A Free Short Course on How Pixar Uses Physics to Make Its Effects

≡ Category: Animation, Film, Technology |Leave a Comment

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A new computer-animated spectacle that makes us rethink the relationship between imagination and technology seems, now, to come out every few months.

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How Animated Cartoons Are Made: A Vintage Primer Filmed Way Back in 1919

≡ Category: Animation, Comedy, Technology |1 Comment

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Many techniques shown in Bray Studios’ 1919 short How Animated Cartoons are Made, above, were rendered obsolete by digital advancements, but its 21-year-old star, animator Wallace Carlson, seems as if he would fit right in at Cal Arts or Pratt, Class of 2017.

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Before Siri & Alexa: Hear the First Attempt to Use a Synthesizer to Recreate the Human Voice (1939)

≡ Category: Technology |Leave a Comment

Whether from Stephen Hawking, Siri, or anyone in between, we’ve all heard quite a lot of electronically synthesized speech by now. But less than eighty years ago, the very idea of a human-sounding voice produced in a mechanical manner inspired wonder and disturbance in equal measure.

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How the World’s Oldest Computer Worked: Reconstructing the 2,200-Year-Old Antikythera Mechanism

≡ Category: Astronomy, History, Technology |3 Comments

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In 1900, Greek sponge divers discovered a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. The artifacts they came back up with included money, statues, pottery, and various other works of art and craft, as well as a curious lump of bronze and wood that turned out to be by far the most important item onboard.

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The Corkscrew: The 700-Pound Mechanical Sculpture That Opens a Wine Bottle & Pours the Wine

≡ Category: Art, Food & Drink, Technology |Leave a Comment

We’ve shown you a very simple way to open a bottle of wine, with nothing but a wall and a shoe. (Try it at your own risk.) Now comes the most artfully complex.
Above, watch Rob Higgs demo his mechanical sculpture, “The Corkscrew.

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Hear Alan Watts’s 1960s Prediction That Automation Will Necessitate a Universal Basic Income

≡ Category: Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Technology |9 Comments

One of the most propulsive forces in our social and economic lives is the rate at which emerging technology transforms every sphere of human labor. Despite the political leverage obtained by fearmongering about immigrants and foreigners, it’s the robots who are actually taking our jobs.

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Learn Python: A Free Online Course from Google

≡ Category: Google, Online Courses, Technology |1 Comment

Google has created a free Python class designed for “people with a little bit of programming experience who want to learn Python.” A fortunate thing since Python is a computer language that’s now strongly in demand. (By the way, did you know that Python takes its name from Monty Python? A true story.

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Iconic Footage of Jimi Hendrix Playing “Hey Joe” Rendered in the Style of Moebius, with the Help of Neural Network Technology

≡ Category: Animation, Music, Technology |1 Comment

We are less than a year into neural network technology, and Google’s Deep Dream software is already yielding impressive results beyond the dog-slugs of its first videos.

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Thomas Edison’s Hugely Ambitious “To-Do” List from 1888

≡ Category: History, Technology |1 Comment

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Even beyond developing the phonograph, the motion picture camera, light bulb, and the creepy talking doll, Thomas Edison got a lot done in life. With his even greater knack for enterprise than for invention, he might, had he lived in the 21st century, traded on his reputation for productivity and industry by selling us his personal “life hacks.

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When Franz Kafka Invented the Answering Machine (1913)

≡ Category: History, Literature, Technology |Leave a Comment

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We’ve all had the experience, punctuated by interminable waiting, of circling over and over again through some enormous company’s automatic telephone answering system.

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