Lego guys gone wild

Below is a video of a Great Ball Contraption circuit that takes nearly 8 minutes to complete and probably took weeks to build if not months. This is like Lego 5.0 compared to what I used to be able to do with Lego when I was kid!

Reblogged from TNW

Babies talk about Google’s +1

OK you should probably only watch this once, as it may get annoying, listening to it again, so here is an exposé about Google +1, “from the babies mouth” as they say:

Quote:

“This is going to change everything”

“Talk to the hand bill”

It’s a translation version of the viral twin baby video…

Check out the original viral version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?fv=_JmA2ClUvUY

And if you are actually interested about what “us old adults” think the twins are actually saying, check the twins’ parents’ site and the twins being interviewed on GMA, or is that the parents or both ;)

Flying adverts: tiny adverts attached to common flies

A pretty unusual and original buzz around an advertising stunt at a German trade show. I never thought I’d be amused by a video of those pesky household flies. Obvioulsy 2nd generation offspring won’t be born with the same adverts ;) :

Re-blogged from FastCompany via WiredUK

Glyphs used in Fringe TV series

glyphcodekey

Just came across an article by Julian Sanchez that explains what the glyphs mean that are used in the TV series Fringe just before adverts. The below picto was created by FringeTelevision.com, it illustrates the glyphs used and already looks superb.

glyphcodekey

As expected, with JJ Abrams, who hooked me with Alias, the concept is brilliant, engaging, and could prove to be just as interesting as his series Fringe.

The Lion Cub from Harrods

a_lion_called_christian

Below is a multipart documentary about John Rendall and Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke who purchased a lion cub from Harrods in 1969. They brought the cub up in Chelsea, London near Kings Road. Following a chance encounter with Virginia McKenna of the 1971 hit film ‘Born Free’ they were able to envisage taking the then young lion back to Kenya to release him to the wild.
It is a moving and true story that is well worth watching. The story has become a web phenomenon with the video having been viewed on YouTube by an estimated 50 million viewers worldwide!

Part 1

Part 2a

Part 2b

Part 3a

Part 3b

Part 4

The last video from above was the video that became viral on the Internet in 2008 (added is the encounter between the student that put it on YouTube and consequently met John Rendall and Ace Bourke).

Here is the extract from the book that was then published to relate in further details this extraordinary story about the two men and their lion cub:

a_lion_called_christian

In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.
A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up–fast–and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.

Street View of you

John Garner on Toynbee Street

So I was reading an article on the BBC about Google StreetView, how people had been ‘caught’ by the Google van. I remembered when I was working at LBi in London, I was not far from Brick Lane, on the phone and saw a Google car with the multiple cameras on top. I was on the phone for about 10 minutes and the car came past twice. So a few days ago I decided to check out where I was standing to see if I could see myself. When using Streetview to turn around the corner from Commercial Street I couldn’t see myself but going down the road the other way there I was, as seen below. My face has been blurred even though I didn’t even ask them to do so…

John Garner on Toynbee Street
Streetview on Toynbee Street

Turning away from 9/11

There is an intriguing article over at slate.com revolving around a controversial photo by Thomas Hoepker. Do check out the article and the photo. The photo shows a group of young people on the Brooklyn waterfront in view of Manhattan on 9/11. I read the first paragraph and then scrolled down to the photo. I would be really interested to know how people read the article and whether your views changed on the photo after having read the article like mine did.

The last two paragraphs changed my mind, the writer’s insight on what happened that day for many people and a simple explanation for the photo becomes pretty logical and understandable. It is also an interesting parallel with what the author describes as the ability of people to move forward.

Beware of the Pretext

The current HP scandal is the consequence of what is known as “pretexting”.
Over at the washingtonpost.com there is an article that covers the shady procedure of “pretexting” to obtain information about a person. Although you may like myself, be astonished and unaware that executives of the same company engaged in spying upon each other like this, it seems it is not uncommon !

pretext : a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs
Merriam Webster

Have you ever wondered, when you get inundated with questions by some random telemarketer, “How many people live in your apartment ?”, “Do you own the apartment ?”, “Do you all work full-time ?” and so on… whether there is some hidden agenda ? Or worse, for the pure paranoid, whether they are planning to figure out when you’re not at home ?!

Cell phones “create a form of inattention blindness”

A recent study discussed at the Detroit Free Press web site indicates that using a phone in the car when you are driving with or without a ‘hands free’ set leads to unsafe driving. The direct comparison is between people phoning while driving drive and people driving when drunk (ref. 0.08% alcohol level).

Astonishing results :

  • Participants drove more aggressively when intoxicated, and more slowly while talking on a cell phone.
  • Cell phone users were 9% slower to brake, had 24% more variation in following distance and were 19% slower to return to their initial speed after braking.
  • Three cell phone users had accidents.
  • Intoxicated drivers followed the pace car more closely, were twice as likely to brake 4 seconds before an accident would have occurred and hit the brakes with 23% more force, according to the study. There were no accidents.

What it will be like for policemen, trying to figure out whether the person is talking on his hands free set to a person miles away, or someone in the back seat ?

Imagine the scene :
Driver : “Well what’s the problem ?”
Policeman : “You are alone in the car and talking…”
Driver : “Well I like talking to myself, keeps my stress levels down”
Policeman : “You’re next topic of conversation with yourself will be about the fine I’m giving you !”

Coincidence, unlucky or linkbait ?

In an article posted on Oilman’s blog there is a story about a guy looking for a girl he met in an airport, I posted a note about it yesterday. I also came across a comment by IrishWonder on the same post :

Am I being too cynical or is it a cool case of linkbait?

This was the first time I had heard about linkbait and so looked it up and found out that it is basically a technique for creating a story/content to wheel in links from interesting sites. Getting interesting sites to willingly do so would depend upon the content being special/interesting. Some people seem to think the term linkbait is not a good term since it isn’t always about tricking people into linking to your site.

Anyway, curious as I am, I did a few searches on the name “Kevin Amoros”, initially I thought that it wasn’t a very French first or last name. Also having done some English teaching, I was surprised at how the structure of the sentences were pretty complex with some simple English mistakes as if they were added afterwards. First of all some school photos come up on a French site called trombi.com. Then I came across an interesting thread on a forum and this part of the thread is why it came up in Google :

domain: pleinphare.com
created: 04-Oct-2002
last-changed: 17-Dec-2003
registration-expiration: 04-Oct-2004
nserver: ns19.schlund.de
nserver: ns20.schlund.de
registrant-firstname: Kevin
registrant-lastname: Amoros
registrant-street1: (Deleted upon persons request)
registrant-pcode: 92700
registrant-city: Colombes
registrant-ccode: FR
registrant-phone: +33.662703455
registrant-email: [email protected]
admin-c-firstname: Kevin
admin-c-lastname: Amoros
admin-c-street1: (Deleted upon persons request)
admin-c-pcode: 92700
admin-c-city: Colombes
admin-c-ccode: FR
admin-c-phone: +33.662703455
admin-c-email: [email protected]

It refers to a domain name used in a scam with a special phone number you would call and get charged extra. The idea from this thread and another of the site labelled as “400 Euros in three clicks” in this post was that each time you brought a friend to sign up you would get 1 Euro. They would guarantee you for 20 friends who in turn would bring 20 friends so 20 x 20 = 400 Euros. The small type : you have to ring 3 telephone ‘AlloPass’ numbers that have a high charge rate… The second thread above explains how the site stopped responding after a few weeks with no way to follow up after having being billed on the numbers…

So far no way of knowing whether this guy is the same one !? Well yes, because the email is the same one used on the guys ad page, which I’m not going to link to ([email protected]) and a ‘whois’ query on the domain name that was used for the scam (404 error on pleinphare.com) reveals that the registrar company (schlund) is the same as the one for the current web site. Kevin seems to have his habits. This doesn’t actually indicate whether he actively participated in this scam though.

So could it be he heard the song by James Blunt called ‘You’re Beautiful’ and thought that’s a nice story I know how I could use that, replace subway with airport, same sad ending…

IrishWonder may well be correct in his first idea that this is a linkbait scam (not as bad a scam as the one described above). Has Kevin just been pretty unlucky and got mixed up with the wrong people ! On face value you wouldn’t think the sub domain which is pretty long is interesting from a search engine perspective and I doubt the aim was to have an impact on the main domain !?

PS : I’ve just been going through my email and today’s Robert Clough searchengine.com newsletter is talking about this, obviously Clough talks about it from a Search Engine Advertising perspective !