Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Screens under a microscope

In Read, View on August 31, 2010 at 7:35 am

At the risk of setting off a Kindle vs. iPad powder keg, Keith Peters posts pictures of the devices’ respective screens through a microscope at varying magnification powers:

Kindle screen at 26x.

Kindle screen at 26x.

iPad screen at 26x.

iPad screen at 26x.

He takes them at 400x as well, then goes on to do the same with a newspaper, magazine, and book for comparison.

Via:  Wired

Complexity of corn flavor

In Read on August 30, 2010 at 7:35 am

Roger Sherman is a corn lover who decries the apparent shift toward corn that is too sweet:

But last year, while I was happily munching my fifth ear, my wife pointed out that the corn is just sweet these days—the flavor has lost its complexity. I paused long enough to realize she was right. There’s no subtlety anymore, no notes of raspberries, cherries, or cinnamon. Actually, I’ve never tasted anything but corn in my corn. But there is something missing. It’s tasting less like corn and more like sugar.

I didn’t realize there were so many different corn varietals (Frisky, Mystique, Sugar Buns), but now I want to get my hands on something other than the Super Sweet I’m sure we’ve been buying from the grocery.

Also interesting in here is the notion of specific microclimates impacting the food production.  It’s always an eye-opener for me to be reminded that geography matters.

Photo by Roger Sherman.

Photo by Roger Sherman.

Rube Goldberg video

In Watch on August 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

It’s been a good month since Track suits and video speeds, so it’s time for another OK Go post.  This time the song is called “This Too Shall Pass,” but before we get to the final product, we have Adam Sadowsky giving an Ignite talk about the Rube Goldberg machine his company built for OK Go and their music video:

Now that the stage has been set, here’s the video:

Interview with a vocal artist

In Listen, Read on August 26, 2010 at 7:30 am

On the NPR show “Fresh Air” Dave Davies interviews voice actor Billy West.  West’s voice credits include Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Ren, Stimpy, Doug, and Popeye.  The interview runs around 30 minutes, and covers ground ranging from the genesis of certain voices to the challenge of doing multiple characters on Futurama:

It happens mostly in real time. Like if there’s a run within an act and there is, say, three characters involved that I do, and then there are some others that other people do, I’ll just keep reading through the script — one character, and then if another one pops up, I’ll do that in real time. We try to get a whole scene done, so I shift gears a lot.

West also shares the secret of nailing the Popeye voice, which has to do with emulating dual-toned Tuvan singers (skip to 17:00 on the audio, found by clicking “Listen to the story” at the top of the article page).

Via:  BoingBoing

Questions for a window washer

In Read on August 25, 2010 at 7:11 am

Last month the New York Times collected reader questions for Andrew Horton, a window washer who has been in the business for more than 20 years:

Mr. Horton now runs New York City’s main safety training program for window washers at the building service workers union 32BJ, teaching future window washers how to reduce risks and promoting safety while working a thousand feet up in the sky.

“What’s more important up there?” he asks. “Prevention, prevention, prevention!”

Andrew Horton

Andrew Horton

Q:  Who trained you, and what was the most valuable lesson/advice they shared before you began work?

A:  I learned from an old window cleaner who’s still alive today, Dimitrius Ganadakis. He still calls me student, and he will consider me his student for the rest of his life. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have continued window cleaning. He showed me to be proud of my trade.

IntroductionAnswers Part 1Answers Part 2Answers Part 3.


Extreme Shepherding

In Watch on August 24, 2010 at 7:03 am

A group called the Baaa-Studs presents their video called “Extreme Shepherding”:

I didn’t know you could train dogs to make sheep do that.


Big Air at the Coliseum

In View, Watch on August 23, 2010 at 7:06 am

X Games 16 came to Los Angeles three weeks ago, and they decided to mix it up with the venues this year.  The Big Air super ramp has previously been set up in the parking lot north of the Staples Center (where it was quite the site to see from the 110 freeway).  L.A. Live is there now, so they put Big Air in at the Coliseum.

Jordan Moore at the USC RipsIt Blog went over during setup and took pictures:

X Games Big Air at the L.A. Coliseum.

X Games Big Air at the L.A. Coliseum.

The scale of that ramp is mind-boggling.

Chances are slim that the event will return to the Coliseum next year, as event coordinators have complained about the venue being too big.  Even if 50,000 people show up you’re still only half full.

UPDATE:  There’s plenty of video on YouTube.  Here’s Jake Brown:

First images

In View on August 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

Oobject has a collection that explores the history of photography by cataloging the first images of things.  Here is the first full view of our planet:

The Blue Marble.  Taken from Apollo 17 in 1972.

The Blue Marble. Taken from Apollo 17 in 1972.

The collection “starts at the human scale, with the first picture of a face in 1838 and moves in both directions, culminating in the WMAP cosmic background radiation image in 2003 and the first complete image of a molecule in 2009.”


A train that never stops

In Read, Watch on August 19, 2010 at 7:21 am

This never-stopping Chinese bullet train concept was unveiled back in April:

The passengers at a station embark onto to a connector cabin way before the train even arrives at the station. When the train arrives, it will not stop at all. It just slows down to pick up the connector cabin which will move with the train on the roof of the train.

While the train is still moving away from the station, those passengers will board the train from the connector cabin mounted on the train’s roof. After fully unloading all its passengers, the cabin connector cabin will be moved to the back of the train so that the next batch of outgoing passengers who want to alight at the next station will board the connector cabin at the rear of the train roof.

The video is helpful for visualizing this:


Paper manipulation artist

In Read, View on August 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

Artist Jeff Nishanaka creates sculptures out of paper.  Think supersized origami:

He began working with different types of paper, learning how to shape, bend and twist them onto various shapes that ultimately became amazing artworks.  Because he treats paper like a living, breathing thing, Jeff Nishinaka manipulates paper in the least invasive way, trying to maintain its integrity. This makes his works special, and easy on the eyes.

Paper sculpture by Jeff Nishinaka.

Paper sculpture by Jeff Nishinaka.

Follow the link for more photos, and links to other impressive paper artists.

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