Thursday, 31 December 2009

How Much Reality Can You Take


is a mix and match series of excerpts by Slack Alice from the feature film Tantric Tourists cut to music by Banco De Gaia, whose music features heavily in the film and whose album Memories Dreams Reflections has recently been released.

Tantric Tourists is an award-winning comedy documentary, directed by Alexander Snelling. The movie is about a New York tantric guru,  Laurie Handlers and 10 first-time-in-India students from the US go in search of life-changing tantric experience in the Real India.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Very Special Episode of Elevator to: Space






A comedy sketch by Chris Garcia.
Space is a vacuum and it loves ice cream.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Ortery: World's 1st Automata Photography Vending Machine


Able to leap full bounds into web ready automated 360 spherical object oriented; Ortery has released its Photosimile 5000, a machine that they claim is the “next generation imaging device for the office.”  Although the machine looks like a Microwave oven, it delivers "the most innovative and efficient photography automation and 3D imaging tool available."

One simply places an object you’d like to photograph, inside, adjust a few settings on the parameter, and walk away with a professional looking product photograph. The computer-operated system automatically adjusts lighting to remove shadows, and takes care of handling white balance.

It comes with the custom Photosimile 5000 software that not only allows you to see previews of the item while it’s in the box, but it also allows you to control the angle and position of the camera mount to get exactly the shots you need. It also makes creating website-friendly flash animations as easy as navigating an export options dialogue, where you can resize, mask, correct and even add watermarks to images.

Although the machine will likely be popular in the US, I suspect it may be equally successful in  Japan, since they have an undying love for all things vending. Nevertheless, I suspect it has an exotic price tag, and should you be in the market for one, then.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Unreal Tape Measure Skills





With enough practice this building contractor could take home the Gold medal at the Tape Measure Olympics.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Media Art Animation: The Origin of Mass




This experimental video is by Aleksandar Rodic and was inspired by the demoscene and sub-atomic particle collision images. The name comes from the Higgs Boson particle which is expected to provide a scientific foundation for the origin of mass in the universe.


But will the scientists at CERN actually find the elusive missing particle ?

Friday, 25 December 2009

World's Tinniest Snowman


was built by the National Physical Laboratory out of two of the tin nano particle beads that are usually used to calibrate electron microscope lenses. It measures just 0.01mm (1/5 the width of human hair).The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is an ion beam deposited on platinum.

"A nanomanipulation system was used to assemble the parts 'by hand' and platinum deposition was used to weld all elements together. The snowman is mounted on a silicon cantilever from an atomic force microscope whose sharp tip 'feels' surfaces creating topographic surveys at almost atomic scales." Read more.

This tinny tinny snowman illustrates, scientists also have a sense of humor and express their good cheer to you, as do I, at the end of the video.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Tag Clouds: Interactive Digital Performance


A tag cloud or word cloud is a display technique that bloggers and web sites employ to visually display, in an abbreviated way, their content.

The video here is an excerpt from the opening night of .txt at the Museu do Oriente as part of the Experimenta Design biennial 2009. The performance here is

"supported by several sensorial technologies, which explores forms of contemporary transversal artistic languages. The result is a unique vocabulary, which is physically articulated by means of interactive soundscapes, visual compositions, and real-time choreography.."

Web surfers, bloggers and web researchers alike often use tag clouds as a speedy method in their searches for meaning and information, in a way similar to the dancer interacting in the video.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Intimate Displays: Bionic Contact Lenses


Is bionic vision in your future? It might be if engineers can perfect a contact lens filed with electronics. As this ScienCentral News report explains, engineers have demonstrated how to put electronics inside a contact lens.

Babak Parviz at the University of Washington, in Seattle introduces us to the point of where science fiction meets reality with prototype contact lenses embedded with a wireless display, that picks up power beamed from nearby radio sources, perhaps, in the future a cell phone.

Bionic essentially means increasing ordinary human powers by the means of electromechanical artificial body parts. When the inventors complete their development of this device, its more than likely that they will only be initially available to the military.

Source

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Hifana "Wamono"




is an amusing Japanese animation by Genki Ito, who is a digital artist specializing in motion design and animation at Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo / W+K Tokyo Lab.

In case you were wondering. Hifana or Haifana, means "South Winds" in the Okinawan dialect of Japanese and is a breakbeat musical duo formed in the late 1990's. and "Wamono" is the song.

Its a refreshing change to watch how the animator draws his characters out of his real life situation and equally interesting to watch how the story  melds into  his domestic home lifestyle, at the end.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Creative insect Robots of 2009





This video documents a smattering of biomimic or insect inspired robots and creative speculative robotic research like co-opting live insects with embedded sensors, being carried out by various science laboratories across the US.

An interesting aspect of this video is the way the narrator pronounces  certain words.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Budgie Cyber Chat tweet tweet


Come to think of it we are all going to the birds as an ever increasing population of online voyeurs, doers and shakers, are all pecking to the rhythm of 140 characters or less, twattering, twittering and tweeting !

Feathered friend aficionado Andrew Grantham is showing us here "his budgie bird Nibbler watching "warboop's): Budgie Mickey on youtube:) You can hear my other budgie McChirps squawking in the background at the vocal Mickey but Nibbler wants to be more up Close and personal. When he hears/sees Mickey talking he gets very excited and goes into a pecking frenzy lol. "

So fellow twitter's, did we glean anything from watching our tweetering cousins providing the best of cyber twittering and retweetering ?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Arc by Holon


is a media art demo in 4096 bytes, for Breakpoint 2009, which was the world's biggest pure demoscene event, with up to 1000 creative participants from more than 30 nations held in Bingen am Rhein, Germany, earlier this year, that enjoyed 4 days of round-the-clock activities in arts, technology and international socializing.

Arc was made with Google's Sketchup and Autodesk's 3ds Max, a 3D Modeling Animation and Rendering Software used by creatives and movie professionals alike, largely for game development and various movie effects and or movie visualization environments. (wiki)

Although the animation works to a certain extent the sound-bed leaves a lot to be desired. Nevertheless the maker Thomas Kombüchen, also known as pandur or tom or in this case, Holon, is active in his field of creative graphic animation as can be seen via his website.

Friday, 18 December 2009

The Known Universe



This cool animation, begins from the roof top of the Himalayas, zooms out to our globe, shows the orbital traces of the artificial satellites then begins the pan zoom out to mapped star systems and graphically illustrates the as yet unmapped regions. Thence we are taken outwards into a short journey of the outer edges of the known universe, which is represented as a globe including the background cosmic radiation left over by the big bang

Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Coffee Cup speed draw





Time lapse coffee cup sketch by boey, who says

"These cups last thousands of years, and my Sharpie says it's permanent ink. These things are going to last generations. It's archival material." via

Go visit Boey's website to see more of his works.

Music track by DJ Shadow

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Scientists Find Coconut-Carrying Octopodes

   According to an AP report: Australian scientists have discovered octopodes in Indonesia that collect coconut shells for shelter. The scientists believe that their video footage documents the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. The researchers videoed the veined octopodes, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the seafloor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical lounge. Dr Julian Finn from Australia's Museum Victoria believes that these ocotopodes use the coconuts as planned future use for shelter from predators.

The researchers think that the creatures would initially have used large clam shells as their haven, but later swapped to coconuts after they began turning up on the sea floor.

Tool use has now been observed in a growing list of primates, mammals and birds. The researchers say their study suggests that these coconut-grabbing octopodes should now be added to these ranks.

I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb now and although I lack any critical scientific knowledge or proof I would include almost all mobile multi cellar organisms use adaptive tool techniques to sustain their existence!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

What is the biggest globe in the Universe ?






and how long would it take to circumnavigate it in a commercial jet liner?

"If the Earth were to be represented by a sphere one centimeter in diameter, the Sun would be represented as a sphere with a diameter of one hundred and nine centimeters, at a distance of one hundred and seventeen meters. At these scales, VY Canis Majoris would have a diameter of approximately 2.25 kilometers." Source

Monday, 14 December 2009

Chicken suited busker plays "What is Love" on Pianica



Computer gamer, Ring Mod was in Melbourne recently for Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) 09, and chanced upon busker James Bowers wearing a chicken suit, outside Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, playing the hit 90's track "What Is Love" on bass guitar and Pianica (or Melodica), with the assistance of a loop pedal. The real action in this video starts at around 1:20, when James gets down with the improv action on the Pianica.

"The pianica is a keyboard with a harmonica attached. You don't actually have to know how to play a harmonica. On the pianica, the harmonica part is a mouthpiece you blow into." via

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Blue Footed Booby Mating Dance



Blue ? well no turquoise actually and in case you've wondered turquoise means Turkish stone, however these birds are not found in Turkey, rather only on one island on the eastern Pacific Ocean of the Galapagos Islands, called Espanola Island. Here, in this video the Blue-footed boobies are doing their famous mating dance.

"In search for some attractive turquoise feet, these males wet their whistle in search for the most reproductively successful lady. In a clown like fashion, these blue footed booby birds strut their stuff, stomp,wave, and a shake some funny flippers to give the females a thrill." (via Scienceray)

The name of the rather aptly adapted song in the video is called Mah Na Mah Na by Italian composer Piero Umiliani.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Milan gets slowed by an invasion of fuchsia snails


Anyone walking around an inner plaza of Milan, where the buildings are variously grey and the pavement shades of brown to black may suddenly gasp at the sight of some 2 by 3 meter bright pink fuchsia snails. The sculptures are made of recyclable plastic and, as the creators say "invite the passer-by to slowness and careful listening" and "The snail stands for the reclamation of the slow quality of life, in contrast with the typically frenetic rhythm of the metropolis. The snail is a guide towards quality, it moves consciously towards an ethical and economical recovery”.

According to Y Magazine the sculptures are from REgeneration, a travelling installation by the Cracking Art Group (Renzo Nucara, Marco Veronese, Alex Angi, Carlo Rizzetti, Kicco, William Sweetlove) supported by the Ministry for Arts and Culture, the Ministry of the Environment and by Milan Culture Council Department.

The Milan installation (until January 20) is only the first leg of the snails’ long journey. In the next few years the snails will change color and travel worldwide: they are scheduled “to visit” the most famous capital cities and locations of the Planet to eventually come back to Milan in 2015.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Facadeprinter: Robotic Paintball Printer


Martin Fussenegger and Michael Haas, have invented a computer controlled  air pressure bubble ink  jet print system that reproduces graphics on an architectural scale, from up to 20 feet or 5 meters distant.

"The facadeprinter is a simple, software controlled robot. It consists of a two-axis turntable and a print head which is powered by compressed air. The printer shoots the picture dot by dot from a remote distance on a selected surface. Particularly inaccessible, format-less and uneven surfaces can be printed on. For example a building can be printed from the street, without having a complex scaffolding. The process of printing has a certain entertainment value. Moreover the facadeprinter is a comparatively cheap large-scale printing technology. Therefore it is an media and also a technical innovation. This new media is an unconventional tool for large-scale communication."

The time lapse video here, "three stones", documents a day of paint balling graphics on various inter urban facades in Germany. The inventors are now marketing their device for wide spread commercial viral applications, as well as promoting the benefits of its use in disaster relief situations. Visit their website to learn more.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Gizmo, the gymnast cat






An amusing cat playing on top of the door!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

H2oil 3 animated sequences


I'm totally convinced since watching these animated sequences by Dale Hayward that people the world over are completely unaware of the amount of water that is required to make one barrel of oil!

In the vast, pristine forests of Western Canada, the ‘war for water’ has already begun…

"Thanks to Alberta’s Athabasca oil sands, Canada is now the biggest oil supplier to the United States. A controversial billion-dollar industry is heavily invested in extracting crude from the tarry sands through a process so toxic it has become an international cause for concern. Four barrels of glacier-fed spring water are used to process each barrel of oil, then are dumped, laden with carcinogens, into leaky tailings ponds so huge they can be seen from space. Downstream, the people of Fort Chipewyan are already paying the price for what will be one of the largest industrial projects in history. When a local doctor raises the alarm about clusters of rare cancers, evidence mounts for industry and government cover-ups. In a time when wars are fought over oil and a crisis looms over access to clean fresh water, which resource is more precious? And what price are we willing to pay? " Gisèle Gordon.

Read more about this animation, here.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Diy Solar Hamster Robot


uses a solar-cell that triggers a motor, motivating the ball to move. This robot uses a solar engine circuit, that stores power in a capacitor, (which is like a small battery). When the circuit interprets that there is enough power stored, it releases it in a burst to the motor, (as you can observe in the video), which causes the robot ball to swiftly move across the pavement.

This diy project, it is claimed, is extremely simple and can take a beginner less than 2 hours to build ? Serious diy builders maybe, but that probably doesn't include the sourcing of parts and reading the instructions for building it !

The Miniball itself was originally invented by Richard Weait of North York, Toronto, using minimal electronics and simple mechanical design called BEAM robotics.Here is the link to build it! Alternatively you may prefer to simply buy it as a kit!

Otherwise be sure to head on over to this other video by Bre Petis of Make magazine to see "How to make other DIY Solar Sensing BEAM Robots"

Monday, 7 December 2009

Eigenharp Alpha; the Space Bassoon

is the first musical controller made for both playing and sequencing.

At first glance and listen, re the video, the Eigenharp appears to be an intuitively playable musical instrument, however this new musical instrument seems to be for the technically astute computer software literate musician/performer.

"The instruments talk to their base station by a dedicated, high speed, differential, transformer-coupled, error-correcting digital protocol for use in noisy stage environments. The wire used is a 4 core, standard star quad mic cable and can be up to 40M long. The base station then talks to the control software running on the host PC or Mac  via a dedicated protocol over USB2. In the host system, the native protocol used between software components, is a network protocol called Eigentalk. This can run over Ethernet wires (with slightly increased latencies due to some smart jitter buffering." Via

Described by its developers as "the most expressive electronic musical instrument ever made." The Eigenharp is the brainchild invention of John Lambert, a musician and software entrepreneur, whose Devon-based team has been working on the project for eight years. Lambert says "the new instrument bridges brings a vast range of sounds and drum loops to the fingertips of live performers."

Nevertheless I don't expect rhythm guitarists to be much impressed by this instrument!

Source

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Song Mystery of the Blue Whale

All around the world, blue whales aren’t singing like they used to, and scientists who have been tracking them remain puzzled as to why.

Marine science researchers  Sarah Melnick and John Hildebrand from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have noticed  that the tonal frequency of blue whales songs is falling every year by a few fractions of a hertz and since the late 1960s have dropped by 31 percent. The researchers track blue whales by using automated song detectors

John Calombokidis, a blue whale expert at the Cascadia Research Collective said that “It’s even more remarkable, given that the songs themselves differ in different oceans. There seem to be these distinct populations, yet they’re all showing this common shift.”

Among the suggested explanations are ocean noise pollution, changing population dynamics and new mating strategies.

Towards the end of this video,(captured from "The Blue Planet" published by BBC), we get to hear some the songs of the blue whale.

Source

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Fluxion.curb



is a software generative animation media art work based on Java code created by Christopher Warnow who is a member of the We Are Chopchop Collective,  (a small community of designers, motiongraphers, video- and media artists working, exploring and playing in the field of visual culture production).

For the technically curious Fluxion.curb "is a cloth simulation rendered with the Sunflow Rendering Engine, using the Wrapper Class SunflowAPIAPI."

Sunflow "is an open source rendering system for photo-realistic image synthesis" and rendered in this piece to resemble fluid concrete which surprisingly took 4 weeks to render.

The music track is by Machinefabriek with a piece entitled Curb.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Ball understands Physics







This video is a rather fascinatingly simple contrived game of physics by South Korean media artist Koki Tanaka.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Building Urban Motion by Abstract:groove


is a design studio, based in Milan, defined as a hybrid between a creative collective and a motion design studio, which mainly works on the research of new visual languages in communication and advertising.

Abstract:groove recently created this awe-inspiring temporary outdoor video projection installation on the side of  of the Hotel St. George, in Viale Tunisia, Milan. According to the creators the work is subtitled as, an "oneiric activity of a surface" and is “an audiovisual experiment of perceptive transformation in architecture, through abstract narration, which will show the building as a screen and protagonist simultaneously. Imagine the façade of a building could have a brain and a conscience; consequently it could sleep and dream. Imagine that these surreal forms of life have a characteristic to let loose, during the REM sleep period, a visible transposition of their dreams.”

Pardon me, but I wonder, do many people experience actual sound and or music in their dreams ? ... I mean can we imagine we actually hear music or sound , whilst dreaming ?....the music in this video is probably entitled "wake up call", no ?

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Oyster: Harvests Wave Energy; The new Pearl in the drink!

People often say that "life, shoppers and meteorites come in waves" and so to in a week or so waves themselves have  also come in waves ? Well there was the Google Wave trying to out twit the twitters with a labyrinth collaborative email interface of waves upon waves of waves.
Got a certain spring to it, huh?
Currently the world over is experiencing, waves of news about countries preparing to make green house gas targets and declarations at the Copenhagen summit! More importantly though much progress has been underway to birth the largest working hydro-electric wave energy device.

Aquamarine Power Ltd. has launched its wave energy harvesting technology called Oyster, in conjunction with Queens University Belfast  and the Scottish government.

The device harnesses the abundant natural energy found in near-shore waves and converts it into sustainable zero-emission electricity.  It works by a simple mechanical hinged flap connected to the seabed at around 10m depth. Each passing wave moves the flap, driving hydraulic pistons to deliver high pressure water via a pipeline to an onshore electrical turbine.

Oyster now feeds electric energy into the National Grid, powering homes in Orkney and beyond. A farm of 20 Oysters would provide enough energy to power 9,000 three bedroom family homes.

Hey that's neat. My father always said that "life was like a block and tackle with levers", but hey, Oyster only uses one lever in the drink !

Source

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