May 282010
 

WOW!  This is just amazing, my hat is off to Brad Kremer for this one. I won’t ruin it with my blabber, watch and enjoy!

Hayaku: A Time Lapse Journey Through Japan from Brad Kremer on Vimeo.

Hayaku: A time lapse journey through Japan.

Japan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This is my Japan. This is one of the many reasons why I love Japan. I shot this in many locations around Japan in the summer of 2009. Some of the location include Tokyo, Matsuyama, Imabari, Nagano, Gifu, and Ishizushisan.

I started this as a personal project to try and capture the beauty that I see in Japan. It started as just that…

But now that I have finished, I see it only as a beginning. This video, along with SAIJO MATSURI (www.vimeo.com/7458088) is just the start of a much larger project that I have now decided to do.

So I hope you enjoy this preview of what is to come in the future.

"Hayaku" definition: Hurry up

Camera: Canon 5DMKII

Additional equipment: Mumford Moco

Music:

Royksopp – Triumphant

The Album Leaf – Window

Apr 262010
 

Thanks to Louie Psihoyos and the makers of The Cove for what they have accomplished thus far and continue to fight for!  We’re all behind you guys!  Keep it up!

In the Gandhi Play Book for Social Change we’re now officially beginning the fight stage. I directed a film called The Cove and last week 50 riot police were on hand to protect our Japanese distributor from violent demonstrators outside their Tokyo offices. We knew there would be some backlash from the right wing nationalists – they have become a fixture around the city with their slogan splattered trucks with 1000 watt speakers blaring propaganda and frightening consumers when they encounter any perceived threat to the old order – the right wing nationalists come from the same lineage that believed that the emperor was a deity and their superior race justified starting WWII.  The group uses freedom of speech to shield their radical agenda but in reality they are a kind of work-for-hire intimidation force not unlike the Mob, was in America.  Their appearance at the Unplugged office drew the attention of the media, and thus, the world. They had my full endorsement as long as they didn’t hurt anyone, between the endless CNN news loops and the international wire services firing out copy around the world – you can’t pay for that kind of publicity. But events got much uglier when the media wasn’t on hand to document their antics a few days ago.
At about 7:30 a.m. Monday morning the radical right-wingers showed up at the home of Mr. Kato, our distributor of The Cove in Japan.  They began beating on his front door and shouting threats through powerful loudspeakers for about 30 minutes.  He and his family were frightened and fortunately managed to escape through the back door.  Not much later, about 20 police showed up and cleared the protesters away but these thugs vowed to return every day and night until our distributor backs down from showing The Cove.
Who are these people?  Our “Man in Japan” David Kubiak writes:
“Most of groups are affiliated with yakuza syndicates and work for people who want something shutdown or someone shut up. In the olde days, they used to find vulnerable companies and storm into their shareholder meetings to protest loudly and violently on behalf of an adopted victim, and keep at it til someone from the company paid them off. Then the companies got smarter and hired them up front as security for shareholder meetings where they were expecting trouble from real victims with real complaints.”
“During the Kyoto ’93 IWC meeting, the same flavor of nationalist gangs attacking Kato now were reportedly paid nearly $3 mill to keep their broadcast buses circling the city and conference hall throughout. There are probably 50~60,000 card-carrying rightist/mobsters just in Kanto these days and keeping them in flashy cars and Guccis does cost a bit.”
“In any event, these are not "protests" we are witnessing at Unplugged, they are theatrical events staged on behalf of a client somewhere for purely monetary ends. That’s not to say, these boys won’t break things or hurt people if they feel they have to to make their point. Besides going to jail for these dudes is a career advancement track – it gets them triple seniority credits in their gang for the years spent inside.”
A statement by the group lays out their position, “Stop the release of The COVE! We think the release is a terror attack.  If they still go ahead with this release, we determine that UNPLUGGED and president Kato are terrorists. Then if anything happens, nobody but they are responsible for this.  Because we need to protect our Japanese life, property, safe and pride of our ethnicity.”
I find this interesting because we made this movie to protect Japanese life by making them safe.
The Cove is not an anti-Japanese movie.  Until we shot this film, very few Japanese knew dolphin hunting was going on in their country.  Our crew spent a day on the Ginza trying with great difficulty to find a single person who knew of the hunt.  Our interpreter and we were met with incredulous denials even after we showed people the footage we had shot of dolphins being killed in a secret cove.  It was like we were informing them that a part of their society was engaged in cannibalism.  They were horrified and refused to believe it.  Still, since the 1986 moratorium on whaling, hundreds of thousands of dolphins and porpoises have been killed throughout Japan. Much of the meat is sold to unsuspecting consumers as whale meat from the ‘scientific whaling’ program.
     When our crew first arrived in Japan to research the dolphin hunt we discovered that thousands of children were being force-fed poisonous dolphin meat through school lunch programs.  School lunch participation is compulsory in many areas of Japan and children must eat everything on their plate. The most deleterious effects of mercury are to the developing brains of small children.  When I asked Japan’s most famous mercury researcher, Dr. Ekino what the effects of mercury are he told me, “It slowly erases what it means to be human.”  He then showed me the brain tissues of children, the mercury victims from Japan’s most infamous industrial disaster in Minamata.  Beginning in the mid-1950’s Japan’s most advanced factory, Chisso Minamata secretly began dumping mercury into Minamata bay.  The mercury rose through the food chain until birds began dropping out of the sky, cats began behaving erratically.  First called “Dancing Cats Disease,” until it started showing up in children, eventually crippling and sometimes killing them.  It finally became known as Minamata’s Disease but it’s not a disease, it’s not caught like the flu. It’s an attack on one’s system, in this case a poison knowingly injected into communal water system.   Thousands died and many hundreds more thousands were exposed and had a series of lesser but debilitating effects.  But what is truly disconcerting was that the company knew they were poisoning the local people by cheaply disposing of toxic waste into communal waterways.  The Japanese Supreme court later convicted the Japanese government of helping Chisso Minamata to cover up the outbreak.  The last of those cases were settled only a little over a year ago.  However, by silencing doctors and censoring the press many more victims died and suffered than had to.   At meetings the same groups of right-wing thugs were employed to beat up members of the press and harass victims. 
In a cabinet full of the preserved brains of Minamata victims professor Ekino, showed me how mercury rots out the neurons of the brain eating ever-increasing holes through the delicate network of neurons in the gray matter.  He then told me something very chilling, “Dolphin meat has higher levels of mercury than the fish that caused Minamata disease.”   Because of fear of government reprisals and right wing backlash he refused to participate in our film. 
Former Flipper trainer Ric O’Barry and our organization, The Oceanic Preservation Society, gave Japanese scientific reports about dolphin toxicity to officials in the Wakayama prefecture, where much of the meat was being distributed. The mayor of Taiji, the town at the center of the dolphin hunt, had a scheme to spread the toxic meat to children all over Japan.  Two concerned council members, one who had two small children in the school system then acted to get the dolphin meat pulled from school lunch menus. As a result, tens of thousands of children will not be poisoned because parents were armed with information delivered by a few brave politicians.  Not surprisingly, the mayor and his business partners became angry and found strong allies with the right wing nationalists who are also the primary forces defending and profiting from the whale and dolphin hunts.  The council member Mr. Yamashita, who was born in Taiji, had to flee with his family for their safety from the same forces our distributor is facing. He now drives a taxi outside Tokyo.  It is our belief that Mr. Yamashita and Mr. Kato will one day be regarded as heroes but right now they are just scared for their family’s life.
I didn’t expect these radicals to have an unlikely ally in censorship with the U.S. military. Last week, Japan Times investigative reporter, Boyd Harnell emailed me. It seems a Colonel Frank Eppich at Yakota Air Force Base outside Tokyo made a decision to not show The Cove at the US base theater.  He felt that it would be viewed  as an endorsement of film.  American troops will instead be allowed to view films like Astro Boy and Princess and the Frog at the base theater. http://www.aafes.com/ems/pac/yokota.htm
Full disclosure, I have not yet seen Astro Boy or Princess and the Frog but his censorship calls into question the kind of movies are our troops allowed to see.  The Cove is rated PG-13.  Certainly it’s not too violent for a soldier’s eyes.  Clash of the Titans also shares the same rating and is enjoying a nice run at the same venue.  Even though The Cove is not in 3-D, if screened the troops would witness something much more real and relevant. The Cove is right down the coast.
The Cove is microcosm of a worldwide problem where humanity is polluting and plundering the oceans to the point that we are leaving each succeeding generation with a severely diminished environment.  Scientists call this adaptation to diminishment “Shifting Baseline Syndrome.” In America, there are now mercury and pollution advisories out for every state in America.  Fresh water streams, ponds and lakes are home to fish like trout and walleye pike that have mercury loads that can exceed those of the largest blue fin tuna swimming off the East Coast of America.  The primary cause of mercury in their flesh is from the fallout of coal-fired power plants. These generating plants release a toxic plume of poison downwind of every body of water and waterway in their path.  And everything is downstream to the ocean.  There are more than 800 dead zones out in the oceans and these are expanding and connecting. 
Most alarming is that the oceans are now absorbing ever- increasing levels of man-made carbon. Everything with a carbon structure is having trouble developing in this newly acidic environment.  Coral reefs are dissolving and disappearing so fast that at this rate our children’s children will only be able to view them in historic photographs and films.  Plankton, with a thin carbon shell, is also at peril. And plankton is the basis of all life. We might think plankton has nothing to do with our lives but two out of every three breaths we take we owe to plankton.  Plankton generates far more oxygen than all the land plants in the world.
We need environmental films now more than any other time in history. When censored, we defuse one of the most powerful weapons we have.   An uninformed population becomes its worst enemy when citizens fail to inform themselves or caves into suppression.  We are hoping that The Cove will give the information to the Japanese people that their government has failed to give them and then the people can then decide for themselves what to do about the issue.
The nationalists say they will be back protesting at our distributor’s offices and home every day until they relent.  Yet our plan is to release this film in Japan no matter the obstacles. Whether one lives on a military base in a foreign land or in a home in America or anywhere, we’re all in the fight now and it goes way beyond a secret cove in a faraway land.  And what is at stake is more than artificial political boundaries but something vastly more important – humanity’s legacy on Earth.  A colleague in social change, Peter Diamandis the founder of the X-Prize, told me yesterday that the best way to predict the future is to create it.
On Earth Day you can download a free 15-minute Japanese version of The Cove and pass the link on to your Japanese friends, www.thecovemovie.com/japan.  Also, the first 100 of our troops from Yakota Air Base can write us at info@opsociety.org and we’ll send a copy of The Cove for free.  All we ask is that you view it and pass it on to your friends. 
For the Wild,
Louie Psihoyos
Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society  

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Mon, 26 Apr 2010 13:56:00 GMT

Apr 192010
 

CornerOfficeThumb 

A couple months ago our Founder and CTO decided he going to move on with the daily operations of the company.  As he’s the founder, he still has a stake in the company and is still on the board but this meant that he also vacated the corner office of our building.  It sat vacant for a while but as luck would have it my team was in need of a little bit larger room for us to operate in.  So…we got the office.  Now I sit in the exact spot that he did (my desk in the middle in the pic) with the my other 2 mates.  Yeah, we get a lot of jealousy driven comments, but they also understand that we bust our ass here, and figure we deserve this treatment at least a little bit.  I had a view before facing east but it has not doubled as we now have a wraparound East to West.

Guess that means I need to keep bustin’ butt over here.

 Posted by at 12:42 pm  Tagged with:
Apr 012010
 

I have to tell you, that I am REALLY impressed with what my wife has accomplished with the challenge she put on herself on January 1st.  She completely stuck with a 90 program to change her habits in life, diet, and exercise to a ‘T’ and shed 17% of her body weight!  Good job babe!  Enjoy your triumph on your birthday weekend!

TheEnd_PhotoShootYa know, I think I won’t go get my pictures taken today after all. I am really tired. I think I will stay home and eat McDonald’s and watch movies instead…

*big grin*… 

I did it! I cannot believe I finished! The photo shoot is going to take all day so I took off work. And since tomorrow is my birthday I took that off too! This morning I feel ambitious so I am going to do one last pre-photo hike. Then I am getting my nails done. After that begins a long session at a studio in Denver. I somehow managed to find a photographer who specialized in taking photos of fitness models so hopefully he can provide some guidance. The session includes a whole ordeal including make up and hair and everything. I am so excited and nervous I couldn’t sleep! I am going to be treated like a model for a day! (And I mean that in a good way. He he he.) What a great birthday present! And best of all…

TheEndFINAL WEEKLY WEIGH-IN:
Starting: 157
Original Goal: 137
Revised Goal: 135
Final Weight: 130

The Long-Awaited Photo Shoot / Final Weigh-in
Karen Ramirez
Thu, 01 Apr 2010 10:35:50 GMT

Mar 252010
 

Awesomeness!  Being a definite child of this generation, I’d be proud to show this off in my home.

 

What’s this you say, your clothes would be better off if they weren’t strewn all over the floor, but you just don’t know how to maintain them airborne sans magical abilities? Fear not, we’ve finally found a hanger worthy of a true gadget geek in the retro styled 8-bit pointer you see above. There’s not an overwhelming amount of complexity to it — hell, even the one screw that holds the finger to the wall is permanently attached — but nothing communicates your tech credentials quite like a pixelated mouse cursor from yesteryear. Available now for $19.99 a piece plus shipping.

8-bit hanger is a gravity-defying, geek-gratifying implement of mass distraction originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 25 Mar 2010 10:10:00 EST.

8-bit hanger is a gravity-defying, geek-gratifying implement of mass distraction
Vladislav Savov
Thu, 25 Mar 2010 15:10:00 GMT

 Posted by at 8:59 am
Mar 162010
 
Had to share this one…not sure if I like the photo or the description better!

This picture was taken just before Hoverball Cat took off at supersonic speed. It sounded like a whistle and a scream and the ground caught fire.

(photo via Uproxx)

This picture was taken just before Hoverball Cat took off at…
Tue, 16 Mar 2010 17:11:06 GMT

 Posted by at 4:11 pm  Tagged with:
Feb 252010
 

The crowd says it all…

Atlas V launch video captures a sonic boom in stunning clarity

NASA officially kicked off the Solar Dynamics Observatory mission back on February 11th, launching the SDO spacecraft — which will be keeping a close eye on the Sun for the next five years. An Atlas V rocket took the SDO spacecraft into orbit, and photographer Barbara Tomlinson was on the ground with her Casio EX-FH20 to capture it all in HD.

What she captured is pretty amazing: nearly two minutes into the launch, the Atlas V rocket kicks into high gear, and there’s a visible sonic boom which spreads out as ghostly circles in all directions.

Check it out in the video below. To really get the full effect, though, head on over to YouTube and see it in 720p.

Via Geekologie

Atlas V launch video captures a sonic boom in stunning clarity
Kevin Hall
Fri, 19 Feb 2010 00:04:52 GMT

 Posted by at 10:22 am  Tagged with:
Feb 242010
 

Since just over a year ago when I decided to step up to a DSLR and buy a Nikon D90, which I absolutely love, I’ve become more and more appreciative of great photography.  I’m still learning to use Photoshop and Lightroom to turn my ‘snapshots’ into some dramatic photos worth showing off.

Digital Photography School just posted these awesome shots.  I really want to get this good some day.

Landscape photography can provide some of the most awe-inspiring photos out there. But doing it well is the key. Anyone can take a snapshot on their vacation, but it takes a talented photographer (a true artist!) to capture the scene. Lighting, angle, crop, lens, and post processing all play a part in the final image. Combining the various elements together is what makes these 25 landscape photos truly outstanding.

Winter Dusk and Angel's Landing Zion National Park by James Crotty

Winter Dusk and Angel’s Landing Zion National Park by James Crotty

Sunflower Moon 1 by Jim Crotty

Sunflower Moon 1 by Jim Crotty

Change of Direction by James Neeley

Change of Direction by James Neeley

Break in the Storm by James Neeley

Break in the Storm by James Neeley

 Mount Gould in Morning Light by James Neeley

Mount Gould in Morning Light by James Neeley

Rainier Alpenglow by Mike Dawson

Rainier Alpenglow by Mike Dawson

Rise against the storm by Michael Vincent Manalo

Rise against the storm by Michael Vincent Manalo

The Tree by Terry Shuck

The Tree by Terry Shuck

North Gateway Rock by Marcus Panek

North Gateway Rock by Marcus Panek

::HDR-Vertorama:: Shine On You!!! by Leonardo Riano

::HDR-Vertorama:: Shine On You!!! by Leonardo Riano

Evening Shore by Barbara Brown

Evening Shore by Barbara Brown

Night At Owachomo Bridge by John Foster

Night At Owachomo Bridge by John Foster

The Advance of  Light by James Neeley

The Advance of Light by James Neeley

Mobius Arch #6 by Inge Johnsson

Mobius Arch #6 by Inge Johnsson

La Salinas - Isle De Margarita by Rob Diffenderfer

La Salinas – Isle De Margarita by Rob Diffenderfer

Battery Point Lighthouse by Ken Dietz

Battery Point Lighthouse by Ken Dietz

The Forest Is Dreaming by Janel Kaufman

The Forest Is Dreaming by Janel Kaufman

Take You There by Janel Kaufman

Take You There by Janel Kaufman

 Toco Rock by Gregory Scott

Toco Rock by Gregory Scott

Toco Sunrise by Gregory Scott

Toco Sunrise by Gregory Scott

Last purple sky ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Last purple sky ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Summer sunset ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Summer sunset ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Zen Tree by Ben Ryan

Zen Tree by Ben Ryan

The Last Best Place by Janel Kaufman

The Last Best Place by Janel Kaufman

Home On The Range by Janel Kaufman

Home On The Range by Janel Kaufman

Post from: Digital Photography School – Photography Tips.

25 Oustanding Landscape Photos of Various Types on Imagekind
Nate Jelovich
Wed, 24 Feb 2010 14:07:29 GMT

Jan 082010
 

I had to post this.  This guys spends his days just a few blocks down from my office here in downtown Denver shining shoes and hollering.  I’d be willing to be that if you’re a regular down here, you’ve been on the receiving end of some comment.  I have, and have been there when co-workers have.

Well, he’s finally Break.com-famous!:


Homeless Man Talking Trash – Watch more Funny Videos

Homeless Man Talking Trash – Watch more Funny Videos
The fact that this dude is broke, homeless and living on the street doesn’t keep him from making fun of everyone else.

Homeless Man Talking Trash
(author unknown)
Fri, 08 Jan 2010 02:21:38 GMT

Nov 162009
 

Been a while since I posted anything…just ran across this amazing video from National Geographic posted on Gizmodo!:

National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen was in Antarctica to capture shots of leopard seals. One approached him, jaws wide and ready for biting…and if you haven’t heard the rest of the story yet, you need to watch this brief clip.

I’m not man enough to dive into freezing waters to document the lives of animals that could rip off my head without a second thought, but I’m sure glad that YouTube exists so I can sit here in my underwear and enjoy the experience vicariously.

National Geographic Photographer Meets Deadly Leopard Seal [Photography]
Mark Wilson
Mon, 16 Nov 2009 19:34:48 GMT