Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vietnam from Above

The short "Vietnam" by Ryan Purvis shows the beautiful landscape of this lovely country. Purvis shot this drone footage while on a motorbike trip through the entire country side of Vietnam, from Ho Chi Minh City all the way to Hanoi. Music by Hans Zimmer and the song "Time".


Meet the People Walker: An Unusual Job


Meet Chuck McCarty – he walks people for a living. Sort of, his primary profession is acting. But the response to his services has been great and the business is growing.


From The Guardian:


Chuck McCarthy recently auditioned as a homicidal biker for a TV show, but the actor is finding glimmers of fame, and possibly a business franchise, with another role: Los Angeles's first people walker.


He walks humans for $7 a mile around the streets and park near his home, pioneering an alternative to dog walking that requires no leash, just an ability to walk, talk and, above all, listen.


[…]


But according to McCarthy, paying to be walked does not mean people are friendless. It just means they cannot always coordinate leisure time with friends, a product of fluid schedules in the gig economy, leaving them isolated. "We're on phones and computers constantly communicating but we're not connecting as much. We need that human interaction."


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Wryfield Lab Production: Enjoy the Sounds of Being in a Car Wash

You know that calming effect you enjoy when you're sitting in your car during a car wash?! Thanks to the work of Wryfield Lab you can get that experience at home wearing your expensive (or not so) headphones.


That Famous Australian Food Paste: Vegemite Sleepwear Collection by Peter Alexander

Sleepwear designer brand Peter Alexander's latest collection "Happy Little Vegemites Collection" is an homage to Australia's famous spread Vegemite, a food paste that is made from yeast products.


Eye mask:



Pyjama pants:



Dog neckerchief:


What a Cat 'Prefer': Homemade Meal Versus Cat Food from the Store


If a cat got to choose between a homemade meal and cat food from the store, which one do you think it would prefer? Let's find out!



Via Holy Kaw.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

'Growing Up in Meditationland': Claire Hoffman Grew Up in the Transcendental Meditation Community


I have written about journalist and author Claire Hoffman's memoir "Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood" in an earlier post, in which Hoffman talks about her upbringing in the Transcendental Meditation community in Fairfield, Iowa.


The Cut has published a lengthy passage from this well-received book entitled "Growing Up in Meditationland":


One day, I emerged from the afternoon meditation at school and found Jiten waiting for me. "How was your meditation?" he asked, mimicking the prissy voice of a teacher. "Was it easy? Was it smooth?" I laughed and said I'd been imagining the sex life of our rather shrill meditation teacher, barely remembering my mantra. "All the mantras are the same," he told me, snickering. I laughed, but the idea felt like a missile going through my head.


"I thought they were all different, like snowflakes," I said, trying to sound sarcastic.


But I was serious; the idea that my mantra was like anyone else's was until that moment inconceivable.


"No, tell me yours. I'll bet it's the same as mine," he said.


He leaned in close to me, his hand on my arm. His breath warm on my ear, he whispered my mantra to me. My mind moved slowly as I looked up at his mischievous grin. I hadn't heard my mantra said out loud for years. What had felt special for so long was not.


One day, I emerged from the afternoon meditation at school and found Jiten waiting for me. "How was your meditation?" he asked, mimicking the prissy voice of a teacher. "Was it easy? Was it smooth?" I laughed and said I'd been imagining the sex life of our rather shrill meditation teacher, barely remembering my mantra. "All the mantras are the same," he told me, snickering. I laughed, but the idea felt like a missile going through my head.


"I thought they were all different, like snowflakes," I said, trying to sound sarcastic.


But I was serious; the idea that my mantra was like anyone else's was until that moment inconceivable.


"No, tell me yours. I'll bet it's the same as mine," he said.


He leaned in close to me, his hand on my arm. His breath warm on my ear, he whispered my mantra to me. My mind moved slowly as I looked up at his mischievous grin. I hadn't heard my mantra said out loud for years. What had felt special for so long was not.


[…]


I had to admit: It did work. As much as I rolled my eyes at the Movement, meditation was still a touchstone for me. For years I used it only sporadically, when I needed it. If my plane ride was especially turbulent, I would close my eyes and start meditating before I even consciously realized what I was doing. If I had a houseguest who was staying a little too long, I'd retreat to my bedroom and meditate for an hour — to be in a space that was all my own. When I had my daughter and became perpetually exhausted, meditation became something I looked forward to. It was then that I started to realize that meditation didn't have to be everything for me — it didn't have to be a Movement or a philosophy or the cure-all that I'd been raised to think it was. Just because the waters had been muddied didn't mean I couldn't still hold on to that which still felt real for me. After a lifetime of meditating, the quietness had become who I was. So what if my mantra wasn't a secret special sound made just for me? If it worked, why would I let it go?


Featured image: Audiobook cover via AudioBookStore.com.

Remix of Visage's 'Fade to Grey' by Moist

For the last couple of days I have been listening to a great remix of the British new wave band Visage's song "Fade to Grey" (1980) by Swedish artist and producer Moist.



Here is the original:



Kelly Osbourne released the song "One Word" in 2005 that was strongly influenced by "Fade to Grey". An instant favorite of mine!


Review of Filmora Video Editor: A Real Powerhouse with a Very Modest Price Tag


Like so many others, the growing popularity of videos and the business of vlogging has led me in the search for an easy-to-use, yet powerful, video editor.


After some extensive research, I found out about Wondershare's Filmora Video Editor.


A Major Redesign


What caught my interest initially with this program was it's nicely designed interface, something that just recently had been re-designed. The new interface looks organized and self-explanatory, and to make the recent change even better, you can shift the interface between a light and dark color scheme.


Dark skin:



Light skin:



With the recent change of the interface along with a few other important and useful changes such as an improved audio tool mixer, the ability to record your screen and an added animated GIF tool, Filmora's developer team seems to be keen to implement user suggestions of new features.


Many Theme-Based Effects Packs



Filmora Video Editor comes with many different library special effects, but additional theme-based effects packs like the "80's Retro Collection" and "Fashion Collection" are being offered for a very modest price tag, while many of them are completely for free.

Royalty Free Music at Your Finger Tips


To add music to your videos can sometimes be a tedious task due to copyright issues. However, Wondershare has made things easier by implementing a large library of songs and sound effects that are royalty free.

It's Easy to Get Started with Your Filmmaking


To get going with the video editor is easy because of the excellent user guides that are being offered such as text tutorials or video instructions. Filmora's YouTube channel seems to be growing in a fast pace with lots of tips and tricks being added.


Having imported my first media files, it didn't take long before I finished my very first short video. It wasn't a masterpiece, but it built confidence in myself and the program.


Try Out the Editor for Free for an Unlimited Time


To try out the software, Wondershare offers you unlimited and full access to Filmora, with just one limitation – the free version will create a large watermark on the exported video. But, what I like about this offer is that everyone who wants to get started making videos can do it right away, and when you have finished a few projects you can just buy a license, rest assured that you have examined the program thoroughly.


A Powerful Video Editor That Doesn't Cost Much


To buy a license for personal use currently costs $29.99/year or a $49.99 one-time-fee that will include free future updates. If you need to use Filmora on additional computers or for use within business and school, different prices occur.


With a video editor that seems to undergo a major transformation, that's a pretty good deal. Take notice Adobe Premiere!


Featured image: From Filmora's YouTube video "How to Record Your Computer Screen: Screen Recorder & Editor for PC & Mac".

Monday, September 19, 2016

'Lacuna' by Matthew Sigmon

The music album "Lacuna" is yet another great and mellow release by Matthew Sigmon.



Another favorite of mine is Sigmon's album "Beyond The Golden Light", a perfect companion for a relaxing time.

A Short Documentary About the Evolution of the Image Editing Software Photoshop

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the image editing software Photoshop last year, online education company Lynda.com created the short documentary "The Evolution of a Tool Palette" telling the history and the progress the program has undergone through the years.



For more, watch the free series "Celebrating Photoshop: A 25th Anniversary Retrospective" at Lynda.com (you don't need to sign up for a free trial to watch this).


For over two decades, Photoshop has been an essential part of the digital artist's toolset. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, we've taken a look back at Photoshop's history: from the rise of desktop publishing and digital photography, to the evolution of Photoshop's tool palette and its sometimes controversial but necessary role in modern photojournalism.


We interview early adopters and pioneering artists such as Bert Monroy, Chris Orwig, and Douglas Kirkland, as well as the people responsible for guiding Photoshop's development: John Nack, Russell Brown, and current product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes. Konrad Eek and Sean Adams also explain what life was like before Photoshop and how this beguiling tool has democratized design and darkroom photography.

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