Tokyo City Symphony: Projecting Music and Images onto a Virtual Tokyo

The Tokyo City Symphony interactive website is a digital project that allows users to project images and music onto a miniature version of Tokyo, built to a 1:1,000 scale. Combining all the musical contributions to create a single symphony, the site is a wonderful example of a community effort.

To demonstrate an example, user “roppongi hills” came out with this beautiful, mind-blowing video:


Click through to go to the website, where you can make your own projection onto Tokyo in three versions: Future City, Rock City, and Edo City.

The Anar Foundation Uses Lenticular Printing to Target a Message Only for Children

The ANAR Foundation is a Spanish organization which helps kids in risk of abuse. They Operate a unique phone number – 116 111 – where minors at risk can get aid and consultation.

Anar did a campaign advertising the number, but they faced a potential problem: they didn’t want adults (i.e., possible aggressors) to see that a kid was even looking at the ad.

So they came up with a nifty solution. They used Lenticular printing on street signs. Lenticular printing is a technology in which Lenticular lenses (a technology that is also used for 3D displays) are used to produce printed images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

In this case, the image seen by an adult is innocuous, while the one seen by the average ten year old kid displays the phone number:

The ad appears different based on the height of the viewer.

The ad appears differently based on the height of the viewer.


The bloody lip, and the phone number, is visible only to kids in a height range typical for a ten year old.

In case this is confusing, watch the video that explains how lenticular imaging works:



(via Creativity Online)

Getting Lost Inside Your Home: Developmental Topographical Disorientation

If you think you have a bad sense of direction, you may be relieved that there are people like Sharon Roseman, who suffers from Developmental Topographical Disorientation (D.T.D.), a rare neurological disorder that renders people unable to orient themselves in any environment.

Click here to watch The New York Times video describing this debilitating condition:

Before she was given the D.T.D. diagnosis, doctors told her she might have epilepsy or a brain tumor. She kept her condition a secret from her husband, worked close to home and was terrified of not being able to take care of her children in the event of an emergency. After the diagnosis, she says she felt validated for the first time in her life: “I can now talk freely about D.T.D. and teach others what it is, so that someday a young child can be diagnosed and not have to grow up being afraid.”

Google Street View Hyperlapse

A way to start the Thursday morning: getting dizzy by watching this Google Street view hyperlapse:

[vimeo 63653873 w=600 h=400]


Teehan+Lax has a tool so you can make your own hyperlapse from Google Street images:

Hyper-lapse photography—a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest—has been a growing trend on video sites. It’s not hard to find stunning examples on Vimeo. Creating them requires precision and many hours stitching together photos taken from carefully mapped locations. We aimed at making the process simpler by using Google Street View as an aid, but quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material. It worked so well, we decided to design a very usable UI around our engine and release Google Street View Hyperlapse.


(via Colossal)

Alchemy: a Stunning Short Film on Transformation

Alchemy is a stunning five minute film created by Evosia Studios. They describe it thus:

Alchemy is a short film about transformation. In nature, everything is constantly changing: the earth, the sky, the stars, and all living things. Spring is followed by summer, fall and winter. Water turns into clouds, rain and ice. Over time, rivers are created, canyons carved, and mountains formed. All of these elements, mixed together, create the magic of nature’s alchemy. 

Turn up the sound and view this in full screen for maximum impact:

A few of my favorite screenshots from the film are below. Click here to read about the locations found in the film.



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Mila Kunis and Chris Stark: The Interview

I really enjoyed watching this Mila Kunis interview about her upcoming role in Oz the Great and Powerful. If you haven’t seen it, the majority of the interview is not about the movie, but Mila Kunis playing along with the nervous young interviewer named Chris Stark:


This interview has spawned a number of analyses on the Web, including this one at The New Yorker:

But, for all the talk about Kunis, perhaps we should take a moment to appreciate Chris Stark. After all, he’s the one who sets the tone for the interview, declaring up front that he’s “petrified” and then lobbing out a clumsy but audacious opening question: “In the nicest possibly way, did you enjoy being ugly for once? Because, generally, like, you know, you’re hot.” Kunis eggs him on, but it’s Stark who moves the conversation further and further out of bounds, bringing up newly irrelevant topics and offering unsolicited details about his life and interests. Of the pair, he’s actually the one who’s more charming and fun to watch.

Great interviewers often describe their craft as something between a dance, a seduction, and a magic trick. You have Truman Capote spinning webs of trust and charisma around his subjects. You have Joan Didion, dependent on being “so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests.” You have Janet Malcolm using the fine touch of her “Japanese technique” to elicit information and draw people out of themselves. And then you have Chris Stark, talking about eating chicken, scoring “massive lad points,” and “dropping trou” at his friend Dicko’s wedding. And it works. The result is great. Good for him.

and this one at Vulture:

By sharing their Instagram feeds or favoriting our tweets, famous actresses seem accessible, a part of our sphere; so to have one step back and act like they are untouchable, or in some way part of a rarefied world, is an insult that is not to be tolerated. Mila Kunis and Jennifer Lawrence haven’t simply scored a “win” by behaving like normal, everyday people, eliciting comments like “She is the greatest!” and “I want to eat burgers with her!” They’re doing what we expect every star to do, in this post-celebrity age. We expect stars to keep their egos in check.

Good stuff.

Wright’s Law, and the Power of Love

Jeffrey Wright is a well-known teacher at Louisville Male Traditional High School in Louisville, Kentucky. He is known for his antics teaching physics, which include exploding pumpkins, fireballs, hovercraft, and a bed of nails with a sledgehammer.

But it is a simple lecture, one without props, that leaves the greatest impression on his students each year. The talk is about Mr. Wright’s son and the meaning of life, love, and family.

In the video below, Mr. Wright gives a lecture on his experiences as a parent of a child with special needs. His son, Adam (12 years old) has a rare disorder called Joubert syndrome, in which the part of the brain related to balance and movement fails to develop properly. Visually impaired and unable to control his movements, Adam breathes rapidly and doesn’t speak.  Find twelve minutes in your life and watch this film:


Perhaps the biggest testament of Mr. Wright’s message is that the film was created by a former student of Mr. Wright’s named Zack Conkle. Said Zack: “I wanted to show people this guy is crazy and really amazing.”

An incredible story. And what a way to start 2013. Love. Pay it forward.


(via New York Times; hat tip: Jonathan Fields)

Filming a Sprinting Cheetah at 1,200 Frames Per Second

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on Earth. Combining the resources of National Geographic and the Cincinnati Zoo, and drawing on the skills of a Hollywood action movie crew, the team used a Phantom camera filming at 1,200 frames per second to capture a cheetah at its full sprint. The result is nothing short of mesmerizing:

Read more about this initiative here. Also check out the accompanying National Geographic article, “Cheetahs on the Edge.”


Pumpktris: Fully Playable Tetris in a Jack-o-Lantern

Today is Halloween, and in the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to showcase the coolest thing I’ve seen this week: jack-o-lantern Tetris. It’s fully playable! Just watch the video below.


Nathan Pryor describes the elaborate process of putting the whole thing together on his blog:

What do you get when you combine a pumpkin with the classic video game Tetris? Pumpktris! Fully playable, embedded in a pumpkin, and with the stem serving as a controller. Watch the video below to see it in action, then read on for the development story.

Absolutely amazing. Highly recommended reading the details if the inner nerd in you is interested in how the whole thing was assembled.

Nightfall: Stunning Time Lapse of Los Angeles and the Surroundings

This is an absolutely gorgeous time lapse video of Los Angeles and the surrounding area, created by Colin Rich:

Colin explains the motivation behind the making of the video:

I shot “Nightfall” in an attempt to capture Los Angeles as it transitioned from day to night. As you probably know, LA is an expansive city so shooting it from many different angles was critical. Usually I was able to capture just one shot per day with a lot of driving, exploring, and scouting in between but the times sitting in traffic or a “sketchy” neighborhood often lead to new adventures and interesting places.

Nightfall in particular is my favorite time to shoot time lapse. Capturing the transition from day to night while looking back at the city as the purple shadow of Earth envelopes the eastern skyline and the warm distant twinkling halogen lights spark to life and give the fading sun a run for her money- this will never grow old or boring to me.

In this piece, it was important to me for the shots to both capture and accentuate the movement of light through the day and night and the use of multiple motion control techniques allowed me to do so.

Highly recommend seeing this one in full screen mode.