Category Archives: youtube

The occulation of Saturn is worth it

Someone posted this occultation of Saturn and I am taking a chance and sharing it on the blog because it’s too cool not to. (An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer.)

I say “take a chance” because I have so many broken Youtube links on my blog, rendering many posts useless as a result. (Word of advice: don’t post Youtube links of songs or movies.) I’m hopeful this one will stay up.


Merry Christmas! From me and the Three Tenors!

Here are the Tenors performing White Christmas:

Regardless of whether your Christmas is white or not, like them, I hope that your days are merry and bright.

Some of my favorite white noise and background screen savers from Youtube

There are lots of videos on Youtube of scenes like this. Some are good for white noise, others are good for acting as a screen saver.

Ocean Waves at night:

Ocean waves in the day:

Snow fall in the forest

Snow storm in the street

Night rain sounds

Rain fall sounds

A short defense of Drake’s dancing in Hotline Bling

It’s well known that Drake has suffered alot of mockery for his dancing in the video for Hotline Bling. This is too bad, because for whatever criticism you can raise for Drake’s dancing, he is no worse than most major pop stars when it comes to dancing. So what’s the problem?

The problem, I see it, is in the directing. Here is the Hotline Bling video. Count the length of the average shot. When I did it, it was in the 5 to 10 second range.

Compare that to Ariana Grande’s Focus video.

Count the length of each shot. The longest is usually no more than 3 seconds: the rest are 1 to 2 seconds. Is she a good dancer? It’s hard to tell. If you go to around the 3 minute mark, you seen alot of dancing, but the shots are still short and the camera is constantly moving. Any short coming in the dancing can be made up for in the editing room. And I’d argue that the Focus video is typical of most videos: very short cuts with lots of camera movement.

Now, it’s possible the director wanted the longer shots due to the changing nature of the lighting. But there is a similar use of dramatic lighting in Justin Timberlake’s Let Me Talk To You/My Love and he comes across well with no loss to the lighting effect

And like Ariana Grande’s video, this video has the performer do well defined step in a 1-4 second shot and then cuts away. This is typical of many music videos. (Yes, JT does have an extended dance routine at the end of My Love, but most of the video is all quick cuts….also, he has been dancing since his early days as a Mouseketeer :))

Drake would have been better off with shorter cuts and simpler dance moves, the kind of thing you find in most other videos.

Friday night music: Brook Benton – Rainy Night in Georgia

Perfect music for a melancholy Friday Fall evening.

Friday night music: Phox – Noble Heart

There’s lots of great videos of PHOX on YouTube. I like this one:

If you do too, search them out and you’ll find many good ones, including on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.

It’s rich music that is deceptively easy listening.

How to relax using white noise, winter edition (the joy of simulated warmth and coziness)

In the winter, I think one of the nicest forms of white noise is a fire. It’s not the same as having an actual fire, but if you have a computer or big screen you can Chromecast this to, I recommend this video:

I’ve watched quite a number of these videos, and this one is my favorite so far: really good sound, and it looks realistic. (Oddly, this matters to me, even though I know it merely a video).

If you want the feeling of being warm and cozy inside while it storms outside, I recommend this video for white noise:

It’s Monday. You need inspiration. Here’s Yves Rossy flying around Mt. Fuji using a jetpack

So for those of you who say, “Hey! We were promised jetpacks!”…well, like the future, they are hear but just not evenly distributed.

For this videos  and more on this, go here: This Man Flew Over Mt. Fuji on a Real-Life Jetpack, and It’s Absolutely Breathtaking – Mic.

If you need an early winter pick me up, here’s a 1 minute video of a crow snowboarding

It’s no fluke: if you watch the whole thing, you can see he is into it!

Crows are remarkable. Via YouTube and  someone on twitter….I can’t remember who though. Thanks, whomever you are!

Friday Night Music: “Lets Dance” Danny Michel, Ed Robertson, Sarah Harmer, Luke Doucet…

I love this: wonderful cover, great musicians, loads of fun.

If you wish you could go out tonight and can’t, watching this could be the next best thing.

P.S. Thanks to Blake E. for this!

The beginning of Someone to Watch Over Me is perfect….

Ridley Scott made Someone to Watch Over Me in the 1980s and somehow it perfectly encapsulated the 80s. If you love the 80s, New York, or this song, you will love this.

The significance of cloud computing, as explained by the great Stephen Fry (@stephenfry)

This is a really well done video on the importance of cloud computing. It’s 5 minutes long, and well worth it.

Obviously, I would argue that your best bet for Cloud Computing services is from the company I work for, but otherwise I highly recommend this.

Eyes on the Prize: the complete documentary, on YouTube

As mentioned on Kottke, it appears that the entire documentary Eyes On The Prize is now on YouTube. You can find it here: Eyes On The Prize – YouTube.

For those of you unfamiliar with this documentary, it was, to quote Wikipedia, “… an American television series and 14-hour documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States….”. That’s an understatement. It’s a great production about a great event in world history.

Highly recommended.

Bill Gates Last Day at Microsoft

When you are Bill Gates, you can get some PRETTY powerful people to show up in a spoof video of you. The video is funny, but the underlying message is: hey, I am Bill Gates, and look who I can get to show up.

Watch and see:

YouTube – Bill Gates’ Last Day at Microsoft – CES 2008

How to pick locks

I stumbled across this demo of how to pick a master lock #175. There are alot of these videos! If your lock is in one of them, you should get rid of it.

That said, it is impressive to see some of these videos. It’s hackers for hardware.

YouTube – How to pick a Master Lock #175 with a paper clip…

YouTube and Music: Pavorotti and James Brown

I really enjoy Pavorotti and James Brown’s singing. While not everyone will like the idea of singing together, I do, and if you do too, check this out:

Stephen Hawking on the Simpsons…Squared.

Stephen Hawking – who appeared on the Simpsons – talks about being on the Simpsons.

First Star Trek, then the Simpsons: Hawking gets on all the best shows. 🙂

Commoncraft explains Web 2.0 very well

The good folks @ do a great job of presenting information on Web 2.0. They have presentations on RSS, wikis, blogs, social networking, and other topics. If you want a nice example of how to explain this information, go to their site:

Common Craft – In Plain English

P.S. Here is a YouTube version of one of their presentations.

Man of Constant Sorrow, from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”

I love this movie: great direction, story, actors, and without a doubt, great music.

As the actor says: that’s some mighty fine pickin’ and a singin’!

You can find out more about the movie here

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” in Second Life

Robbie Dingo has produced this fantastic video using Machinima software and Second Life to recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. It is impressive.

Thanks to Aaron Kim to pointing this out!

Civil Rights in the Middle East

I came across this site when reading about Facebook being banned in Iran. There are a number of other articles on the site talking about persecution of bloggers and others pursuing free speech and civil rights in the Middle East. See more at
The C.R.I.M.E. Report – August 29, 2007.
As I was click on the links, I came across this clip of dress code enforcement on Iranian women:

and here is a woman beating the crap out of another woman who looks like she was trying to attempt the same thing

Doo Wop / Hip Hop – Lauren Hill / Amy Winehouse

The incredibly beautiful and talented Lauren Hill juxtaposes Doo Wop and Hip Hop wonderfully in “Doo Wop (That Thing)”, and the video drives that point home. (Great tune – great video). See: YouTube – Doo Wop

P.S. It’s not that old a song, but already it is shaping up to be classic, as can be seen in this live version performed by Amy Winehouse:

P.S.S. I know, I post alot on Amy W…..what can I say…she’s great.

YouTube gets politicians in trouble around the globe…this time in Iran

FP has the story of how YouTube is making life difficult for Iranian politicians. Clearly no politician is safe anywhere these days. And this is not a bad thing. See:

Mohammed Khatami’s macaca moment | FP Passport

P.S. Some of you might think: whoa! what did I miss? Read the article in FP for the details. (It’s all relative.)

Making fun on beauty queens, the importance of context and the new propaganda

I have seen this clip on a number of sites recently:


While I agree her answer is poor, I think everything has to do with context. Anyone asked such a question might have a tough time answering it without saying something obvious (and negative) like: the US education system is lacking. Or the people who can the survey did a poor job. Plus you are on stage, you have a set period of time to answer it, and some of the questions you may have been preparing to answer don’t come up.

So why the popularity of the clip? I think it is because of the context. I think it allows people to vent such things as envy or disgust or anger at the Miss USA pageant, and to do so in a simple way: displaying the clip.

One of the dark sides of Web 2.0 is the ability for anyone to create propaganda. Now this clip is a fairly benign example, but it is part of a recent trend of people trying to shape political messages and spread them via YouTube and other means. Just recently it was about using YouTube to expose the truth. Now it will be about using YouTube to shape the truth.

Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington Take the A Train

Why is YouTube freakin’ great?! Because you can see Billy Strayhorn play his “Take the A Train” with Duke Ellington and his orchestra anytime you please.

The brilliant Women in Film

From the brilliant eggman913, who brought us Women in Art, comes Women In Film


How to visit 171 Starbucks in 24 hours in Manhattan

Apparently Manhattan has 171 Starbucks in it, and this man decided to try something in EVERY one in less than 24 hours. Not something smart people I know would do, but interesting to watch…see
YouTube – 171 Starbucks

It’s a sad and beautiful world, indeed

The next time you are in a (good) video store, try and rent “Down by Law”. It is smart and funny and very cool. It’s been ages since I have seen it, but it still has stayed with me all this time. It has great lines , great scenes and great music. Check out the trailer for a taste:

YouTube – Down By Law – Theatrical Trailer

A Hard Day’s Night of the Living Dead

What do you get when you cross The Beatles with Zombies? (Well, Beatlemania, yes…but…). You get this fantastic mashup! See:

A Hard Day’s Night of the Living Dead

The maps of our world that we live in

My friend Alina sent this very intriguing video, which manages to capture the interconnectiveness of the world. It ‘s related to DaDa, but without the irrationalism (perhaps).

Check out:

YouTube – Royksopp – “Remind Me”

More G.B.

Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

Who is Gnarls Barkley?

Well, this mockumentary explains it all.

Early 70s music comes back

If you need any proof that (good) 70s music is coming back, check out Amy Winehouse

Or the superb Gnarls Barkley, who not only have great videos, but one of the best albums in a long time in St. Elsewhere.

Sex and the News

It is interesting that on Reuters web site, there is this article

Risque EU defends Internet orgasm clip

with a link to the YouTube video from the EU (it is not explicit, but it is NSFW).

The same article more or less on

Orgasm clip spices up EU meeting

has an image of the video but not a URL link to it.

I guess the software that CNN uses to make their web pages wasn’t working properly. 🙂

Here it is:

judge for yourself.

How to paint the Mona Lisa using MS Paint!

You might think: that is insane?! MS Paint. The same MS Paint on my Windows machine that’s hasn’t changed since 1985!

Watch the video. It is amazing. I think Leonardo would approve.

Such Great Heights or The Genius of the Postal Service

I have been impressed by this song and the video that goes with it (there is a yearning in the woman’s eyes, and a symbolic Victorian suppressed sexuality to it, I think): YouTube – the postal service – such great height

How great is the video? Well, Apple, who has known to make pretty good commercials, thought it was good enough to steal. The proof is here:

YouTube – Apple – Intel vs. Postal Service

While the video is great, the song is superb too. Here are too very different versions, showing the potential of the song:

Iron and Wine’s Version

Ben Fold’s Version

The hilariously brilliant Ken Robinson on Education

What I find remarkable about this talk by Ken Robinson is how it manages to be insightful and very funny. You can watch it just for the humour and have a good laugh. But like any TED talk, you will also gain alot by the ideas presented. Goto YouTube and see:

Do schools today kill creativity? (Ken Robinson, TEDTalks)

It’s also a Master class in how to present.

An awesome, terrifying, beauty

When I watch this video, I feel like two different parts of my brain are working at the same time: one part comprehending the beauty and another comprehending the terrifying content. See it yourself:

Holy calamari!

Admit it: you want it!

Not calamari! The iPhone! 🙂 (Ok…some calamari would be good , too.)

Apple iPhone Ad: Calamari

I know I know, it’s still a computer and it will hang up and crash and all that stuff….anyway….see for yourself.

You’ve got a face with a view

I have a tremendous personal fondness for this song in this movie. But it is a great video nonetheless. From the great Jonathan Demme / Talking Heads film, Stop Making Sense, here is
The Talking Heads with This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) Live

Hang in there for the wonderfully dance part with David Byrne and the lamp. I have a lamp like this, and I think of him whenever I see it.