Posts Tagged ‘video’

2017 Photographs: The Cloud

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

They say the state of ultimate joy in life is to be on Cloud 9. That makes little sense to me. Here’s a cloud I photographed while standing in Glover Park on May 31, 2017, at 2:02:17 PM. In terms of bliss-inducing, I rank this one as a Cloud 10. And it’s the one I want to be on.

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The sky above Glover Park, Washington DC, facing East, on May 31, 2017, at 2:02:17 PM.

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A companion 58-second video showing more of the blissful blue and puffy-clouded celestial dome above Glover Park the same afternoon is accessible here.

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On my mind: Three questions

Monday, September 14th, 2009

1.  Are Americans getting shorter?

Each day on my way to and from work I pass through an urban university campus.  This time of year brings a new crop of first year students moving into dorms and enjoying the fast approach of fall. In recent years I’ve noticed a halt in the growth of students, by which I mean their height.  This September, on dorm move-in days, I saw several sets of parents who were discernibly taller than their matriculating offspring. What’s going on here? I found a possible answer in articles indicating Europeans are now taller than Americans.  The reason, according to the authors (Europeans themselves) is America’s inferior health care system and our greater social/economic inequality. Studies are beginning to conclude Americans have long since stopped growing, and, by some measures, may actually be getting smaller.

2.  Why does “Wednesday” have such a weird spelling?

I just set up an appointment for next Wednesday.  I’ve always disliked that day, or, more precisely, the way “Wednesday” sounds to the ear and looks in print, because it obeys no rule of how pronunciation should relate to spelling. What accounts for its oddness? Someone posting a comment to the WordReference forum had this answer: “I would like to share a point that the modern spellings are derived from their ancient forms after a lot of phonological changes. According to the phonological phenomenon called “syncope”, we are bound to spell it as wenz-di. Please find more about these under the concepts of metaplasm. I hope this information proves useful to everyone.”  So should we all start spelling it “wenzdi” (at least when texting)?

3.  Is anybody else cringing as they watch that new iPod Nano “Jump” video?

Apple just introduced a new version of the iPod Nano that includes a video camera.  One of the videos the company created to show off the feature is entitled “Jump,” available on the Apple website here and on CNN Video here (starting at 1:22).   In a 15-second episode, three teenagers in swimsuits jump, upright, feet first, into the clear waters of a bay.  My guess is this is somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, and I estimate the jump to be between 10 and 20 feet straight down. Visible beneath the water’s surface is an ominous clump of large rocks — a gathering of boulders lying in wait.  Am I the only one watching and wondering how dangerous this exercise was to life and limb?

Second Movie

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Among the roster of free music apps available for download to iPhone is a rudimentary matrix sequencer called “TonePad.”

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As described at http://www.tonepadapp.com/, this plaything is quite user friendly: “Create songs by simply touching the screen and seeing notes light up.” (This reminds me of what Stanley K. said about a different pleasure: “Having them colored lights going.”)  TonePad allows you to create a short (about 4-second) snippet of music that repeats hypnotically. You can then build upon it with new tones and rhythms, mimicking the accretive style of composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass.  After some practice, what’s you’ve mastered is a kind of dime-store minimalism, except you don’t need to cough up even ten cents.  Since I needed music for the soundtrack to my second iMovie, I decided to give TonePad a try.  The result, available on YouTube and Vimeo:

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