• It's good to be alive

    Spring has arrived in its full glory in Ireland, which means you have to get out and enjoy it in case it only lasts a few days… Cue appropriate music: this is the video for Imelda May‘s latest song ‘It’s Good To Be Alive’. I’ve been a fan of May’s work since I bought her More Mayhem album a few years back. What makes video even more perfect is the Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein theme (remember, I love monsters), and the fact that it’s directed by my über-talented friend Prano Bailey-Bond. I’m off to boogie in the sunshine…

  • what is known reveals what is unknown

    I discovered this video today thanks to a post on Facebook by Ian Culbard. It’s wonderful. It’s a vivid demonstration of how we are just a speck in the known universe, and how much we have yet to learn about the cosmos. Congratulations to the American Museum of Natural History for putting this together, and injecting a sense of awe into my day.

  • Sardana in the Jardin

    Last week I was in Paris with Martin and my mother, and it was a wonderful holiday in a beautiful city. Perhaps one of the best memories of the trip was an unexpected spectacle when we visited the Jardin du Luxembourg. It was our last day in the city and we decided to take it easy. We feasted upon galettes (buckwheat crepes) at noon and wandered down to the Jardin without any particular plan. After all the breath-taking architecture in Paris it was a welcome relief to be in this pleasant green space. That’s the Medici Fountain near the entrance to the garden. We were lucky to have yet another…

  • be funny

    What do you do when a problem arises in your country that appalls you? One solution is to be funny. Wicked satire is a fine way to highlight idiocy. This is what Irish comedian Tara Flynn decided to do when her husband endured racist insults in her hometown of Kinsale. She used her talents, and a creative team, to highlight the problem. Ms. Flynn created this humourous sketch about a ‘Racist B&B’ in Ireland. “It’s all the rage! We spotted a gap in the market. We were always a bit racist ourselves, so from there it was just a hop, skip, and a jump to make the B&B as racist…

  • Wish I was there

    When I was travelling up to Derry last week I stopped at Enniscrone in Sligo during a spate of spectacular weather. I ended up squeezing in an extra day there because it was too good to leave. I made this little video of how wonderful it was that morning on the beach using the camera on my mobile phone. I love the sound the waves make as they crash onto the beach. The wind is a bit loud at times, but my rough and ready video is a reminder of a radiant day. It’s especially nice to watch now that the weather has turned a bit grey and wet. I…

  • milky way time-lapse

    I love good time-lapse videos, but this one by Randy Halverson at Dakotalapse ticks all the boxes. It offers a sublime glimpse into the reality of our planet’s part in the galaxy: a speck among a panoply of celestial bodies. It’s pure inspiration. If this gives you the impulse to try out time-lapse photography then check out a useful post on NightSkyPix with an extensive tutorial.

  • Mythomania

    A YouTube web series that’s well written, acted and shot? They are rare, but here’s a fine, new example called Mythomania, which is written and directed by comic book artist Derek Kirk Kim. The story revolves around a group of aspiring cartoonists living in L.A. It’s essentially a modern boy-meets-girl story. Andy (Jeremy Arambulo) dreams of winning an Eisner, but his work has been turned down again by a comic book publisher. On the plus side he’s just met a cute comic book artist Ashley (Simone Lamar Carter), who he introduces to his cartooning pals. It’s got all the usual geek culture awkwardness including the typical macho ragging that goes…

  • embracing the paradox

    http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf This TED Talk called Reinventing Feminism is by Courtney Martin, feminist, journalist, activist and editor at Feministing.com. It’s a fine overview of feminism in the 21st century and why women should continue to agitate for change despite the times when the issues seem overwhelming. I found it personally inspiring. It reminds me that our moments of despair often contain the seeds of what can save us eventually. If we care deeply about issues it’s inevitable that lack of progress or failure will cast us into a depression. It’s okay to falter because it matters so much. That’s also the best motivation to keep striving for change.

  • a journey through time and space

    This is a video of VLT (Very Large Telescope) HD Timelapse Footage, taken on location by Stephane Guisard and Jose Francisco Salgado. I found my way to this glorious piece of video via the Astronomy Picture of the Day web site, although this is the longer version of the one featured on that site. Here’s some accompanying text explaining how this video was achieved: The frames have been digitally rotated so that it is the stars that stay (approximately) steady, and the Earth that moves beneath them. The video dramatically shows the actual rotation of the Earth, called diurnal motion, in a clear and moving way, as if the camera…

  • the tell-tale heart

    This is a video of the 1953 adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe short-story “The Tell-Tale Heart”, narrated by James Mason. It’s adapted by Bill Scott and Fred Grable, and directed by Ted Parmelee. The animation is by Pat Matthews. I discovered this tonight on YouTube. YouTube has its share of dross, but it saves itself by offering up gems like this.