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
The Atlantic Ocean Road
The Atlantic Ocean has a road. Well, not all of it, but there is an 8.3 km stretch of highway in Norway that spans an archipelago located in the Atlantic. And, from the looks of it, it's one hell of a drive! And that's not just hyperbole. The Guardian did actually place it no. 1 in a 2006 list of road trips around the world. But for the best perspective on how beautiful the drive really is, check out this video shot by Heine Schjolberg. My favorite: the almost-loop bridge towards the end.
Behind The Scenes Photos From Movies
Watching a movie being made is a bit like a trip to a sausage factory. You don't want to see the process. And in some cases, like this collection of 20 behind-the-scenes photos from iconic movies across the ages, it can be quite enlightening. Or funny. Depending on your bent of mind. Buzzfeed has put together a collection that's gold for a movie buff like me, especially when you learn that the masks used in Halloween were actually William Shatner masks spray-painted white; because they were the cheapest ones available!
Where The Hell Is Matt?
Matt Harding. Dancing Matt. Where The Hell is Matt? One man dancing badly all across the planet (that sounds like something I could do) has become a viral phenomenon ever since he released his first compilation, simply called 'Dancing' in 2005. Apart from the phenomenally silly moves (which he manages to get large crowds to ape), it's the sheer exuberance of the man himself and the music that manages to lift you up. Tagore fans, please listen carefully to the soundtrack of his 2008 video for a pleasant surprise. And now this video-game designer from Connecticut is back with a new compilation featuring a more, shall we say, hybrid style of dancing? Get ready to smile.
iPad vs Surface
On 18 June, Microsoft released the
yet-another iPad clone Surface after a very mysterious build-up to the event which included press invites that didn't reveal the nature of the event and building the whole thing in an underground bunker! Now, while I applaud them finally embracing the World-According-To-Jobs (to the extent that the phrase "Apple-like" has shown up in almost every article about the event), there's only so far that you can "emulate" someone before it starts to look a little…..creepy. This video uploaded by Say Media, intercuts the iPad 1 and the Surface presentations and shows just how the gang at Microsoft are really just big, still-in-the-closet Apple fan boys. And it includes the famous Blue-Screen-Of-Death Surface-freeze in the middle of the presentation that every Apple employee currently has as their desktop screensaver. Ah Windows, it's nice to know that some things will always remain constant.
25 Creative Floor Sticker Ads
Advertising done well in the real world is always a treat. And most effective when you don't really expect it. Here's a great collection of 25 floor sticker ads put together by the people at Twisted Sifter.
Cocktail Infographic Poster
Knowing how to make the perfect cocktail is an art-form. And simply having a well-stocked bar (even in these days of almost-Prohibition, when the simple act of possessing *gasp* alcohol can land you in jail) isn't enough. But perhaps what you need is this beautiful poster created by German student Konstantin Datz with a handy infographic of most common cocktails and the exact proportions required to make them. This might be the perfect bar accessory to add that extra touch to your bartending skills. Now just keep it quiet and hope that nobody hauls you off to the concentration camps for plotting against the Fatherland.
The Dream Of Space Travel
Space travel: the pipe dream that mankind has spent the last 100 years imagining is just around the corner. But we're just as close to it as we were in 1968, when Pan Am optimistically launched a lunar reservations desk. The only difference is that now the companies that are offering a trip to Mars for $500,000. The catch: the flight may take off ten years from now! Perhaps. Virgin Galactic, the most famous in this category, had forecast regular space flights in 2007 and are now refunding disgruntled customers. But it doesn't hurt to dream, and Wired does that by looking at the history and future of space travel in this comprehensive article.
So Google Glass sounded interesting, right? Apparently not cool enough for German designer Markus Gerke. And what he was missing was Instagram integration. Which is why he's decided to design a pair of 'Instaglasses' that incorporate one of the most famous startups in the world into your daily eyewear. They're basically glasses fitted with a 5MP camera and all the Instagram filters inbuilt, so that you can see the world as it would appear if that tiny little iOS app were an actual camera. The concept design (it's just that for now, unfortunately) also includes Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity so that the images can be uploaded to Instagram instantly. So far, he hasn't made the usual run to Kickstarter to turn this concept into reality, but hopefully his mind will change soon.
Authors That Hate Movies
Books based on movies are always a tricky proposition. If you're a fan of the book (or the series), chances are that you're not going to like the interpretation. Unless Peter Jackson had something to do with it. And if you're not, sometimes the movie doesn't have the same resonance as it would if you'd read what the author intended as well. But what if the person who doesn't like the adaptation of the book is the author of the book? Mental Floss has listed 11 instances where this has happened; and the names might just surprise you. Let's put it this way: The Shining will never be the same for me.
Around The World In 9 Insults
The first thing we tend to teach foreigners who tell us that they want to learn Hindi is the critical differences in intonation and the complex formalities to be followed when implying severely Freudian coital relations that one may be exercising with siblings or maternal members of one's family. But that pales in comparison with the colourful, very cultural and almost-poetic range of phrases that some countries pass off as insults. Fortunately, Cracked has done an excellent job of compiling a list of nine of the best. Enjoy, and please don't try this at home. For no other reason than eliciting looks of derision and/or sympathy.
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