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Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in Amazing humans and the things they do.'s LiveJournal:

    Saturday, October 13th, 2007
    8:36 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Dancing from Kenichi Ebini
    I've seen a bit of dancing here and there, but I have to say Kenichi has a really interesting style. It's a great cross between miming, popping/locking, and breakdancing. He's won on the Apollo, and seems to have quite a following from the pages I looked at.

    Here's a couple of his clips, including a montage of his Apollo dance champion win.Collapse )
    Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007
    3:02 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Freerunning / Parkour
    There's quite a bit of information on Freerunning and Parkour, although they can probably best be summarized as the art of displacement. Using their bodies to catapult, spring, jump, climb and quickly scale obstacles is the goal, and there's really no better way (like much in this blog) to describe it better than letting you see it for yourself.

    There's a wide variety of the videos on youtube, but I think the following combines both the amazing and the artistic in a way that really makes it stand out. Enjoy.

    Monday, September 24th, 2007
    12:58 am
    [chrisdanek]
    Amazing.. child DJs?
    This is a pair of kids I came across tonight, and it's something truly .. amazing. Like some of my videos, there's not much I can add or introduce them with, so I'll just leave it to the videos to do the talking. Enjoy!

    DJ Sara - 8 years old
    DJ Ryusei - 5 years old



    Wednesday, August 29th, 2007
    1:16 am
    [chrisdanek]
    Autistic man draws city skylines from memory
    Stephen Wiltshire is an Autistic man who's always been fascinated with cities and city skylines. As a child, he experienced uncontrolled tantrums and largely lived in his own world.

    As he grew older he started to draw. And draw. And draw. His amazing memory and talented sketching has amazed the world. Shown in this video is his trip to Tokyo, a city which he had never visited before. He was given a helicopter and bus tour of the city, and then left to his own devices to sketch the city.

    Monday, August 27th, 2007
    1:51 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Amazing Technology...
    I'm a sucker for technology that makes your jaw drop. These UI demonstrations make the ones I posted about over a year ago look clunky and slow (even though they're far beyond what's available to consumers now), but that's not the amazing part.

    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/129

    While it takes a couple minutes of watching the video and actually allowing yourself to understand it (rather than be passively amused by cool UI tricks), the actual technology will make your brain stop for a moment to grasp it.

    Watch the video now.

    Done?

    Now... Think of the ramifications:

    *) Theoretically, you'll be able to "google" something by snapping a picture of it. This photo will be your search term, and meta data that has been inputted by someone else (or even a step beyond that, obtained programmatically by other clues: GPS, contextual placements in your journal/blog, date & time & sun position, etc) will be available to you! Imagine taking a picture of some landmark and immediately having all information available on the web in front of you. Or taking a picture of a restaurant and having all the current reviews on it. Cameras attached to cars uploading real time photos of traffic for myriad public systems and services. The "cool future" is close, and little by little, we'll be seeing this kind of thing become a reality.

    *) Scarier: You'll be able to "google" a person by the same means. Take a picture of them and immediately have their web footprint in front of you; everything they've ever done or that has been written about them. The government will, too. I imagine someday, someone may snap a picture of my face and be able to read this blog entry not too much later.

    *) Scifi horror nut says: We're mapping out the 3d world and all the people in it (at least tourist-ic points of interest) for the computers and robots and AI. They'll proceed to gain sentience, learn everything there is to know, and upload new BIOS software to all the robots already ubiquitously assisting in our daily lives by that point. Then, they'll kill us. Smash your cameras now.
    12:08 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Paul Potts
    Some of the most striking examples of amazing humans come from those you least expect it. If you're from the UK, you've most likely already seen this fellow, but for those of us in North America, he's relatively unknown.

    His name is Paul Potts, and until recently, he was a modest, slightly rotund cell phone salesman with a love of singing. Paul suffered years of bullying and a severe motorbike crash, and was over $60,000 in debt. He strolled into a tryout for "Britain's Got Talent" in front of the notoriously harsh Simon Cowell, and let loose something that can only be described as eerily beautiful, something that you certainly would not expect.

    He went on to win the competition, and has released an album (One Chance, Amazon) which is the #1 album across many parts of the world today. He's also scheduled a 22-performance tour in the UK. Those of us in the USA will have to wait to hear him perform his amazing talent.

    There's a huge selection of videos on youtube that showcase his talent pretty well, but this one is my favorite. You get the amazement of the judges at seeing something totally unexpected.

    Sunday, August 26th, 2007
    9:18 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Today's collection: Super Mario Brothers
    For whatever reason, Super Mario Brothers has always been a theme for performers. Today's post highlights this iconic game and the music contained within. Without further ado..

    A manualist playing the SMB theme.



    A boy with two guitars.



    A beatboxing flute player.



    If you thought you could beat the game fast, you're probably wrong. These guys have taken it to a whole new level. The following video is a "Tool Assisted Speedrun" of SMB. Tool assisted means that it's replayed through an emulator to get the absolute fastest time. While the purists may comment that this isn't a display of human performance, the engineering and study of the game to squeeze every last trimming of time is impressive. If you have some time to kill and are interested in seeing games used and abused (taking advantage of every possible glitch to complete the game as fast as possible), check out the TASvideos page where they've cataloged and recorded movies of TAS runs from nearly every game imaginable.

    9:04 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Breakdancing
    Human expression has always been an avenue for amazing talents. Breakdancing is probably one of the hardest, requiring years to perfect and perform. Even then, being able to creatively express your body may not come even with practice.

    8:24 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Animation by Lasse Gjertsen
    Lasse Gjertsen has become one of my favorite YouTube producers over the last year or two. He's a Norweigan student who has really done some interesting and cool things with his time. While these videos may not necessarily be the most amazing beatboxxing, cello playing, or animation skills, he brings such a fresh and creative way of presenting his skills that it's hard to watch these videos and not smile after.

    The following is a performance of Sogno ad Occhi Aperti (Daydream), by Giovanni Sollima. It comes in two beautiful and haunting movements.



    8:09 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Rubik's Cubing
    In the world of completely useless talents live the speedcubers: an intensely dedicated group of people who thrive on figuring out better and faster methods of solving Rubik's cubes. Do-it-yourself modded cubes, finger tricks and study of algorithms make for some absolutely insane (to the outside observer) speeds to solve a cube.

    Here's a collection of some videos that showcase the speed at which these folks solve the cubes. Lanky fingers, precise mechanical movements and a very quick mind and eyes contribute to these world records over the years.



    Three widely used methods exist, but the most common is the Fridrich method. In this method, there are four stages to solving a cube: (C)ross, (F)ront two layers, (O)rient and (P)ermute the Last Layer (CFOP for short). Occasionally, a "lucky solve" will happen: you'll get to skip the OLL or PLL stage. These typically happen about 1/216 times each, so an OLL and PLL skip occurs once in a blue moon. One of my favorite videos that shows this in action is below. The pure happiness can't be masked.



    In the speed cubing world, there's a multitude of variants: three by three by three (3x3x3) cubes solved with one hand or blindfolded, 4x4x4, even 5x5x5 cubes. Imagine doing that blindfolded!

    7:59 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Fernando Miyata - Amazing Guitar Skills
    Another of my favorite collection of videos are performances by Fernando Miyata, a Brazilian guitar player who was influenced by rock bands like Kiss and GNR. He's made quite a few videos to showcase his talent - extremely fast moving fingers, a very clean and impressive technique, and some excellent composition skills. His critics do say that he uses too many effects (pedals), but I find them to augment his already impressive talents to give a very entertaining musical performance.

    7:55 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Yo-yo champions
    Every year, Duncan holds a "World Yo-Yo Contest" in Japan. In this contest, you'll see some of the most amazing tricks and stunts performed with two yo-yos. There's a multitude of videos that exhibit these amazing humans, but I think some of the shorter highlight videos will give you an idea of the variety of tricks and the skill involved. Amazing!


    7:35 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Tetris
    I've played Tetris for a long time. I even used to think I was pretty decent at it, until I saw this video and realized that there's a whole 'nother level that I'm not even aware of. Then, two levels above that, there's this guy. Even the occasional mistake or forced bad move is no problem and usually easily fixed.



    I think the Japanese are particularly aggressive when it comes to honing a niche skill and truly becoming the best in the world at something.
    7:29 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Elecrtical engineers gone wild
    This is a pretty old video, but one of my favorites. An electrical engineer from Ohio wired Christmas lights up to his house, and set up a low wattage FM transmitter so that people observing in their car could listen to the music. There's no real way to describe this other than pretty dang cool.

    4:40 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    A popular and amazing guitarist
    This has been done a couple times by a couple different people. The original arrangement was done by a talented Taiwanese guitarist and composer, JerryC, although the slightly better performance is shown here by 'Funtwo'.

    Pachabel's Canon in D

    4:34 pm
    [chrisdanek]
    Welcome!
    Welcome to Amazing Humans, a journal to showcase some amazing displays of human achievements that I've found over the years. Enjoy!


    Suggestions for submissions are always welcome in this thread.
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