Thursday, June 29, 2006

Disaster Map

Top Men don't recommend the Alert Map Site as a happy way to start the day. But for an intriguing glance at what's going on around the world, you may want to give it a click.

Previous related Wohba links:
I Feel The Earth Move
Earthquake Feeds

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Holophonic Sound

Okay, people have two ears - makes it easy to figure out if a sound is to the left or to the right. But amazingly we can also determine if a sound is above, below, behind, or in front of us. How does that work? Top Men have figured out that it has to do with the folds and shape of the ear itelf, subtle delays and distortions of the sound that our brain subconsciously interprets to accurately pinpoint a sound location in 3D space.

There are ways to record sound with more of the 3D attributes, but holophonic sound (patented in 1983 by Umberto Gabriele Maggi) is produced by recording and processing multiple sources to produce some very distinctive 3D results. We've included links to a few sound samples...

Headphones required. (You won't get the effect without 'em.)

Box of Matches (best sample)
Hair Cut with Scissors
Whispered Sweet Nothings
Assorted Demo (not as good)

Pink Floyd's "Final Cut" album has some holophonic sound on it. But in an interview in 1983 David Gilmour claims they really didn't do it justice. It still might be worth a listen on your iPod.

Seems like with today's processing power, we should be able to simulate this in real-time. Anyone?

Previous related Wohba links:
Villainous Youth Repellent

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Watch the Birdies

During the spring and fall millions of starlings perform a migratory ballet at the T√łndermarsken in Denmark. Here are a few photos of the phenomenon known as Sort Sol (Black Sun.)

(via digg)

Honey, I Shrunk the Garden.

It's possible to use Photoshop to create a false narrow depth-of-field (fake tilt-shift effect) - making a photo of a normal scene appear oddly miniaturized. Top Men applied the effect to a stereo photo of a garden scene taken with the the two photos farther apart than normal human eyes - which also creates a miniature effect. The result is a stereo image of a garden that looks amazingly tiny.

To view the image in 3D you should center your eyes directly in front of, and directly between, the large image pair (a couple feet from your monitor.) Now cross your eyes. Try to form a combined image between the two images, and then try and bring that combined image into focus. It may be difficult if you've never done it before, but the more you do it the easier it gets. And Top Men have more stereo images to bring you in the future - so you better get good at it.

Flickr collection of fake tilt-shifted photos.
Tinselman collection of some Disneyland fake tilt-shifted photos.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Never Ending Mosaics

Top Men like mosaic images - big pictures made of little pictures. Here the little pictures become big pictures that are made of more little pictures. Rinse. Repeat.

The fun never ends.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Never Trust a Liar Bird

The lyrebird is a ground-dwelling bird from Australia (they get all the cool creatures) that has a rather amazing ability to reproduce almost any sound it hears. Like, for example, other birds, cameras, car alarms, and chain saws.

Celebrate naturalist David Attenborough's 80th birthday by enjoying this video clip featuring the lyrebird.

Previous related Wohba links:
Aye Aye Sir
Alien Creatures
Lurch the Wonder Watusi

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blowing Underwater Bubble Rings

Top Men had heard of dolphins blowing bubble rings, but this guy beats anything a dolphin can do. The video is worth watching all the way through so you don't miss the final trick with two rings near the end. Very amazing stuff.

Top Men are gonna go lay on the bottom of the pool for a while.

Previous related Wohba links:
Giant Smoke Rings

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

More Illusions of Color

Top Men have to admit that they've become somewhat enamored with the color illusion photos. So we tried our hand at one. We pushed the color saturation higher, and tweaked a few other parameters. The results are pretty amazing.

Previous related Wohba links:
Illusions of Color
Follow Me
Moving Illusions
Grand Illusion

Monday, June 05, 2006

Meet Me Here

For some strange reason Top Men are attracted to useful (and useless) hacks for Google Maps. Pin in the Map is just so convenient for letting people know where you are, or telling them where to go. Replace the following abstract directional nonsense...
After coming into town on I40, take the Central exit (west). Take Central (route 66) for about five miles until you hit Girard. Turn right (north) on Girard until Campus. Then turn left (west) on Campus and... blah, blah, blah.
with simply...
Meet me here.
The Internet - making life easier for those with broadband.

Previous related Wohba links:
Describe Planet Earth
Weather Power
Google Ogle