Paperclip boogie

This video was shot on the Rokko Liner, an automated guideway transit system in Kobe, Japan which links the man-made Rokko Island to Sumiyoshi Station on the JR Kobe Line. The paperclips were placed on the floor of the train. When the train accelerates and brakes, the paperclips stand on end and appear to dance in response to the magnetic field produced by the electric current that drives the motors located under the floor. The Kobe New Transit Company, which operates the liner says extra shielding is being installed just in case the magnetism could harm the human body.


Rabbit in the closet

The Boing Boing Video website has launched a video microblog called the BBVBOX. Blogger Susannah Breslin tweeted this animation called Red Rabbit by Egmont Mayer ( Red Rabbit (which looks pinkish in the animation) symbolises a secret that so overwhelms the keeper that he no longer has a life left. When his neighbour, who is very obviously keen on him, pops around to borrow sugar, he is so aware of the very large rabbit lurking in his apartment that he is unable to function normally and hands her his entire bag of sugar, just to get rid of her before she sees his secret. His dreams are spent anxiously pursuing his rabbit through snow-filled landscapes. One night, after shooing his neighbour away once more, he sees her in his dream, caressing his rabbit. When the ceiling of his apartment collapses (from all the rabbit's thumping about) and his neighbour falls through it, the truth is revealed...According to Mayer, the film (which was animated at a rate of ten seconds a week) took him two years to make.


According to online reports, Neda Agha-Soltan was urged by a friend not to take part in the protest on Saturday last week where she was singled out by a sniper and shot in the chest. "Don't worry," she said. "It's just one bullet and it's over." The video of Neda's death on YouTube is accompanied by this message from the user who posted it: "At 19:05 June 20th Place: Kargar Ave., at the corner crossing Khosravi St. and Salehi st. A young woman who was standing aside with her father (he was later identified as her music teacher) watching the protests was shot by a Basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house. He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her. But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim’s chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes. The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St. The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me. Please let the world know."



Before Matti Juhani Saari, 22, went on a shooting rampage at his catering college at the School of Hospitality in Kauhajoki, Finland, killing 10 of his fellow students and then turning the gun on himself, he posted a video on YouTube which shows him pointing at the camera and saying "You will die next" and then firing his gun into something at his feet. According to Times Online, Saari was picked up by police and questioned just 24 hours before the massacre. He was released when they found they had no reason to detain him. Finnish president Tarja Halonen announced on Wednesday this week that the government would be reviewing its gun laws. In November last year Pekka-Eric Auvinen, killed 8 people at a school in Helsinki. He had also posted a “massacre manifesto” video on the website.



My chair is a transformer

The various permutations of the video featuring a robotic
chair that can build itself from a state of disrepair back into
a perfectly respectable piece of furniture have somewhat
diluted what Cornell students Max Dean, Raffaello d"Andrea
and Matt Donovan had in mind for their creation. For them,
The Robotic Chair "stands in for the individual and a society
over the course of a lifetime - falling apart, falling down,
gathering oneself together, picking oneself up, again and
again" which is precisely what happens in the video. After
being thrown to t he floor, the chair slowly begins assembling
itself; the seat wheels over to the back and legs and clips in
place and like an automaton calf newly born, raises itself up.



The experience of watching your world blow up to strains of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, is an emotional one.

In this mashup snatched from Discovery Channel's Miracle Planet series and transplanted to YouTube with a new sound track and subtitles, a huge asteroid slowly travels (at 500 km and hour) towards Earth, casts first an ominous shadow across it and then slams into it with a force that rips its crust off and renders the planet uninhabitable.

The final frame reveals that "this has happened at least six times in Earth's history.


No skating on highway!

Berlin - Police are trying to track down a man filmed riding a skateboard down a steep stretch of south German motorway at 100km/h, far above the speed limit.

They believe the man who raced down the Ulm-Stuttgart motorway for three kilometres before he stopped and fled was a professional stuntman, Goeppingen police spokesperson Uli Stoeckle said.

A video of the skateboarder, broadcast on German television networks on Wednesday, showed a helmeted figure wearing a red and white protective suit building up speed by holding onto the back of a motorcycle before letting go and freewheeling.

"We put out an all-points bulletin and have received information that gives us useful clues to who the man may be," Stoeckle said.

"We are particularly concerned about copycats who may imitate the stunt, putting their lives at risk."

The film clips show several cars escorting the skateboarder, enabling his collaborators to record the event. The clips have since surfaced on websites.

The German magazine Stern said the mystery man is known in skateboarding circles as a professional stuntman and takes part in international downhill skateboarding competitions.

Stoeckle said the man faces charges for interfering with traffic safety and endangering motorists, and would lose his driver's licence and face a "substantial fine". He denied media reports the skateboarder would face a one-year jail sentence.

There are no speed limits on German motorways but there are restrictions on many sections, especially steep and dangerous stretches. The section the skateboarder was using has an 80km/h speed limit.




Felines, aloof as they may seem, are natural comics. In this video, a cat daintily dips his paw into a glass of water and then licks his paw. Eventually he calculates that his head will perfectly inside the glass and decides to quench his thirst by drinking directly from it. You can view the video on YouTube, and



HANDS FREE is home to a lot of clunky video and pictures recording humankind's propensity for getting it wrong in a roundabout way. Here, a biker fails the safety test by sending a hands free text message on his cellphone while cruising on the highway.

It is likely that the entire episode was rigged, but the rider does show some remarkable skill. The video even shows him changing lanes.


There are hundreds of  online versions of this technique for T-shirt folding, first broadcast on Japanese TV about two years ago. explains it slowly and carefully to English viewers. Videojug's YouTube channel includes other useful how-to's like Make Your Breasts Look Bigger and Do the Regurgitation Trick.


Who said " truck driver have boring life?

As the owner of two dogs I've often witnessed their
episodes of REM sleep when they launch into
re-enactments of the day's pursuits and appear to
be chasing something. The dog in this video is an
extreme case. His legs move much faster than the
usual twitching that I have seen, so that he appears
to be engaging in a full-tilted "gallop", only lying
down. Suddenly, possibly frustrated because he is
not catching up to whatever he is chasing, he does
a kind of "sleep run", which is unfortunately shortlived
because there is a wall in the way. On colliding
with the wall, he wakes up and does that "I am SO
embarrassed" thing that dogs seem to have acquired
from co-habiting with humans with cameras


New Zealander Nadya Vessey lost both of her legs to the knee when she was a child. About two years ago, she approached Weta Workshop, a company that specialises in costume design and special effects and asked if they were interested in making her a prosthetic mermaid tail. Vessey says the idea came to her when a little boy asked her what was wrong with her. She told him that she was a little mermaid and the idea stuck. They agreed to her request and recently completed the final product. The video shows Vessey being fitted with the tail, attached to a skin tight body suit, and adorned with mermaid make up to complete the illusion. Getting used to the prosthetic has been a lttle more difficult than creating a credible visual though: "A prosthetic is a prosthetic, and your body has to be comfortable with it. You have to mentally make it part of yourself," says Vessey.


"Have you ever, looking up, seen a cloud like to a Centaur, a Wolf, or a Bull?" So said ancient Athenian comic playwright Aristophanes. Banking on this age-old fascination with clouds, quilted jacket maker Moncler ( collaborated with British artist Stuart Semple ( and released 2,000 'smiley faces' made of tightly-packed bubbles into the Milanese sky, a spectacle which pulled a mostly adult crowd eager to interact with the happy clouds, which wafted dreamily into the blue sky and then dissolved.


Most cellphone users will admit that they have had  the urge to lob the oftimes offensive instruments at some stage (either at nothing and sometimes at somebody, like the notoriously noxious Naomi Campbell once famously did). Finns make a sport of it – at the annual Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships  held in Savonlinna, Finland.

Translation and interpretation company Fennolingua provides the phones (old ones with batteries still installed) for the event. Competitors are not allowed to throw their own phones, even if they strongly feel that they would like to, but can choose a phone from those provided that they feel is best suited to their stature and throwing style. Throws are judged on distance (in the Traditional or Original category) and aesthetics and creativity (this year the prize went to a dog called Cara).

While the event is mostly about fun it also aims to promote environmental issues. Flung phones are collected afterwards to be disposed of in the correct manner.

in celebration of the DRIVE-in interval

The first drive-in movie theatre opened in New Jersey on June 6, 1933. A patent had been awarded the previous month to chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr. He advertised his drive-in theater with the slogan, "The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are". Entrance cost 25 cents a car and 25 cents a person. YouTube has a number of videos featuring a montage of the ads shown during interval – a vital component of the experience since it brought in revenues from visits to the snack bar or concessions stand. My mother would pack supper – mashed pilchard and mayonnaise sandwiches – in a cake tin, so we were very seldom treated to the junk food they offered. Reminiscing YouTube viewers, in response to the vintage commercials, recall drive-in intervals with fondness, probably because it was synonymous with food: "My parents could never understand why these were my favorite part of the Drive-In movie program". Another's response is more philosophical: "I wish it was still like this now ... things were so much better and the men respected the women ... and the same for the women now its the total opposite its sad then theres the economy."

Before journalist Laura Ling was dispatched to  a North Korean prison to serve out a 12 year sentence described as "hard labour", she did some intrepid reporting. Ling is in the employ of independent media company Current TV, led by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. She was arrested in March this year, along with her editor Euna Lee, while reporting on Korean refugees on the Chinese border. According to the impressive portfolio of works on her current TV channel her most recent was a documentary on Mexico's drug war. She also explored Haiti's Cite Soleil, a slum populated by violent gangs and completed a piece on marijuana plantations hidden in Californian forest. In a trip to the Amazon, Ling witnessed the deforestation of vast tracts of jungle while hanging herself and her camera out of the window of a small aircraft and then went on to spend time with a local tribe. On Monday this week, Ling and Lee were found guilty of illegal entry and committing "hostile acts against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea", a charge which New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson says is fortunate since it is less serious than one of espionage. Despite attempts by the US administration to secure their release, the North Koreans have not responded. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated that the matter is being viewed independently of the diplomatic standoff over North Korea's nuclear arms program.


This animal, which Today's Big Thing refers to as "weird" and, uncertain, refers to it as "some kind of alien", appears to belong to the infraorder Lemuriformes, which boasts 99 species and subspecies. The name lemur is derived from the Latin lemures, meaning "spirits of the night" or "ghosts". In this video this little guy (or girl) surrenders readily to a human touch, lifting its arms as it has its tummy rubbed. When the tickling  stops, our lemur looks crestfallen, appealing with great shiny eyes for the naked pink fingers to continue. As the caressing resumes, the prosimian primate slowly raises its tiny arms, fists clenched. It is hard not to see a beatific smile spreading across its face.

Smoking's not smart(ie)

Silicon Alley Insider's Benjamin Wayne warns that YouTube, which he calls  a "monument to the sloughed-off detritus of our exponentially-exploding digital culture" is very likely, in the face of a projected 2009 loss of $470 billion, to die. Google, who bought the ridiculously popular video sharing site in 2006, for $1.65 billion has been desperately scrambling ever since to improve its ad revenues in an effort to cover the $711 billion it must fork out for operating costs. Wayne prophesies that unless YouTube cuts content which it cannot monetise, it is doomed. This would of course be anathema to YouTube's founding principle of sharing and free-for-all branding. For instance, where else could you find video of kids, posted by kids and probably filmed by kids, demonstrating how to smoke sweets?  American "Smarties" are similar to those fizzy, chalky discs that can be bought here in a cellophane tube in an assortment  of pastel shades. To "smoke" them children first crush them into a powder and then  inhale the fine dust into their mouths. When exhaled it resembles cigarette smoke. Not surprisingly, the habit can cause laryngospasm and doctors warn that sugar that finds its way down the wrong pipe could cause infection.

Modular Chair

One YouTube user was so blown away by this video that he remarked: "Looks like a 3D animation ! Is it ?" At the outset, the chair in the video looks as though it might be perfect for a child and a bit of a squeeze for a small adult, until the exhibitor lets fly and begins flipping and twisting the lightweight construction into a dozen different combinations. It morphs first into what looks like half a mushroom. When it is upended it becomes seating in the round for at least four bums. A tug on one end and the slinky spring construction becomes a long settee for even more bottoms. Finally, it hugs its arms together to make a cosy love seat big enough for two.



When French pole vaulting champion Romain Mesnil lost his Nike sponsorship (the sports shoe giant cited The Crisis) he took his cause to the streets, au naturel. Armed with nothing but his trusty pole – the one he uses to vault with (most reports made lewd quips of the same ilk and I joined in, unabashed) – Mesnil bounds, in true olympian fashion, through the streets of Paris. The exposure, both figurative and literal, has won him plenty of interest mostly from viewers across the globe hoping that the pesky black censorship box will slip.  Mesnil's bid for sponsorships, up for auction on Ebay, reached over 16,000 euros (almost R200,000) by Tuesday this week with just under ten days left before it expires.