video

SUPER RARE HD VIDEO OF NYC IN 1999

I just came across this great video from WBNS-TV Columbus shot across Brooklyn and Manhattan on May 20, 1999. This was back before HD cameras were the norm, so WBNS sent a few of their videographers to New York in order to test out their new toy for the first time.

It's so evident that this video was shot in a totally different era. The pre-9/11 America that I grew up in just seems so carefree in retrospect. Of course there were problems, but it was a world of innocence when compared to the world we're a part of today. There were no constant threats, no overwhelming fear, no images of fireballs and unimaginable destruction seared into our minds. Those were the sorts of things you'd read about in books or see in films. We never anticipated it becoming part of our own realities.

I don't expect the world to ever return to this form in my lifetime, but at least we can take a moment to look back at what once was.

THIS IS KENSINGTON

"Kensington is a place where troubled people go to try to find answers. Oftentimes, they end up losing their lives here."

Independent filmmakers James Sindaco, Sarah Fry, and Brad Larrison are the minds behind a series of short documentary projects called This is Kensington, which examines the brutal realities of this long-struggling Philadelphia neighborhood.

Riddled with violent crime, drugs, and broken dreams, Kensington is one of many blighted Philadelphia neighborhoods trying to make a comeback. Developers have recently begun to turn around the nearby Fishtown and Northern Liberties neighborhoods, but the same just can't be said for Kensington.

This project recently made headlines when videographers were caught in the middle of a shootout that left one man dead and another injured in broad daylight as children screamed and adults panicked at the sight of a bloodied victim hunched over his steering wheel.

Take a look at the full project at thisiskensington.com and check out the video below that begs the question, "What is Kensington?" 

MINIATURE CITIES & TILT-SHIFT PHOTOGRAPHY

Tilt-shift photography is a pretty cool way to modify the depth of focus in photos and videos, making big cities seem like tiny models and giving people the appearance of miniature action figures. Photographers and videographers can either use Photoshop to achieve the effect, or they can go old school with it and use the required lenses and shooting techniques. Either way, it's leading to some really cool media that gives us a whole new perspective on urban environments. 

Take a look below at a few great examples of tilt-shift photography by Melbourne-based photographer Ben Thomas (click here for more).

Tilt-shift looks great in still photography, but check out this mind-blowing video by Nathan Kaso, also from Melbourne. It's amazing what selective focus can do.

MIKE ROWE TACKLES SKILLED TRADES vs. HIGHER EDUCATION

Sure, I'm five slices of pizza and three fingers of whiskey into my Wednesday evening, but the memory of a YouTube video that my Rowan classmate Zack Kinslow (@zkinslow) recently posted has been ringing into my head all night.

Mike Rowe, that guy we know from Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs and the voice of Ford Trucks, recently stood before the US Senate to discuss the importance of skilled trades versus a college education. To sum it up, our nation's infrastructure is falling apart, and we as a society have placed so much emphasis on a college education that we simply don't have enough workers to keep our industries running smoothly.

This is something I've wondered about for years, especially now that our economy is still amidst a bit of an employment crisis. When I was in high school, there were just a few vo-tech kids who spent the second half of their school days learning how to weld or work on cars. These days, vocational schools seem to be largely ignored. Students are pushed towards "higher education."

"Right now, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant position. And there are 450,000 openings today in trades transportation, and utilities."  -- Mike Rowe to US Senate, May 11, 2011

That's a hell of a lot of jobs that we just can't fill because we're overly stressing the importance of getting a college education, which, in today's economy, is more likely to leave the graduate swimming in debt with few career prospects.

So I leave you with this question -- regardless of where you are in life right now, if you could trade your college education for a guaranteed job working a skilled trade, would you?