All items tagged with "culture"

The retro backstory behind Apple’s holiday TV ad

Apple went back to basics to make their touching ad. Photo: Apple

Apple went back to basics to make their touching ad. Photo: Apple

Apple just posted a video on its YouTube channel to explain how they made the most recent TV ad for the holidays, “The Song.”

In the ad, a young woman uses GarageBand to sing a duet with her grandmother’s recording from the past. It’s a touching video that strikes a sentimental chord for many of us with grandparents who came of age back in the 1940s, as well as audio geeks who might remember the technology back then to create records: the audio booth.

Check out the video below for the full story from Apple, including the cool fact that they made an actual record using one of these old audio booths, The Voice-o-graph, for the young woman to sing along with.

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New snail species is so punk, it’s named after Joe Strummer

Rock the snail shell. Photo: Shannon Johnson/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Rock the snail shell. Photo: Shannon Johnson/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

This deep sea snail is covered in spikes, has purple blood and lives in the most extreme ocean environments. So of course the scientists that discovered it had to name it after their favorite punk rocker, Joe Strummer of The Clash.

In a study cleverly named “Molecular taxonomy and naming of five cryptic species of Alviniconcha snails (Gastropoda: Abyssochrysoidea) from hydrothermal vents,” researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute detail five new species of snails, one of which gained the scientific name A. strummeri to honor The Clash frontman.

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9 weird ways to turn your iPhone or iPad into a music machine

Keeping music on iOS weird. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Keeping music on iOS weird. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If there’s one thing we humans like to do, it’s make music. Seriously, we’ve been doing it since prehistoric times, so it’s no big surprise that we’d find many ways to bring music to our latest tool: the iPhone and iPad.

While there are a ton of different ways to play or make music on your iOS device of choice, here are nine rather weird ones, plus some fantastic videos to hear and see just how its done.

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The Meme Awakens with hilarious remixed Star Wars trailers

If Wes Anderson was making The Force Awakens, the trailer might look a lot like this. Video Frame: Jonah Feingold/YouTube

If Wes Anderson was making The Force Awakens, the trailer might look a lot like this. Video Frame: Jonah Feingold/YouTube

We’ll admit it: we were all squeeing like fanboys when we saw the official trailer for the upcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

We may have watched it quite a bit more than once, but the YouTubers below have taken their fandom to another level, with some really well crafted remixes of the official short film.

Check out trailers below starring the cast of (and scenes directly from) the original trilogy, the trailer as Wes Anderson would do it, and a bizarre rendering of it all with pets in place of human actors. Oh, and there’s also the obligatory Lego version, as well, so be sure to scroll all the way down.

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ICYMI: Build a hot gaming hackintosh on the cheap

Let's make us a hot gaming rig for super cheap. Cover design: Stephen Smith

Let’s make us a hot gaming rig for super cheap. Cover design: Stephen Smith

This week, we’ve got an amazing bunch of content for you, all cleverly bundled together into one fantastic high-quality digital magazine. It’s like all the best Cult of Mac stuff you might have missed crammed into a delicious metaphorical pastry that’s just brimming with sweet goodness.

Check it out below, and enjoy!

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Lego Bill Gates’ fave reads of 2014 will surprise you

Can Bill Gates get any cuter?

Can Bill Gates get any cuter? Photo: Bill Gates

In a delightful little video from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the tech billionaire and philanthropist talks about the favorite books he’s read this year. It’s an eclectic collection: Thomas Piketty’s volume on income inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century shares equal space with fiction novel The Rosie Effect as well as a book from the late 1970s, Business Adventures, by John Brooks. It’s a rare insight into the mind of one of our biggest business and cultural leaders of the last several decades.

Check out the video below for the whole list, and a charmingly presented stop-motion Lego film starring Bill Gates himself.

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5 new comic book series you should start reading now

Legendary game Grim Fandango gets a glorious makeover

Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions

Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions

Classic adventure game Grim Fandango is getting a brand new coat of paint, with a newly restored version of the noir/Day of the Dead mashup coming to Mac and other gaming platforms in January.

The game will have all-new advanced lighting effects, high-resolution textures, and remastered audio for today’s high-end gaming devices. It wall also have all the charm and cleverness of Tim Schafer, the designer who created many other classics of the genre first at LucasArts, and later at his own company, DoubleFine Productions.

Grim Fandango is one of the more influential games of the late 1990s, with 3D environments and a high quality level of writing and plotting that is rarely seen in video games. This new version will bring the legendary title to a whole new generation of gamers, letting them experience the genius alongside those who just want to re-live the joy of the original game on a machine that they currently own.

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This bacon looks so delicious you won’t believe it’s not real

Bacon is delicious, even if it's fake. Photo: Side Effects Software

Bacon is delicious, even if it’s fake. Photo: Side Effects Software

What does the bacon above have in common with The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Both were created with 3D animation software called Houdini by Toronto-based Side Effects Software.

The newest release is coming next month, and, as you can see in the stunning video below, it’s going to further revolutionize the world of 3D animation in movies, TV and video games.

Check the video out below, and try not to lick your screen when the bacon shows up.

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Spoiler alert: Possible Star Wars: The Force Awakens details leak

The sheer volume of leaked rumors is staggering. We want to believe while still hate being spoiled. Photo: Disney

The sheer volume of leaked rumors is staggering. We want to believe while still hate being spoiled. Photo: Disney

Just like The Force, the Internet has both dark and light sides. How you see the possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that just leaked is mostly a matter of perspective.

If you read on, you’ll be exposed to an embarrassing wealth of spoiler-y plot and character details about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming film. But be aware: Whether true or not, the sheer volume of close-up detail and conflicting information will change you.

If you want to go in unspoiled, read the following rumors at your own risk.

As for the supposed insider who leaked the information? Who knows their motivation? Even the Sith think they’re doing “the right thing.”

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