Walter White Reads Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandius”

A new teaser for the final season of Breaking Bad, premiering August 11, exemplifies Walter’s maniacal ambition through Walter’s recital of Percy Bysshe Shelly’s poem, “Ozymandius.” I first read this poem in my AP English class, and it’s still one of my favourites. No spoilers here, either! Watch the awesomeness below:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

So looking forward to the final season!

Karen Cheng Learns to Dance in One Year

Karen Cheng didn’t know how to dance but was willing to learn. In this post on her website, she describes the process she went through to become a dancer in one year:

People who watch me dance today sometimes assume I’ve been dancing for many years. I made this video so you could see the awkward body that started just one year ago.

Here’s my secret: I practiced everywhere. At bus stops. In line at the grocery store. At work — Using the mouse with my right hand and practicing drills with my left hand. You don’t have to train hardcore for years to become a dancer. But you must be willing to practice and you better be hungry.

This isn’t a story about dancing, though. It’s about having a dream and not knowing how to get there — but starting anyway. Maybe you’re a musician dreaming of writing an original song. You’re an entrepreneur dying to start your first venture. You’re an athlete but you just haven’t left the chair yet.

When you watch someone perform, you’re seeing them at the top of their game. When they score the winning point or sell their company for millions — you’re seeing them in their moment of glory. What you don’t see is the thousands of hours of preparation. You don’t see the self doubt, the lost sleep, the lonely nights spent working. You don’t see the moment they started. The moment they were just like you, wondering how they could ever be good.

The incredible transformation in the quality of her dancing may be seen in this time lapse video:

 

I think this is a solid testament that while practice may not make you perfect, it will make you very good at something.

Adrift: A Love Letter to the San Francisco Fog

Almost three years since Simon Christen released “The Unseen Sea” (still one of my favourite timelapse videos), he now unveils his most recent project, Adrift. It is a visual love letter to the fog of San Francisco.

In his own words, Simon writes:

“Adrift” is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born.

The weather conditions have to be just right for the fog to glide over the hills and under the bridge. I developed a system for trying to guess when to make the drive out to shoot, which involved checking the weather forecast, satellite images and webcams multiple times a day. For about 2 years, if the weather looked promising, I would set my alarm to 5am, recheck the webcams, and then set off on the 45-minute drive to the Marin Headlands.

I spent many mornings hiking in the dark to only find that the fog was too high, too low, or already gone by the time I got there. Luckily, once in a while the conditions would be perfect and I was able to capture something really special. Adrift is a collection of my favorite shots from these excursions into the ridges of the Marin Headlands.

Stunning.

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(hat tip: @Colossal)

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.

anar-lenticular-06

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:

Fascinating.

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(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.

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(via Colossal)