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kottke.org posts about video

Time Lapse of a Very Busy Day in the Port of Amsterdam

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 13, 2022

The port of Amsterdam is one of the busiest seaports in Europe. But it gets really busy when there are tall ships from all over the world and everyone wants to get out on the water to see them. This is a time lapse video taken at the 2015 SAIL maritime festival that shows the port absolutely teeming with ships and boats of all shapes and sizes.

How Ukrainians Are Saving Art During the War

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 13, 2022

Building on the lessons of World War II, Ukrainians are trying to save their art and other important cultural artifacts from destruction during Russia’s invasion. When an invader repeatedly tries to deny the cultural distinction of a people for decades and even centuries, like Russia has done with Ukraine, saving buildings and statues and paintings can be of great importance.

Because under the 1954 convention, “damage to cultural property means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind”. So attacks on cultural heritage are a considered war crime. But treaties can only do so much. In the years since, conflicts around the world have rendered immeasurable damage to cultural heritage. A lot of it intentional. Like the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan buddhas. And Isis’ attacks on ancient sites all over Syria.

“That cultural heritage is not only impacted, but in many ways it’s implicated and central to armed conflict. These are things that people point to that are unifying factors for their society. They are tangible reflections of their identity.”

And Putin has made it clear that identity is at the ideological center of Russia’s invasion: “I would like to emphasize again that Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us. It is an inalienable part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space.”

“He thinks that we don’t really exist and they want to destroy all the signs of our identity.”

BTW, regarding the destruction of the museum that housed works by Maria Prymachenko at the start of the video: according to the Ukrainian Institute, the works were saved from burning by local residents.

Severance Intro with The Office Theme Song

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 11, 2022

When you think about TV shows about the workplace, The Office is likely top of mind. So, cutting an intro to new workplace darling Severance to match the visual style of The Office intro with The Office theme song was going to happen eventually…and here it is. Nicely done.

See also The Unskippable Opening Credits for Severance.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, The Movie

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 07, 2022

Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate are turning the subject of their series of short films into a feature length movie. Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, shot in a mockumentary style, features the titular character searching for his family. The trailer is very cute. Here’s the original short, from 2010. (via cool stuff ride home)

The Holodomor: When Stalin Starved Ukraine

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 07, 2022

In the early 1930s, desiring the bountiful wheat harvests of its farmlands to sell to Europe and wanting to subjugate its people, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin carried out a genocide in Ukraine that killed millions and hid it behind the guise of food shortages. It’s known as the Holodomor.

In Ukraine, it’s become known as “the Holodomor,” meaning “death by starvation.” It was a genocide carried out by a dictator who wanted to keep Ukraine under his control and who would do anything to keep it covered up for decades.

In the 1930s, Soviet leaders under Joseph Stalin engineered a famine that killed millions as they sought to consolidate agricultural power. In Ukraine, they used additional force as they sought to clamp down on a burgeoning Ukrainian national identity. There, at least 4 million died. As hunger spread among residents, Stalin spearheaded a disinformation campaign to hide the truth from other Soviet citizens and the world. So many Ukrainians died that officials had to send people to resettle the area, setting off demographic shifts that last to this day.

We Have the Tools to Fix the Climate. We Just Need to Use Them.

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 06, 2022

A new video from Kurzgesagt is designed to provide a little hope that humans can figure a way out of the climate crisis, without being overly pollyannish.

And so for many the future looks grim and hopeless. Young people feel particularly anxious and depressed. Instead of looking ahead to a lifetime of opportunity they wonder if they will even have a future or if they should bring kids into this world. It’s an age of doom and hopelessness and giving up seems the only sensible thing to do.

But that’s not true. You are not doomed. Humanity is not doomed.

There’s been progress in the last decade, in terms of economics, technology, policy, and social mores. It’s not happening fast enough to limit warming to 1.5°C, but if progress continues, gains accumulate, people keep pushing, and politicians start to figure out where the momentum is heading, we can get things under control before there’s a global apocalypse.

Michelin Star Onions

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 05, 2022

I don’t know why I thought that chefs at really high-end restaurants cut onions the same way I do at home (except perhaps more carefully), but it turns out that they absolutely do not. The rationale behind the fussiness makes sense: the pieces need to be small enough to “melt away” when you’re making sauces. (via digg)

There’s No One In That Spider-Man Suit: Superhero Movies and Digital Doubles

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 05, 2022

If you’ve seen a superhero film in the past 10-15 years, chances are that when you see a character wearing a suit, what you’re seeing is almost 100% computer generated. Sometimes the character on the screen is motion-captured but sometimes it’s completely animated. It’s amazing how much these movies are made like animated movies — they can make so many different kinds of changes (clothes, movements, body positioning) way after filming is completed. (via @tvaziri)

“Things Have Gotten Less Clear As I Have Gotten Older”

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 04, 2022

I have been really in my feelings lately — about relationships, work, parenting, the general state of the world, and my own bullshit — and well, this video meditation by Hank Green was really lovely to watch with my emotional thermostat turned up to 11. He called the video “I Don’t Have a Good Title for This Video” and I don’t really have a good way to describe it either, so maybe just take 4 minutes and watch it? (via waxy)

Impressive Drone Fly-Through Video of a New Tesla Factory

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 04, 2022

This drone fly-through of Tesla’s new factory in Berlin is amazing. I’ve never seen anything quite like this — the drone flies through the robotic machinery in between cycles of stamping out parts and also through the cars as they are being assembled. A uniquely effective how-things-are-made video.

Recently Unearthed Film Footage of Prince at 11 Years Old

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 04, 2022

While reviewing some old film footage of a 1970 teacher’s strike stored in the archives of WCCO in Minneapolis, a production manager stumbled across an amazing artifact: a brief interview with Prince. I love when they show the clip to his childhood friends for confirmation that it’s actually him. (via, who else, anil)

Update: The NY Times did a piece on the discovery of the video.

Short as the interview is, it gives context to the causes Prince would later support, such as public education, labor rights and fair compensation for artists, said Elliott H. Powell, a professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota who teaches a course on Prince.

The interview with the young Prince was conducted in north Minneapolis, a predominantly Black part of the city where young activists led uprisings in the 1960s protesting police brutality, the harassment of young Black people in white-owned businesses, and commercial development that was decimating the neighborhood, Professor Powell said.

“Prince is growing up in that environment and seeing the impact of Black youth activists,” he said.

Francis Ford Coppola Breaks Down His Most Iconic Films

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 31, 2022

Francis Ford Coppola, a legendary filmmaker no matter how you slice it, sat down recently to talk through his most notable films: The Godfather films, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, and a new movie he’s working on called Megalopolis. I really enjoyed this. Some tidbits:

And this is a great way to think about creative projects:

Learning from the great Elia Kazan, I always try to have a word that is the core of what the movie is really about — in one word. For “Godfather,” the key word is succession. That’s what the movie is about. Apocalypse Now,” morality. “The Conversation,” privacy.

(via open culture)

The Unskippable Opening Credits for Severance

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 30, 2022

After hearing a buzz from my social circle about Severance on Apple+, I’ve been catching up on it for the past couple of weeks. Here’s the series synopsis:

Mark leads a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives. When a mysterious colleague appears outside of work, it begins a journey to discover the truth about their jobs.

I’m going to reserve judgment on the show for my next media diet post, but let’s talk about the opening credits sequence by Oliver Latta. It’s fantastic, an instant edition to the Unskippable Intros Hall of Fame. Mashable talked to Latta about his process and you can see a few behind the scenes images at Behance. And check out Latta’s other animations…you can definitely see where some of the imagery in the title sequence came from.

Now, back to the Unskippable Intros Hall of Fame. For me, the opening title sequences that I never ever push the “skip intro” button on are Succession (that music!), Stranger Things (again, that music!), Halt and Catch Fire, The Wire, The Simpsons (gotta catch that couch gag), Transparent, Six Feet Under, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and The Muppet Show. What would you add to the mix?

Update: Composers of TV themes lament the rise of the “skip intro” button.

Yet there’s one thing that annoys softly spoken Britell: the “Skip intro” facility on streaming services, which was brought in five years ago and lets viewers bypass a show’s opening credits. “I am very against it,” says Britell. “TV theme music is incredibly important. It’s almost a show’s DNA identifier. It serves as an overture to bring you in and sets the tone. I think that formal entrée is crucial.”

Robust words from the man whose Emmy-winning, earwormy Succession work, with its gothic strings, cascading piano and skittering beats, is helping to revive TV theme tunes.

The Giant Archive Hidden Under the British Countryside

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 30, 2022

This is very cool: Tom Scott (who you may remember from The Giant Chainmail Box That Stops a House From Dissolving) visits an underground storage facility operated in a working salt mine by a company called Deepstore.

DeepStore was set up in the 1990s because we’ve got the perfect atmosphere down here to store items. The salt creates a naturally occurring dry atmosphere. And of course with the racking, nothing actually comes into contact with the salt. Because this is relatively a shallow mine — we’re around 150 metres, 400-500 feet — and because of the salt bed, it has created this natural ambient temperature of 14-15° along with a relative humidity of 53-55%, which anybody in the archive and storage world knows, naturally occurring, that is absolutely fantastic.

I would love to see more video of just riding through the tunnels in that cavernous place…gonna have to poke around on YouTube to see what I can uncover.

Update: Some more mine storage video here and here. (thx, @four_sides & @zakmahshie)

Conspiracy Theorists Anonymous

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 29, 2022

Let’s listen in on a support group for recovering conspiracy theorists.

Hi, my name’s Terry and I believe that Matt Damon runs a network of underground tunnels beneath a pizza parlor in Washington DC to secretly vaccinate 5G towers.

Hi, Terry.

So, it’s been six days since I last posted anything on Facebook about lizards running the world.

But even the most hardcore members of the group don’t believe one of the most durable conservative tenets of American capitalism…

The Queen of Basketball Wins the Oscar

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 28, 2022

At the Oscars last night, The Queen of Basketball won the award for best documentary short. The film is about Lusia Harris, the only woman to officially be drafted by an NBA team. Here’s what I wrote about Harris and the film back in August:

Before this morning, I had never heard of Lusia Harris and now she’s one of my favorite basketball players. Playing in the 1970s, before the enforcement of Title IX in athletics, the 6’3” Harris dominated in high school, led a small university to three consecutive national basketball championships in the first 5 years of the program (while averaging 25.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game), scored the first basket in Olympics women’s basketball history, is the only woman ever officially drafted by an NBA team, and was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame.

Great to see this film win, but also bittersweet because Harris died only two months ago at the age of 66. The director is Ben Proudfoot, whose stuff I have been posting about since 2011. Really fun to see him be rewarded for his talent.

Claude Monet’s War Paintings

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2022

This is another great episode of James Payne’s Great Art Explained on the work of Claude Monet, specifically the massive water lily canvases he completed before his death, created as “a war memorial to the millions of lives tragically lost in the First World War”.

Claude Monet is often criticised for being overexposed, too easy, too obvious, or worse, a chocolate box artist. His last works, the enormous water lily canvasses are among the most popular art works in the world.

Yet there is nothing tame, traditionalist, or cosy about these last paintings. These are his most radical works of all. They turn the world upside down with their strange, disorientating and immersive vision.

Monet’s water lilies have come to be viewed as simply an aesthetic interpretation of the garden that obsessed him. But they are so much more.

These works were created as a direct response to the most savage and apocalyptic period of modern history. They were in fact conceived as a war memorial to the millions of lives tragically lost in the First World War.

I’ve seen these paintings at the Musée de l’Orangerie — amazing to see them exactly the way in which the artist intended them to be seen.

See also Film of Claude Monet Painting Water Lilies in His Garden (1915) and Monet’s Ultraviolet Vision.

Aldous Huxley Narrates a One-Hour Radio Dramatization of Brave New World

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2022

For the radio program CBS Radio Workshop that premiered in January 1956, Aldous Huxley read a one-hour dramatization of his 1932 dystopian1 science fiction novel Brave New World. You can listen to it here or at Internet Archive:

A contemporary review in Time magazine noted the extensive production work that went into the production:

It took three radio sound men, a control-room engineer and five hours of hard work to create the sound that was heard for less than 30 seconds on the air. The sound consisted of a ticking metronome, tom-tom beats, bubbling water, air hose, cow moo, boing! (two types), oscillator, dripping water (two types) and three kinds of wine glasses clicking against each other. Judiciously blended and recorded on tape, the effect was still not quite right. Then the tape was played backward with a little echo added. That did it. The sound depicted the manufacturing of babies in the radio version of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

In addition to Huxley’s book, CBS Radio Workshop dramatized for radio the work of Sinclair Lewis, Edgar Allan Poe, James Thurber, and Mark Twain — you can listen to the entire run of the show here. (via open culture)

  1. In the introduction to the dramatization, Huxley himself calls the world of the book a “negative utopia”.

Succession But It’s Arrested Development

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2022

You might have noticed that the two families in Succession and Arrested Development share some similarities — business-focused, rich, dysfunctional, sibling rivalry. Luís Azevedo explored the likeness with this video of scenes from Succession with music & Ron Howard’s voiceover from Arrested Development. So good. Also worth a look: scenes from Arrested Development with the music from Succession.

See also The Simpsons Parody of Succession and The Succession Theme Works Over Any TV Show Title Sequence.

A Better Screwdriver

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 22, 2022

You know what they say: if you build a better screwdriver, the world will beat a path to your door. Or something like that. With their All-in-One Screwdriver, Yanko Design believes they have done just that.

This all-in-one screwdriver not only provides you with all the bits you’ll ever need, it also makes twisting and spinning feel more like play than work. An innovative ball bearing lets your fingers do the talking, while a spinner wheel makes short work of bigger problems with bigger screws. And when your muscle strength fails, a hexagon bit holder lets an electric screwdriver take over without missing a beat.

It looks like a very well-designed tool, but at $99 the price is more than a lot of these recommended electric screwdrivers, which address many of the same challenges (different bits, torque). (via clive thompson)

GoPro Camera Inside a Dishwasher

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 22, 2022

What happens inside a dishwasher when it’s running? How does it get your dishes clean? Warped Perception decided to find out by placing a couple of cameras (a GoPro and a 360-degree camera) inside the machine and running the full wash cycle. (via digg)

How Saturn Got Its Rings

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 21, 2022

Within the past 100 million years, an icy moon got too close to Saturn and the planet’s gravity ripped it apart, forming the iconic rings. This clip from BBC’s The Planets details how that happened, accompanied by some amazing photography from NASA’s Cassini mission.

I got this from The Kid Should See This, who shared some ring facts:

They are younger than the dinosaurs, they form a disk wider than Jupiter that averages just 9 meters (30 feet) thick, and thanks to Cassini, we now know that there are tall peaks rising as high as 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) from the planet’s B ring.

I’ve shared this story on the site before, but seeing the rings of Saturn through my telescope in my backyard as a teenager made a massive impression on me as to the scale of the solar system and humankind’s ability to understand it through science and technology. I still can’t believe you can see those rings with a cheap telescope or binoculars. Incredible.

Sweeper’s Clock

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 21, 2022

As part of his Real Time series of new clock designs, Maarten Baas created the Sweeper’s Clock, a timepiece where the time is indicated by hands made of trash that is swept around the face by a pair of cleaners sweeping for 12 hours.

I got this from Colossal, who also highlight Baas’s Schiphol Clock and Analog Digital Clock.

How Galaxy Quest’s Thermian Aliens Were Created

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 18, 2022

In this short clip, the cast of Galaxy Quest looks back on how the speech, mannerisms, and culture of the Thermian people were developed. One of the actors came up with the voice in an audition and the filmmakers and actors just ran with it. (via digg)

Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares a Powerful Message to the Russian People

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 17, 2022

This is really good: Arnold Schwarzenegger recorded a message, subtitled in both English and Russian, directed at the Russian people (and briefly, Vladimir Putin) about the war in Ukraine. It’s a canny piece of media by an exceptional communicator — drawing on his obvious respect for the people of Russia and his father’s experience as a German soldier in World War II, Schwarzenegger tells Russian citizens that they’ve been lied to about the war by their leadership, that most of the world is against their actions, and warns them about the consequences of being economically and socially isolated from the rest of the world.

This is not the war to defend Russia that your grandfather or your great grandfathers fought. This is an illegal war! Your lives, your limbs, your futures are being sacrificed for a senseless war condemned by the entire world.

Brilliant Slowed Down 80s Pop Hits by Alvin & the Chipmunks

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 17, 2022

This is an oldie but a goodie: Brian Borcherdt took an album of 80s covers sung by Alvin & the Chipmunks (Walk Like an Egyptian, My Sharona, Always On My Mind) and played them at 16 RPM on a record player. The effect “revealed what was secretly the most important postpunk/goth album ever recorded”.

Every time I hear the version of “You Keep Me Hanging On” on this video I just collapse laughing because it sounds exactly like what would happen if The Afghan Whigs were given the sound of Peter Gabriel’s 1982 SECURITY. That opening! That’s f**king “San Jacinto” right there!

See also the same treatment given to a 1998 album of Chipmunks dance mixes.

A Cheetah Running in Slow Motion

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 16, 2022

I don’t know that there’s much to say about this…it’s the world’s fastest land animal moving in slow motion, muscles rippling, legs moving in concert, etc. It’s beautiful and mesmerizing — time kinda stopped for me while I was watching it.

RCA SelectaVision, the Weird and Doomed Early 80s Video Record Player

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 16, 2022

I have to admit that about 3 minutes into this video, I was not entirely sure that the RCA SelectaVision, a vinyl record-based system for playing videos released in 1981, was not a made-up thing. I’d never heard of this contraption before, but apparently it was an actual product that got released into the world and was apparently pretty much a disaster, as you might expect.

This video, as well as parts 2 & 3 (below), is a pretty deep and entertaining dive into the SelectaVision and the Capacitance Electronic Discs it played.

(via open culture)

A Demo of Pockit, a Tiny, Powerful, Modular Computer

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 15, 2022

Admission time: it’s been a long time since I considered myself any sort of gadget nerd, but I have to tell you that I watched much of this demo of Pockit with my jaw on the floor and my hand on my credit card. 12-year-old Jason would have run through a wall to be able to play with something like this. It does web browsing, streaming video, AI object detection, home automation, and just anything else you can think of. Reminded me of some combination of littleBits, Arduino, and Playdate. What a fun little device! (via craig mod)

SNL on Amazon Go’s Grab-and-Go Shopping Experience

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 15, 2022

This short sketch from Saturday Night Live highlights how Amazon Go’s “grab-and-go” shopping experience (where you walk out of the store with your items without having to check out first) doesn’t work that well for all shoppers.

Back in 2016 when Amazon announced their new store concept, Xavier Harding wrote Amazon Go’s “just walk out” technology sounds like a headache for shoppers of color.

White people who have never been “randomly” followed around at a Walgreens may have no problem walking into a store, grabbing an item and leaving — like this guy in the Amazon Go promo video.

But shoppers of color, who already see enough unwanted attention, may have their doubts. Especially in a store where the employees are mostly there for customer service, as Amazon’s promo video suggests. They roam the store, stock shelves and hang out near shoppers.