Fireworks video captured by a GoPro mounted on a drone

From Co.CREATE:

Some hero recently mounted a GoPro Hero camera atop a DJI Phantom to record firework festivities, and the resulting footage shows what we’ve been missing out on all this time. Set to Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II,” the clip posted by Vimeo user Gasper C gives aerial shells a long-denied close up. From the drone’s POV, strands of pyro-light come streaming right past you, presumably sputtering out long before getting near those suckers watching on the ground. Unfortunately, the video renders any iPhone footage you captured during last year’s Independence Day jubilee that less compelling.

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Fireworks video captured by a GoPro mounted on a drone

Flo: Portrait of a Street Photographer

From New York Times:

As a young, self-described “hot chick” in the ’70s and ’80s, Flo Fox hung out at Studio 54 and Area, in the same social circle as Andy Warhol and photographers like Andre Kertesz and Lisette Model. Today, worlds away from those underground art parties, she lives in an apartment building for disabled people, surviving with the help of Medicaid and Social Security.

Ms. Fox was born blind in one eye and was orphaned as a teenager. At 26, she purchased her first camera and embarked on a career in photography. When she turned 30, she developed multiple sclerosis. Now she has lost much of the vision in her other eye, is triplegic, and several years ago was given a diagnosis of lung cancer. Yet she is as sassy as ever and continues to do what she loves most: take photographs. When holding the camera became impossible, she started to instruct her aides to take photographs for her. Her often humorous and ironic (and sometimes raunchy) photographs depict the gritty side of New York City street life.

Flo: Portrait of a Street Photographer

$40 found footage of Chicago in the 40s

From The Atlantic Cities:

At a recent estate sale on the south side of Chicago, Jeff Altman spotted a canister of film simply labeled “Chicago” and “Print 1.” That tidbit of information was intriguing enough for Altman to drop $40 on the print.

Altman, who works in film post-production, took two weeks to inspect and fix minor issues before scanning and turning it into a digital video.

The result is this short film, a marvelous and thorough overview of 1940s Chicago, when the Wrigley and Tribune Towers were still considered modern landmarks.

$40 found footage of Chicago in the 40s

Mind-blowing data visualization of 24 hours of air traffic in Europe

From Kyle Vanhemert in Wired:

Some 30,000 flights criss-cross Europe’s airspace on a typical summer day. In this video, you can watch them all in just under two minutes.

Air traffic is a frequent subject for visualization, but the folks at NATS, responsible for handling much of the air traffic control in Great Britain and elsewhere, know the delicate dance better than just about anyone. To give us a sense of what keeps them busy day to day, they put together this stunning video. Running at 1,440 times regular speed, the viz is striking as pure laser light spectacle. But the closer you watch, the more fascinating details you’ll find.

The clip combines UK radar data from June 21 of last year and flight plan data from the rest of the continent from July 28. To start, notice how planes come over from North America, not in one busy throng but instead in orderly rows, like they’re cruising in lanes on some great invisible highway. As we zoom in on England, we see some aircraft joining different thoroughfares to Europe’s big cities, as others split off on byways to destinations like Madrid and Lisbon.

Mind-blowing data visualization of 24 hours of air traffic in Europe

Nina Simone live at the Harlem Festival, 1969

An extraordinary video of an incredible concert, especially given the context. Highly recommended.

Bonus: When you’ve listened to Nina Simone’s Four Women part way through the video above, then listen to Talib Kweli’s For Women, which was inspired by Nina Simone’s song, and is equally powerful.

Nina Simone live at the Harlem Festival, 1969

Skyscraper meets explosives – the end of AfE Tower in Frankfurt

From The Atlantic Cities:

Farewell, AfE Tower, may your cantankerous, lurching elevators and hamster-maze warrens annoy the Germans no more.

On Sunday, demolition crews wired the Frankfurt skyscraper with roughly 2,100 pounds of explosives and hit the boom switch. In 10 seconds, the 381-foot-high Brutalist tower was reduced to a hazy nebula of rubble and drifting dust – remnants of the tallest European building demolition to employ explosives, reports Deutsche Welle.

A chorus of thousands cheered the monumental bone-breaking of one of the city’s most irksome structures. The AfE Tower was built in the early 1970s as part of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, but quickly became suspect due to its wonky design: One side had floors that were 1.5 times loftier than the other side, like an architectural version of Two-Face.

Skyscraper meets explosives – the end of AfE Tower in Frankfurt

Proof cities can get better from Clarence Eckerson: how New York streets changed

From The Atlantic Cities:

Still looking for a New Year’s resolution for your city? For inspiration, look to this short from Clarence Eckerson at Streetfilms. It shows the remarkable before-and-after transformation of several streets and intersections in New York City over the last several years.

Eckerson has been documenting conditions on the city’s streets since the 1990s, and he has a huge archive of footage. Here, he juxtaposes images of key New York locations before, during, and after radical redesigns that took place under the jurisdiction of the Bloomberg administration’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan. Eckerson shows the transformation of Times Square, Herald Square, the Brooklyn waterfront, the Queensboro Bridge, and several other formerly car-choked areas that are now havens for human beings on foot and on bicycles.

If you’ve been walking or riding a bike in these places over the years, you know how profound the changes wrought by Sadik-Khan’s policies have been. But now that New Yorkers have begun to get used to more humane streets in many parts of the city, it’s startling to see just how stark the contrast is. It makes you wonder, how did people accept the previous status quo?

Read the rest here.

Proof cities can get better from Clarence Eckerson: how New York streets changed