Sunday, October 31, 2010

Flashmob at London's Heathrow Airport

Another great Flashmob video.  A group of singers and dancers in disguise surprise arriving passengers at Heathrow's Terminal 5 in London.  Love the dude singing Passenger.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Protecting Your Identity on the Road

When I travel I usually pack my laptop.  There are several reasons for this:  I write for a living, so I need my tools with me.  But I also use my laptop to access all my sensitive information while on the road -- especially banking.  The thought of using an internet cafe to check my bank balance is terrifying.  You never know who might get access to your account information and passwords.

But using my own laptop to connect to an open WiFi network in a coffee shop or library isn't as safe as I thought.  In fact, as the (always excellent) travel blog Gadling reports, hackers can easily gain access to your non-encrypted traffic.

This is what they say:

"Now, however, sites like Facebook and Twitter are encoded with such simple technology that web developers can write apps to steal random social media passwords -- all inside of a simple web browser. This means that any old person with Windows XP and Firefox can boot up their browser, turn on an application and start poaching Facebook data. Five minutes after sitting down with your tall non-fat latte you might find yourself with a new fancy status message, group of friends and password to boot." 
[ click here for the full article]

I tried it and it works.  Seriously.

So what can you do?  Be very careful or use a hardwired connection.  Resist the urge to use unsecured WiFi in public places.  And if you can't, be prepared for the consequences. 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just in time for Halloween: ZOMBIES!

The US cable channel AMC has a little surprise for horror fans this Halloween:  The premier of the zombie series The Walking Dead.

Based on the comic book of the same name, it follows a group of people trying to survive a zombie invasion.  The first episode runs 90 minutes and airs Oct 31 at 10 ET.  Six episodes will are this season.

Judging by the trailer, it looks like some damn fine (if gory) braaaaain-tacular entertainment. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Video Projection

I've always loved video projection on large objects.  A case in point:  Using the Guggenheim museum in NYC as a big screen.  It might not seem like much until you factor in the difficulty of keeping everything looking proportional on the curvy building. 

It reminds me of a music video by the Canadian band Sandbox and their 90s video Curious.

Cool stuff...

Cool images from an iPod Touch

San Cristobal de las Casas Cathedral interior - panorama
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

This is the interior of Catedral de San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, taken on Oct 24, 2010.

The image was created using an iPod Touch (4th Generation). I shot a dozen stills and then combined them using Autostitch - an app that stitches together single images to create a panorama. Pretty impressive for an MP3 player!

There is an option to crop out the ragged edges, but I like the look.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A different kind of Jumbo landing

In this PSA for the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW), a different kind of jumbo comes in for a landing at a busy airport.  Pretty amazing CGI.  And a reminder about buying souvenirs made from animals.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Is Social Media the Future of Journalism?

Parody or Prophecy?

Top 5 Things my friends have posted on Facebook - Friday Oct 22, 2010

Sure, this is yet another cheap trick to drive more eyeballs to Roadspill (fingers, too).  But it also an easy way to share some pretty cool stuff from the innertubes.  The perfect way to waste part of your Friday workday... (you're welcome).

Up first:

#1 -- Cat vs Printer - Translated version (salty language advisory)


#2 -- A scary and thought provoking video about self-esteem and girls. 

#3 -- Thoughts on a new Google service called Baraza that is aimed at connecting Africa and Africans.

#4 -- John Gushue discovers El Caminto del Rey -- the scariest hiking path ever:

#5 -- A tasty treat from Top Gear!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Abandoned Places

I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated by abandoned buildings and places.  For some strange reason empty homes, deserted shops and former Soviet military complexes speak to me.

I've been lucky to visit a few of these.  The creepiest was the area around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant -- abandoned for nearly 25 years, it now looks and feels like the set of a zombie movie.

Then there is the former Soviet Naval base at Paldiski, Estonia. And the abandoned satellite uplink station on Nova Scotia's South Shore.

Many of these places require a special (and expensive) trip.  A case in point:  Taiwan's UFO houses.

The houses are part of a never-completed hotel complex.  Started in the 80s, it was abandoned after only a few months.  Why?  Some say ghosts, some say design.

Regardless, it still looks like a fascinating place to explore and photograph. Who's coming?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

London Underground Poster Gallery

I love posters.  Movie posters.  Constructivist posters (the Stenberg Brothers rule!). And vintage posters from the London Underground.

Today I came across an amazing collection of Tube posters at the London Transport Museum.  Lots of great stuff to check out.


Funny Air New Zealand Ad

Air New Zealand has created some pretty funny and risqué ads and videos over the last few years. And to prove the point, here's a brand new one featuring a rather suggestive puppet:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Night Lights

Night Lights
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

More new images from San Cristobal. Click this photo or the flickr link at the right. Images taken Oct 17, 2010.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New San Cristobal de las Casas Photos

Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

I've uploaded more photos on flickr. Click the image or the link to the right.


Friday, October 15, 2010

This is not The View walk off

So you think watching Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walking off the set of The View because Bill O'Reilly is a dork is entertainment?


In the real world, a neighbour's chicken breached our compound. And the hilarity ensued.

Just another day in Mexico.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So You Want to be a Travel Writer?

Here's a funny little video I discovered via my pals at Lonely Planet. It pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Warning: There is salty language.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hungry For Photos?

Burger City
Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Lots of new pix are up for viewing on Flickr. Most are from Comitan and the Tenam Puente Mayan ruins. Click on the burger bus or the link to the right.


Friday, October 08, 2010

Looky Here!

Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

New photos are up: Click on the image... or the photo gallery on the right side of this page.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Music Videos - They're Baaaaack...

I reckon that I'm a child of the video generation. And by this I don't mean the television generation - although I'm a member of that too.

What I refer to is music videos. I remember the launch of MTV and Canada's MuchMusic. I remember seeing Erica Ehm in person and swooning. I remember channels that played music videos 24/7. Today? Not so much. Although I'm sure I'd still swoon if I saw Erica Ehm in person.

Lately I've noticed a resurgence of music videos. They didn't disappear. They went online. And there's some pretty cool stuff being made. Sure, the main purpose of these videos is to move product. But that doesn't mean there aren't some forward thinking directors creating some awfully unique videos. I speak of bands like OK Go and Cee Lo Green.

Haven't seen their work? Today's your lucky day! View away...

OK GO: This Too Shall Pass:

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass. Watch more top selected videos about: This Too Shall Pass, OK Go

Hollerado - Americanarama:

OK GO: Here It Goes Again:

OK Go - Here It Goes Again Clip
Cargado por Galaxiestarwars. - Mira más vídeos divertidos.


Monday, October 04, 2010


Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).

Another sunny day in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Check out more photos by clicking the flickr link to the right or the photo.


Saturday, October 02, 2010

from the "early impressions of San Cristobal" dept.

One of San Cristobal's Walking Streets (Andadors)

I've been in San Cristobal for a few days now and I must say I'm very impressed. From the welcoming gift of local coffee and a friendship bracelet from the governor of Chiapas to the positive vibe that fills the streets, it's not at all what I expected.

Welcoming Gifts!

And it's certainly not what you see on the evening news. No drug wars here.

Sure, there are the aural reminders that I'm in Mexico: Barking dogs, crowing roosters and ringing church bells (It's 7:30am!) -- but even they have a certain calmness to them.

My year in San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala was chaotic in comparison.

Over the past few days I've been strolling around town. There are two main walking streets (andadors) that form a T in the heart of the city. Locals and tourists saunter up and down, past wine bars, restaurants and shoppes. It's all here, yet none of it is in your face.

I feel like I've discovered a secret place.

Last night, Kelly, Dennis and I sat outside at a little wine bar and watched the world go by. A few Mayan street sellers (mostly women and children) stopped at our table to offer us various trinkets and whatnot. But a polite "no, gracias" was usually more than enough to send them on their way. Again: Calm.

Dennis takes a shot from his perch at the Wine Bar

After a few glasses of a cheap but tasty Sirah, we wandered over to a pizza joint to pick up a couple of pies to eat back at the house. The pizzas didn't disappoint: thin crust, cooked to perfection and loaded with my favourite toppings: Anchovies and olives. Yummy, nums.

We enjoyed a bit more wine and then called it a night.

It's been an eye-opening experience. I've only been here two full days and yet I feel like I've been here for months. That's how comfortable and pleasant San Cristobal is. Of course, living with Dennis and Kelly has helped a great deal.

As I write this I'm beginning my third full day. There isn't much on the schedule. A walk. Some wine. Enjoying the here and now.

This will change a little bit next week when I dive into my internet work. I've got five days to build the first website that I hope will generate a trickle of income.

But that's Monday. Until then, I'll be content to simply enjoy San Cristobal's charms.


Friday, October 01, 2010

from the "breaking news" dept.

Now this is a strange story:

U.S. to apologize for intentionally infecting people in Guatemala with gonorrhea, syphilis more than 60 years ago.

Here's MSNBC's take: