Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Interesting stuff from the web

Here’s a really nice video of people using an iPad to light paint 3d Objects, I found it really interesting how they create the 3D animations and then break them into layers that animate, and then just swipe de iPad to generate the 3D images. Simple at its best but revolutionary. It reminds me of working with AutoCAD in University and with my father.


And here’s an HDR video that was made by splitting the image into 2 separate Canon 5d Mark II cameras, overexposing one and underexposing the other, an then merging in software. I think this has great potentially but needs to be fine-tuned to get some really interesting results and effects.

HDR Video Demonstration Using Two Canon 5D mark II's from Soviet Montage on Vimeo.


Last but not least is a very interesting time lapse of San Francisco, this is some really interesting footage. I have got to do some time-lapses (but I first have to find a good location and a way to automate the shooting with my current camera).

The Unseen Sea from Simon Christen on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our 1 week trip to Ireland / Nuestro viaje de 1 semana a Irlanda

We managed to go on holidays for 1 week in September and enjoyed a great trip to Ireland. Lots of people have asked why we chose Ireland, but in reality this is a trip we wanted to do for a long time but never made it happen, so this summer was as good as any other occasion.

We flew into Dublin, walked around the city for 2 days, rented a car and drove to Malahide, Clonmacnoise, Galway, Cong, Doolin, Limerick and back to Dublin; managing thus to enjoy the west coast, the world famous Cliffs of Moher and a short trip to one of the Aran Islands.

Overall a great trip and of course as an image is worth a thousand words, I am going to let some of our pictures do the talking for me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Motivation and compensation

I have been trying to get my head around different information which I have seen in the past months with regards of how we look at compensation and how business encourages and incentivizes the work force. Working in HR in Compensation and Benefits I cannot but stop wondering about this 2 videos/animations that talk about the matter.

They both conclude that it has been proven that if you want people to do repetitive work, then current remuneration schemes work like a charm, the more you incentivize people the better they perform; but as soon as you need them to think creatively or solve problems then this completely backfires and higher incentives lead to lower performance. Now I still do not see exactly how to link this and implement it in what I do, but for sure it leads to some interesting conversations.

It is all about: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose; those are the 3 factors that lead to better performance and personal satisfaction.

Here are 2 of the most interesting videos I have found on the matter, leave any comments or thoughts you have on the matter:

This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Full bio and more links

Economists at LSE looked at 51 studies of pay-for-performance plans, inside of companies. Here's what the economists there said, "We find that financial incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance."

And what about the Results Only Work Environment, the ROWE.  In a ROWE people don't have schedules, they show up when they want, they don't have to be in the office at a certain time, or any time. They just have to get their work done.In this scenario almost across the board, productivity goes up, worker engagement goes up, worker satisfaction goes up, turnover goes down.

Conclusion: “There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does”, but how do you apply and sell this and change business?

Friday, August 13, 2010

A couple of interesting videos from the Internet

Here’s an incredible video where Professor Philip Zimbardo from the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. As I am from a catholic prevalent country which is close to the equator, it brings home how much we are present oriented and how that affect our lives. I also find interesting the reality presented about current and their lack of social skills and how it affects everything else, not only in America but around the world.

I really like these animations and how the ideas are explained graphically, so I invite you to check out some of the other videos available.

This is a complete different subject but I found this stop motion video quite interesting, it for sure took a lot of work to get it done with such quality, remarkable results.

Tim Knol - When I Am King (HD) from SubmarineChannel on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random interesting stuff from the internet

I wanted to share the below links and information from the Internet which I found to be interesting.

  • Scientist says gravity is an illusion: Now this was a shocker. It has not been yet fully accepted and it's not yet a full theory but still an interesting read for those interested in Physics. He says that gravity is a consequence of the venerable laws of thermodynamics, which describe the behavior of heat and gases, so it doesn't exist on its own but its kind of a side effect. Some people are calling it "one of the most important papers of the last 20 years"
  • Blood Gadgets: We have all heard about blood diamonds and how these gems have fueled conflicts in different parts of the world, but I had not seen a direct link between the every day electronics we use and the conflict in Congo for example. Would this influence which gadget you buy in the future? Definitely worth the read.
  • US Currency redesign: Michael Tyznik made a really interesting entry to the Dollar Rede$ign contest and I cannot but wonder what any currency might look like, and how colorfull they are (remids me of Swiss Francs).

Dollar Redesign Poster

  • Free Fall: A really amazing with Guillaume Néry (Apnea World Champion) filmed entirely on breath hold by the french champion Julie Gautier, where he seems to dive to the Dean's blue hole. Really worth to take a look at it

Monday, July 05, 2010

3 very cool innovative marketing ideas by Volkswagen

It has been a long time without posting anything, as you can imagine that is because work was quite hectic, nevertheless to resume on the postings I wanted to share these 3 really creative ways I found while browsing in which Volkswagen is getting their brand out there and grabbing people's attention. I would love to see some more creative marketing like this everywhere.
To me the best of the three is "the slide", although I know several people that would enjoy a shopping cart like that a lot (specially in the middle east, where you can take your cart into the shopping mall).

Monday, February 22, 2010

7 more Dubai Metro stations to open, but only seven

Why not open all the Dubai Metro stations? »: "Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday that work on all the remaining 18 stations on the Dubai Metro’s Red Line will be complete by April 25 2010.
However, the actual opening of the stations will be staggered in phases. The Emirates, Airport Terminal 1, GGICO, Al Karama, World Trade Center, Marina, and Ibn Battuta stations will open on April 25 - but the remaining 11 stations “will be operated over the following months of 2010,” Mattar al-Tayer, the chairman and executive director of RTA said in a release."

Now to me that does not seem reasonable, or logical. I understand that having more metro stations open means more electricity bill for the a/c, more security people (which I think there's too many anyways as the tracks are protected by glass so noone can jump on the tracks anyways), more people selling tickets, etc. but building them and just keeping them close does not make much sense; at least to me.

Would it have to do with the pending payments as reported by arabian Business where there has been disputes over payments of about $2-3 billion and the fact that building costs are almost double of the original plans? who knows! So far I can say that the metro has still a long way to be fully utilized and become a really good alternative to taking your car to work, and I have been taking the metro everyday for almost 1 month, but I will tell my impressions of it in another post.

Monday, February 15, 2010

South Korean iPhone users turn to sausages as a cold weather 'meat stylus

This is a very interesting piece of news that I saw through Engadget, knowing how uncomfortable it should be to use your iPhone when it's really cold I can understand the solution, but it has to be incredibly funny to see people typing on their phones and then eating their "stylus".

Apple and HTC might each be trying to patent a fancy capacitive stylus, but it looks like the good people of South Korea have stumbled on a decidedly more low-tech (and delicious) solution to using their phones in the winter: sausages. Apparently snack sausages from the CJ Corporation are electrostatically compatible with the iPhone's capacitive touchscreen, leading many to use them as a 'meat stylus' in the cold weather, rather than remove a glove.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Venezuela seeks God's help amid energy crisis

Venezuela seeks God's help amid energy crisis: "A state-run power company is urging its employees to seek divine intervention to help Venezuela resolve severe electricity shortages that prompted President Hugo Chavez to declare an energy emergency.
Edelca, one of the country's state power companies, called on its workers to attend a prayer meeting this week titled: 'Clamor to God for the National Electricity Sector.' The invitation, which includes a quote from the Bible, was sent to all the company's employees Monday in a letter signed by Edelca's president, Igor Gavidia Leon

This is just amazing, the country is having the worst ever electricity issues and they are now sending requests to Cuba for expertize and for the employees to go to church to see whether the problems will get solved. They started to rationalize the electricity in the whole country and the people in Caracas complained so much about it, that they are now exempted, how logical is that?

"Under the plan, large businesses and factories must cut electricity consumption 20 percent or face sanctions, including 24- to 48-hour shutdowns and hefty increases in electricity rates. Starting Wednesday, the government also prohibited illuminated billboards on city streets and highways.
The energy-saving initiative also targets ordinary Venezuelans who use more than 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month — an estimated 24 percent of all residential consumers, according to Chavez.

They fail to invest in the electricity grid and systems, so that when a drought hits the country it all goes down the drain, and now besides everything else that has been done to the private sector and individuals, they want to cripple it more by requiring all companies to cut their electricty consumption by 20%, would you like the supermarket to stop freezing the meat to save on electricity? Or hospitals/clinics to stop A/C so that they can save as well? Where will this end and when will they take owndership of this issue?

As far as I can see it the proposed solutions are not solving it even mid-term, and the only ones that are happy I am sure of it are the people in the government, because they now get out of work earlier in order to "save electricity", instead of working longer hours to solve this issue!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

World's tallest tower closed a month after opening

World's tallest tower closed a month after opening - Yahoo! News: "The world's tallest skyscraper has unexpectedly closed to the public a month after its lavish opening, disappointing tourists headed for the observation deck and casting doubt over plans to welcome its first permanent occupants in the coming weeks.
Electrical problems are at least partly to blame for the closure of the Burj Khalifa's viewing platform — the only part of the half-mile high tower open yet. But a lack of information from the spire's owner left it unclear whether the rest of the largely empty building — including dozens of elevators meant to whisk visitors to the tower's more than 160 floors — was affected by the shutdown
I think they are setting new records with the Burj Khalifa all along, tallest tower, tallest observation deck, shortest operating time, faster change of name (even today the name of the metro station continues to be Burj Dubai and some of the signs still say Burj Dubai ha, ha, ha)

Monday, January 04, 2010

The new world’s tallest tower is open

Today marked the opening of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower (and most likely to remain so for some time, until the crisis is over and projects in Asia are reignited to challenge the record)._47033366_burj_dubai_comp_466[1]

Its final height was kept a secret, but it is 828m high (an impressive 320m higher than Taipei 101, the world’s former tallest tower). In itself the building is a great engineering achievement as it has to sustain the heavy winds associated with the desert and sand storms in its base, and its structure was designed so that the winds is “confused” (in the words of one of the engineers interviewed by Dubai eye) so that wind speed is not reinforced, therefore avoiding extreme forces and wind speeds of up to 3 times those at the base. Even as impressive as the building itself is the fact that it took only 6 years to build it, as the excavation works started in January 2004.

The building was open today January 4th, 2010 by his highness Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum in an spectacular array of fireworks, lights, water and even skydivers. It’s new name (it was formerly known as Burj Dubai) was also revealed during the opening ceremony as it was renamed after the U.A.E.’s president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan (who knows how much influence the latest bail-out by Abu Dhabi had on this).

Here below I will let 4 pictures taken today of the tower and it’s opening speak by themselves:

Burj Khalifa on its opening day Burj Khalifa Opening Fireworks

Burj Khalifa Opening Fireworks Daniela, Perla and Rafael at the Burj Khalifa opening

PS: I personally think that the event was well organized and prepared, but the traffic coming in and out of the parking lots around Burj Dubai were incredible. I cannot believe they were not prepared to have traffic police at all intersections and traffic lights, so that the traffic could be better controlled and to give priority to the traffic coming out of Burj Downtown and all parking lots.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year to all / Feliz año nuevo a todos

We have already used 2 days of these new year, and of course I did not want to let that pass without going for the first post of the year.

Instead of the normal resolutions of posting more, reading more, doing more exercise, etc. etc. I decided to start the year with a post of the family Christmas card prepared for 2009; the plan was to send it out via email to all of our friends, but it got stuck in google’s filter as you can only send to 100 people, so I guess it will take some more time for all of those that did not receive it to do so, for the time being it is here.

PS: The resolutions will come as actions later on, I am just trying to face it out better and write more often ;-D


Ya hemos usado (o gastado) 2 días de este año, y por supuesto no quería llegar al tercer día sin el primer escrito del año.

En vez de las resoluciones normales de escribir más, leer más, hacer más ejercicio, etc. etc. decidí comenzar este año con la tarjeta de navidad que preparamos para el 2009; el plan era de enviarla por email a todos nuestros amigos y familia, pero los filtros de google la pararon porque solo se puede enviar un email a 100 personas, así que tomará un poco más de tiempo en que llegue a todos sus destinatarios. Pero por el momento aquí está.

PS: Las resoluciones llegarán como acciones después, por los momentos solo trato de distribuir las entradas y escribir más frecuentemente ;-D

Christmas Card 2009