Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Google Street View Hyperlapse from Teehan+Lax Labs.
Teehan+Lax is a digital studio based in Toronto whose Labs staff works on experimental ideas. From their site: "Hyper-lapse photography — a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest — has been a growing trend on video sites. Creating them requires precision and many hours stitching together photos taken from carefully mapped locations. We aimed at making the process simpler by using Google Street View as an aid, but quickly discovered that it could be used as the source material."
You can do this yourself by going to the hyperlapse site and picking your starting point by dropping the 'A' pin onto Google Maps, and repeating that with your 'B' pin. Now all you have to do is press 'Create' and the Google Street View images are stitched together to create your film! Check it out here.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
|Photo Credit: Dan Dry / Power Creative|
So how to pick a winner? Well, often casual betters will pick just based on their favorite name. But what is in naming a Derby runner? Turns out, there's a whole lot of rules attached.
Perhaps an obvious rule is that once a winner, forever a winner. This means that once a horse has run the Kentucky Derby, their name is permanently retired. It doesn't sound good if an owner names his horse after Secretariat, the fastest runner in Derby history, and yet that horse fails to win.
Another rule is that an owner must undergo a phonetics test with the potential name. NPR interviewed Rick Bailey of the Jockey Club registrar in 2005 who discussed why this makes logical sense for the sake of the audience, betters, and potential buyers:
"You don't want two Thoroughbreds out there racing at the same time with very similar-sounding names. You know, as an example, there's a very prominent racehorse from several years back named Easy Goer, spelled E-A-S-Y, as you might imagine, and you wouldn't want to allow the name Eazy, spelled E-A-Z-Y. So I try to be careful to, you know, actually say them out loud before it gets approved, just to avoid that confusion."
Furthermore, there is a limitation of exactly 18 characters for a horse's name, so as to fit on legibly on the racing forms. And if you want to name if after a person, you must get written permission from that person. While this may not come up often, it's still a strict rule that must be observed. Rick Bailey told NPR his favorite anecdote from collecting these permissions:
"One of the best ones that I remember in my 17 years here at the Jockey Club is, several years back, we had a filly named Barbara Bush when Mrs. Bush was still first lady at the time. We received a letter of permission on White House letterhead. So that was pretty exciting."
To listen to the rest of the interview, head over to NPR's The Science of Naming Racehorses.
*Update: To prove he isn't just a statistic, Orb has won the 139th Kentucky Derby!