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Hours and Hours of Relaxing & Meditative Videos

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Today is Election Day in the US and even President Obama is saying these elections “might be the most important of our lifetimes”. Everyone is a liiiittle on edge. Instead of exhorting you to go vote, I dug through the kottke.org archives for some videos to watch if you need a calm moment or hour or entire afternoon and deep into the evening’s election returns.

From the BBC Earth team, long videos of relaxing sounds and scenes from their groundbreaking documentaries like Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II (more here):

A 10-hour version of the world’s most relaxing song:

This is one of my personal favorites, a Norwegian icebreaker idling in the frozen Arctic — “natural white noise sounds generated by the wind and snow falling, combined with deep low frequencies with delta waves from the powerful icebreaker idling engines”:

A 30-day time lapse of a container ship traveling from the Red Sea to Hong Kong:

Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune is always relaxing and is the perfect accompaniment to snow surfing, an acrobatic art performance, and a tour of the Moon:

A realtime orbit of the Earth in 92 minutes, as seen from the International Space Station:

Somehow, watching someone unslice a tomato is super relaxing:

Recording of a live view of a Norwegian train making its way through the wintery countryside:

Julian Baumgartner restoring a damaged painting:

90-minute video of the sea filmed from the bow of a container ship (no sound but you could combine w/ the most relaxing song):

An 18-minute tour of the International Space Station:

One of Michael Shainblum’s many nature time lapse videos:

This isn’t relaxing but it is funny — a meditation guided by a Dalek:

That’s all I’ve got. Do you have any particular favorites I haven’t posted? Let me know!

Tags: videos
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Some (Older, Whiter, More Conservative) Audiences React Negatively to Kaepernick’s Nike Ad

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A research company called Morning Consult had 1900 people watch the new Nike commercial featuring Colin Kaepernick and record their reactions in realtime. The video above shows the commercial and the graphed reactions of four age groups: Gen Z (18-21, white line), Millennials (22-37, teal line), Gen X (38-53, yellow line), and Boomers (54-72, red line). The report also has graphs showing results by race and political affiliation (the dashed line is when Kaepernick first appears on screen).

Nike Ad Graph

Nike Ad Graph

Gen Z & Millennials rated the ad higher than the older viewers throughout and had a less negative reaction to the polarizing parts. Now, the report only mentions the effect of Kapernick appearing on the screen, but to my eyes, there are four distinct moments when the opinions of some viewers (white, older, Republican) turn negative:

1. Right before Kapernick is shown for the first time, ratings start to decline when the ad refers to LeBron James as “the best basketball player on the planet” and “bigger than basketball” for recently opening his I Promise School.

2. Kapernick’s first appearance in front of an American flag with his large Afro triggers a steep decline in favorability among older viewers, particularly Boomers and Republicans.

3. Serena Williams being billed as “the greatest athlete ever” results in the steepest decline during the entire ad…and this was before the controversy at the US Open. Across all groups, only black Americans had no problem with that characterization whatsoever (Gen Z & Millennials showed only slight declines).

4. Immediately after that, Kapernick is shown again and there’s a continued follow-on decline from Serena.

So that’s interesting! What’s going on here? [insert an entire apologist NY Times Op-Ed piece here about how famous athletes are polarizing no matter what, particularly when accompanied by best-ever proclamations, etc. etc.] But of course, it’s probably racism with a side of sexism — three outspoken black athletes, one of them a woman, are uppity. That’s the simplest explanation.

Tags: advertising   Colin Kaepernick   LeBron James   Nike   racism   Serena Williams   sexism   sports   video
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2 public comments
wmorrell
65 days ago
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A few days ago my (white, conservative, Navy vet) dad mentioned that Kap was all over the news, and I quickly changed the subject, because I was not in a place to go anywhere near that third-rail. I grew up around openly-racist white people, and I still cannot understand how so much hate can be held for someone.
jlvanderzwan
62 days ago
Well, at least you're proof one can escape that environment
satadru
61 days ago
I'm not yet sure about the best approach to changing racist minds in grown-ups, but my initial suspicions are that positive media portrayals of issues which affect the disadvantaged only comes second to actual positive interactions with disadvantaged people.
DMack
66 days ago
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white ppl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPmDiOcDIpU
Victoria, BC

A Relaxing Acrobatic Performance to Debussy’s Clair de Lune

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Choreographer & acrobat Yoann Bourgeois and pianist Alexandre Tharaud have collaborated on a performance that combines a trampoline, a staircase, and Claude Debussy’s most famous composition, Clair de Lune. Even though I’ve seen a performance from Bourgeois before and knew what was coming, that first drop onto the trampoline was startling.

Three is a trend: slowly shredding some pow to classical music and Clair de Lune in the moonlight. (via @alexchabotl)

Tags: Alexandre Tharaud   art   Claude Debussy   dance   music   video   Yoann Bourgeois
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Ghost Markings: European Droughts Reveal Hunger Stones & Hidden Henges [ARTICLE]

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In the Czech Republic, Elbe river water levels have fallen to reveal submerged “hunger stones” dating back hundreds of years. These boulders record past droughts and resulting famines. They also caution citizens — one etched warning reads: “If you see me, weep.”

Dates inscribed on some stones mark years in which they previously resurfaced, including: 1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892 and 1893. And these are not the only shades of past built environments reappearing due to drought. Historic gardens, mansion footprints, even the remains of henges have resurfaced, too.

Earlier this year in Ireland, a large ring-shaped silhouette was spotted on a farmer’s field by observers in an airplane above. Archeologists were consulted and agreed that a henge once stood on this location, originally constructed up to 4,500 years ago.

The site could have gone unnoticed were it not for an unusually dry spell in this famously green country known for its rainfall. The henge itself was built of wood, long ago collapsed and rotted away, but the depressions created by support posts had a lasting impact. Over time, these subtly compacted spots collected water, resulting in slightly different growth patterns. Less-starved crops rising where the ancient monument was erected stand out as greener and healthier, enhancing their visibility against the browner plants on all sides.

“These phenomena are known as cropmarks,” explains Paul Cooper. Where an ancient wall lies buried, water is channeled away, so the grass gets less water. Ancient ditches, by contrast, create areas of deeper soil that hold water more effectively, giving the grass a deeper green.” And water scarcity “heightens these differences.”

In nearby England, other architectural “cropmark” footprints have also surfaced due to drought conditions. The heatwave in Britain revealed, for instance, the remains of an old 17th-century garden (above) on the site of the famous Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire.

Due to a sweeping regional reorganization by the first Duke of Devonshire hundreds of years ago, an entire town was transformed to accommodate one man’s grand landscape vision. Today, what’s left of that endeavor (and what came before) is starting to show up again.

Surface variations in Nottinghamshire revealed something similar earlier this year: the floorplan of a “ghost” mansion. This elaborate and expansive 18th-century structure was demolished nearly 100 years ago, but the outlines of rooms and hallways became visible again as the foundations below absorbed heat and scorched the soil above.

The post Ghost Markings: European Droughts Reveal Hunger Stones & Hidden Henges appeared first on 99% Invisible.

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Painting the skin you live in

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School Colors

For the beginning of school, second-grade teacher Aeriale Johnson had each of her students mix up a container of paint that matched their skin color so they could use it in paintings of themselves during the rest of the school year.

We started with a base of brown or peach tempera for each child then, in small groups, added white, yellow, red, dark brown and/or green to get to just the right hue. They looked like they were at Ulta trying to find foundation. :) The conversations were great!

Tags: Aeriale Johnson   art   color   education
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Every US President at their worst

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On Twitter, @InstantSunrise wrote an entertaining thread “in which I drag every single US president in order”. She starts off with The Founding Fathers:

Thomas Jefferson: Motherfucker owned slaves, and was a rapist, committed forced removal against Native Americans. Started an actual war in North Africa and a trade war with Britain that would eventually escalate into an actual war.

Andrew Jackson is deservedly dragged more than most:

Ohhhhhh my god. This absolute motherfucker garbage president. Literally committed genocide. Owned slaves, gave govt. jobs to people who gave him money. Decided that a central bank was a bad idea and closed it in 1837, breaking the entire economy.

Teddy Roosevelt gets a B/B-:

Did some good busting trusts and monopolies with his big dick energy. Discovered that if you bait the media with “access” they’ll eat up whatever shit you say. Had a lot of policies that were racist as shit, like banning all Japanese ppl from entering the US.

Woodrow Wilson gets a Jackson-esque OMG:

Ohhhhhh my god. Dude was like super fucking racist. So racist that his election emboldened racists enough where they literally revived the KKK. His AG, Palmer, loved to deport leftists for no reason. There’s so much shit about Wilson I can’t fit it into 280 chars.

I think she could have gone in on Nixon a bit harder (for creating the war on drugs for example):

Created the southern strategy and stoked racial tensions. Sabotaged the peace negotiations for Vietnam in order to get elected, then prolonged the war. Bombed the shit out of Laos and Cambodia for no real reason. Also watergate.

Only Lincoln and John Quincy Adams get off relatively unscathed.

Tags: USA   lists   politics
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