27 September 2015

Apostrophe Quiz – Can You Spot These 10 Mistakes?


Are you a stickler for the apostrophe?  Does public signage with the incorrect usage of this most understood of punctuation (and occasionally diacritical) marks leave you grimacing? Now you can show that you are in singular possession of the grammatical right stuff by spotting the ten mistakes included in the video above.  Or are there really ten? You might have to see the answers to make sure!

Atomic Ruin: The Abandoned Satsop Nuclear Power Station


Motion control shot specialist Andrew Walker and friends recently had something of an experience – a visit to a Satsop nuclear power station in Western Washington, a place abandoned before it was even completed.

The place is like some giant movie set of an eerie alien city – quite extraordinary.  The power plant was the second largest municipal bond default in U.S. history too – you don’t abandon something like this without it leaving some lasting financial sting.

26 September 2015

King Kills


A spoiled young prince embarks on a hunting trip.  What awaits him is an encounter with the spirit of the forest and a decision which will change his life forever.  This beautifully made animated short was created by a group of students at the Russian State University of Cinematography.  The story is not complex but the aesthetics of the piece make it one to remember…

MTO – Street Art Labor Intensity

His mother calls him Mateo but most of the world knows the mysterious street artist whose extraordinary work you see here as MTO.   French born but Berlin based, MTO’s work is characterized by incredibly detailed renditions of über cool actors and musicians with a dash of red as his signature or around his work as a signifier of its boundaries (we are guessing to allow other artists to work around him).

A visit to the Spanish city of Barcelona was the kick-start for MTO’s work on the streets.  There, the vibrancy of the city’s exterior culture inspired him to create. Yet his work, although labeled street art, goes way beyond graffiti.

6 September 2015

Mythopolis


If legendary characters from Greek mythology had to live their lives and solve their problems in today´s world, how would they go about it?  That is the interesting starting point of Czech director and animator Alexandra Hetmerova’s graduation film (for her masters), Mythopolis.

Here, Medusa has some problems with her young son Mino (I think she must have stolen the child from Pasiphaë but wouldn’t you if you knew a child was to be consigned to life in a labyrinth?) not to mention her love life (or lack thereof).  Hugely entertaining, especially if you love Greek mythology.

One for the Road


If the world was going to end I think I might well head for the pub and have one for the road.  In this short film written and directed by Ben Chavda, one man decides to do just that.  It’s a great atmospheric piece and leaves you to fill in a lot of the detail yourself (which is perfect).  One slight criticism, however: if you head to the bar on your last day on the planet, the least you can do is drink!

Spectrum


Childhood nightmares, so real and vivid, can be forgotten in the daylight.  Yet for one young boy the day does not come as his dreams turn in to a terrible reality. Spectrum was directed by Cody James Ong and Joshua Tendero.  It is intended to attract investors to make it in to a full feature but it also stands on its own very well, leaving the ending very much up to your own imagination. Don’t have nightmares!

Drugo


This is interesting. Take the war on drugs and re-imagine it as a medieval allegory. There are kings, knights in shining armor and a dragon. Directed by Gabriel Nobrega for Lobo, Drugo puts forward an alternative policy (already adopted by a number of countries) for the real world, one in which a fairy tale ending could never have been expected anyway. This is a thought-provoking animated short to say the very least.

5 September 2015

The Denge Sound Mirrors: Radar’s Predecessor

Before the application of radar became a reality a number of experimental early warning systems were developed by the British military.  One which showed the most promise – as it actually worked – were the acoustic mirrors built at Denge on the south coast of England.  Quickly superseded by radar they were abandoned but still remain at their post, obsolete concrete leviathans on an island in the middle of a nature reserve, reminders of a dangerous time in European history.

The mirror would pick up the sound of any aircraft approaching the coast of the UK.  If they were not scheduled (and flights in and out of the country were closely monitored) then they could be judged as possibly being enemy aircraft. Sound waves were caught in the focal point of the mirror and relayed though microphones to an operator, who could then alert the appropriate authorities. The mirrors were able to give a fifteen minute warning of an approaching assault on the England.
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