Monday, 28 February 2011

Eigenharp Alpha

Designed specifically for live performance, the Eigenharp Alpha is claimed to be the most expressive electronic musical instrument ever made. Developed by British innovation company Eigenlabs, they say it redefines everything we have come to know about electronic instruments. The musician can play and improvise using a limitless range of sounds with virtuoso skill. The Eigenharp can play and record loops, change key, transpose, alter tempo, program beats, switch and layer sounds, all while the musician is performing live on stage.


Eigenharp Alpha | Pro Audio News | Nov 2009 from LoopTV on Vimeo.
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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Castles And Houses

As I am currently taking some much needed time off, I have had a chance to go out with my camera for a change. There are few things I like more than my own company and a camera, so please let me indulge and share two pictures that I took from two different trips. The first is of Warwick Castle.

Fortress

Secondly, Witley Court, a huge stately home near me that was ruined by fire in 1937.

Witley Court
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Friday, 25 February 2011

Upular

Nick Bertke aka Pogo is a master at creating musical mixes from movies. Take Upular as as a great example. It is comprised using chords, bass notes and vocal samples from the Disney Pixar film 'Up'. As he used to work for Pixar I guess he gets special permission because he has been asked to do others. I also recommend his great remix of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs called 'Wishery'. See Pogo's website here and his YouTube channel here for more great examples of his work.


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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Britain, UK Or England?

Having hung around this thing we call the Internet for a long time, I have been lucky to collect some very cool friends from all over the world. One topic of conversation that always seems to raise it's head when I mention where I come from, is that of the difference between England, the UK and Great Britain. It seems that to many outsiders, the geographical, political and religious borders of our small corner of the planet are just too confusing to comprehend. I have to say, that many who are native struggle with it too.

It is therefore with gratitude to C. G. P. Grey, that I present his definitive explanation that includes a whole lot more. Although I would dispute his overplay of the animosity between member countries, I have to say he explains it all so much better than I could. You do have to listen carefully though, because he slows down for nobody. :-)


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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Yowayowa Camera Woman

The yowayowa camera woman is Natsumi Hayashi. A Japanese photographer who specialises in self-portraits with a difference. The difference is, is that she appears to be levitating in each and every one. I love the fact that although it is obvious she is performing a perfectly timed jump to achieve this effect, it looks so natural that you can almost believe she is able to levitate. I'm also amazed that if these really are self-portraits, how she has managed to avoid having her Canon EOS 5D MkII stolen. Apparantly yowayowa is Japanese for "weak" or "feeble" but she seems the opposite to me. You can see more from Natsumi at her website. As always, click to enlarge.




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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Carrot Clarinet

Did your mum ever tell you not to play with your food? It is clear that Linsey Pollak never listened. Here he drills holes in a carrot to make a very fine sounding clarinet.



So the next logical step would be to have an entire orchestra made out of vegetables right? Look no further...


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Monday, 21 February 2011

New Boy

Based on a short story by the fantastic Roddy Doyle...A young African boy with a haunting back story starts school in Ireland, and finds out quickly exactly what it means to be the new boy. Winner of Best Narrative Short at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival and nominated for an Oscar. Enjoy.


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Sunday, 20 February 2011

FanCam

Bono, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr during...Image via WikipediaBeing a huge U2 fan this of course caught my eye but I would hope it would interest a lot of you.

Taken from the stage of their current 360 tour (this night they were in Johannesburg), this is a 360 degree gigapixel photograph of the audience before the band came on. You can move the view left and right and you can zoom in right to back of the stadium. If you were there that night, you can even tag yourself. Take a look for yourself by clicking this link or visit U2.com for more information on the tour and U2 in general.

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Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Ultimate Fan?

Is Jambe Davdar the ultimate Star Wars fan? He is certainly a strong contender for the title. Jambe doesn't just like Star Wars, he obsesses and turns that obsession in to the best unofficial Star Wars documentaries you will ever see.

First there was Building Empire, then Returning to Jedi and now Star Wars Begins. If you find yourself with a couple of hours to kill you could do a lot worse than watch his work which is packed with insider information, sounds, commentary by the actors and the crew, and much more. If you only have ten minutes to kill, at least watch part one (below) and wish you had more time to visit his YouTube profile to see the rest.


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Friday, 18 February 2011

How To Hunt Elephants

Elephant-tableauImage via WikipediaAnother funny sent via email and so I'm afraid I don't know who to credit.

MATHEMATICIANS hunt elephants by going to Africa, throwing out everything that is not an elephant, and catching one of whatever is left.
EXPERIENCED MATHEMATICIANS will attempt to prove the existence of at least one unique elephant before proceeding to step 1 as a subordinate exercise.
PROFESSORS OF MATHEMATICS will prove the existence of at least one unique elephant and then leave the detection and capture of an actual elephant as an exercise for their graduate students.
COMPUTER SCIENTISTS hunt elephants by exercising Algorithm A:
  1. Go to Africa.
  2. Start at the Cape of Good hope.
  3. Work northward in an orderly manner, traversing the continent alternately east and west.
  4. During each traverse pass,
    1. Catch each animal seen.
    2. Compare each animal caught to a known elephant.
    3. Stop when a match is detected.
EXPERIENCED COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS modify Algorithm A by placing a known elephant in Cairo to ensure that the algorithm will terminate.
ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE PROGRAMMERS prefer to execute Algorithm A on their hands and knees.
DATABASE ADMINISTRATORS do not need to go out and capture elephants when they can retrieve them simply with an ad hoc query:
SELECT * FROM AFRICAN_CRITTERS 
   2 WHERE CRITTER_TYPE = 'TERRESTRIAL' 
   3 AND SIZE = 'LARGE' 
   4 AND COLOR = 'GRAY' 
   5 AND TRUNK ='YES' 
   6 AND ODOR IS NOT NULL;
ENGINEERS hunt elephants by going to Africa, catching gray animals at random, and stopping when any one of them weighs within plus or minus 15 percent of any previously observed elephant.
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION ENGINEERS are not so concerned with hunting elephants as with creating a seamless interface between the elephants and their environment.
ECONOMISTS don't hunt elephants, but they believe that if elephants are paid enough, they will hunt themselves.
STATISTICIANS hunt the first animal they see N times and call it an elephant.
CONSULTANTS don't hunt elephants, and many have never hunted anything at all, but they can be hired by the hour to advise those people who do.
OPERATIONS RESEARCH CONSULTANTS can also measure the correlation of hat size and bullet color to the efficiency of elephant-hunting strategies, if some one else will only identify the elephants.
POLITICIANS don't hunt elephants, but they will share the elephants you catch with the people who voted for them.
LAWYERS don't hunt elephants, but they do follow the herds around arguing about who owns the droppings.
SOFTWARE LAWYERS will claim that they own an entire herd based on the look and feel of one dropping.
VICE PRESIDENTS OF ENGINEERING, RESEARCH, AND DEVELOPMENT try hard to hunt elephants, but their staffs are designed to prevent it. When the vice president does get to hunt elephants, the staff will try to ensure that all possible elephants are completely pre-hunted before the vice president sees them. If the vice president does see a non-pre-hunted elephant, (in other words, a live one) the staff will:
  1. compliment the vice president's keen eyesight and
  2. enlarge itself to prevent any recurrence.
SENIOR MANAGERS set broad elephant-hunting policy based on the assumption that elephants are just like field mice, but with deeper voices.
QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTORS ignore the elephants and look for mistakes the other hunters made when they were packing the jeep.
SALES PEOPLE don't hunt elephants but spend their time selling elephants they haven't caught, for delivery two days before the season opens.
SOFTWARE SALES PEOPLE ship the first thing they catch and write up an invoice for an elephant.
HARDWARE SALES PEOPLE catch rabbits, paint them gray, and sell them as desktop elephants.
GRADUATE STUDENTS don't hunt elephants, but they sure enjoy driving around in jeeps.
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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Tall Painting

I am quite a creative person. I get it from my grandmother who was a great pianist and my aunt who was a fantastic artist and my father who was a great photographer and who could create from nothing. I don't live up to any of those people but that doesn't stop me trying and loving it as I go. But how about this for simple creation.

This is the work of artist Holton Rower who sets up a kind of pedestal and uses a range of different coloured paints in coffee cups. The paint is then poured over the top of the pedestal and allowed to run down the sides. One colour just looks like a mess, but add several and then start repeating them and you end up with something that looks quite stunning. Check out his website.


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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Extreme Sitting

Being very lazy I have never taken up an extreme sport. Yes that's the reason, honest. But maybe now there is one for me. Introducing SportHocker from Germany. Both awesome and ridiculous at the same time. I guess haemorrhoids can end a career?


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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Gamarjobat

My daughters were watching the excellent Comedy Rocks on TV the other night and they were telling me about a Japanese comedy duo that really found to be very funny. I agree with Jason Manford. They are "dad funny" but my goodness have they got it down to a fine art. Enjoy Gamarjobat.


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Monday, 14 February 2011

Jake Shimabukuro

I have posted quite a few videos from the truly wonderful TED series now. Most are geeky, but all are fascinating I'm sure you'll agree. But TED doesn't just do the geeky lecture. This one for instance is a bit different. Jake Shimabukuro is a big fan of the Ukulele. To him this, this little four stringed, two octave mini guitar deserves more recognition. So to that end I dedicate this post to Scottish Nature Boy, as I know he feels the same way. :-)

Enjoy Jake performing Bohemian Rhapsody at TED this time last year.


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Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Front Fell Off!

A fabulous bit of Australian humour in the form of Clarke and Dawe for today's post. Here they perform a mock interview about a shipping mishap. This was apparantly shown back in the early 90's.


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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Mind Control

EyesImage via WikipediaOne of the many blogs I enjoy reading is the witty and totally geeky ramblings of Landon Dyer - DadHacker. The programming side won't be everyone's thing of course but I'm sure that anyone who has ever worked for anyone else can really relate to this post.

We were on our way to a meeting when we encountered one of our team’s developers leaning over the railing of the fourth floor balcony in our building’s atrium, grimacing as if he was trying to pass gas.

We asked if he felt okay.

“Shhh!” he said. “That’s George down there.” George was a manager that everyone in our group reviled. Petty, bureaucratic, random, political, vindictive and (worst of all) technically not with it. We’d all wished he would drop dead of a heart attack at one point or another. George was four floors beneath us in the building lobby, having coffee with someone, and oblivious to our presence above him.

“Umm, so?”

“I’m trying the Scanners thing, and if I think at him hard enough I’m hoping I can give him an aneurism.”

An instant later we were all lined up on the railing, brows furrowed, casting dark mental energies toward the coffee shop. I was hoping for at least a headache, or perhaps boiling his coffee and burning his lips on his next sip, but after a while it was pretty clear nothing was going to happen.

“So much for our psychic abilities. We can’t even give a migraine to a bad manager with our super developer mind powers.”
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Friday, 11 February 2011

Atlantis?

People have been searching for the lost city of Atlantis for a very long time. It was first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, which were written around 360BC. But for the first time we now have a really good contender for where it might have stood, thanks to Google Earth. According to The Telegraph...

The network of criss-cross lines is 620 miles off the coast of north west Africa near the Canary Islands on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

The perfect rectangle – which is around the size of Wales – was noticed on the search giant's underwater exploration tool by an aeronautical engineer who claims it looks like an "aerial map" of a city.
The underwater image can be found at the co-ordinates 31 15'15.53N 24 15'30.53W.


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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Freecording Dublin

This is a bit of fun. Vimeo user lordstradbally took a camcorder on to the streets of my old hometown of Dublin to record random people answering a question posed by the previous person. He called it "Freecording" and it was his entry in a competition sponsored by Canon. I think it was an experiment that proved that there are some very odd people out there. :-)

Oh and you can see the street that I used to work on! Haha.


Freecording Dublin from lordstradbally on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

5 Deadly Habits of jono

Sean Bean at the Empire Film Awards in March 2009.Image via WikipediaLast year, jono asked me ever so kindly if I'd like to contribute a guest post to this lovely space. Months into the new year, I finally get my ass into gear to finally begin to write something. Damn, this should be easy, I think. I'll just write anything like I always do. Except, this isn't my space. You're not here to read my blog. You're hear to be amused and entertained by some geeky finding found by your favourite geek... Ummm, do you hear the birds chirping yet? Wow, those lights seem awfully bright. Ahem, ahem.

Okay, here's the truth - there's no way I can amuse/entertain the way jono can, but perhaps I can shed some light on the man behind the blog. Here's what I've discovered about your entertainer...

5 deadly habits of jono

1) jono is way too trusting
He says write anything. Freedom of speech. Anything goes. (Ahh, jono, please. Never ever trust a shit disturbing Canadian free reign to write whatever she wants. You're simply tempting the devil. And while you're at it, I'm in dire, dire need, have lost everything, and need some money. Can you send me some money via paypal so I can pay my rent?)

2) jono is a geeks' geek
Not just any random geek, but even the geeks think he's a geek. He claims to be a security specialist, but I think he's more like Salander with high tech gadgets able to solve real mysteries from within the confines of a hospital bed recovering from a gunshot wound to the head. He even wears superhero costumes. Superman, Spiderman, even Wonder Woman.

3) jono never sleeps
He only dreams of sleeping, but instead stays up late every night being a geek researching and planning his next post(s). Or he's watching some inappropriate videos. But more likely, he's researching and planning his next post(s). He spends ridiculous amounts of time planning, and organizing so that he delivers on quality posts for you, his readers. He usually has multiple posts ready to go. Should he kick the proverbial bucket, I'm sure his posts will continue to be posted for months on end. Perhaps even years.

4) jono speaks in parseltongue
jono speaks multiple languages including english, french, spanish, irish, and even sign language (BSL). What he doesn't tell you is that in these 5 languages, he's continues talking about something geeky so it may as well be parseltongue to non-geeks. However, with an accent like his, he could be reading a legal contract, and still sound like Hugh Grant. jono hates Hugh Grant. jono also hates Sean Bean. jono loves hobbits though. He wants to smoke weed, climb Mt Doom and have Frodo on his back.

5) jono steals great lines
jono steals and also writes the best facebook status lines. He pretends to be goody-two-shoes on his blog, but you should be friends with him on facebook to get more of the real deal. The really funny deal. That's where warped jono lives. I find warped jono absolutely hilarious, but if you want safe jono - he's entertaining too.
I hope you've found out something new about the man behind the blog. Keep reading, and don't let jono's 5 deadly habits scare you away.

- Daisy, from http://answerstartswithyou.wordpress.com
P.S. Just in case you're unsure, I made up stuff.
P.P.S. Thanks jono for giving me this opportunity. I hope we're still friends. :)
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Pipe Dream

A student at Loyola Marymount University auditioned for his school talent show by inventing, building and playing an instrument made out of PVC piping. I love the sound that this thing makes and I have to say the medley makes me smile too. His YouTube page has more videos if you want to hear more.


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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

High Flying Career

Back in this post I showed you a dangerous job that I'm not sure many of would be able to do. This looks like another one. As I said before. I'm not really afraid of heights, but this is something else. It actually makes me a little queasy just watching it. Taken from a documentary called Stairway To Heaven, this is how the guys that maintain antennas get to work. Enjoy!


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Monday, 7 February 2011

RIP Gary Moore

There could only be one subject for today's post. Legendary rock guitarist and former Thin Lizzy star Gary Moore has died in Spain. The 58-year-old, originally from Belfast, was found dead in a hotel room on the Costa del Sol.

The following is an astonishing performance of the haunting Parisienne Walkways. Filmed in Dublin at a tribute to Phil Lynott who died in 1986.


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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Hit Machine

In the following video Calgary-based musician Dan Bennett a.k.a. Transit documents his attempt to create a formulaic "Top 40" style song from conception to completion.... all in 8 hours. Is it really this easy, or do you need talent too? If you like it, the final product is available for download here.


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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Blogger On Droid

Attention Blogger/Android users. Google have finally released a Blogger application for Android. There have been a few third party ones available for some time that I have used with varying levels of success, but I was hoping that a native one might surface at some point.

Using the app you can easily compose a post, attach a photo that you just took with your phone, and either save it as a local draft for later or immediately publish it to your blog. If you are an Android user, you can start using the Blogger app today by downloading it for free from the Android Market.
I have to say that I am a little disappointed. What it does do it does very well, but the features are a lot more limited than the equivalent Wordpress app. Writing a quick post on the move is just about it's limit but hopefully more features will start appear in future updates.


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Friday, 4 February 2011

100 Riffs, 1 Take

Here's one for you old rockers out there, of which I am one. See how many of these you can guess without taking a boogie on over to his website for the answers.


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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Bloody Omaha

I somehow missed this and now I need to find a copy to see the whole thing. Bloody Omaha was created by Colin Thornton, Neil Wilson and Steven Flynn who run the graphics company Compost Creative. Team Compost headed out to Omaha Beach for 4 days armed with a Z1 camera, a pop up greenscreen, some soldier uniforms and 2 rubber rifles (they couldn't afford 3), and began the process of covering the beach (with camera on the cliff top), and re-enacting the veteran's moving accounts. When back in London they painstakingly started to piece together all the shots using Adobe After-Effects, and turning 3 people into the invading US Army.

6 Weeks later the work was completed and it provided a moving insight to the US veteran's memories of storming Omaha Beach, for BBC 2's Timewatch: Bloody Omaha.


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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Dueling Cellists

I'm sure you are all familiar with the iconic scene from Deliverance but how about this for a modern twist. I've never considered the cello as quite as cool as a guitar or a banjo but maybe I was wrong because this really rocks. Please enjoy Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic playing Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson. It passes the test of what is truly special music to me in that it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.


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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tricopter With Weapons

Another twist in the story of my inner child. There of course was the story I posted recently about the RC plane trip around Manhattan. But in order to complete the story you really need to add weaponry. Oooooh yes. :-)

 The weapons mounted to this RC tricopter were actually fireworks. See here for a full write up.


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