Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
The video below, by Arnaud Jourdain, is a time lapse animation showing five years' worth of graffiti at 5a Rue de Verneuil in Paris. By shooting thousands of high-resolution photos over a period of years, the filmmakers were able to reconstruct the graffiti process and even separate out layers of graffiti, creating an impressive 3D effect, seeming to fly through exploded layers. It's really neat. After the jump, check out the Google auto-translation in English (actually pretty decent) of the French... READ ON
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -Carl Sagan. Here's the third movement of the growing Symphony of Science, a series of songs that use scientists' spoken voices auto-tuned to make them sing. In this latest installment, the focus is again on the vastness of the cosmos and our place in it. The video also includes a few clips from my favorite film of all time, Koyaanisqatsi (more on that later this week).
If you're a fan of the original song ("A Glorious Dawn" featuring Carl... READ ON
Okay, this is just silly. I figured you might want to let off some steam before Thanksgiving. What follows are six American Budget Shopping Network clips. This "network" is basically comedian Andy Daly (best known for his part on the HBO show Eastbound and Down) trying to run a TV shopping show, and having a great time. Enjoy.
Fire & Knives
"We can't sell you fire, I don't know how we'd ship it! But we can sell you knives, and that's what we're doing right here!"
The American Budget Network... READ ON
Turkey Tracker is a bold experiment in social networking and turkey-smoking technology. Turkey Tracker combines a live video stream of a turkey smoking (at an undisclosed location, but I might as well tell you it's in Portland, Oregon), a live Q&A session and other events throughout the day (see the Broadcast Schedule at the bottom of this post for details), a live temperature graph of the bird gathered using high-tech components (again, see below for the ridiculously awesome details), Twitter updates,... READ ON
NOVA: What Are Dreams? airs on PBS stations in the US tonight, Tuesday, November 24. This is a terrific documentary on dreams, packed with specifics on the science of sleep. If you've ever wondered about sleepwalking, why we dream, or why sleep is necessary, this is the documentary for you! Note: after the air date, the entire program will be available for streaming for one full week on the Nova: What Are Dreams website.
I'm a big fan of NOVA, the science program aired on PBS stations in the US. I... READ ON
Objectified airs on PBS stations in the US on Tuesday, November 24, as part of the Independent Lens series. I highly recommend that you set your DVR to record this film, if you're interested in: documentaries, computers, how things are made, how things work, or why some toothpicks have that little sculpted circular part on one end but are pointy on the other. In other words, I recommend it for everyone.
Objectified is a special documentary: it's basically about nerds, but classy ones, and definitely... READ ON
If you've never seen the classic short "Powers of Ten," I've got a treat for you. Created in 1968 for IBM by Charles and Ray Eames (yes, of Eames Chair fame), the film has a very simple premise: start at a static scene, then start zooming out, at one "power of ten" per ten seconds -- for example, from 102 meters to 103 meters. As we zoom out, we see the earth, the solar system, the galaxy, and so forth. Once we reach 1024 meters (the size of the observable universe), the camera then begins a faster... READ ON
On June 12, 2009, vocalist Bobby McFerrin participated in a panel discussion called "Notes & Neurons: In Search of a Common Chorus" at the World Science Festival. As part of the discussion, he performed an amazing feat -- he trained an audience, in mere seconds, to become a sort of human keyboard. In the video below, McFerrin points to the floor, sings a note, then makes the audience sing it. He steps to one side and sings the next note, and again, the audience sings it. The audience proceeds to sing... READ ON
So here's the deal. There are these two young filmmakers who go by the names Rhett and Link. They love local commercials, and they make them. For free. They go on the road, crisscrossing the country, making awesome local commercials. How can they afford to do this? Through sponsorship (often visible in the web versions of the commercials, and sometimes sponsored items, like Alka Seltzer, visible in shots). Anyway, even though there is sponsorship involved, these are some awesome local commercials.... READ ON
Although you may have never seen Mel Blanc's face, you've definitely heard his voice -- he voiced hundreds of classic cartoon characters including Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Speedy Gonzales, Barney Rubble, Foghorn Leghorn, and bunches more. Known as the "man of a thousand voices," he actually claims roughly 400 voices in the video below -- a late 80's interview with David Letterman (Blanc died in 1989).
In the interview, Letterman asks Blanc how he develops the characters' voices. Blanc replies, "They... READ ON
Liechtenstein is the world’s leading exporter of false teeth.