“Black Hole Sun” Cover Performed on Cello by Break of Reality [♬]

•May 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

An emotive orchestration of Soundgarden’s 1994 hit track performed by Break of Reality, with three cellos providing the melody and harmonies, and a djembe on the rhythm track. While no string instrument can replace Chris Cornell’s vocals, you will still get the feels.

Break of Reality is regarded as one of the world’s premiere alt-classical chamber ensembles, and in 2015, the members of Break of Reality were appointed music ambassadors by the U.S. State Department.

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Nature by Numbers

•April 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This neat 3D animated infographic illustrates the complexity of nature to the naked eye, through the simplicity of one mathematical equation. I’m sure everyone touched on Fibonacci and the golden ratio sequence back in high school, but I bet no one actually took in how amazing it was. I know I didn’t.

A movie inspired on numbers, geometry and nature, by Cristóbal Vila. / Visit etereaestudios.com for more info. / Music by Wim Mertens – “Often a bird” from the album “Jardin Clos”, 1996 – © Usura – Published by Usura 2010.

Andy Stott “Faith In Strangers” [♬]

•November 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Footage is from the short films “Grim” (1985) “Ghost” (1984) and “Thunder” (1982) by Takashi Ito.

The Diatomist — a Fascinating Look at the Aesthetic Beauty of the Microscopic World

•September 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Meet Klaus Kemp, master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement. Klaus Kemp, you are my new favourite person in the world. I find this incredibly life affirming for some reason; incomprehensible geometric organisms to the naked eye I otherwise would not have known about, that are as complex in their simplicity and just as mysterious as the wonders of our expansive non-declarative universe! And aren’t diatoms just the prettiest:

Soundtrack by: Ryuichi Sakamoto “Grasshoppers” / Bernard Herrmann “Brave New World” / Cults Percussion Ensemble “Circles”.

diatom-1

Diatoms are single cell algae that create jewel-like glass shells around themselves. Microscopists of the Victorian era would arrange them into complex patterns, invisible to the naked eye but spectacular when viewed under magnification. The best of these arrangements are stunning technical feats that reveal the hidden grandeur of some of the smallest organisms on Earth. Klaus Kemp has devoted his entire life to understanding and perfecting diatom arrangement and he is now acknowledged as the last great practitioner of this beautiful combination of art and science. THE DIATOMIST showcases his incredible work:

Rattle Ya Dags – BE YOURSELF!!!

•October 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

RattleyaDags has an awesome assortment of interesting and inspirational tidbits from some of New Zealand’s most positive role models. I came across this YouTube page totally by chance, and I’m a little angry about that. Was this even promoted anywhere, but more importantly, why did it stop?! I think it’s so cool and a great medium for connecting the Kiwi youth with familiar and influential, positive kiwi thinkers:

Ladi6 (Karoline Tamati) is New Zealand’s premiere vocalist MC, renowned for her energetic live performances, sublime soulful vocals and conscious lyrics. Ladi6 started her musical career as part of New Zealand’s first all-girl hip-hop group Sheelahroc, who supported international acts including The Roots, De La Soul and 50 Cent.

P Digsss (Paora Apera) is the vocalist for drum and bass act Shapeshifter. Shapeshifter have been heralded as a musical phenomenon for their ground breaking live shows and unique blend of heavy soul/drum and bass. The popular act have recently released their fourth studio album, The System Is A Vampire, to critical and commercial success.

Nick Dwyer is a writer, broadcaster and TV presenter. He’s been on music TV presenting on Max TV, Juice TV, M2 and C4. A respected music journalist, Nick also wrote, presented and co-directed music travel series Making Tracks. He has been on the radio for 15 years and currently hosts the breakfast show on George FM.

Shavaughn has been a fixture on television screens, both here and overseas, since she was 18. After finding fame on kiwi kids institution What Now, Shavaughn moved to the UK where she was one of the hosts of Saturday morning TV show SMTV LIVE.

Both Clarke Gayford (MORE FM, The Edge, Channel Z, C4, George FM) and Matt Gibb (U live, STUDIO 2, Squirt) are youth personalities in their own right, who above all else both have positive attitudes and helpful advice.

Danielle Cormack hit our screens on television soaps Gloss and Shortland Street, and has gone on to star in dozens of films, TV dramas and stage productions making her one of New Zealand’s most respected and well-known actors. She recently appeared in the Australian television drama Wentworth.

Jeremy Elwood is an award-winning stand up comedian who has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his no-holds-barred style, and intelligent, relevant material. He can be seen regularly at The Classic comedy club, writes the popular Political Animal blog for 3news.co.nz and appears on comedy series 7Days.

These are awesome and if I had a monogamous attention span I suppose I could post one of these videos everyday, but yeah, I’m not going to do that.

There are HEAPS more @ the YouTube page. Bring this back!

Metro Manners PSA — Anime-Style Magical Girl Video Series Promotes Good Subway Manners in… Los Angeles

•May 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Musical public service announcements are quite rare, maybe due to their tricky nature to convey an important message in a fun package, in this case, transportation etiquette. The bilingual Japanese/English videos star a woman dressed as an anime-style magical girl, which is sort of strange considering it is for the Los Angeles Metro.

Aisle Blocking ブロキング

Eating イーティング

Seat Hogging ホギング

Super Kind’s opening attack is always to launch into a song, in English, imploring Rude Dude, or Meiwaku Boy (meiwaku being the Japanese word for “nuisance” or “annoyance”), to be more considerate. But the musical interlude never manages to correct Rude Dude’s behavior, prompting Super Kind to Resort to more extreme, often super-powered methods.

Japan has public transportation down, and everyone seems to understand the importance of acceptable behavior while in transit. If the video below is anything to go by, I see no problem in emulating their standards and paying homage in a fun way.

It was some time ago but I think New Zealand’s musical PSA attempt was rather successful:

…Oh, that’s why musical PSAs are rare, they are *campy af (*noun: camp

1. deliberately exaggerated and theatrical behaviour or style.)

Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time – Launch Trailer

•May 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Join Akko and her friends as they explore dungeons and uncover the mysteries at Luna Nova Academy in this action RPG, available now.

Ariana Grande, Jimmy & The Roots Sing “No Tears Left to Cry” w/ Nintendo Labo Instruments [♬]

•May 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Nintendo released an accessory pack for their new Switch game system — Nintendo Labo — which is a bunch of build-it-yourself cardboard controllers. Pretty niche, but also pretty neat. Until this video, I haven’t seen anyone actually do anything out of the ordinary with Labo (even if it’s a glorified commercial, it’s still impressive). As it turns out, Jimmy Fallon is a huge Nintendo Mario Kart fan, and with the Roots Crew playing on his show, they really made a funky pop hit with these Labo instruments :

Ariana Grande – Vocals Jimmy Fallon – Guitar, Piano Studio Questlove – Robot Kit Black Thought – Electric Guitar Fishing Rod Kamal Gray – Toy-Con Piano x2 (Organ) James Poyser – Toy-Con Piano x2 Captain Kirk – Acoustic Guitar Mark Kelley – Bass Guitar Stro – Toy-Con Garage Drum Machine.

Noice! Though I feel the reality of Labo, for me at least, would be closer to this:

Ryan Reynolds Makes Lowkey Appearance on South Korean TV Singing Contest “King of Masked Singer” [♬]

•May 15, 2018 • Leave a Comment

If Ryan Reynolds aint just the hardest working self-promoter in Hollywood right now, well, I just don’t know self-promotion. Deadpool 2 opens this week and everyone knows about it, especially here in New Zealand because the second installment of the merc with a mouth stars 15 year old Kiwi actor, Julian Dennison. Here is Ryan doing karaoke wearing a unicorn mask:

I appreciate him working for our affection with all this interesting marketing, but he should give playing hard to get a try, right? I’m not super hyped, but I mean, I am going…

Tall Shorts Film Festival (NZ)

•May 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment

The Festival’s call for entries asks that submissions be no longer than two minutes, that they are shot in portrait format and that they incorporate the theme of light.

Award-winning director Taika Waititi will judge entries, with the entire showing and judging conducted through the Facebook Live platform. Waititi will be looking for films that embrace the format for storytelling and composition.

Not only will the winner have their work seen by the film icon and promoted by Spark, they will also take home a prize of $10,000.

Says Andy Blood, creative strategist at Facebook: “Orson Wells said something like, ‘The enemy of art is the absence of limitation’, so it’s nice to see a film festival with a new limitation: that entries must be shot in portrait format (9:16).

Entries are open from April 1 to May 13. To enter, contestants must post their films to the Festival’s Facebook page Facebook.com/SparkTallShorts, where it will be checked against the competition rules before appearing on the wall. Live judging will take place on the evening of May 20.

So I went to the Fb page, looked at the Visitor Posts submissions (so few), and found that this person was the competition:

This is such a cool initiative, but why the heck is there no/so little marketing for this? Like, zero! I found it by accident for goodness sake scrolling Reddit.

Le Nuage — Frustrations of Creative Expression [stop-motion animation]

•May 4, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Le Nuage is a neat short film by Russian film student Iulia Voitova which succinctly displays the many frustrations of creative output. Voitova created the work with the theme “bad weather” for La Poudrière animation film school:

Directing and animation : Iulia Voitova / Music : Lawrence Williams

Like Iulia Voitova’s style? Be sure to check out her art page http://ulavoytova.tumblr.com/

Anthias Asperilinguis

•May 2, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Look at this exquisite reef fish — the hallmark pink coloration Jeweled Gemfish. That is all 😀

Most species are found at deep reefs in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic, often well below depths reachable to a scuba diver.

ALASKALASKA – “Meateater” [♬]

•April 27, 2018 • Leave a Comment

‘Meateater’ is described by vocalist Lucinda John-Duarte as “about how frustrating it is to be categorised or stereotyped. We’re always in competition with each other or ourselves, trying to sell ourselves like meat and hiding parts of our being in the process.” 

ALASKALASKA is a six-piece based in London, with roots from Scotland and Portugal and history working in jazz. This diverse array of influences came to bear on their debut EP last year, and seems only to be growing into a more potent force on their new single ‘Meateater’. Follow ALASKALASKA on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The Invisible Light That Plants Emit

•April 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Californian photographer Craig Burrows has photographed hundreds of glowing flowers since 2014 after seeing Oleksandr Holovachov’s work with ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence (UVIVF) photography. Here are his impressive findings (CLICK TO ENLARGE!):

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“Each time I do a set of UVIVF photos, it starts with going out under the cover of darkness to snatch unsuspecting flowers growing around the neighborhood. I rarely know what to expect from a flower before I get it back to shoot. Some I think will dazzle end up flopping, and others I am surprised by their colors or light. Every one is a surprise!
In the same way a tee-shirt blue glows under a black light, most organic material glows at least a little with UV stimulation and in all kinds of colors. To make the most of it, I make sure I’m working in the darkest environment I can and use a 365nm light so the camera can’t see the UV light.
Any time the flowers are hit by sunlight, they’re letting off their own glow in response and it’s simply overwhelmed by the sunlight we can see. These photos capture something we always see, but never can observe.” – Burrows

Continue reading ‘The Invisible Light That Plants Emit’

Prince Tribute Mural in Bloom

•April 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Two years ago today, Prince Rogers Nelson passed away. He was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and director, and he was loved the world over for those reasons and more. When Prince died in 2016, California artist Christine Stein painted a piece of plywood in the likeness of the late artist under a shrub outside her Citrus Heights home. Two years later, the shrub is in full bloom:


Prince fans are now making the pilgrimage to visit it, according to KTVU:

The bush – specifically, a Red-Tip Photinia – appears perfectly around Prince’s head, and looks like a flowery halo of hair. Her husband is supposed to trim the bush, but hasn’t in a year, which is why the bush has grown so large.Stein… thought the image was so stunning that she posted in on Facebook on Easter. The post went viral… and the news trucks – and the Prince pilgrims – have been flocking to her home ever since.

“I’ve had people from LA, Minnesota, and Georgia come to my house and lay down in the driveway,” Stein said. “They leave their own art. Someone from Anchorage just called me to say they’re coming to visit.”

On the one hand, she said she finds it “kind of creepy” to find people “worshipping” Prince on her property.

But on the other hand, she also wants to conjure up the altruistic spirit of Prince, who had supported many charities and acted with kindness and generosity throughout his life, much of which had remained private until his death in 2016.

You can get a print of the flowering mural for $10 over at Stein’s Etsy shop.

Seinfeld replaced by Barry B. Benson from BEE MOVIE

•April 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

YouTuber Spacepig22 worked a little video magic on a scene from Seinfeld, replacing Jerry Seinfeld with Barry B. Benson, the fuzzy little insect he portrayed in Bee Movie:

“This idea popped into my head, and I wanted to see if I could do it. […] I was so preoccupied with whether or not I could, I didn’t stop to think if I should.”