Further Up Yonder

Since the beginning of the expeditions, the International Space Station (ISS) has been home to scientists and astronauts from around the world.

These people from the United States, Russia, Canada, Italy, Japan, and Germany have worked in mutual collaboration off the earth, for the earth. This is part of the message in Giacomo Sardelli’s wonderful time-lapse video. In it he stitched together photographs captured from the ISS and included short radio messages recorded by astronauts who gaze upon the Earth and see a world without borders. Have a look at Further Up Yonder below.

To see the video in 2K and how it was made, head over to Sardelli’s blog.

[via PetaPixel]

Back to Basics: Minimalist Posters of Classic Games

You may remember designer Hexagonall for his minimalist take of title sequences and movie posters.

In his latest set of posters, Hexagonall turns his arty eye to much-loved computer and console games, distilling the essence of each title using a basic palette of colours. If you have more than a passing interest in games, you should easily recognize the elements. Hit the jump to see some of Hexagonall’s beautifully minimalist video game posters.

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Listen to the Most Relaxing Song in the World

According to scientists and sound therapists, an 8-minute song by Manchester band Marconi Union ranks as the most relaxing song ever. In a survey conducted by the purveyors of bubble bath (Radox Spa), the song was played to a test group and it reduced anxiety levels by 65% and further decreased the resting pulse rate of the subjects by 35%.

This is attributed to a continuous rhythm of 60 BPM that is meant to synchronize the brainwaves and heart rate to that rhythm. Underlying bass tones are meant to induce a more calmer mood. Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, better explains why the song elicits the reactions that it does.

While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat. It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur. The fall in heart rate also leads to a fall in blood pressure.

The harmonic intervals – or gaps between notes – have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort. And there is no repeating melody, which allows your brain to completely switch off because you are no longer trying to predict what is coming next.

Instead, there are random chimes, which helps to induce a deeper sense of relaxation. The final element is the low, whooshing sounds and hums that are like buddhist chants. High tones stimulate but these low tones put you in a trance-like state.

But enough of the science. Put it to the test and let us know whether you feel calmer after it. Listen to Weightless below.

[via @za5]

We Review: Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection

Back when I was a younger lad, I used to follow Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball Z series, based on the manga of the same name. The series was popular enough to warrant its own series of fighting games for the PlayStation 2. Now an HD remake of the first and third games is available for PS3 and Xbox 360. I put my fighting skills against the world’s finest to see whether this remake is any good. Ka-me-ha-me-haaaa!!

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Filmography 2012: The Year in Movies

2012 has been a year like no other. Like she has done for the past two years, video editor Gen Ip captures the highlights of the year in film though a most captivating compilation.

From Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to Zero Dark Thirty, Filmography 2012 splices together scenes from over 300 movies, an inclusive list that contains big budget action flicks, horror films, indie movies, animated tales, documentaries, and bottom-of-the-barrel b-movies. Gen Ip weaves together the scenes and common themes that we see in film year in and year out. Take a look back at the year in movies with Filmography 2012.

For a full list of the films used in the compilation, be sure to visit Gen’s blog.

[via The Verge]

We Review: The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

Decent puzzle games are an increasing rarity in the major console world. I’ve always been a big fan of the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, so it was with some excitement that I got my hands on The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, a puzzle adventure game by Frogwares with an original story featuring The Great Detective. Let’s dredge out our magnifying glasses, deerstalkers, and pipes, and see where the trail leads us, shall we?

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We Review: Borderlands 2

When Borderlands appeared on our consoles in 2009 (Ed: Really? Was it that long ago? Wow. Feels like last year), its popularity was a surprise. New IP has a hard time making a big splash in the world of console video games. Borderlands, with its co-op multiplayer gameplay proved a huge hit, and Gearbox Software, the chaps behind the game, decided that it was popular enough to deserve its own sequel, titled Borderlands 2. I definitely wasn’t expecting the “2”, so I took a trip around the planet of Pandora to see what the hullabatwo was about.

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Key & Peele: Dubstep

News of the upcoming Skrillex tour of South Africa reminded me of the comedy sketch duo “Key & Peele”, specifically of an episode where they took on the subject of much mockery: dubstep.

The two men are packing up Key’s apartment and Peele’s suggests that they put on some dubstep to make things go a little faster. Key has no idea what dubstep is and Peele is happy to educate him. And so starts their descent into madness. It’s sweaty, bloody, and all too hilarious. Check out Key & Peele: Dubstep below.

[via @arteechoke]

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