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.
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.
I am a big fan of Jacques Pepin: I watch his Instagram videos from start to finish. If you want to see why they are great, you can go here and see YouTube version of them all.
I especially liked this one:
Pepin also has a “new” cookbook out. You can find out more about it at the Times:
One thing I love about Pepin is his approach to cooking is truly about making the most of it. Every Tuesday he prepares budget versions of some dishes. He uses the microwave…he even uses Spam. Hey, he’s Jacques Pepin, he can do what he wants. And I think his use of low cost foods and his practice of not throwing away food or wasting it is admirable
P.S. Not Pepin, but something similar: Old Italian cooking. Love it.
via Larkin Poe | ZZ Top Cover (“Sharp Dressed Man”) – YouTube
Via Paul Krugman’s newsletter. Not surprising, really.
Years ago (2011, 2012) I used to post music links every Friday night (as well as other days and nights). On December, I would focus on Christmas music. These are some of my favourites.
Enjoy! And joy to the world….
Here’s a really good piece highlighting a big problem the Frightful Five / Big IT have right now with user generated content: YouTube’s messy fight with its most extreme creators – Vox.
Some background is in order. For years, content creators on Youtube (part of Google/Alphabet) have been jacking up the extremism in their videos to get more views. Extremism in all senses of the word, including political extremism. Some do it for Fame, but many do it for Fortune. This was going well for them until….
In March this year, 250 advertisers pulled back from YouTube after reports that ads were appearing on extremist content, including white supremacist videos. As a result, YouTube demonetized a wide range of political content, including videos that didn’t include hate speech but might still be considered controversial by advertisers. Creators called it “the adpocalypse” — they saw their incomes from YouTube evaporate without fully understanding what they’d done wrong or how to avoid demonetization in the future.
And this is the problem for Youtube and other platforms…how to maximize both traffic and profit. For a long time the formula was simple: more extreme videos = more traffic = more profit. Now they are hitting a wall, and advertisers and consumers are fed up.
The question big IT will be struggling with is: how to draw the line? In case you think the line is easy to draw, I recommend you watch the video by Carlos Maza of Vox. He makes a case that it is very difficult, even if at first glance it should be obvious what should be removed.
I don’t think there is a simple answer to this. If anything, it is going to be one of the major political debates of the first part of the 21st century, as global IT companies deal with national laws and policies.
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
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.
Perfect music for a melancholy Friday Fall evening.
I am starting mine. Two weeks. Two weeks needs not one but two classics from the 80s:
May you enjoy your holidays and vacation, whenever it occurs.
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.
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:
I am amused every time I watch it. The folks who make it do a great job. It reminds me of the classic: Dogs Playing Poker,
Freshpet Holiday Feast – 13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands – YouTube.
Interesting speculation on where Amy Winehouse’s musical direction would have gone if she hadn’t died so young: Amy In The Sun: The Other (Caribbean) Side of Amy Winehouse via LargeUp. That post has a lot of links to Amy’s performances on YouTube, so if you are the mood for something other than Christmas music, click on that link and enjoy.
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.
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!
The video Treadmill Kittens via @hchamp on twitter.
Chromecast is great for putting YouTube videos on your big screen TV. The problem for me, though, is finding good videos to watch: I want to spend less time searching and more time relaxing. 5by.com answers that problem by providing you videos picked by them around themes. I have just started with it, but it looks good (in more ways than one).
For more information, see Video Concierge.
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.
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.
Haunting video of Depeche Mode performing “Enjoy the Silence” on top of the World Trade Towers.
Found via Maud Newton, on twitter.
A fab, fab cover. Take a break and listen.
Posted in new!
Tagged music, youtube
…is brilliant. Brilliant song. Brilliant video. And it supports (RED)WIRE. What is smarter than this, indeed. Watch this.
Posted in new!
Tagged jayz, music, red, youtube
Checking out music on the Transbuddha web site the other night, I came across this!
Yes, not only is Jesus your friend, apparently he is also a Mountie. Okie-dokie, then. That’s the ridiculous. (And likely a comedy sketch, but still….)
As I was listening to it, I thought, hmmm…that sounds like Ranking Full Stop from the English Beat. Of course it’s also on YouTube.
While there are some differences, it is very similar! So, first song, very bad. But it got me listening to something better. And checking out that, I started thinking of their good cover of the classic Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song, Tears of a Clown. So I looked it up, and I came across this:
So, from the ridiculous to the sublime in a few minutes.
As a aside, I thought: man, the Miracles were a pretty subdued group of dancers. I did a check on the Pips, the Temptations and even the Jackson 5, and while all those groups were looser than Smokey’s backups, they were still more focused on singing and not so much on (lipsynching and) dancing.
I also think Justin Timberlake stole this look for his “Lovestoned/I think she knows” video. You can see it here: