Boing Boing 

BB Video: This Week in Space, with Miles O'Brien


(Download MP4 / Watch on YouTube)

In today's episode of Boing Boing Video, I catch up with our guest video contributor Miles O'Brien for an update on the space stories he's following this week.

The esteemed space, science, and aviation reporter brought us a story on an astronaut climbing Mt. Everest -- who just reached the summit! Then, Miles literally dove in to a floating "tool time" session with NASA astronauts tasked with repair of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Today, he brings us up to speed on these and other sci-tech stories he's following, and we hear what he'll be digging into next.

The former CNN anchor and reporter is exploring what independent online journalism is all about. In this episode, we learn what life is like for a 26-year broadcast veteran who has become a freewheeling freelancer. The short answer? Pretty good.

Catch his reports at True Slant, and follow him on Twitter: @milesobrien. Catch his space coverage at spaceflightnow.com.



RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic).


BB Video - Diving into Space: Miles O'Brien in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab


(Download MP4. This episode of Boing Boing Video is brought to you by WEPC.)

Boing Boing Video guest contributor Miles O'Brien brings us this special report on the same day NASA astronauts complete their final space walk -- and zero-g repair job -- on the Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission #4.

Miles says:
Astronauts spend a lot more time training for missions than flying in space. But I wouldn't feel sorry for them as the training is an amazing adventure unto itself. They practice in airplanes that fly a roller-coaster pattern to give them brief stints of weightlessness (the so called Vomit Comet); they get to zoom around in supersonic T-38 training jets; they fly approaches to shuttle runways in a Gulfstream jet rigged up to fly (or more accurately, plummet) like a real orbiter; they get time in high-fidelity full motion simulators; they use virtual reality goggles to practice tasks they will perform in space - and if they are a spacewalker, they get to spend a lot of time in a huge swimming pool in a former hangar at Ellington Field - near the Johnson Space Center in Houston - learning the nuances of working in the void.

Astronaut John Grunsfeld, who is an astronomer and a huge fan of the Hubble Space Telescope, invited me to join him during one of his 6 hour "runs" in the big pool - officially known as the Sonny Carter Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. I watched him as he practiced the most challenging spacewalk of his long career - the resuscitation of the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Worried as he was about accomplishing this intricate task - not designed to be done by the thick, gloved hand of a spacewalker - when he did the real thing the other day (Saturday) it went of without a hitch - unlike the other 4 spacewalks of the fifth and final Hubble Repair Mission.

The spacewalks are now over - and a shuttle crew has left Hubble behind for the last time. The telescope is in the best shape it has ever been in - Hubble's "Perils of Pauline" tale now mashed up with "Benjamin Button". The eye above the sky will begin a new phase of scientific discovery making astronomers pretty happy right about now. But for those of us who are passionate about sending human beings into space, and have enjoyed watching this adventure unfold over the past 19 years, it is the end of a great era - a wistful moment.

Miles is the only reporter who has ever dived in the NBL.

Hubble crewmember Mike Massimino, shown above doing Hubble telescope repairs today in the Atlantis cargo bay, is on Twitter: @Astro_Mike. You can follow Miles O'Brien on Twitter, too: @milesobrien. His features at trueslant.com are here. Catch his launch coverage at spaceflightnow.com. Official NASA STS-125 mission page is here.


RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic).


BB Video - Guatemala Protests: Eyewitness Cellphone Video from Twitterers


(Download / Watch on YouTube)

This past Sunday in Guatemala, tens of thousands of people gathered in the capital city to protest the assassination of an attorney who blamed president Álvaro Colom for his imminent murder in a posthumously-released YouTube Video.

Boing Boing Video viewer (and BB blog reader) Maria Figueroa (@thevenemousone on Twitter) was there with friends, and she sent us this eyewitness report captured on her cellphone.

Twitter has played a central role in this still-unfolding crisis: protests have been organized on this and other social networks, and Twitter user Jean "@jeanfer" Anleu went to jail last week for having posted a tweet related to the scandal. Authorities released him to house arrest, and he was forced to pay a $6,500 fine (for which he is now in debt).

The video featured here was shot on Maria's phone just as the protest was assembling. Her photos from Sunday's protest are here on Flickr. Here are more video clips documenting the protests.

BB Video - Miles O'Brien Reports: An Astronaut Climbs Everest


(Download MP4 / Watch on YouTube)

In this episode of Boing Boing Video, guest contributor Miles O'Brien, the veteran space and science reporter formerly with CNN, speaks with astronaut Scott Parazynski as he attempts to summit Mt. Everest.

Parazynski and his team are scheduled to actually attempt the summit within the next day or two, as I understand their current plans.

They are using a personal satellite tracking device called "Spot" as a security measure. The GPS device has the added benefit of providing digital breadcrumbs of data that can be used to generate real-time maps of exactly where they are on the trail.

More of Miles "1337" O'Brien's work at True/Slant, and you can (and should) follow him here on Twitter.

Astronaut-turned-climber Scott Parazynski's Everest climb blog is here, and you can also follow him on Twitter, live from Nepal.

Below, a screengrab of their current coordinates -- and a snapshot of Scott at rest on Mount Everest. After the jump, more photos.

(Previously: Boing Boing Video: Welcome, Miles O'Brien!)



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Boing Boing Video: "To," an ambient animation by Bob Jaroc and Plaid


(Download MP4, or watch on YouTube)

Today's Boing Boing Video episode is an ambient animated short by filmmaker Bob Jaroc and the band Plaid (Warp Records). Best enjoyed with stereophonic supersonic headphones, so you can appreciate the shift from one channel to another, while you watch thousands of starlings take flight in a burnt sunset sky.

Bob Jaroc explains how this lovely, evocative avian work took form:

They were real starlings, not digitally-generated. They were filmed over a few winters here in Brighton. I was lucky enough to have access to the then-abandoned and now destroyed West Pier, and got them down on tape as they were coming in to roost. I then extracted them from the background and edited them to the track, often going back and trying to capture a certain motion to go with a certain bit of audio.

RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic)


BB Video: "Sebastian's Voodoo" - Vote for it, for Cannes!


In today's Boing Boing Video episode, we revisit "Sebastian's Voodoo," a beautiful animated work by UCLA student Joaquin Baldwin.

We're returning to this enchanting, dark, fanciful work today because... drum roll... it has been nominated for a short film award at the Cannes Film Festival, which opens today! It's really exciting to see the work of a young, talented animator like Joaquin get this kind of recognition. I am voting for Joaquin right now, and if you dig his work, I hope you will too.

And after you vote for Joaquin, here's some related reading: New Scientist has an interesting article up today about the "science of voodoo" -- well, more accurately, the science behind people who believe they've been "witched" or cursed, and end up becoming ill or dying because their believe in that "reverse placebo" is so powerful.

I like to remind people that voudun, or "voodoo," is more truthfully a broad, deep, and very misunderstood religious tradition that originates in West Africa. Voudun doesn't really have anything do with sticking pins in dolls, or convincing people you don't like that they have cancer. While ad hominem "witching" does exist, to say this defines voudun is unfair and uninformed.


RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic)


BB Video - $5 Cover: Craig Brewer's New MTV Series on Local Indie Music Life


(Download MP4, or watch on YouTube)

In today's Boing Boing Video (brought to you in part by WEPC.com), director Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow , Black Snake Moan ) talks to us about his latest project: the MTV online series $5 Cover, which chronicles the internet-age lives and dreams of struggling musicians in Memphis, Tennessee.

$5 Cover is described as "a rough-and-tumble show set in the clubs, bars, and all-night cafes of present-day Memphis," and follows "young musicians as they fight for love, inspiration, and money to pay the rent." These are real people, but this is not reality schlock.

When I first saw clips of the series in production during a visit to the MTV offices, I knew it was going to be great. I grew up an MTV teen, but am not generally a fan of MTV's present-day on-air programming. I've felt for some time like the network no longer produced stuff I'd find interesting.

But this is different. Maybe part of what allowed something this authentic and engaging to incubate at MTV is the fact that this is primarily an online series.

And then there's the fact that Brewer is at the helm. I'm a big fan of his big-screen work, and he clearly loves the stories at the heart of $5 Cover -- the lives and art of musicians who are his own community, in Memphis.

Boing Boing asked Brewer how the internet is changing what it means to be an independent artist, and how technology is changing the nature of what "local music" means. He talks to us about why he created the show, how this is different than directing for film or television, and why all of this matters so much to him.

When MTV sent us a DVD of the completed episodes, Boing Boing Video's editor and I watched them all, back to back, and then vowed to buy some of the music online. I'm not kidding, it's that great. We went particularly nuts about Amy Lavere, an artist featured in the first part of the Boing Boing Video episode. She's from Memphis, by way of TX and Louisiana. Al Kapone was another personal fave.

More about $5 Cover: New episodes premiere Friday nights at midnight on MTV and at Fivedollarcover.com throughout May. There are mini-documentaries about what went on in each week's episode here, and Flipside Memphis gives you an even deeper dive into the Memphis culture. The entire video series, along with music videos and other related video, is available on iTunes for download to own. The soundtrack is available digitally through services including iTunes and Rhapsody, and I've been googling my way to the artists' websites and myspaces and discovering lots more on my own.


RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic)


Sponsor shout-out: Boing Boing Video is brought to you in part by WEPC.com, in partnership with Intel and Asus. WePC.com is a site where users come together to "share ideas, images and inspiration about the ideal PC." Participants' designs, feature ideas and community feedback will be evaluated by ASUS and "could influence the blueprint for an actual notebook PC built by ASUS with Intel inside."

BB Video: "Ninja Assassin" - John Gaeta on Hybrid Entertainment Merging Film and Games.


(Download this video: MP4, or watch on YouTube)

In today's episode of Boing Boing Video (sponsored by WEPC.com, in partnership with Intel and Asus), Academy Award winning visual effects guru John Gaeta (Matrix, Speed Racer) offers a sneak peek inside his newest project, Ninja Assassin.

Along the way, we explore a broader realm of questions about the future of games, movies, and interactive entertainment. Will movies become more like games, offering new ways for us to insert ourselves inside the stories? Who will create them, using what tools, and how will the experience be different? Will computer-generated actors replace human actors, or stunt persons -- or will the two realms overlap in ways we can't yet predict? All of this we ask of the guy who invented "bullet time."

Due in theaters this fall, director James McTeigue's Ninja Assassin follows the story of Raizo (played by Asian mega-popstar Rain), one of the world's most deadly assassins. As Gaeta explains in this video, the movie merges blindingly badass Bruce-Lee-esque martial arts stunt work with tastefully integrated post processing work.

Below, and after the jump, a partial transcription of the longer conversation we had about the future of interactivity and "hybrid entertainment" -- and why Hollywood is, in Gaeta's words, "like a mule."

This interview took place during our live coverage of the 2009 Game Developers Conference, and many of the questions I pose were taken directly from our live chat audience.


Xeni Jardin: John, your involvement in "Ninja Assassin" was a little different than in "Speed Racer" and the "Matrix" films, where you were the lead visual effects designer.

John Gaeta: Ninja Assassin was directed by James McTeigue, who directed "V for Vendetta." It's sort of a family tradition of the Wachowskis to help James in parallel with other odd films. After "Speed Racer" was completed, we went back to Berlin and decided to make this super psycho horror ninja movie. Supremo stunts and martial arts. We're friends with the action design firm 87eleven, they've worked alongside Wu Ping for many years, after the "Matrix" Trilogy they did "Kill Bill," "300," they're fantastic. It was really their show. They were told they could be very creative and so they were. Lots of inventions!

Xeni: What was your role?

Gaeta: I didn't want to miss it because it seemed like it would be very fun. I was only helping out with some special unit directing, but no visual effects for me personally.

"Ninja" is surprisingly invisible on effects work, and intentionally so. No virtual humans in this one. The only real post processing comes from heavily stylistic color grading, think graphic tones like "Se7en," compositing and some CG weapons and blood augmentation. But this film shines brightest for the martial arts team. To put it another way -- it's old school.

There is far more going on in this movie with respect to "stunts technology" and innovation with respect to specialized and "next gen" rigs and flying machines.

Xeni: You are known for visual effects in motion pictures, but every time you and I have spoken, there's this idea of hybrid entertainment that comes up. Can you tell me more about what you're doing there?

Gaeta: I'm curious about possible destinations where there's crossover with regard to simulation cinema, "sim cinema," ways of creating elaborate trapdoors and portals between different mediums. Also, over the years, there are strange subgroups from the visual world like Douglas Trumbull -- I used to work for him many years ago -- their passion went beyond cinema to immersive content. Virtual reality, perhaps games, are a step toward that -- so are other methods of surrounding people with an experience. There are a lot of interesting progressions going on with immersive cinema, immersive entertainment, hybridizing the two.

(Interview continues after the jump)

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Boing Boing Video: The Throbbing Gristle Interview


(Download this video: MP4)

So, what is it like to see industrial music legends Throbbing Gristle perform live?

"Next closest thing to an internal organ massage standing next to [SRL's] V1 pulsejet engine," said BB pal Karen Marcelo, after one of the dates on the band's 2009 reunion tour. "It was like my diaphragm resonated until my lungs became a subwoofer while words once from a man's mouth sprung from the same woman's mouth," twittered TG trufan T.Bias.


Before we shot the Boing Boing Video interview which is today's episode, above, Richard Metzger and I spoke to Throbbing Gristle's sound technician backstage, and asked what we should expect in the way of sub-bass frequencies -- rumored to be so powerful during performances that cameras can't hold a steady shot, and bowels sometimes can't hold their contents. Charlie Poulet, TG's sound tech, cracked up and flashed an evil grin.

"Oh, we got some frequencies," he laughed, "Yeah, we definitely got some frequencies ready for you people tonight."

Those "frequencies" are part of what make TG's music so transcendental and disturbing, and in the BB interview with Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, we explore their technical and creative underpinnings.

We learn about the hacked-together synth and sound modification machines built back in the early 1970s, like "Thee Gristleizer," shown below.

We hear TG members talk about the sort of mind-meld trance they all fall in to while performing, and we learn about the early days of recording work like "Hamburger Lady" to cassette tapes, then walking down to have a hamburger together at a corner sandwich shop down the street from their old studio in what was then a really shitty part of London.

Gen talks about her first time with Twitter, and we hear what it's like for the band once called "wreckers of civilization" to be celebrated, more than 30 years later, as living legends.

Information on TG's remaining 2009 tour dates here. Industrial Records just released a special limited edition framed vinyl LP to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of Throbbing Gristle's debut album, "The Second Annual Report" -- more info here. More recordings (digital and otherwise), t-shirts, and other merch are here.


RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic, and to Target Video, who shot some of the archival clips shown in this episode).

Previously on Boing Boing: Throbbing Gristle: What A Day. (Boing Boing Video shoot notes)


BB Video: ARPANET turns 40, and Vintage Computers in Slovenia


(Download this video in MP4.)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in internet history -- the development and successful link of the first host-to-host internet connection.

On April 7 1969, Steve Crocker of UCLA circulated around a memo entitled 'Request for Comments, the first of thousands of "RFCs" documenting the design of ARPANET and the Internet. A few months and many memos and experiments later, in October, 1969, Charley Kline at UCLA sent the first packets on ARPANET as he tried to connect to Stanford Research Institute. Below, a copy of the transmission log.


Boing Boing Video is celebrating internet history in the months to come with a look back at the people, devices, and places that are part of our shared internet history.

In today's episode of the show, we revisit an episode hosted by monochrom's Johannes Grenzfurthner, in which we explore the "Cyberpipe" museum of internet history in Slovenia, where computers and networking devices from those early years can be found. Cyberpipe is hosting related retro-tech exhibits throughout 2009.

Closer to home for our viewers in the US, the Museum of Computer History in the San Francisco Bay Area offers a world-class repository of exhibits, and their website includes a helpful timeline of key events that led to today's web.


RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic).

BB Video: "Manifestations," An Animated Love Story, by Giles Timms


(Download the MP4 here, or watch on YouTube.) Today's edition of Boing Boing Video is an animated short by Giles Timms -- "Manifestations" stars a cartoon critter named Mr. Chip who seeks anime love in a psychedelic, ever-morphing virtual world. The music is by Welsh composer Ceri Frost. Mr. Chip also stars in a mini Flash game which you can play here.

RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video. (Special thanks to Boing Boing's video hosting partner Episodic).



BB VIDEO Q&A: ANIMATOR GILES TIMMS

BBV: Where are you based, and what do you do?

Giles: At the moment I live in Santa Monica, LA and attend the Animation Workshop at UCLA's Department of Theater, Film and Television. So I'm a student in the MFA program, but I also work freelance, such as the recent Deathcab for Cutie "Grapevine Fires" video with Walter Robot Studios.

BBV: What is the story behind this lovely animation?

Giles: That it's important for us to find love in this world, whoever and wherever we may be. And that love can exist between the most unlikely of characters, such as the cartoon creature Mr. Chip and the Tadahiro Uesugi inspired girly girl. Love knows no boundaries.

BBV: I love the cute little boxy central character. Who is he, and what's his story?

Giles: The little green guy is Mr. Chip. He originally appeared as the central character in a mini puzzle flash game that I made. Mr. Chip is quite small and unassuming, but he has the heart of a lion and isn't afraid to go after what he seeks. And he can be very resourceful in a MacGyver sort of way. It was these qualities that led to his development as the main character in Manifestations.

(Interview continues after the jump)

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BB Video review: Tricaster, and the Future of Live Video Online


(Download MP4, or watch on YouTube.) In today's episode of Boing Boing Video, we review the Tricaster, a compact device that facilitates high-quality live internet video broadcast production for a lot less dough than the equivalent amount of traditional TV production gear.

A number of web video productions are now using the Tricaster, including Leo Laporte's TWIT.tv, and Mahalo's newly launched Kevin Pollak chat show. I visited the Kevin Pollak set this week to view the device in action with BBV editor Wes Varghese and Richard Metzger. Metzger has also been experimenting with live-to-hard-drive production (= tape his interview show using the Tricaster, then it's ready to go as a produced piece without a lot of editing.).

What interested me most about the device was the possibility of changing the economics of live video online. The Tricaster costs about $10K, and just renting a satellite truck full of switching gear and engineers for conventional live production costs a hell of a lot more - like, start adding zeroes.

So, the possibilities I see are much like the possibilities we began to see for web video 10 years ago, when digital video cameras suddenly became a lot more affordable, and video editing software became cheaper, more widely distributed, and a lot easier to use. Bottom line: more live video, in more of it the hands of people who wouldn't be producing live video otherwise.

Newtek, the company that makes the Tricaster, loaned Boing Boing Video a review unit and we're going to be doing some experiments soon.

Below, and after the jump, some screengrabs from backstage video I shot on the Kodak zi6. The featured guest on this installment of the Kevin Pollak show was Jon Hamm of Mad Men. Diggnation/Totally Rad Show/Project Lore star Alex Albrecht was also in the house, as was George Ruiz of ICM, who shot some nicer photos here. Kevin Pollak show crew notes: Alex Miller was running the TriCaster. Kenny Chen was the floor director, Josh Negrin is sitting next to Alex at the Mac Pro and Jason McIntyre is sitting at the 2 iMacs.


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BB Video: Top Chair? Joel Reviews The Herman Miller Embody and Steelcase Leap


(MP4 Download). Boing Boing Gadgets' Joel Johnson says,

Two chairs enter... two chairs leave.

In fact, I'm sitting my fat ass on one of the two chairs we reviewed right now: the Herman Miller Embody, a fine chair that only wobbles a little after running it into a wall. But I'm only sitting on it because I had to take the other chair, the Steelcase Leap, downstairs to do some more shooting for this video.

So which chair should you buy? Honestly, they're both so much better than a typical office chair it's difficult to pick, but if I were paying real money and not just begging review samples off of the manufacturers, I'd be hard pressed to pay nearly twice as much for the Embody, even if it is fantastically weird in looks. (Especially in the showcase cream-and-orange livery.)

Also, for the record, yes, this is the very best Clarkson impression I can do. And yes, it disturbed me that it isn't that different from how I normally talk in these things.

Discuss this video in the very busy thread over at BB Gadgets.


And Xeni back again with a personal plug: if you fancy buying a new office chair, and the ones featured in this review are too rich for your wallet, ping Mar over at ambiencedore.com for recommendations on cheaper alternatives, designed with ergonomic support in mind. 800-840-3488, or mar at ambiencedore dot com.

RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.

Boing Boing Video: Revisiting TechShop, as Portland Site Launches


(MP4 download here). TechShop founder Jim Newton tells Boing Boing, "I'm very excited to tell you that TechShop Portland is now open!"

And that's great news for tinkerers, builders, and makers in Oregon. TechShop is an open-access public workshop that's kind of like a health club with heavy machinery and sparks instead of treadmills. Tinkerers, inventors, and hackers pay a membership fee, and in turn receive access to professionally-maintained gear, workshops, mentors, and a community of like-minded makers.

Above, a Boing Boing TV episode from 2008 in which we visited the first TechShop site in Silicon Valley, which has been open now for several years. Jim Newton, who is a lifetime maker, veteran BattleBots builder and former MythBuster, says they plan to open a number of locations around the US -- and eventually, the rest of the world.

Here's the original Boing Boing TV blog post, with more about TechShop.

Jim Newton and the TechShop folks explain:

TechShop is a 33,000 square foot membership based workshop that provides members with any skill level to have access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a creative and supportive community of like minded people so you can build the things you have always wanted to make.

TechShop is perfect for inventors, "makers", hackers, tinkerers, artists, roboteers, families, entrepreneurs, youth groups, FIRST robotic teams, crackpots, arts and crafts enthusiasts, and anyone else who wants to be able to make things that they dream up but don't have the tools, space or skills.

Here's more on the newly opened TechShop in Portland, Oregon.

RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Boing Boing Video: "War Dialer," an ambient animation by Bob Jaroc and Plaid


(MP4 Download here). Update: BB commenter Squeevy astutely suggests regarding this particular episode, "For best viewing (and association with what is going on) I suggest using stereo headphones and not laptop speakers or computer speakers."

Today's Boing Boing Video episode is an ambient piece by animator/filmmaker Bob Jaroc and the band Plaid.

"War Dialer," which references phone phreaking and early proto-hackery through a non-narrative, droning flow of sound and speech-babble, was originally created as an 8-channel audio-only installation in a bandstand on Brighton seafront as part of the Sonic Sea Air project, ten years ago.

Jaroc says, "Plaid and i began to use it as a visual piece around the time we started to play surround sound gigs, as it served as a good visual and sonic introduction to the idea that the images on screen were related to the spacial audio."

I suggest replaying the piece in the background a few times, and droning out to it while you work.

Music taken from Plaid's Greedy Baby album, which you can buy here.

RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Boing Boing Video Nominated for Multiple Webby Awards. Hey, Vote for Us!


Boing Boing Video (formerly Boing Boing TV) has been selected as a nominee for the 13th Annual Webby Awards in three categories, and has been selected as an Official Honoree in a fourth category.

Huge, heartfelt, and humble thanks to everyone who made this possible, all contributors, cast, crew, and partners, past and present.

In this blog post (above, below, and after the jump) we've embedded the highlights reels we submitted to the Webby Award judges for consideration.

Above, TECHNOLOGY (Download MP4 here), and below, VARIETY (Download MP4 here).

After the jump, WEIRD/EXPERIMENTAL (Download MP4 here), and BEST HOST ( Download MP4 here).

The Webby Award recipients are selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, but the online public chooses the Webby People's Voice Award. Online voting for that award is under way, and ends April 30.

If you dig the work we've done over the past couple of years in original video content, I hope you'll consider voting for Boing Boing Video here.

RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.



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BB Video: IFTF, Sun, and Boing Boing Launch Digital Open Youth Innovation Expo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy6JGT-ZhEI

Download MP4 for this episode. RSS feed for new episodes here, YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Boing Boing Video is teaming up with Institute for the Future and Sun Microsystems to launch The Digital Open, a global expo for youth innovation.

Above, a video we produced with IFTF and teen 'web talent Charis Tobias, to invite young people around the world to join in.

Here's a snip from the launch announcement:

"What can you make with technology that will change the world, invent the future--or even just make life a little easier or more fun?"

Institute for the Future, in partnership with Sun Microsystems and Boing Boing, invite youth worldwide, age 17 and under, to join us as we explore the frontiers of free and open innovation. Running from April 15 until August 15, 2009, the Digital Open: An Innovation Expo for Global Youth will accept text, photos, and videos documenting projects at DigitalOpen.org from young people around the world, all licensed under one from a list of free and open software licenses.

Youth can submit projects in a variety of areas, ranging from the environment, media, and community, to the more traditional open source domains of software and hardware. Additionally, the Digital Open will provide resources and links to help them learn more about free and open technology movements, from figures like Richard Stallman to organizations like Creative Commons.

(...) Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future emphasized the participatory nature of the project. "The Digital Open is more than just a competition," she says. "It's about recognizing and encouraging kids to follow their passions while giving them community experiences that further encourage or challenge their best thinking."

The top project in each of the eight Digital Open categories will be selected by a panel of approximately 20 judges, including David-Michel Davies (Webby Awards) Lawrence Lessig (Harvard/Creative Commons), David Pescovitz (Boing Boing!) and Dale Dougherty (Make).

Winners receive a tech prize package including a PeeCee mini laptop running the OpenSolaris operating system, a video camera, a solar-powered flashlight, and other goodies.

The Digital Open.

BB Video: "OMAR / HOT PURSUIT / SEARCH," a PSST! Animated Short

Download MP4 here. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today we present another animated short from the PSST! 3 Film series -- OMAR / HOT PURSUIT / SEARCH. Like the previous shorts we've featured from PSST! project, this one's the result of a collaboration between three teams of animators. Those teams worked together to express a single story with a uniquely animated and separately produced beginning, middle, and end.

OMAR: A Victorian-sepia-dream in which a child fishes for kite-creatures in the sky, and is lifted on an incredible aerial adventure.

HOT PURSUIT: A Google Maps bad guy car chase drama interlude, with cops and robbers.

SEARCH: A child creates the magical superflat universe of which he dreams.

The first segment in today's episode was directed by Doug Purver, the second part by Honest, the third by Cole Gorst, Brian Smith, and Vincent Aricco.

About the PSST! 3 project, curator Bran Dougherty-Johnson tells Boing Boing,

The main creative challenge is really self-initiated. It's to create original and inspired work on no budget and in collaboration with other teams. That in itself is a challenge, but the reward is unfettered creativity and self-expression with no restraints. You can see in the films that the artists involved took this idea to heart.

Art is a form of reality creation. With PSST! we are opening a space for Motion Graphic Design and Animation to do something other than commercials and endtags, to build community and to create our own work.

Previously:


(Special thanks to Boing Boing Video's hosting and publishing provider Episodic.)




BB Video: The Flaming Bacon Lance of Death, from Theo Gray's book "Mad Science"


FLAMING BACON LANCE - THEODORE GRAY MP4 Download here. Or, watch this video on YouTube here.

YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Twitter updates @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Yesterday, I blogged about the release of Popular Science columnist Theo Gray's new book, MAD SCIENCE.

In today's episode of Boing Boing Video, a collaboration with PopSci, we debut the world-premiere of the first video documenting the sort of experiments you'll find in this book -- in which Theo cuts steel with bacon. It's a FLAMING BACON LANCE OF DEATH.

Yes, that's right, using nothing but bacon -- okay, prosciutto -- and an air hose, Mr. Gray constructs a high performance thermic lance that seriously cuts sheet metal.

In this video, you'll also see a purely VEGAN THERMIC LANCE built from one cucumber and several dozen thin vegetable-oil coated breadsticks. (Tip: the performance is all about the oil). This hotrod burns fast and furious, but does not last long enough to initiate a cut in steel sheet. The flame front travels towards the back of the cucumber and endangers the operator when it reaches the rubber connector.

CUCUMBER VEGAN FLAMING LANCE - THEODORE GRAY

Theo also built a CUCUMBER-BEEFSTICK LANCE. A high-performance thermic lance constructed from seven beefsticks and a cucumber. Later versions used Pup-Peroni brand dog treats, which are exactly like beef sticks only cheaper.

In some ways this device out-performed the Bacon Lance, and it's much easier to build.

But it's not made of bacon.

Theo tells Boing Boing,

"Cucumber is an *excellent* base for these things because it's air-tight, moist (to resist fire), easy to core, and has a rubbery skin that makes an air tight seal. About the only thing wrong with cucumbers is that they are not made of bacon. (I have a thing called a "fruit coring tool" which is like a very small round cookie cutter on a stick. You drill it down the middle of the cucumber until it comes out the other end, then stuff the cucumber with the chosen fuel.)"
Here are Theo's columns at PopSci.com. And more on the flaming bacon of death at PopSci.com.

These devices were created by Theodore Gray. Videography in this BB Video episode by Nick Mann (shot on the 5D Mk II). Stills are by Mike Walker.

Previously: Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home, But Probably Shouldn't (Book)

Special thanks to Boing Boing Video's hosting partner Episodic.

FLAMING BACON LANCE - THEODORE GRAY

FLAMING BACON LANCE - THEODORE GRAY

CUCUMBER VEGAN FLAMING LANCE - THEODORE GRAY

BB Video: Radiohead Fan-Dance-Off with Giant Katamari Damacy Heads (GDC09 Out-Takes)


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscreen" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Boing Boing Video wishes you a Happy Friday. And surely there can be no better way to celebrate the end of a work week than to put on a Katamari Damacy head, crank up a favorite song ("Bodysnatchers" by Radiohead), and rock out in front of a webcam. This is what happened with our esteemed interview guests Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and Matt Ganucheau of Expression College, who participated in Boing Boing/offworld's marathon live coverage of the 2009 Game Developers Conference. The interview was over, the chat room was buzzing, the Katamari costumes were just sitting there. I asked our chat room participants what we should force our guests to dance to, and all agreed to Radiohead. You'll hear me shouting out commands from the chat room during this video, and eventually, at the end, obeying a final command myself: to join in.

Read the rest

BB Video: GDC Out-take - Radiohead Fan-Dance-Off with Giant Katamari Damacy Heads.


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscreen" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Boing Boing Video wishes you a Happy Friday. And surely there can be no better way to celebrate the end of a work week than to put on a Katamari Damacy head, crank up a favorite song ("Bodysnatchers" by Radiohead), and rock out in front of a webcam. This is what happened with our esteemed interview guests Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and Matt Ganucheau of Expression College, who participated in Boing Boing/offworld's marathon live coverage of the 2009 Game Developers Conference. The interview was over, the chat room was buzzing, the Katamari costumes were just sitting there. I asked our chat room participants what we should force our guests to dance to, and all agreed to Radiohead. You'll hear me shouting out commands from the chat room during this video, and eventually, at the end, obeying a final command myself: to join in.

Read the rest

BB Video: GDC Out-take - Radiohead Fan-Dance-Off with Giant Katamari Damacy Heads.


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscreen" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Boing Boing Video wishes you a Happy Friday. And surely there can be no better way to celebrate the end of a work week than to put on a Katamari Damacy head, crank up a favorite song ("Bodysnatchers" by Radiohead), and rock out in front of a webcam. This is what happened with our esteemed interview guests Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and Matt Ganucheau of Expression College, who participated in Boing Boing/offworld's marathon live coverage of the 2009 Game Developers Conference. The interview was over, the chat room was buzzing, the Katamari costumes were just sitting there. I asked our chat room participants what we should force our guests to dance to, and all agreed to Radiohead. You'll hear me shouting out commands from the chat room during this video, and eventually, at the end, obeying a final command myself: to join in.

This moment is also memorialized by paperdummy, whom we thank for the kind loan of the Katamari heads.

Read the rest

BB Video: Music in Video Games, pt. 2, with Peter Kirn and Matt Ganucheau


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscreen" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today's Boing Boing Video episode is part 2 of a 2-part conversation with Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and Matt Ganucheau of Expression College about generative music, experimental audio in video games, new tools for music composition, and how sound changes our experience of gaming.

We conducted this interview during Boing Boing/offworld's marathon live coverage of the 2009 Game Developers Conference. Peter Kirn shares a couple of urls that came up during the conversation:

Composer Troels Folmann came up as a source of inspiration - and himself the advocate of something he calls "micro-scoring." His GDC session, in which he boils a waterphone (seen at the tail end of the video!), is here on createdigitalmusic.com.

And here is a previous interview in which he discusses his approach to adaptive music.

Read the rest

BB Video: Music in Video Games, a conversation with Peter Kirn and Matt Ganucheau


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscreen" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today's Boing Boing Video episode is a conversation with Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music and Matt Ganucheau of Expression College about music in games: new tools, new forms of composition, and new ways of thinking about the role music and sound play in the gaming experience. We conducted this interview during Boing Boing/offworld's marathon live coverage of GDC, and this video clip -- part one of a two-part conversation -- includes the work of Ganucheau's students in a class about composing music for videogames. One of the works we show is from a young student named Jason Bowers. Here are more details on working with Space Invaders as a teaching tool for interactive music. And here is Max/MSP, the music software used.

Previously:

* Social Games, and The Quest for Virtual Poo.
* Doctor Popular's Awesome Yo-Yo Stylings
* Hideo Kojima on Metal Gear Solid Touch (games)
* Jane McGonigal on Emotion, Gaming, and Dance.
* Jane McGonigal - Games Can Change the World.
* Jane McGonigal's Game Developers' Conference talk on Making Your Own Reality
* BBV @ GDC live stream archives, at Ustream.tv
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: offworld.com archive
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: boingboing.net archive


Read the rest

BB Video: "Super Ed," by Subatomic Nixons (dir. Bill Barminski and Walter Robot / music video)


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscreen" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today Boing Boing video debuts a new work from the multitalented multimedia artist Bill Barminski, whose animation and short films we've featured many times before. This one's a retro-kitschy flight of fancy for his music side project Subatomic Nixons, and features a character who looks a lot like television legend Ed Sullivan -- only, he's wearing a superhero cape and smiting rock bands. The video was produced by Walter Robot (= Bill Barminski and Christopher Louie).

Here are previous Boing Boing video episodes featuring Barminski's work.

BB Video: Social Games, and The Quest for Virtual Poo.


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscren" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today on Boing Boing Video, Playfish Games founder Sebastien de Halleaux joins us for a conversation about games developed for social networks. The Playfish game "Pet Society" is currently the most popular game on facebook, with millions of participants per day. Sebastien reveals an odd, unintended subculture that developed out of this game -- you feed these visrtual pets in the game, and eventually they poop, so fans began to "farm" poo, and compete to see who could cultivate the most. The game's developers in turn responded by creating high score poo variants, like the coveted rainbow poo, and the ultra-high-score golden poo. Playfish has other popular games on MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, and the like, including another one where you manage a restarurant with your friends. This episode is an excerpt from our marathon live streaming coverage of the Game Developer Conference.

Previously:

* Doctor Popular's Awesome Yo-Yo Stylings
* Hideo Kojima on Metal Gear Solid Touch (games)
* Jane McGonigal on Emotion, Gaming, and Dance.
* Jane McGonigal - Games Can Change the World.
* Jane McGonigal's Game Developers' Conference talk on Making Your Own Reality
* BBV @ GDC live stream archives, at Ustream.tv
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: offworld.com archive
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: boingboing.net archive


Read the rest

BB Video: Doctor Popular's Awesome Yo-Yo Stylings


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscren" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today on Boing Boing Video, a yo-yo demonstration by world champion yo-yoer, game developer, "craft mogul," and nerdcore rapper Doctor Popular. This episode is an excerpt from our marathon live streaming coverage of the Game Developer Conference, during which "Doc Pop" graciously hung out with our crew and offered insight. We hope to bring you more of those conversations soon, particularly his thoughts on game development. He also creates comics based on internet memes and social network etiquette dilemmas, my favorite of which involves the social awkwardness of "unfollowing" someone on Twitter. Some of his "Memes in Real Life" internet arts are here. The guy's a genius, and his yo-yo-ing is nothing but hypnotic.

Scott Beale at Laughing Squid has a bunch of posts on the eclectic range of Doc Pop's work.

Previously:
* Hideo Kojima on Metal Gear Solid Touch (games)
* Jane McGonigal on Emotion, Gaming, and Dance.
* Jane McGonigal - Games Can Change the World.
* Jane McGonigal's Game Developers' Conference talk on Making Your Own Reality
* BBV @ GDC live stream archives, at Ustream.tv
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: offworld.com archive
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: boingboing.net archive


Read the rest

Boing Boing Video: Hideo Kojima on Metal Gear Solid Touch (games)


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscren" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today on Boing Boing Video, another game-related feature we shot during the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco: a conversation with Konami CEO Hideo Kojima at the San Francisco Apple Store, about his latest creation -- Metal Gear Solid Touch for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Previously:
* Jane McGonigal on Emotion, Gaming, and Dance.
* Jane McGonigal - Games Can Change the World.
* Jane McGonigal's Game Developers' Conference talk on Making Your Own Reality
* BBV @ GDC live stream archives, at Ustream.tv
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: offworld.com archive
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: boingboing.net archive

Read the rest

Boing Boing Video: Jane McGonigal - Games Can Change the World.


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscren" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today on Boing Boing Video, more of the interviews we conducted during the recent Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, and ran on a marathon streaming video webcast. Today, part two of our conversation with Jane McGonigal of Institute for the Future.

In this episode, Jane talks with us about the responsibilities of designers who create virtual worlds, and how the emotional and human exchange within gaming worlds has the potential to change life in the "real world."

Previously:
* Jane McGonigal on Emotion, Gaming, and Dance. * Jane McGonigal's Game Developers' Conference talk on Making Your Own Reality
* BBV @ GDC live stream archives, at Ustream.tv
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: offworld.com archive
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: boingboing.net archive

[ Credits and props for BBV Live @GDC09: Production Team -- Jolon Bankey, Derek Bledsoe, Daniela Calderon, Eddie Codel, Xeni Jardin, Allison Kingsley, Matty Kirsch, Alice Taylor, Wesly Varghese. Special thanks to Wayneco Heavy Industries (accommodation and studio facilities), Virgin America Airlines (air travel), Celsius (thermogenic energy beverage), Ustream.tv (streaming video host). Moral support, production assistance, additional talent, and good vibes provided by: Domini Anne, Scott Beale, T.Bias, Jeremy Bornstein, Brandon Boyer, Chris The Van Guy, Peter S. Conrad, Marque Cornblatt, Wayne, Bre, and the entire de Geere family, Marcy DeLuce, Cory Doctorow, Joel Johnson, Kourosh Karimkhany, Jim Louderback and the Revision 3 team, Karen Marcelo, Rocky Mullin, Alicia Pollak, Jackie Mogol, Taylor Peck, David Pescovitz, Micah Schaffer, and Teal. ]

Boing Boing Video: Jane McGonigal on Emotion, Gaming, and Dance.


Download the MP4 here. Flash video above, click "fullscren" icon inside player to view large. YouTube channel here, subscribe on iTunes here. Get Twitter updates every time there's a new ep by following @boingboingvideo, and here are blog post archives for Boing Boing Video.


Today's episode of Boing Boing Video is the first in a series of featured interviews conducted during the recent Game Developer Conference in San Francisco. All last week, we ran a marathon streaming video webcast from a friend's loft near the conference site, and tons of interesting people stopped by. Today, we present a conversation and Katamari Damacy Cosplay Dance-off with Jane McGonigal of Institute for the Future.

Jane talks with us about her research into emotion and gaming, and her project "Top Secret Dance-Off," which explores how we respond to online interpersonal reactions -- and, what kind of "play" activities make us feel good about ourselves and each other.

For instance, she says that the experience of humiliation -- say, the embarassment you might feel dancing in front of a streaming video camera -- involves a brief blip of happiness. Jane explains why, in this 10-minute clip that melds neuroscience, sociology, and funky Katamari choreography.

Don't miss the very end. Jane and Xeni test out the theories in a not-so-top-secret Bollywood dance-off.

Previously:
* Jane McGonigal's Game Developers' Conference talk on Making Your Own Reality
* BBV @ GDC live stream archives, at Ustream.tv
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: offworld.com archive
* Boing Boing Video and Offworld.com Live at GDC09: boingboing.net archive

[ Credits and props for BBV Live @GDC09: Production Team -- Jolon Bankey, Derek Bledsoe, Daniela Calderon, Eddie Codel, Xeni Jardin, Allison Kingsley, Matty Kirsch, Alice Taylor, Wesly Varghese. Special thanks to Wayneco Heavy Industries (accommodation and studio facilities), Virgin America Airlines (air travel), Celsius (thermogenic energy beverage), Ustream.tv (streaming video host). Moral support, production assistance, additional talent, and good vibes provided by: Domini Anne, Scott Beale, T.Bias, Jeremy Bornstein, Brandon Boyer, Chris The Van Guy, Peter S. Conrad, Marque Cornblatt, Wayne, Bre, and the entire de Geere family, Marcy DeLuce, Cory Doctorow, Joel Johnson, Kourosh Karimkhany, Jim Louderback and the Revision 3 team, Karen Marcelo, Rocky Mullin, Alicia Pollak, Jackie Mogol, Taylor Peck, David Pescovitz, Micah Schaffer, and Teal. ]