Other Ten Percent 2/28/12

Feb 28 2012

2 Days straight you guys! I think that’s a record for the last like…6 months or something. If the absolutely UNPRECEDENTED outpouring of support (3 separate people telling me they are glad I’m back!) is any indication, you guys have missed me. I’ve missed all of you too. I’m still trying to figure out the exact format here. Mostly trying to figure out which, if any, of the tag formats I’m going to return to and trying to decide what time of day to publish this. Did you guys like it better when it would post at midnight? I may give that a try next week when I can actually write one up on Sunday for the next day. For now let’s talk about the future and post it in the present.

3 videos from non-military robot drones
So I don’t know why this just occurred to me but we should probably start talking about the aesthetics of drone-shot footage huh? I think it’s the way the cops totally ignore the copter. but something about the first of these three videos really drives home that this is what all news footage is going to look like in 10 years. I mean, it’s all either crowd-funded bottom-up community reporting with a drone camera man or crumbling remnants of a once great news infrastructure saving money by switching over to drones for traffic coverage. Either way your eye in the sky is now a quad-copter with a DSLR strapped to it and as creepy/sad as that sounds these clips at least make me think it’ll actually end up being the good kind of weird.

The Action Hero’s Guide to Saving Lives
I have no idea why this was just a blip on Twitter last night and didn’t end up blowing up all over the place today. Comedy/action short film available for free online with Patrick Warburton (AKA Brock Sampson) as the titular action here. Stick with it long enough for the actual premise to reveal itself and you’ll end up watching the whole thing.

‘Community’: Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs & Megan Ganz Roundtable
OTP is back and with it the never ending reminders that you should be watching Community Thursday nights at 8PM. Did you know that in addition to having a lot of talented female actors Community also has a 1:1 gender ratio in their writers room? If not then congratulations, you’ve learned how to just block me out when I’m talking about this show. Maybe you haven’t learned that yet and you’d still like to learn more. Well then here’s an interview with one of the female writers and all three of Community’s female leads talking about how to deal with it when Chevy Chase makes terrible rape jokes.

Neil deGrasse Tyson to Jon Stewart: “Your Earth is spinning the wrong direction.”
I forget, did I already want to start the Neil deGrasse Tyson appreciation society back before I stopped doing OTP? Because while I’m not with Jon Stewart that the guy needs to be president I’m pretty much 100% behind him that we need to put more funding into space exploration. Plus the guy is genuinely excited by, and able to explain with ease, some cutting edge science that I don’t hear about from other sources for months or sometimes years. I mean I love Radiolab but the downside of their approach is that they take forever to put that much production into each story.

Claressa Shields: Teen Contender [via: The Hairpin]
Speaking of radio, here’s the best audio story you’re going to hear all day. Claressa Shields is getting ready to be the first female US olympic boxer. She’s also 16 years old. She’s also from Flint Michigan. She’s also totally willing (and even excited as only a 16 year old can be) to let you into her world. You should let her for the 16 minutes this segment runs because it’s amazing.

In the Future Everything Will Be a Coffee Shop [Via Kottke]
The headline is actually less interesting than his very first example: Higher education’s going to become a coffee shop. Now there’s a lot of ways you can mean that (and actually I think for pretty much any of them you’d probably be right) but this is specifically talking about the geographic footprint. As much as I live a campus environment it’s hard to deny that the vast majority of space on any given campus is totally wasted. That’s before you start considering the sheer number of courses that could easily be taught online. EEven if you take a hardline against teaching the humanities online, which I think is a stupid hardline, just ditching the math/science courses for an online education would free up a ton of space. Imagine how much cheaper a campus would be to run if it just had a student center, campus services and functional spaces like theaters/gyms/labs where actual physical things were happening. Given how fucked budgeting in higher education is right now that doesn’t look like a dream it looks downright inevitable (hell, maybe even optimistic in imagining we get to keep the functional spaces.).

American Pixels [Via Ben Bashford]
Oh hey, it’s my old friend the New Aesthetic and this time they’re not just bringing the new. This time there’s a full blown aesthetic. The idea of intentionally artifacting only certain parts of an image for effect isn’t new but the ability to leave some parts of the image out of the artifacting reliably is super exciting. I love the depth of field effect going on in the example image with the tank. I’d love to see a whole film with that effect running over it. I can think of a half dozen good narrative uses for the ability to make everything far enough away from the camera pixelate just a little.

Scroll Kit [via Laughing Squid]
I have no idea how functional this would be for actual web development, (at a guess: not very) but as a demo for what making a web page COULD be like if we weren’t so attached to how we’ve decided that has to be done this stuff is pretty amazing.

How jeans conquered the world
I also posted this over on my menswear Tumblr but I think it’s pretty interesting even if you’re (understandably) bored by me talking about fashion. The fun facts about the history of Jeans are the kind of thing I feel like you could entertain somebody with at a party and the general thrust of the argument, that jeans are popular precisely because they wear down WITH their owner, says interesting things about our relationship with clothes that I don’t hear very often.

Jet Set Radio Skating to the PC and Consoles This Summer
Guys, guys, guys! My single favorite Dreamcast game is going to be available for the PC this summer. This is maybe not something you care about that much but I got paid money to write about it and, hopefully, make a case for why you will maybe be excited too? I probably should have included a YouTube clip or two of this game to let you see more of the gleefully insane tone. You know, like this one.

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