Major Motion Media

digital media and technical animation

Robotics in action at Fukushima

From http://www.bbc.com/news we just saw this interesting clip about some of the types of robots that are currently being deployed to inspect the highly radioactive areas of the Fukushima nuclear plant. Love these little guys! http://www.bbc.com/news/av/technology-41584738/fukushima-disaster-the-robots-going-where-no-human-can

 

Chernobyl Shield

Chernobyl–arguably one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, ranking up there with Fukashima and Three Mile Island, among many others. Engineers have been working on ideas to contain Chernobyl since the original disastrous meltdown in 1986. The damaged reactor was encased in a radiation shield at that time, but that original shield has been decaying over time and nuclear experts feel that the site is in danger of releasing radiation into the atmosphere. They came up with this new and improved design to mitigate the issue. Check out the video if you have a few minutes, we promise, you won’t be sorry!

 

 

Stop Motion Animation

We’ve never undertaken a project as daunting as stop motion animation, but we are completely enthralled by it. Maybe one day when we take a break from making awesome industrial animations (and have hours and hours of free time), we’ll try our hand at it. Recently saw this blog post on Sploid regarding the evolution of stop motion and absolutely had to share!

Watts Bar 2 Goes Live!

We were excited to see this article on CNN.com this morning (and no, it’s actually not about the debate last night, that’s a whole other story), about the Watts Bar 2 nuclear reactors going live after 43 years in the making. This is the first new nuclear reactor to be built in the United States in 20 years and is operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, bringing clean energy to seven states and about 4.5 million homes.

The only part of the article we took issue with is this line:

“Watts Bar 2, the company’s seventh operating reactor, reaffirms its commitment to nukes for at least four more decades, Johnson said Wednesday.”

The word “nukes” implies they are making nuclear missiles, which according to our knowledge, could not be further from the truth. The Watts Bar 2 reactors use nuclear technology to create clean energy and do not have the capability to produce weapon-grade material. This is one of the largest misnomers out there, and one we believe is an obstacle to bringing nuclear energy into the mainstream: people mistakenly believe that any nuclear reactor can (and does) create nuclear material for weapons. Articles like this further this belief by including misleading words and information. This is also part of the reason a large portion of the general public are so against the Iran nuclear deal–they believe the United States has essentially granted Iran the ability to create nuclear weapons. No where in that deal is Iran allowed unfettered access and ability to create nuclear weapons, the agreement is that they can develop nuclear reactors for energy purposes (and allow us to inspect their facilities at any time). We would love to see better information communicated to the public in the future to erase some of the stigma associated with nuclear energy.

Conspiracy Theories

Here at Major Motion Media, we love a good conspiracy theory, there’s something undeniably rewarding about getting sucked into a black hole of evidence, both anecdotal and scientific. Sasquatch? Check. Federal prison under Denver International Airport? Check. 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll? Check.

That’s why we were so excited to see this article on Salon today about the rise of Americans who believe in UFOs (now up to 45%). The article delves into several reasons to believe this uptick is happening including social, political and scientific.

Hey, at least we’re not alone, right?

Global Markets

In light of the Brexit vote, we were just discussing the other day how interesting it is to contemplate the global economy. Without interconnected economies there is no way we’d be at the point today that we are technologically or industrially. It’s hard to imagine what the world would look like today if money and goods were not so easily transported across the globe. Westeros, perhaps? I kid, but seriously our world could just as easily be a loosely affiliated series of serfdoms, as opposed to the high tech, fast moving, interconnected society we have built. On the flip side of all the positive progress the global economy has brought us, we also see astronomically high levels of income inequality, as well as the ability for one nation’s issues to irreparably damage another countries economy. Britain votes to leave the EU and what happens across the globe? Investors lose faith and stock markets plunge across the board, sending retirement accounts and money markets right down with them.  The latest at World Nuclear News discusses Britain’s plan moving forward regarding nuclear energy and highlights the implications of how one referendum in one country will be impacting the world for years to come.

Mila

Being in the business of animation, we often think of it as a tool for marketing or entertainment purposes. We make and watch industry animations all day, and unwind at the night watching the latest animated cartoons.

We don’t always think of animation as a way to raise social awareness; however, that is exactly what these 250 artists from around the world are doing with Mila, an animated work meant to bring into focus the effect war, and specifically collateral damage, has on children. 

Production is projected to be completed in the next year or so and there is a crowd funding campaign set up to raise the remaining funds needed to complete the project.

As techniques progress and 3d animation continues to become more lifelike, animators have discovered ways to manipulate viewers’ emotions in ways that were unimaginable just a few short years ago. What better way to evoke empathy in others regarding situations they may never experience in real life than an animation?

Nuclear in the news

Since we often work in the field of high level waste remediation, we’ve always got our eyes open for stories in the news about nuclear energy. Recently there’s been a spate of stories, and from unlikely reporting sources, such as Gawker Media, which is usually reserved for gossip. If you’re interested, we’ve compiled a list of some of these below:

There was this story, about milk radiation in Chernobyl.

This story about the trash fire burning toward nuclear waste in Missouri.

This story about nuclear waste at the Hanford site in Washington.

And a little outside the box, but there’s been a lot of talk surrounding President Obama’s trip to Hiroshima later this month, and whether or not he’s going to apologize for America dropping the atom bomb back in 1945. You can read about that one here, here or here.

Whether it’s stories about the history of nuclear proliferation, nuclear expansion, or cleanup, nuclear energy seems to be one of the constants in our current news cycle.

Kids Programming Toys

Now that we’ve got a little tyke running around the office here at Major Motion Media, we’ve been paying special attention to kid’s toys. Lately we’ve seen a lot of toys aimed at teaching kids as young as three how to get started with programming. It’s been cited that the average starting salary for a programmer is $91,000, and with the world becoming ever more technologically advanced, there does not seem to be an end to the need for these skills; so investing in these types of toys seems like a no brainer.

The two we liked the best are the Think and Learn codeapillar from Fischer-Price and Bitsbox.

The codeapillar consists of eight segments, each with a different directional code built in (turn right, turn left, go straight, etc) which can then be assembled in any order to make the codeapillar follow a distinct set of commands. Kids learn the basic tenets of code by configuring the segments together to “program” the toy. This toy is being released later this year, and at $50, sounds like a must-have! You can check out the website here!

 

Bitsbox is an interesting new start up out of Colorado (making them our neighbors!). You sign up for a subscription box that comes monthly complete with numerous coding projects. Your kid (ages 6-12, though their website says as young as 4) can pick which project they want to work on, then type the code into Bitsbox’s online site, changing the code if wanted to make a unique app. The apps can then be shared and used on mobile devices including computers, tablets and smartphones. All their apps are based in JavaScript, one of the most popular coding languages. The idea is similar to learning any language, the younger you start, the easier it is. 

 

Vintage Photo Animation

We’re always on the lookout for cool new animating techniques and new ways to incorporate animation.  We recently came across this video on Gizmodo and loved the outcome. Animating 2D images is nothing new, however this animation is done with such skill and precision you almost believe this is real video from the 30s. Definitely check it out!

 

« Older posts