...And as if as an ode to happenstance, I came upon this delightfully deliberate poetic rendition of the English language's most inopportune meeting with it's arch nemesis, the word processor, and it's evil, evil henchman, the spell checker.
"The The Impotence of Proofreading," by Taylor Mali
One can only wonder how many times Mr. Mali must have practiced reciting the misspellings before he got to the point where he could do it so flaw... fully.
The video that got me started down that meandering stroll through a whole bunch of videos was this typographical animation overlaying another one of Mr. Mali's performances.
When one of my favorite Cyn.in sites posted what felt like a follow-up / updated video to my earlier post on the "Did you know?" / "Shift happens" videos, I couldn't resist cross-posting it on to my blog after all this while. This one has updated facts, more cinematic appeal, and well it's just better!
Have a look. Looks great in full screen!
From thisCyn.in site. They make / do some really cool stuff with Cyn.in. Always makes me happy, and even a bit proud to see how useful our collaboration software is being, in education and learning for everyone from kids to grownups.
If you've not ever played N+ (Or even it's original free pre-cursor N), then you've been missing something.
It's probably one of, if not the best arcade / scroller games out there. The game play is simply astounding, what it lets you accomplish with the tapping of simply 3 keys.
I kid you not. Watch this insane video - be aware though that this dude has pretty much achieved the pinnacle of human hand-eye co-ordination, and you could spend a major portion of your forthcoming days (if you manage to get yourself hooked into this game) just trying to get to be able to hope to do what this guy shows off so perfectly.
I've been a long time fan of this particular piece of music by composer Franz Liszt - and just out of the blue I looked it up today - on YouTube. Turns out, that I'm not the only one who can't get the tune out of his head. Several hollywood productions, games and what not have adopted the piece to their background score and I (as usual) couldn't resist posting the videos.
The Cat Concerto
Probably the most well known adaptation is "The Cat Concerto", the 29th Tom and Jerry short that was released in April 1947, by MGM. This is where I first heard the tune as well and is one of my favorite Tom and Jerry cartoons. The execution and the intermingling of cartoon with real music score has the undeniable finesse and touch of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera that so enchants every one.
This is a Bugs Bunny cartoon that caused some controversy when it was released by Warner Bros. in the same year as the Tom and Jerry one. Both MGM and Warner Bros. accused each other of plagiarism, after all both shorts have the same overall theme and the same musical score. I love this one too.
Daffy Duck Rhapsody
These two videos are user contributed, they are not real cartoons by studios but instead user compilations based on hundreds of clips of different cartoons. That doesn't detract from the fact that they're based upon the same music piece, and have a hilarious daffy duck singing in them. I was enjoying laughing out loud on both of these, I really love Daffy. The second video, at it's end lists all the Daffy Duck cartoons that it was compiled from.
The one, featuring Woody Woodpecker has him playing a Piano Tuner, who gets accosted by a bank robber who forces him to play the Piano, "Or Else!". Not so funny, and at moments downright irritating. But it's meant for kids and I suppose it was good in it's time.
The Opry House
This is the one that started it all. This short clip of one of the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons called "The Opry House" features a black and white Mickey banging Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 away on a piano (ok, I know it sounds nothing like the above, but it is, trust me). This is typical of the early Disney animation - there are no rules. Everything is a cartoon. The stools, and yes, even the piano can get up and whack Mickey around. I really never liked these, I find the tobacco spitting MickeyMouse portrayed in these to be ugly, almost grotesque and definitely not funny or even appealing in any way. But I had to include it in the list - history is history, Walt Disney pretty much started the whole cartoon thing.
This wordpress easter egg is pretty much the coolest easter egg I've seen yet. Works on the latest 2.7 version too, just verified. And yes, I've been in the software industry for a long enough time to be a good judge of coolness - most easter eggs are just a glorified way for the team to roll credits - this one reaches out to the ubercool detector in the geek in me pretty effectively.
Anyone remember the Windows 3.1 easter egg where you could Ctrl + Shift + Alt + click on the image in the Help -> About dialog of progman to see the windows mascot bear? That's pretty much the earliest easter egg that I remember. Or at least I can't think of an older one right now. Suggest older ones, I dare ya!
Shift happens. That's the answer to the did-you-know question. Found this video on youtube in my web journey today, but it was too low quality for my liking. So some more googling, and browsing later, found the blog of Karl Fisch, he created the original presentation for teaching staff how to cope with changing times that inspired so many remixes and views.
The blog post that talked about Sony / BMG approaching him for permission to create the video (that, in the end, I found on youtube) also linked to a higher quality .mp4 version of it, so I couldn't resist downloading it and re-uploading it to blip.tv, which I find churns out much higher quality video than most of the other video sites. Wanted to do a review on that too, but that will have to wait for a later date - reviews take up a lot of time.
The Did you Know? / Shift Happens video presents unique facts about trends that can be seen about geographically distributed individuals and the Internet in general as well as astounding facts that I, at least, had no idea of.
Going through Karl Fisch's blog also led me to watch this video, titled "Rise of the Rest" which is supposedly inspired by the Did you Know video, which is quite amazing as well. This is available in higher quality on google video (as a download) - found that link on the futuregroup wordpress blog.
Ah well, it looks like this year 2008 is finally coming to an end, and what better way to sum it all up than to see the trailers of movies that have been long anticipated to release in 2009!?
First up of course, is Star Trek. I blogged about this one way, way back in July 2006, and at least we finally have a trailer to watch, if not the movie.
Then, it's another biggie, Watchmen.
And finally, Wolverine. Finally Gambit makes an appearance! Gambit is my second most favorite XMen, the first being Wolverine of course.
All trailers are courtesy of Trailer Addict, they really know their trailers (and more so, their movies, of course).
I've always been a bit of a fan of quotes. A quote collecter, even. Watching through Andromeda episodes, I've always paused and stared at the opening quote that is always shown. Couldn't help but google for a quotes repository for the Andromeda opening quotes, and after quite some searching, and wading through weird-ed out tripod pages (people still do animated GIFs on their pages !?), and 404 pages and what not, I finally landed on the wikiquotes page for Andromeda quotes. And was quite amazed to find that not only is each episode opening quote present, but also that each episode's key / notable dialogues are present as well! Amazing collection, this.
My (current) favorite quote out of the lot is still:
You might say reality is the result of complex negotiations between the observer and the observed.
But that is simply a point of view.
-- Michio von Kerr, "The Apotheosis of Reason", CY
Other fine examples (crowd favorites?) include:
We say atoms are bound by
Why not admit the Truth:
The Universe is held together by Love.
Michio Von Kerr,
"Those who fail to learn history
are doomed to repeat it;
those who fail to learn history correctly--
why they are simply doomed."
"The Illusion of Historical Fact"
-- CY 4971
These tribbles are of course sterilized (according to thinkgeek at least! ) so they won't multiply and over-populate the apartment like they did the Enterprise. They're just too cute to not have. At least one. Or two. Or several.
CBS seems to have put up the full, original The Trouble with Tribbles episode on their site and then pulled it down for reasons unknown. So I found 2 parts of it on youtube - for those of you who haven't seen the video - you MUST see this! It's also truly funny apart from being the cutest episode in the original series. And then go and get the full original episode and watch that of course!
Other parts are missing, as far as I can see. Do comment if you find them and I'll update this post.
At Cynapse, we recently released the latest version of cyn.in 2.1 (last week) and the response has been nothing short of amazing!
One of the (among many) cool things that we did in cyn.in was to put in microblogging collaboration. What's that you ask?
Here's the quote from Wikipedia:
Micro-blogging is a form of multimedia blogging that allows users to send brief text updates (say, 140 characters or fewer) or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3 or the web.
What's different in cyn.in, of course, is that you can actually discuss each individual "Status message" (what we call each microblog post instance). I think that this is one of the key problems plaguing the world of microblogging as we know it.
While various ways have developed to solve this problem (You can @dhiraj on twitter, for example), there's not many systems that support commenting like we do - off hand, I do not know of a single one. In cyn.in each status mesasge is a full-blown cyn.in item. Not being a second cousin to the rest of the applications means that you can actually go ahead and have fully threaded discussions on Status messages, among the many other things (like having them show up in Smart Views, for example).
If you use the cyn.in desktop (made in Adobe AIR) as much as I do, then you quickly realize that discussions are the norm, and not the surprising thing that it sounds. Yes, cyn.in desktop lets you type in a reply, or add a new message to a discussion so quickly that it leaves you amazed with that distinct feeling: "That's all? There must be something else I have to do to get my message across." Well no, there isn't. It's already popped on everyone's desktop.
Take my word. Or have a look at the cyn.in screenshots. Either way, you should buy it - now that it has a reduced starting price of just $99/mo. You'll be happier. Your day will be filled with bright sunshine, and you will go around smiling at everything / everyone.
Or am I just overpitching?
You tell me. I never know.
This is the personal web site of Dhiraj Gupta. I am the CTO of Cynapse, makers of cyn.in. Occasionally there are software, products and technology mentioned on this site, all such content on this website is my personal opinion, and mine alone.
Your opinions and comments are most welcome, note that first-time commenters require my approval (to easily let me keep this site spam-free).