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Archives – June, 2011

Weekend Video: Story of Titles And Remixing in Movies

Last week has been really hectic for me and work kept me away from publishing any new post. Hopefully, next week I shall be able to post some new stories from the world of science. For this weekend, here are two very cool and creative videos about movies. Movie buffs will love these. The first one titled “A Brief History of Title Design” walks us through various movie title designs. Watching the video will make you realize why you shouldn’t skip the title sequence of movies, sometimes they might be more interesting than the movie itself. Thanks to folks at for creating this video. Do checkout their website for some more cool videos.

The second video is the second edition  the four part video series titled ” Everything is a Remix” in which Kirby Ferguson shows how remixing technique is frequently used in movie productions, more than what you might think. He uses clips from “Avatar”, “Star Wars” and “Kill Bill” to prove his point. After watching this video you might think -are there truly any original movies?. Very creatively done video with awesome narration and great editing. Enjoy the videos and have a nice weekend!

Leave a Comment June 25, 2011

Weekend Video: Plan Of The City

I am back with weekend video segment of my blog showcasing some of the most beautiful and creative videos out there. This weekend’s video “Plan of the City” is a 13 minute long audio-visual treat. What would it be like settling in Mars by transporting all the sky-scrappers from New York and Shanghai? Ofcourse you are allowed to carry  bunch of canned food (Tang cans) to survive the trip. The video creatively utilizes animation, live action footage, illustrations and photographs to create a beautiful visual collage. In fact, in order to give more realistic feel to the visuals,  images taken by Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity were used. The audio for the video, Change,  was created by Judd Greenstein and performed by NOW Ensemble who also star in the video. The audio and visuals were both developed in parallel and compliment each other in the video but they also stand out on their own expressing artistic intentions. The whole project was conceived and directed by Joshua Frankel. About the video and live performance of the audio-video in New York, Washington Post writes:

An antic piece with repeated, shifting patterns that snap together like building blocks, it (Change) was played alongside a film by Joshua Frankel called “Plan of the City,” starring the members of the ensemble, in which the buildings of New York shoot rocket-like to Mars. This proved one of the best matches of visuals to music I’ve seen: The film’s low-key jokiness was tailored to the loose conversational tone of Greenstein’s music, and neither overpowered the other. Judge for yourself… [Washington Post]

Leave a Comment June 18, 2011

The Network Effect

Why is social networking via web so effective as compared to snail-mail, email, TV or phone? The reason lies in the structure of network and connections it allows to form (see the plot below). Take for example television network , it’s a one-to-many type of network and the number of possible connections such a network allows depends on how many people own/watch TV. Such networks are like one-way traffic where users don’t have any capability to interact with other users in the network system. So basically it’s networking capacity scales as a function of N, where N is the number of people (Sarnoff’s Law). Emails and phones allow multiple connection possibilities between people in the network which scales as N^2-N (Metcalfe’s Law). Social networking is just completely another beast which expands exponentially with the size of people in the network as 2^N-N-1 (Reed’s Law). Social networking allows formation of groups and sub-groups and there lies the immensely powerful network effect. In a group of N people, you can from 2^N such groups and thereby the potential networking capacity increases exponentially. That’s what Facebook and other social networking websites are trying to capitalize on. How strong are these networks and connections, that’s a different story and will be subject of my other post sometime later.

Top image credit: Facebook | Paul Butler

Leave a Comment June 17, 2011

Doubly-True Anagram

Here is one of the coolest anagram I have ever seen. Anagram is basically a play of words where by re-arranging the words or phrases you create another words or phrases, only catch is that you have to use each alphabet just once. Mike Kieth used names of sixty elements from the periodic table to create this magic, 30 elements on each side of the equality. But the anagrammy didn’t end just with the words.  If you replace each element with its atomic number, the equality still persists in terms of the sum of the numbers. He won the best Anagrammy award in 1999 for the same. Doubly-true Anagram!

Leave a Comment June 16, 2011

Endeavour Lift-off: Up And Close

Here is a beautiful Endeavour lift-off video compiled by Chase Heavener. He used videos released by NASA which were taken by 4 cameras attached to the twin-rocket boosters of the space shuttle which made it’s last journey to space on May 16th. He put all the videos side by side so that we can take a look at all the action simultaneously. It’s fun to watch when rocket boosters detach at 2:26 and shuttle just flys off into the space. It’s simply beautiful to watch sunlight glistening off the surface of the shuttle in camera 1 (from 2:05-2:25). You can watch all the videos separately here.

Leave a Comment June 15, 2011

Motion And Phases of Moon

While people are enjoying today one of the longest lasting lunar eclipse since 2000 (about 100 minutes long), let’s watch this beautiful video created by folks at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (see below) using data collected by Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). In the video you can see various phases and movement of moon during the course of one year; one month of movement has been compressed into 12 seconds. As we know, we are able to see only one face of the moon from earth (moon and earth are phase-locked– rotation time of moon is same as it’s revolution time around the earth- about 27 days), in the video it is clearly evident that only one side is visible to us. Since we get to see the moon from different angles owing to it’s tilt and elliptical shape of the orbit, in the video it appears to us as if moon is wobbling. In technical terms we call that wobbling as “liberation”. Because of liberation, we are able to see little bit more than half of the moon’s surface, close to 60%. Due to elliptical orbit, moon also appears to rock back and forth from us (perigee- nearest position, apogee- farthest position). You can also observe different phases of moon such as new moon and full moon and their variations in different months. Enjoy the video, I will be uploading some cool videos or pictures from today’s lunar eclipse event later on.

Video/Image credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Leave a Comment June 15, 2011

Weekday Video: 3-Way Street@NYC

Traffic in big cities are a mess. People who have traveled to Rome or Mumbai or Miami know what crazy traffic means. New York traffic is not that crazy as compared to some other cities in the world, but this video by Ron gives a bird-eye view of one of the NYC intersection and shows how bikes, pedestrians, cars, trucks juggle their way out, sometimes getting too close. The video is a creative approach of educating people about how little changes in habits while on streets could reduce traffic accidents and congestion and make everyone’s life a bit easier. Good job Ron.

Leave a Comment June 15, 2011

How Do Scientists See The World?

Image credit: Abstruse Goose A Web comic | Used under Creative Commons License

1 Comment June 13, 2011

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