Tab Sweep Saturday

Just a few tabs this week:

I really liked this: 1000 frame/sec video of an eagle owl’s final approach toward the camera.

Also this, which combines Legos, Star Wars, and computer graphics for a nerdy trifecta:

And, finally, a Firefly panel:

(There are several additional bits from that same panel.)

Internet-Enabled TV

We got rid of our cable nearly 15 years ago, and haven’t seen any broadcast TV since then, except at neighbors’ homes. We are great patrons of Netflix and the library’s DVD loan program.

Increasingly, we get a lot of content off the internet, which we watch on our computers. I’d been wondering how to watch internet content on our TV. Now I know, courtesy Tyler Stanton (yes, the Tyler Stanton of Tripp and Tyler fame).

The Goodbye Look

Well. Here’s something different: Mel Torme covering Donald Fagen’s “The Goodbye Look“:

That’s my second-favorite track on, The Nightfly, one of my all-time favorite albums. My favorite track is “Walk Between Raindrops.” If you don’t like it, well, you’re a loser, I’m sorry. And if you do like it, try Kamakiriad, Fagen’s next solo album, which was released just 11 short years later. Start there with “Tomorrow’s Girls.”

Eurology – Now With the Amazing Flute-Cam!

I happened on this video earlier while looking for Ian Anderson‘s “Eurology.” This is a very creditable cover version, but what makes it worth watching is the amazing flute-camera the artist (Jackinart) put together.

At first, watching it makes you a little sea-sick, but it’s worth watching to see how a flutist holds their instrument. I always thought there would be more wobble than this, but it’s pretty much rock-steady. Very impressive. And a great song, of course.

Immovable iMovie

I’ve only used iMovie a handful of times, and frankly, that was too many. It gets the job done, but it’s inexplicable and bloody-minded. Here’s an example:

Immovable iMovie

What happened was that I tried to import a movie, but I inadvertantly picked the wrong one. But I had lots of time to rue my error, staring at this dialog. Because, you see, iMovie doesn’t have a “cancel” button. Arrgh! That’s forgivable in an application that gets busy and makes you wait 2-3 seconds for something, but when it wants you to cool your heels for 10 minutes at a stroke, not having a cancel button is ridiculous. From the HIG:

Modelessness
As much as possible, allow users to do whatever they want at all times. Avoid using modes that lock them into one operation and prevent them from working on anything else until that operation is completed. … If an application uses modes, there must be a clear visual indicator of the current mode, and it should be very easy for users to get into and out of the mode.