360 Drone Racing

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More like a practice run if you ask me.  I’ve flown drones like this before, they are not easy to control, I know I would crash it trying to make those sharp turns.  One thing I think should be kept out of these drone videos though is the audio.  I don’t want, or need to hear the high pitched whine of the 4 small motors spinning the blades.  It’s distracting.

I think attaching a 360 camera, and flying the drones though a forest would be way cooler though.  Watching the bare concrete parking lot is pretty boring.  Maybe if there were a few other drones flying at the same time, but I guess not.

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Cosmonaut Day

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Cosmonautics Day Stamp

On April 12, 1961 the Soviet Union made history by sending Yuri Gagarin into space.  He was the world’s first astronaut, and he was the one who shot the United States in the arm and made us realize that we had a long way to go if we wanted to beat the commies at their own game.

In 1962, the USSR commemorated this day as a national holiday – Cosmonautics Day.  In 2011 some random international agency declared it the International Day of Human Space Flight, whatever that means.

WAR!

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Turns out, World War I wasn’t really good for anything except messing up things.  Anyway, last week marked the 100th anniversary of the deceleration of war on the Empire of Germany.  The exact date was April 04, 1917.  In real terms, there were lots of Americans in the war in one way or another, but now, the full military might of the United States of America was in it to win it.

Up until this point, America wasn’t really seen as the mighty super power it was.  The main benefit of America’s joining was the influx of new troops to the front lines.  Slowly, over the course of the war, and the years that followed, America transformed itself into the global power that it would soon be famous for.

Voyageurs Northern Lights

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In 8K!

Well, if you can even render 8K on your puny monitor that is.  This was taken up in Voyageurs National Park, way up in northern Minnesota, like, way up there on the border of Canada.  It’s not a place that’s easy to get to as much of the park consists of lakes and rivers, but that makes it unique in its own right.

One day I’ll make it to this park, hopefully it will be at a time when I can experience those beautiful norther lights in person!

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Alternate History Thursday: Times Square

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With just days to go before the new year, the world was on it’s toes.  The City of New York was already on lockdown, Streets were closed, screens were being erected, and just as many people were leaving the city as were entering it.  The festivities were reaching a fever pitch as celebrities were slowly streaming into the city ahead of their New Years Eve performances.  Security was tight, and no one knew who was going to be playing what when or where.  It was chaos.  But the good kind of chaos.  Remember, this is a pre-9/11 innocent New York, nothing can go wrong.  That’s exactly the mentality that would prove their downfall.

On New Years Eve, as the time passed by spotty reports from around the globe started to come in of computer failures.  Remember however, this is the early days of the internet, and no smart phones, much of the news was difficult to corroborate or confirm.  People didn’t want to be brought down to reality on this party, so they ignored it.  Cell coverage was spotty at best because of the super saturated towers and lines so no one thought twice when connections were dropped.

It’s countdown time. TEN. NINE. EIGHT. SEVEN. SIX. FIVE. FOUR. THREE. TWO. ONE. BLACK.  Right as the ball was supposed to drop and confetti rain down, Times Square was plunged into darkness.  The majority of the people in Times Square thought this was all a part of the plan.  After all, what better way to celebrate something doom and gloom but by making fun of it.  Since the backup generators that are there for just an occasion kicked on in under 10 seconds, all seemed fine.

To those who were watching on television at home it was a different story.  All at once their TV feed cut out, their electricity turned off, the water stopped working, and phone died.  For those at home, it was no joke.

The state of New York had gambled against Y2k and lost.  But in the beginning it wasn’t apparent how widespread the loss was. It was probably for the better that things like smart phones weren’t around at the time, because it would have caused mass hysteria quicker had they been there.  The people living in the suburbs of New York were left to their own devices.  Since the following day was a holiday, most went to bed after the lights were out and figured it would all work itself out in the morning.  Most all the cars were not effected by the issue simply because they were not technological enough at the time, and those that did work were owned by people who had personal drivers who didn’t use those cars anyway.

All in all, at 12:01 AM January 01, 2000, New York State was in a state of denial.  The populace wasn’t fully aware of the gravity of the situation, and neither was the authorities.  As the night wore on, those who worked for the authorities were woken up to loud bangs on their doors.  The only way to reach people was in person.

Even when the morning newspapers didn’t arrive, most of the general populace didn’t think much, just delivery guys who partied too hard the night before.  No, it wasn’t until around noon that day that word had spread to enough of the people to hit a breaking point.  Y2k happened, and it messed things up.

Now what?

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Infrared Timelapse

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I do love some Infrared photography.  There’s something awesome and other-worldly about it that is so enticing.  This time-lapse of Oregon is done completely in infrared.  I will say, some of the shots are pretty lost.  The nightscapes, and the meh mountainsides, those just look like filtered B&W.  There are a few nice sections of Crater Lake though, those came out neat.

All in all, it’s not bad at 6:48 seconds long, you should watch it, time-lapses are generally beautiful experiences.

{Peta Pixel}

The Art of the Title Screen

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I may have posted about Naked Jakey before, or I may not have.  I’m too bothered to look up my usual post history.  I found him with his Halo Changed Everything video series. In the above, he goes over the under appreciated world of Video Game title screens.  Seriously, how often do you pay attention to those?  I like the categories he chooses, and overall, I agree with the choices.  I’ve played a number of the games he mentions, but also I’ve never played, or heard of a few of them.

It’s a good retrospective of the design, and how these subtle things can make a good game, even greater.

Interactive Wooden Landscape

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Valley View

This is pretty neat, ETM: Exploration Through Motion is an interesting view of a once static asset.  A team of students from the Philadelphia University created this as their final project in Design 1.  Together, they took the Thomas Moran painting “Grand Canyon of the Colorado River”, and made a 3D laser cut map diorama of it.

Turning a gear in turn turns a series of other gears that steps down the speed and ups the torque significantly.  This in turn raises internal cams, which in turn raises a base layer of dowels that finally, raises the laser cut landscape.  At first, I wasn’t sure why all the gears were necessary, I thought it was only for looks, but it’s actually quite a needed gear reduction in order to get the torque necessary to lift the heavy map.

intenals

Read more about their process, and see some more photos and behind the scenes stuff on their Behance page.

{MAKE}