wick of a recently extinguished candle, the candle will light again. If you record that happening with a high speed camera and then slow it way down, it gives you some clues to how that happens:
Hint: wax is a candle's fuel and smoke is wax vapor... (via digg)
The octobass is a string instrument that's almost twice the size of a bass, so big that it makes a cello look like a violin. Only a few of these instruments exist and The Musical Instrument Museum made a video showing theirs in action:
Writer Gay Talese talks about his address book, in which he has written the names and phone numbers of almost everyone he's ever had "an encounter" with over the past 50 years.
(via submitted for your perusal)
Watch all the way to the end for some sounds that didn't make it into the movies.
Here's a video of a titanium bar being anodized...it cycles through several different colors before settling on a pinkish hue.
Ok neat, but why does it do that? Anodizing is an adjustment of the oxide levels on the surface of the titanium. The colors are caused by the interference of the light traveling through the oxide and reflecting off the shiny metal surface underneath...different thicknesses produce different colors.1 As the voltage is applied to the metal, more and more oxide builds up, producing the color cycling even shown. Pretty cool!
From Ben Proudfoot, a short documentary film on master woodturner Steven Kennard.
This is the second of a six part series by Proudfoot called Life's Work. He's releasing a video a week until the end of May.
Seb Lester can somehow freehand draw the logos for the NY Times, Honda, Ferrari, Coca-Cola, and many more.
Watching the video, I didn't even notice any tracing...it's all freehand. Keep up with Lester's drawings on his Instagram account.
Augmented Hand Series is an interactive software system created by Golan Levin, Chris Sugrue, and Kyle McDonald. You stick your hand in and on the screen you see your hand with an extra thumb, one fewer knuckle in each finger, fingers with springs in them, variable sized fingers, and the ultra freaky Breathing Palm.
(via prosthetic knowledge)
Artist JK Keller has digitally widened1 episodes of The Simpsons and Seinfeld to fit a 16:9 HD aspect ratio. Watching the altered scenes is trippy...the characters and their surroundings randomly expand and contract as the scenes play out.
Keller also HD-ified an episode of the X-Files and slimmed an old episode of Star Trek into a vertical aspect ratio. (via @frank_chimero)
Seven minutes of color film footage of Berlin in 1945, right after the end of World War II. Lots of bombed out buildings, soldiers, bicycles, rebuilding, and people going about their daily business.
Be sure to watch all the way to the end...there's an incredible aerial shot of the Brandenburg Gate and the Unter den Linden that shows the scale of damage done to the city's buildings. More of that aerial footage here. (via devour)
Do you think you could ride a bicycle that steers backwards...aka it turns left when you turn right and vice versa? It sounds easy but years of normal bike riding experience makes it almost impossible. Destin Sandlin of Smarter Everyday taught himself how to ride the backwards-steering bike; it took months. Then he tried riding a normal bicycle again...
Loved this video...great stuff. (via ★interesting)
Chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver shows three different techniques for chopping onions, including the dead simple "crystals" method.
This 8-minute video of a drone's eye tour of the coast of Antarctica is just flat-out gorgeous.
Black Mass stars Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, real-life Boston mobster and FBI informant. The trailer is damn good and I'm hoping the rest of the movie lives up to it.
Raul Oaida built a full-sized car out of half-a-million Lego pieces that actually drives. The 256-cylinder engine is powered by compressed air. Top speed is 20 mph.
This is a stunning and insanely clever achievement. My favorite part, aside from that 256-cylinder engine, is the windshield built out of two dozen tiny Lego windshields. (via devour)
I don't know what this is, who made it, or why, but it is the perfect Friday thing. (via @triciawang)
Update: Alright, the readers have spoken and they hate the baby ATM. So I unembedded the video clip. If you want to have a laugh or be appalled, you can click through.
From The Atlantic, a history of hairstyles from 1900 to the present.
Hairstyles featured include the Gibson Girl, bob, conk, pompadour, beehive, Jheri curl, and hi-top fade.
As the old saying goes, it is sometimes unpleasant to watch the sausage being made. But not as unpleasant as watching the olive loaf being made.
Technically, what you're looking at here is a video shot in 4K resolution (basically 2x regular HD) and at 1000 frames/sec by a Phantom Flex 4K camera which retails for $100,000+. Skateboarders ollie. Dirt bikes spray dirt. Gymnasts contort. Make this as fullscreen as possible and just sit back and enjoy.
My favorite bits were of the gymnasts. In super slow motion, you can see how aerial flips are all about getting your head down as quickly as possible, then snapping your legs around as your head stays almost completely motionless -- like a chicken's! Mesmerizing.
Whenever I watch videos of how things are made, I marvel at the cleverness of the manufacturing machines. Retired engineer Duc Thang Nguyen has created over 1700 3D animations showing how all sorts of different mechanisms work...gears, linkages, drives, clutches, and couplings. Here are a few examples to whet your appetite.
Ok, even though George Clooney's character says "you ain't seen nothing yet" in the trailer, I am cautiously optimistic that Tomorrowland won't actually suck. Brad Bird is directing, for one thing.
Interesting thing about Clooney: even though he's one of the biggest movie stars in the world, aside from Gravity, he's never really had a big summer blockbustery sort of hit. Only six of his films have grossed more than $100 million...compare that with Will Smith or even Matt Damon, both of whom are younger.1 Perhaps Tomorrowland will be Clooney's Pirates of the Caribbean or Bourne.
I'd never heard of freeline skates before...they're like little skateboards, one for each foot. This video shows how they're used for tricks and such:
That looks hard, much more difficult than skateboarding or inline skates. But maybe not, once you get the hang of it? Can't beat the portability though...they'd slip right into a small bag when you're not using them. (via @matiasfrndz)
When the first trailer for JJ Abrams' new Star Wars movie came out, we all assumed the rolling ball droid was CGI (and perhaps based on this 2008 xkcd post). Then an actual working model of the droid, called BB-8, showed up on stage at Star Wars Celebration. Minds blew. Industrial design student Christian Poulsen figured out how to make his own version of BB-8 by hacking a Sphero:
Update: It looks like Sphero will be manufacturing an official BB-8 droid toy, which will likely be a massive success.
From Vice's American Obsessions video series, a piece on the Cabbage Patch doll craze of the 1980s.
The idea for the Cabbage Patch doll was brazenly stolen from the original creator by Xavier Roberts, whose Wikipedia entry currently begins:
Xavier Roberts (born October 31, 1955, Cleveland, Georgia), misappropriater of Cabbage Patch Kids, is an American artist, businessman, thief and asshole.
His profile also states that he went on to create a series of bear toys called The Foreskin Bears. LOL. (via devour)
Jiro Ono (who Dreams of Sushi) and René Redzepi (who is probably the current Best Chef in the World™) sit down for a cup of tea and a chat.
At one point, Redzepi asks Jiro at what age he thought he had become a master. The reply:
Let's say it's 50. There is a lot of failure before that. You go through failures and successes, and more failures for years until it feels like you have achieved what you had in mind the whole time.
There's also a bit at the end, offered almost as an aside, of what it takes to be a master: a blend of stubbornness and sensitivity. What a combination...I wish they'd had another cup and talked about that.
In 1977, only a few months after the movie came out, a hour-long television special called The Making of Star Wars aired on ABC. It was the first documentary about Star Wars.
LOL to the rehearsal shot at 4:10 of Han going "bang, bang, bang, bang, bang" while shooting his blaster, the reaction of Luke, Han, and Leia to a boom mic blowing the 18th take of a scene at 34:20, and the description of Princess Leia as "royalty of a very liberated kind". (via kung fu grippe)
From Nowness, a brief homage to the single chair lift at one of the oddest and most wonderful ski areas in the US, Mad River Glen in Vermont.
You don't have a lot of opportunity in life these days to have 10 or 12 minutes alone. Some people think when they come here and they ride the chair, it's a lonely ride. I never really thought of it that way.
I haven't checked for sure, but Mad River might be the only ski area in the world with a chairlift that has its own beer.
Ok, this one gave me goosebumps. I hope this is good.
The aluminum soda can is a humble testament to the power and scope of human ingenuity. If that sounds like hyperbole, you should watch this video, which features eleven solid minutes of engineering explanation and is not boring for even a second.
More science/engineering programming like this please...I feel like if this would have been on PBS or Discovery, it would have lasted twice as long and communicated half the information. For a chaser, you can watch a detailed making-of from an aluminum can manufacturing company:
The electric snowstorm is joined by a single tone that ascends like a gospel choir singing to the heavens.
Playboy's Zaron Burnett on HBO's static intro, the most powerful force in the universe.
From Evan Puschak, aka The Nerdwriter, comes an entertaining analysis of Jacques-Louis David's neoclassical masterpiece, The Death of Socrates.
The Death of Socrates is on display at the Met here in NYC. From the Met's catalogue entry:
In 399 B.C., having been accused by the Athenian government of impiety and of corrupting young people with his teachings, the philosopher Socrates was tried, found guilty, and offered the choice of renouncing his beliefs or drinking the cup of hemlock. He died willingly for the principles he held dear. Here he gestures toward the cup, points toward the heavens, and discourses on the immortality of the soul. The picture, with its stoic theme, has been described as David's most perfect neoclassical statement.
The artist consulted Plato's "Phaedo" and a variety of sources including Diderot's treatise on dramatic poetry and works by the poet André Chenier. The pose of Plato, the figure seated in profile at the foot of the bed (who was not actually present at the scene), was reportedly inspired by the English novelist Richardson. The printmaker and publisher John Boydell, writing to Sir Joshua Reynolds, called The Death of Socrates "the greatest effort of art since the Sistine Chapel and the stanze of Raphael," further observing that the painting "would have done honour to Athens at the time of Pericles."
Here's a bigger view of the painting, which you'll want to pore over once you've watched the video. (via ★interesting)
HBO has released a teaser trailer for season two of True Detective. Los Angeles is swapped in for Louisiana, Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn for Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, and Justin Lin directing instead of Cary Fukunaga. It's an entirely different show.
Here's the synopsis from HBO:
A bizarre murder brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal, each of whom must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California. Colin Farrell is Ray Velcoro, a compromised detective in the all-industrial City of Vinci, LA County. Vince Vaughn plays Frank Semyon, a criminal and entrepreneur in danger of losing his life's work, while his wife and closest ally (Kelly Reilly), struggles with his choices and her own. Rachel McAdams is Ani Bezzerides, a Ventura County Sheriff's detective often at odds with the system she serves, while Taylor Kitsch plays Paul Woodrugh, a war veteran and motorcycle cop for the California Highway Patrol who discovers a crime scene which triggers an investigation involving three law enforcement groups, multiple criminal collusions, and billions of dollars.
Update: And here's a second trailer with a little more info:
We've also got a premiere date: June 21.
This is magnificent. The little floppies!
And you can totally build your own with these instructions. Case is 3D printed and the chip & software run on the Arduino platform. So cool! (via devour)