31 December 2015

Unexpectedly Funny Things to do with Hamsters When You're Bored

The Ark in Space veers off its usual scientific agenda today by showing us some things to do with hamsters when you're bored. It sounds quite possibly a little scary for the hamsters involved (the one above certainly has a slightly worried look on his face!) but is actually a rather amusing post about a very sweet looking creature.  Plus there are plenty of interesting facts about the little tykes too!

Image by kind permission of Flickr User pyza*

Rocketship


A young boy befriends an old man, much to his parents’ consternation.  However, the boy and the old man have a bond – a fascination with space travel. Together, they transform a vintage vacuum cleaner into a rocketship for a surprising journey. This heartwarming short film was written and directed by Alfred Thomas Catalfo and was   inspired by the rocketship sculptures of artist David Random. This may leave you with a lump in your throat…

30 December 2015

Can You Match the Minor Character to the 2015 Blockbuster Movie?

You may be a movie buff but how closely were you watching? Match the minor character to the correct movie and find out. 

Even if you haven't seen all the films you could probably make a few educated guesses... Good luck!

29 December 2015

Metroid: The Sky Calls


Ever wondered why Metroid has never been made in to a live action movie? It didn’t occupy too much of my time either, but having watched The Sky Calls by Rainfall it certainly does beg the question.

If you are a fan of the series of science fiction action-adventure video games by Nintendo my guess is that you are going to love this.  This non-profit film is not associated with or endorsed by Nintendo or its subsidiaries but it takes the adventures of Samus Aran in to a whole new dimension.

Hollywood Nights Time-Lapse


Welcome to Hollywood - from the Hollywood Boulevard, the Sunset Strip and the Hollywood Hills not to mention the Hollywood Tower, this time-lapse by iVideoMaking has the lot.  You may think that this was all filmed in one hectic evening but even these masters of time-lapse couldn’t quite manage that – all told this took approximately 60 nights to capture.  The result is, however, amazing.

20 December 2015

The Online World Quiz: How Much do You Know about the Internet?


The Scottish Fold – The Owl Cat

The Scottish Fold is something of a special breed of cat.  Seeing one for the first time you are drawn to its round facial features and, in the back of your mind, a thought nags you that something seems to be missing. Then you realize – it’s all about the ears.  Our sibling site, the Ark in Space, has the story of this owl cat extraordinaire with, as you might expect, lots of fantastic photos.

Image Credit

Glass Half


Two amateur art critics meet in a gallery and argue passionately about the pieces they see, until finally they find a piece on which they can agree... All of the visuals of the film have been realized using free/open source software, the film itself and all the assets that make up for the film are being released open and free as Creative Commons CC-BY. Glass Half was directed by BeornLeonard.

The 25 Best Films of 2015 – A Video Countdown


Ever felt like you’ve missed out? You will after you have watched this list if, like me, you have only seen a handful of the amazing movies this list contains. It was created by Rolling Stone Staff Writer David Ehrlich. However, just as entertaining is the intro to the list which includes a lot more films that I did manage to catch as the year went on. Time to put those gift vouchers to good use!

The Armillary Sphere: The Marriage of Science and Art

You may have seen an armillary sphere before. At its heart there is something recognizable – the Earth. Around it is a bewildering array of rings, centered on our planet. All have distinct scientific functions yet the armillary sphere is also a profoundly beautiful object: art and science married in harmony.

Image Credit Flickr User ElDave
Although the armillary sphere was superseded (technologically speaking at least) in the seventeenth century by the European telescope, surviving examples remain objects of fascination and wonder. The first question, of course, is what does it do? The second is invariably who invented it?

Drink Along with Martin - Animated Christmas Card


I knew I would have to acknowledge the coming of Christmas at some point so it is with some relief that I can do so by sharing with you this wonderful animated Christmas card which popped in to my inbox a short time ago. It is from London based animation production studio Trunk and it celebrates the most important aspect of Christmas to any self-respecting Brit – drinking.

Created by Layla Atkinson, this awesome animation features Martin who I am guessing is a rabbit (with an English accent no doubt). He likes to drink, but not just alcohol – anything that can pass between his leporine lips does so. Plus it comes with a soundtrack by the gone but fondly remembered Bow Wow Wow. Altogether this makes for one of the more unusual Christmas cards I have received this year -so thank you to Layla and all the folks at Trunk. Enjoy – and remember to drink sensibly: the contents of a potty does not qualify.

19 December 2015

How Not to Tell Your Kid the Truth about Santa


There comes a time when every parent has to get ready for The Talk.  You know the one, about a certain elderly gentleman who visits about this time every year and leaves surprises under the tree?  However, perhaps it’s best left to the mother’s after all: this dad’s effort goes so horribly wrong you may even squirm a little in between the laughs.  The Talk was directed by Joe Otting and stars John Hoogenakker and Isabella Crovetti-Cramp.

Eratosthenes and the Circumference of the Earth


About two and a half thousand years ago, Eratosthenes (try saying that with half a mince pie in your mouth) managed to estimate the circumference of the Earth with only a 2% margin of error.  That’s pretty good and although he didn’t do it sat at home with a pipe (or whatever they might have smoked then) it didn’t take an epic voyage to do it. In fact it was done with maths.  Rogue Robot tells the tale.

More Stuff!


Want to know the true definition of Christmas?  Why, more stuff of course!  This joyous animation by Blue Zoo, a multi BAFTA award winning animation studio in central London takes us to Santa’s Sweatshop where the elves are just about to revolt in the most amusing way.  I’ve heard of people taking off their clothes for peace but never to dissuade people from being too greedy at Christmas. Nice.

13 December 2015

Hierve el Agua - Mexico’s Freeze Frame Falls

As you approach Hierve el Agua you would be forgiven for thinking that you are about to witness close up one of nature’s magnificent sites – that of a large, full flowing waterfall. However, closer inspection would reveal to you that what you thought was water cascading down the side of a hill is something else entirely.

Very much of the beaten track and little visited the waterfall is in fact a natural formation of rock. In Spanish the name means the water boils but it looks more as if it has been frozen – perhaps there was some irony on the lips of the person who gave the place its name. Later, however, we will discover the reason for the name.

Retrofit


Retrofit is set in the near future when death is simply a new beginning; for those who can afford it. Dylan, driven by his need for reconciliation, brings his father back from the dead, and houses him in a shabby utility robot 'acquired’ from the black market. Having proceeded without his father's consent, the two must come to terms with their situations. The film was produced with the collaboration of various visual effects artists primarily focused in the UK.

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Rome, You Will after Watching This


Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions and the city of yearning.  So said Italian painter and architect Giotto di Bondone (who was from Naples so it’s unbiased!).

Yet sometimes it takes those from even further afield to truly capture the spirit of a city.

In this short, Febian Nurrahman Saktinegara, and Galih Mulya Nugraha of Embara Films, both 6,000 miles from their native Philippines, beautifully encapsulate the eternal city, Roma Eterna, in just under three minutes.

The Ventriloquist starring Kevin Spacey


How are you supposed to compete with your best friend when he’s a dummy? That’s the challenge faced by Kevin Spacey’s shy ventriloquist here.  Yet there are times in our lives when we have to learn to live without something – or someone.

Written and directed by Kevin Leavitt, this short was the Jameson First Shot winning film for the USA.

The Looking Planet


Lufo and his family, part of the Cosmos Corps of Engineers, are consigned to planet construction in, frankly, the armpit of the galaxy.  As no one is going to look, Lufo decides to escape the mundanity of his 14 billion year existence and express his creativity instead.  What he does next has consequence, certainly for us… This enigmatic and beguiling short was written, produced and directed by Eric Law Anderson.
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