31 May 2022

Watch the Trailer for the New Live-Action Disney Pinocchio

You may – or may not – be a fan of Disney’s habit of making new live-action versions of their animated classics. Yet this Robert Zemeckis' all-new live-action Pinocchio, starring Tom Hanks (which streams on September 8 – no need to say which service!) looks like it may be a winner.  It looks very familiar, yet also very different – and the key is the casting.

Released today, the trailer sees Hank fully made up as Geppetto, Pinocchio’s father and the similarity between him and the original animated version looks remarkable.  That still didn’t stop a commenter from admitting “If Tom Hanks doesn't yell "YOU ARE A TOY!!!!" to Pinocchio, I'd be so disappointed” under the YouTube video, but the chances of Mr Hanks channeling Woody are pretty slim, I would say!  Nevertheless, the fact that Tom Hanks is in it reassures me because his good films far outweigh his bad ones. 

There’s a gorgeous new version of “When You Wish Upon a Star” playing (sorry don’t know who sings it as yet) as the Blue Fairy makes her entrance.

This is where things begin to look very different from the original.  Played by the striking Cynthia Erivo, she is something of a departure (looks wise) from Disney’s 1940 classic but only catching a glimpse of her in the trailer it is yet to be seen how she plays the character. But she certainly looks fabulous!

Jiminy Cricket looks fantastic (voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt – another reason to trust this will be a great version – and we even get a tiny look at Pinocchio himself.

There’s a lot of “blah blah blah” in the trailer and the actual footage from the film is a disappointingly thin on the ground.  The makers of the trailer seem to want to make sure that everyone knows that this is an EVENT (in capitals) but surely, we all knew that anyway!

Below (thanks IMDB) is a screenshot of the cast.  Joining Hanks, Gordon-Leavitt and Erivo, we also have Lorraine Bracco, Luke Evans, Keegan-Michal Key and Sheila Atim among others.  All told, this looks like it will be a new version well worth watching – I’m already looking forward to the release date of 8 September.

30 May 2022

The Beatles - Animated History of a Rock Band

If you are a fan of The Beatles then you will absolutely adore this – guaranteed. As a standalone piece of animation it gives us a glimpse in to the career of (possibly) the best rock band in history. We see stylised versions of Liverpool, London and New York as the Fab Four take us on a Magical Mystery Tour all of their own.

In fact, this was almost inspirational piece of animation was created by Pete Candeland of Passion Pictures. It was used for the intro of The Beatles: Rock Band game, which was launched in September 2009. I have absolutely no idea how the game fared in the marketplace but if it was a complete flop then it was worth it just for these 2:36 of complete bliss. This animation works wonderfully well independent of the game.

Hard Day’s Night, Paperback Writer, Here Comes The Sun and I Am The Walrus all feature in this wonderful animated medley. It's just a joy to watch!

Here is the shorter but equally lovely outro.

A Tale of Two Twins - Einstein's Twin Paradox Explained in Animation

When I was younger I always found Einstein’s Twin Paradox a difficult concept to grasp, probably because it demanded rational thought and secondly, because it did my head in (using the vernacular of the eighties, when I was a teenager).

Put simply - in physics, the twin paradox is a thought experiment in special relativity in which a twin takes a voyage into the depths of space in a high-speed ship and then comes back to Earth only to discover that he has aged less than his identical twin who stayed on Earth.  Blink once.

Fortunately, today we have Yuanjian Luo who has produced this wonderful animation which explains everything in simple terms.  The animation is beautifully simple – it reminded me of the British TV show Mr Ben from the seventies in many ways.  As in that show we have a lively narrator who invites the audience into an animated (!) chat on special relativity concepts, such as time dilation and nonequivalent reference frames (these are the culprits behind Einstein’s famous Twin Paradox).  So, if any one asks you what is the twin paradox? - then you know where to point them.

Altogether, loved it!

Now Look What You Did

These two videos have been created by Make. This is a design studio that specializes in the art of storytelling through motion graphics, visual effects, and animation.

They are both short but beautifully made animations which have a direct message to each and every one of us.

If you are of a sensitive nature you may not want to watch these, but the videos were specifically made to raise awareness of our impact on the environment, particularly when just a little more care would suffice.

Sometimes the Stars

This is lovely. This song from The Audreys, a band from Adelaide in Australia is Sometimes the Stars and the video matches its ethereal beauty with elegance and charm. It tells the story of a lost girl who journeys through a dreamlike land – and her yearning to make a connection with this world.

It was directed by Ari Gibson and Jason Pamment abd produced by Luke Jurevicius – and comprises a gorgeous way to spend four minutes of your time.  Does she make that all important connection?  Watch and find out!

A Brief Introduction to Genetics

This is short but sweet but if anyone has ever asked what genetics is exactly and you have found yourself floundering, then look no further.  This short animated film by David Murawsky explores the history of genetics and the underlying concepts providing the knowledge that today’s research is based upon.

It is thorough too – it goes from the father of genetic, Gregor Mendel up to concepts such as genetic code and DNA.  There is also a look at the current methods that are used to study genetics, the vaguely scary sounding genomics and bioinformatics.

All wrapped up in some very impressive animation.  Nice.

Skellig Michael – Mysterious Monastery in the Atlantic

Nine miles off the coast of County Kerry in the west of Ireland there are two small rocky islands peeking out of the Atlantic Ocean.  The larger of the two, Skellig Michael, is home to something quite extraordinary – a 1400 year old monastery which only a handful of people get to see each year.

As you approach the island there is little, seemingly, to notice.  Yet closer inspection reveals the tell tale criss-cross of manmade paths.   Who could possibly have wanted to live here – and when?

Heterochromia – The Eyes Have It

Over at our sibling site, the Ark in Space there is something quite special for you if you are a fan of our feline friends. There are a number of reasons why animals can have one eye of one color and the second of another, but the term for the most likely cause is heterochromia. It is more often than not to do with melanin. This is a pigment that is found almost everywhere in nature (spiders being a notable exception) and it dictates such things are skin and eye color.

Click here to visit the article.

29 May 2022

How to create a Pop Up Picture in the Excel Spreadsheet without Using VBA

Sometimes, just when you think there are no more surprises, Excel provides something which you only thought could be done with lots of VBA work. That’s the case with pictures that pop-up when you hover over a cell in your spreadsheet.It isn’t something that you would immediately think Excel could do, but if you know a trick or two, anything is possible. Of course, if you know VBA then anything is possible, plus one but if you don’t have the time or the heart to learn it, this is a quick and dirty way to create pop-up pictures.

This video provides you with the instructions that you need and is a step-by-step guide to creating pop-up pictures in a cell. The scenario here is that you have a list of members of a leisure club. You have their names in a neat spreadsheet but putting pictures in the cell to the left or right of their name will probably mean that the data gets overwhelmed by the visuals. The height of the cells increases, and you can’t see that many of your members on the screen anymore unless you scroll down. This lets you have the best of both worlds – your members stay in rows with normal height but when you hover over the name of a member, you get their picture popping up. The great thing is that it’s easy to accomplish but looks a lot like magic..!

This video was made with students who are doing the BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate in ICT in mind, specifically Unit 9 – Spreadsheet Development. Once a spreadsheet is created students have to come up with a number of ways to enhance it – and it can be quite difficult trying to refine a spreadsheet when everything already seems to be working perfectly. That means adding functionality and what better way to impress your tutor by refining your spreadsheet with some pop-up pictures.You wouldn’t have to do every single member in your spreadsheet – just enough to demonstrate that you know how to do it. This feature could cover

Depending on how you use this feature in your assignment, this could cover part of M3 – refine the spreadsheet to improve usability or even part of D3 – refine the spreadsheet using automated tools. Either way, using pop-up images will improve the usability of your spreadsheet massively. Take a look at the video, adapt the method to suit your own spreadsheet assignment – and see where this takes you!

Of course, if you are not a student this feature may well just impress your boss at work!

23 May 2022

Latest Trends In Online Sports Betting

Sports are a great form of entertainment. They provide an escape from the everyday grind and give people something to root for. Sports also bring people together, whether it's fans cheering on their team or players working together to win a game.

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There is no doubt that sports are extremely popular. They are followed by massive fan bases all over the world and generate a lot of excitement. Every year, fans eagerly await the start of their favourite season and follow their teams religiously. Sports also bring people together, as they provide a common interest and something to bond over. Whether it's fans cheering on their team or players working together to win a game, sports create a sense of community that is hard to replicate.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is a huge industry and is incredibly popular all over the world. Fans love to bet on their favourite teams, and the excitement of winning money makes the experience even more enjoyable. Sports betting can be a lot of fun, but it can also be risky. It's important to do your research before placing any bets and to stay informed about the latest news and developments.

There are many different ways to bet on sports, and each one comes with its own set of risks and rewards. Some of the most popular sports betting options include straight bets, parlays, teasers, and futures. Each type of bet has its own set of risks and rewards, so it's important to understand how they work before placing any wagers.

Current Trends

Sports betting is always evolving, with new trends appearing regularly. The idea is to keep up with those trends and never stop learning from various outlets and credible sources like smartbettingguide.com. That way you will guarantee a smooth sailing throughout your betting journey. Shifting gears, here are some of the trends that you might not know:

Live Betting

One of the latest trends is live betting, which allows fans to bet on games as they are being played. This type of betting is very exciting and can be quite lucrative for those who know what they are doing. Another popular trend is prop betting, which involves betting on specific events that may or may not happen during a game. For example, you could bet on whether a player will score a touchdown or get a certain number of hits in a baseball game. Prop bets can be a lot of fun and can add an extra level of excitement to any sporting event.

In-game betting

In-game betting is becoming increasingly popular, as fans are looking for new and exciting ways to bet on their favourite teams. In-game betting allows fans to make bets while the game is actually taking place, which adds an extra level of excitement to the experience. In-game betting is available for a variety of sports, including football, basketball, and baseball.

There are a number of different in-game betting options available, and each one comes with its own set of risks and rewards. Some of the most popular in-game betting options include prop bets, totals, and moneylines. Prop bets are bets that are placed on specific events that may or may not occur during the game. Totals are bets that are placed on the total number of points or goals that will be scored during the game. Moneylines are bets that are placed on which team will win the game.

In-game betting is a great way to add an extra level of excitement to the game. Fans can make exciting bets while the game is taking place and see how their team fares against the odds. In-game betting is available for a variety of sports, so fans can choose the sport that they love best.

Generous Sportsbook

Sportsbooks are always looking for new ways to attract customers, and one of the best ways to do this is by offering bonuses and promotions. These bonuses and promotions can be a great way to save some money and to increase your chances of winning.

Some of the most popular sportsbooks offer sign-up bonuses, which are bonuses that are given to new customers. These bonuses can be a great way to get started, as they allow you to get a head start on your betting career.

Sportsbooks also offer reload bonuses, which are bonuses that are given to customers who make additional deposits. These bonuses can be a great way to keep your bankroll healthy and to increase your chances of winning.

Sportsbooks often offer bonus codes, which are codes that need to be entered in order to receive the bonus. These codes can be found on the sportsbook's website or on promotional materials. Be sure to enter the code accurately, as incorrect entries can result in declined bonuses.

Finally, sportsbooks often offer free bets, which are bets that don't require any money to be placed. These bets can be a great way to try out a new sportsbook or to test out a new betting strategy.

Mobile Betting

Mobile betting is growing in popularity as people are looking for new and exciting ways to bet on their favourite teams. This type of betting allows fans to make bets while the game is actually taking place, which adds an extra level of excitement to the experience. Mobile betting is available for a variety of sports, including football, basketball, and baseball.

Esports Betting

eSports betting is on the rise as fans are looking for new and exciting ways to bet on their favourite teams. This type of betting allows fans to make bets while the game is actually taking place, which adds an extra level of excitement to the experience.

There are a number of different eSports betting options available, and each one comes with its own set of risks and rewards. Some of the most popular eSports betting options include prop bets, totals, and moneylines. Prop bets are bets that are placed on specific events that may or may not occur during the game. Totals are bets that are placed on the total number of points or goals that will be scored during the game. Moneylines are bets that are placed on which team will win the game.

eSports betting is a great way to add an extra level of excitement to the game. Fans can make exciting bets while the game is taking place and see how their team fares against the odds. eSports betting is available for a variety of titles, so fans can choose the ones that they love best.

Final Say

Sports betting can be a lot of fun, but it's important to remember that it's also a business. Don't bet more than you can afford to lose, and always make sure to read up on the latest news and developments before making any decisions.

Maximize Your Chance Of Winning In Online Casino With These Simple Tips

Casino can be considered as a form of entertainment. It is a place where people can go to have fun and enjoy themselves. There are many different types of casino games that people can play, and each game has its own unique appeal. Some people may enjoy playing slot machines, while others may prefer playing table games. Whatever the case may be, casino provides an enjoyable experience for everyone who visits it.

Image Credit

There is no doubt that casinos are becoming increasingly popular all over the world. More and more people are discovering the fun and excitement that they can offer. In addition to this, casinos also provide a great way to win money. With so many different games to choose from, there is something for everyone at a casino.

One of the main reasons for the popularity of casinos is the fact that they offer a unique form of entertainment. People can go to a casino to have fun and enjoy themselves, without having to worry about anything else. This is a great way to unwind and relax, and it is also a great way to socialize with other people.

Another reason for the popularity of casinos is the fact that they can be very profitable. If people know what they are doing, they can stand to make a lot of money from playing casino games. Of course, this is not always the case, but it is certainly possible. For this reason, many people see casinos as a great investment opportunity.

The Rise of Online Casino

Land-based casinos used to be the only place where people could go to play casino games. These casinos were huge, and they offered a wide variety of games for players to choose from. In addition, these casinos were always busy, and they attracted people from all over the world.

However, land-based casinos are no longer as popular as they once were. This is because online casinos have become much more popular in recent years. Online casinos offer many advantages over traditional casinos, so more and more people are choosing to play casino games online. This has led to a decline in the popularity of land-based casinos.

There are many popular land-based casino establishments around the world. These casinos offer a wide variety of games for players to choose from, and they are always busy. In addition, these casinos attract people from all over the world, which makes them a great place to socialize.

Nowadays, people love the convenience of the internet, and many things are starting to shift toward an online basis—including casinos.

While land-based casinos used to be the only place where people could go to play casino games, online casinos have become much more popular in recent years. Online casinos offer many advantages over traditional casinos, so more and more people are choosing to play casino games online. This has led to a decline in the popularity of land-based casinos.

Online casino games are becoming increasingly popular, as people are starting to realize the many advantages that they offer over traditional casinos. There are many different types of online casino games, and each one has its own unique appeal. Some people may enjoy playing slot machines, while others may prefer playing table games. not only that, there are many other popular online casino games that people can choose from. Some of the most popular ones include blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and poker. These games offer a wide variety of options, so players can find something that appeals to them. In addition, these games are all very exciting, and they provide a great way to win money. With so many different options available, there is something for everyone at an online casino.

Nowadays, more and more casinos are moving to an online basis. This is because there are many advantages to having an online casino over a traditional one. For starters, online casinos are much more convenient. People can play their favorite casino games from the comfort of their own homes, without having to travel to a brick-and-mortar location. In addition, online casinos tend to have a wider range of games than traditional casinos, so players can always find something new to try. Finally, online casinos usually offer better bonuses and promotions than their offline counterparts, so players can really maximize their winnings.

Tips To Maximize Your Win

While online casinos can be a lot of fun, they can also be tricky. There are many things to watch out for, and if you're not careful, you can easily lose your money. In short, you can save your time and energy by learning and reading helpful resources available online, like ones you will find in smartcasinoguide.com and start from there. Such sites offers a complete experience and guides to help you on your gambling journey. To elaborate more, here are a few tips to help you maximize your winnings:

1. Do your research. Before you start playing any casino games, it is important to do your research. This means learning as much as you can about the game you are playing, as well as the rules and strategies involved. If you are familiar with the game, you will be in a much better position to win.

2. Play at reputable casinos. There are many different online casinos out there, but not all of them are reputable. It is important to choose a casino that is trustworthy and has a good reputation. This way, you can be sure that your money is safe and that you will be treated fairly.

3. Use bonuses and promotions wisely. Many online casinos offer generous bonuses and promotions to their players. However, it is important to use these bonuses wisely. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully so that you know what is expected of you.

4. Practice first. If you are new to online casinos, it is a good idea to practice first before playing for real money. This way, you will get used to the rules and gameplay, and you will be less likely to make costly mistakes.

5. Stay disciplined. One of the biggest mistakes people make when playing casino games is that they get too caught up in the excitement and start gambling more than they can afford to lose. It is important to stay disciplined and only bet what you can afford to lose. This way, you will minimize your losses and maximize your chances of winning.

Final Say

Online casinos offer a great way to enjoy some excitement and potentially win some money. However, it is important to be aware of the risks involved and take precautions to protect yourself. By following the tips we have provided, you can maximize your chances of winning and minimize your losses. Have fun and good luck!

21 May 2022

A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse

Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post Apocalypse is an instructional public information film designed to assist the general population with surviving life in Australia after a nuclear war. Produced by the Australian Board of Civil Defence during the early 1980s, this previously unseen, dusty print was uncovered deep within a university film archive.

Broken into four chapters, the film guides wary survivors through the trials that will await them in the post apocalypse. From post-apocalyptic fashion and unique uses for surplus human skulls, to becoming a local warlord and avoiding radioactive mutants, there is something for all dwellers of the wastelands. With its dry methodical narration, brooding synthesizer, minimalist animation and erroneous guidance, Ducked and Covered is a dark humored parody/loving homage to the late cold war era, early 1980’s public information films, as well as a reminder… OF WHAT STILL COULD BE.

Today Only

Today Only tells the story of the day in a life of a London street from the perspective of its inhabitants, particularly a cat (known by different names to those he visits) who wreaks havoc pretty much everywhere he goes. It is very cleverly done – if it was not animated you would say it was done in a single take. However, it is animated but you get the idea nonetheless.

It was directed by Toby Jackman, written by Mahalia Rimmer and produced Alexander Ronnberg. As such it was Toby Jackman’s graduation film from the NFTS. That acronym stands for National Film and Television School which was established in 1971. It is based at Beaconsfield Studios in, Buckinghamshire in the UK, and it is located close to Pinewood Studios where many films including a number of the Bond franchise were made.

This is really an amazing piece of work – if this is an example of what Jackman and his team can do for their graduation work it only makes you wonder quite what they will create when they are being paid (or rather budgeted) to do this sort of thing. Huge congratulations to all involved!

What a Wonderful World – The Painting

This is a really very simple idea but so simple that it turns out to be very clever – like the best ideas, after all. Artist Dan Berglund takes a sheet of glass and paints pictures to accompany Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

That is all.

But what a joy to watch! However, if this piques your interest in Berglund’s work, why not take a look at his online portfolio which showcases more of his wonderful art work.

Complete History Of The Soviet Union, Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris

This is hugely clever, highly entertaining and extremely funny – and you don’t get that often, on or off the internet.  It is directed, animated, and edited by CHRIS LINCÉ and the music is supplied by Pig with the Face of a Boy.  In the space of just over six minutes you will get a précis of the entire history of the Soviet Union –all done to a marvelously melodic Tetris soundtrack.  What an unbeatable combination!

You will find yourself tapping your feet as the decades whiz by, from Lenin to Gorbachev and, as I did, wincing a little at the ironies of history.  Unsurprisingly, this short film has won two awards, both at the Super Shorts International Film Festival where it garnered the prizes for Best Animation and the Low Budget Award.

You may find yourself, as I did, watching it several times and catching something new on each repeated viewing.  Enjoy!

Death Masks of the Famous

It was the tradition for many centuries for death masks to be made of monarchs, artists and politicians in the time directly after their demise. Take a look at the many faces of death and find out who this is above.

Modern sensibilities may find them rather morbid but before the age of photography there was a limit to the amount of visual mementoes available to those left behind after the decease of a loved one (such as that of Blaise Pascal, left). They were also used for other purposes, such as to record the features of unknown corpses or in burgeoning scientific methodologies.

It was usually the wealthier who would have a death mask created and as such we are left with a surprising record of famous faces from the past. As expensive as they were, the death mask remains an intriguing testament to the time post mortem of many of the world’s famous people.

16 May 2022

Vintage Bodybuilding Ads of Yesteryear

Or The Insult that Made a Man out of Mac - and other stories.  Or put simply, how the ad men of yesteryear attempted to persuade men to get muscles and their own back.  Here's a selection of bodybuilding ads from the publications of yesterday that they might not quite get away with today.

In the comics of fifties onwards, among the myriad of adverts for sea monkeys, X-Ray specs and other such dubious products the likes of Charles Atlas and Joe Weider exhorted the youth of the day to exchange with their cash in exchange for muscles, girls and getting their own back on the bully boy.  The psychology of the ads certainly seem somewhat dated now but do they give us an insight in to how the mind of the male of the species may once have worked (and possibly still does)?

Landscape with Duck

When you are duck and you can’t fly that presents a singular problem when it comes to flying south for the winter.  Our hero in this hand drawn animated short by Patrick Neary comes up with some novel ways in which to catch up with his brothers and sisters – not all of them legal!

This ‘toon harkens back to the early days of animation – I swear I recognize some of the characters here but have no clue as to where I may have seen them before.  They are most likely new creations but I love the retro feel of the whole animation.

Anyway, rest assured that the exploits of our NBDF (New Best Duck Friend) has a happy ending! Or does it? Watch and find out!

11 May 2022

Time is Nothing: Around The World Time Lapse

Ten years ago Kien Lam (left) from San Francisco quit his job, packed his bag and grabbed his camera and then jumped on a plane to London with a one way ticket.  Over the next 343 days he would visit 17 countries and take 6237 photographs.  On his return to his home and family he put together this remarkable souvenir of his travels.

You will see many places here that we have featured on Kuriositas – and we are so very jealous of Kien that he saw them all one after the other. Anyway – sit back and enjoy – and if you want to see more of Kien’s amazing journey then visit his website where he elaborates in a more stately fashion about his global sojourn. The music is provided by William Lam (who is a very talented composer and who just happens to be Kien’s younger brother).


There was once a lonely, lonely creature called Wing. He had been given that name because, unlike all the other forest dwelling things who possessed them, he only had a single wing rather than a pair. He was bullied by everyone, the crows in particular.

Yet there is always hope – and this is the story of how he builds a catapult to escape his woodland prison.

Produced by a group of students at one of the most dedicated and celebrated animation institutions in the world, The Animated Workshop (in Denmark) this is yet another example of their amazing undergraduate work.

Awesome Air Traffic Control Towers Across the World

Air Traffic Control Tower lovers of the world unite. Here is a selection of ten of the best and more unusual in the world, including the one at Los Angeles above. Whether your own favorite is listed here, these structures have functionality and are designed to fit their own particular environment but also have a strange beauty all their own.

Air Traffic Control Towers are not as ubiquitous as you may think. Most people when asked would say that every airport has one, but this is simply because their height and shape had wormed its way in to the general consciousness, due not least to the plethora of disaster movies centered on airports. It is only the busiest of airports that have towers, such as the one above at Haneda airport which serves the Tokyo metropolis.


Ruin is something quite special.  If you like science fiction and you love (as I do!) animation then this short by OddBall Animation will be something that you will watch more than once.  It is set in the future - from the look of the ruined city a good few centuries. There has obviously been something of an apocalyptic event and this is well and truly post.

Yet life still stirs. A single human is in search of something that may unlock the cause of the devastation.  However, he is not alone... Ruin was not commercially developed by OddBall Animation. It is a project that they developed internally as a way to post their experiments and works-in-progress.  Wow.

7 May 2022

Sense of Flying

Would you like to know what it’s like flying down a mountain at 250 km per hour? Would you also like to know what that is like without actually having to go through it yourself?

Then enter Espen Fadnes - The World’s Fastest Flying Human Being 2010 – who recently teamed up with Project Managers Goovinn to communicate the experience of flying.  Sense of Flying came out of the collaboration.

The result is something like out of a James Bond film but made even more thrilling by the fact that this is not a stunt man performing this feat for a pay packet but someone doing it just for the sheer thrill of it.  In some shots this guy really does look like a human rocket – it is visually simply jaw dropping.


DreamGiver tells the story of the mysterious being who flies around dispensing our dreams to us. Yet even this celestial creature has been known to make mistakes! One evening as he visits an orphanage he gives a little boy a dream which opens up in the wrong place altogether!

This great animated short was at created Brigham Young University's Center for Animation and was directed by Tyler Carter. The film has played in hundreds of festivals around the world including the College Television Awards "Student Emmy", Cannes Film Festival, Anima Mundi, Comic Con, Adobe Design Competition, Angelus Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, SIGGRAPH and many more.


You really do have to be careful what you say – or in some cases what you don’t say, especially if you are on a blind date. Here Ernie, in the pursuit of love and romance, ends up on a blind date.

Yet his date, Helga, is not quite what he expected either (perhaps not quite as advertised you might say – and she can get the wrong end of the stick.

This amusing animated short was created by Justin Sklar for his degree thesis at Ringling College of Art and Design. I am not sure it necessarily has a moral as such, but if there is one it is that opposites can often attract (wait, that’s not a moral!).

The Unearthly Beauty of Antelope Canyon

The Navajo call it ‘the place where water runs through rocks’ and that is literally true. One of the most unearthly places on the planet, take a look at the astounding Antelope Canyon.

The peculiar formation of a slot canyon can make for an eerie experience and certainly the Antelope Canyon, on the lands of the LeChee people of the Navajo Nation is one of the stranger places you might choose to visit if your budget doesn’t quite run to a space shuttle. The shuttle, though, never lands on alien planets – yet you can still get the experience for very little here on our very own third rock from the sun.

The Coolest Doorway in Paris

It is something of a feat to be the coolest example of anything in Paris, which could certainly be a contender for the coolest city in the world regardless.  Yet the door which opens up to number 29 Avenue Rapp is, we believe, the coolest door in Paris. See if you agree.

How do Spiders Eat?

If you are of a nervous disposition, then look away now! The Ark in Space today poses the question just how exactly do spiders eat their prey? My first answer would have been they catch them in their web and then have a good munch.  However, munching aside, that is just the first part in a rather gruesome process which could well cause you a sleepless night or two. To fill you in, the Ark in Space launches gleefully in to a full, (possibly) stomach churning description, together with some amazing macro-photography of spiders and their unfortunate victims. Click any of the links above (or the picture) to read the full article - and please don't have nightmares!

1 May 2022

Free Pie

Many people have had the knock on their door which changes their life.  For the musician protagonist of this short film written, directed and edited by Caleb Slain, his visitor (up to you to decide just how supernatural he is) brings some bad news. But he also brings free pie.

Free Pie is a traumatic comedy about life, death, pie and death. If your sense of humor veers a little towards the dark side, you love fast and snappy dialogue and appreciate the skilful editing which should go with, then you are going to love this – or at the very least like it a lot.

Although it reminds me of none, I could easily imagine Roald Dahl coming up with this as one of his Tales of the Unexpected.  Hats off to Caleb Slain for an ingenious piece of story telling. Now, could somebody pass me the pie, please?

Haunted Walls: The Abandoned Zagórz Monsastery, Poland

A little way outside the Polish town of Zagórz lie the ruins of a Carmelite monastery which is located on a picturesque hill surrounded on three sides by the river Oslawa.  The monastery was built in around 1739 from local sandstone but only thirty three years later it was burned to the ground.  It was rebuilt but it never regained anything like its former glory.  Another fire in 1822 destroyed the roof and the Carmelites finally gave up, baulking at the expense of rebuilding yet again.

So, the monastery went to ruin – but how magnificent it still looks in this timelapse, which was created during a workshop mentored by Patryk Kizny with support from Robert Paluch of Timelapse Academy.  If you live in Poland and would, after seeing this amazing piece, like to learn more about time-lapse photography then why not visit their website.

First Autumn (Premier Automne)

This is the story of a young girl and a young boy, Abel and Apolline. Apolline lives in the summer and Abel lives in the winter and so by their very natures they are never supposed to meet – there must always be a barrier in between them. Yet the two children live isolated lives and it is only a matter of time before they come across each other in the forest in which they dwell. Yet when they do meet – and summer and winter collide – they soon realise that to co-exist is much more difficult than either of them may have imagined.

This is a very sweet if not somber animated short, directed by Carlos De Carvalho and Aude Danset and I found it entrancing. It is almost, I imagine, like a long lost piece by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, discovered and brought to us for the first time. It also goes to show that animation aimed at children does not necessarily have to have a happy ending and that, on occasion, bitter sweet tells the best tale.

Coward - Life, Death and Shell-Shock in the Trenches of World War One

During the First World War several hundred British soldiers were court martialed for cowardice. In the great majority of the cases the soldiers involved were conscripts who went on to be executed by firing squad.  Yet many of these soldiers were suffering from what we now call shell-shock.  It was many decades before this issue was finally confronted and the men were given pardons – much, much too late you might well say.

Coward is a short film which addresses the often brutal treatment meted out to those men.  It follows the journey of two cousins from Northern Ireland, Andrew and James, who enlist to fight in the trenches alongside their countrymen.  Like many young men at the time they joined up to both fight for their country and to make their families back home proud of them – they had no real idea of the hell of 1917 Ypres in to which they were about to march.

If you teach history or the poetry of World War One (Wilfred Owen suffered from shell-shock himself but as an officer was afforded much better treatment than the conscripted soldiers we see in this film) then I believe that Coward would make a great, short accompaniment to your lessons based around the Great War.  It is under half an hour in length and gives great visual insight in to the conditions in which the soldiers were expected to live and fight in the trench – the gruesome discovery of a body in the film is not for the faint hearted however!  In the UK I would imagine that this would be suitable for pupils preparing for their GCSE in either history of English but you should be warned that it does contain some strong language.

Yet Coward does provoke thought – and so discussion – about how ordinary soldiers were treated in World War One.  Their absolute disconnect from the natural world is extremely well portrayed here and Coward very ably shows the journey from young, well-scrubbed enlistees to battle weary troops to court martial to execution. 

Coward was directed by David Roddham and produced by Dave Komaroni with cinematography by Stephen Murphy.

Cork: Harvest for the Patient Farmer

Have you ever wondered where that cork in your bottle of wine comes from?  The answer is most likely to be Spain or Portugal, where over half of the world’s cork is harvested - it is in fact the National Tree of the latter country.

However, unlike other forms of forestry, the production of cork never involves the death of a tree.

Instead, they are gently stripped, leaving a strange but fascinating landscape of denuded trunks.