(Video link here.) Ekso Bionics, creators of a robotic exoskeleton that enables paraplegics to walk, has created a compelling video about their remarkable invention. Much of the video is of Amanda Boxtel, an early product tester, who has not walked since she sustained an spinal cord injury 20 years ago (though she has mastered – and taught – many sitting-down sports.) Watching her, and listening to her speak of her experience, is to be reminded of – and really “get” - the little ordinary things that we take for granted…“putting my heal on the ground…being able to bend my knee..taking a step and then another step…a walk in nature.”
(Video link here.) We were just getting disgruntled at Pandora’s “Bjork” stream when “All Is Full Of Love” came on. We WOKE UP, amazed at what we were hearing and went looking for the lyrics. They are beautiful, somehow making us think of the creative process as much as love. “You have to trust it, despite wrong turns. It’s there.”
This video of a young Bjork performing the song is a bit unfocused until 1:20 when it really picks up steam. At 2:30 she holds a note – the word “love” – for a stunning 17 seconds. It has an utterly forthright, courageous quality that reminded us read more…
The treasures to be seen on YouTube continue to astonish. For this lazy New Year’s weekend, we offer Émile Cohl‘s Fantasmagorie; created in 1908, one of the first animated films.
To make this film, Cohl placed each drawing on an illuminated glass plate and then traced the next drawing-with variations-on top of it until he had some 700 drawings… the characters in the film look as though they’ve been drawn on a chalkboard, but it’s an illusion. By filming black lines on paper and then printing in negative Cohl makes his animations appear to be chalk drawings.
It is charming, odd, fabulous and at the .47 second mark seems to be secretly giving a New Year’s message.
(Video link here.) This video features the great natural history documentarian, Sir David Attenborough, reading lines from the Louis Armstrong song “What a Wonderful World” as stunning scenes from Attenborough’s documentaries fill the screen. While we watched, we were both delighted and a bit stymied. The video was both beautiful and perspective-broadening, while bordering on being precious and slightly manipulative. It was in fact made by the ad agency RKCR/Y&RH as a tribute to the aging Attenborough and a promo piece for his latest, and possibly last series, Frozen Planet. That explains alot.
As often happens, we held off on posting it until something came along to point it in an unexpected direction. We found it on the strange and beautiful blog Rolu, in a poem by James Broughton. If you mute the video’s corny soundtrack and keep the poem in mind as you watch, you get a WHOLE other experience…
(Video link here.) In his riff on being broke, comedian Louis C.K. vividly echoes the Russian proverb: “A rich man in his fur coat cannot understand why a poor man feels cold”, as he addresses the many people he knows – a whole nation, in fact – who are broke.
Being broke is, in fact, an age-old dilemma which forces one to be creative to survive. The wonderful Chinese poet Su Tung-P’o lived in the eleventh century and made and lost many fortunes during his long life. He wrote this letter to his brother during one of his extended period of down-and-outness, describing his improvised method of budgeting, made all the more interesting by his unique point of view: read more…
(Video link here.) Last year around this time, we wondered “WHY NOT make a modernist gingerbread house, rather than the usual Victorian style?” Making gingerbread houses and structures allows you to act out your architectural and sweet-tooth fantasies, and are a perfect holiday activity to do with friends or kids; they invite collaboration and the pushing of limits.
We have never seen anything that nailed gingerbread-building better than this video of the making of a geodesic dome gingerbread house: from the creation of a structure to the baking of walls to the final, wild, decorating with sugary delights of all kinds. It’s a way to vicariously experience the magical process…but…
…if you want to build your own geodesic dome and feel you need a little help, you can order a kit from Scout Regalia, with a template and complete instructions. (We’re thinking you could make a six-sided template to cut out gingerbread “tiles” and then use an inverted bowl to give the dome structure…)
These two images, with their amazing statement, are from a series of twenty posted on the blog Rolu recently, in which the late fashion designer Yves St. Laurent gives an unexpectedly candid speech announcing his retirement. In a few words, the famously private man reveals the impetus for his immense creativity – his “fatal lineage” and concertedly shatters the illusion of a seemingly charmed life.
The images-with-statements are taken from the first minutes of L’Amour Fou, a documentary about St. Laurent by Pierre Thoretten. They take about a minute to read and are a revelation. They seem brave to us, though at the time, the media seemed to avoid quoting them directly. We are still pondering his last line: read more…
“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
No matter what you think of the guy, this is an amazing bit of wisdom.
(Video link here.) The weekend is here. Time to take a road trip cross country with this little desk toy, using a toy car and Google Maps Street View. A little beauty of homemade animation by Tom Jenkins.
via Open Culture
Related posts: ‘the world is full of interesting things’ on the massively creative internet and google
arcade fire’s gift for the last day of summer
insta-perspective: this is where we are
vacation for a minute
travel the known universe
(Video link here; start at 4:50) We had a non-stop day, working on a big project, then racing back to write a post many hours late…wondering if we might write about lateness, or busyness or not-living-up-to-our-obligationness, which so many people we know are trying to figure out. We were poking around the files, half-written posts, and bookmarked bits when we STOPPED to watch a video clip Cara de Silva sent us this morning with these words:
“This is a segment of a TED talk that I found profoundly moving because of the images and the speaker and the narrative. Somehow all together they go beyond the subject.”
On flixxy.com, Cara had found the 4 minute video that filmmaker and TED speaker Louie Schwartzberg had used as an example of what his work as a cinematographer using time-lapse photography had taught him over the years: gratitude. You can watch the whole TED talk, above, or let the video load and jump right into Schwartzberg’s film at 4:50 mins. read more…
(Video link here.) On TV last week, we caught a compelling video made by The Guardian about artist Vik Muniz’s recent work. Over three years he traveled to his native Brazil to photograph “catadores” – pickers of recyclable materials – who comb daily through Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest garbage dump, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Muniz’ plan was to make artworks of the catadores’ images using garbage from the dump itself, then photograph the works and sell them at auction, giving the proceeds back to the impoverished pickers.
In the course of the project, Muniz entered into a surprising collaboration with some of the pickers, read more…
(Video link here.) At Apple’s recent celebration of Steve Jobs’ life, Norah Jones sang Bob Dylan’s classic Forever Young, which he wrote in the early ’70′s. Although we’ve heard the song many times over the years, we never really focused on the lyrics until we watched the video of Jones’ performance and looked them up. We were surprised to see that Dylan had written what is, in effect, a blessing: wishing all good fortune, the highest of hopes.
Hidden within the last stanza are the perfect words for clinking glasses in a toast on Thanksgiving Day… read more…
(Video link here.) When our mind starts running hot like a machine overworking – fast and full of ideas and writing and deadlines – we welcome ways to slow down. This little film does the work of meditating, chilling us out while connecting us to a broader view of the life we are living. (The lovely music is “Aerial” by Moby, who allows free use of his music for independent film makers at MobyGratis.com - yay Moby!).
“This is a year-long time-lapse study of the sky. A camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco captured an image of the sky every 10 seconds. From these images, I created a mosaic of time-lapse movies, each showing a single day. The days are arranged in chronological order. My intent was to reveal the patterns of light and weather over the course of a year.”
via the great Kottke