31 October 2014

Stop Worrying about Colony Collapse Disorder: Now we have New Bees


Why are bees dying? Our sibling site the Ark in Space today features a documentary about Colony Collapse Disorder.  However, we don’t need to worry about that, to be frank.  Thanks to technology we now have New Bees which are more efficient than their predecessors and, even better, we don’t have to worry about being stung anymore. Hurrah!

(Yes, this is for real. Honestly.)



Add a comment

replies

Harry’s New Big Fantasy - And It's Nothing to Do with Dolores Umbridge



Harry must place the golden ring on the summit of the Big Mountain of destiny. Creatures with fantastic powers transform his path into extreme combat sports. Harry transfigures for an ultimate explosive sleight of hand. 

BigFantasy was created by Maurice Huvelin who doesn’t mind a little mixing and matching when it comes to movie inspiration!



Add a comment

replies

Happy Halloween

Image Credit Kevin O'Mara



Add a comment

replies

30 October 2014

Find Out What Farmers Have to Do to Make Cauliflower White

Call me ignorant (no, actually, don’t please) but I thought that cauliflower came to our markets and shops as nature intended.  I did not realise at all that, but for the intervention of our farmers, that they would be a different color.  Here, the lovely folks from How Does It Grow? travel to one of America's biggest organic farms to uncover the secrets of growing cauliflower.



Add a comment

replies

Manhunt


Imagine if all the animals we, as a species, have killed over the millennia came back to exact their revenge, what shape would it take?  This is the question posed in Manhunt by Northern Lights.  It is a dark, surrealistic revenge fantasy of animals on humans for the mess they have made.  There are some early scenes of animals suffering so don’t watch if you are easily upset.




Add a comment

replies

Get Your Handkerchief Out: You’re Going to Need It


A little girl wants to get a cake for her grandfather’s birthday but the family are poor and not able to afford it.  If you want something that will make you shed a tear and brighten up your day at the same time, you have probably come to the right place. Created for Share and Care, an initiative in Singapore to create ripple effects of kindness I am not ashamed to say this had me reaching for the hankies…



Add a comment

replies

Lunar Leftovers: How the Moon Became a Trash Can

We hear about the amount of waste floating around space all the time. However, the biggest trash can outside of earth’s atmosphere is in fact the moon.

The moon has only been accessible for decades, rather than hundreds of years. However, in the short time available to humanity it is estimated that we have left over one hundred and seventy thousand kilos of debris on the surface of our once pristine satellite. Here are some of the more notable pieces of trash on the moon.

Luna 2 – 1959
If HG Wells and others were correct and there were civilizations on the moon then they would have expelled a communal gasp of horror in 1959 when the first piece of man made technology hit the moon dust. Looking now like some steam punk version of what we regularly send spinning in to space, Luna 2 was launched by the Soviets when the Cold War was at its height. The collision with the moon at least proved one thing – that our nearest neighbor in space has no appreciable magnetic field. To add insult to injury, half an hour after Luna 2 hit the moon, so did the third stage of its rocket.


29 October 2014

Ebola: A Poem for the Living


For many in Africa, Ebola is surrounded by misinformation and even superstition when it comes to treatment. This video, created by Firdaus Kharas and Brent Quinn is designed to educate those affected by or in the line of the virus in a non-coercive way and through a wholly African voice and as such has been broadcast in a number of languages – this is the English version and it’s heart-rending but beautifully and sensitively made.



Add a comment

replies

A Girl Tries to Understand Why her Boyfriend Can't Talk to her Anymore: His Reason Will Surprise You!


And now for something quite French. We have all come to that certain point in a relationship when we sense that our partner may not be that for too much longer. Such is the case for Odile: she decides to confront long-term boyfriend Michel and ask him the question she has been longing to ask: why he can no longer talk to her. His answer will, I think, surprise you. Odile et Michel was directed by Danny Sangra and stars Antoine Gouy and the very pretty Flore Bonaventura.



Add a comment

replies

Why Should We Remember the First World War?


You may have seen the sea of ceramic poppies outside the Tower of London which we will be featuring on Kuriositas this weekend.  The installation is known as Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, and marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. This video accompanies the display at the tower and asks you to ponder three questions.  See what your answers are.



Add a comment

replies

28 October 2014

What Teddies Do While We Sleep...


There was no way I could pass by an animation with the title Mean Teddies without watching – and I have to say it didn’t disappoint.  Thanks to Tyler Novo, a student at Sheridan College, we get to glimpse in to the other life of our teddy bears, the one that we will hopefully never get to see.  For, while we sleep, that little collection of wool, cotton and thread is out fighting for our very existence.  Given the opposition, no wonder they have to be mean teddies!



Add a comment

replies

Mount Nemrut – Home to Gods Beheaded

The Adiyaman Province of Turkey in the south east of the country is not wealthy – it is still classified as a developing rural region. Yet 25 miles from the small town of Kâhta the visitor discovers the remnants of once fabulous wealth.  High on the summit of Mount Nemrut is a huge but little visited necropolis, home to the beheaded gods of the past.


27 October 2014

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Moscow, You Will After Watching This


Moscow in the summertime has never looked so good.  Timelapse and commercial maker Alexander Spirin takes us on a breathless ride through the capital of Russia taking in the sites such as Saint Basil's Cathedral, Novodevichy Convent and of course Red Square - as well as many other sights.  Seamlessly mixing time-lapse and hyperlapse, this is certainly a ride to remember.



Add a comment

replies

Three Generations after The Holocaust, How Do Young Jews and Germans See Each Other?


This short animated documentary is based on interviews with young people from Germany and Israel. They are all relatives of the third generation with people who experienced the Holocaust during the Second World War. As such what they say about each other is revelatory and occasionally disturbing, to say the least. It was created by Gil Leron, Elad Izen and Shahar Madmon of Animation Forest.



Add a comment

replies

Spooktacular: An Animated Alphabet


Here comes Halloween and for some reason, people seem to get a little lost for words let alone letters at this time of year. Consonants seem to go out of the window to be replaced by elongated vowel sounds uttered at ear-drum shattering volume and strangled-cat pitch. So, take a trip through a spooktacular alphabet created by motion designer Adam Osgood to remind you that all 26 letters are still available for use even on Halloween.



Add a comment

replies

26 October 2014

The Hellbender: Giant Salamander of the United States

This is the only species of giant salamander to be found outside Asia – and it is called the hellbender.  With a name like that it’s an appropriate Halloween feature on our sibling site, the Ark in Space even though despite its name and size there is really nothing to be frightened of (apart from its name and its size – it can grow up to 30 inches in length!).  With its story, together with lots more pictures and a fascinating short documentary, head over to the Ark in Space.

Image Kerry Wixted



Add a comment

replies

Houses to Avoid on Halloween - And How to Die Quickly if You Can't

You may be planning to go out this Halloween, perhaps trick or treating with friends. In case you really must, here is a short pictorial guide to the kind of houses you should really avoid this Halloween. There are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for. If you just know you're not the type to make it to the end of a slasher pic, follow our advice: stay in (not that it will help you if you believe in predestination). Otherwise you may well just become part of another urban legend, the stuff of future horror movies. Yet although your life might be over but there are a few ways to ensure your demise is as swift and as painless as possible.


The Colors of Evil


Vivian is not a happy girl.  She is put upon bullied at school by one of the prettier girls and badly wants revenge.  Another horror movie trope is put in place and our expectations are raised! Good job, then, that Vivian has Devil Summoning for Kids among her books at home.  Unfortunately, the devil that she summons isn’t quite what she was expecting.  However, if this animated short by Alyse Miller and Phillip Simon, teaches us – patience is a virtue. Oh, and possibly never judge a book by it cover too.

The Colors of Evil was created by the pair as part of the Computer Animation Program at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida. It’s a stunning job (who would guess this was a student film?) and bodes very well for what we might expect from Miller and Simon in the future.



Add a comment

replies

The History of Horror Movies


Horror movies have now had over a hundred years of frightening the lives out of us and here John P Hess introduces their history, from the books which inspired them to the way that they evolved throughout the decades.  This is a fascinating look at a genre which, come Halloween, is always a staple of TV schedules all over the world.  Grab some popcorn and take in the visual history of horror movies.



Add a comment

replies

Running the Gammatar


When you are a self-absorbed 20-something with a huge sense of entitlement little is going to get in the way of the centering of life, the universe and everything around Number One.

That includes the Gammatar, the giant, fire-breathing Japanese monster (Jabba the Hutt must have had a fling with Godzilla, methinks) which has been bringing terror and barbecue to the streets of the city for months.  Written and Directed by Joe Kramer, Running the Gammatar is as much about monstrous egos as it as about the monster. It's also wry, funny, perceptive and doesn't take itself at all seriously (well, we're in trouble if it does), in striking opposition to its protagonists.



Add a comment

replies

25 October 2014

The Ancient Salt Ponds of Maras, Peru

Before the rise of the Inca Empire, those with an eye to make money but no aversion to hard work, made their way to Maras.  There, a subterranean stream surfaced and its waters were rich with salt.  Deep underground there is a vast deposit of salt, perhaps the remnant of some prehistoric ocean. Hundreds of miles from the sea, this led to a small but important local industry supplying indigenous communities with salt.  The ponds which were created to evaporate the water, leaving the salt behind, still exist and are worked to this day in the same way.


The Incredible Glasswing Butterfly

It never ceases to stagger me what nature can come up with and the glasswing butterfly is just that – staggering.  The name speaks for itself – the glasswing’s claim to fame is that its wings, spanning up to six centimeters, are almost completely transparent. That’s right, you can see just about right through them.  The Ark in Space, our sibling site, has a feature today on this extraordinary creature.

Image Credit Naz Dore



Add a comment

replies

Watch as WiFi Unites Nine Musicians on the New York Subway for a Memorable Performance


Writer, director and video editor Chris Shimojima and his team searched New York City for a variety of subway musicians to unite for a live experiment. They stationed them at nine different subway stops with wifi and had them simultaneously connect to composer Ljova. He led them in a performance of Signal Strength, an original piece he wrote for them.  The result is an arresting piece of performance art which you don't get to see every day of the week by any means.



Add a comment

replies

Wake Up Call


I can’t count the times this has happened to me – metaphorically at least.  I am awoken from my reverie (usually in front of a PC) by the phone ringing and, as I tend to sit in positions most would consider awkward, this wake up call often leads to sudden and inexplicable contortions which I could never do if I simply attempted them without the shock of the sudden noise.  Watch this animated short by Kevin Jackson if you are still not sure what I mean.



Add a comment

replies

When the End of the World Becomes a Love Story


Although I am the first to revel in the gore-fest that is The Walking Dead, the end of the world does not necessarily have to be all about which body parts can splatted the most distance – and Eric Nichols’ short film The Survivors shows that the zombie apocalypse (or whatever disaster has befallen us this time!) can be an opener for a relationship to begin and blossom.  Shot amid the dazzling Colorado landscape, it’s a languid glimpse at how, when catastrophe comes calling, so can love.



Add a comment

replies

Amung Feedjit