Internet's Earliest Cat Video Revealed
- Blog Post by: James Lileks
- April 24, 2013 - 12:20 PM
We don’t do a lot of cat stuff here on the blog, because experience has taught me that the internet is perfectly capable of filling the aggregated Cat Video Needs without my help. But no one seems to be coming up with vintage cat videos. So:
This was filmed in the mid-40s, and has been languishing in the databanks of the Prelinger Archive. It was discovered anew by Alexis Madrigal at the Atlantic, who was testing out a new Prelinger app that lets you plumb the bottomless expanse of the archives on your iPad. Three bucks: cheap.
TUMBLR DU JOUR Controversial: Minneapolis summed up in one judgmental map, with every neighborhood described through the perceptions of people who don’t live there. Come for the satire, stay for the humorless attacks in the comments. Contains a jot of profanity and broad stereotypes employed to indicate nonresident misperceptions, so if either annoys or troubles, click not.
ARCHITORTURE Once again, I have to wonder what I’m missing. Whether new shapes and forms are so brilliant my archaic sense of aesthetics cannot comprehend them. Architizer notes:
Wang Shu, the renowned Chinese architect who won the 2012 Pritzker Prize, was included on the “Time 100,” Time Magazine‘s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Shu’s visionary architectural projects are celebrated for their contextual relevance, which infuse historical Chinese traditions into distinctly contemporary structures.
Okay. Here’s the building.
TECH This piece at Giz by a new parent speaks for everyone who remembers the tech of the 90s.
When I was growing up, my parents would tell me about all the ancient technologies they had to use in their youth. Whether it was a car with a manual choke, a phone that required you to ask an operator to connect you, or a record player with a hand crank, mom and dad experienced a ton of tech frustrations I would never know.
As my 1-year-old upgrades his speech capability, I expect to tell him about these 10 awesome tech frustrations that he'll never experience. I hope he feels sorry for me, at least a little bit.
No. He won’t. It’ll never occur to him. Yesterday I reminded my daughter that when I was her age, there was one phone in the house, bolted to the wall. “Back in the olden days,” she sang with blithe disregard. Our privations are irrelevant. But here’s one of the tech frustrations the next generation will suffer: losing their entire digital life for reasons no one can explain. Which leads us to . . .
A few minutes into my Google-less existence, I realized how dependent I had become. I couldn’t finish my work or my taxes, because my notes and expenses were stored in Google Drive, and I didn’t know what else I should work on because my Google calendar had disappeared. I couldn’t publicly gripe about what I was going through, because my Blogger no longer existed. My Picasa albums were gone. I’d lost my contacts and calling plan through Google Voice; otherwise I would have called friends to cry.
There’s a moral to this story, I’m sure, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Let me think. I’l get back to you.
One of the comments introduces a word we must stop:
Loved this. Very thinky. Glad to hear you got your access back. I must look into backup options — I could live without many Google services but a mass loss of my Drive would be horrible.
No one should ever say “thinky” unless they are seven. Please make a note of it.
So what’s the alternative to trusting the cloud? Local storage, of course. But we’re told that hard drives fail, so you’d better back up into the cloud. But if you use those free services, you’re limited to 5GB in most cases, and that hardly covers 2 eps of your pirated Game of Thrones HD files, to say nothing of all that music with which you cannot part.
I’ve been working on my personal desert-island-disc type of project. That term used to mean the albums you’d absolutely have to take if you were going to be shipwrecked on a desert island. I don’t know why it had to be a desert island, and not a tropical one, and I don’t know why if you knew in advance you were going to be shipwrecked, you wouldn’t avoid it. Or at least make arrangements for later pickup, after you’d gotten tired of the records. I’m pretty sick of “Revolver” now, you can rescue me. Hello? Hello?
Sorry. Babbling. The project is simple: if I had to fill 1 TB with the most important things, what would go on the disk? One TB will be cheap and portable soon - it’s about eighty bucks now in an external drive, but eventually a TB drive will be thumb-sized and cheap. Once you start to winnow you realize how much digital junk you have that you don’t need - and how the ease of storing allllll those pictures means you’re less likely to ever look at them.
When I was a kid we had a few photo albums of family trips and holidays, with the occasional candid shot. My contributions were few, because film came in cartridges of 12, and the costs involved made you choose every shot with care. Those days are gone and that’s good for most of us, because we can fire away, and select later. But I’d bet no one does. You end up with four versions of every moment, and you can’t decide which is the best; one has a certain detail you like but someone’s scowling, and in the next one the dog is funny but that detail is missing, and so on.
However: I’ve found that if I select, say, 150 pictures per year I have a clearer idea of things than if I had a folder with 1,3,42 shots. Just a suggestion.
Different rules apply when you’re shooting the sun, though.
Imagine looking at the film at the end of the year and discovering that someone knocked over the camera and there’s two shots of the parking lot at night.
© 2015 Star Tribune