Posted onMay 26, 2022|Comments Off on 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.
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Twitter, which is not so hot at money, pulls in roughly double the ad sales on average from each of its users compared with YouTube.
Perhaps it should be acknowledged that the early social media companies like Twitter and YouTube are mature now and their growth and innovation peaks are behind them. Maybe they will continue to be like Facebook: mimicking every new company in the hopes of draining off some of that enthusiasm.
At least Twitter as a company seems to be doing well. For 2021, that may be all they need to be.
(Photo by Edgar MORAN on Unsplash)
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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
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.
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Posted onNovember 25, 2015|Comments Off on 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.
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Posted onFebruary 6, 2015|Comments Off on 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:
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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).
Turkish courts have ordered blocks on access to the YouTube website. This first occurred when Türk Telekom blocked the site in compliance with decision 2007/384 issued by the Istanbul 1st Criminal Court of Peace (Sulh Ceza Mahkeme) on 6 March 2007. The court decision was based on videos insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in an escalation of what the Turkish media referred to as a “virtual war” of insults between Greek, Armenian and Turkish YouTube members. YouTube was sued for “insulting Turkishness” and access to the site was suspended pending the removal of the video. YouTube lawyers sent proof of the video’s removal to the Istanbul public prosecutor and access was restored on 9 March 2007. However, other videos similarly deemed insulting were repeatedly posted, and several staggered bans followed, issued by different courts:
the Sivas 2nd Criminal Court of Peace on 18 September 2007 and again (by decision 2008/11) on 16 January 2008; the Ankara 12th Criminal Court of Peace on 17 January 2008 (decision 2008/55);
the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace on 12 March 2008 (decision 2008/251);
the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace on 24 April 2008 (decision 2008/468). the Ankara 5th Criminal Court of Peace on 30 April 2008 (decision 2008/599);
again, the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace on 5 May 2008 (decision 2008/402);
again, the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace on 6 June 2008 (decision 2008/624).
again, based on “administrative measures” without court order following corruption scandal, relating several govermental officials including Prime Minister Erdogan on March 27th, 2014 The block in accordance with court decision 2008/468 of the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace issued on 24 April 2008, which cited that YouTube had not acquired a certificate of authorisation in Turkey, was not implemented by Türk Telekom until 5 May 2008.
Although YouTube was officially banned in Turkey, the website was still accessible by modifying connection parameters to use alternative DNS servers, and it was the eighth most popular website in Turkey according to Alexa records. Responding to criticisms of the courts’ bans, in November 2008 the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated “I do access the site. Go ahead and do the same.”
In June 2010, Turkey’s president Abdullah Gül used his Twitter account to express disapproval of the country’s blocking of YouTube, which also affected access from Turkey to many Google services. Gül said he had instructed officials to find legal ways of allowing access. Turkey lifted the ban on 30 October 2010.
In November 2010, a video of the Turkish politician Deniz Baykal caused the site to be blocked again briefly, and the site was threatened with a new shutdown if it did not remove the video.
In March 27, 2014, Turkey banned YouTube again. This time, they did so mere hours after a video was posted there claiming to depict Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general discussing scenarios that could lead to their country’s military attacking jihadist militants in Syria.
It’s not a new thing: stop writing about it like it is new.
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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.
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Posted onSeptember 25, 2008|Comments Off on From the ridiculous to the sublime, musically, and places in between
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:
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