Saturday, 22 November 2008

The internet is a truly inspiring and wonderful tool

A short while back, whilst doing my weekly (sometimes daily) Youtube video crawl, I discovered something totally OSSUM. But as I continued to dig (click), the story behind this ossumness made my discovery even sweeter.

Whilst searching for Barbershop vidoes I discovered these guys who are video recording individual parts of Acapella pieces and then multi-track editing it all into single split screen videos. But when Simon Rylander, from Sweden (Youtube username - FineyLeee) had trouble singing the top parts in one particular piece what did he do??
Give up?

NOPE!

He did what any innovative internet user would do; he found a man called Nick Brown(nbro085)on the otherside of the world in New Zealand who also made multi-track barbershop videos! They recorded their parts and collaborated to create this piece:



They didn't stop there, these two internet Barbershop singers collaborated again, this time with two others, paving the way for the first ever Internet Barbershop Quartet who have never actually met or sang together in person. It's a truly inspiring example of how the power of the internet and our increasingly connected world can be harnessed for positivity and creativity; I LOVE IT!

Below are the two singers that joined Nick and Simon for this world exclusive:


Brandon Staggs, from the USA (bhsnerd)


Josh Chevalier, from Canada (bordonthestreet)

Here is the piece sang by all four individuals:


Tenor: Nick Brown, from New Zealand (nbro085)
Lead: Simon Rylander, from Sweden (FineyLeee)
Bari: Brandon Staggs, from the USA (bhsnerd)
Bass: Josh Chevalier, from Canada (bordonthestreet)
(See Simon's description notes for details on how this was achieved.)

Gentlemen, I salute you and I hope this four-part collaboration wasn't the last!
ps. Simon's Scarborough fair is simply spellbinding - check it out


- Mr. Devo

Friday, 14 November 2008

The news paper headline we never thought we'd see! (atleast not any time soon)

New York Times reports end to Iraq war


If only! Unfortunately, this monumental headline was created by infamous viral pranksters "The Yes Men". The Yes Men, the subject of a documentary film in 2003 and labelled "anti-economic liberalization activists" created a 14-page special edition of this New York Times-a-like and an accompanying website which mimics the real New York Times home page. The Fake edition, dated July 4th 2009, was printed and handed out by volunteers at New York Subway stations on Wednesday morning and many passers by took them believing they were genuine. If the bold faux headline wasn't enough, other revolutionary stories printed inside the Yes Men's special Edition were articles about Bush being indicted for the Iraq war, NHS for the American people and other stories of progressive politics and taxation.

Internet and email based hoaxes are one thing, but they've really outdone themselves this time by orchestrating the printing and handing out of a fake edition of the New York Times.

Catherine J. Mathis, a spokesperson for the Times said: "This is obviously a fake issue. We are in the process of finding out more about it."

Whilst another Times employee responded more humorously on the real Times site stating: "Sorry, folks, the paper isn’t free. And the Iraq war isn’t over, at least not yet."

If you've never heard of The Yes Men before, check them out:


www.theyesmen.org/

I really admire and respect this type of socially conscious tom-foolery.

- Mr. Devo

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Thursday, 13 November 2008

Sony PSP Bike!!!!

Hey all two of you that read this ;)

Met this gentlemen "Cliff" a little while back in Carnaby Street. As I walked passed him I noticed the loud music (not uncommon in central/west on a pleasant day) and then i looked a little closer to discover that this guy had rigged his sony psp up to some speakers and connected it all to his bike. But not to stop there, he'd somehow programmed videos on his psp to "dance" in time with his music. He'd hooked the speakers up to volume and on/off controls under the seat and even more insanely he'd created a button that somehow pumps up the tire when it's deflated using a make shift horn he'd created from a water bottle!!! The ingenuity and creativity displayed on this otherwise humble mountain bike was just astounding, thought I'd capture and share it with you all. Maybe it will inspire some people or just give you a good little laugh.

Anywho here's the video:



Isn't that kick ass?

- Mr. Devo

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Saturday, 8 November 2008

The digital world and the physical world.
Can we seperate it?

Today I was reminded of the ever increasing blur between the lines of the physical world and the digital. The words we type here are seemingly becoming more real to others than the words we speak The emotions stirred up by the content of the digital world are apparently growing stronger than those we feel in response to things that occur in the physical world around us.

I'm sure you've all heard the stories of "some guy" getting fired after pulling a sickie and writing about it in his status.
- That's just stupidity.

But the fact the a person's opinions and views are now being taken as if they had come from the horses mouth is truly a mini-phenomenon.


If only horses could type!


How may of you have been insulted/abused or worse attacked for posing an "edgy" or different opinion online or for stimulating debate on a touchy subject?
It's one thing when you get it from relative strangers who you've only ever "known" online, but when people who apparently KNOW you behave in that way, doesn't it scare you,
just a little?

Why can't people acknowledge and accept the difference between this world (the digital www.orld) and the real world?

Let's take this idea one step further: If I was having a bad day, and wrote on here or some other digital outlet that I felt like killing somebody - will we one day see a time when the Police will be called to investigate? Or even preemptively arrest and charge me "al a Minority Report"?

George Orwell was right, but I don't think he ever imagined that we would enslave ourselves with totalitarianism. Its not Big Brother watching, censoring and blindly suppressing us; its us. Our society perversely welcomes the invasion of personal space and the shattering of creative freedom and license.
The sad thing is, our access to information and infinite ways to communicate should free our mind's, but it seems to have shackled us.

We take it in and we shit it out, what happened to asking questions, investigating, challenging?

Our access and developments are making our mind's lazy and turning them into something sponge-like but not a sponge.

At least if you squeeze a sponge a little, it will give back some of what's it's absorbed. Communication ironically in this new age is becoming startlingly one way, despite the possibilities. Fortunately some of us have not fallen into that trap, some of us are asking more questions, sharing more than ever and truly utilizing the possibilities awaiting our finger tips.

I just start to worry when the words we type here are met with wall-like closed mindedness and instead of being open to debate and discussion, to some people, these digital words are reality, set in stone.
Is it that hard to separate our digital selves from our physical selves?

Come one people, we need progression, not regression.

- Mr. Devo

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

YES WE CAN!!!!

This morning at 5am, midnight on the East Coast of America I joined millions of others to witness the history books being written in one of the most emphatic ways imaginable.


Rosa Parks sat down, so Martin Luther King could stand up
Martin marched, so Obama could run
Obama ran, so that all of our children may one day fly


Many people, myself included did not truly believe that America would have the vision or bravery to elect Barack Obama as president, not only because he's an African-American but also because he's a relatively inexperienced. But yesterday America proved that their dream, the American dream is as alive as ever and ready to fight back; not with closed fists and fingers on triggers, but with open arms and immense levels of spirit and hope.

Whilst watching arguably the best speech I have ever heard in my life, I felt the tide of change, a shift in the psyche of an entire nation which will inevitably and eventually ripple throughout this world. As Obama said:

"we may not get there in one year or one term, but as a people, we will get there"

He may not have the experience of some others but the strength of his character and the belief in his heart has connected with so many people and that is what has made the difference. He is not naive, he's knows he can't do it alone and for me that was the clincher, Obama's quest to seek out and forge a "more perfect Union" has brought more people together to vote than ever before. His vision transcends Race, Creed, Sexual Orientation, Political/Religious views. Barack Obama's vision is inclusive, humble and hopeful.

For those of you who have not yet caught his victory speech:





I truly believe America has set a golden ball rolling and I believe that ball of hope has been galvanised not by the victory of Obama but by the spirit in which both candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama iterated a desire to work closely with one another to forge a better future for our world and future generations. John McCain gave a touching, honest and wise speech and it's his attitude coupled with Obama's humble, but proud acceptance, in my mind and in the minds of millions of other people world wide has laid down the the 1st building block of a bridge to a brighter future and a better day, not just for some; but for all.

- Mr. Devo