Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Asteroid box car buzz

Incidentally, were you aware that an asteroid the size of a large house discovered last week by telescopes in New Mexico buzzed by our planet before being flung back into interplanetary space by our planet's gravitational field, yesterday ?

Asteroid  2011 MD was part of a group of earth approaching asteroids called Apollo Class, which regularly crosses earths orbit and however unlikely have a slight but discernible chance of striking earth.

There is however a near earth asteroid discovered in 1951 Geographos if impacted earth would cause an extinction level event on the scale of the object that destroyed the dinosaurs. Albeit closer to our future we have the threat of asteroid Apophis to deal with, which is looming ever closer, mooted to either shave past or impact earth April 13 2036 several kilometers in diameter that would potentially cause severe devastation.

Its worth noting that Susan Sontag has said that "Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art."

The educative documentary video below from the Discovery channel encapsulates the mythology perpetrated by Hollywood with several speculated scenarios. The video rounds out its discussion of a possible utilization of near earth asteroid getting captured and turned into kind of box car facility for future inter solar activity.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Starsky's hutch mark 2, one Otter of glee

Sometimes when we view things or life in nature that we haven't witnessed before we get an adrenalin rush of excitement and glee and wonder if any or many others have also seen it.

Perhaps you may feel this way when you first view Starsky, an Otter housed at The National Seal Sanctuary in Cornwall, who likes to juggle while waiting for feeding time.

While we might be fascinated with Starsky's entertaining talent, its not a singularly ground breaking achievement, it appears Otters really like rocks, so much so that once they find a rock they like, they keep it under their armpit while they swim and use it to crack open shells on their stomach while they float on their backs. Read more, here. (NB if the video may seem to be little monotonous at times, clips near the end, and the end itself are a bag of fun).

Friday, 24 June 2011

Between Lies Deception and Truth, Magic on 3 iPods Video

Magician Marco Tempest uses sleight of hand and clever timing on his three iPod Touches demonstrating  his own brand of techno-three-card Monte.

Along the way, he makes some thought-provoking points about self-deception, lies and truth, and how sometimes lies turn to truth, resulting in magic. Thanks, Marco that was way cool.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Manhattan in Motion, a cool cityscape time lapse video

is a rivetingly entertaining cityscape time lapse of cinematic proportions and quality by Mindrelic. With breathtaking precision the camera glides the perspectives and deep cavernous gorges of Manhattan's architectural sky scrapers. The smooth camera action and speedy flashing traffic flows generate a profoundly free flying like transversal swim around and among the towers of New York City.

Mindrelic  (aka Josh Owens) created this delightful short video from over an hours worth of sequences he captured whilst spending a month of sponsored hotel hopping in Manhattan.

The aptly entitled music track he chose to accompany his video, Lights Dim from New York city based group The American Dollar sublimates a reflective appreciative mood of Mindrelic's illustrious time lapse.

If you were surprised by an occasional, as some might think, seemingly impossibly long camera glides out over balconies then check out the 6 foot Dynamic Perception dolly rig he used. Albeit, not the only piece of sophisticated technology, together with his Canon 5D & 7D cameras he also used a Little Bramper.

"Little Bramper is an intervalometer with some unusual and advanced capabilities.  Most significantly, by using the camera’s Bulb mode it allows you to vary the exposure smoothly during a time-lapse session."

Monday, 13 June 2011

Hoverbike, a wingless tailless ultralite hover aircraft

What leaps tall buildings in a single bound is faster than a locomotive ? Is it a bird ? Is it a train? No its a hoverbike. Not your ordinary traditional hovercraft since it has a possible altitude reach of 10,000 feet and a top speed of 278 km/h or 173 mph. For the time being though its somewhat theoretical, since the inventor, Chris Malloy is yet to conduct real world flight tests.

The craft looks more like a bicycle on its side but includes a 1170 cc 4-stroke engine delivering 80 kW driving two ducted propellers. Controlled with a set of handlebars used for controlling direction, lift and speed, and a standard 30L fuel tank.

The frame is engineered from kevlar reinforced carbon fiber with a light foam core, while the propeller blades are made of Tasmanian Oak with the leading edges covered in carbon fiber. And since there’s two of them spinning in opposite directions, there’s no need for a tail rotor to cancel out the rotational forces.

Visit Chris Malloy's website to learn more about availability, price and should you feel so inclined donate to his project.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Cockatoos ridding telescopes in Narrabri, Time Lapse Video

When we think of telescopes we usually think of  stunning images of the cosmos, but rarely, if ever think of the ecological systems that they are situated in. A newly appointed Duty Astronomer at the CSIRO's Compact Array Telescope, near Narrabri in country New South Wales Australia experimentally has created his first smooth time lapse video.

Among the flora and fauna visage you may spot in the video below are the Eastern Grey Kangaroo; Apostle-birds (bird playing with twig and grooming each other); Sulphur Crested Cockatoo's and a cutely appearing Green Tree Frog.

The video maker recommends switching the settings at the video's transport slider from 360p to 1080p and setting on full-screen mode to get the full effect of the video.

I found the accompanying music piece "Song of Sorrows" by Alexander L'Estrange & Dan Hewson, somewhat annoyingly paced and therefore less entertaining, then the smooth transitions between scope to ground to sky to wildlife etc.!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sydney Harbour environs Vivid Lights Festival 2011

In it's third year, Vivid Sydney bathes the harbour environs with spectacle illuminations and big splashes of bright color, featuring breathtaking immersive light projections on the iconic Sydney Opera House sails, and building facades of the MCA, and Customs House.

Walking around the harbour foreshores are giant light sculptures of floating jellyfish and erupting fire installations as well as a number of human scaled illuminated sculptures some interactive.

For a mild taste of some aspects of the Festival, here is Christian Eduardo's entertaining Sydney Vivid festival time lapse video accompanied by a cool music track.

Here is a slick slideshow of some of the picturesque pieces and events in the Festival, which is continuing until June 13.

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