Ever been to the beach and seen those kite jockeys flying their stunt kites around? Not like this. Check out this amazing display of kite choreography that I witnessed in Huntington Beach last Saturday.
The case for drones
Now wait, before you get all worked up about the title of this article, take note I’m not advocating drone strikes. In fact, I’m not even a big fan of drones that could carry out strikes.
The purpose of this post is to leverage a hot topic in the news today to raise awareness of the cool, relatively inexpensive micro-drones that you and I can own and operate.
I was first made aware of such drones when a Facebook friend of mine posted a video taken by his drone that was purchased for a few hundred dollars. I was amazed with the simplicity and high-quality resolution. In essence, we’re talking about a remote controlled helicopter with a built in video camera.
I didn’t run out and buy a drone right away, but believe me it’s something I think about often. My interest turned to near obsession when I searched YouTube for videos taken by individuals with drones. Here are a few examples:
- AR Drone 2.0 Expert 100 Feet High Quadcopter Santa Barbara
- Quadcopter FPV – Exploring Anderson Lake Dam
- DJI Naza F450 FPV Flight over Golf Course
- AR.Drone Flight – Test run through house
Should you take the time to see what these micro-drones can do, I’m sure you’ll agree there are limitless applications. Envision a roofing contractor giving you a video bid on a roof repair without the use of a ladder. Think of the golf course superintendent who could survey the course with a quick fly-by. How about search crews looking for a lost hiker?
Ya, there are also the issued of people with bad intentions such as peeping Toms that could misuse them, but that’s where paintball guns take on a new purpose.
Hey, let’s not take life so seriously. Of course no government should be able to use drones to wipe out it’s own citizens. But wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all had our own personal drone?
Is lip-syncing the new photoshop?
Welcome to the new age of deception: Lip-syncing has gone mainstream.
Remember the big stir Milli Vanilli created when they were busted for lip syncing in a live concert in 1989? The band was sued for consumer fraud and suffered, rightly so in my opinion, an immediate end to their success when fans realized they had been duped.
So why do we allow today’s stars to get away with it?
Most recently, Beyonce was outed by the Marine band for lip syncing the national anthem at Obama’s inauguration. The national anthem! Is this what show business has come to: Deceiving fans and spectators at in order to deliver a “perfect” show?
If the productions were perfect, it might be tolerable. However, I’m aware of two recent accounts of lip syncing that were far from perfect.
In October 2012 my wife took our teenage daughter to the opening night of Justin Bieber’s tour in Phoenix. Not fifteen minutes into his act, Bieber threw up while “singing” one of his songs. My wife texted me the details live. She reported that the show continued even though he threw up twice more with no interruption in the music (or his singing) at all.
Intrigued to see what this was all about, I searched YouTube later that night and sure enough, smart phone videos taken by a number of people in attendance revealed that a recording of the Biebs rolled on as he tossed his cookies.
Another botched lip-sync performance occurred at the 2013 Fiesta Bowl football game I attended. As we fans were asked to remove our caps for the singing of the national anthem, the jumbotron camera zoomed in on 2012 London Games high jump silver medalist Brigetta Barrett who appeared to be psyching herself up for the performance she was about to lay down.
Before the crowd quieted down, her lovely voice began to deliver those beautiful lyrics we Americans love. The only trouble is that her lips weren’t moving yet. My guess is the AV producer had one espresso shot too many in the preceding hours and pushed the button prematurely. Once he (or she) realized the error, the pause button was pushed – at just the second the Barrett’s lips began to move.
Eventually they got it together and she finished her part of the show, but not before the damage was done. What a fiasco! I’m sure she’s a great athlete. She may even be a good singer, but she lost the faith of anyone that was paying attention that night.
Modern technology has made it possible for us to be fooled in just about every aspect of life. Think about all the models who are Photoshopped for their appearances on the covers of glam magazines. How about the Manti Te’o girlfriend scam?
Sadly, it seems that most Americans are okay with being duped by technology. I for one am fed up with it. In my opinion, if you want the fame and rewards that go along with being an entertainer, you had better be able to entertain.
Screw it up and you might find yourself featured in my blog.