In this weekly column, filmmaker Danish Aslam will be your purveyor of the finest quality random facts, useless trivia and other esoterica from the world wide web. He lives mostly behind a keyboard and may or may not be a wizened old green man who speaks in grammatically incorrect aphorisms. You can find more on his home page http://pictually.me/dontpanic
Horrifyingly Wasteful Film Shoots
When Michael Bay blows up a bazillion different vehicles along a busy American street for his next home video, most of us will be aware that thanks to the power of VFX, he's not really bringing about Armageddon to fulfill his cinematic vision. But that's not always the case. Cracked has compiled a list of 5 film shoots that managed to take wastefulness to the next level, which in some cases involved almost nuking an entire forest for an admittedly spectacular sequence. Now here's hoping Mr. Bay never reads this article.
Will We Ever Run 100m in Nine Seconds?
From 1991 to 2007, eight athletes have reduced the 100m sprint record by 0.16 seconds. Usain Bolt has shaved off an equal amount in a year. But did you know that the amount of time your foot (or even your grandmother's) spends in the air while running is the same as the amount of time Bolt's does? At least that's the theory Peter Weyland has formulated while studying the physics of the sprinting leg. In an eye-opening article by BBC Future, Ed Yong asks the question: is it biologically possible to break the nine second barrier for the 100m race?
Anything If It's Free
How far will you go for a snack? If it's free? Australian brand Fantastic Delites decided to test it out by putting up a vending machine that advertised free snacks but only if you complied with the bizarre requests that flashed on its screen (which included pushing a giant red button 1,000 times, hopping on one leg and doing the robot dance!). Turns out that the answer to the question is - a surprisingly large number of people. The sad part is that the snacks are basically rice chips. I'd understand dark chocolate or something equally sinful. But rice chips? Seriously?
The First Photo On The Internet
The first photograph ever uploaded on the internet. The sentence conjures up an image (quite literally) of something of immense historical or scientific importance. Or at least monumental significance for historians down the ages. Apparently not. The photograph was a badly Photoshopped promotional image of Les Horribles Cernettes, an all-women comedy band based near Geneva and holds this distinction because Tim Berners-Lee (one of the people who invented the Web) was into cross-dressing. Read on for details.
Amul Butter - The Girl Who Refuses To Age
Amul Butter holds the Guinness record for the world's largest running outdoor ad campaign. And I think any drive through Bombay would be incomplete without a sighting of the latest commentary on world events fronted by that ageless pony-tailed, polka-dotted girl and her various avatars. But did you ever see the one that read "Indian virgin needs no urgin", created in response to the London airport authorities' decision to conduct virginity tests on Indian women? Apparently it's not always been utterly butterly sweet and PG. Open Magazine has put up a comprehensive piece detailing the history of this Indian icon, skirmishes with authority and all.
Problems From The 90s - 19 & 18.
Ah, memes. That brilliant product of a twisted mind with one image to stare at and much time to waste. I find it fascinating how one single image can become the fount of so many different statements. And be so damn funny! Like this one of 'Problems From the 90s’. And the one that sprung up in response: 'Problems From The 1890s!' Funny.
The Dark Knight….Rises
For those of you that worship at the Church of Nolan, this Friday (and Wednesday for a lucky few) is the Second Coming. We've all waited for this one with a mixed feeling of rising anticipation, nail-biting fear (did Heath Ledger raise our expectations too high?) and sad resignation (this is the last one by Nolan! Seriously?). But to help you along your no-doubt extensive buildup to D-Day, here's an extensive piece by The Guardian on the making of the movie which includes interviews with some of the important department heads on how they brought this vision to life. And along with that, here's another little tidbit: the Mondo-ized Dark Knight poster by the man himself: Olly Moss.
The Dream Team
The Dream Team. There's only one team in the history of sports that jumps to mind when you hear that phrase and, according to me and many others much more qualified than me, only one team that deserves that moniker: the basketball team fielded by the USA for the 1992 Olympics. But imagine, just for a moment, a room full of the best basketball players in the world. And then imagine the egos that fill that space. What I would give to be a fly on that wall!
And now, thanks to a documentary released by NBA TV, you can be. It's a fascinating watch and includes interviews with all the members of the team and heaps of unseen footage showing how they came together despite some serious internal competition. It also includes footage from one of the most important games that this team played: against itself. In Monaco, the team was split into two parts captained by Jordan and Johnson. Need I say more?
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