Tag Archives: youtube

Video

Worf Gets No Respect

Life in a Day

Do you remember what you were doing on July 24, 2010? (I was returning a U-Haul after driving from Arizona to Pennsylvania.) The answer is definitely a yes for YouTube users that uploaded footage of their day for director Kevin Macdonald and his project.

Macdonald, director of The Last King of Scotland, took footage from users in more than 192 countries, and turned it into a 90-minute documentary called Life in a Day. The film was released to theaters last month, although I haven’t seen it anywhere nearby. But if you have two minutes to spare, I highly recommend watching the trailer. Even if you don’t get to see the film, which has already been met with high critical acclaim, the trailer is an inspirational piece in and of itself.

Source: NPR – All Things Considered

Under Armour Green

I recently bought a green shirt. Yes, the color of the shirt is green, but in this case the “green” theme actually goes a bit further. It’s part of Under Armour’s UA Green line, which actually uses recycled materials. After a few test runs, I’m happy to report that recycled shirts feel exactly the same as regular shirts (at least in the case of Under Armour) and I definitely recommend giving them a look: check out the product line on their website. (I bought the Catalyst short-sleeve t-shirt.)

According to their website, 100% of each UA Green product (shirts, shorts, hats, pants, etc) is made from recycled material — primarily plastic bottles. The video below gives an overview of the process.

Adele at the Brit Awards

This video is a few weeks old now, but I’m not tired of it yet! Adele had a great performance at the BRIT Awards on Feb 15, singing her newest single “Someone Like You”.

While I was browsing the BRIT Awards entry on Wikipedia, I saw that Mumford & Sons also performed this year, and that they did the song “Timshel”. At 68 plays on my iTunes, this track is one of my favorites from the band. I’m surprised that they’re releasing it as a single, since it’s relatively quiet and not geared for the radio, but it’s a great song nonetheless. (Make sure to check out a non-live version for better quality.)

Spring Week

This is a busy week! Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year, Pi Day, which occurs on March 14th because the first few digits of pi are 3.14. In school, we always celebrated by eating real pie (preferably apple) and deriving the definition of mathematical pi.

Today, March 15th, is both the Ides of March (Et tu, Brute?) and my cat Leo’s 3rd birthday. He celebrated by chasing his new raffia toy all around the house and getting it stuck underneath a dresser.

Later in the week we have St. Patrick’s Day followed by the vernal equinox, which occurs this year on Saturday, March 20th. It’s predicted to be 55 to 60 degrees in Boston this weekend, so the weather is getting in the festive mood too. In case your weekend weather ends up feeling a bit more like winter, here’s a great song to get you in the mood, taken from Noah and the Whale’s album appropriately titled “The First Days of Spring”.

Video: GE on Energy & Dynamic Braking

I love physics, and I love high-speed cameras, and this video combines both of those into one demonstration of how you can recapture energy normally wasted in braking. It’s the concept of regenerative braking, and it essentially takes energy that is normally dissipated during braking (in cars, trains, etc) and harnesses it to be used again. GE calls it dynamic braking and focuses on its use in trains, but it’s commonly used in hybrid vehicle designs as well. The video doesn’t address any technical parameters, but it’s still interesting and informative.

Found via FlowingData [original article]

TEDxPSU review

TED, which stands for Technology Entertainment and Design, is a set of global conferences that aims to disseminate “ideas worth spreading”. They are privately funded by the nonprofit Sapling Foundation, which releases most of the talks (currently 700+) for free viewing online. TEDx is an independently organized TED event, usually organized by a school or business, although the definition is broad enough that even a group of friends can choose to design and host the event.

I was first introduced to TED while at Penn State, where it was referenced in a range of classes from CAS 100 (Effective Speech) to E SC 481 (Elements of Nano/Micro-electromechanical Systems Processing and Design). TED harnesses a great range of topics, usually presented by effective and engaging speakers. We studied the talks not only for their ideas, but also for their unique presentation styles and ways of connecting with the audience.

I also knew of TED through my brother’s experience with TEDxNYED last year, but it wasn’t until I heard an announcement about TEDxPSU that I considered attending one of the independently organized events. It was clear that the organizers had a limited amount of experience and time to prepare for what happened last Sunday, but overall I definitely think it was worth the trip to Happy Valley. Since I knew that TEDxNYED was focused on education, I expected the theme of TEDxPSU to be a little more focused than “Attend. Listen. Enlighten.” (catch the three tens?) but it seemed to be a good approach for the university’s first TEDx.

Pros:
– The entire day, including admission, breakfast, and lunch, was free!
– The use of technology was strongly encouraged. It was great to see everyone in the auditorium on their smart phones, laptops and iPads, tweeting (competing for “best tweet”) and blogging about the day as it happened. Each attendee’s badge was branded with a QR code which could be scanned for contact information.
– Free and convenient parking was a relief and a welcome surprise.
– All three venues (the IST building, Schwab Auditorium, and the HUB) were excellent choices and appropriate in size, location and aesthetic.

Cons:
– I was severely disappointed that the free AT&T wifi visitors had been promised wasn’t working. I raised my concerns (via tweet, as per instructions), but instead of receiving assistance I only received confirmation from other attendees who could not connect. Good intentions, but failed execution.
– Am I the only one who thought our badges were a tad over-sized (4.5″ x 6.5″)? I felt like a kid on the first day of kindergarten.
– I sat in the balcony for the two afternoon sessions, and was surprised at how insensitive the TEDxPSU volunteers acted. They routinely walked in and out of seats during presentations, talking loudly to each other both in the aisles and in their seats, and distracting the other attendees sitting in the balcony.

There were seven talks that I particularly loved from the day that I will link to below. Three are prerecorded (each TEDx event is required to use a certain number of talks recorded at official TED conferences) and four are unique to TEDxPSU. I encourage you to view them all!
(Clicking on the direct link will provide you with more information about the speaker.)

Joachim de Posada — Don’t Eat the Marshmallows… Yet
Prerecorded from TED2009
[ Link ]

Chris Calkins — The Looming Intergenerational Conflict: Dollars or Sense
[ Link ]

Jason O — Musical Performance
[ Link ]

Jill Bolte Taylor — Stroke of Insight
Prerecorded from TED2008
[ Link ]

Michael Berube — Humans, Superheroes, Mutants, and People with Disabilities
[ Link ]

Sugata Mitra — The Child Based Education
Prerecorded from TEDGlobal2010
[ Link ]

Sam Richards — A Radical Experiment in Empathy
[ Link ]

Links for further reading/watching:
TED Youtube channel
TED website
TEDxPSU website
TED on wikipedia