Stunning Drone Footage Of Flood Devastation

Today’s filmmakers and video journalists have an amazing array of affordable, powerful tools at their disposal. Nowhere is this more evident than in the explosion of aerial photography made possible by drones, as imagery from the recent tragic flooding in the Midwest United States and United Kingdom shows.

Over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, thousands were forced to evacuate in the Midwest, and dozens were killed after 10 inches of rain swelled rivers. Some of the most dramatic images of the devastation have come not from the mainstream media, but from aerial video footage shot by citizens using drones.

Capturing this sort of incredible footage would’ve been completely impossible just a few years ago unless you had access to a helicopter and a brave camera operator with hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear. Even then, safety factors would keep a big chopper from floodwaters.

Today’s generation of light and powerful high definition video cameras combined with affordable drone technology has made it possible for ordinary people to capture images themselves.

The potential applications for the use of drones in rough weather affect more than just journalism and filmmaking. During flash flooding in Texas earlier this year, a drone operator was able to assist a stranded family. Popular Science reported in May how operator Garrett Bryl used his DJI Inspire quadcopter that he’s named Valkyrie to help:

Valkyrie carried a rope over to a family trapped in their mobile home, which despite already being on stilts, was surrounded by fast-flowing water. This made the house inaccessible by boat or hovercraft, but the drone could fly over. With the rope attached to the house, rescue workers sent the family life preservers, and then used a helicopter to lift them out of danger. While the drone didn’t assist in the helicopter lift, by getting life preservers to the family it made sure that if the lift went wrong, the family members could still survive in the water.

Drones have also captured stunning footage of the floods that have been ravishing the United Kingdom. This clip shows a 200-year-old pub being washed away the day after Christmas in northern England.

As Breitbart News has reported, recent FAA regulations require that all drones that weigh between .55 and 50 pounds must be registered in a national database with the owners names and addresses.

 

Lee Stranahan is the lead investigative reporter at Breitbart News, one of the most popular news sites in the United States. He was also a regularly the featured writer at the Huffington Post. Lee is the founder and lead instructor at Citizen Journalism School.
My Twitter Account Is Under A Harassment Attack

My Twitter Account Is Under A Harassment Attack

Yesterday, conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain reported he’d been hit by a “fake follower” attack.

I’m currently under the same sort of attack: new fake followers are coming in about one every couple of seconds.

I don’t know who is behind this attack. I have been subject to ongoing harassment by the account of @XCitizen10 for years, a subject I’ll have more to say about in the coming months.

If you aren’t familiar with Neal Rauhauser, this article from 2012 says:

He is a self-admitted hacker. From available information and sources it is hard to determine if he is a black hat hacker (criminal) or a gray hat hacker (line between criminality and legitimacy).

Actually, it is hard to determine anything about Neal Rauhauser. Facts are sparse. Rumors, legends, myths, and his own braggadocio are plentiful. What is known is deeply disturbing. He is described as maniacal, diabolical, and extremely vengeful.

Depending on who you talk to or what you find on the Internet, Rauhauser is either a very disturbed individual, domestic and political super spy, agent provocateur and federal informant, federal cyber security contractor or consultant; is usually armed with a hand gun on his person or in his car, lives somewhere in America, lives in Montgomery County, Maryland, works on Capitol Hill, is an expert on wind technology, started and busted out several businesses, cannot hold a responsible job, the list just goes on and on and on.

Move Over, Dr. Dre: Sennheiser’s $25,000 Headphones

Via Wired:

The Sennheiser Orpheus originally debuted back in 1991. It was designed and sold as a complete system: a table-top stereo tube amplifier, the power supply, an internal DAC, all the cabling, and of course the headphones themselves. The engineers in Germany used exotic materials to give the Orpheus sort of a timeless, Art-Deco-meets-steampunk vibe. It’s an electrostatic system — instead of traditional speaker cones inside the earcups, you’ll find thin pieces of film that vibrate when stimulated by electrical currents. The sound is amazing: lively, super-nuanced, and intimate.

Only 300 units were produced, and each one sold for $12,500 — a very large sum of money for a headphone rig, even by today’s standards. Twenty years later, a complete Orpheus system can fetch upward of $25,000 if it’s in really good condition. Given less than half that money, you could construct a modern electrostatic headphone rig that sounds pretty close.

Amazing Immersive Video Concept

I’m blind in one eye so all that 3D stuff you binocular freaks talk about all the time does nothing for me. Please, many of y’all complain about headaches.

But this concept from MIT Media Lab’s Object Based Media Project is wicked cool. Blurry side screens that are intelligently rendered in real time provide a more immersive experience by giving your peripheral video something to so.

And did someone say GAMING? Yes, it’s the monotoned narrator, towards the end. He said it.

Watch this video.

Communism vs. Capitalism : See The Difference

You can argue until you’re blue in the face but sometimes a picture is worth much more than a thousand words. These photos are a stunning punch-in-the-gut example to people on the left attacking consumerism and capitalism; THIS is the difference that economic systems make.

The work is by photographer Stefan Koppelkamm and were featured in an article in Der Speigel called A Massive Facelift for Eastern Germany. The before pictures show the scenery from the communist days and were taken in the early 1990s. The after pictures are today after unification.

As the article says:

Although fascinated by his time travelling, Koppelkamm realized in the early 1990s that no one but him was interested in the sights of the unspoilt East. Looked at in the cold light of day, his photos depict buildings with gray facades, broken windows, tattered blinds and bricked-up entrances. In front, temporary scaffolding protects pedestrians and parked cars from falling bricks and bits of masonry.

The widespread decay of East German buildings in the 1980s was clearly visible. Hardly anyone wanted to live in the gray buildings with moldy entranceways, where when it rained the water would pour out of the broken drain pipes and pummel against the outside wall. No one wanted apartments without a functioning bathroom, with coal heating and damp in the walls. People preferred the large residential complexes, which despite being rather bleak and cramped, were at least solid and came equipped with “full comfort,” as it was known in the GDR — central heating and a hot water supply.

Go look at the whole stunning gallery.

All photos copyright Stefan Koppelkamm