Thursday, March 22, 2012

Murderball

If you've never seen Murderball, do.

It's the USA Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby squad's drive for gold at the 2004 Paralympic games.   More than that, it's an excellent example about how to make a movie about disability and focus on the subjects as individuals and their disabilities as part of their experience rather than what defines them.

These young men are athletes first and para/quadriplegics second (or third/forth/fifth...).  This film provides excellent insight into their experience and the impact of their injury on their lives without the "inspirational" light usually reserved for movies about individuals with disabilities.  It also touches on the issues of responsibility, friendship, and sexuality, and then with the coyness a rugby player can provide. 

You'll find the entire film embedded below (caution for language and adult topics) or it can be purchased via Amazon.com .









Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scale of the Universe 2: Awesome Interactive Application

This is video of an amazing interactive Flash application which shows the scale of the universe from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.   Ranging from the smallest particles to the entire universe, zooming through this app you can see the scale of blue whale relative to a 747, and the state of Rhode Island.  Clicking on an item gives you additional (occasionally cheeky) information.
"Pluto used to be a planet, but now it's not. Why do people feel sympathy for it? It has no feelings. And if it did, why would it care about what the people way over on Earth though about it? On another note, Pluto's official name is now "134340 Pluto" because it is a dwarf planet."
I've embedded a short version that zooms through the breadth of the application in less than a minute, while the bottom video is nearly 5 minutes and goes slower to show the different items in the application as well as clicking on the occasional item.  



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Four Great Short Videos from Danny Cooke

I love short documentaries but often don't watch them to the end.  Filmmaker Danny Cooke is an exception, consistently pulling me along with his sharp, concise documentaries, which are snapshots of interesting people.  While their lives aren't extraordinary, they're unique, and to most of us, foreign.  These beautifully shot films offering a glimpse into their lives. 

OurGlass of Cockington Ray: A Life Underwater 
David Smith- Sign Artist
Upside Dow, Left to Right: A Letterpress Film

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ashamed

big ben clock face
We think of culture as fairly stable almost static. It's not.

Seth observed the other day:
Society changes when we change what we're embarrassed about.
In just fifty years, we've made it shameful to be publicly racist.
In just ten years, someone who professes to not know how to use the internet is seen as a fool.
The question, then, is how long before we will be ashamed at being uninformed, at spouting pseudoscience, at believing thin propaganda? How long before it's unacceptable to take something at face value? How long before you can do your job without understanding the state of the art?
In 10 years I want people to be ashamed to not know what accessibility is and how to achieve it.  Universal design will be the standard and the need for accommodation rare. It'll just be how we do business and education. People will be ashamed to see disability as "inspiring" and be a aghast at telethons for Jerry's Kids and see that they're inspiring fear.  People with disabilities will be people first regardless of their abilities.    You'll no longer hear about "schizophrenic policies" or people described by their illness. 

We can look back and be amazed at how things have changed, or look forward  to how we're going to change them.   

Don't know what I'm talking about?  You will.

Image James Stringer
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