Tag Archives: video

Corporations and Social Responsibility

My thanks to Scottie for introducing me to Robert Reich via this video:

My disillusionment with corporations began back in the early 80’s when I learned how Microsoft became ‘great’. Then, in the early 2000’s I began researching genetic engineering and discovered what another big ‘M’ had done to maximize its profits.

More recently, it’s been Facebook and Google et al. I still have a lingering fondness for Amazon, but that’s only because I’m a reader and a writer. And of course, let’s not forget the big financial institutions right here in Australia.

To say that I’m disillusioned with corporations is an understatement, and yet, I was still surprised by the Reich video. Something about the sheer size of these behemoths amplifies everything that’s cruel, callous and vicious in the human psyche.

Stopping corporations from becoming so big and powerful won’t make them paragons of virtue, but it will stop the effects of their bad behaviour from poisoning society. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll allow the law to deal with criminal elements more effectively.

At the moment, these corporations are not only ‘too big to fail’, they’re also too big to prosecute. Something really does have to give.

Meeks


Breathing exercises that may help

I’ve found two videos that demonstrate:

  1. specific breathing exercises recommended for those with Covid-19 infection,
  2. posture exercises that coincidentally ‘open’ the chest area and may help with breathing.
Doctor learns from nursing staff

I keep using the word ‘may’ because there is no definitive evidence that any of this stuff will help with Covid-19. But…if something does no harm but may do some good, I believe it’s worth a try.

Stay well.

Meeks


A bit of fun with Plotagon

Plotagon is an animation app that’s a bit like the SIMS, but you can get quite creative with the storytelling and editing. So here’s a scene using a new skill I just learned:

Jonathon Szabo interviews Peter McAlister, CEO of Innerscape

Enjoy. πŸ™‚

Meeks


Covid-19 & why fever is good

I’m linking to Dr John Campbell’s excellent video at the end of this post, but this information is so important, I want to provide a quick summary first.

When the immune system detects an invader – i.e. a virus or bacteria – it starts a cascade of important steps to fight that invader.

  1. It sends a signal to the brain to turn up the body’s thermostat. The reason for this is that all of the immune system’s ‘weapons’ work better and faster when the body temperature is higher. So we get a fever.
  2. At the same time, the immune system sends out all sorts of white blood cells to detect the invader, to warn other body cells that an invader is coming, to surround the invader and to ‘eat’ it.
  3. If we take drugs to reduce the fever, we’re hobbling our own immune systems and making them less efficient.
  4. So a temperature of about 39 degrees C or 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit is good. It will not do an adult any harm. [Children and fever will be covered in a later video].

What does all this mean in a practical sense?

First, it means we have to change our expectations. We will not be able to ‘soldier on’ because a good fever will probably make us feel lousy.

I say ‘probably’ because it’s been so long since I’ve had a fever, I can’t really remember what it feels like. And that brings me to the second point, the reason I can’t remember what a fever feels like is because I always took something to bring it down. That. Must. Change.

We must allow the fever to run its course because it’s actually helping us fight off the virus.

And this brings me to my final point. Modern technology will help us eventually. There will be a vaccine, eventually. There will be new anti-viral treatments, eventually. But for now we’re on our own.

The only weapon we have in the fight against Covid-19 is the immune system we were all born with. We have to help it help us. So if you’re an adult, and you get a fever, whether you think it’s Covid-19 or not, be brave and let the fever come. If you have access to things that help support the immune system, by all means, take them! But leave the fever reducing drugs in the cupboard.

“So suffer in silence, huh?”

No, drinking lots of fluids will help you feel better. Weak tea with lots of lemon and honey is delicious and good for you because the honey contains a mild antibiotic which may help stop secondary bacterial infections, and lemon juice contains vitamin C which is one of the things that help support the immune system.

Soup is good too. It’s easy to swallow, gentle on the stomach and contains nutrients that provide the energy the immune system needs to keep fighting.

Rest is also vital. While you’re sitting or lying in one place, your body isn’t wasting any precious energy that could be used by your immune system. Feel sick and exhausted? Don’t fight it. Your body actually knows what it’s doing.

And finally fresh air and sunshine. Just because you’re sick it doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up in a stuffy room with all the windows shut. Back in 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, health workers discovered that patients in well ventilated wards, or outside on cots in the sunshine, recovered better than patients in stuffy wards.

Bundle up, sit outside if you can, and let the sun shine on your face. That’s vitamin D you’re soaking up.

I know these are all old fashioned remedies. Some of you will think they’re rubbish, but right now, old fashioned is all we’ve got. Stay healthy.

Much love
Meeks


Filling in the gaps

This is the third video adapted from Miira, i.e. book 1 of Innerscape.

Chronologically, this video should have come before the Battle of Osaka Castle, but my subconscious has a mind of its own. πŸ™‚

How many more videos I do for book 1 will depend on how well the pre-made backgrounds [in Plotagon] lend themselves to scenes in the book. I’m learning more and more with each video, but Plotagon does have limitations, and scenes that require ‘action’ are almost impossible to do. Still having fun though.

cheers
Meeks


Miira and Jaimie

I am working on another how-to post, really, but all work and no play isn’t healthy so…. tah dah πŸ™‚

This one’s a little out of sequence, but those who’ve read The Godsend may recognize the scene it was adapted from. The core thing I’ve learned since experimenting with this kind of visual storytelling is that you can never reproduce a scene exactly. πŸ™‚

I now have so much more sympathy for movie boffins who adapt much loved books to the visual medium!

Have a great weekend!

Meeks


A different kind of storytelling

I’ve always loved animation but never thought I’d be good enough to tell an animated story. Seems I was wrong. πŸ™‚

Oh, and as an aside, I discovered that embedding Vimeo videos is a whole lot easier with Guttenberg than Classic. I’m starting to think that Classic is for words and Guttenberg is for graphics. Hmm…

Meeks

p.s. I’ve turned comments off.


Playing with Plotagon

Plotagon is a program that allows you to create cartoony animations by using stock ’emotes’. In gaming, these would probably be called ‘run cycles’, except for facial expressions.

Basically, what you do is you add a sequence of these run cycles to a ‘scene’. When you play the scene, the run cycles merge together to create a short animation.

WordPress will only allow me to upload a Plotagon video [mp4 format] if I subscribe, so, here’s a gif that I can upload for free. πŸ™‚

I had to split Innerscape to ‘inner’ and ‘scape’ so the computerised ‘voice’ could say it without mangling the unfamiliar word. And yes, in the video, Miira is talking out loud!

Plotagon provides voices to speak the dialogue, or you can use your own voice. As I don’t have a mic., I’m making do, at least for now. The app. also provides a ton of sound effects and free music, so you can imagine how much fun I had choosing those. πŸ˜€

If you want to have a play yourself, go to:

https://www.plotagon.com/

You can download a free, trial version for 7 days. That’s what I was playing with last night. It’s a good way of testing out whether the app. is for you or not, but there’s a whopping big watermark right across the screen that is rather annoying. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to subscribe for a month [cost US $13].

I’m calling this a marketing investment as everything I produce can be saved to either mp4 or gif format, or both. That means whatever I create remains ‘mine’ if I decide to unsubscribe at the end of the month.

If I manage to produce something genuinely worthwhile, I may sign up with Youtube again so I can upload the videos I produce. For some odd reason, WP allows me to place Youtube videos in my posts but not home made ones.

Unfortunately, Youtube is now owned by Google so I can’t create an account without signing up for Google as well.

I’m very ambivalent about Google for security and privacy reasons, but as the blind man said, ‘we shall see’. πŸ™‚

cheers

Meeks


The Irishman special FX

I haven’t seen The Irishman, but the video detailing how it was made has me absolutely enthralled. Watch, and see for yourself:

Cool tech, right? But it’s not just the tech that has me jiggling up and down in my chair. It’s the fact that another piece of Innerscape is becoming a reality! -dance-

If you read book 1 of the Innerscape trilogy, you may remember the scene, early in the story, in which Miira finally gets to see the ‘avatar’ she will use once she has been inducted into Innerscape. That avatar is based on her 29 year old self. In other words, her avatar has to be ‘de-aged’.

To make the story work, the Innerscape AI had to be sophisticated enough to create avatars so real looking that none of the Residents can tell the difference. That was one of the key pieces of tech in the story, and now I know that it’s possible, actually possible.

I cannot tell you how good that feels.

cheers

Meeks


Fly like a bird…

Yves Rossy is the original jetman. It’s thanks to him that we saw jetmen flying in formation with the French air force:

Formation flying

You can watch the whole, incredible video clip here. Amazing, right? But back then he needed to get up in the sky before he could fly.

Now, he can take off all by himself:

I’m terrified of heights, but to fly like this…that would be heavenly.

Merry Christmas, my friends. Eat, drink, be merry and stay safe.

cheers

Meeks


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