Category Archives: video

Legally Blind

eyechart

Just like there are degrees of deafness, there are degrees of blindness as well. Do you know what is considered legally blind in the US?

You’ll recognize the eye chart above, right? Notice beside the big “E” it says ’20/200′. What those numbers mean is that a person with normal vision can read that “E” from 200 feet away but if one can’t read it until only 20 feet away, then that person is deemed legally blind.

In other words, when you’re at the doc’s office or standing 20 feet away from an official eye chart and all you can read is the top line of “E”, then you’re legally blind.

If you’d like to get some great insight on the life of a blind person, you should watch the YouTube Channel by Tommy Edison. This is a blind guy that honestly answers submitted questions to him — and his sense of humor is great! Questions like: “how do blind people dream”, “how can one describe colors to blind people”, and “how do blind people use paper money”. Fascinating and entertaining stuff.

To whet your appetite, here’s Tommy sharing some of his favorite benefits of being blind.

The Harlem Shake

I can’t get over a new dance meme. I can’t help but laugh every time I watch one.

What’s the Harlem Shake? This sucker has exploded on You-Tube within days!

Well, it took a lot of research into both music and dance to figure out where it all came from.

The original Harlem Shake was in 1981. It was inspired by a dance in Ethiopia:

The dance requires a lot of shoulder movement (and dancing as if you were a mummy):

Despite its recent surge in popularity, the Harlem Shake, characterized by lots o’ shoulder movement and shaking the upper torso around, is not a new dance craze. The dance was in fact invented over 30 years ago in 1981 by an alcoholic nicknamed “Al B.” The Shake was originally called the Albee after its inventor.

(I wish I could find a copy of the ’81 Albee but so far no luck, but I did find this…)

Later, in 2001 a group named ‘G Dep’ released a video that featured the Albee/Harlem Shake.

In the current era, the Harlem Shake has taken on it’s own meme status after:

1. Baauer (a DJ from New York), created a Trap Remix of the original song.

2. DizastaMusic made a crazy/silly video to the remix:

But the meme took another turn. It stayed with Baauer’s remix, but for only 30 seconds. The new format is this:

  • One person dancing in one spot, often in a helmet
  • Said dancer is in a room of other people involved in a perceived mundane life
  • When the bass drops and the lyrics announce “Do the Harlem Shake”, everything changes…
  • Everyone in the room has now changed costume and doing individually different wacky movements
  • Often there are more people involved in the transition portion
  • The song hits a moment that sounds like a growl and the video often goes into slo-motion then ends

Within days there have been many, many video remixes of the formula. Ready for a tour?

Perhaps the first video to follow the new format was this one:

A Norwegian Army version:

A Club version:

An office version:

Another office version:


A fire-fighter version:

A puppy version:

An underwater version:

A cartoon version:

A Star Wars version:

A finger/puppet version:

A Charlie Brown version:

And the Arrested Development version that your’s truly made:

However, there’s been some resistance:

The Art of Translation

There are basically two different philosophies for translating one language into another: ‘word-for-word’ and ‘thought-for-thought’.

There really isn’t an advantage for one over the other — they are just different. ‘Word-for-word’ is more literal but can be difficult to understand (it usually doesn’t flow well). ‘Thought-for-thought’ is more of a para-phrase but can lose the nuisances that the original language communicates (flows well but possibly not as accurate).

There is also a difference between translation and interpretation. Did you know that translation is written while interpreting is spoken? Also, good interpreting follows a ‘word-for-word’ translation.

There are some great tools online that help translate another language. Currently, the most popular is Google Translate. It’s not bad, but it’s not perfect. It seems to rely more on ‘word-for-word’ translation.

In the past, people have asked me how good an Internet tool such as Google Translate is. I typically suggest to copy a familiar quote (from the US Constitution, The Bible, etc), translate it into another language, then take that translation and translate it back into English. The translation tool’s limitations will become quite obvious.

And that brings me to the following video. CDZA created a video using the lyrics to the opening of the hit 90’s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. Hilarity happens, but you can also see how the meaning of a text gets lost in translation…

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a translator to communicate in another language. Just understand that the current tools will lose some context, but still be able to (mostly) get the message across. Try it for yourself!

And while we’re on the subject of translation, I feel that I must mention the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone is an actual rock that helped linguistics translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs into English. And, of course, it’s now the name of a company that focuses on learning a new language.

And the fun part? Sometimes you just have to reframe the original…

My Favorite YouTube Channels To Follow

Just thought I’d share a few YouTube channels that I think are worth following. I’m not going to comment on them – just go check them out and see what you think.

LEARNING

All-time Top 10’s

ASAPscience

CGPGrey

CrashCourse

Getting Smarter Everyday

Household Hacker

Know Your Meme

Minute Physics

SCIshow

Star Talk with Neil deGrass Tyson

TED Talks

Tommy Edison

V-sauce

ENTERTAINMENT

Axis Of Awesome

Brodie Smith

CDZA

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee

Dude Perfect

Froggy Fresh Rap

How It Should Have Ended

KRNFX

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Lindsey Stirling

Marquese AKA Nonstop

Rhett and Link

The Fine Brothers

The Piano Guys

Vlog Brothers

Walk Off The Earth

DEAF/ASL

Bjorn Storm

CODA Brothers

Dirty Signs With Kristin

Every Day ASL

Keith Wann

Sean Forbes

 

2012 in Music

If you’re a stranger to this blog or myself, you may not realize that I love mashups — that is songs that when mashed together create a new and interesting production.

Here are two of the best mashups that incorporate the popular songs of 2012…

First up is the dude who as been producing the premier year-end-mashups for a few years now. DJ Earworm brings us United State of Pop 2012 (Shine Brighter):

Second is (a recent find by myself) Dan Kim’s Pop Danthology 2012 – Mashup of 50+ Pop Songs

And if you want to catch up, here’s my Year-End-Mashup playlist from YouTube…

The 12-21-12 Mayan Hoax

You’ve probably heard that the world is going to end on Dec 21, 2012 (this Friday). Except that it won’t — at least not for the reasons of the Mayan calendar.

You see, the Maya are known for being very intelligent, incredibly accurate about predicting/maintaining time, and quite advanced in writing. Despite all this, they didn’t predict the end of the world.

NASA has gone on record with their reasons why this is all a hoax.

And would you believe that there are at least three myths commonly believed about the Maya?

Here’s how the Maya calendar works and why 12-21-12 became such an important day.