Sunday, 29 August 2010

Test Card

I must apologise for the lack of posts recently, but I do have a good excuse. My eldest daughter was married on Friday which means I have been a very happy, but very busy man. Normal service will be resumed soon, but in the meantime, I hope you like some of the recent photographs I have taken. My complete collection can be found here. As always, click to enlarge.

Cross of Light II

East Window

Candle
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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Justin "Speedy" Bieber

I saw this on Gawker today and had to share it with you. If you find Justin Bieber's whiny voice and teeny pop tunes annyoing, all you need to do is slow him down apparantly.

Below is Justin's latest single U Smile. Listen to it and "enjoy" it at your peril.



Now courtesy of musician Nick Pittsinger, who used the free program Paulstretch, this is "U Smile" made slower. Eight times slower, to be exact. And all of a sudden the irritating, nasally pop track sounds like the climactic score to some kind of historical epic. Plus, it's 35 minutes long!

J. BIEBZ - U SMILE 800% SLOWER by Shamantis
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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

David Thorne Interview

You may well remember David Thorne. He was the chap that did this fantastic thing and many more wonderful things detailed at his website. Well I must of missed it, but he was interviewed by Oprah. I think it is one of her best interviews. "Very in-depth".


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Monday, 23 August 2010

Beatboxing Flute

I have no idea but I would imagine that playing the flute is a skill that takes time to master. It is certainly true that beatboxing, whilst not everyone's idea of music, is a skill that requires a lot of practise. Imagine then how much effort goes in to combining the two.

I love this video. :-)


Intense Flute Beatboxing Skills - Watch more Funny Videos
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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Contact Juggling

This gentleman calls himself Okotanpe and he was filmed in a park in Tokyo performing Contact Juggling. There are no camera trick here and that is a 100mm glass ball he is so skillfully manipulating. I can only imaging the hours of practise that went in to this. Enjoy!


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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Amazing Storm

So apparently there was an amazing electrical storm over Helsinki on the 8th of this month. I love thunder and lightning and a part of me would have loved to have seen this one because apparently it was astonishing. But then I watch this video of the storm and how quickly it moved over the beach at Hietaniemi and I think to myself perhaps I'm glad I wasn't there.


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Friday, 20 August 2010

4am

Another great TED talk. This time it is the turn of poet and storyteller Rives. He tells all about the great conspiracy he has uncovered surrounding that most surreal of hours, 4 o'clock in the morning. Enjoy!


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Thursday, 19 August 2010

Between

This is a short film call Between by Tim Bollinger. Using just about every photographic and film technique there is, it makes for a stunning piece of eye-candy. The smallest details are so vivid, and the eerie soundtrack all combine to make a dark but very enjoyable experience. Is it a dream, or a nightmare?


Between from Via Grafik on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Tilting & Shifting

I talked about the photographic techniqe known as Tilt-Shift before, but I had never tried it myself and so I thought it was time to give it a go. Proper tilt-shift makes use of a special lens, but they are not cheap and so I turned to Photoshop to "fake" the effect. I have since discovered a website called tiltshiftmaker.com which does a very good job for you, but it is more fun doing it yourself right? So what follows is my little tutorial which is a combination of others I have found on the web. Just like my other tutorial, experimentation is key to get good results.

I took the following photograph off the Carrington Bridge in Worcester the other night and hoped it would make an ideal candidate. Really any photograph will do as long as the angle is such that you are looking down on your subject. Either from above, or better still at a steep angle. This is simply because the effect you are looking for is that of a model and you would usually view a model from above. As always, click to enlarge any of the pictures.


The first step is to choose the area that you would like to remain in focus. This will depend greatly on your photograph. In this case, I want the majority of the boats in focus but not the surrounding area. To make it easier to visualise, we switch to Quick Mask Mode by clicking the marked button or by pressing Q.


Now click on the gradient tool (marked) and ensure that the reflected gradient (circled) is the option selected.


Now draw a vertical line on your picture, that starts from the centre of the area you wish to remain in-focus, up to the point where the transition to out-of-focus is completed. Because we are in Quick Mask Mode, you should see something like this.


Exit Quick Mask Mode by clicking the same icon or by pressing Q and you should be left with a selected area marked out on your photograph. Now from your menus choose Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. This is an area where experimentation is important but I used the settings below. Once you are happy, click OK.


Now choose Ctrl-D to deselct and back to the menus to choose Image > Adjustments  > Hue/Saturation. Increasing the saturation slider to a value of around 40 will give the "painted" look that your model needs. Again, 40 was my choice, you need to use what looks good to you. My final result is below, but a full size version along with my other photos can be found on my Flickr account here.

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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A Very Lucky Day

Do you ever feel a little unlucky? Well there maybe a good reason for that. It is because the guy in the following video has your share. I bet that he will never forget his 19th birthday and his appearance on The Price Is Right. I like to think that on the way home...it rained. :-)


A Very Lucky Day - Watch more Funny Videos
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Monday, 16 August 2010

Beatles 3000

1000 years in to the future and the legacy of John, Paul, Greg and Scottie lives on. A humorous look at how archaeologists might interpret the work of the fab four. Written and performed by Scott Gairdner and friends, it actually makes you think about how much we might be getting wrong about our past.


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Sunday, 15 August 2010

30 Years of BAD

Some of the highlights of Bruce Dale's 30 year career at National Geographic including 10 trips to China beginning in the late 1970's, the hologram cover for the 100th anniversary edition, and mounting a camera on the tail of a jumbo jet for in-flight photographs. Photographs are copyrighted by Bruce Dale or National Geographic.


30 Years of BAD Pictures from Bruce Dale on Vimeo.
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Saturday, 14 August 2010

Magnetic Thinking Putty

Do you remember Silly Putty? It was all the rage here in the 1970's. It was a toy that has the consistency of putty, but it could bounce, stretch, snap and generally act in non-Newtonian way. Well now some bright spark has taken it a step further and added magnetic particles to turn its awesomeness up to 11. Magnetic Thinking Putty comes with a powerful magnet to allow you make it move like a snake charmer. I think I want some. More information can be found here.


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Friday, 13 August 2010

Dear Blank, Please Blank

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 25:  Dr Nancy Gr...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Another amusing website that can take up way too much of your time if you're not careful is Dear Blank, Please Blank. It gives you the opportunity to send a short note to, and on behalf of, anybody you like. Some of my favourites are below, but please visit the site for more.

Dear Aunt Em,
Hate you. Hate Kansas. Taking the dog.
Sincerely, Dorothy.

Dear Neptune,
Watch out. You're next.
Sincerely, Pluto.

Dear Bartender,
A martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Sincerely, James Bond.

Dear Dentist Who Attempts Conversation While Poking Around In My Mouth,
Ioie khan ot halk witf moie mouf woide opein.
Sincerely, There's Spit Running Down My Cheek.

Dear Person Who Linked me this Site,
Please never send me a link again. I have responsibilities and absolutely no willpower.
Sincerely, I just broke the addiction to MLIA, damnit.

Dear Dreams,
Please come true.
Sincerely, Me.

Dear European men,
Please continue to be sexy.
Sincerely, American women.

Dear Twilight Fans,
Thank you for making us look sane and well-adjusted.
Sincerely, Trekkies.
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Thursday, 12 August 2010

Bowling, Fail or Win?

I'm no bowler but I do enjoy it. My experiences tend to revolve around birthday parties where the ritual humiliation of the gutter ball is only softened by the hilarity of laughing at others.

This guy has it covered though. Sure he makes a complete mess of it, but somehow I'm guessing he doesn't feel that bad afterwards. :-)


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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Timelapse Crane

I have featured several time-lapse films on e-clecticism in the past, but there is always room for more, especially when they are as spectacular as this. This one is filmed using a special rig known as a crane that allows for the programming of camera movement. This gives a whole new dimension to the time-lapse because the "viewer" is no longer stationary.


Timelapse Crane Emmy Reel from Paulo Castillo on Vimeo.
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Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Piano

This is a rather nice animated short called The Piano by Aidan Gibbons. I hope you like it.


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Monday, 9 August 2010

Brain Magic

This is another superb talk from the archives at TED. First, Keith Barry shows us how our brains can fool our bodies -- in a trick that works via podcast too. Then he involves the audience in some jaw-dropping (and even a bit dangerous) feats of brain magic.


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Saturday, 7 August 2010

Bulwer-Lytton Contest

San Jose State University Student Union buildingImage via Wikipedia
Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The contest was created by Professor Scott Rice, who discovered the source of the often plagiarised line "It was a dark and stormy night." to be that of Victorian novelist, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton.

This year's winner was Molly Ringle of Seattle, WA, who wrote...

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.
Runners up included...

Through the verdant plains of North Umbria walked Waylon Ogglethorpe and, as he walked, the clouds whispered his name, the birds of the air sang his praises, and the beasts of the fields from smallest to greatest said, "There goes the most noble among men" -- in other words, a typical stroll for a schizophrenic ventriloquist with delusions of grandeur.
Tom Wallace, Columbia, SC

“Please Mr. Fox, don’t take your magic back to the forest, it is needed here in Twigsville!” pleaded little Isabel, but Mr. Fox was unconcerned as he smugly loped back into the woods without answering a word knowing well that his magic was only going to be used to make sure his forest would be annexed into the neighboring community of Leaftown where the property values were much higher.
Pete Watkins, Broken Arrow, OK

She walked into my office wearing a body that would make a man write bad checks, but in this paperless age you would first have to obtain her ABA Routing Transit Number and Account Number and then disable your own Overdraft Protection in order to do so.
Steve Lynch, San Marcos, CA

The wood nymph fairies blissfully pranced in the morning light past the glistening dewdrops on the meadow thistles by the Old Mill, ignorant of the daily slaughter that occurred just behind its lichen-encrusted walls, twin 20-ton mill stones savagely ripping apart the husks of wheat seed, gleefully smearing the starchy entrails across their dour granite faces in unspeakable botanical horror and carnage – but that’s not our story; ours is about fairies!
Rick Cheeseman, Waconia, MN

And possibly my favourite...

As Holmes, who had a nose for danger, quietly fingered the bloody knife and eyed the various body parts strewn along the dark, deserted highway, he placed his ear to the ground and, with his heart in his throat, silently mouthed to his companion, “Arm yourself, Watson, there is an evil hand afoot ahead.
Dennis Pearce, Lexington, KY

More can be found at the official website.
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Friday, 6 August 2010

Cubicle Prank

I'm sure you have all seen the pictures and videos of the various pranks that have been played on cubicle workers whilst they go away on holiday. There was the cubicle that was filled to the brim with packing peanuts. Or the one where everything (staplers, computer, telephone etc) were all wrapped up in brown paper.

Well the following video shows this prank being taken to a whole new level. Actually it looks kind of fun. I don't work in a cubicle but I think this would be a much more preferable environment.


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Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pillow 1 Cat 0

There is nothing deep and meaningful about today's post. Nor is it techy or geeky. It simply made me laugh so hard that I nearly sprayed coffee on my monitor, and sometimes that is enough. Enjoy!


Pillow: 1 Cat: 0 by orrow on WeGIF
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Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Turf Dancing In The Rain

There is not much I can say about this because I know very little about it. But I urge you to watch it because I found it strangely beautiful. Certainly not what I was expecting. I do know it was made by Yak Films and that as far as I can tell the chap in the white shirt is no longer with us. I hope you like it.


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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Paintball Pop Art

If there was ever a video I had posted on here that I truly hoped was not faked it is this one. A whole bunch of people creating a pop art image of Marylin Monroe using paintball guns. I wonder what Andy Warhol or Jackson Pollock would have made of it?


Paintball Pop Art Marilyn Monroe - Watch more Funny Videos
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Monday, 2 August 2010

Mind Control

Another great talk from the TED series. This time speaker Tan Le's astonishing new computer interface reads its user's brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.


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Sunday, 1 August 2010

Inspired By Iceland

Iceland has had a bad press in the past. What with an outdated and cruel policy on whale hunting, a huge national debt and more recently an unfortunate incident with a volcano, things have not been good. But it is still one of the most magical places on the planet. The stunning, almost alien landscape. The wonderful hospitality. Oh and course the magical tradition and folklore. It has long been on my list of places to visit.

How great then to see possibly the best tourism video ever. Enjoy!


Inspired by Iceland Video from Inspired By Iceland on Vimeo.
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