Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ginger concentration camp

Essential watching: this is actually the video for M.I.A.'s new song Born Free, directed by Romain Gavras, but it is done more like a 10-minute short movie in which the song functions as background track. In this clip, gingers (red-haired people) are collected by a brutal Gestapo-like police force, brought to a concentration camp, and later murdered.

Unreality - M.I.A. Slaughters Gingers in New Music Video |

Ukranian parliament discusses a bill

The Ukrainian parliament discusses a bill regarding the lease of a naval base to Russia, and things get pretty heated: the speakers have to fend off tomatoes and eggs thrown by disgruntled members opposed to the bill with ever-ready umbrellas, later smoke grenades are lit, and chaos ensues.

The Daily What: Spirited Debate of the Day

Hobo with a shotgun

Do you know Hobo With A Shotgun? Back when Tarantino's and Rodriguez's Grindhouse movies came out, there was a contest for fans to submit their own home-made fake grindhouse trailers, and this was the one that won by a large margin.

And now, just like the Machete trailer from the movie proper, this trailer is being made into a real movie... starring Rutger Hauer as the hobo! I can't wait, make sure you watch the first production reel / trailer at the link below.

Topless Robot - Reminder: Do Not @#$% with Rutger Hauer


Wanna see how your web page (or any web page at that) would look if it were designed in the age of Geocities in the mid-nineties? Look no further than the Geocities-izer, this will give you the full package of animated gifs, Netscape logos, Comic Sans type and (most importantly) midi audio playback in the background - I can't stop laughing!

Geocities-izer - Make Any Webpage Look Like It Was Made By A 13 Year-Old In 1996

The driver

This trailer and the official web site just say "The Driver" and "coming soon": a new animated series.

The World's Best Ever: Morning Dose of Awesome

The lost iPhone saga

I didn't post about the supposedly lost fourth-generation iPhone prototype that was picked up and dissected by Gizmodo, but now things are getting interesting: first, the Apple vice president asked for return of the device in a letter to Gizmodo, and now police have raided Gizmodo journalist Jason Chen's home and confiscated all his computers. (Above picture is a clever shopping of the original Gizmodo article.) Will be interesting how this plays out!

Police Seize Jason Chen's Computers - Iphone 4 leak - Gizmodo

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Survival town

A great promotional newsreel from 1955 about "Survival Town", a full-set town model in the Nevada desert on which the US government threw an atom bomb in order to study what happens. They created scenes of daily life with mannequins and even stocked the fridges to analyze radiation levels afterwards.

There's also a two-part color video on Youtube that goes into much more detail about the setting up of the town and the subsequent blast which is rather interesting too. Of course it's all in super-patriotic fifties newsreel speak and music background! More reading and photos in the Weburbanist article.

Blown To Smithereens: The Secret Story Of Survival Town | Design + Ideas on WU

Absurd skate wipeouts

I'm not familiar with Skate as I stopped caring about skating games around Tony Hawk 2, but this video is lots of fun: you'll see a collection of scenes from the game when the physics engine totally loses it and the player (and board) end up doing extremely funny moves. Check out the "bank plant drop" and the "bouncing ball"!

Unreality - A Collection of Absurd Wipeouts in Skate |

Wolfrace Sonic

Here's a new addition to my concept cars column: The Wolfrace Sonic is totally awesome and had been my favorite in those car card games in the eighties. Not only does it look like a modern version of the Batmobile, it also has 6 wheels and a terrific cockpit with all kinds of launch buttons. Sweet!

Les 6 roues - oto6


As reader andru pointed out, a post about the fabulous "man-made island" of Gunkanjima is pretty much in order: Gunkanjima (literally Battleship Island, its actual name is Hashima) is located a few kilometers off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. It was used from the late nineteenth centuries until around 1970 for mining coal, and its main feature are the 9-story apartment blocks created in the 1910s, the first high-rises ever built in Japan.

Today, the island is abandoned and derelict, awaiting possible restoration as a museum as a museum. The stark visual impact of the ghost houses has been captured in multiple photography series in the last few years. As international attention is rising, it appears that the island has recently reopened for traffic, and there is also a motion in place to submit the island as a World Heritage Site.

BLDGBLOG: Gunkanjima Island

The raven

Not bad for a budget of a mere $5000, not bad at all: The Raven is a short film directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, shot entirely on RED cameras (like District 9, for instance). The integration of the special effects actually is really awesome, they look better than most Hollywood blockbusters of recent memory!

THE RAVEN - 720 HD on Vimeo

Friday, April 23, 2010

Zombie table

This multi-functional table is awesome -- ever ready! It could also serve well in a very cool bar in, say, Awesomeville, where patrons like to have a good clean clobbing in the late nights.

for zombies auf Flickr - Fotosharing!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Downfall meme in danger

I don't get this: so the movie company of Downfall is now ordering DMCA takedowns of all videos that contain footage from the movie from Youtube and other video sites. Why on Earth should they fight a meme that has brought their film so much attention, especially internationally? Of course, we didn't have to wait long for the answer, i. e. a Downfall in which Hitler himself orders the takedown.

The Daily What: Early Bird Special

Apollo 11 launch in slow-mo

The launch of the Apollo 11 Saturn rocket in super-slow 500fps motion? Gimme that!

The Presurfer: Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch

Roger Ebert hates cool stuff

I'm a really big fan of Rogert Ebert, and I think he deserves being so well-known and respected as a movie critic. But I tend to disagree with his opinions when it comes to films that I like not in a cinematic way, but more in the way they approach their subject, as is the case with the ultra brutal, comic-like violence in Kick-Ass, which Ebert dislikes strongly. Oh, he also hates video games.. go figure.

Kick-Ass :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rocannon's World, 1966

I have become a big fan of Ursula K. LeGuin's work recently. Her prose is so tense and emotional, and the story backgrounds in her first novels (the so-called Hainish series) are pretty cool: most of the stories take place on colonized worlds far in the future, some of them savage but with some remnants of the old Earth civilization and technologies. So these societies usually are based on medieval or barbaric culture mixed with ultra-advanced technologies like faster-than-light drives, laserguns, antigrav gliders, etc.

It's hard to choose a favorite story, her first three novels Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile and City of Illusions are all similarly great. The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and The Dispossessed (1974) both won the Hugo and Nebula award and are also bold pieces of fiction. Don't forget The Word for World is Forest (1975) which will be re-released soon, and which must have been a substantial influence for James Cameron's Avatar.

Le Guin's World - Hainish Encyclopedia

Peleliu landing

Okay, I didn't see that one coming: episodes 3 and 4 of The Pacific were pretty subdued, and I was wondering if the series would get lost in the love life of the protagonists. But no, of course, the fierce battle of the Peleliu landing came on rather unexpectedly. Prepare for you breath to be taken away by the incredibly well-filmed assault on the island with the amphibious tanks, it's pretty intense.

YouTube - The Pacific - Part 5 "Peleliu Landing" Promo [HQ]

Fake windows

Yes, why not: advanced motion-sensor technology makes these "fake" windows possible, in reality it's just two HD screens. Pretty cool when you can finally project the shark tank or alien cityscapes on your wall!

The High Definite » The Winscape

NYC in 3D

So Google Earth is going 3D now-- so can we get a 3D environment of the Earth's cities to play real-life GTA in it already?

EPICponyz: NYC 3D in Google Earth

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ruins of Detroit

The Ruins of Detroit is a book by photographers Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre that will be released on May 31st, 2010. Glimpse a sample of the great pictures they made in abandoned buildings in Detroit-- these look almost too surreal to be for real! Really awesome.

Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre Photography - The Ruins of Detroit

The truth in old masters

Well this is surprisingly cheeky: Samsung presents some new 3D television or something with a look a some "old masters" paintings, revealing some interesting larger story behind these pictures. This spot really calls on a lot of nerdy topics (like the giant shark vs. helicopter meme or The Matrix), and if you turn of the commentary it's even better.

The Daily What: This Is Hilarious, You Should Watch It of the Day

After the credits

Yeah, this is what the video games never show you: after you save the princess, there will be no happy ever after-- instead, she will suck your money away and run off with a rich old guy. Oh well!

The Daily What: Animated Short of the Day

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Giza pyramids

The Brookyln Museum has an amazing collection of lantern slide images from the Giza pyramids. Really beautiful coloring and great composition in those shots.

Brooklyn Museum: Libraries and Archives: Lantern Slide Collection

Bad movies' greatest scenes

This is a good collection of bad movies' greatest scenes; i. e. when a really bad movie has one really good scene in it.

When A Bad Movie Has One Incredibly Great Scene - Movies - io9

Vivos underground shelter

Is this the Vault-tec of 2010? io9 posted a couple of videos from a company called Vivos that builds an underground shelter network in various cities in the States. For 40000$ you can secure your place for the worst case - but only if you bring the right set of skills. No, I don't think "internet writer" is very high on that priority list, too.

Ride Out 2012 In Style With Vivos Apocalypse Shelters - Architecture - io9

Ikea prison

Need a quick solution for your imprisonment needs? Artist Bill Burns can help with his handy Ikea cells and prison tower blueprints. His series "IKEA Playlist Kit for Primates" also comes with a useful selection of music that guards used to torture inmates at Guantanamo.

An Alternate Universe Where IKEA Helps You Build Prisons - Art - io9

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Periodic table of imaginary elements

I'm not such a big fan of the ubiquitous periodic tables of anything that are swarming the Internet, but this one actually makes sense: the periodic table of imaginary elements, taken from books, movies and video games. Pretty cool. Available as a poster print from Russell Walks.

Russell Walks Illustration

Old vs. new zombies

Interesting read on Kotaku: this article deals with the evolution from the old-school "slow" zombies (a la Night of the Living Dead) to the new "fast" zombies as seen in 28 Days Later and Left 4 Dead, for instance. In fact, the 1996 game Resident Evil deserves the credit for probably being the first to introduce these "fast" zombies that have become so prevalent in the new millennium.

Infection Vs. Resurrection: The New Science of the Zombie - Zombie - Kotaku

Crysis 2

I never played Farcry and Crysis much, but honestly this new footage from Crysis 2 looks a bit awesome.

EPICponyz: Crysis 2 - CryEngine 3 Demo

Gun cam video missing footage

Remember that helicopter gun cam video from Iraq that has been causing so much controversy? It appears that 20 to 30 minutes were cut from the middle of the video, footage that might have shed a different light on the actions of the helicopter crews:

What happened during that missing half-hour? The Jawa Report cites the sworn statements of the pilots involved in the attack. One pilot said in his statement that between the attack on the journalists and the second attack, two events occurred which may have softened the picture of the pilots provided by the video: 1) The pilots went to assist soldiers under attack, but saw a child and other "noncombatants" and held their fire. 2) The pilots saw a red SUV that may have contained insurgents, but held their fire because they couldn't get a positive identification. Here is the relevant part of the statement.

The 'Full Version' of The Wikileaks Video Is Missing 30 Minutes of Footage - wikileaks - Gawker

After the firefight

Magnificent Ruin

On the set of The Shining

Working with perfectionist director Stanley Kubrick wasn't always easy, as can be seen in this behind-the-scenes video from the set of The Shining. I just love love love Jack Nicholson in this role, he looks so creepy even when he's out of role, just talking about the movie.

Stanley Kubrick Acting Psycho On The Set Of "The Shining" - stanley kubrick - io9

Friday, April 9, 2010

Denon dedicated link cable

Funny Amazon product reviews are funny: this time for the 500$ Denon premium audio cable.

This connection isn't sound. If my calculations are correct, it should be sometime around 2007 for whomever is reading this. DO NOT USE THESE CABLES. Something... happens with them. Something came through, something from somewhere else. We were overrun in days, not many of us are left. WE LIVE UNDERGROUND! ONLY YOU CAN STOP IT NOW. SAVE US. DO NOT USE THESE CABLES.

Amazon.com: Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable: Electronics

Metal Gear Solid vs. Monster Hunter

I agree with Topless Robot that this is rather insane: in the latest installment of Metal Gear Solid, Peace Walker, there appears to be a mode in which you can take it up against some of the monsters from Capcom's Monster Fighter. Looks like good old fun.

Topless Robot - So Solid Snake Apparently Fights Dinosaurs Now


Mystery video game viral campaign: Unmarked USB sticks were sent out to various game magazines and web sites, bearing no return address an no other identification. When deciphered, the code on it leads to a web site called GKNOVA6 and furthermore contains the note "April week two".

Due to the Maryland stamps on the envelope, and the retro-ish appearance of the secret web site, it was first suspected that this is a viral campaign for the new Fallout video game. Developer Bethesda has since denied this, and current leads point to an Activision-developed game-- Singularity and the new Call of Duty are prime suspects.

What's On This Mystery USB Drive? [Update] - PlayStation 3 News at IGN

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Riots in Krygyzstan

The Big Picture has some pictures from the recent riots in Krygyzstan. Future protesters take note: when on a riot, first thing you do is try to grab the RPG from the riot police, like this guy.

Crisis in Kyrgyzstan - The Big Picture - Boston.com

Tetris hell

xkcd: Hell

Chase cam in real life

Pretty cool video game science: can you actually drive a car in chase cam mode, like in GTA? These guys tried it out with a camera rig, monitor on the dashboard and blinded windows. The results are quite hilarious.

The Daily What: Video Game Science Experiment of the Day

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Collateral murder

Here's the controversial video footage from an American Apache helicopter gun camera that shows an assault on a group of people (including to Reuters reporters) in Baghdad in July 2007. The footage also documents the radio transmissions between the different groups of soldiers involved.

The crews first gun down a group that has assembled in a street, seemingly mistaking the camera of one of the journalists for a weapon. Then, when a van pulls up to rescue one of the wounded, this vehicle is also taken out. It's a rather eerie insight into the Iraq war, simultaneously showing you the harsh reality of an ambush and the matter-of-factly conversations of the soldiers.

YouTube - Wikileaks leaked video of Civilians killed in Baghdad - Full video

Human centipede

This movie won't need so many special effects, when the premise (and the illustration shown by the mad German doctor in the trailer) is all that's necessary to deeply disturb you.

First Trailer From Horrific Human Centipede Makes Us Queasy - Human Centipede - io9

Will it blend?

Will It Blend? | Presented By Blendtec

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monolith action figure

Best action figure ever: the TMA-2 monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Features zero points of articulation!

Edit: ThinkGeek got me -- like the iCade, this was one of their April Fools products.

ThinkGeek :: Monolith Action Figure

Star Wars episode 2 review

Mike Stoklasa returns to Star Wars after his Episode 1 review and takes on Attack of the Clones. 9 parts-- 90 minutes! I didn't think he would be able to pull it off, but this might even be better than the first. It's genius!

The Daily What: Movie Review of the Day

Screaming Carl

This happens when one iPhone application challenges another for a screaming match: Talking Carl vs. Screaming Carl vs. White Noise Carl.

The Daily What: This Is Unexpectedly Hilarious, You Should Watch It of the Day

Kick-ass Big Daddy clip

Yes, another Kick-Ass clip, but this one is great once again: Nicolas Cage as Big Daddy cleans out a warehouse of bad guys.

Topless Robot - Nic Cage Seems Somewhat More Efficient Than Batman

Lateralus octet

Tool's Lateralus, as performed on 8 koto string instruments.

The Daily What: Lights Out

Budd Dwyer

Pennsylvania politician and state treasurer Robert “Budd” Dwyer was about to be sentenced for a charge of bribing but shot himself in front of a live television audience at a press conference. The video above is the actual footage of his suicide, and Wikipedia has some more background on the affair.

R. Budd Dwyer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Resident Evil Afterlife trailer

This one just out: the first theatrical trailer for the next installment in the Resident Evil franchise. Featuring multiple Milla Jovovichs -- yummy!

Screen Gems Released New ‘Resident Evil 4′ Movie Trailer & It’s Intense | OnTheFlix

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pink Floyd in 8-bit

Been listening to this all day: the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon done with a NES sound processor. The conversion to the 8-bit sounds is really impressive, an I especially like the intro of Money with the Super Mario coin sounds. Genius!

YouTube - MOON8 1 of 6 - Speak to Me / Breathe / On the Run

Tron trailer re-cut

The original Tron is a classic, yet sometimes pretty dull movie. This new "modernized" (recut) trailer makes a whole different, action-packed affair out of it.

EPICponyz: TRON: Modernized Trailer

Nazi ufo cockpit

New production pic from Iron Sky: the interior of one of their Nazi UFOs.

Ever Wondered What a Nazi UFO Cockpit Looks Like? « Beyond the Iron Sky

Content-aware fill

Well, wow. Seems like this new Photoshop CS5 feature isn't even an April Fools's joke: content-aware fill "guesses" at the right background to fill in when you delete areas in your picture. I'm still on Photoshop 7, but this might be a killer feature to update for.

The World's Best Ever: Adobe is aware… content aware

A-team trailer

I suppose this will be fun, even though the actors will never ever reach the awesomeness of the original A-Team (except maybe Liam Neeson). In cinemas June 11.

The Daily What: Movie Trailer of the Day

Filing the edges off a macbook

Ugh, we would usually use the word "nerd" in a rather positive sense, but his guy shows what it's like to be a nerd of the obnoxious type: if you have to "whine on Twitter" about the sharp edges of your Macbook then, well, you should consider stop blogging and "get a life".

How to File the Sharp Edge Off a MacBook Pro | One Man's Blog

The Expendables theatrical trailer

Stallone's new film has an all-star cast with Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and even Arnie who also features in this trailer. September 2010!

EPICponyz: The Expendables


You gotta love ThinkGeek for their ingenious April Fool's fake products: last year it was the Tauntaun sleeping bag which they are actually offering as a real product by now, this year it was the iCade, an arcade housing for your iPad enabling you to play classic arcade games in a miniature arcade console.

iCade by ThinkGeek | The Donut Project