The world’s biggest movie set?

You think of ghost towns as places that once were busy and full of citizens, only to be emptied out when whatever made them rich dried up. The city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, however, never achieved any commercial success, and is full of empty tower blocks and part finished public spaces. It is home to only 2% of its projected population.

Just think of the films you could shoot here. Something creepy with a not quite functional future vibe to it. Gattaca with a far East twist or one of the planets of Serenity.

Ford shot a commercial there, but it’s just begging for more screen time than that.

How to steal a health service, how to save a health service

I’m already a Green, I understand that we’re the only sane vote left. But I know that some people still need some convincing. The NHS is being stolen from us by governments that are more interested in their friends’ and backers’ profits than the common good. When it’s laid out nice and clearly as above, you can begin to understand how they’re doing it, and how to stop them.

Vote Green, or lose one of the greatest things this country has ever created.

By the time he was my age, Leonardo Da Vinci still hadn’t achieved much of note

Via this post, an interesting two part mini-doc on the “lost years” many artists go through before finding the style and techniques which will make them famous.

I’m off to do some writing, even if it turns out to be another of the stories that doesn’t quite work and ends up unfinished.

The Long Game Part 1: Why Leonardo DaVinci was no genius from Delve on Vimeo.

Lights, Quadcopter, Action!

If I was making a movie I’d be calling on Team Black Sheep, or a local equivalent, to get some aerial footage. The night-time flight high over a cityscape has become something of a thriller cliche, but just imagine how much of a surprise it would be to viewers if you then flew into a boathouse or under a bridge as they do in this video. The quadcopter could allow directors to plan more surprisingly intimate aerial shots. If they haven’t been used in a full length film yet it can’t be long.

Canoeing through Egham

During the few unhappy months- over a decade ago- that I spent working in Surrey, I lived in Egham. It was a nice enough little town and served as a good starting point for a few interesting bike rides, so it’s sad to hear that so much of it is under water. The video clip below is from Channel 4, and may turn up in a news report later. The sound is very poor, but you get the gist of what’s happening.

Let’s all move to a different planet

10 Most Habitable Alien Worlds by alltime10s
Video via Geeks Are Sexy

The Earth Similarity Index, ESI or “easy scale” is a measure of how physically similar a planetary mass object is to Earth. It is a scale from zero to one, with Earth having a value of one. The ESI was designed to measure planets, however the formula can also be applied to large natural satellites and other objects. The ESI is a function of the planet’s radius, density, escape velocity, and surface temperature. These parameters are often estimated based on one or more known variables. Such variables depend greatly on the method of observation used. For example, surface temperatures is influenced by a variety of factors including irradiance, tidal heating, albedo, insolation and greenhouse warming. Where these are not known, planetary equilibrium temperature is frequently used, or the variable is inferred from other known attributes.

Earth Similarity Index – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Celebrate New Year as it goes round the world with Superfi

I’ve been scheduling posts on the Facebook page of my employer, Superfi to mark the turning of the year as it works its way around the globe. Thanks to some dateline shenanigans, Samoa are already in the future, having celebrated New Year at 10am UK time. Tune in every hour for more videos and countries.