Entries tagged with: video

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Crystal Head Vodka - It's REAL!

crystalhead.jpgThe internet is a buzz with rumors on the latest "viral" video of Dan Aykroyd showing us his new Crystal Head Vodka in a gorgeous glass skull. Rumors include this being a video for the new Ghostbusters or some Indiana Jones... but i guess lesson to be learned here is ~ just because it's going viral, doesn't mean it's not real!

I actually bought a few bottles today ~ lots of pics on the next page! Not the smooooothest thing i've tasted, but it's not bad, and i'm totally in love with the glass skull bottle made by Bruni Glass in Milan, Italy. Apparently it is made by Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd, out of Newfoundland water triple crystal filtered through herkimer diamonds (aka double-terminated quartz crystals)! Really the story is just great though, and the video and bottle make the experience priceless ~ here are excerpts from the box: "In reverence of those enlightened after touching any of the thirteen crystal heads unearthed around our globe we offer this pure spirit"... "One of the most compelling archeological mysteries is the story of the 13 Crystal Heads. These heads are believed to be between 5,000 and 35,000 years old and were carved over a period of several hundred years but without any tool marks. In fact their very construction defies the laws of physics and common logic. They are believed to offer spiritual power to those who hold or possess them."

See the pictures of the real thing and the video on the next page!

UPDATE: Dan did some crazy internet researching for us and here are some fun facts: Dan Aykroyd is not only an actor, but co-founder of the House of Blues, part owner of Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd (which distributes Patron in Canada), and is building his own winery, Dan Aykroyd Wines (which uses 100% snob free grapes!). There is a great interview with him on delish before the vodka release where he exposes how serious he is about wine, Crystal Skulls, UFOs, and "pure spirit from Newfoundland glacial pool water, and peaches and cream corn mash"!

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*notcot in tech - 9 Notes

Dissecting Esquire's E-Ink Cover

eink1.jpgI'm sure by now you've heard about Esquire's 75th Anniversary Cover ~ limited edition of 100,000 ~ with real E-Ink embedded in the cover. Over at Esquire, they've even opened up the discussion about whether you can hack it... and even show you where it all came from... So as a random Sunday amusement, couldn't help picking it up from the newsstand, and as much as i resisted, i lasted a few minutes before i HAD to rip it apart and poke at the digital guts. So on the next page you can see video of it before and after, pictures of how it works, and scans as well!

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*notcot in playful - 2 Notes

Rotofugi: The Collectors

rotofugi.jpgRotofugi, the awesome toy store, has made an incredibly gorgeous little animation, The Collectors, which showcases some of our favorite toys animated and collecting... HUMANS! So awesome, totally made me smile. See it on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 2 Notes

Toyota Calty Design: Sketch Demo

sketchdemo.jpgCurious how the magic happens? I have always been mesmerized watching master marker renderers and sketch artists at work... While visiting Toyota Calty Design Research, i had a chance to see Project Chief Designer, Ian Cartabiano, show us how it's really done on a huge apple monitor and wacom tablet (he's old school, and likes having the tablet while seeing the screen, versus those who love the Cintiqs).

So you can see one of my little home videos (one of these days with some combination of time, energy, extra pair of hands, etc i will make proper videos with real editing and maybe even music?) ~ giving you a quick skip through the presentation ~ from initial stages, to some highlights, to a flip back and forth between finished and initial sketches, and the crucial signature!

But honestly, if you want to learn how to sketch cars properly, you should probably go take Ian's class at Art Center ~ after graduating Art Center, he got pulled right into Toyota and has been there for 11 years... while simultaneously teaching... keep an eye out for his latest exterior design, the 2009 Venza!

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*notcot in playful - 3 Notes

Xylophone Bin

xylo1.jpgXylophone Bin, 2008, by Dominic Wilcox - Made of Oak + Steel. Created for a VIPP Charity auction in NewYork to raise money for Chernobyl Children's Project International and Foodbank NYC.

"When the pedal is pressed the lid opens, releasing a ball that travels down a 'helterskelter' set of xylophone steps around the bin. Each time the ball hits a step, a note is played. The xylophone steps are cut in increasing lengths so that the note gets deaper as the ball gets closer to the bottom.See the 2 videos below, The Xylophone Bin video and a 'Making of' video. As part of the auction event Vipp bins have been customised by artists, designers and celebrities including Bono, Michael Stipe and Helena Christensen. They are on show at the Conran shop East 59th st, 1st ave, New York from 4th - 17thSeptember 08. Auction will be held on the 18th september 08."

See the videos on the next page!

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Cointreau Pearls

cointreaumain.jpgMolecular Gastronomy is one of those things that mixes design, science, and food/drinks so nicely, i've been fascinated with the concept for ages... and as i learned more, Molecular Mixology has become even more of a fascination! So when i got a press release about Xavier Herit's new take on the Cointreau Pearls, it launched me off on a research mission across the web, finding out more about the creation of Cointreau Pearls across the world, the special kit they produced just for bartenders, videos of it in action, and lots more images on the next page to catch you up on my finds! Above you are seeing a close up of Xavier's Cointreau Pearls in which he infused strawberry, and he serves them alongside Margaritas, and also floating in glasses of champagne.

P.S. Now, if only i could get Cointreau to teach me how to do it! It's so tempting to start up a crazy lab/bar and start experimenting with all of these new techniques... perhaps a future project for the newly named NOTLabs?

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*notcot in nature - 16 Notes

David Doubilet's Nudibranchs

nudibranch.jpgNudibranchs ~ i've been obsessed with these gorgeous creatures since my first dives as a kid in south east asia. David Doubilet ~ i grew up on his breath taking photography. Combine them ~ and video ~ and National Geographic... and i've been swooning over this Nudibranch feature on the National Geographic website for days now. So looking beyond the subject matter for a moment, from a photographic/design perspective... what really struck me about this series of photos, was the process! Seldom do you see these beautiful (tiny) little slug like creatures pop off so vibrantly on a perfectly white background... they look more like supermodels in a photo studio... so watching the video blew my mind to see that David Doubilet and his team actually went diving with a portable studio that they brought TO the nudibranches, shooting them where they found them, and only moving them when they weren't doing any complicated nudibranch activities (mating, feeding, etc). See the full gallery here, and see some of my favorites as well as the set up they used on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

futurama.jpgFuturama: The Beast with a Billion Backs came out last week, and i only just had time to grab a copy of the DVD today, perfect for lazy sunday watching while working. This is the second of 4 feature length epic DVDs (the first was Bender's Big Score, Bender's Game is coming Nov 2008, and The Wild Green Yonder in April 2009)... what struck be besides how fun the cartoons always are, were the great DVD packaging design and poster graphics of The Beast with a Billion Backs - in perfect retro sci-fi fashion, particularly loving the Metropolis poster parody for Bender's Big Score! Also cute are the "Carbon Neutral" Stickers on both this one as well as the first... see all the pieces in high res on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Spore - NOTCOT Creatures

notspore1.jpgSPORE! SPORN [nsfw]! And all the madness that has flown around the internets over the launch of the Spore Creature Creator. Since the Spore folks asked us to make a creature for the Spore Vote site - no, i'm no Sporelebrity, just a mere More Spore if i ever get my creatures sorted out and sent in to them. On a side note, how funny are their Sporelebrities? You have the webby kids from Digg, Arrington, iJustine, Scoble, Veronica Belmont - and then tv actors like the OC guy, Alias guy, Sabrina the teenage witch, old saved by the bell guy... and stan lee and emeril... Yes yes, i know they have names, but just surveying the group made me laugh this lazy Saturday.

SO, back to the Spore Creatures ~ dan started challenging me to make "cute" ones that weren't what nightmares were made of... and then creatures with "fewest vertebrae possible" (turns out that is 2)... and other silly tasks, so in trying out the high res picture taking and video capturing... check out a few of my silly creatures (and vid!) on the next page... i've also added the video of the f*ck slug, which is a great example of Spore Typography!

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*notcot in design - 14 Notes

Charlie Todd Freezes Taco Bell

freezeframe.jpgI'm mixed on how to feel ~ so watch it and share your opinions. Improv Everywhere ~ they get large groups together and go... take off their shirts in Abercrombie, carry DESKTOPS into Starbucks, wear blue shirts into Best Buy, and even froze time at Grand Central Station (embedded on next page in case you've missed it!)... and NOW... Taco Bell loved the concept so much, they hired Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere to pull off the latest prank at the grand opening of the Taco Bell in Flushing. It's hilarious watching the reactions of the people (video on next page!) - and a bit sad to watch that being frozen for a few seconds, there are people who are already poking at you, eating your food, and cutting you in line! So... thoughts? I think its great to see guys like Charlie getting paid to do what they are already doing so well! And great exposure to share the fun with people who may not be up on their internet memes... and nice to have some entertaining adverts... but i'm not sure, how do you guys feel about these corporate virals?

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*notcot in design - 12 Notes

Team Fortress 2: The Sniper

sniper.jpg"In his former life as a tracker of dangerous game in the unforgiving Australian outback, the Sniper would spend months by himself. Prolonged isolation taught him a valuable lesson: You don't have to rely on other people if you never miss."

On gorgeous video games, and teaser vids ~ loving this one of The Sniper for Valve's Team Fortress 2! Nothing like this rational animated aussie sniper... Watch it on the next page...

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*notcot in design - 11 Notes

Moonwalker: the Levi's Virals Continue

moonwalk1.jpgWoohoo! Viral videos finally have better quality, are more thought out, and have great music. Ok, so i've been waiting for this day for a while, and i'm glad we've entered into that era lately... Moving along... Let's kick off this monday with the viral set of Levi's genius... First - they gave us "Guys backflipping into jeans" (SO good). Second - came "Super chill monkey does Hollywood" (I can see how it works for some people...)...

And today i'm excited to show you the third - "Guys fill their jeans with helium"! Yes, jeans, duct tape, and helium... add a dash of some awesome music (the song "YADNUS" by Chk Chk Chk)... some playful guys... toss them in downtown LA... finish off with the creatives at UnbuttonedFilms... and *poof* the perfect viral for Monday, which i suppose is in a way a backwards sunday! SO, without further ado, click to the next page to see all three vids!

p.s.
well produced ridiculousness is far too fun to get me going this morning!

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*notcot in wearable - 4 Notes

Cartier on Love

love.jpgCartier is taking on love ~ and was kind enough to surprise me with a DHL package this morning with a little gift in it (more to come on that later) ~ in part announcing their new Love.Cartier site. Today i learned the story of their classic "love" bracelet - the iconic piece with the screw heads along the band - and a screwdriver to lock you in - "In the 1970's, imagination soared to new heights and any folly was possible. Cartier created the ultimate symbol of loving commitment: in the manner of handcuffs, the famous bracelet closes with a tiny screwdriver. Its humorous impudence appealed and was immediately adopted by legendary couples as a cult jewel. Love is a provocative talisman, a rallying cry for modern love, totally free from convention."

In their marketing comeback, they have created a site dedicated to love - manifested in music, art, and film. The music is nice if you're into that romantic mood setting stuff... and the art seemed a bit buggy on their flash site for me... but i was surprised that the films are what really caught my eye, and i actually sat here going through all 12 in order and loved them. The filmography is absolutely breathtaking ~ the black and whites, playful uses of light, gorgeous parisian backdrops... *swoon*... and they go through 12 tiny fragments of love stories tackling: The Declaration, Forgiveness, The Kiss, Infinite Love, Hero of Love, First Love, A Life of Love, A Loving Liaison, Love on Hold, Knowing How..., Seduction, and The Decision. Personally my favorite are First Love, Seduction, and Love on Hold - i'm sure you'll see why - if you have the time i recommend you go through them in order though, renowned director, Olivier Dahan, ends every pieces with a hint of what you see at the start of the next ~ and weaves them all together in such a beautiful way... see a few screenshots on the next page...

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*notcot in tech - 11 Notes

Iron Man - House/Lab Envy

ironman.jpgWow. Iron Man. I actually fought going to it, since i've been pretty let down as far as superhero movies go lately... but i must admit it exceeded my very low expectations by quite a bit, and i now have a massive case of house/lab envy. Beautiful (fictitious) house in malibu overlooking point dume... tons of windows, insane lab below, beautiful bedroom overlooking the pacific, castiglioni's arco lamp in the living room... and that LAB, with the adorable (in personality) robots, and gorgeous collection of cars (i groaned when they smashed some)... can the next side project for NOTCOT be starting a crazy research lab here overlooking the beach for fun?

Anyhow, just got back, and i can't get that house out of my head ~ video on the next page of a walkthrough of the set, but unfortunately, low res, and it could use a few better shots of the house - see the movie to see it properly? Also interesting to note... gwyneth paltrow in stilettos and pencil skirts *running* away from giant robot on grates, seriously? And product placement galore as well - his need for burger king, and constantly flipping those LG phones... OH and i was drooling over those Audi R8s the whole time too (thanks, nick, for the reminder in the comments).

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*notcot in design - 8 Notes

Discovery Channel Goes Viral

DISCOVERY-5.jpgOn interesting PR emails i received today, this one was pretty funny... i have no idea whether this was a contrived spot, it does seem plausible it could have been an accident, but none the less it has that Blair Witch/Cloverfield panicked "attack of the crabs!" feeling to it... and it's a fun friday video (embedded on the next page for your viewing pleasure!)... So what do you think? And does it work? Behind the scenes footage of Discovery Channel shows are definitely fascinating... this one of the Crab accident is from the Discovery Channel show, Deadliest Catch.

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Creature Comforts Animals Save The Planet

saveplanet.jpgAfter seeing .org #10303, i was smitten by the adorable Creature Comfort Critters, doing there thing in 10 spots on "going green" for the Animal Planet on their microsite, The Animals Save the Planet. And the animation and graphics were so beautiful, i couldn't resist featuring the wallpapers and calendar here as well! See them all on the next page...

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*notcot in tech - 6 Notes

Flip Video Ultra Accessories

flipvideo.jpgWhile i'm totally holding out for that intense mini pro-sumer RED Scarlet, and for now i'm shooting video with my tiny Canon TX1... i am quite intrigued by the little Flip Video cameras, with overly simplified usability i've been told... the perfect gateway video camera for the not so computer savvy is what i heard most all through the holiday season... simply flip out the USB, stick it in your computer, and that was that - ready for youtube-ing. I was skeptical.

But today the Flip Video cameras came up again, and i was browsing the accessories, and i must admit i'm terribly intrigued - they have an Underwater Housing coming soon! And they already have an Action Mount! The Action Mount is basically a standard tripod screw in mount with velcro straps that you can attach to bikes, helmets, trees, cars, anything you can strap it on to! Can you imagine how crazy random reviews and spontaneous videos could be with something this tiny when accessorized for any type of weather/mounting? I know this isn't the only option to accomplish these things, but it did get me thinking about everything from car-videos to underwater product reviews... and for a mere $140 for a 2GB Flip Video Ultra, it's a pretty tempting idiot-proofed toy.

Anyone tried out the quality of the video and the user experience? Is it worth it? Close ups of the accessories i'm curious about on the next page...

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*notcot in tech - 7 Notes

RED Scarlet

scarlet.jpgThere has been much talk of NOTCOT TV... actually scratch that... by *talk* i mean *pressure*. And we're definitely interested, but keep in mine we're 2 people running 4 sites, with help from a tiny handful of part timers who help when they can. If you asked me what i'd be doing now, three years ago, this wouldn't have even been in my realm of possibilities! BUT, that being said, i've been buzzing with ideas, just not the time/resources to pull it off quite yet... and when i saw the new Red Scarlet "pocket professional" camera that got announced at NAB 2008, i couldn't help but drool a little. Before even getting to the insane guts this thing has, the aesthetic alone is drool worthy...

As Engadget describes "The teensy 3K resolution camcorder is based on a 2 / 3-inch Mysterium X sensor, can shoot at 1 to 120 FPS and records to dual CompactFlash cards, which can handle up to 100MB per second of REDCODE RAW HD video. You can preview your shot on the 4.8-inch LCD, and there's a 8x RED zoom lens included. HMDI, HD-SDI, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 inputs are built in, and the device is compatible with "many" RED ONE accessories. WiFi control is also included." - and it has still mode too!

NO Pre-orders, and it's supposedly going to be just under $3,000, slated for early 2009... So i'm sayin' it right now, if somehow people manage to get one of these in my hands to play with, i will make NOTCOT videos happen, and they will be fun and quite probably quite unlike what you're used to seeing in podcasts today. (Notice how i'm basically not promising you video until earliest 2009? I guess i'd better start brushing up on my final cut now... and/or looking for people to work on this potential new project...)

More pics to drool over after the jump as usual...

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*notcot in tech - 1 Notes

Portal: Bondage + Assisted Suicide?

glados.jpgARGH, does anyone else still get the Portal song stuck in their head? If not, feel free to see the video after the jump and see if it buries itself in there for you too. Game play, addictive music, the awesomeness of portals to pop in and out of... put that all aside. Kotaku pointed out this insightful analysis (and imagery!) over at Game-ism... where he (with the enlightening assistance of his wife) visually analyzes GlaDOS in Portal, and as even you can see in the images, she's pretty much tied up and hanging upside down taunting you endless throughout the game... until you "free" her... and he ventures into theories that you are being trained to accomplish her assisted suicide?

The second time I played through I turned the director commentary on, and got confirmation by way of a description of the things they attempted to make GlaDOS look like as they were making the game. What turned the light bulb on was the line "Botticelli's Venus hanging upside down, but we decided to go with something else and use some feminine lines within the structure." I'm paraphrasing; it's late and I don't feel like booting up the game again to get the quote exactly right. The spirit is there in the paraphrase, though, because I think they went for something much more sinister than a Venus.

In a follow up post, he even completely dissects the SONG lyrics! Using this to further back up the assisted suicide concept. I feel silly, but beyond gameplay, its fascinating to see the artists rendering of how he views her, as well as reading all of this analysis of what is so easy to just play and ignore.

Portal ending credits and closing song by Jonathan Coulton embedded after the jump for your viewing pleasure.

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*notcot in nature - 24 Notes

Tiger - Spy in the Jungle

elephrazzi1.jpgAre elephants the new steadycams? Or the new paparazzi? (elephrazzi?) Are spy cam technologies finally being put to good use to capture incredible new nature footage? Does a tree trunk rendition of R2D2 really slip under a tigers radar as it rolls around the jungle floor?

Apparently YES! A three-part BBC One series: Tiger - Spy in the Jungle, which is narrated by Sir David Attenborough is the latest creation of John Downer who has been recording footage over a period of 3 years in the Pench National Park in India... using some ingenious "trunk-cams", which allowed the team to follow four newborn tiger cubs through adulthood. Although i've captured a bunch of screenshots after the jump (you never know when videos might disappear off the web and we have nothing to look back on!)... you MUST check out the videos over on the BBC page. For our lucky UK readers - the first programme of Tiger- Spy in the Jungle will be shown on BBC One on Sunday 30 March at 2000 GMT

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

TED BIG VIZ

tedbook1.jpgRegardless of whether you did or did not attend TED this year, the TED BIG VIZ pdf book is a MUST download for anyone visually oriented looking for a burst of inspiration. What is it?

The BIGVIZ is an exploration in visualizing the Big Ideas presented on the TED mainstage. Two visual cartographers, David Sibbet and Kevin Richards, created over 700 spontaneous sketches of the presenters' ideas using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro software running on Wacom Cintiq tablets and rendered on a Perceptive Pixel multi-touch display. These tools illustrate the power of interactive visualization to present the big picture to foster insight and communicate ideas visually, central principles of design innovation.

I just went through all 200 pages (i even picked out a few of my favorites for you after the jump)... and its incredible, to see their sketches of the "big ideas" and things that grabbed their attention throughout the talks... seriously, the 700 "spontaneous sketches" are breathtaking. When you have a sec, the BIGVIZ movie is pretty sweet as well. Discovered this through the wonderful Information Aesthetics!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

AB5TRAX Mountain Dew Blues

CanJump.jpgNew from AB5TRAX ~ super cute Mountain Dew Blues... check out this adorable (yet grumpy and growling) little can in action in the viral video after the jump!

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*notcot in design - 4 Notes

Sesame Street Visual Thinking

visualthinking.jpg"cool it, cool it, man, you're being too literal. What you need is a lesson in abstract thinking... [wow. you are weird]... the funny thing about abstract thinking is you can't get away from it... to get rid of an abstract thought you have to erase it by thinking backwards." I don't know about you, but that makes perfect sense to me. And remind me again, why don't we have more television like old school Sesame Street anymore? If we make a NOTCOT show, i think we really need to head back in this direction.

Visual Thinking, i think it's something that every design client needs! Check out the three videos embedded below for some enlightening...

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Justin Young - The Journey

thejourney.jpgOn more fun 3am discoveries, Art Director, Justin Young's PSA, The Journey, is a beautiful little video worth checking out that takes you on a little adventure about where your water comes from, and how much can be saved by simply turning off the water when you brush your teeth! (and he's looking for work, if you want to help him out...) I'm loving the style and the pacing... see some of my favorite screenshots after the jump. View the video here.

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*notcot in design - 3 Notes

If Saul Bass did Star Wars?

saulbassstar.jpg36 year old bhilmers of youtube has created a star wars movie intro channeling his inner Saul Bass, using "Machine" by the Buddy Rich Band off the album Big Swing Face (1967)... and it's pretty sweet for any Saul Bass lovers out there (who's not?). Embedded after the jump!

Also apologies for the quietness yesterday ~ my macbook pro is seriously freaking out (perhaps since its nearing its 1 year bday?) and also lost one of its feet ~ and firefox has been a ram suck... so trying out Firefox 3 beta 3 now... *fingers crossed*... and then tried Arctic Root pills yesterday which also totally threw my whole day off in a not at all good way. So basically, its been a very odd beginning of the week... watch the video below!

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