An amusing and insightful recording of an attempt to direct Orson Welles on a voice over for a Findus frozen foods commercial. Welles gets more obnoxious the more frustrated he gets.
From radio fax in 1938 to Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast, also in 1938. Here’s some excellent footage of Welles responding to the press after the broadcast.
I’m in love with this invention and the appearance of this prototype… It’s an elegant idea, probably too much before its time to really catch on. And now it’s pretty much obsolete as a concept. A newspaper delivered by radio as you sleep, printed in your home. And in 1938!
This invention of a wireless fax, as it were, was credited to W.G. H. Finch and used radio spectrum that was otherwise unused during the late-night hours when most Americans were sleeping. The FCC granted a special license for these transmissions to occur between midnight and 6am, though it would seem that a noisy printing device in your house cranking away in the middle of the night might have been the fatal flaw in their system. It wasn’t exactly a fast delivery either, as the article notes that it takes “a few hours” for the machine to produce your wireless fax newspaper.
This machine makes paper planes, but it also produces delight in certain people. Or is it the human innovation it represents that makes me smile? Hard to look at a machine like this and not see the person who made it.
There was apparently a time in our planet’s history when plants evolved into trees (in order to be able to grow taller while still supporting themselves structurally) but there was no type of fungi yet evolved that could break down the trees when they died. So for a long period trees just piled up. This interesting BBC documentary on decay explains the Carboniferous period. (via reddit)
The fascinating traditional process of making olive oil.
Simple explanation of colour perception.
A mechanical singing bird mechanism. Made around 120 years ago in Paris, probably by Bontems. In the film I hope you can identify all the major parts and see them working together to make the sound. The mechanism was in a rusted and seized state and has been restored. Surpisingly the bellows are in good original condition. See our channel for more, much more.
Terrific project! Thanks Aengus for the heads-up.
Watch a time-lapse video showing the Museum’s smallest workers, flesh-eating beetles, preparing the skeletons of a great green macaw, tawny owl and mountain peacock-pheasant for our collections. Chemical preparation of skeletons can cause damage to the bones so a special beetle species, Dermestes haemarrhoidalis, is used to strip off the flesh while leaving the bones and collagen untouched.
The Natural History Museum is using a species of flesh-eating beetles to clean-up skeletons of bird specimens. They were kind enough to upload a video for the curious.
Here’s a BBC documentary about the human cell and its relationship over billions of years with the virus cell.
It takes a nice, broad perspective and presents the story with impressive visuals. Quite impressed as I am, I didn’t like the incredibly tedious camera work for the in-between segments, and the drone of David Tennant’s narration throughout the entire film. You can’t have it all.
Update: Pity the video has been taken down. It was called Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell.
Researchers at Stanford university compare the the networking of an ant colony to the mechanism of the internet. A lesson in harnessing the collective power of individual units! (via sciencedump)
What a mechanism! Now that’s resourceful. (via sciencedump)
He understands, as Darwin would, that there is a war of nature. But, where in Darwinian wars some species flourish while others go extinct, in Aristotelian wars the combatants simply fight forever.
A documentary exploring Aristotle’s biological investigations and comparing his understanding to our current knowledge.
What is a flame made of? (sciencedump)