29 May 2017

Marais Poitevin: France’s Green Venice

Probably the best known and certainly the largest wetlands in France is the Camargue. Yet the second largest is, outside of the country, little known. Marais Poitevin in the south western region of Poitou-Charentes covers a huge area – over 370 square miles. Its name means the Poitou Marsh but the French also know it by a more venerable title - la Venise Verte. This Green Venice certainly lives up to its name.

21 May 2017

The Pop-up Book of the Brain


The brain was misunderstood, side-tracked or ignored for centuries for a number of reasons.  Yet how did the knowledge we have of this, our most important organ, evolve and shape?

Directed by Åsa Lucander, this great animation was created for the BBC’s Science Club as part of a series to both educate and entertain. It does both wonderfully.
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The King of the Island


Get your hankies out now, because this will quite probably bring a tear to your eye. I know it brought several to my own.

This beautifully made animated short tells the story of Gioannin, a small boy living in the Italian port of Genoa at the beginning of the twentieth century.

His father was lost at sea several years before and Gioannin is pitied by the men of the port and somewhat bullied by the children because he has no father.

The boy, having no concept of death, imagines his father washed up on some exotic island where, because of his size, strength and cunning he soon becomes king.

One day his mother receives news that her husband is returning and Gioannin’s expectations of his father reach a peak. Yet when they are finally reintroduced, his father is nothing like he expected or imagined. He is something even better.

The King of the Island was made by Italian animation company artFive. They produce everything from computer graphics and animations for commercials, visual effects, videogames, web, to events, TV series, books and magazines. Take a look at their excellent demoreel here.
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The Vampire Deer

Do you see something a little strange about the deer in the picture? The Ark in Space today features the rather perplexing vampire deer. If your eyes were immediately drawn to those fangs (which even Lestat would be proud of) protruding from its mouth, then your next thought might have been that this must be some sort of freak of nature, an accident of birth.  That isn’t how deers come, is it?  For the Water Deer, otherwise and popularly known as the Vampire Deer the answer is in the affirmative. For more information and some great photos, pop over to the Ark in Space.
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Storseisundet - The Bridge to Nowhere

Nervous drivers (and their equally nervous passengers) beware! You should really prepare yourselves for the sight of Storseisundet Bridge in Norway. The road connection from the mainland Romsdal peninsula to the island of Averøya in Møre og Romsdal county doesn’t look as if it actually connects as you drive towards it. In fact it looks very much as if you are in for an icy bath as you plummet off its 23 meters height.

15 May 2017

How Much Space Is There For Online Entertainment Developing?

When we talk about online social entertainment, we are talking about everything that entertains people online. This includes everything ranging from videos, music, social networking, forum activities, online games to casino games on the web, including the 1st no deposit casino in the UK. Whatever you do online to derive some pleasure and fun can actually be classified under this.

Entertainment Rundown 
A look at how the entertainment world has evolved will take us back to the era of the huge televisions, till the time they got smaller. This gets to the invention of huge computers till things got smaller and flatter. The digital entertainment followed with the CDS in the 80s and then the DVDs.


The era of analogue entertainment lasted for a very long time that people thought it was the end of the road. Of course, a little step back will also reveal to us how the black and white images were thought to be the ideal. No one ever believed that coloured images could be achieved to the extent of having multiple millions of colours. But that happened. This was later followed by the digitalization of things and the US can now boast that it left the analogue entertainment scene since 2009.


Now, a huge change happened in the platform from which these contents are accessed.

Everything moved to the computer sets and later online. This was occasioned by the desire of consumers to have access to more content, in more platform, in a single place. So everything went online. This, however, started off on the screens of the huge old PCs with protruding backs and eventually got to the laptops and now mobile. No one previously envisaged these. But you can now have your videos, games, and enjoy social networking on small phones. This makes very big game consoles and PCs things of choice for those who prefer to stick with them.


We are also privy to the virtual reality stuff where entertainment is now made even more interactive. We are now getting into the battlefield mentally, instead of just watching and playing from the handle. This is something that the world never thought of last 5 years.  

The Verdict 
The conclusion is that there is always room for development and innovation in any sector in the world, not just in online entertainment. Suffice it to say that because of our human nature, we may not be able to predict the things that will be invented tomorrow. However, new web or online entertainment frontiers and contents will definitely come up. The space for these will never be a problem. The fact that some of those that held sway are now phasing out creates some chance for the future trends. 


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14 May 2017

The Cave City of Vardzia

The Cave City of Vardzia is remarkable.   Situated in the European country of Georgia at the juncture of Eastern Europe and Western Asia it has an over eight hundred year history.  Yet you would be forgiven for wondering why such a place was built in the first place. The words why and how spring immediately to mind.

Maramures Hyperlapse


Never heard of Maramures?  It’s an isolated region of Romania: effectively a valley, it is surrounded by the Carpathian mountains and was difficult to get to for many centuries.  As such it developed its own style of rural architecture which is quite amazing.  Home to some of Romania’s historic wooden churches not to mention the Merry Cemetery, Maramures is an intriguing, beautiful place as this hyperlapse shows.

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Escape


After crash-landing on a desolate planet, a lone space explorer must find a way to make her new home habitable. This intrepid character displays courage, passion, determination, and curiosity as she transforms the barren landscape she has found into a beautiful planet. Singer Imogen Heap developed an original soundtrack that wraps the audience in Dolby Atmos sound, unveiling the lead character’s changing emotions as she faces the challenges of a dark, disturbed landscape and persists to transform it into a place of joy and delight.
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6 May 2017

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Rome, You Will After You Watch This


Rome has an appeal like no other city in the world and when you see it through the eyes of timelapse and hyperlapse professional photographer Kirill Neiezhmakov then it isn’t difficult to see why.  As with all of Neiezhmakov’s work I am left wondering not how he made the city look so splendid (that’s not a hard one!) but how he physically managed to capture Rome in this way.  Certainly, if you have never wanted to visit Rome (and the Vatican City is thrown in here for good measure) you will after you watch this!  The piece is called A Gift from Rome and it certainly does what it says on the packet!
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The Jesus And Mary Chain - Song For A Secret


I had no idea that the Jesus and Mary Chain were still going but have fond memories of dancing to their early stuff in alternative venues more years ago than I care to mention.  I guess that must mean I’m out of touch.  So, it was a great pleasure to be reintroduced to the band via the director of their new video Jared Asher Harris.  Taken from their new album, Damage and Joy this is not the wall of sound I remember from this particular band but is… well, decide for yourself by giving it a whirl!
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1 May 2017

The Beautiful Butterfly Orchid

Look once, look again.

This is not a butterfly taking a rest on a piece of shrubbery. 

It is Psychopsis papilio – better known as the butterfly orchid.  It has petals of an incredible length which look like antennae and its speckled brown and yellow sepals look like outspread wings. 

Little wonder that this amazing orchid reputedly started the orchidmania of the 1800s.

30 April 2017

Cassini's Grand Finale


Digital artist Erik Wernquist created this animated short for none other than NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) about the spectacular ending of the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. It is meant as an inspirational and informative piece about what happens in the last months of the mission, and as a celebration of all that this historic spacecraft has achieved from its launch in 1997.  The world will be looking to the skies in wonder on September 15 when Cassini becomes part of Saturn.
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Have a Look


Animator and film-maker William Garratt calls these his bits and bobs which he usually posts on his Instagram account.  However, the spirit recently took him to put them all together and upload them to Vimeo.  I have to confess that some of these I just don’t ‘get’.  However, that is more than made up by the ones that I do.  My particular favorite is the snail – just wait, you’ll see…
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