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Gary Connery Successfully Lands Wingsuit Flight Without a Parachute

Filed Under Video | 2012-05-23, 09:57

After over a month of delays, Gary Connery’s wingsuit jump finally happened Wednesday, May 23rd! Everything appears to have gone well and the first video has been posted. This makes him the first person to land a wingsuit flight without a parachute. Well at least the first to land successfully and unharmed in this often dangerous sport.

A big congratulations to Gary!

Previous post about this stunt: Gary Connery to Make the First Attempt to Land a Wingsuit Flight

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One on Highway 1 Time Lapse

Filed Under Art, Personal, SF Bay Area, Video | 2012-02-20, 16:48

On Sunday I hopped in my car, attached my GoPro camera to the windshield and headed down Highway 1. For those not familiar with the area, Highway 1 winds down most of the coast of California and affords quite the view out across the Pacific Ocean as you wind around hills, fields, and cliffs. It’s one of my favorite drives and I recommend it over Interstate 280 if you’ve got the extra time. I recently realized that I’ve been missing long drives by myself. I really enjoy how they give me time to think while the scenery constantly changes and good music plays on the stereo. Plus driving along a beautiful highway with all sorts of interesting turnouts makes for a good way to spend the afternoon.

My recent acquisition of a GoPro HD Hero2 camera (thanks Heather!) and various accessories has me using it for all sorts of things. In addition to shooting wonderful 1080p video underwater in the British Virgin Islands, one of the features of the GoPro camera is a time lapse mode where it can take a nice high resolution image every second. The small size and portability of the GoPro as well as the various mounts make it much easier to use versus my gigantic Pentax K20D dslr. But, not having a dedicated LCD screen makes aiming the GoPro a bit difficult, so the video is slightly tilted as the windshield mount isn’t perfectly level and when I took it out on the cliff I was just using a Gorillapod in the grass so you might have to tilt your head a bit. I do have the LCD Bacpac to help with lining up shots, but for time lapses the Battery Bacpac takes priority.

For those wondering how I put everything together, it’s actually quite simple. Quicktime Pro 7 has a great “Open image sequence” feature that I used to make all the individual clips, then I wrestled with iMovie 11 and its limitations to put together the clips with some simple transitions and audio. I used ccMixter to get some Creative Commons music that would work with the track, eventually settling on DLDN Instrumental by timberman. I’m still trying to figure out a good system to match up the music I’m actually listening to while the photos are being snapped and try to recreate the feeling in the final video, but haven’t figured that out yet, not to mention the copyright issues of posting that music on video hosting services. In this case the soundtrack to a good portion of the trip was “Moods for Take Out”, an album I had received from the musicians themselves the previous weekend. Throw in some High Contrast, Underworld, and Boards of Canada and you’ve got the playlist for the afternoon.

If anyone’s interested, my route, tracked by my Garmin Vista HCx, is below. As you can see, I had a bit of a roundabout journey through the city thanks to a few blocks of the Great Highway being closed around Ocean Beach. The video of that fiasco as well as video of all the hanggliders and paragliders at Fort Funston was sadly never captured. (Note to self: check camera blinky red light more often) But as I headed south I managed to hit a handful of beaches and recognizable areas including my favorites: just past Devil’s Slide at the beginning of the video, Pompanio Beach, and Pescadero Beach. As the sun set, I watched the light of a boat on the horizon blink as it rolled on the Pacific waves and the stars and planets dotted the sky. Not a bad way to spend my Sunday.

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Largest Amateur Rocket Launches Successfully!

Filed Under Fire, News, Video | 2011-06-03, 10:33

The non-profit, open source suborbital space endeavor out of Denmark known as Copenhagen Suborbitals had a successful launch of their rocket today. The rocket, designed to carry a human into suborbital space launched in a test run with a human dummy payload this time. As you can see it was a success, with the rocket reaching about 2 miles (final calculations are still being done) before engine cut off and then parachute deployment. The engine burned for 21 seconds and the largest amateur rocket reached supersonic speeds. The parachutes were deployed while the rocket was on the way down rather than at the apex of the trajectory. The speed of the rocket returning to earth is believed to be the cause of the parachute getting destroyed. The rocket sustained some minor damage upon impact, but was successfully recovered with the dummy in good shape. This launch provided Peter Madsen and Kristan von Bengtson, Copenhagen Suborbital’s founders, with lots of data to help build better rockets.

Photo: Thomas Pedersen

As I mentioned, Copenhagen Suborbitals is non-profit and open source. If you’d like to help support them, they’ll gladly accept donations.

Copenhagen Suborbital’s site
Danish article about the launch


DJ Shadow On Tesla Coils

Filed Under Geek, Video | 2010-06-02, 13:02

Anyone that’s peeked into my music collection knows I love DJ Shadow. And if you follow my Flickr stream, you know I spent Monday night checking out Omega Recoil’s test of their tesla coil and that I dig tesla coils. What happens when you combine the two? Pure awesomeness.

More info on Arc Attack, the people behind this, over on Doc Pop’s Laughing Squid post. Oh, and they also cover Dr Who.


Crazy Autonomous Quadrotors

Filed Under Gadgets & Hardware, Geek, Video | 2010-06-01, 23:50

We’re all doomed if they ever become sentient and pissed off.

via danger_ranger


HexaKopter: Awesome Times 6

Filed Under Gadgets & Hardware, Geek, Video | 2010-04-28, 13:19

MikroKopter – HexaKopter from Holger Buss on Vimeo.

File this one under “Amazing Things I Want”. The HexaKopter is the product of some brilliant Germans and is a partially autonomous helicopter * 6. In addition to being remote controlled, it has several modes that allow it to operate on it’s own. It can maintain a GPS position, go into elevator mode (straight up in the air and maintain that height), and even return home on it’s own. In addition it can handle a 1kg payload, and takes some great aerial video and photos due to it’s stability. Besides looking like an incredible amount of fun to fly, there’s also a list of “SeriousUseCases”.

The best part? You can make your own. all the plans (with photos!) are on their wiki and you can buy a kit.

I blame Brendan for inspiring this new techno-lust


Multitetris – Cooperative Tetris Playing

Filed Under Geek, Hacks and Mods, Video | 2010-04-05, 12:50

I love Tetris. If I had to count the number of hours I’ve spent playing this game, I’d probably exceed sys.maxint. Although in all those hours I never played it this way.

Multitetris is a Python-based version of the classic game that allows for multiple players on a large multitouch console. It bends the rules of Tetris with new features such as the ability to steal pieces (actually reaching over and taking them) from other players, transporting pieces to empty spots, and looks like a couple of new shapes just to mix things up. Multitetris was written by Ping at the 26C3 hackfest, with most of the code being finished in the first day! In the video above you can see it being played on c-base‘s multitouch console in Berlin.

via Rubin


Video of San Francisco Before and After the Earthquake of 1906

Filed Under SF Bay Area, Video | 2010-03-08, 12:56

I love old footage of the early 1900s, especially of San Francisco. You may have recognize part of the above video with an unknown filmmaker’s trip down Market St from the Prelinger Archives. But I didn’t know there was a second film taken of the same trip down Market St a year later, after the Great Earthquake of 1906. Matt Lake combined these two films into what you see above, highlighting the significant change in Market St.


Avatar LARP

Filed Under Funny, Video | 2010-02-13, 21:01

It was only a matter of time, right? Pool Worldwide, a creative agency, takes us into the lives of some die-hard “Live Avatar Role Players” from Hometree, Wisconsin in this short documentary.

via Danger Ranger


A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything (in Stop Motion)

Filed Under Art, Video | 2010-02-11, 14:13

For his final piece in an art course, Jamie Bell (an art student from the UK) made a flipbook video titled “A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything”. It’s comprised of 2100 pages of pen doodles and took roughly 3 weeks to complete. It chronicles several key moments in the history of the universe, including an important one at 1:35.

via Giannii

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