Endeavour’s Launch Viewed from Booster Cameras

Here’s the good stuff that nerdgasms are made of. NASA has released a video that lets you hitch a ride on the May 16th launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The video runs 37 minutes; it’s narrated by a NASA official; and it loops around and lets you see the launch from several different vantage points.

You start with liftoff, traveling at 1300 miles per hour. Then, about two minutes later, the rocket boosters separate from the shuttle, and you then twist with them. The second loop starts around the 7:20 mark, and don’t miss the splendid view at 9:40 …

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Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange: Malcolm McDowell Looks Back

A few days ago, we linked to the recent Collider interview with Malcolm McDowell, the star of Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic, A Clockwork Orange. One of the highlights of the piece is a short video clip in which the now 68-year-old actor describes the origins of the film’s iconic — and horrifically violent — “Singing in the Rain” scene. (The ad on the Collider clip is short but abrasive, by the way. Be sure to turn down your headphones).

You can catch a much younger McDowell discussing that same scene in 1972, starting at minute 6:30 of the interview below. For kicks, slide back to minute 4:15, and watch the cocky 28-year-old give his interlocutor a sharp dressing down for daring to suggest that Mr. Kubrick could be “difficult” to work with:via @DangerMindsBlog

Related content:

Stanley Kubrick’s Filmography Animated

Killer’s Kiss: Where Stanley Kubrick’s Filmmaking Career Really Begins

Kubrick vs. Scorsese Montage

Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.

23-Year-Old Eric Clapton Demonstrates the Elements of His Guitar Sound

In the fall of 1968, Eric Clapton was 23 years old and at the height of his creative powers. His band, Cream, was on its farewell tour of America when a film crew from the BBC caught up with the group and asked the young guitar virtuoso to show how he created his distinctive sound.

The result is a fascinating four-minute tour of Clapton’s technique. He begins by demonstrating the wide range of tones he could achieve by varying the settings on his psychedelically painted 1964 Gibson SG Standard guitar. His wah-wah pedal (an early Vox model) was critical to the sound of so many Cream classics, like “Tales of Brave Ulysses.” In the film, Clapton really has to stomp on it to get it working.

One of the most difficult skills to master, Clapton says, is the vibrato. In a 1970 interview with Guitar Player magazine he goes into more detail: “When I stretch strings,” he says, “I hook my thumb around the neck of the guitar. A lot of guitarists stretch strings with just their hand free. The only way I can do it is if I have my whole hand around the neck—actually gripping onto it with my thumb. That somehow gives me more of a rocking action with my hand and wrist.” If you watch the BBC clip closely you will see this in action.

The interview was conducted with Clapton seated in front of his famous stack of Marshall amplifiers. In the Guitar Player interview, however, he admits he rarely used both at the same time. “I always had two Marshalls set up to play through,” he says, “but I think it was just so I could have one as a spare. I usually used only one 100-watt amp.”

Clapton’s demonstration (along with interviews of bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker) was incorporated into Tony Palmer’s film of Cream’s Farewell Concert, which took place on November 21, 1968 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (Coincidentally, Clapton is appearing at the Albert Hall all this week.) The original six-song version of Cream’s Farewell Concert is available for free viewing on the Internet. An extended 14-song version is available for purchase here.

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Darren’s Big DIY Camera

Photographer Darren Samuelson spent a good year researching his big camera. Then it was time to build it. The bellows came first, crafted over two hard weeks on his living room floor. Next came the rear portion of the camera, and eventually the front, the rails, and the rest. All told, seven months of loving labor went into making Darren’s big DIY camera, capable of producing 14×36-inch negatives. (By the way, it also used x-ray film.) At long last, it was time to give things a try at San Francisco’s Lands End. The short documentary above shows you the rest. Don’t miss the images at the 2:20 mark…

Jimmy Fallon Nails the Bob Dylan Impersonation

He looks like Bob Dylan. He sings like our birthday boy Bob Dylan. And yet he’s covering perhaps the cheesiest 80s sitcom theme song ever made — which makes it all the more hilarious…

Pop-Motion Animation: A New Take on the Flip Book

When Dulcidio Caldeira of the agency Paranoid BR was commissioned recently to create a one-minute commercial marking MTV Brazil’s 21st birthday, he ended up re-imagining one of animation’s oldest forms: the flip book. The result is a work of inspired silliness, with characters like Gene Simmons, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne—even Ozzy’s bat—appearing on a long line of balloons being popped at a rate of ten per second. Caldeira and collaborators Andre Faria and Guga Ketzer used a laser to line up hundreds of balloons along a 656-foot (200-meter) set of tracks. It took them 24 hours to shoot.

Via: Print Magazine

Peter Sellers Performs The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night” in Shakespearean Voice

Back in 1964, Peter Sellers (aka Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther films) made a cameo appearance on “The Music of Lennon and McCartney,” a television program produced at the height of Beatlemania. The schtick? To read the lyrics of A Hard Day’s Night in a way that comically recalls Laurence Olivier’s 1955 performance of the opening soliloquy from Richard III. It starts famously “Now is the winter of our discontent …” (See full text here.)

On a very related note, don’t miss:

Peter Sellers Reads The Beatles’ “She Loves You” in Four Voices

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For Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday, Footage From His Earliest NYC Days

Rock star, folk singer, poet, and national treasure Bob Dylan turns 70 today, and just in case you haven’t made plans to mark the occasion, we’ve got a few options for you: If you’d like some company, you can check out this Google map of all the septuagenarian celebrations worldwide to see if there will be one in your hometown. Or you can re-read Joe Queenan’s brilliantly incorrect assessment of the rebel at 50 in Spy Magazine. And if you’re feeling solitary and reflective, there’s always Chronicles Vol. 1 and DylanRadio by candlelight.

We chose to go with the lovely “Guess I’m Doing Fine” from the singer’s earliest days in New York City (now available on “The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964,” the latest installment of The Bootleg Series. Watch the trailer here). The 20-year old’s voice sounds a bit thin and plaintive, and the lament perhaps undercut by the many miles of road he hasn’t yet travelled, especially when he moans:

No, I ain’t got my childhood
Or friends I once did know.
But I still got my voice left,
I can take it anywhere I go.

But don’t be too hard on young Bobby Zimmerman… He was a whole lot older then, and he’s younger than that now.

Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.

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