Extreme Photography: Shooting Big Climbs at Yosemite

When you think pho­tog­ra­phy and Yosemite Nation­al Park, you think of Ansel Adams shoot­ing Moon and Half DomeorEl Cap­i­tan.”

But today we’re think­ing about some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent — about the ver­ti­go-induc­ing pho­tog­ra­phy of Renan Ozturk. Work­ing on behalf of Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, Ozturk heads to Yosemite to shoot a fea­ture sto­ry on the climb­ing cul­ture that thrives in this val­ley sur­round­ed by 3000-foot rock walls. The park fea­tures extreme A5 climbs that con­stant­ly push climbers to new lim­its, and nat­u­ral­ly it takes a spe­cial pho­tog­ra­ph­er to record the action. How Renan does it? We’ll let him tell the rest of the sto­ry … H/T Curios­i­ty Counts

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Marlene Dietrich’s Temperamental Screen Test for The Blue Angel (1929)

In 1929, Josef von Stern­berg began assem­bling the cast for the first major Ger­man sound film — Der blaue Engel, oth­er­wise known as The Blue Angel. A clas­sic of Weimar cin­e­ma, the 1930 film fea­tured Mar­lene Diet­rich play­ing Lola-Lola, a seduc­tive singer in the local cabaret. Lola-Lola was, it has been said, a “lib­er­at­ed woman of the world who chose her men, earned her own liv­ing and viewed sex as a chal­lenge.” The per­sona cap­ti­vat­ed audi­ences, and it made Diet­rich an inter­na­tion­al star.

Above, you can watch Diet­rich’s screen test for the film. Inhab­it­ing the role, she gives the poor piano play­er an ear­ful (essen­tial­ly say­ing, “How the hell can I sing through this garbage with you play­ing like that?”). Then she works her way through “Why Cry at Part­ing?” and climbs on that piano, cig­a­rette no longer in hand, and puts on a show…

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The Beatles: Why Music Matters in Two Animated Minutes

Lee Gin­gold makes the point rather artis­ti­cal­ly by way of The Bea­t­les.

Music can shape our youth­ful minds (which reminds me of this great ani­mat­ed short, I Met the Wal­rus).

Music pro­vides the emo­tion­al sound­track for the good times and bad times in our lives.

It fires the imag­i­na­tion.

It brings us togeth­er. Just watch 13,500 peo­ple sing “Hey Jude” in Trafal­gar Square.

The bot­tom line? Music mat­ters…

via Kim Sher­rell & @Alyssa_Milano

Lou Gehrig, Yankee Legend, Stars in 1938 Western Rawhide

In 1938, Lou Gehrig began his six­teenth sea­son as the New York Yan­kees’ first base­man. He con­tin­ued build­ing toward his leg­endary record of play­ing 2,130 con­sec­u­tive games. His bat­ting aver­age held at a respectable .295, though down from the scorch­ing .351 of the year before. And, dur­ing the pre­sea­son, Gehrig crossed over to Hol­ly­wood and starred in Rawhide, a West­ern film shot dur­ing an era when West­erns were a sta­ple of Amer­i­can film­go­ers. (John Wayne starred in more than 40 West­erns dur­ing the 1930s, and you can watch many of them online here.)

The plot of Rawhide is implau­si­ble, to say the least. The film starts with Gehrig play­ing him­self, telling reporters at Grand Cen­tral sta­tion:

I am through with base­ball… I got what I want. My sis­ter and I bought a swell ranch in a peace­ful val­ley.  I am going to wal­low in peace and qui­et for the rest of my life. I am going to hang up my spikes for a swell old pair of car­pet slip­pers.

Of course, things don’t turn out to be very peace­ful or qui­et in the town of Rawhide. And the 58 minute dra­ma unfolds from there. This being a no-spoil­er zone, we won’t tell you the rest.

The next year, the unthink­able hap­pened. The Iron Horse was afflict­ed by ALS. His bat­ting aver­age plum­met­ed to .145, and soon enough, Gehrig deliv­ered his “luck­i­est man on the face of the earth” speech and left base­ball. Years lat­er, neu­rol­o­gists looked back at Rawhide to see if Gehrig dis­played any vis­i­ble signs of the motor neu­ron dis­ease in ear­ly 1938. But none could be detect­ed.

Rawhide appears in the “West­erns” sec­tion of our grow­ing col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online, along with The Pride of the Yan­kees, a Lou Gehrig biopic filmed in 1942. It starred Gary Coop­er was nom­i­nat­ed for a num­ber of Acad­e­my awards.

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The DIY Tornado Machine

Bob Smer­beck, a senior mete­o­rol­o­gist for AccuWeather.com, has fig­ured it all out — how to let loose a tor­na­do in the com­fort of his own home. Using a hair dry­er, plas­tic tubes, and a light switch, Smer­beck can recre­ate the basic dynam­ics of super­cell thun­der­storms that pro­duce tor­na­does — except his tor­na­does are inch­es, not miles, wide.

As Sci­en­tif­ic Amer­i­can explains it, tor­na­does take form when winds occur­ring at dif­fer­ent lev­els of the atmos­phere vary in direc­tion caus­ing thun­der­storms to rotate, and when the rota­tion with­in the thun­der­storm extends down to the ground. Smer­beck­’s DIY machine sim­u­lates these move­ments, and you can do the same. You will just need to fol­low a series of videos cre­at­ed by the Tor­na­do Project on YouTube. Start with Part 1 here, and then pro­ceed to Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6

More fas­ci­nat­ing videos can be found in our new col­lec­tion: 125 Great Sci­ence Videos: From Astron­o­my to Physics & Psy­chol­o­gy

h/t  @sheerly

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Hiroshima After the Atomic Bomb in 360 Degrees

In ear­ly August 1945, the world offi­cial­ly entered the atom­ic age when the Unit­ed States dropped two dev­as­tat­ing bombs on Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki, killing 200,000 peo­ple. The destruc­tion is hard to put to words. But when words fail, images begin to fill the void.

Last week, 360Cities gave view­ers one very stark reminder of what hap­pened 66 years ago when the site post­ed a panoram­ic view of Hiroshi­ma. When you click here, you can look north, south, east and west at the wide­spread destruc­tion. Noth­ing was left untouched. This panora­ma is the byprod­uct of sev­er­al images tak­en by dif­fer­ent pho­tog­ra­phers — three from the Unit­ed States and one from Japan. The 360Cities blog tells you more about the project here. H/T Giz­mo­do

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hiroshi­ma Atom­ic Bomb­ing Remem­bered with Google Earth

Way of Life: Rare Footage of the Hiroshi­ma After­math, 1946

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The Cookie Monster/Tom Waits Mashup

Tom Waits and Cook­ie Mon­ster. They are one-of-a-kind char­ac­ters … and yet strange­ly inter­change­able. Above, we have the body of Cook­ie Mon­ster chan­nel­ing the voice of Tom Waits, singing “God’s Away On Busi­ness.” And if you doubt the sim­i­lar­i­ties, sim­ply give a lis­ten to the all-time favorite C is for Cook­ie

Fol­low us on Face­book and Twit­ter, and we’ll deliv­er great cul­ture right to your vir­tu­al doorstep, day in, day out.

via metafil­ter

David Lynch’s Eraserhead Remade in Clay


David Lynch spent five years work­ing on his sur­re­al­ist film Eraser­head, and when it final­ly hit cin­e­mas in 1977, crit­ics panned the film. (Vari­ety called it a “sick­en­ing bad-taste exer­cise.”) Then, adding insult to injury, the film was reject­ed by the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val.

Time has cer­tain­ly been kinder to Eraser­head. Over the years, Stan­ley Kubrick, George Lucas, and John Waters have count­ed them­selves as major fans of the film. Charles Bukows­ki claimed that his love affair with cable tele­vi­sion start­ed when he first tuned in and start­ed watch­ing Eraser­head. Rock bands have named them­selves after the film. And now the lat­est hon­or: Lee Hard­cas­tle has remade the film in clay­ma­tion, and the plot unfolds in pret­ty much 60 sec­onds flat. H/T ope­dr

More Clay­ma­tion Films:

Chess in Clay­ma­tion

William S. Bur­roughs’ Clay­ma­tion Christ­mas Film

Down to the Bone

Pla­to’s Repub­lic … in Clay

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.