Friday, 30 September 2011

Antarctica

Antarctica isn't perhaps an obvious choice of destination for pleasure but my very long list of places I'd love to visit has always included this often forgotten continent. Certainly this time-lapse video made by Anthony Powell of a year on the ice gives a great insight in to what life is like at the bottom of the world.

Taken in and around McMurdo Station and Scott Base. Each year the sun is below the horizon for 4 months in the middle of winter, and above the horizon for 4 months in summer. During the couple of months in between we have more-or-less normal days. Includes shots of auroras and the very rare polar stratospheric nacreous clouds, which form when ozone depleting gases crystallize in the upper atmosphere in the intense cold. Summer population is about 1200 people, winter about 130.


Of course it's not all beautiful imagery. Life can be very harsh.


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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Where?

Where's Wally? the movie! OK, yes its a fake but I can actually see somebody in Hollywood coming up with this before long. Enjoy!


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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Bloodrop

This is a very strange but compelling short film by Russian director Alexei Popogrebsky. Things aren't quite what they seem in the picture on the wall.

If you have a pair of the old-style 3D glasses around still (red and cyan lenses) then there is an anaglyph 3D version here which gives a whole new dimenion of weirdness. Enjoy.


BLOODROP (HD 2D) from Alexei Popogrebsky on Vimeo.
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Monday, 26 September 2011

Dog Diary v Cat Diary

What was that about cats and dogs again?Image via WikipediaAnother email I received recently that will ring true to anyone that owns cats or dogs...

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary

Day 983 of My Captivity

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now ...
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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Cut That Out

Before I continue with this post I need to give you a STRONG LANGUAGE WARNING! If you don't like swearing move along now.

Many films that want to be true to real life feature swearing in them. Whilst they're on show at the cinema this is OK because they can be rated as age appropriate. But if they are successful films they are going to inevitably make it to TV where there are no such restrictions. This means they are going to have to be censored. They can be "bleeped" of course, but quite often somebody has the bright idea of re-recording the dialog to convey something less controversial. Below are some of the more hilarious attempts.


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Friday, 23 September 2011

Tron Lightcycle

I'm sure that many people that have seen Tron (either version) have pictured themselves on one of the iconic Lightcycles. I know I have. Well now you can own one of your own. Parker Brothers Choppers in Florida have created an amazing looking replica which now comes as a 96v powered electric version. Capable of a top speed in excess of 100 mph, and a range of 100 miles on a single charge, it takes only 35 minutes to recharge. It doesn't look particularly easy to ride, but who cares?


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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Magic Flashlights

A snowboarding film with a difference today. Shot at Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood by Mike Benson and friends. Enjoy!


Magic Flashlights from Mike Benson on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

What Are Continents?

Do you remember the very helpful video that explained Britain, the UK, and England? Here's a reminder if you don't. The creator of that helpful explanation has produced another informative video that attempts to explain the conundrum that is continents. It cleared up a few questions for me but didn't at the same time. You'll see what I mean.


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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

ISS Fly-by

I was very lucky recently to witness the International Space Station (ISS) pass overhead. I was sadly too slow to get any pictures but it was still an extremely impressive sight as it appeared much brighter than any star and travelled at mind-numbing speed across the night sky. It also makes the following video even cooler to see things from the other way round.

It is a time-lapse made from images that the ISS captured on an orbit of the planet. It begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the Amazon. Also visible is the Earth's ionosphere (thin yellow line) and the stars of our galaxy.


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Monday, 19 September 2011

Otter Play

If you're having a bad day this may well just turn it around and make you smile. A small child and an otter strike up a playful friendship at the San Diego Zoo.


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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Lightsaber London

To mark the UK launch of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray earlier this week, the BT Tower in London was lit up to resemble a giant blue lightsaber. Is there no end to the marketing machine behind these films?


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Saturday, 17 September 2011

We Are Science Probes

I'm an atheist. However I'm not hardcore. I don't begrudge others their beliefs or try to change them and I have some very good friends that do have faith in a supreme deity. It is just that I'm a very scientific kind of guy and I like theories to be tested and proven rather than relying on blind faith. Especially when it comes to something as fantastic as a single being that supposedly created everything.

It is therefore extremely confusing and scary to me now that more and more people seem to be abandoning all logic, and scientific fact to believe instead that evolution is a myth and that the world was actually created in just the last 6000 years. These creationists, as they are known, are now at the point of getting school text books changed. I could rant about how dangerous this is for pages, but I know that the readers of e-clecticism are smart enough to work it out for themselves so instead, just enjoy the video.


We Are Science Probes from Billy Blob on Vimeo.
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Friday, 16 September 2011

Top Spinner

I have been lucky enough to visit Montreal but I sadly missed this guy. A street performer uses a giant hoop to wow the crowd. Of course I could easily do this without the hoop...But I'd need to drink a bottle of whisky first. :-)


Sweet Canadian Street Performer - Watch MoreFunny Videos
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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cinemagraph How-To

Back in May I posted about Jamie Beck and her partner Kevin Burg who set the web alight with their stunning "Cinemagraphs". Since then there have been lots of copycats with varying degrees of success and several have been cool enough to provide tutorials. The following is from Photoshop guru Russell Preston Brown who shares a very neat technique that will help you turn a video clip into an animated cinemagraph image using the extended version of Adobe Photoshop CS5.


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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

(Notes On) Biology

I'm sorry to say that this is yet another video that I am unable to tell you much about except its title. Ornana Films that made it didn't really provide much information on Vimeo but it is so impressive I had to share it with you. Using stop-motion they have created a fantastic short film that is full of little in-jokes. I can certainly empathise with the student. Enjoy!


(notes on) biology from ornana films on Vimeo.
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Monday, 12 September 2011

Lazy Spock

Leonard Nimoy is obviously not guilty of taking himself too seriously as is evident in this wonderful official alternative video of Bruno Mars' The Lazy Song. For a geek like me this is pure joy. Look out for a sly cameo by Bruno himself.


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Sunday, 11 September 2011

Laura Greenway

Just a quick post to urge all my readers to take a look at a new website setup in honour of Laura Greenway. I posted about Laura last month but she unfortunately lost her battle earlier this week after a revolutionary new operation was attempted. Just take a moment out of your day to take a look and if you can offer something to help it would be most appreciated.

There are actually two sites but I don't think it matters which one you choose. lauragreenway.co.uk or lauragreenway.com.

After reading Laura's story there is another site I urge you to visit if you are a resident of the UK and that is the Organ Donor Register.

Thank you.
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Greed

A superbly animated, clever and funny short film from Swedish character animator Alli Sadegiani. Through the simplest of plot lines, a single character, a single setting and a little comedy we see human greed laid bare for the idiotic and dangerous thing it is.


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Saturday, 10 September 2011

Spidey @ Speed

A quick one today, literally. German artist Martin Missfeldt shows us his creation of Marvel Comic's Spider-man, in Photoshop using time-lapse to speed it up from the normal five hours to four minutes. If you like Martin's style you can see more at his website.

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Friday, 9 September 2011

Human Flight

I'm afraid I don't know too much about this video but it is way too good not to share. Shot on a GoPro and featuring some stunning slow motion it looks truly stunning and nearly makes me want to try sky-diving. Ah maybe not. :-) Enjoy!


Experience Human Flight from Betty Wants In on Vimeo.
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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Starry Starry Night

Ben Canales is a master of starlight photography. You only have to take a look at the following shot (click to enlarge), that won a top prize in the National Geographic Travel Photo competition, to see his skill.


Luckily for us mere mortals Ben has produced a great tutorial video that offers really useful tips on how we might capture our night time shots. I'm really looking forward to giving this a go myself, but in the meantime, check out Ben's Flickr page and/or his website.


Landscape Astrophotography Tutorial - First Night Out from Ben Canales on Vimeo.
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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Premakes

The film industry seems to be overrun with remakes at the moment. In my opinion it is often unnecessary because the originals are just fine the way they are. However this is a great fun idea from Youtube user whoiseyevan. Premakes! Clever editing, direction and a heap of research to produce fake trailers of contemporary films as if they were made in the past. Here are a few of my favourites but see the complete selection here.

The Empire Strikes Back (1950)


Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1951)


Up! (1965)


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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Criss Angel

You may already be familiar with Criss Angel, the illusionist and actor. I'd heard the name alright but not seen him in action until my friend Al sent me the following video. Truly impressive stuff and I will be checking out more of his videos I'm sure.


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Monday, 5 September 2011

Every Trailer Ever

This made me laugh. Can you picture that bit in a movie where a character stares into the camera as if they are looking at something terrible out of shot? Quite often the sense of impending doom is accentuated by the wind blowing their hair and often they look upwards slightly. Know what I mean? Well someone has made that in to a trailer and it gets a big thumbs up from me.


Every Teaser Trailer Ever -- powered by Cracked.com
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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Move, Eat, Learn

In the words of independent filmmaker Rick Mereki...

Three guys, forty-four days, eleven countries, eighteen flights, thirty-eight thousand miles, an exploding volcano, two cameras and almost a terabyte of footage. All to turn three ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food into three beautiful and hopefully compelling short films.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.


EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.


LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.
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Friday, 2 September 2011

Breathe

A double edged post today. A clever video message from Greenpeace to remind us to look after our planet using stunning time-lapse photography. But on a personal note, a reminder to me to pause, breathe and appreciate what I have around me.


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Thursday, 1 September 2011

AI v AI

I don't know if you have ever come across any of the various "chat bots" that exist on the Internet? Sites such as Cleverbot that provide an interface to an artificial intelligence engine that will hopefully feel like you're chatting to a real person. Some very clever but clearly bored people at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab decided to see what would happen if they got two of them talking to each other. What follows is pure awesomeness but I'm not sure what Alan Turing would think.


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