When We Left Earth – HD-TV in the 60’s?

Yesterday, as I was watching Discovery Channel’s new series When We Left Earth, I noticed something peculiar. The test, launch and space footage from NASA was in HD and in 16:9 ratio (without pillar-boxing). I started to wonder if they cropped the top and bottom of the footage (beam-boxing??). After doing some research, it looks like NASA did a deal with Discovery to let them convert all the original footage into HD (and presumably digital) to use in their documentary. However, NASA gets all the converted footage for their archives.

Source of the footage aside, the When We Left Earth’s strong point was the fact that they have interviews with the actual people involved with the missions. From astronauts to mission control specialists to family members. So the amount of detail and behind the scenes information they provide is unmatched in anything else I’ve seen before about the space race. It’s not just presented as a history lesson, but more like the viewer is part of the NASA team racing to put a man into space… and on the moon.

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I am no Jackson Pollock, and so can you!

jackson-pollock

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Jackson Pollock, but can appreciate his message and approach. Never having the opportunity to try his methods before, I could not really see his challenge of finding the right amount of spacial balance and color choice. But thanks to the internet and a flash applet, I was able to paint my first Pollock. Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas allows anyone to imagine they are in a hot paint stained studio, leaning over a large canvas with a dripping brush in one hand, paint bucket in the other and a cigarette lollipop in their mouth.

However, once I had a few stabs at creating my own drip-piece, I could really see the difficulty in validating that thrift-store painting an ex-trucker bought for five bucks in San Bernardino, California.

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Partial Digg Outage

digg-outage

Digg was partially down today (June 2nd, 2008), “…for a brief period, while we make some changes.” The extent of the outage was anyone hitting Digg with a “www” in the URL got that error page, but without the “www” it loaded fine. I doubt this was a planned activity, but rather someone fiddling around with the webserver or DNS settings. The “brief period” lasted roughly 12 hours (10am EST to 10:30pm EST).

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

To me, more interesting than the DNS issue, was the actual Out of Service page. The page consisted of that pixelated graphic (at the top) along with a list of links the Digg crew likes. Continue reading to check out the full list. Read More »

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Mad Men Season Two Premiere Date Announced

Mad Men Season 2

My favorite new show from last season was AMC’s 1960’s period drama Mad Men. For those not in the know, it’s about a Madison Avenue advertising company set in the evolving cultural milieu after the Korean War and before Vietnam. The show features great character development, smart dialog and an excellent period setting. It’s also interesting to see (through hindsight) how historically significant issues were dealt with — Cigarette advertising limitations, Kennedy/Nixon election and even the role of women in the workplace.

Enough talk… the second season will premiere Sunday July 27th at 10pm EST. Read More »

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