Archive for April, 2013

April 29, 2013

How a Watch Works

Even though this video is from 1949, it’s incredibly well produced and informative. Good if you want to geek out for 20 minutes.

April 20, 2013

Reddit Cringe

There’s a very special portion of Reddit that I follow called Cringe. It’s amazing.

What is cringe? Well according to Reddit user DrSandBags:

“True cringe makes you feel so much pity for the subject that finishing the video becomes physically uncomfortable.”

Some recent examples to give you a little taste include Awful Band Plays For Soldiers, Crackhead “rapping” at the Apple Store on 5th Ave, and Polish kid covers a Lil Wayne song.

Cringe is also where I found this peerless piece of internet gold (and perhaps the funniest video I’ve ever seen) titled “Wedding – epic bagpipe malfunction”. Buckle up.

April 12, 2013

Ship Your Pants

This KMart ad is pretty much the greatest ad ever.

(Via Kottke.org)

April 11, 2013

Computers and Hollywood

I found this great subreddit about those designs on computer screens you see in movies. Some really interesting stuff in there.

Speaking of fake UIs, here’s a cool video made by designer Phillip Lentz. I’d love to open it fullscreen on my work computer and start frantically typing and see how long it takes someone to notice. If they ask what the hell I’m doing I’ll probably say something about how I’m just breaking through the encryption shield before uploading a nano-virus.

April 6, 2013

The Funniest People on Vine

To me, Vine is a proving ground for some seriously funny people. Some of these folks you might know, others you definitely don’t. Fire up your iPhone and follow these goons immediately.

Jacy Catlin
I definitely get a Rob Delaney vibe from this guy. He plays a great straight man. I love when he shows off his tattoos and reviews nasal mist.

Will Sasso
Recently infamous for his lemon videos, he also does a mean Arnold Schwarzenegger impression.

Max Burlingame
Outrageous, shameless, and sloppy. The humor is a bit “high school” but it works great with the 6 second format. Also love his take on the Will Sasso lemon thing.

Chris Delia
Yeah, he’s the guy from “Whitney” but he’s a pretty good standup comic. I love when he dares people to get close to strangers with their phones.

Jerome Jarre
This French entrepreneur isn’t a comedian, but there’s something about his aloofness that cracks me up. I’m surprised his signature move of yelling in public, then showing his big smiling face hasn’t become a meme like planking.

Nicholas Megalis
Creepy, offbeat, and gnarly like that high school kid who set things on fire. He also sings a lot.

James Urbaniak
An esteemed voice-actor. Kind of a John Hodgeman vibe.

Ry Doon
A commedian from Boston. He can be extremely irritating, but he does a great Jay-Z impression, among others.

Nick Confalone
Uses his baby to craft fun little short stories.

Jordan Burt
Apparently he’s big on YouTube. Plays a great nerd. The first time I saw Dennis I nearly shat myself.

Michael LoPriore
Gangsta slapstick.

April 5, 2013

Listening to a Record from a Photograph

This blew my mind. Apparently it’s possible to use a photograph of a record and get an audible recording from it.

The step-by-step process illustrated in this article called Extracting Audio from Pictures makes sense once it’s broken down. Basically you convert the round image of the grooves into a straight line…

…then you use Photoshop to boost the contrast of the lines, which become the actual waveforms you feed into ImageToSound software.

Amazing stuff. I often wonder about future generations being able to eavesdrop on people in the past by using leaps in technology.

For example on this Wikipedia page about Archaeoacoustics:

Gregory Benford’s 1979 short story “Time Shards” concerns a researcher who recovers thousand-year-old sound from a piece of pottery thrown on a wheel and inscribed with a fine wire as it spun. The sound is then analyzed to reveal conversations between the potter and his assistant in Middle English.

The idea that people’s voices would have unknowingly been recorded onto the bowl like a modern day record, locked away until a future generation figures out how to extract the audio, is awesome. True, Mythbusters busted this myth, but I wouldn’t fully discount the general concept of learning more from old data with better and better tools. (Think the dino DNA in Jurassic Park.)

Taking that pottery example further, I wonder if when I take a photo with my iPhone, a future generation will be able to determine my mood that day by examining whatever minuscule image artifacts my brainwaves caused in the image sensor.

It sounds crazy, but not much crazier than one ancient potter telling his buddy to keep his voice down so the future can’t eavesdrop on their clay.