Tuesday, August 02, 2011

How to take your Self Portrait - the long way

You have got to see what these guys have done with their photographic equipment. And I thought those at the Domino Toppling championships were very elaborate!

It's called the Photography-themed Rube Goldberg Machine by 2D Photography Inc. You can also see the video explaining the process behind making it. Found through Guy Kawasaki in Google+

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3D printing with the sun, fuel efficient cars, BMW logo history and guitar strings movement (just varied news)

This is an incredible project by Markus Kayser, who built a 3D printer that heats up sand using concentrated solar rays and solar energy. It doesn’t get more “enviromentally friendly” than this. Check out the video below, although I think that it is not very precise, just imagine what could be done if you concentrate further the rays and improve its precision.

Markus Kayser - Solar Sinter Project from Markus Kayser on Vimeo.

How cool is it that kids are nowadays building cars that do over 1,000 mpg (that’s about 425 km/l)? That’s pretty impressive specially when I think that at that age most people dreamed of only going to the YMCA car races.

“In the UK, students from regional schools and universities took part in the annual Mileage Marathon Challenge near Leicester, England, each team vying to set new gas mileage efficiency records in a race around a track. Cars were allowed to coast, but had to maintain a minimum speed of 15 miles per hour. Students worked on the vehicle prototypes, many in partnership with design and engineering firms.“ via BBC.


For those of you that heard the story that the BMW logo represents a moving propeler over the blue sky, here below is a short video of how the logo was developed and how it came to be the symbol for the company that has remained mainly unchanged since its inception.

You have got to see the video below that shows how the strings of a guitar oscillate. Of course it shows as if some of waves were standing waves, but it is all due to the rolling shutter effect in the camera, but definitely an interesting experiment. See how each cord is almost transformed into an oscillator, really good stuff.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Photography related posts

CameraSim is an online SLR simulator which allows you to edit variables like distance to subject, focal length, ISO, Aperture and shutter speed and see in real time how they affect your end result. It’s quite ingenious and interesting to play around. It would be a great tool to showcase how all these items come together and affect your pictures. Via John Nack

Stolencamerafinder lets you check online for pictures taken with your camera. Although I have tried it with my camera serial number and couldn’t locate any pictures at all

TIME has a very interesting Behind the scenes photo gallery from the original Jaws movie, below are a couple of pics that I really liked, but feel free to go to the gallery to learn more about how they shipped and maintained the shark that was hanged in the dock and tons of other details.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) has been brought a step closer to the motion picture with AMP, a new camera that records HDR realtime through a single lens by using a two beam-splitter and directing that light to 3 different sensors. Have a look at the video below for more information about it.

AMP Digital Video from Mike Tocci on Vimeo.

The Atlantic has a very interesting set of pictures that show Bonfires of Saint John and Corpus Christi celebrations in different parts of the world, it’s great to see some of the are from Venezuela!! Here below are some that I really liked

A long-exposure image shows light trails, produced by faithful carrying candles as they walk past the Cathedral during a Corpus Christi procession in Brasilia, Brazil, on Thursday, June 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)




People dressed as dancing devils walk down a hill during a traditional dance celebration in Naiguata, Venezuela, Wednesday June 22, 2011. Spanish conquerors and Catholic priests presented dancing devils ceremonies to Latin America's African slave population 200 years ago, who adopted it and incorporated drums into the ritual. The dancing devil ceremony comes the day before the Catholic holiday of Corpus Christi. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)#

Chinelo dancers prepare to perform during Corpus Christi celebrations near the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, on Thursday, June 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Miguel Tovar) #

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New future of planes

How do you envision the planes of the future to be? Well even though I consider myself creative, this video below goes beyond my imagination. It’s good to see the engineers looking at what can be done for the near future, and well we will have to wait to see what the future brings in reality and how that gap between current reality and concepts is filled with final products.

If you want you can always look at the original video on airbus website at http://videos.airbus.com/video/iLyROoafzfJ5.html but it surely is an interesting take and approach on current airplane design.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Videos from around the net

Check out the short animated film below, it’s the thesis of a Senior Student of Ringling College of Art and Design, you can see many more at vimeo.com/​channels/​ringling2011

Hunted - Gordon Pinkerton - Ringling Thesis 2011 from Gordon Pinkerton on Vimeo.

Beno Saradzic, an Abu Dhabi-based filmmaker has produced a time-lapse movie capturing everyday scenes of some of the UAE capital’s iconic landmarks, in what he has described as a ‘labour of love’. The video is made of up to 21,000 images, from more than a dozen different locations across de city. Have a look at it below

ABU DHABI 2011 - time lapse film (Score by Vlad Persan) from Beno Saradzic on Vimeo.

How about a magician that uses technology to do his magic? You have got to see the below video of Marco Tempest using 3 ipods to create magic. It’s a very clever use of the technology and a great presentation.

How do you teach kids how to save? Well it’s good to see educational technology being developed to help parents to teach their kids how to save, share and manage their expenses. This is definitely something I should try with my daughter later on.

The news about Windows 8 has captured the web and the video below gives a bit of a preview of what we might get to expect from the new OS. I am sceptical that they will manage to build one OS that would work well for Desktop, Notebook, Tablet and phone, and work as well whether using keyboard and mouse, touchpad or touchscreen. Only time will tell but if this preview is any good, interesting times are coming ahead.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Education related news from around the net

How well are the newly graduates ready for the real world and how well is University preparing them for it, has been questions that I have always asked myself, specially when seeing the far gap between what my University taught me, what opportunities were in the market and what I am doing currently.

Therefore I have to admire and applaud initiatives such as what was called “The facebook Class”. The New York Times reported that in the fall of 2007 in Stanford, students were asked to Devise an app, get people to use it and do it several times, but that no one expected they would be getting millions of users and that it would fire up the careers and fortunes of more than 2 dozens students and teachers.

But by teaching students to build no-frills apps, distribute them quickly and worry about perfecting them later, the Facebook Class stumbled upon what has become standard operating procedure for a new generation of entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley and beyond

Working in teams of three, the 75 students created apps that collectively had 16 million users in just 10 weeks.” “during the term, the apps, free for users, generated roughly $1 million in advertising revenue

Four weeks into the quarter, he and his colleague, Rob Fan, set out to create an app that would let Facebook users send “hugs” to one another.

It took them all of five hours.

The app took off. So they moved on to apps for “kisses,” “pillow fights” and other digital interactions — 70 in all.

Their apps caught on with millions of people and were soon bringing in nearly $100,000 a month in ads. After the class ended, the two started a company, 750 Industries, named after the 750 Pub at Stanford where Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Fan where drinking when they decided to become business partners.”

How cool would it be to be taught entrepreneurism in that way, just get out there, get it done, and then perfect it into a viable business. Specially at that stage when creativity is at all times high and overhead costs normally at an all time low.

On another set of ideas: Even though my daughter is still several years away from reaching University age, it’s worrying to see the trend of students debt. According to the Wall Strett Journal (and reported also by Yahoo), the average student debt for those graduating in 2011 in the US is higher than ever and it is USD 22,900 in average.

“With tuition rising at an annual rate of about 5% and cash-strapped parents less able to help, the mean student-debt burden at graduation will reach nearly $18,000 this year, estimates Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of student-aid websites Fastweb.com and FinAid.org. Together with loans parents take on to finance their children’s college educations — loans that the students often pay themselves – the estimate comes to about $22,900. That’s 8% more than last year and, in inflation-adjusted terms, 47% more than a decade ago.”

On top of that Yahoo news talks about The Great Recession's Lost Generation (coming from CNNMoney).

About 60% of recent graduates have not been able to find a full-time job in their chosen profession, according to job placement firm Adecco.

Last year, the unemployment rate for college graduates age 24 and younger rose to 9.4%, the highest since the Labor Department began keeping records in 1985.

One reason is because recent hires with limited experience have the toughest time competing in a job market flooded with experienced candidates.

Adecco also found that 18% of recent grads have been forced to turn to full-time jobs outside their field of study, often jobs for which a college degree is not required.

About a third of recent graduates are still living with their parents, Adecco found, with 17% saying they are financially dependent on their parents. Almost one in four say they are in debt.

An how about the news that Peter Thiel awards $100,000 scholarships to teenagers and 20 year olds to not go to collegue? They are all getting this scholarship to chase their entrepreneurial dreams over the next two years, and as they say it “It seems like the perfect point in our lives to pursue this kind of project”. It might be a risky investment, but it’s the perfect moment to start lean and create a company from the ground up, don’t you think?

I see it as a great opportunity to have a really hands-on approach.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nuevo Escudo de México / New Mexican coat of arms


We received this email and I couldn’t help but posting it, as it represents the current feeling of security (or lack of it) that people in Mexico are facing:

Y la nueva oración para los Mexicanos:

Santa Pascuala, que no me alcance una bala.
Santa Antonieta, que no me quiten mi camioneta.
Santo Angel Adolfo, líbrame del Cártel del golfo.
San Macario, que no me persiga un sicario.

San Andrés, líbrame de un secuestro express.
San Abulón, líbrame de un levantón.

Santa Enriqueta, líbrame de los “zetas”.
San Timoteo, que no me toque un tiroteo
San Federico que no me rompan el hocico y
Santa Librada, que no me caiga una granada y me cargue la chi...#"@.



Pero parece que a pesar de los problemas todavía es mucha la gente interesada en entrar a méxico, o seguir para USA, ya que encontraron 513 inmigrantes que iban de camino para USA en un par de camiones, al utilizar una máquina de Rayos X para revisar el cargamento. Según reportan en Yahoo news

Me puedo imaginar la cara de los policias que los encontrarton en las afueras de Tuxtla Gutierrez en Chiapas.

Lo más interesante (para mi) de la noticia es las nacionalidades de las personas detenidas: 410 Guatemaltecos, 47 de El Salvador, 32 de Ecuador, 12 de India, 6 de Nepal, 3 de China y una persona de Japón, República Dominicana y Honduras. ¿Qué hacia ese Japones por ahí?

Sunday, May 15, 2011


A beautiful video made with a pictures taken with a Nikon D90 by Luke Shepard a student at the American University of Paris. Via John Nack

Le Flâneur (music by The XX) from Luke Shepard on Vimeo.

This is an incredible animated movie by Tim Minchin's. It’s very well written and it has got great pace, so if you can I would definitely recommend investing 9 minutes in checking it out. Via John Nack

Here’s a beautifully video made by made made by Solidarités International to mark World Water Day. Because Today, it is estimated that 3.6 million people, including 1.5 million children under the age of 5, die every year of diseases borne by undrinkable water, making it the world’s leading cause of death.

Solidarités International et BDDP Unlimited veulent faire couler de l'encre from BDDP Unlimited on Vimeo.

How would a model airport that took 7 years and $4.8 million to build look like? Well it would look incredibly cool as you can see in the below video.

It features 40 planes and 90 vehicles that autonomously move, around 40,000 lights, 15,000 figurines, 500 cars, 10,000 trees, 50 trains, 1,000 wagons, 100 signals, 200 switches and 300 buildings

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Interesting photography items

After Pearl Harbour’s attack it was deemed necessary to hide and protect several airplane factories in plain sight, but how do you do that? Well they used camouflage to make them look like a normal suburb. Check out the pictures in Yahoo


About a month ago we had a really strong sand storm in Dubai (it actually started in Kuwait and went through the gulf) and therefore we had a thunderstorm (a really strange sight here), so I told my wife “it would be good to go an take pictures of the Burj Khalifa with lighting. Well there Alisdair Miller had the same idea and here is the picture that amazed me the most. Via The Next Web

You should check out his set of pictures from the top of Burj Khalifa, they are quite impressive. And again below is the one I liked personally the most.

With Osama Bin Laden’s death on the news everywhere (and I am not getting into the argument on what I think about it) almost everyone has seen the picture of the US national security team watching the attack on Bin Laden’s compound, but look closely at the picture in the newspaper. Anything interesting? … no? … where did Hillary go?


This was reported by The Washing Post, and the editors of Der Tzitung have apologized to the White House for altering the photo saying ““In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status... Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”

AFP is using a new forensic software to detect manipulation of digital images produced by Amateur witnesses and third-party sources. The software tries to identify "tell-tale discrepancies in pixels and analyse harmonisation of light and colour”. I just hope it does not have issues like what was discovered lately with Nikon’s . Via Rob Galbraith.

If you have not seen What the Duck (WTD), I recommend that you check it out, it’s a hilarious comic strip about a duck and it’s photography. Here’s below the latest instalment:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random News from the internet

Engadget reported earlier Microsoft is rumoured to be buying Skype for more than $7 billion, and now there are reports from The Wall Street Journal that it will be for $8.5 billion in cash. I don’t know about you but I would surely hope to see this meaning integration into Windows 7 for mobiles, but I wonder whether this will mean Skype being taken out of the Android and iOS environments, or whether it will be finally available in the UAE.

Mr Ballmer said “We're buying a company with Ebitda over $250 million" and "We see an opportunity to accelerate its revenue and profit base”. Let’s see how much they manage to truly “accelerate” it.

YouTube adds around 3,000 new movie titles for rental in the US, further information about this can be found in the YouTube Blog or the new movies on YouTube site. The rest of the world will have to wait to see about pricing and streaming, but its interesting to see how much the rental business has changed in the last few years. I still remember the time when blockbuster was at its prime.

About two-thirds of the world's economic growth will be generated by emerging markets in the next five years, according to a recent report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (seen through gulfnews). Some highlights from the information:

  • Emerging markets will drive global growth in the years ahead. Around two-thirds of the world’s economic growth will be generated by emerging markets in the next five years, according to Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts. By 2015, emerging markets are projected to account for 41% of global GDP, compared to an estimated 31% in 2011.
  • Asia will be the most important emerging-market region for the GCC. This is partly due to rising Asian demand for oil, but goes beyond energy.
  • China is expected to be the GCC’s most important economic partner by 2020. India, which has historical and cultural links with the GCC, will also be a significant trading and investment partner

I am really amazed to see that the Mexican finance minister says that Mexico economy is unharmed by the violence. Violence is having a real tangible impact on the Mexican people, and we sense it by talking to leaving the country. I feel the number of people now looking for opportunities and security elsewhere just keeps growing. But Mr Cordero said that Mexico was set to continue its strong economic performance, with growth this year set for 4% to 5%. Which doesn’t seem to bad, specially taking into account that Mexico’s economy grew 5.5% last year, its fastest annual rate in 10 years, according to official figures published in February.

Figures from the International Monetary Fund show that Mexico's GDP per capita is $14,300 (£8,700), while Brazil's is $11,300. But I think this is not reflecting yet into real change on the ground, although I might be wrong of course.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Some Interesting videos from around the net

This is something that really captured my attention while browsing, it is a very creative way of using gravity to your advantage and create music. Definitely a must see to believe it. Via John Nack

Giant wooden xylophone

A great video of the Milky Way made of pictures “El Teide” in Spain, while a Sand Storm hit the area being backlit by the Grand Canary Island, making them look like golden clouds. You have got to see it to believe it.

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

I enjoy playing table tennis and even for 1 semester trained with my University team, but it takes years of practice to hit something as amazing as the shot shown below

A very cleverly made idea to remember people not to let anyone drive while drunk, even if that is themselves. via Tesne

I really like ads and this one below caught my attention, although some might think it’s a bit awful/nasty and definitely not kids friendly, you have to agree that it’s clever.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


There are hundreds of articles written about Afghanistan and the impact the war and Taliban has had in the population, but the images from Time’s special on Afghan women are as striking as the story behind them. Mind you it is not an easy story to swallow:

The Taliban pounded on the door just before midnight, demanding that Aisha, 18, be punished for running away from her husband's house. They dragged her to a mountain clearing near her village in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, ignoring her protests that her in-laws had been abusive, that she had no choice but to escape. Shivering in the cold air and blinded by the flashlights trained on her by her husband's family, she faced her spouse and accuser. Her in-laws treated her like a slave, Aisha pleaded. They beat her. If she hadn't run away, she would have died. Her judge, a local Taliban commander, was unmoved. Later, he would tell Aisha's uncle that she had to be made an example of lest other girls in the village try to do the same thing. The commander gave his verdict, and men moved in to deliver the punishment. Aisha's brother-in-law held her down while her husband pulled out a knife. First he sliced off her ears. Then he started on her nose. Aisha passed out from the pain but awoke soon after, choking on her own blood. The men had left her on the mountainside to die.

This didn't happen 10 years ago, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan. It happened last year. Now hidden in a secret women's shelter in the relative safety of Kabul, where she was taken after receiving care from U.S. forces, Aisha recounts her tale in a monotone, her eyes flat and distant”

Read more in TIME and read what Editor Richard Stengel’s has to say about the story’s cover image and how it was chose. And how she looks now after going  through reconstructive surgery,

A great ad asking to stop the bullets and the killings:

On weird turn of events a woman get her US Nationality at the age of 101. Just imagined that, she went into the US when she was six months old, so it only took 100 years and 6 months to gain her nationality!!

And last Newsweek has a great graphical way to show “The world’s best countries” of course the typical ones are on the top stops (Nordics, Japan, Canada, Australia, etc.) but what’s the top country from Latin America? Chile of course in Number 30 followed by Costa Rica in 35 and Panama on 41, but what about the home of Mr. Chavez? 71!! We are sure doing some improvements ah!, we are the lowest of all 100 countries on Economic Dynamism and 77th on Political environment.

Nothing like a good experiment to get things started, what do you imagine will happen to a happy meal after 6 months? I imagined that it would grow mould and decompose at least in 2 weeks time. We’ll it so happens that I was completely wrong. You say you don’t believe it? Go and check Sally Davies Happy Meal project set in flickr and see it for yourself.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I have always been very interested in technology in general, therefore here are some interesting stories/news that I have found on the internet lately on it:

Autonomous Quadrocopter Can Fly Through Windows, Perch, Murder You In Your Sleep, it is just amazing to see how robotics have evolved and how these quadrocopters can do this precise and difficult manoeuvres. Don’t forget to check out the video!

Boeing Team Designs SUGAR Volt Aircraft that Burn 70% Less Fuel. How do they achieve this? It is driven by an electric battery gas turbine hybrid propulsion system, do you think it would mean 70% cheaper tickets? I would seriously doubt it, but at least a reduction in our carbon footprint and somewhat cheaper tickets.

The World's Largest Solar-Powered Sports Facility is revealed, and it is a NASCAR track in Pennsylvania, it is powered by a 3MW photovoltaic power plant located on an empty parking lot next to the raceway. I just have to wonder why aren’t there more similar projects in the Middle East where solar energy is abundant all year long.

Poo-Powered VW Bug Hits British Streets taking us closer the famous De Lorean powered by trash that we saw in Back to the Future 2.

There's more energy in wasted food than there is in the Gulf of Mexico, what you say this cannot be true? According to the write that Americans eat about 2,800 calories per day on average, but 3,774 calories are produced per person so the difference is being wasted somewhere. Add to that the 2150 trillion kilojoules a year used to produce, transport, process, store and cooking. It’s just crazy!

So you think you are smarter than mould? You might be wrong because according to Discover magazine Brainless slime mould makes decisions like humans. The amazing true is that it makes decisions by checking “what neighbouring parts of the sac are doing, and by the local environment”

And how much do you think an iPad data plan costs? Shouldn’t that be somewhat similar everywhere? Just check out the chart below and the article in engadget iPad data cost by country analyzed and charted. What amazes me is the spread in costs, 1GB of data ranges anywhere from $0.51 (in Singapore) to $25.47 (in France) that means that it is almost 50 times more expensive in France that it is in Singapore 50 TIMES!!

Photography news/ Stuff

Have you ever wondered  how a lens is made? You have to check out the 3 parts video of the manufacture process of a canon 500mm F/4L IS, below is the first one but check out Part 2 and Part 3