Marco's blog

Why is Clerks Black and White?

Clerks (1994) is one of the few well-known recent films shot in black-and-white for no artistic purpose; because of the extremely low out-of-pocket budget, the production team could not afford the added costs of shooting in color (though the difference in film stock price would be slight, the store's fluorescent lights could not be used to light for color; by shooting in black and white, the film-makers did not have to rent lighting equipment).

Telephone - Lady Gaga Music Video Clip

Lady Gaga has released a music video clip of her song Telephone which is over 9 minutes long and features Beyonce Knowles. Within 12 hours of the video being released on the internet it had half a million hits and nearly as many blogs dissecting its possible meanings. Lady Gaga has said the video had been inspired by Quentin Tarantino's films.

"There's certainly always a hidden message in my music videos," she said. "I'm always trying to convolute everyone's idea of what a pop-music video should be." Early in the clip, there's a scene set in a prison yard featuring a lesbian snog between a butch lesbian dressed in leather and Lady Gaga, who is wearing a pair of sunglasses constructed from burning cigarettes.

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine Viral Video

OK Go - the band responsible for the treadmill dance video "Here It Goes Again" which was a youtube viral video have created another viral video for the band's new song "This too Shall Pass". "This Too Shall Pass" has been viewed over 300,000 times in less than two days, and according to link-shortening service Bit.ly, the link has been shared over 26,000 times on Facebook.

The video, depicting an elaborate series of chain-reactions known as a Rube Goldberg machine, may be rising in popularity by tapping into a YouTube trend. Rube Goldberg machines, named after the US cartoonist and inventor, are a popular subject of YouTube videos. Users share clips of the best contraptions, often created for real-world competitions, with some clocking up to 1.9 million views online. The four-minute video was shot in one take and took 60 tries to get it right over two days, according to Wired.com.

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - RGM version

PayPal Instant Payment Notification Disabled

How to stop "PayPal Instant Payment Notification Disabled" emails. Go to https://www.paypal.com/au/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_profile-ipn-notify and you'll find your offending Paypal setting. I turned my IPN off since I don't use that shopping cart anymore. "To stop receiving IPNs permanently, click Turn Off IPN." Usually the result of an abandoned shopping cart website development project of yours...

Eastern Creek Go Karting

Went to Eastern Creek Go Carts in Western Sydney last weekend. These are my racing cheat notes for their track for the next time I go there. I love how they say on their website that "The circuit has a total of two kilometres of the best quality Bitumen available. The racing surface was produced by Boral and is the finest ever laid on a kart circuit." But in reality, the track has degraded over the years and it really needs resurfacing. My local road has a better surface than their track! Watch out for loose gravel!

When you first hit the track from the pits, just gun it. There is no starting line. The faster you go, the more muscle you need to put into steering your go-kart, lose control and you'll find yourself hitting the kerb or the tyres. Oversteer with too much acceleration around a corner will send you spinning. It takes a little courage to not brake through a curve because it feels like you're going to run into the grass. You'll get faster times when you don't brake around shallow corners and just follow through by releasing the gas a little before the curve then gunning it after you've passed the main curve while completing the turn. For tighter turns, you need to enter the turn wide and brake before, then 50% into the turn start accelerating. You get a printout of your time at the end of the race.

Go Karting at Eastern Creek costs $85 for the 13 HP karts for 2 x 15 minute heats. It gets busy during weekends and holidays so if you can, go on a weekday, otherwise get a group booking so you're only racing with your mates and not some other randoms.

Ella Fitzgerald is Awesome

Ella Fitzgerald's music is awesome. When I discovered her music a long time ago while browsing the selection of CDs at the local public library, I was lucky enough to pick her CD. Below are the two songs that are really memorable to me: Mack The Knife and Let's Call the Whole thing off (duet with Louis Armstrong).

Ella Fitzgerald - Mack The Knife

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as the "First Lady of Song" and "Lady Ella," was an American jazz vocalist. With a vocal range spanning three octaves, she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. She is widely considered one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Over a recording career that lasted 59 years, she was the winner of 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Art by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

How to Do a Wheelie on a Mountain Bike

I wish I can do a wheelie on my mountain bike! This is a tutorial I found on Youtube:

Wheelie on a Mountain Bike Tutorial

The most important thing on your bike, is your brake system, you will need the brake lever on your handlebars. When performing a wheelie, this will help you control speed and prevent you from falling on your butt. Your rear brake has to function properly or you will face the risk of falling.

Adjust your seat to a middle position, You'll ride the wheelie sitting down, and seat position will help keep you maintain your centre of gravity and balance.

Can you Install Windows on a Mac?

I was watching this recent video (below) with Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) and the student claims that his Mac has windows installed on it. According to this Engadget article, you can. There's also a video showing you how to do it below...

Caprica - Battlestar Galactica Spin Off

The airing of Caprica's pilot episode started last week on SyFy on the 22nd January. It was the same episode which was released on DVD last year - although this one was edited to have less nudity and sex scenes. Caprica is a spin-off and prequel of Battlestar Galactica. I found that these reviews on io9 and Popwatch particularly good.

When I first watch Caprica last year I was lost. This spin-off series was totally different from Battlestar Galactica. It took me a second viewing to see the science fiction themes running through the episode and get used to the new episodal structure. I think they've put a lot of stuff into the two hour special. From Zoe creating an avatar which is "alive" even when she dies (ooopss spoiler), to the virtually twisted religious theme of monotheism vs polytheism. We're also given a front seat to the birth of the first cylon. I guess they're off to a great start.

Street Fighter Parody

Street fighter Parody comedy scene with Jackie Chan from City Hunter Hong Kong movie. Ryo is thrown into a Street Fighter II arcade game and suffers an electric shock. This causes Ryo to hallucinate, and to his horror Kim becomes Ken, who proceeds to beat him up with hurricane kicks. Ryo then accidentally chooses E. Honda, but was quickly defeated. After E.Honda loses, the Soft-Hard Kids (Eric Kot and Jan Lamb), come to Ryo's aid by turning into Guile and Dhalsim, only to be blown away by a Hadouken.

When are they Switching the Analogue Signal Off in Australia?

The Australian Government is officially switching off the analogue signal in Australia by the end of 2013. The offical timetable for the switchover to digital television with the Victorian town of Mildura set to be switched over from analogue TV to digital in the first half of 2010. Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and remote western, central and eastern Australia will be digital-only by the end of 2013. So between now and 2013 tv analogue signals are being switched off and so its time to buy those new LCD/plasma screens with inbuilt digital tuners or just buy a digital tuner box.

Bear Grylls and Man vs. Wild

Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls is an awesome show. I recently stumbled upon it while flicking channels on SBS in Australia. I can't believe how behind we are as they are up to Season 6 in USA! This guy is awesome - episodes are jam packed with reality TV action - not the cheesy kind but the informative/entertainment kind. At the beginning of every episode Bear Grylls gets "delivered" to some remote part of the world - usually by jumping out of a Helicopter. The goal is to survive with just a knife and a flint while trying to make it to civilisation.

Animals with Genetic Mutations

Animals with genetic mutations are popping up around the world - for realz. Checkout the photos below...

Remember the Simpsons episode called "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish"? This is the episode where Bart and Lisa go fishing downstream of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Springfield Shopper reporter Dave Shutton pulls up just as Bart catches a three-eyed fish, which the media nicknames Blinky. Then later in the episode, Marge serves Blinky for dinner to Mr Burns. The animals below come with extra legs, extra faces and single eye abnormalities from genetic mutations.


Life has a Low Signal to Noise Ratio

I was listening to Dr Karl on triple J podcast from early December 2009 when he started talking philosophical saying how "Life has a Low Signal to Noise Ratio." He goes on to explain the analogy with an old vinyl record where you can hear the noise in the background. And then a cassette has less noise and compared to a CD, there is little noise - so this means this has a good signal to noise ratio. He says that life doesn't have a good signal to noise ratio. He says that, "if you are walking down the street and you see the person - the one that is meant for you, the clouds do not open up and the voice of God says, hey You, go that's the person... but no, that doesn't happen - it doesn't rise above the noise...." Hmmmm...

Freestyle Cycling - Danny MacAskill

I'm into cycling... but this is nuts... you have got to watch this video (even if you aren't into cycling:

Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009 - Filmed over the period of a few months in and around Edinburgh by Dave Sowerby, this video of Inspired Bicycles team rider Danny MacAskill (more info at www.dannymacaskill.com) features probably the best collection of street/street trials riding ever seen.

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