Watch Sustainability Illustrated

Alex Magnin is an illustrator who likes making the world a better place and over the last six months he’s been illustrating sustainability. The video above is about explaining sustainability with science and is a good example of what the sort of videos he illustrates. The videos are 4-7 minuets in length and make for a good quick and informative break.

I have been working as a sustainability advisor for almost 10 years (with the international non-profit The Natural Step) and have seen first-hand the power of innovative sustainability practices to transform lives, businesses, and communities for the better.
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As an artist and an illustrator, I have also witnessed the power of illustrations and multimedia to help people understand and learn more effectively. So I decided to combine my skills and share, through animated illustration, what I have learned about sustainability over years of helping businesses and communities become more successful, sustainable, and resilient.

Read more here.
Watch all the videos here.

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New Technique For Restoring Historic Videos

USC Shoah Foundation has a large collection of interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. Old physical media formats are susceptible to damage from fires to improper storage and USC has had to deal with this. The tech department at the foundation has figured out a painless way to restore and even improve the quality of footage from the damaged media.

Remembering history and being able to hear first hand accounts of events (no matter how horrific) can only help humanity. If we forget our history we are likely to repeat it.

Ryan Fenton-Strauss, video archive and post-production manager at ITS, was tasked with researching video restoration techniques currently being used in the motion picture industry. He found that there were very few existing options for restoring tape-based material.

“It seemed terribly unfortunate that after a survivor had lived through the Holocaust and poured his or her heart into a testimony, that parts of it would be lost due to a technical problem during the recording process,” Fenton-Strauss said.

However, Fenton-Strauss had an epiphany while sorting family photos with Google’s Picasa tool. He noticed that Picasa’s facial recognition software was so powerful that it could recognize his six-year-old daughter as a baby.

“I realized then that if we could automate the process of identifying the “good” and “bad” images using image recognition software, then we could correct some of our most difficult video problems,” Fenton-Strauss said.

Read more here.

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Crowdsourcing the Meaning of Life

Some filmmakers are channelling the world to find out what the meaning of life is. Their project has started an Indiegogo campaign to fund their project and they can use your help.

The world we live in is extremely confusing and precarious. With economic meltdowns, global terrorism, ecological disasters, civil unrest, if we don’t find the answers now, there may soon be no life left to explore. Simultaneously, it is an extremely exciting time and we now have the technological tools to communicate and collaborate to find solutions that have eluded us for millenia. We are a group of award-winning filmmakers who believe in the power of the moving image to move the world, and we have initiated a crowdfunding campaign to launch a website – lifemeanswhat.com – where we will create a tapestry of short films that will address meaning and purpose from a diverse array of perspectives, and provide in its patchwork a beautiful and profound reflection on life for all those who are looking to be entertained, inspired, and informed.

Here’s a video they sent me about how much they like life:

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Bus 52: Travelling Good News

Bus 52 is a bout telling people the good news that’s out there across the USA. They are trying to give hope to the youth of today by celebrating how people can make a large difference in their community by focusing on doing good work.

Bus 52 is made up of five young people who are sick of hearing news that just brings you down. While living, cooking and working on the bus, they will spend 52 weeks tracking down inspiring stories across America, documenting the good work, great ideas, and amazing people that are making a difference in their community. The team will interview and film these inspiring people and produce short video profiles, which will be uploaded to their website twice a week.

Bus 52’s founder, Robert Gelb, felt that there was something missing in daily media:

“People everywhere seem to focus on bad news because it gets ratings, good news is often forgotten about and we want to show that there is a place for good news. No matter where you are in the country whether your in Kansas or New York City, you have people doing amazing things for their neighbors just because they want to make their community a better place – and those stories are worth telling.”

Check out Bus 52.

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