Because it’s Friday: Blue Planet II: The Prequel

I once spent a very memorable evening in a 21,000 seat arena in Manchester where the biggest screen I have ever seen covered the whole of one side.

Sat below the screen, dwarfed by it’s scale, was a full classical orchestra.

The orchestra was there to play the original soundtrack to accompany the stunning Blue Planet visuals on the screen. The visual and auditory effect was stunning.

We’ll soon be watching Blue Planet II, but before that here’s a prequel:

The first thing I did after installing iOS 11 was enable “Do Not Disturb While Driving” because “It’s People Like Us”

When I get into my car I normally turn my iPhone to silent and place it upside down on shelf out of view.

Why so paranoid? I know I’m easily distracted.

Smartphones are powerful distraction devices, very powerful. Distraction and driving is a deadly combination. Enabling “Do Not Disturb While Driving” in iOS 11 will work as another safeguard against the distraction.

I have no idea how many times I check my phone every day, but it’s a lot, and it’s mostly unconscious. If my phone is within reach I’ll check it so i need to take practical steps to avoid the interuptions.

A documentary released yesterday called It’s People Like Us provides a powerful reminder of the impact of this distraction:

This documentary follows five real Australians who, just like us, have found themselves drawn into their screens at the expense of common sense and self preservation.

Because it’s Friday: Take Hart | 5 Minute Compilation of Morph

It’s been a little while since we had some Morph and as he’s 40 this year I thought we’d take a look back at his appearances on Take Hart which was a favourite of my childhood. As Morph was on television for over three decades I suspect that there are a lot of childhoods with the same fond memories.

It always amazed me how much effort must have gone in to creating these initial short segments.

There’s also a 15 minute compilation and a 25 minute remastered compilation if you need more.

Because it’s Friday: “Chinese Spouting Bowl in Slow Motion” by The Slow Mo Guys

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the most fascinating when slowed down, that’s certainly true when the Slow Mo Guys start to play with a Chinese Spouting Bowl, also known as a Singing Bowl.

Being able to see sound vibrations and the resulting resonance is fabulous, especially when you see that the bowl you thought was quite still is moving quite a bit:

Because it’s Friday: “10 Hours Of Relaxing Planet Earth II Mountain Sounds” by Earth Unplugged

I usually choose short interesting videos, this one isn’t one of them, it’s 10 hours of mountain video with sound from Planet Earth II including green meadows, forests, snow capped peaks, hummingbirds and bees.

There’s an interesting reason for the BBC doing this and that’s it’s Real Happiness Project which has been built following a study which suggests that watching nature programmes, specifically Planet Earth II, is good for your happiness:

The study found a range of significant results evidencing not only that watching content from Planet Earth II inspired significant increases in feelings of awe, contentedness, joy, amusement and curiosity, but that it also acted to reduce feelings of tiredness, anger and stress. In the majority of cases, changes in emotions were caused by the type of content viewed, and significantly different from the control group. Our findings therefore support the conclusion that viewing Planet Earth II inspires positive changes in emotions that are distinct to the natural history genre.

If you prefer desert, or island, or jungle video and sounds, there’s another 10 hours available for each of them. You could spend a whole working week just watching and listening to nature.

Because it’s Friday: “Detour” a film by Michel Gondry

I’m feeling a little bit surreal today and this film by Michel Gondry fit the criteria.

The tricycle is definitely the star of the show, nut the singing fish are quite good too.

From a technical perspective, it’s shot entirely on an iPhone 7 (which is why it’s been published by Apple). Film making used to require equipment worth millions of pounds, there are clearly limitations to using a mobile device, but this video shows that film making can now be done an a very reasonable budget: