Mechatronic Harmonies, a translation of instructions and knowledge

Tuesday, 9 February, 2016

abstr^ct:groove is a Milan based production and design studio, who work mainly “on developing uncommon audiovisual projects in communication and advertising”, and Mechatronic Harmonies is the result of a recent collaboration with Wittenstein, a German manufacturer of high-precision electro-mechanical systems.

This description of the creative process probably better describes how Mechatronic Harmonies came to be, than I could:

After a series of meetings at their laboratories, we were asked to translate all the instructions and knowledge we received in images and sounds, but within a well defined task limitation: no technical data could be conveyed in a linear or didactic manner.

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Centriphone, for 360 degree motion selfies on the ski slopes

Tuesday, 9 February, 2016

Nicolas Vuignier, a Swiss freeskier, recorded some incredible footage of himself, while skiing down the slopes recently, using his iPhone. Using one hand to ski, he uses the other to control a device he calls a centriphone, which it looks like he swings around himself, in a full loop.

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Brooklyn

Monday, 8 February, 2016

4 stars

Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish woman, seems set to live an ordinary life in Enniscorthy, on the south east coast of Ireland. Aware of Eilis’ potential, and the lack of opportunities in the country in the 1950s, older sister Rose (Fiona Glascott), arranges for her to emigrate to New York, in Brooklyn, trailer, the latest feature of John Crowley (“Boy A”, “Closed Circuit”).

Eilis is all too happy to farewell her routine job, and spiteful boss, Miss Kelly (Brid Brennan), at a local bakery, and leap into the unknown. What she doesn’t at first count on is debilitating home sickness, and a way of life little different to the one she left behind. Even the support of kindly Irish priest, Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), seems to be of little consolation.

Things change when Eilis falls in love with young Italian-American plumber, Tony (Emory Cohen), and finally she begins to feel that she belongs in New York. A family tragedy however sees her return to Ireland, where her mother, and friends, pressure her to remain, forcing Eilis to make a difficult choice between her old life, or a future with Tony, in her adopted homeland.

Based on the 2009 book of the same name, by Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn is an engaging, albeit mildly predictable, tale of the struggles of an immigrant making a new life for themselves, far from home. This might have been a lesser story, if it were not for Ronan’s thoroughly convincing portrayal of a person who has to decide which side of the fence the grass is greener on.

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Seas of Grey, music by London based Sydney musician Lucy Mason

Monday, 8 February, 2016

I’m loving the voice of London based pop, but not pop, Australian musician Lucy Mason, listen to Seas of Grey, and you’ll see what I mean.

While you’re at it, also check out her latest single, Lightening Strikes.

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Going grey before their time, and that’s the way they want it

Monday, 8 February, 2016

If your hair is going grey, and you were thinking of dyeing it to restore its original colour, think again. Twenty-something men now find the so-called salt and pepper look so desirable, they’re dying their hair shades of grey. By leaving your naturally greying hair as is, you’ll instead look like you’re simply following the latest hair colour trend.

Gone are the days when guys would actively avoid greying hair. For a new generation of adventurous men, dyeing one’s hair grey is gaining traction, appropriating a naturally occurring phenomenon from older men and giving it a millennial twist.

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Noma My Perfect Storm, a film exploring Rene Redzepi’s cooking

Monday, 8 February, 2016

Danish chef Rene Redzepi’s world renown Copenhagen restaurant, Noma, which I first heard about in Foodies: The Culinary Jet Set, a film I watched last October, is now the subject of its own documentary, Noma My Perfect Storm, by French film director Pierre Deschamps.

If the trailer is anything to go by, this looks to be a no holds barred look behind the scenes into the operation of one of the world’s top dining establishments, when it opens locally on Thursday, not to mention a veritable treat for the foodies among us.

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Will hack for food, since there’s not (that much) money in it

Monday, 8 February, 2016

I know that organisations sometimes hire people who have previously tried to attack, or hack their way into, their computer systems, as a means of ensuring the integrity and security of these systems, since they figure, I guess, one hacker can stop another, but I didn’t know it was possible to make a living from such a… skill.

As it happens, it’s rather difficult to make a living this way, as most hackers only earn about US$29,000 a year. This by way of the results of a survey that questioned hackers on the topic. So much for hacking as a new career option, then.

The majority of cyber attackers are motivated by money, but make less than $15,000 per successful attack, according to a survey of hackers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany released yesterday by the Ponemon Institute. The hackers, who were promised anonymity, netted, on average, less than $29,000 a year. “In the more established countries, that is not a lot of money,” said Scott Simkin, senior threat intelligence manager at Palo Alto Networks, which sponsored the study. “They’re making a quarter of what a cybersecurity professional makes.”

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Zoolander 2, will it also be one of Terrence Malick’s favourites?

Friday, 5 February, 2016

Ben Stiller’s 2001 satirical comedy film Zoolander is said to be the favourite movie of critically acclaimed US film director Terrence Malick, whose work includes The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life, Days of Heaven, The New World, and Badlands.

I wonder what Malick will make of the follow-up, Zoolander 2, that opens locally next Thursday? I thought Zoolander was so-so, but I’m not sure what to make of the sequel… not that I’m trying to judge a film only by its trailer.

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The Cardboard Home Cinema, putting a home cinema in every home

Friday, 5 February, 2016

Photo by Manuel Pita

I’ve not quite warmed to the idea of watching movies on my smartphone, mainly because I think the screen is too small. That I still own one with a four-inch screen, and intend to for sometime, doesn’t really help, but I think you’d need at least an average tablet size screen to really enjoy watching a film or TV show, on a smaller device.

However, if watching movies on a smartphone is your thing, you might get a kick out of the Cardboard Personal Home Cinema, essentially a cardboard box that sits on the floor, that you then crawl under, after placing your phone over a viewing slot on the top of the box. Actually, this is something kids might have fun with.

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River, music by gospel and soul singer Leon Bridges

Friday, 5 February, 2016

I don’t feature too much R&B music here, but couldn’t go passed River, a track by US gospel and soul singer Leon Bridges, that is lifted from his debut album, Coming Home, which collected a Grammy nomination last year… not a bad way to start one’s career in music.

Via Hypnophant.

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