Replacement stars

January 26th, 2015

If the Sun were replaced by some other stars.

Be sure to watch to the end when we get to see Polaris up close. It's a hell of a thing.

[Via kottke.org]

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The Internet of Shit

January 9th, 2015

Smart Pipe is a genuinely shitty idea.

[Via Schneier on Security

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Low-flying aircraft should be very careful indeed

December 27th, 2014

You want a firework. This is a firework!

[Via MetaFilter]

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Negligence and ingratitude

December 25th, 2014

A Tale of Momentum & Inertia.

[Via io9, via Extenuating Circumstances]

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Earth timelapses

December 25th, 2014

Alexander Gerst's Earth timelapses video is mesmerising. Watch it in full-screen mode on the biggest display you have: you won't regret it.

It's a beautiful video and well worth a look, but I did have just one small quibble when I first saw it…

Early in the video, I found myself getting frustrated that more than once we saw crew or supply vessels attached to the docking arm, with the arm moving to line them up to dock or undock. The thing was, each time the image would cut away to a different view before the capsule docked/undocked. Somehow it just didn't feel right to not get to see the full sequence. In fairness, I suppose the teasing build-up made it that much more gratifying towards the end when we finally got a shot of the docking arm moving a capsule into position and this time we stuck around long enough to see the capsule undock and move away from the ISS on the way back to Earth.

What I can't decide is whether Gerst was just being a savvy editor, deliberately including truncated docking sequences so as to build anticipation for the later full sequence? Or was I just being weird to have got so fixated on the docking sequences, whilst every other viewer would have been enjoying the gorgeous images of aurorae seen from above and nighttime lightning storms illuminating the land below them and clouds and cityscapes and so on?1

[Via MetaFilter]

  1. On second thoughts, don't answer that! I have a feeling that I know the answer.

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Useless toilet paper machine

December 14th, 2014

This Useless toilet paper machine is, there's no denying it, pretty useless. And very funny.

[Via MetaFilter]

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Blackout City

December 7th, 2014

Blackout City by Nicholas Buer:

In a metropolis like London light pollution makes the night sky invisible. Only a few of the brightest stars and asterisms force their celestial light through the man made glow of the city. The night sky, one of the most beautiful of natural wonders is extinguished from view. Blackout City is an experimental timelapse film that makes the invisible, visible. It attempts to show what the night sky would look like If there were ever to be a total blackout in the South East of England on a clear, moonless, summer's night.

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Wanderers

November 30th, 2014

Wanderers, or, Life in the Solar System. Someday.1

[Via Sidelights]

  1. Not soon.

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'Bad Neil Gaiman' stories

November 30th, 2014

Neil Gaiman Reads "Bad Neil Gaiman" Stories. Be sure to stick around for the last story (which Gaiman declares to be his favourite.)

[Via The Millions]

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Bubbles Freezing

November 23rd, 2014

Soap bubbles freezing at -40c:

[Via The Kid Should See This]

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In the Beginning

November 15th, 2014

In the Beginning:

A short film about a little girl's hand in Earth's creation.

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Intuition

August 17th, 2014

Intuition:

A short film set in Barcelona about a woman who is unable to listen to herself.

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Let's hope these guys are wearing their brown pants…

August 1st, 2014

If Marvel ever decide that they want to atone for the terrible job they did of depicting Deadpool in the first Wolverine solo movie, they're welcome to do so by giving the world 90 minutes of this version of the "Merc' with a Mouth" instead:

Now that's more like it.

[Via MetaFilter]

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Time Travel Lover

July 6th, 2014

Time Travel Lover:

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App: The Human Story

July 1st, 2014

App: The Human Story is seeking funding via Kickstarter:

App creation has become the new art form for our generation. This is the story of the cultural phenomenon that touches all our lives. […]

I've backed it, even though I'm slightly wary of the possibility that the whole thing could turn into a happy-clappy paean to the wonderful world Steve Jobs gifted to us all with the release of iOS 2.0 back in 2008. I'm hoping that impression is just the effect of their cramming so many brief interview snippets into their teaser; in the full film, with more space to expand on their subject, here's hoping we'll get a more nuanced prespective on the story so far. We'll see.

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The Gunfighter

June 26th, 2014

The Gunfighter:

Director Eric Kissack, writer Kevin Tenglin, and producer Sarah Platt have fun with both the classic Western and the convention of the omniscient narrator in their short "The Gunfighter." But even more than nodding to old Hollywood, the filmmakers call back to Mad Magazine, Stan Freberg, Firesign Theater, National Lampoon, and all the other comedians over the decades who have pulled popular culture apart so they could play with the pieces.

[Via The Dissolve]

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KILL BILL 8 Bit Cinema

June 25th, 2014

KILL BILL (Vol 1 and 2) – 8 Bit Cinema:

I was hoping it'd spend more time on the Crazy 88, but despite that omission1 this is a pretty fun tribute to The Bride's rampage.

[Via kottke.org]

  1. Also, I'd hoped that Vernita's daughter would show up, but I suppose that little conversation didn't really fit the style of this piece.

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The Man with the Plan

June 23rd, 2014

Having seen Oculus the other night,1 I was reading the comments at the IMDb and came across a mention of a short film made by Oculus director Mike Flanagan back in 2006 that was related to his feature film debut.

Oculus: Chapter 3 – The Man with the Plan uses many of the same story beats as the current film, so you probably shouldn't watch it if you have any thoughts of watching the feature film because Flanagan's full-length effort really is best seen knowing as little as possible about why these characters are doing this thing they're doing. For anyone who has seen Oculus, the short – which can be viewed in full on Vimeo, is an even more compact – and pretty effective – take on one portion of the same story.

  1. My one-sentence review: Oculus is just 104 minutes long, but it's an extremely tense 104 minutes.

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MJT

June 3rd, 2014

This excerpt1 2 from Mike Judge's Silicon Valley is a beautiful illustration of what can happen when a bunch of geeks take an idea and run with it.

[Via More Words, Deeper Hole]

  1. Embedding not allowed, unfortunately – you'll have to follow the link to YouTube to see it.
  2. Dialogue and subject matter are probably NSFW.

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Ducklings vs. Stairs

May 23rd, 2014

Ducklings vs. Stairs:

Epic is the only word for it…

[Via MetaFilter]

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