30 January 2022

Our Lady of Lourdes

One never can tell which event, large or small, can change a life forever.  Yet these occasions happen often and they sometimes overlap.  Our Lady of Lourdes centers around a young waitress who receives help from an unstable vagrant – when she tries to return the favor a chain of events happens which no one could have foreseen.

Our Lady of Lourdes stars Nick Moran of Harry Potter, Naomi Scott of Steven Spielberg's Terra Nova, and Lech Dyblik, a living legend in his home country of Poland. It was written and directed by Peter Szewczyk.

para l l el

What if parallel worlds exist? And what if, in one of them, humanity disappears off the face of the planet? An interesting thought here brought spellbindingly to life by Claire&Max. One by one the major cities of the world become devoid of human life – it’s fascinating yet unnerving. 

If you are scratching your head, as I did, about how this was done it’s all there at the menilmonde blog.


A young girl receives a letter and in an instant she feels that her life is no longer worth living. Fortunately there is a handy railway line nearby and she prepares to slip off her mortal coil with something of a squelch. However, as you will see in this animated short by Margaux Lahuppe which she made during her time at Supinfocom, life is simply a question of priorities. You just have to be... versatile.

What Is PEE And How Do I Use It?

One of the things that I have to explain every year to a new intake of students is PEE.  It is a technique whereby learners can explain their ideas through a process.  The first question is usually what does PEE stand for? First of all students have to find the point about which they wish to write.  That is the P in the process.  The two Es come next – and in order to find out what they are and how to use them, you will have to sit through the video above.

I created this video as I teach GCSE English in the UK (it’s the “Gold Standard” English Language exam and everyone is expected to attempt it).  So, enjoy.  The PEE tool can be easily transferred to other subjects too, so it you are a teacher of, say, history and have discovered this video, then why not give it a shot in the classroom and then adapt it to your own curriculum.  Have fun!

The Story of Symbols

We use them every day – but what are the mysterious origins of these symbols we take for granted? 

 Here are few short explanations to demystify the meanings of our favorite symbols.

The Question Mark
Once upon a time, there was no such thing as a question mark. To show that a question was being asked, the word question would be written. In Latin - quaesto. The reason that it was in Latin was because that was the universal scholastic language of the time.

Reykjavik Aurora

Iceland Aurora Films have been busy filming the northern lights this winter, in rather unusual locations. This short film is all shot in the center of Reykjavik, Iceland and was extremely technically complicated to make due to the light pollution from street lights and houses. They also got really lucky with some incredibly strong Aurora displays this winter, and some Aurora shapes they had never seen before.  It’s beautiful.

The Divine Lorraine Hotel, Philadelphia: The Beauty of Abandonment

This is a short but beautifully made  fly-by (over? across?) of the once gorgeous Divine Lorraine Hotel in Philadelphia by Chris DeAntonio.  Although it is hoped a refurbishment of this gorgeous, historic building will start shortly, as of writing it continues to be the abandoned shell you see here.  As well as being a still grandiose sight it has more than just architectural importance: it was the first hotel to become racially desegregated in Philadelphia.

Ned's Phone

Public transport seems to be full, these days, of people with great big headphones listening to music off tiny, tiny phones.  Now I won’t start on the cacophony they make singing along to their tunes but, let’s face it, such is their immersion in their own little world that little if anything will wake them from their musical reverie – except one thing. Created by four students from ATI (Paris VIII University), Ned’s phone nails it.

27 January 2022

Here’s Why You Should be Excited for the Super Bowl

With the NFL regular season coming to a thrilling close, the playoffs are officially here as we head down the road to the Super Bowl. An expansion saw this year’s regular season schedule increase to 17 games per team, making for one of the most electrifying seasons in recent years. After all was said and done, we had our 14 teams ready to battle it out for a chance at greatness in the Super Bowl. It was the Green Bay Packers in the NFC and the Tennessee Titans in the AFC who received byes to the divisional rounds as No. 1 seeds. With a record of 13-4, likely MVP Aaron Rodgers has led the Packers on an incredible run so far but it all ended with the 49ers. Now, as current favourites, the Buffalo Bills have a +350 odds to win the Lombardi Trophy this year.

One of the best things about Super Bowl Sunday is of course the festivities that surround it. However, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who will be throwing a Super Bowl party with their friends and family this year, it can be pretty stressful. If you’re not throwing a party, looking for a venue to watch the big game can be just as stressful. As one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar, you may need some help along the way. Here is our guide on how to prepare yourself for the Game of Games.

Don’t skimp out on the snacks

For those of you who are planning on throwing a Super Bowl party for the ages, one of the most important variables is the food. If you want a first-string party then you can’t prepare your injury-reserve snacks. Leave yourself plenty of time to plan your meals and snacks so you’re not serving gas station hot dogs on game day. You also want variety. Sure, nachos and queso, ribs, brisket sandwiches are all great, but you are bound to have a few sweet tooths in attendance. Don’t be shy to splurge on pies, sundaes or cakes to treat yourself for dessert. You also want to get yourself some good beer, because what pairs better with football more than ice cold beer? If you need a helping hand then good housekeeping have provided a list of some of the best food to prepare for Super Bowl Sunday.

Give your guests the best viewing experience

If you’re watching the game at home and you have welcomed 10-15 people in to watch along with you, the last thing you want is your TV crapping out. Don’t be shy to go all out with your TV, after all, you can’t throw an awesome party if you can’t see the game!

Research your venues

For those of you who are not throwing a party and instead are heading out to watch the game, make sure you investigate where is best for you. Sure, your local pub is easy and comfortable, but what is it the best come game day? A 28” TV behind the bar and a bowl of peanuts may cut it in the regular season, but it just doesn’t scream ‘Super Bowl’. If you want to find the venue that best suits your need then shop around before you settle. The last thing you want is to pay for your cover charge or ticket only to find that there is a better one down the street.

Leave yourself time

As mentioned previously, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the most anticipated events on the sporting calendar and as such, millions of us want to get out to watch and party. Rather than leaving yourself picking up the scraps of venues with limited availability left, get ahead of the pack and try to book in advance. If you leave it too late everywhere will be at capacity before you have the chance to think about tailgate hot dogs and buffalo wings.

Don’t neglect the prop bets

Nothing keeps the Super Bowl exciting like prop bets. With a record number of American’s placing wagers on the NFL this year. You can of course bet on the eventual winner, totals, spreads and player props but what is the most fun about betting on the Super Bowl is the novelty bets that come with it. In recent years bettors have been able to wager on who the winning coach will thank first, buzzwords that will be mentioned by the commentary team and even the colour of the Gatorade bath after the game. It is sure to keep you entertained through all four hours of the broadcast.

Image Credit

22 January 2022

The Kennecott Mines: Abandoned Alaskan Boomtown

In 1900 two prospectors were traveling through Alaska. Their horses were hungry and so when they spied a distant green hillside they thought their luck was in.

They were not wrong. They had stumbled upon a massive deposit of copper ore, exposed at the surface. Industry on a massive scale quickly followed. Yet by 1939 the copper was exhausted, the place abandoned. This is what remains of the Kennecott Mine Camp.

What is a URL?

What is a URL? It is the ‘address’ to a resource somewhere on the internet, yes.  However there is more to a URL than meets the eye.  Did you know, for example, that a URL has two main components and – more often than not these days – a third? This video goes in to some detail about each and even explains what the letters behind the acronym URL really mean. Plus it’s very easy to understand so if you are new to all this – no problem!

Newton in Space

If you need to know how Newton’s three laws of motion work then look no further. This educational animation, made at Beakus, for the Royal Observatory Greenwich, explains the three laws in words and terms that most people can understand.

Newton in Space was directed and designed by Amaël Isnard.  OK, it's for kids but guess what?  Yes indeed.

If You Have Never Wanted to Visit Madeira, You Will after You Watch This

This short hyperlapse and timelapse combo by Kirill Neiezhmakov is short but amazing.  What I would like to know is how he got the fountain to appear as if by magic (you have to get to around the 40 second mark for that!).  This is technically amazing work – the timelapse equivalent of street magic, perhaps?  Whatever, we hope you will love the sights of Madeira presented in this remarkable way!

Pardon the Intrusion

Betty isn’t happy.  After a stroke has left her dependent on the morning and evening visits of carers her existence has dwindled to little but TV and soggy sandwiches.  However, one day an intruder enters her house and the status quo is at once threatened – but not quite in the way you might imagine.

Featuring a tour de force performance by Sarah Kestelman who has been a regular face on British TV screens since the 1950s, Pardon the Intrusion is a Cue Pictures film, directed by Louise C Galizia and written by Harry Chadwick.

9 January 2022

Earth Song

If you have ever been to Yorkshire Dales and Lake District national parks in northern England then you will have been, no doubt, struck by their incredible natural beauty.  They have never looked so magnificent in this short time-lapse film about the ever changing light and beauty in nature made by Alex William Helin. The stirring music is Epic Journey by David Tobin, Jeff Meegan and Malcolm Edmonstone.

Star Wars Snowflakes

Be the Snow: A Pillow Runs Away to See the World

There are times in life when we have to leave our comfort zone behind and that is as true for pillows as it is for us.  This little guy decides to run away one night and discover the world.  How will he fare on his adventures?

This charming short combining live action and animation was created by Amir Honarmand for the National Film Board of Canada.

Juhyo: The Snow Monsters of Japan

There are monsters, high in the Japanese mountains of the country’s northeastern region of Tohoku.  A few miles outside of Yamagata city the mountains rise and as the seasons turn and autumn becomes a memory, the monsters appear.  Winter isn’t coming here; it’s well and truly arrived.

Their shapes are not uniform. The imagination can truly take flight when considering what might lie beneath the snow. Is that a dragon? Is that a troll? Is that Sulley and Mike from Monsters Inc over there?

1 January 2022

Eternal Flame Falls

At the base of a waterfall deep in the forests of the state of New York an eternal flame burns. A small grotto between the layers of shale protects this everlasting fire. Although it glows brightly throughout the year it radiates light and warmth more on Midsummer’s Night than on any other time on the calendar. Then, it is said that the fair folk…

Craco - The Abandoned Town

Back in 1963 massive landslides made the inhabitants of the hilltop town of Craco in Italy shrug their shoulders one last time and move elsewhere.  As no one wished to (or could…) move in the place was left to nature.  Today although the local authorities have made attempts to rehabilitate the town as a tourist attraction it remains eerily abandoned.  If a town could have a beautiful corpse this is it, as amply demonstrated by Walter Molfese’s amazing film.

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

This is a stunning example of aerial motion photography at its very best.  The beautiful Russian city of Saint Petersburg is captured in all of its glory by Timelab, who enable us to see the place from heights and angles probably not captured on film before.  The result is an enchanting – hypnotising even – tour through this amazing city which the company call White Nights in Saint Petersburg.  Simply stunning.


If you are familiar with Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel, Fahrenheit 451 then you will love this.  Even if you’re not I think you will appreciate the message about a dystopia where books are banned and firemen are tasked to eliminate them. The title refers to the temperature at which paper will auto-iginite (although this has been debated, er, hotly).  This is a student film, created by Anastasia Chernova at the All-Russian State University of Cinematography : I think you will agree that it shows immense promise.


A launderette may not be the first place you would think of when it came to dance but Mietta Gornall makes it beautiful (80s film fans will see what I did there).

Directed by LAW this is a beautifully put together piece of film – where elegance collides with this week’s washing.