February 20, 2014
The Art of Ice-Hockey Goaltending

"Goaltending is an extreme sport inside an extreme sport: Your job is to go out on the ice and repeatedly get in the way of a frozen hard-rubber disc that moves faster than anything you directly interact with in your normal life."
J.J. Gould, the executive editor of TheAtlantic.com and a former goalie, talks tactics.
Read more.

The Art of Ice-Hockey Goaltending

"Goaltending is an extreme sport inside an extreme sport: Your job is to go out on the ice and repeatedly get in the way of a frozen hard-rubber disc that moves faster than anything you directly interact with in your normal life."

J.J. Gould, the executive editor of TheAtlantic.com and a former goalie, talks tactics.

Read more.

November 15, 2013
Apple Cores are a Myth

What do you think an apple core is? What’s the thing we throw away?
It is a ghost. If you eat your apples whole, you are a hero to this ghost. If you do not, you are barely alive. Come experience vitality.
Earlier this year, in “How to Eat Apples Like a Boss,” a video by Foodbeast, the Internet was promised the gift of confidence in apple-eating. Elie Ayrouth ate an apple starting at the bottom, proceeding to up to the top, and finishing with a wink to the camera, as a boss does. Eating as such, Foodbeast said, the core “disappears.”
I do them one better and say that it never existed. The core is a product of society, man. There is a thin fibrous band, smaller in diameter than a pencil and not bad to the taste. If you eat your apple vertically, it is not noticeable to taste.
Read more.

Apple Cores are a Myth

What do you think an apple core is? What’s the thing we throw away?

It is a ghost. If you eat your apples whole, you are a hero to this ghost. If you do not, you are barely alive. Come experience vitality.

Earlier this year, in “How to Eat Apples Like a Boss,” a video by Foodbeast, the Internet was promised the gift of confidence in apple-eating. Elie Ayrouth ate an apple starting at the bottom, proceeding to up to the top, and finishing with a wink to the camera, as a boss does. Eating as such, Foodbeast said, the core “disappears.”

I do them one better and say that it never existed. The core is a product of society, man. There is a thin fibrous band, smaller in diameter than a pencil and not bad to the taste. If you eat your apple vertically, it is not noticeable to taste.

Read more.

October 28, 2013
These Proto-GIFs of the 19th Century Put Today’s GIFs to Shame

GIFs as we know them may date from the 1980s; as analog concepts, though, they’re much older than that. The principles of motion-making were recognized by Euclid. Starting in the 1800s, scientists and inventors and hobbyists began experimenting with technologies that would fool the eye into perceptions of motion. In 1832, the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau invented a device he called the phenakistoscope (from the Greek phenakizein, “to deceive or cheat”)—a rod-mounted disc that, when spun, created the illusion of motion. There was also the thaumatrope, a double-sided card that simulated motion when it was twirled between two pieces of string. There was also, in 1879, Muybridge’s famous zoopraxiscope. 

As new technologies created new venues for motion graphics, artists eagerly took advantage of them. The earliest GIFs—GIFs in spirit, before there were GIFs in practice—ranged in content, like their digital counterparts, from curiosity to artistry, from the banal to the brilliant. Which is a fact appreciated by Richard Balzer, who has spent the past 40 years accumulating a collection of early animation technologies. Balzer, the subject of a great profile in The Verge, has spent the past five of those years curating a virtual museum of his collection—including drawings and photographs of the 19th-century animations he’s gathered, as well as images of the technologies themselves. And he has begun converting those early moving images into GIFs that he has, in turn, posted to his Tumblr.
The animations range, awesomely, in style and tone.
Read more. [Image: The Richard Balzer Collection]

These Proto-GIFs of the 19th Century Put Today’s GIFs to Shame

GIFs as we know them may date from the 1980s; as analog concepts, though, they’re much older than that. The principles of motion-making were recognized by Euclid. Starting in the 1800s, scientists and inventors and hobbyists began experimenting with technologies that would fool the eye into perceptions of motion. In 1832, the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau invented a device he called the phenakistoscope (from the Greek phenakizein, “to deceive or cheat”)—a rod-mounted disc that, when spun, created the illusion of motion. There was also the thaumatrope, a double-sided card that simulated motion when it was twirled between two pieces of string. There was also, in 1879, Muybridge’s famous zoopraxiscope

As new technologies created new venues for motion graphics, artists eagerly took advantage of them. The earliest GIFs—GIFs in spirit, before there were GIFs in practice—ranged in content, like their digital counterparts, from curiosity to artistry, from the banal to the brilliant. Which is a fact appreciated by Richard Balzer, who has spent the past 40 years accumulating a collection of early animation technologies. Balzer, the subject of a great profile in The Verge, has spent the past five of those years curating a virtual museum of his collection—including drawings and photographs of the 19th-century animations he’s gathered, as well as images of the technologies themselves. And he has begun converting those early moving images into GIFs that he has, in turn, posted to his Tumblr.

The animations range, awesomely, in style and tone.

Read more. [Image: The Richard Balzer Collection]

October 24, 2013
America’s Most Popular Boys’ Names Since 1960, in 1 GIF

America’s Most Popular Boys’ Names Since 1960, in 1 GIF

October 23, 2013
You Can Now Liberate GIFs From the Web With an Old, Weird Technology

We live in an age of great GIF ubiquity. The animated images, receptacles of small, silent feeling, news, or art, are everywhere and here to stay. GIFs are malleable yet sharable, concise yet context-free.
They’re also trapped online: Introduced in 1987, the Graphic Interchange Format is a product and prisoner of the digital world.
Or are they? A new project is trying to liberate GIFs from the digital world with the help of one old, weird, 20th-century technology.
Read more. [Image: Hwang and Binx]

You Can Now Liberate GIFs From the Web With an Old, Weird Technology

We live in an age of great GIF ubiquity. The animated images, receptacles of small, silent feelingnews, or art, are everywhere and here to stay. GIFs are malleable yet sharable, concise yet context-free.

They’re also trapped online: Introduced in 1987, the Graphic Interchange Format is a product and prisoner of the digital world.

Or are they? A new project is trying to liberate GIFs from the digital world with the help of one old, weird, 20th-century technology.

Read more. [Image: Hwang and Binx]

September 27, 2013
Did the U.S. Government Create the Greatest GIF of All Time? 

The U.S. Census Bureau works with a lot of data. That makes sense, because they have a lot of data! So they need a tool to collate it, organize it, sort through it, sniff through it… a weasel-like tool… a…

Federated

Electronic

Research

Review

Extraction and

Tabulation

Tool.
A Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. is the tool you use to sort through US Census data.  To advertise it, the Census Bureau has a data ferret GIF
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Did the U.S. Government Create the Greatest GIF of All Time?

The U.S. Census Bureau works with a lot of data. That makes sense, because they have a lot of data! So they need a tool to collate it, organize it, sort through it, sniff through it… a weasel-like tool… a…

Federated

Electronic

Research

Review

Extraction and

Tabulation

Tool.

A Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. Data F.E.R.R.E.T.T. is the tool you use to sort through US Census data.  To advertise it, the Census Bureau has a data ferret GIF

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

August 26, 2013
Finally, a Service to Track Viral GIFs (Like the Weird Ones From Last Night’s VMAs)

The new service GifHell tracks the most viral animated GIFs.
Read more.

Finally, a Service to Track Viral GIFs (Like the Weird Ones From Last Night’s VMAs)

The new service GifHell tracks the most viral animated GIFs.

Read more.

August 19, 2013
The New Tools That Let You Build a Personal GIF Library

7:50pm
  
Filed under: GIFs Make a gif Technology Tech 
July 17, 2013
Laughter Without Humor: On the Laugh-Loop GIF

Aristotle called laughter an “ensouling mechanism,” and the academic discipline of humor studies has built itself upon the assumption that laughter is a quintessentially human response to the socio-cultural discourse of humor. Laughter is offered as proof of our exceptional status as thinking social creatures; we are "the only animal that laughs." GIFs that feature sniggering squirrels, cackling cartoon toasters, and rollicking robots would seem to undermine this selfish view of laughter as an exclusively human activity. But even worse, the laugh-loop GIF disassociates laughter from humor. By severing laughter from the context that incites it, the laugh-loop GIF reveals that laughter is not only a consequence of its sociocultural coordinates, but also a weird object in itself. Laughter, it seems, is not ‘for us’ but has its own alien being that has hitherto been masked by its everydayness.
Read more.

Laughter Without Humor: On the Laugh-Loop GIF

Aristotle called laughter an “ensouling mechanism,” and the academic discipline of humor studies has built itself upon the assumption that laughter is a quintessentially human response to the socio-cultural discourse of humor. Laughter is offered as proof of our exceptional status as thinking social creatures; we are "the only animal that laughs." GIFs that feature sniggering squirrels, cackling cartoon toasters, and rollicking robots would seem to undermine this selfish view of laughter as an exclusively human activity. But even worse, the laugh-loop GIF disassociates laughter from humor. By severing laughter from the context that incites it, the laugh-loop GIF reveals that laughter is not only a consequence of its sociocultural coordinates, but also a weird object in itself. Laughter, it seems, is not ‘for us’ but has its own alien being that has hitherto been masked by its everydayness.

Read more.

June 26, 2013

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