Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
A demo reel for the I-Movix SprintCam V3 HD has been making the internet rounds this morning -- the SprintCam is a super-high-speed video camera, allowing some of the slowest slow motion I've ever seen. In this demo, we see footage from a rugby game -- including cheerleaders, firebreathers, pom-poms swishing, and some actual rugby -- shot at 1000fps, or more than 40 times slower than realtime. The final shot shows a block of rippling red Jello, and it was recorded at a shocking 2500fps. Check out the... READ ON
Ze Frank is best known for his video blog, The Show, which brought a new dose of humor every day from March 17, 2006 through March 17, 2007. But both before and after The Show, Ze was doing fun internet-based experiments -- small games, social investigation, and just straight-out jokes. Here's video of him speaking at Webstock 09, describing some of his favorite projects over the years. The program described his talk as follows, because he failed to come up with his own description on time:
Ze will... READ ON
Tonight let's take a look at some fabulous YouTube card tricks! This first trick is a classic David Blaine routine in which he seems to shoot a card through a glass... READ ON
In this TED Talk from 2007, nature writer Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food) thinks about plants...from the point of view of those plants. Is grass taking over the world, getting humans to destroy forests? Is corn slowly dominating our entire food system? Pollan thinks that our consciousness isn't the only effective tool for dominating a planet -- plants have some tricks up their sleeves (or, uh, leaves) as well.
Discussed: "I want to say a word for the soil, the bees, the... READ ON
Today the New York Times brings us an interesting look at the origin of life. It tackles this central puzzle: "Which came first, the proteins of living cells or the genetic information that makes them? How could the metabolism of living things get started without an enclosing membrane to keep all the necessary chemicals together? But if life started inside a cell membrane, how did the necessary nutrients get in?"
The article is worth a read if you've ever wondered how life could arise from simple... READ ON
Here's one for the Twilight fans. In the new game The Sims 3, you can upload your Sims to a community site, which leads to a lot of people uploading Sims-ified famous people (see Barack Obama, Britney Spears [2007 buzz-cut edition], and Tina Fey, for example). Well, Twilight aficionados have created 227 Edward Cullens (and more are surely coming), mostly based on Robert Pattinson from the movie. One Sims 3 forum member has been collecting the Cullens in a thread. The cumulative effect of seeing so many... READ ON
Here's a talk from the Maker Faire, in which Mythbuster Adam Savage declares: failure is always an option. In Savage's life, he has failed spectacularly on many occasions -- in this lecture, he tells some particularly awesome stories about those failures.
This talk is awesome: funny, inspiring, and kind of silly. Carve out an hour sometime soon and have a look!
(Via... READ ON
Growing up in Florida, I had a weird allergy: the sun. Walking outside, coming from from a typically cool, dark indoor place, I'd invariably sneeze -- sometimes twice. It happened to my father too, causing a strange family multi-sneeze spectacle whenever we'd leave a movie. For me it was just one or two sneezes, then all better. What caused this? I always assumed there was something about bright light that disagreed with my bookish, "indoor kid" nature. Apparently I was right; today I learned that... READ ON
I love optical illusions and weird visual tricks. So I've collect some fun ones here, for your Late Movies enjoyment! Sit back, turn out the lights, and prepare to be amazed....
The Union Jack
This is fun. Watch this flag closely (fullscreen is best). Eventually the image will disappear, and you'll see the proper color version of the Union... READ ON
Remember Bob Ballard? He's the geophysicist who discovered the wrecks of the Titanic, Bismarck, Yorktown, and JFK's PT-109 (among other interesting deep-sea explorations). When I was a kid, I was way into Ballard's JASON Project, a distance-education program in which students participated in videoconferences with Ballard and his crew, learning about scientific exploration through the lens of Ballard's various undersea adventures.
In 2008, Ballard gave an impassioned TED Talk about exploring the... READ ON
Thomas Jefferson wrote parts of the Declaration of Independence in a Philadelphia tavern.