Wednesday, December 31, 2008

candle art

Love this TV spot by Electrabel - spotted over on ZeFrank. It's worth watching in HD.

Great "making of" video too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A thing for me

I'm really enjoying this super creative clip by Metronomy. Lots of fun - and love the scene at the 2.43 mark.

A Thing For Me from Metronomy on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Roam forever free

Since moving to the East Coast of Canada, I've always been intrigued by Sable Island - a crescent shaped patch of sand about 300km South-East of Halifax. Since 1583, there have been over 350 shipwrecks on this small sand bar hidden by storms and fog. It's hard to imagine a map with more stories to tell than the one below.

The island is also known for its incredible fragility - as well being home to about 300 wild horses who have called the island home since the 1700's. Their contact with humans is protected - only 5 people live on the island, and special permission is needed to visit. One approved visit was by fashion photographer Robert Dutesco. His evocative and emotional photos are currently on display in New York.

There's also a feature length documentary about his journey to Sable Island and his amazing passion for the horses. The film is truly magical - there is just something so pure, untouched and free about the animals and the setting. As he says during the film - "some places in this world are being left untouched - just like Sable Island. I hope the Sable Island Horses will roam forever free." We can only hope.

Chasing Wild Horses - Clip 2 of 4 from Roberto Dutesco on Vimeo.

Chasing Wild Horses - clip 4 of 4 from Roberto Dutesco on Vimeo.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A few of my favourite podcasts

I love the randomness of podcasts. One day I can be learning about the genius and mad scientist that was Nicola Tesla, another day be inspired by Kid Logic, and another relive the panic that was caused by the original "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast 70 years ago.

In no particular order, here's a few of my favourites.

1 - This American Life
2 - Slate Political Gabfest
3 - WNYC's Radio Lab
4 - Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen
5 - PRI: The Sound of Young America. It's hard to beat the tagline on this one - "A public radio show about things that are awesome"
6 - Big Ideas
7 - NPR: Fresh Air from WHYY. Consistently great
8 - KCRW's The Treatment. Wonderfully insightful interviews by the host (Elvis Mitchell) with today's most influential and creative forces in popular art and entertainment
9 - CBC Radio: Q The podcast
10 - Democracy Now with Amy Goodman

Any favourites you might share with me?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lazy traveling on a Sunday afternoon

Thanks to Fubiz, I've been enjoying some short films by Philip Bloom. I love his music choices too. The first is a tour of the Grand Canyon by helicopter (with music from "Signs" by James Newton Howard). The second is called "Alone in Tokyo", with music by Air.

Grand Canyon from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Alone in Tokyo HD from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

To all you coffee lovers...

Christoph Neimann over at the New York Times shares his passion for coffee - through a wonderful collection of words and images.

Gladwell on social change

The very talented and popular Malcolm Gladwell has been in the news of late promoting his latest book Outliers.

However, in this recent debate with University of Toronto philosophy professor and author Mark Kingwell, he's discussing the challenge of social change, and how to achieve it. As always, Gladwell uses some interesting and surprising examples to demonstrate his point, providing much food for thought. He focuses in particular on the subject and value of awareness. I was especially intrigued by his description of the efforts to promote the wearing of seat belts in the US decades earlier, and what finally resulted in lasting change. Not that it matters, but I think he was the clear "winner" on the night.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Soon we'll be found

I've just discovered a great Australian singer called Sia via one of my favourites blogs, The year in Pictures. A great song and an awesome voice (love her fun website too). I think she's been around for a while - so I guess that means I'm losing touch with Aussie music too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

ASICS and striving for perfection

I've always been loyal to ASICS shoes - although I can't remember why. I guess it was the first brand I purchased when I started running, and I've just kind of stuck with them ever since. But after stumbling across this video over at The Inspiration Room, I think I'll stick with them a bit longer (and maybe start using them again)

Narrated by Kihachiro Onitsuka, it's beautifully produced and has a cute ending - and the use of Origami is not only stunning, but connects nicely to the precision of the ASICS brand.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Alex the Parrot

I'm a bit late to this story, but I was listening to the NPR Fresh podcast, and they told the wonderful story of Alex the Parrot. It wasn't his talking that made him special, but more the fact that his trainer could communicate with him, and that he could actually process information and think. He was able to demonstrate behaviour that was more complex than simply repeating words. His trainer (Dr. Irene Pepperberg) talked about how Alex helped to debunk the "birdbrain" theory. Personally I think it's another example of how animals are far smarter than we give them credit.

Sadly, Alex the Parrot died last year aged 31 (which apparently is not that old for a parrot). One of the more emotional anecdotes as told by Dr Pepperberg was the time she had to take him to an animal hospital when he was sick. As she was leaving him, he kept saying "I wanna go back". In this short video demonstrating his talents, you can hear Alex using that line.