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A Video

I find the elderly using new technologies incredibly charming, generally. But this video strikes a special cord for me. First, because when the family emailed Oculus, they sent them a demo unit same day. Secondly, because in the last month of her life, the immobile Roberta Firstenberg had the chance to virtually see butterflies, hear the ocean, and walk outside before she finally gave in to cancer. At least she got to take one last trip up the stairs. (Sometimes the Internet makes you cry.)

“Tokyo Reverse” is nine hours of live music set to a man walking backwards in Tokyo. The footage was reversed so it looks like everyone else is walking backwards instead. Obviously, way cooler. Tokyo is such a foreign city in design and culture that seeing this way only adds to the beauty and alienation. It’s really quite mesmerising.

I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the fact that this commercial has been running on loops on every video streaming site lately and is permanently imprinted on my brain. Or maybe it’s how nonchalant yet completely spot on this Matthew McConaughey impression is. Whatever ‘it’ is, I kind of love it.


This is one of those cases where the thing in the video is more impressive than anything related to the video itself. Meet Squarepusher’s Z-Machines, a robot band built by a team from the University of Tokyo. The music might not be for everyone (unless you’ve been longing for the glory days of Rush), but we’re talking about a rock band that looks something like an arachnid Daft Punk with one crucial difference – these are real robots. The song, “Sad Robots Go Funny” was an attempt to prove that robots could convey emotion. It’s a bit sterile, but it does provoke one clear response: wonder. (Via Wired.)

SPOILER ALERT (if you aren’t caught up on seasons 1-3): As someone who never got into Game of Thrones, this animated spoof of Burton’s ‘What’s This’ song embodies my reaction to the popular show I know so little about. Until you are willing to 100% commit, Game of Thrones is a foreign world that makes no sense. Nor does what all your friends keep saying about it.

Me: “I figured the abs would distract you from the cultural appropriation long enough for you to enjoy it.”

Her: “Haka is an art form. I can appreciate its deep history, its nuanced interpretation through gestural dance of the complicated feelings warriors face as they go into battle, the questions that arise when a noble tradition is transmuted into spectacle, the added layer of resonance between this team and our own sports teams named after pejorative terms for native peoples exterminated by colonialists; and, also, dat azz.”

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