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Athens Portrait

Here is a nice video showing the capital of Greece. From the description in Vimeo:

The film is a homage to the capital of Greece. It features hyperlapse, timelapse and drivelapse cinematography of the urban area and the skyline of "το κλεινόν άστυ" / the glorious city. Shot almost entirely from the highest rooftops, hills and mountains at night, the film explores the urban core, the city center and beyond.

Worth watching in a 5 min break.

City of Athens - A Portrait of a Changing Metropolis from Alexandros Maragos on Vimeo.

Ronig rebetika

I recently came across Christian Ronig, a German guy who seems to love rebetika songs, i.e. Greek songs from 2 generations ago. He has translated and modified some of them to a different style, which still captures the original essense. It is quite interesting to see what a person with completely different influences sees in a different culture. I think he does a great job.

He has an album named “Greece is mine”, here is one of the songs (morning in minor). Youtube has some more which might brighten your day.

How starwars was saved in the edit

Here is an interesting video on how editing can change a movie.

It is all on the first starwars movie, the first cut of which was much worse than the final product, and was saved by editing. This is a very useful 20 min video explaining pacing, audience engagement and storytelling in general.

Time well spent

Have you wondered why Youtube videos automatically start playing a new one, once the one you have been watching ends?

It is because many online services compete for our attention. For example, they are interested in which news timeline would grab your attention the most. If you ask yourself, in the end of the day, what sort of news timeline you would consider time well spent, it will probably be a very different timeline than the one served to you.

Here Tristan Harris argues that what teenagers do on social media is different than what they did on the phone in the 70s. The reason is that in the 70s there was no arms race for using the phone more, even though there was still an economic incentive to use the phone.

If you want a more in depth conversation on the same topic, listen to the 2 hour episode from Dan Harris’s podcast.

Similar to using step trackers to help people to monitor their physical health, he calls for something like a timeline tracker or phone usage tracker to help people monitor their smartphone usage.

Photo portfolio

I spent some time collecting some of my nicer photos into a portfolio, organised by theme.

Have a look.

Robot sumo

Robot sumo fights are a thing!

An interesting blend of tradition and technology. Notice the video is in real time.

Mass extinctions

I got talking with a geology student recently, and we could not help not bringing up one of the subjects that bring together biology and geology: mass extinctions. So here is some information in case you ever need to impress a geology student, or plan the next extinction.

There have been 6 mass extinctions. The 5 recent ones involved multicellular life. I count them as 6 because there was an earlier major one involving the production of oxygen. Yes, oxygen was not on Earth since the beginning.

This is all relevant to the snowball earth theory, the idea that the Earth was completely covered by ice in the past. Turns out it might have happened during the mass atmospheric oxygenation event, but there are also other possible dates, all before multicellular organisms evolved. Here is plenty of information about it, a bit long but the visuals on the Earth periods over time along are worth the visit.

If you can survive more reading, here is the wikipedia page on the mass extinctions, where the mass oxygenation is not considered a mass extinction.

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