“Slow” marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.
Pretty awesome little video from a French video production and graphic design firm. Not entirely sure about the veracity of the math or the visualizations… but that’s perhaps missing the forest for the trees.
Best viewed fullscreen.
Last weekend, the Lovehardsteins, ChAriel, Beth and I went to Bear Valley for a weekend of skiing, hot tubs, and some fantastic team cooking led by Ben. I x-country skied, but that’s a story for… never. On the drive back, we encountered a lot of outstanding randomness, including the following:
1) a large number of cows, walking in a straight line, down a path, despite huge swaths of trodable land surrounding them;
2) a boy on a dirt bike, racing parallel to us, in a field;
3) some very, very large birds;
4) a murmuration.
Today, kottke.org coincidentally featured a cool video about murmuration (posted below).
From a show with zefrank:
From the Cy Kuckenbaker, the creator, at petapixel:
The concept is simple: shoot the individual planes flying across a pure blue sky, then chroma key the blue out as if it’s a green or blue screen leaving only the plane behind. Then put them all together on a video timeline. I did some tests and discovered that it didn’t work well if there were trees in the edges of the frame so scouting good locations took the most time. I watched the weather for a cloudless day then sat in a park and shot every plane that flew over. I locked the camera (Canon 7D with a EF-S 17-55 f/2.8) on a tripod and shot the planes with 1080p video at 24fps with an exposure I’d tested the day before (50/s, f/13, ISO 100) that would keep the sky deep blue with no blowout for a good chroma key.
To give the video a sense of temporal change as the planes fly by I did an 8 hour time-lapse under a bridge nearby shot at the same angle and composited it over the planes. Without it there’s no sense of time passing. I used an intervalometer to shoot about 800 images with the same exposure as the video. Once I had it posted as a regular video clip, I keyed the sky out of it as well. I put everything together in Adobe Premiere, which challenged my system since I needed 40 video tracks to stack all the airplane clips together. The last piece was to put a new sky back in — a still image with depth and clouds that’s panned using key frames in Premiere.
This video is a couple of years old but was recently featured at The Atlantic. For those who don’t know, Rams was the influential product designer at Braun whose simple, minimal designs have widely influenced modern industrial design. In the mid-80s, Rams articulated a set of 10 design principles focusing on utility, aesthetic simplicity, and understandability. In the short video, Rams is quirky, thoughtful, and intriguing. Read more about his ten principles for good design here.
Obama’s twitter feed just posted this. Hilarious!
From Matthew Givot, who posted the video on his Vimeo account:
A very special thanks to the City of Inglewood, Chief of Police Mark Fronterotta, Lieutenant James Madia, Sergeant Dirk Dewachter, and to the Men and Women of the Inglewood Police Department. None of this would have been possible without them.
This project was only made possible by the help of a truly amazing and talented timelapse team which included; Joe Capra, Chris Pritchard, Brian Hawkins, Andrew Walker, Ryan Killackey and myself.
This truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we are so happy and honored to have been be a part of.
The endeavor started on Thursday night and went on until Sunday night, with very little sleep to no sleep. The only thing that kept us going was pure love of the art and adrenaline. One thing that stood out the most for me, while I was shooting, was the people of Los Angeles. It was so powerful to see the excitement on peoples faces and the pride of their home town. No matter how many times I would see the Shuttle it would never get old.
This has been an amazing experience that I will never forget. My hope is that this film will show you the amount of dedicated people and teamwork that it took to get the Endeavour to its new home. Enjoy.
The Wire, reimagined by snarky Legos. Click above to watch (requires Flash).
From Yahoo, via kottke.org.
This short animation captures the cadence of local travel in India perfectly. It nails those conflicting sensations of monotony, adventure, and relief.
Green, yellow, black. They are the blood in the veins of Bangalore: the 450,000 rickshaws and their drivers. Knocked together from bits and pieces, decorated, ready for the junk heap or carefully maintained like antique cars, the vehicles are as charismatic as their owners, who brave the monstrous traffic of this metropolis daringly, sleepy, chattering or stoic, making sure the passanger’s trip from A to B will be full of memorable experiences.
Based on days of riding around in rickshaws and drawings made locally, this animation captures the tough workaday life of a rickshaw driver, seen through the eyes of a European visitor.
Result of a one month trip to Bangalore, India as part of the project “The Law of the Market” at the University of Arts Berlin Weißensee, 2011
“My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.”
Fascinating and striking. Also, Don Pettit seems like the coolest imaginable dude. Megan Garber reported in the Atlantic that
Pettit has found a totally worthwhile way to pass the time not spent berthing space capsules, installing scientific equipment, being a bold explorer into the final frontier, etc. Pettit has been orchestrating space-based science demonstrations, broadcasting them to earth via YouTube in a series he calls Science off the Sphere.
Pettit is clearly incredibly excited about these demonstrations — and his enthusiasm makes for buoyant viewing, even in zero gravity. A couple weeks ago, the astronaut, chemical engineer, and Eagle Scout took zero-gravitied water droplets and used sound waves to manipulate them. It was beautiful and powerful and weird. Yesterday, though, Pettit outdid himself — by stripping down to a seemingly self-cut muscle T, taking a vacuum cleaner hose, and using said hose to create a makeshift, spaceborn didgeridoo.
None of that is a typo.
When actor, scholar, and activist Alan Alda was eleven, he asked a teacher a question that had been plaguing him. “What’s a flame? What’s going on in there?”
The teacher paused, as Alda recollects, and replaced one unknown with another, commenting, “It’s oxidation.” Alda notes that as an encounter with the failure of scientific communication.
Unbeknownst to me, Alda has pursued science communication pretty actively over the last few years, between interviews on Scientific American Frontiers and work at SUNY Stony Brook. He wrote recently,
I began to think that clarity in communicating science is at the very heart of science itself. And I wondered if written and oral communication skills could be taught systematically throughout the entire length of a student’s science education. The State University of New York at Stony Brook picked up on this idea, founding the Center for Communicating Science. I became part of the teaching faculty, and we began experimenting. We are now teaching communication courses for credit to graduate students in the sciences. Students learn to distill their message and write without jargon. They also experience an innovative course in improvisation, which teaches them to communicate with a live audience with the ease and familiarity of an animated conversation. The intention, of course, is not to turn scientists into actors but to allow them to be more authentically themselves in public inter- actions. Most of all, we discourage any form of “dumbing down” the science. The goal is to achieve clarity and vividness.
He also returned to that original question about flames and opened a competition. The winner is embedded below — pretty outstanding little video created by Ben Ames, an American PhD student studying quantum optics.
Beamer’s tag line sums it up: “Play any movie file directly via Apple TV.” A bargain at $7. Drop AVIs, MKVs, etc on Beamer and it shoots them over to your AppleTV. Started an mkv movie and watched an episode of TV using it — works like a charm. All it needs is some volume control and it’ll be golden.
In an attempt to more frequently update this blog, I'm kicking off an idea I had years ago. In 2008, composer Max Richter released "24 Postcards in Full Colour," an album of 24 songs that is ~34 minutes long.
Richter's website describes the album as
Max's ringtone album. Fragmentary and partial by nature, 24 postcards is a varied collection of evocative miniatures. The longest track is just under three minutes, whilst the majority clock in at around just sixty seconds, a series of sketches on the nature of time and memory, stitched together to form a series of jump-cuts and foldbacks. As though extracting the absolute essence, simple, plaintive piano and string melodies butt up against passages of rich, borderzone ambience - radio static / voices leaking through dense, shifting drones.
After a few listens to the album, I thought it would make a pretty nice little project to create companion videos to go along with Richter's short compositions. The videos would necessarily be primarily single shots and most likely a bit distant from the music. They would be disjointed, unrelated pieces capturing approximately a year of where I went and what I did.
That was two and a half years ago. Finally getting around to it now.
FCP X has been causing headaches for folks all over the webosphere. Unfortunate, because its pretty slick, especially if we consider it a 1.0 release.
One particular area of headache for me has been scripting the new Batch Monitor replacement -- Share Monitor. Turns out its not terribly difficult to interact with Share Monitor using the command line.
Fire up terminal.
Copy and paste the following:
/Applications/Compressor.app/Contents/PlugIns/Compressor/CompressorKit.bundle/Contents/EmbeddedApps/Share\ Monitor.app/Contents/MacOS/Share\ Monitor -help
Read, experiment, enjoy.