Monday, 29 August 2011

Karakuri

It would be best if I let the creator of this short film, Matthew Allard explain Karakuri.

Japan has always been on the forefront of cutting edge robotics. Its roots can be traced back 200-300 years during the Edo period when skilled craftsmen created automata (self-operating machines). Using nothing more than pulleys and weights they were able to make the Karakuri (Japanese automata) perform amazing tasks.
Japans modern day robots can be traced back to the Karakuri. Today Hideki Higashino is one of the few remaining craftsmen who is determined to keep the history and tradition of Japanese Karakuri alive.

Karakuri from Matthew Allard on Vimeo.
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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Storm Freerun

Hopefully you'll enjoy the antics of Storm Freerunning as they tour London's streets performing ever more daring and scary maneuvers. I don't know about you, but I get tired just watching. I think I need a lie down now.


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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Awesome People Hanging Out

I have spent the last hour or so in a very productive manner. OK, that's a lie but it has been enjoyable. I have been pouring over a superb blog called Awesome People Hanging Out Together. Basically it does what it says. Some of my favourite pics are below (click to enlarge), but please visit the site for many more fascinating shots.

Chuck Berry and Keith Richards


Dustin Hoffman and Lawrence Olivier on the set of Marathon Man in 1976


Errol Flynn and Brigitte Bardot

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Friday, 26 August 2011

Big Jumps

I'm not a huge risk taker but I love to watch others. If you're like me, then you'll hopefully enjoy this video. A top ten countdown of some of the biggest jumps you'll ever see. Number one is a doozy!


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Thursday, 25 August 2011

PostSecret Video

Way back in 2008 I posted about PostSecret. Do you remember? Well it is still going and in fact is bigger than ever. I just thought I would share this video I came across that Frank Warren made as an accompaniment to the original site and to promote a book. I was very struck by the couple that appear. You'll see what I mean I'm sure.


PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God from Frank Warren on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Flying High

Southport Airshow 2009Image via WikipediaI was going to make a post or at least mention the death of Flt Lt Jon Egging this week. For my readers outside the UK that don't know, he was one of those truly remarkable pilots that make up the RAF Red Arrows display team. Lt Egging (33) was tragically killed earlier this week after his jet crashed at an airshow in Bournemouth.

However rather than dwell on this sad event I'd like to share with you the astonishing skills of another remarkable pilot, Kyle Franklin, as he wows fans at the 2009 Branson Airshow by pretending to be drunk at the controls. A big thank you to my blogging buddy Al for taking the time to send it to me.


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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Literal Eclipse Of The Heart

I never did undertand the video to Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart but now it's all explained for me and you. Enjoy!


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Monday, 22 August 2011

Nations Of The World

Do you remember Animaniacs? Despite the fact that I was older than their target audience I absolutely loved this show. I guess like a handful of other kid's shows through the years, it had that great ability to appeal on more than one level. It was educational and extremely witty too! A little out of date now but please enjoy the genius of Yakko Warner (Rob Paulsen) reciting the nations of the world in song.


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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Vibrations

I have posted slow motion films before but this one deserves a showing. Fluke and Propadata Films teamed up to explore the world of vibrations through high-speed videography. Employing the use of a Phantom HD Gold camera, they were able to film a variety of materials and activities at a rate of 1,000 frames per second. What resulted is a short film of movement in slow motion, highlighting the effects of vibration normally invisible to the naked eye.


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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Movie Line Rhymes

Inspired by lifelong obsessions with beats, rhymes and feature films, Jordan Laws delivers an ingenious mega-mix of classic movie lines. But this isn't some slapped-together highlight reel. Laws produced an original beat, scoured movie scripts for memorable lines that fit his masterful puzzle and matched up these segments line-by-line, rhyme-by-rhyme.

Can you name all the movies in this mix? For those who require instant gratification, the full list is below the video.


'Movie Line Rhymes' by Jordan Laws from ScreenWerks on Vimeo.
  1. Hangover 2
  2. Empire Strikes Back
  3. Fight Club
  4. Scarface
  5. Dazed & Confused
  6. American Beauty
  7. Superbad 
  8. The Godfather
  9. Are We There Yet?
  10. There Will Be Blood
  11. Road to Perdition
  12. Coming To America
  13. Airplane 
  14. Borat 
  15. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
  16. American Pie
  17. Ghost
  18. The Graduate
  19. The Karate Kid
  20. Hangover
  21. Death To Smoochy
  22. Wedding Crashers
  23. Half Baked
  24. Fatal Attraction
  25. Jerry Maguire 
  26. Little Shop of Horror
  27. Tron
  28. A Christmas Story
  29. The Last Starfighter 
  30. The Dark Knight
  31. Anchorman
  32. E.T.
  33. Along Came Polly 
  34. Wanye's World
  35. Devils Advocate
  36. 40 Year Old Virgin
  37. Jaws 
  38. GoldFinger 
  39. Delirious
  40. Full Metal Jacket
  41. The Cooler
  42. Ferris Bullers Day Off
  43. Men In Tights
  44. Men In Black
  45. Blazing Saddles
  46. Cable Guy
  47. My Girl 
  48. Napolean Dynamite
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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Idiot With A Tripod

I have to say that I'm in two minds about this one so you can decide for yourselves (I'm sure you always do). The following is a short film called Idiot with a Tripod and was filmed during a snowstorm in New York last December by Jamie Stuart. Now don't get me wrong, I love it. The technical quality of the filming, the subject matter, the mood and feel of it, all appeal to me and I think some scenes would make wonderful photographic stills. However, the venerable movie critic Roger Ebert said that it should win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject. His reasoning...

(1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent classic "Man With a Movie Camera." (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency. It was filmed during the New York blizzard of Dec. 26, and Jamie Stuart e-mailed it to me with this time stamp: December 27, 2010 4:18:18 PM CST.
Now I'm no expert I realise that, but an Oscar? I hope you enjoy it.


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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

I Am Beautiful

Today I have a treat for stop-motion animation and Star Trek fans. If you like both, then you'll love this. :-)

Worf is a Klingon and so appears tough and angry on the outside, but have you ever stopped to think how he might feel on the inside? A short stop motion animated sting created as an introduction for the 'Best Stop Motion' award category of the 2009 University of Glamorgan Glammies Awards. Created and animated by Joshua & Nathan Flynn.


'I am Beautiful' by Joshua & Nathan Flynn from Joshua Flynn on Vimeo.
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Monday, 15 August 2011

Interview @ 1

Thanks to my eldest daughter for pointing out this video. Youtube user MrArturoTrejo decided to interview his one year old son. There's not much more that needs saying. Enjoy!


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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Dot

Dot is a stylish, durable 360º (panoramic) lens attachment and app for the iPhone 4. It lets your iPhone capture immersive, fully navigable, panoramic video in real-time - and share with friends on your phone, as well as on Facebook and Twitter, or streamed online using a panoramic video web platform and player. For more information, see here.

I just hope they soon realise that there are other phones available and make an Android version.


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Friday, 12 August 2011

The Amazing Spiderman

Well the Batman films have been "rebooted" and so was the Hulk and now it seems Spiderman is getting the same treatment. Being a fan I will go and see it of course but I can't help but wonder if it is really necessary to keep re-doing the same material. The best part for me is that the director's name is Marc Webb. :-)

Enjoy the trailer below and visit the website here. It's due out in July of 2012.


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Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Brain In Love

Are you in love? Have you ever been in love? If you answer yes to either of these questions, then this video may well interest you...Especially if you have ever lost love. Why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, anthropologist Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love and people who had just been dumped.

Look out for the excellent love poem.


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Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A Creative Solution

Crest MultiCare Whitening toothpasteImage via WikipediaIf you want something doing quickly, ask a lazy man. This is another gem that was sent to me in email so I can give no credit I'm afraid.

A toothpaste factory had a problem: they sometimes shipped empty boxes, without the tube inside. This was due to the way the production line was set up, and people with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timings so precise that every single unit coming out of it is perfect 100% of the time. Small variations in the environment (which can’t be controlled in a cost-effective fashion) mean you must have quality assurance checks smartly distributed across the line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket don’t get angry and buy someone else’s product instead.

Understanding how important that was, the CEO of the toothpaste factory got the top people in the company together and they decided to start a new project, in which they would hire an external engineering company to solve their empty boxes problem, as their engineering department was already too stretched to take on any extra effort.

The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, third-parties selected, and six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution — on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time. They solved the problem by using some high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box weighing less than it should. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over and yank the defective box out of it, pressing another button when done.

A while later, the CEO decides to have a look at the ROI of the project: amazing results! No empty boxes ever shipped out of the factory after the scales were put in place. Very few customer complaints, and they were gaining market share. “That’s some money well spent!” – he says, before looking closely at the other statistics in the report.

It turns out, the number of defects picked up by the scales was 0 after three weeks of production use. It should’ve been picking up at least a dozen a day, so maybe there was something wrong with the report. He filed a bug against it, and after some investigation, the engineers come back saying the report was actually correct. The scales really weren't picking up any defects, because all boxes that got to that point in the conveyor belt were good.

Puzzled, the CEO travels down to the factory, and walks up to the part of the line where the precision scales were installed. A few feet before it, there was a $20 desk fan, blowing the empty boxes out of the belt and into a bin. “Oh, that — one of the guys put it there ’cause he was tired of walking over every time the bell rang”, says one of the workers.
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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Mine Sweep

They must have swept this mine, it's the cleanest it could be surely? Greg Mirzoyan reaches eye-watering speed whilst rollerblading through the tunnels of the Wieliczka salt mine in Krakow, Poland. I think the cameraman should get credit for keeping up.


Greg Mirzoyan - Bombing down the salt mine in Poland. from Rollerblade on Vimeo.
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Monday, 8 August 2011

Gulp

'Gulp' is a short film created by Sumo Science at Aardman, depicting a fisherman going about his daily catch. Shot on location at Pendine Beach in South Wales, every frame of this stop-motion animation was shot using a Nokia N8. The film has broken a world record for the 'largest stop-motion animation set', with the largest scene stretching over 11,000 square feet. If you're interested, you can also see a "Making Of Gulp here.


Gulp. The world's largest stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8. from Nokia HD on Vimeo.
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Sunday, 7 August 2011

What Song Are You Listening To?

Youtube user TyCullen had a simple idea. To ask headphone wearing New Yorkers to tell him what song they were listening to. It sounds likre it might be boring, but for some odd reason I like this video. I hope you do too.


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Friday, 5 August 2011

Replay

Sorry to disappear for a few days, it has been a busy time for me. Let's get straight back in to the e-clecticism with animated short film by French Aniboom user voisinanthony. This is called "Replay" and is described...

In a destroyed world, the only glimpse of hope is the memory of a forgotten past. But be careful not to let your dreams control your mind...

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Monday, 1 August 2011

Make The Most...

...Of what you have, because you often don't realise how good you have it until it's gone. Sounds obvious doesn't it? But how many of us really take the time to stop and think about what we could so easily lose and how devastated we would be if we did? I have been reminded several times over the past few years that life is very fragile thing and that I really should hold on very tightly to those I care about. Sadly despite these reminders I failed to do that and I now find myself at a very low point in my life and unsure of what path to follow next.

However, let me share with you another reminder, one that is finally getting through to my slow brain that you have to grab life with both hands and run with it. Let me tell you about Laura.

I first met Laura several years ago as a shy unassuming (although thoroughly pleasant) young teenager who blushed if you even spoke to her. But like most people Laura had hidden depths and she soon began to show signs of more than just an average talent for Kickboxing. She had come second in qualifiers for the British junior team when what Laura thought was asthma got much worse. She was eventually diagnosed with a very rare, but ultimately lethal, condition called Idiopathic Pulmonary Artery Hypertension. Effectively Laura's lungs don't work properly putting extra pressure on her heart. It is this stress on her already weak heart that will eventually kill her. But even though she has been diagnosed with only weeks to live Laura is not sitting back and feeling sorry for herself. She has goals and is determined to meet them all before she leaves us. Not least marrying her fiance who proposed to her at her recent 18th birthday party.

This party was a dream come true for Laura and from what I hear (I sadly could not attend) it was a night to remember made possible by her parents and a fabulous charity called Rays Of Sunshine.

If you would like to hear more about the inspiration that is Laura, please see here but take the time to enjoy a great video that was taken at her 18th (below). But most importantly remember...Make sure that the ones you care most deeply for know it. Because one day it might be too late to tell them.


18th birthday party.... from Zia Trench on Vimeo.
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