Thursday, April 27, 2017

'Citizen Jane': A Documentary About Author and Activist Jane Jacobs Who Saved Much of Historic New York City

Yesterday, I watched an interesting and captivating documentary called "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City" (2016) that tells the story about author and activist Jane Jacobs, author of the 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities", and her fellow citizens that fought to save the historic buildings and neighborhoods in New York in the 50's and 60's against modernists like city planner Robert Moses.

Directed by Matt Tyrnauer (@mtyrnauer), the documentary contains lots of beautiful archive footage of New York architecture, and close-ups of magazine and newspaper articles from the 60's era that I so much appreciate.

The documentary also evokes lots of reflections regarding our modern cities and how we can go ahead and develop our urban areas without sacrificing too many historic buildings, an issue I feel is very relevant regarding the city I'm living in, Gothenburg, where some beautiful and historic buildings that neither are uninhabitable or totally run-down, are at risk to be replaced by modern high-rise buildings.

Musician Jack White Now Has His Own Vinyl Pressing Plant

Vice News met up with musician Jack White who has opened a vinyl pressing plant called Third Man Pressing in his hometown Detroit. Believe it or not, vinyl records outsold digital music in Britain last December, but when White began the process of starting to make vinyl records, it didn't come easy.

How the Classic Zippo Lighter Is Made

BRANDMADE.TV takes us into the factory in Bradford, Pennsylvania, that assembles the classic Zippo lighter and show us how they are made. Every day, 28,000 lighters leave the factory after having gone through numerous testings.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How I Got Better High Quality Exports in Filmora Video Editor

During the export of one of my last videos on my YouTube channel, I noticed that my PowerShot S110 gave me some pretty good raw footage in high quality, but that my exported files didn't turn out that well despite good export settings in Filmora Video Editor – the only time I got good exported footage was when I just exported short segments of my video, but longer segments became somewhat blurry.

I thought my computer or the video editor were to blame, but wasn't sure which one.

So yesterday, when I was working with something else, I tried to get another video editor called HitFilm Express 4 (a very solid and free video editor) working again on my computer and did during the day four things in an attempt to get it to work:

  1. Updated or downgraded my graphics card drivers (in the past, older drivers have solved this issue with HitFilm Express)
  2. Updated or downgraded the motherboard chipset drivers
  3. Updated or downgraded the Intel Management Engine (Intel ME)
  4. Cleaned freespace with CCleaner (a free tool to use)

That didn't solve my problem with HitFilm Express, however, when I later experimented with going through a bunch of new 3D LUTs in Filmora, suddenly I noticed that the exported files started to look really good.

First, I thought it just depended on me exporting short files (like before), so I gave the editor one more chance and exported one of my previous projects with a longer running time – guess what?! – the exported video file was suddenly crisp looking and also much bigger in file size.

During the export, I used the following settings (the same I had previously used to no avail):

  1. Format: MP4 (Quicktime)
  2. Quality: Best
  3. Encoder: H.264 (not the H.264 HD optimized, but go ahead and experiment with this one)
  4. Frame Rate: 23.97 fps (this is the frame rate the PowerShot S110 records in)
  5. Resolution: 1920x1080 pixels
  6. Bit Rate: 20000kbps
  7. Audio: Leave as is

And one more thing – now I can use 3D LUTs without risking ruining the footage even further, the LUTs I've applied after updating my computer look good and natural instead of the other way around.

I hope my problem solving can help you as well in how to get high quality videos by using Filmora.

A NYU Grad Student Went Undercover in an Apple Factory

In a recent documentary about the vehicle manufacturer Volvo's former CEO Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, I learned that one of the first things he changed in Volvo's working environment as a CEO was to create a healthy working environment that consisted of many different tasks in contrast to too many repetitive tasks, in an effort to avoid boredom and stress related injuries among the workers on the floor.

In this short video, we hear NYU grad student Dejian Zeng, who worked undercover in a Chinese Apple factory located in Shanghai, talk about spending 12 hours a day with the repetitive task of just putting one screw in the iPhone. With all the money that pours into Apple, this working situation is certainly a disgrace.

Via Holy Kaw.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Juicero: The Obsolete Cold-press Juicer

Casey Neistat recently talked about his friend's start-up called Juicero, a company that sells an at-home cold-press juicer. In Neistat's vlog (YouTube link), he demonstrates some of the product's lack of needs - you can do this all by yourself without using a machine.

I prefer to use a hand juice squeezer myself or a mixer, mostly beacause it saves the environment.

The following reviewer certainly didn't help either with increasing the sales:

Miami Vice: 30 years later

The 80's TV series "Miami Vice", that was created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by film director Michael Mann, heavily influenced Miami as a city. Here is a segment by Miami Herald from 2014 that takes you back into that special era of colorful clothes and buildings.

Watch a Horse Dive from a 60ft Platform

In a recent Swedish TV show, I found out about watching diving horses as some sort of entertainment, which started out in the 1880s until the 1970s with varying interest.

From the YouTube description:

A Diving Horse was actually a very popular event in the 1880s. The 'attraction' was set up by William 'Doc' Carver. The horses sometimes dove four times a day, seven days a week. There were allegations of using prods, electrical jolts, and trap doors to get unwilling horses to dive. It lost its popularity after World War II.

Here is a diving horse that jumps from a 60ft platform in 1923, USA.

Friday, April 21, 2017

'Into the Inferno' (2016): Werner Herzog's Volcano Documentary

"Into the Inferno" (2016) is the title of Werner Herzog's latest documentary that is released by Netflix. In the documentary Herzog explores active volcanoes from around the world.

From the synopsis:

Werner Herzog's latest documentary, Into the Inferno, heads just where its title suggests: into the red-hot magma-filled craters of some of the world's most active and astonishing volcanoes—taking the filmmaker on one of the most extreme tours of his long career. From North Korea to Ethiopia to Iceland to the Vanuatu Archipelago, humans have created narratives to make sense of volcanoes; as stated by Herzog, “volcanoes could not care less what we are doing up here.” Into the Inferno teams Herzog with esteemed volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer to offer not only an in-depth exploration of volcanoes across the globe but also an examination of the belief systems that human beings have created around the fiery phenomena.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Short 'A Saturday Drive': How Canon PowerShot S110 Daytime Footage Looks

A couple of days ago, I released the short "The Car Wash" (if you can call it a short?!) in an attempt to showcase the Canon PowerShot S110's video capabilities during low light conditions.

Today, I released another video, this time showcasing the camera's video capabilities during daytime.

I shot the footage during a drive around the city of Gothenburg, color graded it slightly with a free 3D LUT from and named the video "A Saturday Drive".

The footage, I think, turned out a bit poor, but I doesn't think it is caused by either the camera or the LUT itself but the rendering of the video editor I'm using called Filmora.

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