Sunday, 28 February 2010

Fully Sick Rapper

Don't you just love it when something brilliant emerges from adversity? Take the case of Australian Christiaan Van Vuuren. He travelled to South America last year and unfortunately contracted Tuberculosis. Due to his contagiousness he was quarantined for both his own protection and that of others. He has since been released but then recalled for even longer with an even more serious case of TB.

As he has spent so much time in isolation, he has tried to prevent himself from going mad  (it hasn't worked by the look of it) by creating funny videos yo give his friends a laugh and uploading them to Youtube. This is turning him into a bit of an internet hero. More of his work can be found on his Youtube channel.

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Saturday, 27 February 2010

Jumbo Landing

Check out this amazing video of a Jumbo coming in to land.

Of course it is a TV commercial produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, making the point that travelers should think twice before purchasing souvenirs made from animal products.
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Friday, 26 February 2010

Where's The Ball?

I'm hoping it is not just me and that you have to watch this a second time. Where's the ball?

CHOP CUP from :weareom: on Vimeo.
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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Web Threat

GOOGLE-PAVAROTTIImage by annovi.frizio via Flickr
Today's post may not seem to be terribly exciting at first glance, but it is in fact extremely important and extremely worrying. Google today issued a statement, via their official blog, regarding a court case that has taken place in Italy. I have reproduced it in full below. As they say, the repercussions of this verdict (if not overturned) could mark the beginning of the end of the web as we know it. Certainly in Europe. The protection of a hosting platform has long been debated. Even back to my days on Fidonet it was a contentious issue but one that has remained unchanged thus guaranteeing the success of both networks. I'll be waiting for further news with bated breath.

In late 2006, students at a school in Turin, Italy filmed and then uploaded a video to Google Video that showed them bullying an autistic schoolmate. The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police. We also worked with the local police to help identify the person responsible for uploading it and she was subsequently sentenced to 10 months community service by a court in Turin, as were several other classmates who were also involved. In these rare but unpleasant cases, that's where our involvement would normally end.

But in this instance, a public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict four Google employees —David Drummond, Arvind Desikan, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes (who left the company in 2008). The charges brought against them were criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. To be clear, none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video. They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video's existence until after it was removed.

Nevertheless, a judge in Milan today convicted 3 of the 4 defendants — David Drummond, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes — for failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. All 4 were found not guilty of criminal defamation. In essence this ruling means that employees of hosting platforms like Google Video are criminally responsible for content that users upload. We will appeal this astonishing decision because the Google employees on trial had nothing to do with the video in question. Throughout this long process, they have displayed admirable grace and fortitude. It is outrageous that they have been subjected to a trial at all.

But we are deeply troubled by this conviction for another equally important reason. It attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built. Common sense dictates that only the person who films and uploads a video to a hosting platform could take the steps necessary to protect the privacy and obtain the consent of the people they are filming. European Union law was drafted specifically to give hosting providers a safe harbor from liability so long as they remove illegal content once they are notified of its existence. The belief, rightly in our opinion, was that a notice and take down regime of this kind would help creativity flourish and support free speech while protecting personal privacy. If that principle is swept aside and sites like Blogger, YouTube and indeed every social network and any community bulletin board, are held responsible for vetting every single piece of content that is uploaded to them — every piece of text, every photo, every file, every video — then the Web as we know it will cease to exist, and many of the economic, social, political and technological benefits it brings could disappear.

These are important points of principle, which is why we and our employees will vigorously appeal this decision.

Posted by Matt Sucherman, Google VP and Deputy General Counsel - EMEA

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Wednesday, 24 February 2010


I'm going to bore you with some of my own photographs again. As always, click to enlarge.

I had cause to travel to the South coast of England last week. Bournemouth to be precise. I'd hoped to take some photographs as I had about four hours to kill whilst there. Sadly the weather was truly atrocious with rain, sleet and snow all in abundance. However I did manage to sneak about half an hour in between storms to take about fifty shots. Just two are worth sharing with you I think.

The first is taken of the sun setting across the bay toward Studland. You can see the storm was on it's way back. I called this Evening Cloud.

The second (this time in black and white) is of the Cumulus out in the English Channel. I used a red filter which gives great contrast to the cloud in black and white.

I hope you like them. All my photographs are available in the right hand "menu" or on my Flickr page.

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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Ant City

This is astonishing in my opinion. Scientists uncover the full extent of ant colony that exists, normally hidden, underground. It is a great shame to me that they have to destroy the colony to do it but I think you'll be amazed as well as to just how massive these things are.

Giant Ant Colony is a World Wonder - Watch more Funny Videos
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Monday, 22 February 2010

Pesky Spammers

SPAM !Image by colodio via Flickr
One price of success with regard to e-clecticism appears to be the increase in spam appearing in the comments. Although I have been diligently removing any I see, it has become a bit of a chore as I'm not always around to delete it as promptly as I'd like.

For this reason I have now chosen to moderate all comments before they appear. Depending on what I'm up to, this might take some time, but please don't let it put you off leaving a comment. I really appreciate your feedback, good or bad and I'd hate to think you were put off by the annoying minority.
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Love Football

I would imagine this will split the readership but this makes me smile every time I watch it. This was an advert for Puma sportswear that was used around Valentine's day. The tough football (soccer to some readers) fans singing Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden. The idea is that the man's partner wants the romance when he just wants to spend his time in the stands. Not stereotypical at all then. But it is good I think, they even have the harmonies down.

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sonic Boom

I'm sure you all know what a sonic boom is. Two videos follow of when this stunning effect becomes visible. The first one shows many great photographic examples of jet fighters breaking the sound barrier.

I can't really explain the second one any better than the original description from Youtube.

Solar Dynamics Observatory Launch, Feb 11, 2010 HD VERSION A sun dog is a prismatic bright spot in the sky caused by sun shining through ice crystals. The Atlas V rocket exceeded the speed of sound in this layer of ice crystals, making the shock wave visible from the ground. The announcer can be heard in the video saying, "The vehicle is now supersonic."

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Saturday, 20 February 2010

Dropbox Updates

Dropbox AppImage by Funkbreaks via Flickr
You may remember that I blogged about a backup synchronisation service I use, called Dropbox, a while ago. If you haven't yet signed up, they have made several updates and improvements that I wanted to quickly tell you about, which may motivate you.

Since I made my post...
  • It won the Best Internet Application of 2009 category at The Crunches.
  • It was chosen for a 2009 Editors’ Choice Award by Macworld.
  • They launched a native iPhone app which replaces the need to use the web interface.
  • From version 9.10, the Linux Dropbox client now comes bundled with Ubuntu.
  • They launched Votebox so users can vote for a feature they would most like to see. The most popular of which get worked on next.
All this and it is still free*. So if you haven't already, go sign up. Once again, if you use this link, the first few of you to sign-up will get an extra 250mb of space.

*You can pay a reasonable charge to increase the allocated space if you so choose.
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Friday, 19 February 2010

View From Afar

As most of you will know I am a keen amateur photographer. If you're interested, some of my efforts can found on my Flickr page. I am slowly managing to collect together a modest collection of equipment. Cameras, lenses, flash etc. I still have a very long wish list, but all I really need is more time to actually get out there and take the pictures.

But the lens below is not on my wish list. Why? Well mainly because it is insanely expensive and far too big to carry around, but it still makes me drool. This is the EF 1200 f5.6L lens from Canon. It weighs 36.4lbs (16.5Kg), and measures 32.9" (83.56cm). There are allegedly only 15 or so in existence and all were owned (until recently) by certain government agencies. Apparently this one can be bought from the used department of B&H for the bargain price of $120,000 (£76,000). After (hopefully) enjoying the video below, a full review, including some excellent comparison shots, can be found here.

Hands on with the Canon EF 1200 f5.6L Lens from Juan Pons on Vimeo.
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Thursday, 18 February 2010

Star Wars: Retold

OK if you're a purest Star Wars fan you may want to look away now, but this caused me to literally LOL.

Amanda, a friend of Joe Nicolosi had never seen a whole Star Wars film. When he asked her if she wanted to watch the original trilogy she said that she would, but that she already knew what happens. So, while Joe recorded it whilst she "started from the top". Joe then added some animation to illustrate the recording and the end result can be found below.

I'd like to tell you she was close. :-)

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A Brief History Of Pretty Much Everything

Using around 2100 pages, about 50 jotter books and roughly 3 weeks if his life, Jamie Bell aka DispleasedEskimo created this masterpiece for his AS art course, a flipbook made entirely out of Biro pens. A history of planet Earth in double quick time. You'll please to know that he got full marks.

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Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Blog Of Note

It was a lovely surprise to suddenly start receiving more comments and followers today than I had ever had before. Despite the fact that I had requested the consideration of the Blogger team to become their hallowed Blog Of Note, it was still very exciting to see that e-clecticism had in fact been chosen.

The downside is that it feels a little like having visitors to your house when you haven't had a chance to tidy up. :-) Please take us as you find us and make yourselves at home.

If you are a new follower of the blog, then you are most welcome and I really do hope you stick around and tell your friends. If you have been with me longer, congratulations on knowing a good thing when you see it. :-)

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Parrot AR Drone

This is a must have toy for any geek. The Parrot AR Drone is an iPhone controlled quadricopter equipped with variable speed rotors, the ability to lift off, hover, and land on its own, and super-sensitive touch controls along with two 640x480 VGA camera feeds running back to the iPhone via 802.11G Wi-Fi. Enjoy the video below and read the review here.

Before you go rushing to buy one, it is not actually out yet. It is rumoured to ship later this year.

EDIT: Some people are reporting that the video above won't play for them. For this reason I have added another video below from Youtube. Hopefully you'll have better luck with this one.

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Monday, 15 February 2010

Effects History

This is not quite up to date but it is a nice clip anyway. This is a one hundred year history of visual effects in films. From 1900 until 2008, each films was chosen for establishing a new benchmark for special effects. Who knows what we'll be watching in the next 100 years.

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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Chinese Valentine

Chinese New Year Parade, 2007Image via Wikipedia
Just a quick post to wish you all a happy Valentine's Day. Or if you are like my wife and I and don't really celebrate it (although we are going for a meal later), perhaps I should wish you a Happy New Year instead. For today mark's the beginning of the Chinese year of the Tiger or Geng Yin. My apologies if I have got it wrong but...

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Friday, 12 February 2010

Born Of Hope

Kate Madison didn't have Peter Jackson's £200million budget, eight years of filming time or the spectacular scenery of New Zealand to work with, but that didn't stop her making her own prequel to the Lord of the Rings which has become a YouTube sensation. Born Of Hope is an hour long film based on a short passage Tolkien included in the appendix to his books, which mentioned the adventures of Arathorn and Gilraen, the parents of Aragorn. It cost £25,000 to make and has a cast of over 400 and was shot in Epping Forest, Essex, and West Stow, Suffolk, after seeking permission from local authorities.

The amateur actress (who plays a part in the film) put her £8,000 life savings into the project, worked as an office temp to gain extra cash and raised a further £17,000 by posting a trailer on YouTube appealing for donations.

Luckily for us she has decided to publish the entire thing for free. Enjoy it below, or if you haven't time, you can view the trailer here.

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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

T-Shirt War

This one is dedicated to my friend Roo who owns more t-shirts than anyone else I have ever met. A clever stop-animation called T-Shirt War. As it says...To make it took two days, 227 t-shirts and one fire extinguisher. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Botswana Ronnie

You may remember that I posted about the unorthodox but stunning playing style of Erik Mongrain back in 2008. Rather than trapping the strings on the fret board as is traditional, Erik strikes them in a percussive way to produce a thoroughly pleasing sound.

Well I now I have come across another guitarist that does a similar thing but takes it one step further. "Ronnie" from Botswana has a great talent that I could listen to all day. Enjoy!

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Monday, 8 February 2010

Techno Jeep

I'm more of a Land Rover man myself but I'm not so sure they can do this. :-) Well actually I'm not so sure I'd want them to, but it is great fun nonetheless. Enjoy Techno Jeep.

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

R2D2 Cameo

Do you remember R2-D2? Of course you do. The half-pint astromech droid from the Star Wars universe that everybody loves. I was chatting to a friend the other day about how he made an often missed cameo appearance in the Close Encounters of the Third Kind film. This film was made not long after Star Wars and the story goes that the film's shared a special effects guy that did it as an in-joke. You can see him, upside down, attached to the bottom the mother-ship, in the scene where it flies low over Devil's Tower mountain.


But apparently, the little fella has been popping up in films ever since. Take Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark for instance. Both R2-D2 and his companion C-3PO appear amongst the hieroglyphics in the Well of Souls scene.

As George Lucas directed this film also, it makes a little more sense I guess. But Transformers? Yes, our little buddy makes a very brief appearance in Transformers 2 - Revenge of the Fallen. In the scene where Jetfire's parts are merging with Optimus Prime.

Finally, there was much rumour that our infamous limelight hogger had made an appearance in the latest Star Trek movie. Surely the greatest geek cross-over ever? Sure enough, he was floating amongst the debris in one scene.

I can't help feeling sorry for the little guy. I mean, will he always be type-cast? Will he ever get that sought after role in a romantic comedy?

Please comment if you know of more instances. Image credits go to Funny Potato, Dockery Design and Movie Roar.

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Saturday, 6 February 2010

James Galea

I have featured some magical illusions on e-clecticism before. A good illusion, performed really well is a joy. This one is superb and quite original. James Galea performs a card trick at the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Friday, 5 February 2010


I got sent this clip this morning and I thought I'd pass it on to cheer you up. If you're having a bad day, spare a thought for this guy and it might make you feel better.

During a report on the Australian channel, 7 News, the report cuts to Macquarie Bank, where a representative from the company begins explaining interest rates and inflation. If you look carefully in the background, you will notice the man over the interviewee's right shoulder who's looking at what appears to be pictures of naked ladies (Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr, reportedly) while he's talking to a co-worker, no less. My favourite moment is when he realises he is being filmed. I wonder if he still has a job?

Bank Worker Caught Looking at Porn on Live News TV Broadcast from FailPost on Vimeo.

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Thursday, 4 February 2010

Dubai View

OK I know that I have featured way too many time-lapse films. But I do love them if they are done well. This one is superb. Philip Bloom is a film maker who was staying in the Atlantis Palm hotel in Dubai whilst filming a documentary on the Royal Family of Dubai, the Al Maktoums, who commissioned the film on their history.

I chose the Atlantis as I knew the view looking to the city would be spectacular and it is. I just need a different room now as am having issues with this one as there is a massive light to the right of my balcony giving me nasty light pollution.

So far, I haven’t got the perfect time-lapse. I am still trying and every night I will keep on trying!

Well he has got very close if you ask me. He even sneaked a bit of Tilt-Shift in. See for yourself below. Also, check out his tips on making a time-lapse with a dSLR here.

Room with a view: Dubai timelapse tests from Atlantis hotel from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Street Drummer

I have featured street musicians before, but this one is a little different. No singing or melody of any kind but such talent that I thought it worth posting. I'm afraid I have no information about this guy except that he really has rhythm. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, 2 February 2010


I know this comic from the genius that is xkcd is supposed to be funny, and it is, really. But it also makes me quite sad. As a confirmed nerd/geek I should not be anthropomorphising robots but I just can't seem to help myself. I guess if you don't know the story of the Mars Exploration Rover mission and their problems with Spirit getting stuck, you'll have no chance of getting the joke. See here for details. Click to enlarge the comic.

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Monday, 1 February 2010

Quick Draw

Being a keen amateur photographer myself I'm constantly looking at the work of the professionals for tips etc. This is a little different though. A colleague of mine drew my attention to the video below. It features a challenge to shoot, edit and create striking artwork for a fashion shoot in less than thirty minutes. I think that whoever does the work in Photoshop is on steroids. :-)

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