Watching videos of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second turned out to be exactly what I needed on a lazy Sunday morning. I never thought of moths as cuddly, but how else can you describe these?
Seeing how ungainly some of those take-offs looked, I couldn’t help but think of Douglas Adams on the subject of flying (from Life, the Universe and Everything): "The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
Folks, I give you Totally Fixed Where We Are:
Cheesy? Oh yes. A work of genius? Very possibly!1
- Perhaps you need to be of a certain age to fully appreciate this. Or perhaps not. ↩
YouTube’s algorithm has been suggesting this video for a couple of days now but I’d been ignoring it until a comment at Charlie’s Diary gave me a nudge towards it.
Granted, the Current Situation provides comedians with a target-rich environment,1 so it’s more of a whistle-stop tour than the in-depth charge sheet that some of the individuals deserve, but it’s still a decent reminder of how keen so many incumbents are to rush past lockdown and rush into what comes afterwards. You know, the return of ‘normality’.
[Via Charlie’s Diary]
- In many respects the charge sheet probably needs expanding to cover every pusher of neoliberal bullshit over the last five decades or so, but it seems very reasonable to start with the current incumbents and work backwards from there as required until the job is done. ↩
Donato Sansone’s video ghostCRASH is impressive work, editing out all but one car from a series of car crash videos:
A small part of me can’t help but contemplate how oddly bloodless these scenes are, at least when viewed from a safe distance like this. How different did they look thirty minutes or an hour or two later, once the emergency services had arrived and extracted the occupants of the cars.
[Via Orbital Operations]
Vorticity 2 is one crazy impressive piece of work. Demands to be seen on the largest screen (with the most capable sound system) that you can get access to.
At times, as the lightning made an appearance, I full expected to see a mighty God of Thunder arriving, loudly demanding, “Bring me Thanos!”
I’d somehow failed to notice that a documentary about the Apple Newton had been released: Love Notes to Newton is a mix of historical footage about the machine’s development and tributes to the dwindling band of Newton aficionados who have tried hard to keep their Newtons in daily use in the modern world where the smartphone in your Pocket utterly outclasses its ancestor.
It’s fair to say that the Newton was an inspiring failure: Palm were the most visibly successful company that tried to follow in the Newton’s footsteps, but they didn’t ever get beyond the geek market. 1 While few users refer to their smartphones as a PDA that’s just what it is. The biggest difference between a smartphone/PDA and a Newton is that the Newton’s operating system took great pains to revolve around collections of object-oriented data that it made available to any other program on the device, where modern smartphones run standalone Apps and tend to have tighter constraints on what data is visible to different apps. To a large extent, if you can trust Newton fans to be objective for a minute, is that smartphones substitute sheer processor horsepower for smart software.
It’s tantalising to wonder what could have happened if the Newton had survived a bit longer after the return of Steve Jobs to Apple: might the improvements in Newton OS 2 (and whatever might have come to pass in Newton OS 3 if they’d got that far) have allowed the platform to flourish, or was it unfortunate enough to be a revolutionary product from a company that couldn’t afford to wait for it to outgrow the bad reputation it was saddled with because they over-promised what it was one day going to be capable of, and doubly cursed because it was a highly visible effort by a recently ousted CEO to be a visionary in the mould of his predecessor/successor?
The thing is, right now Apple’s iOS team would look at this documentary and think it couldn’t happen to them. It not only can, but one day it almost certainly will.2
Anyway, Love Notes to Newton is definitely worth a watch if you have any sense of how things were when John Sculley was running the show and it wasn’t at all clear where Apple’s next hit product was coming from.
[Via 512 Pixels]
The major fault I see when I watch The Overlook Hotel is that it spends way too much time dropping unsubtle hints that much of Jack Torrance’s post-film tenure as janitor of the Overlook involved his being under the influence of Pennywise. Way too many red balloons floating around in the background of scenes for my liking.
When I first saw a link to Dancing In Movies a week or so ago I wasn’t all that impressed: yes, someone had put a lot of effort into stringing together clips from nearly 300 films but I wasn’t getting a thrill from it. But now I’ve taken (several) further looks at it and I love it! I think on the first viewing I was too obsessed with identifying the sources of the clips, and as they’re such short clips I found myself overwhelmed by the need to try to mentally catalogue them in real time and was too busy to get round to appreciating the art of the compilation itself.1
Fortunately – perhaps it caught up with me on a day when my case of trainspotter’s syndrome was in remission – I saw it again the other day, and this time I just settled back and enjoyed the quirky spectacle of it all. Magnificent stuff, strongly recommended.