Thursday, February 28, 2008

Get Your Own Copy: Top 10 Online Video Conversion Services



Most online video platforms such as Youtube, MySpace and Metacafe use Flash video streaming (.flv) rather than simple links to files we can download. There are various reasons for that with the main one being the common business model most of those services relay on: advertising. In other words - we get to watch the content for free but we need to do that online and on the site. While this may be serving well the interests of the service provider it might not always be how we want things to go: some of us want to archive our own copies of the videos we love. Others may want to transfer a certain movie from one website to another. Well, this is the time to let you know that you don't have to be "on Youtube" to watch a Youtube movie. Instead, you can download the video stream to your computer, keep it there as a "normal" video file and watch it whenever you like. Nothing is illegal or fishy about it, it is simply another way of consuming the data. Just like you do when you save an html page to your computer and read it later.



So, for your convenience, CultCase has selected some of the best online video conversion services available today. They are all free of charge and do not even require registration. We tested all of them by converting and downloading the same 1:42 min Youtube video seen above of an (awesome) cover version for the Beatles' Hey Jude. There were no significant differences between the services in terms of both time-to-deliver and video quality. All of the files looked reasonable considering the quality of the source and took approximately 1-2 minutes to delivery. If you try any of them with your favorite videos please do let us know how it went.

1. Zamzar



URL: http://zamzar.com/url/

Zamzar is a free online file conversion dedicated to transforming songs, videos, images and documents into different formats. With this service the focus is on high-quality file conversion for as many file formats as possible. The basic free service lets you converting files up to 100MB each. In case you are an online video conversion freak and "want more Zamzar" you can signup for basic, pro or business account and get to convert larger files (up to 1Giga!), a personal inbox for online file storage and faster file conversions (pricing and signup here). Nice and clean interface design. Fun to use.

2. Mux



URL: http://beta.mux.am

With a somewhat over-texted design but still simple and easy to use interface Mux is a new beta service allowing you to convert media files from major player websites such as youtube, dailymotion and google and download to your computer. Here you can also share it privately with friends & family or send it to your mobile phone.

3. Vixy



URL: http://vixy.net

This online flv converter lets you convert Flash video files and download them in avi, mov mp4, pm3 or 3gp container formats encoded with mpeg4 codecs. The site claims to be doing that faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder. The service is based on an OpenSource engine named FLV to MPEG4 Conveter. In case you are a serious geek and knows your way around you can even download the project source code via their svn subversion.

4. VideoCodeZone



URL: http://www.videocodezone.com/conversion.php

Convert Flash video files from Youtube, MySpace, Google Videos, IFilm, Break, Dailymotion and Metacafe to popular formats and download them to your computer. Copy and paste the URL of the video, select the output format and click Convert/Download. To convert local Flash video files select the file and click Convert/Download.

5. MediaConverter



URL: http://www.mediaconverter.org

Multi-file type converter and splitter supporting video, sound, ringtones, images and documents: not just of popular audio / video files such as mp3, wmv, 3gp, flv, swf, mov, avi, mpg, mp4, divx, ipod, psp and ogg but also picture formats like jpg, psd, doc, pdf, rtf, txt, odg and even abandoned formats as WordPerfect (...?). Check File mode, click Browse, choose the file and hope for auto-detection to work. If auto-detection fails, select input format and output format, submit the form. To convert a file from the Internet check URL mode, enter the file URL, select input and output format and go.

6. ConvertDirect



URL: http://www.convertdirect.com

Online flv converter for Flash video files such as those used by Youtube. Supported output formats include avi, 3gp, mp3, mp4, wmv, mpeg, mov and psp. You can watch your vids on PC, iPod, Zune, PSP and various mobile phones.

7. MovAVI



URL: http://online.movavi.com

Other than requiring no software to install (that's true about everyone on this list) the guys from MovAVI are also proud of the fact there are no ads on their site to interrupt you while you are enjoying their free service. Add up to 5 files limited to 10 min each and 100 Mb total size. Enter your email address and MovAVI will notify you when your files are ready. There is also a cool feature allowing you to merge your files videos into one large movie.

8. Flvix



URL: http://www.flvix.com

Youtube Google Video dedicated online flv converter. Flvix comes from the folks who do Pingoblog, a cool ping service for bloggers. Very simple yet efficient interface. Converts Youtube and Google videos and serves them for download in avi, mov, mp4, 3gp and mp3 formats for PC, Mobile phones, iPod and PSP.

9. All2Convert



URL: http://www.all2convert.com

Online video converter. Copy video link, paste it in the URL video box, choose video format and press Convert. Wait for your converted video link to show up and download. Supports 3gp mobile phone format as well as iPhone and Zune videos, iPod, PSP and popular PC formats as dvd, mov, mp4, vob, rm and wmv.

10. ConvertTube



URL: http://converttube.com

Youtube dedicated online flv converter. Allows you to convert Flash video files as used by YouTube to popular PC, iPod, PSP, iPhone and mobile phone formats such as wmv, mov, mp4, mp3 and 3gp. Same as Vixy, this service also claims to be doing its job faster and less lossy than a typical video transcoder.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Challenging Neptune: 6 Underwater Cave Photographers

Challenging Neptune: 6 Underwater Cave Photographers

Cave diving photography is one of the most challenging and potentially dangerous kinds of all human activities. A lot of things can go wrong when you go into a deep cave. Many more can go wrong when the cave is also filled with water. This said, imagine doing the last two while at the same time being occupied with the right angle and perfect lighting of a beautiful underwater cave shot. Not the easiest job on earth, ha? Naturally, this kind of activity requires special training and equipment as well as state certification. Cave diving is not a game. According to American Caving Accidents, a special yearly report of The National Speleological Society tracking cave diving accidents, 50 American divers have died in 44 fatal cave diving accidents since the year 2000 and until end of 2007 and the numbers keep going up. So, just to make sure - if you are not certified and trained for cave diving, don't even think about trying it.



Gladly, in reality most underwater explorations end up with a satisfied diver and some very good stories, while some of them even have spectacular underwater photos to tell their stories for them. Following is a photo compilation from 6 cave diver-photographers who have followed the rules and came back to share their experience and photos with us. All images are copyrighted and are the property of the corresponding photographers. For more about Cave Diving see Wikipedia.

Wes Skiles



The underwater caving photographs of Wes Skiles are of the most well known and highly valued available nowadays anywhere in the world. Skiles is a professional high-definition nature photographer and film director and the CEO of Karst Productions, specializing in high-risk operations of nature exploration projects.



His clients include world leading media channels including the National Geographic with which he made quite a few amazing projects. During his career Skiles has won many awards including the HDFEST Deffie for Best Documentary Film (twice), Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival (finalist, 2003) Gold Aurora Award (2003), Crystal Reel Awards (2003) and Best Educational Film Cine Golden Eagle 2003.
http://www.wesskiles.com

Deighton





Deighton does not seem to be a professional cave diver yet he practices the combination of cave diving and photography and manages to obtain exceptional results with his photos. The above were taken during his cave diving journey in Mayan Riviera, Mexico on November 10-14, 2005. More photos from Deighton on this Picsa webAlbum.

Andreas W. Matthes



Andreas Matthes is a highly experienced Closed-Circuit Rebreathers Cave (CCR) Instructor living in Mexico who has been training CCR cave diving since 1997, conducting thousands of cave dives world wide. Matthes received the NSS-CDS International Cave Diving Safety Award as well as the NACD Wakulla Gold Award for 1000 completed cave dives, both in the year of 2001. For more about rebreathers technology see here.



Other than being a professional underwater cave diver and photographer Matthes is also an avid webmater. He runs a website dedicated to closed-circuit rebreathers (CCR) cave diving, a type of mixed-gas system, enabling descent to much greater depths than can be safely reached with oxygen rebreathers or normal compressed air equipment. For more about rebreathers technology see here. The above photos were taken in Mexico with an Olympus 3030 digital camera during a CCR exploration journey. The camera was placed into a Light and Motion Tetra housing featuring a screw-on wide angle lens converter.
http://www.andreaswmatthes.com

Allen Wooten



With a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree Allen Wooten spends most of his time doing Corporate Accounting for a Fortune 500 Company in South Georgia USA. On other times, just about every other weekend, Wooten likes diving to the North Florida caves.



Wooten is a certified member of the NSS-CDS and DAN and practice various technical diving activities including sidemount, drysuit and scooter/DPV diving, as well as cave diving photography. He has a low-volume garage factory for gas mixing of nitrox, trimix, and deco bottles at home and has previously adopted 50 ft of cave passage in the deep section (165 ft deep) of Lower Lower Orange Grove Sink.
http://www.cavedivingrocks.com

John Blausey



With 14 years of dive experience John Blausey has a record of thousands of dives all over the world. He is the principal instructor and manager of AcmeScuba, a company specializing in various adventurous dive training including night dives, deep dives, search and recovery and underwater photography.



As a Master SCUBA Diver Trainer, Blausey provides a complete diver training program set forth by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. The above photographs were taken Jul 24, 2007 during an underwater caving trip in Dominican Republic. The camera in use is a Canon PowerShot G7. More photos from this dive on Blausey's Picsa webAlbum.

Nick





Not much is known about Nick except for his first name and the fact he is a skilled cave diver and a talented underwater cave photographer. The above photo selection was taken on Jul 31 - August 1, 2007 during Nick's caving journey in Florida. More photos from Nick on this Picsa webAlbum.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Days by Ray Davies: A Cursed Rock Masterpiece?



Almost 40 years have passed since The Kinks burst onto our souls with Days. Originally recorded on May 23 and May 27, 1968 at Pye Studios in London, this bittersweet rock ballad written and produced by Ray Davies was released as the A-side to a Kinks single in June 28. By the end of summer 1968 Days took the 12th slot in the UK Top Hits and was also included in Top 20 hit lists in several other countries. What's also known as the last recording ever made by the original lineup of the legendary Kinks was the type of rock ballad people could just not get enough of. Here is the original version preformed by Davies and the Kinks.



For Davies, things have been going pretty well since the demise of the Kinks in the mid-90s, especially when the nature of the pop industry and biological age are taken into account. His February 2006 album Other People's Lives, for example, was his first top 30 hit in UK since the Kinks days in the 1960s.



Above: Davies and the Kinks.
Below: Davies in 2006 (source bmi.com)




Yet, for other prominent artists who reproduced Davies' song things did not turn out so nicely. Actually, three of them who made their own successful cover versions for Days during the years of 1968 to 1995 have passed away after a few years. Their deaths had nothing to do with the song. Tragically and disturbingly, however, they all died during their 40s.

Luke Kelly: Death by Brain Tumor

Died: 1984
Age: 43
Cause of death: Brain tumor



Luke Kelly was one of the greatest Irish folk artist of the 20th Century, mostly famous for his membership and leadership of the The Dubliners. A CD of 9 previously unreleased tracks by Kelly was released in 1999 titled after Davies' song. With most tracks recorded prior to joining The Dubliners or when he was not a member of the group, this CD includes an extraordinary rendition of the classic ballad.



On June 30, 1980 during a concert in the Cork Opera House Kelly collapsed on the stage after suffering from headaches and forgetfulness. Later on the reason was diagnosed as a deadly brain tumor. Although Kelly kept on touring with the Dubliners after enduring an operation his health was further deteriorated. On his European tour in autumn 1983 he came off the stage in Traun, Austria and again in Mannheim, Germany. Kelly spent one more Christmas with his family but was then hospitalized again in the New Year. On 30th January 1984 the whole of Dublin grieved the early death. Following his death the Luke Kelly Memorial Fund for brain research was launched.

Kirsty MacColl: Death by Speedboat Hit

Died: 2000
Age: 41
Cause of death: Hit by speedboat



Kirsty Anna MacColl was a famed folk, pop and new wave musician, some would say of the greatest harmony singer in rock and roll history. MacColl had a busy successful year in 2000. Her latest album Tropical Brainstorm was doing very well. Five years have passed since her cover version of Days reached the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart when MacColl decided to take some time off. She took a vacation with her partner musician James Knight and her two sons and traveled to Cozumel in Mexico.



On December 18, 2000, MacColl the group went diving in Cozumel in an area that was restricted for watercraft. As the group was surfacing from a dive, a speeding powerboat entered the restricted area. MacColl saw the boat coming for her sons with one of them - Jamie - appearing to be in the boat's path. She had enough time to push her son out of the boat's way but was hit by the boat and killed instantly. Today, more than 7 years later, no one has been made accountable for her death and her mother Jean is still seeking justice for Kirsty's tragic and untimely death. For more about this incredible story see justiceforkirsty.org



Solveig Dommartin: Death by Heart Attack

Died: 2007
Age: 46
Cause of death: Heart attack



Solveig Dommartin was a talented French-German actress who began her career with the Compagnie Timothee Laine and the Theater Labor Warschau theaters. The first chance most of us had to watch Dommartin's unique acting style was in Wim Wenders' 1987 film titled Der Himmel über Berlin, also know as Wings of Desire. Her professional association and romantic relationship with the leading german director resulted with the couple co-authoring Until the End of the World (1991, Bis ans Ende der Welt) as well as traveling around the world in search for suitable shooting locations. "We thought that we only had the right to enter into such a sacred area like a person's dreams, if we would bring something into the work that was sacred to ourselves" Wenders once noted about their collaboration on this movie.



In one of the most magical scenes of Until the End of the World, portraying a magic millennium party, Claire Tourneur (Dommartin) performs a fantastic unplugged version of Days under the light of colorful garlands. This scene is held by some of the most powerful living actors at the time such as Jeanne Moreau, Max von Sydow and Sam Neill to name a few. Death, sorrow and happiness have never been mixed better by anyone but Dommartin's performance is the overwhelming highlight here. Dommartin died of a heart attack on January 11, 2007 in Paris. Although she was "officially" born in 1958, Dommartin's mother told reporters her daughter was born in May 1961, making her 45 at the time of her death.



See also: Wenders MySpace page dedicated to Dommartin

Days

Lyrics source: lyricsfreak

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
Im thinking of the days,
I wont forget a single day, believe me.

I bless the light,
I bless the light that lights on you believe me.
And though youre gone,
Youre with me every single day, believe me.

Days Ill remember all my life,
Days when you cant see wrong from right.
You took my life,
But then I knew that very soon youd leave me,
But its all right,
Now Im not frightened of this world, believe me.

I wish today could be tomorrow,
The night is dark,
It just brings sorrow anyway.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
Im thinking of the days,
I wont forget a single day, believe me.

Days Ill remember all my life,
Days when you cant see wrong from right.
You took my life,
But then I knew that very soon youd leave me,
But its all right,
Now Im not frightened of this world, believe me.
Days.

Thank you for the days,
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
Im thinking of the days,
I wont forget a single day, believe me.

I bless the light,
I bless the light that shines on you believe me.
And though youre gone,
Youre with me every single day, believe me.
Days.

See also:

An amazingly detailed list of Days releases by the Kinks
Days chord file

Big Bang World Record. Internet is About Text and Links

Regardless of how much people like or dislike reading, the Internet is mostly about text and links. That is just how it goes. So, as Leena of conceptisaddict who tagged us on this crazy link-love chain said "let’s call a spade a spade and see how “Big” of a “Bang” we can get"... The goal here is to exceed 1,000 sites and "leave all the other memes in our dust!"

*Start Copy Here*

You do not have to be tagged to play along. This game is simple and so are the rules.

1. Copy from *Start Copy Here* through *End Copy Here*

2. Add your site(s) to the list. Just be sure to post the "Big Bang" at each site you add.

3. Tag or don’t tag, your choice, however, the more tags you create the longer the list will grow.

4. Let me know your blog’s name and url by leaving me a comment HERE. I will add you to the master list. (If you would like a scroll box code, leave me your email address and I will email it to you.) Scroll Box Example. (I decided not to use the box for the Big Bang for ease of copying.)

5. Come back and copy the master list back to your site, often. This process will allow late-comers to get as much link benefit as the first ones in. Once you are on the master list people who have participated earlier will update their bookmarks and help everyone lower than them out on the list.

1-Attitude, the Ultimate Power 2-Juliana's Site 3-Rusin Roundup 4-Grow Rich Along With Me 5-Comedy Plus 6-lynda's loft 7-Amel's Realm 8-MAX 9-Speedcat Hollydale 10-Mariuca 11-Complain Complain Complain 12-Mariuca's Perfume Gallery 13-Life Is A Roller Coaster 14-Sugar Queen's Dream 15-First Time Dad 16-Life 17-My Life 18-The Painted Veil 19-My Thoughts 20-DatCurious.com 21-Little Aussie Cynic 22-A Nice Place in the Sun 23-DatMoney.com 24-The Down Side OF Up 25-Ladyjava's Lounge 26-Cat Tales 27-moms.....check nyo 28-Colorado Baby 29-It's a Woman's World 30-ENLIGHTENED BITS 31-My View of "It" 32-My Reviews and Finds Along the Way 33-Our Hep Chat 34-Rantings of a Woman 35-The Callalily Space 36-Mom Knows Everything 37-Hazel 38-Chronicles and Tales Unlimited (RED) 39-From the Mouth of Jabber Jaws 40-Sunny Side Up Foodie & Lifestyle 41-Carmel Corn 42-Daily Stock Picks 43-The Whole New World 44-Wifespeak 45-Slavery Bliss 46-Rooms of My Heart 47-Unpredictable Life 48-My Life, My World 49-At Your Service 50-All About Ebay 51-Everything Amazon 52-Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out 53-My So-Called Site 54-New Wife Blog 55-Tendre Poison 323 56-Nick's Bytes 57-My Scratch Pad 58-Choc Mint Girl 59-Life Is Just Around the Corner... 60-Amori, poseia, art... virtuali by Hanna 61-Maryannaville 62-monaco - monaco's 63-Nyumix's Blog 64-read my mind - my keyboard monologues 65-Shower You Children With Love - The Right Way 66-Secret Agent Mama 67-Pinaymama's Diary 68-Answers to the Questions 69-Work of the Poet 70-A Total Blog 71-My life, my hope, my future 72-NORTE 73-A Window to Our World 74-Life as a Mom 75-FIELD OF DREAMS 76-lisgold 77-See Me for What You 78-Caught in The Stream 79-Pinay Mommy Online - My Home 80-foster me up 81-CRUEL VIRGIN 82-Garden of Moments in Blog 83-So Cute 84-Love Everlasting 85-WeLcOmE To My CriB 86-WELCOM TO PINAYSMILE'S JOURNEY 87-Ice's Icelog 88-Jenny's Wandering Thoughts 89-Hobbies and Such 90-Sweet Paradise 91-Mommy's Gibble Gabbles 92-Rusin Review's 93-My Small World 94-Little Peanut 95-Online Ramblings 96-My Mood My Feeling 97-BLOG it with ALLEN 98-Entertainment World 99-Let's Go Singapore 100-Firelynx 101-Catsy Carpe Diem 102-Every Beat Of My Heart 103-Always Da Fresh Princess 104-Listening.. Learning..Living 105-All About Mars 106-Syii From Afar 107-Some Thoughts I Have 108-From Here and Beyond 109-My Paid To Blog 110-Scholarship Corner 111-Cell Phone Review 112-"Apples of the Eyes" 113-It's All About Play 114-The Luttrull Journey 115-RennyBA's Terella 116-Unchained Melody 117-Out of the Blue 118-The Lure Of the Unknown 119-Maricel's 120-my blog 121-Spiff, the Spaceman 122-Living Well 123-The Dog Log 124-Catnip Corner 125-A Piece of Idea 126-Observations From the Back 40 127-Poetry by The Redneck Gypsy 128-Odd Facts 129-Juliana's Lair 130-My life is murphy's law 131-lisgoldsmemoirs 132-My memories, as time goes by 133-Somewhere over the rainbow 134-Blogging by Sandee 135-Our Journey to this so called life 136-Idaho Daily Photo 137-Memories that Never Fades.. 138-Anything goes 139-Your Caring Angels 140-Little Paces 141-Laketrees 142-PoeARTica 143-fracas 144-Just FraCas 145-Archies Archive 146-Growing Up Together 147-A Woman's Diary 148-Mother's Got A Dot Com 149-Close To You 150-Hot Shit Form Here 151-Astro Galaxy 152-Detector 153-Beauty is in the eye of the beholder 154-My Life is Peachy 155-The Down Side of Up 156-Magical Milestones 157-In Search of Life 158-RebelationsdotNet 159-Jen Jen's Place 160-Mimi Writes... 161-Strange but true 162-Depois de minha viagem 163-Your Perfect Wedding: 164-Make Money Online 165-Primitive Ornies and Bowl Fillers 166-Vegetarian Diet Lifestyle 167-Looking Out For You 168-BENOLSATUEM 169-OtherSide 170-Hacko's Site 171-where was I 172-Making Money Resources 173-text's Site 174-Movie Corner 175-Rahasia Bisnis Internet 176-Online Dating Tips 177-Beauty Kissing Tips 178-Forex Trading Tips 179-Singapore Tour Guide 180-PPC vs PTR 181-Indonesian Film 182-Adsense Success Stories 2008 183-Bali Tour 184-Paypal Indonesia 185-Review Bisnis Internet 186-Blog Daniel Scardua 187-Much of a muchness 188-Gagiers Amazing World 189-Clumsy Mommy 190-Leaotheblogger 191-PBDesigns Reading and Crochet Blog 192-Gagiers Striking Zone 193-DrowseyMonkey 194-Yesterday Today n Tomorrow 195-Auntie Dar's Life 196-Sky Windows... 197-Filippino Life Abroad 198-Leao the Blogger 199-Zoop's Rantings on Life 200-My Journey 201-A Sweet Taste of Life 202-This is a Miracle 203-Lavanderia Virtual 204-Nancies's Web - Family Life 205-Dating Profile of the Day 206-my wooden robot 207-My World 208-urban : trendy : lifestyle 209-Lucel Juliana's Library 210-Cooking Momster - My Life Journal 211-Anggie & Jeremy boy Online Journal 212-'Doc Doc Doc' 213-Transforming My Life 214-Gratitude Journal 215-Simplydunn.net 216-emila's illustrated blog 217-AZZY'S BLOG-A-ROONIE! 218-MAMABLISS' TREASURED MOMENTS 219-The Sky's the Limit 220-PROJECT HEAVY TRAFFIC 221-just another ordinary story.. 222-Samuel Rolo 223-The end mission! 224-R S S Submissions 225-Laice's Pics 226-Health and Fitness 227-Brainybimbo 228-Journey with WaterLearner 229-Zoop's Rantings on Life (at Blogspot) 230-Dear Me (Ivan) 231-Tour the Tabon Caves 232-Book Calendar 233-Love me. 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*End Copy Here*

We tag a few top class bloggers I've recently been privileged to know: Brian Wallace of NowSourcing, Myku of le-trash, Luís Alves (AKA mokki) of mökkikunta, Tal Siach of walyou, John Ember of techdune and Shaun of deputy-dog.

The code for the above box can be found on Life of Cojoto

Monday, February 11, 2008

Grindhouse: Planet Terror and Death Proof



Grindhouse is a 2007 anthology film co-written, produced and directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The film's title derives from the U.S. film industry term "grindhouse", which refers to a movie theater specializing in B movies, often exploitation films, shown in a multiple-feature format.



Planet Terror: revolves around an outfit of rebels attempting to survive an onslaught of zombie-like creatures as they feud with a military unit.



Death Proof: focuses on a misogynistic, psychopathic stunt man who targets young women, murdering them with his "death proof" stunt car. Each feature is preceded by faux trailers of exploitation films in other genres that were developed by other directors.

Source: Wikipedia
See also: Grindhouse on imdb

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Are You Talking To Me...?!!



It's coat encrusted with dried red mud, looks up briefly while grazing on a patch of short grass in the Pongola Nature Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). What a sweety!

read more | digg story

Friday, February 8, 2008

From Oppenheim to Akiyo: 7 Unusual Skin Artists

From Oppenheim to Akiyo: 7 Unusual Skin Artists

It is our largest organ. It covers every inch of our body, protecting it from hit and illness. Sometimes it inflates pain and agony, other times it can be the source of great pleasure. Skin has been playing a major roll in the history of human culture. People go to war to keep their skin color more popular than others. Skin both reflects and affects our emotions. Obsessed with age-related changes in their skin, we pay billions to have every last one of our wrinkles vanished with plastic surgeries.

Skin decorations such as partial or full body tattoos, body piercing and body painting have been means of self-expression long before we adopted them as pop-culture items. Modern interpretations of body art involve the exploration of skin as a living canvas with its own unique physical dimensions, attributes and limits. The following is a brief review of 7 unusual contemporaneity body artists focusing on the human skin.

1. Dennis Oppenheim: Reading Position for Second Degree Burn



One of the first and most well known modern artists to explore the human skin is Dennis Oppenheim, an American conceptual, performance artist, sculptor and photographer. In his 1970 work Reading Position for Second Degree Burn, Oppenheim lay in the sun for five hours bare-chested except for an open book on his chest. According to Oppenheim the roots of this particular creation can be found in "a notion of color change... I allowed myself to be painted, my skin became pigment."

More at:
http://www.dennis-oppenheim.com

2. Youri Messen-Jaschin: Mad Lausanne



Youri Messen-Jaschin is an artist of Latvian origin living and creating in Lausanne, Switzerland. Amongst other forms of art, Messen-Jaschin is also known as an avid messenger and specialist in the art of body painting. Messen-Jaschin's works are often exhibited in clubs where UV lamps are in use.

He is known for his tendency towards psychedelic colors and according to Wikipedia avoids skin damage by using special biologic paint. Other than his fine art activities Messen-Jaschin is also an avid photoblogger. The above photos (by events-gallery.ch) are titled Mad Lausanne. They were taken in Switzerland December 2, 2006 during an event dedicated to Aids awareness.

More at:
http://yourimessenjaschinbodyart.blogspot.com

3. Kim Joon: Billboard Postures and a La Mode Attitude



Born 1966 in Seoul, Korea, Kim Joon has been of the most prominent body paint artists of the 21st centaury. With an MA degree in Painting from Hongik University, Joon's creations were exhibited in solo shows across the world. His recent works include "Duet" (2006, Canvas International Art Gallery, Amsterdam), "Stay" (2007, Space 355, Tokyo) and "Party" (2007, Touch art, Heiri)


"Each Party body is a centrifugal magnet of contemporary fashion design, billboard postures, and a la mode attitude, spinning through magazines and youtube. But amidst the excitement there is pixilation and jaundice skin. Among each conflation of pattern and tattoo, flesh appears deformed and ruined, so each body-surface becomes a multi-layered fact of nature's being written by culture and science; and vice versa […] is this flesh on tattoo and pattern, or vice versa?" (Christopher Jones, Seoul, 2007)
More at:
http://www.kimjoon.co.kr

4. Ariana Page Russell: Immune System Poetry



Ariana Page's skin frequently blushes and swells due to dermatographia, a condition in which one’s immune system exhibits hypersensitivity via his or her skin, causing capillaries to dilate and welts to appear when the skin’s surface is lightly scratched. The welts last about thirty minutes but that is more than enough for Page to painlessly draw those spectacular patterns and words on her skin. And then she taker their pictures and share them with us.



Her patterns range from adaptations of Greek and Etruscan vases, Medieval wall coverings and Renaissance pottery to contemporary clothing and wallpaper found in domestic spaces. In her own words:



"Each body becomes an index of passing time. Bones shift, muscles loosen, freckles and wrinkles form, bruises appear; skin is the forum for these transitions. It may also evidence sensitivity, embarrassment, discomfort, fear, excitement, infection, health, attraction, and energy expended - reflecting vulnerability and conditions we’ve inhabited."


More at:
http://www.arianapagerussell.com

5. Yasmina Alaoui: Koranic illustration and Islamic Architecture



The One Thousand and One Dreams is a mixed media project by Yasmina Alaoui and Marco Guerra. Alaoui is a multimedia artist of French and Moroccan descent and thus her skin art patterns are strongly influenced by Koranic illustration and Islamic architecture.

Chilean born Guerra is a New York City based fashion photographer whose work is inspired by Pablo Neruda's sultry poetry. Their collaborative project resulted with mysteriously beautiful body art mixing modern and classic images in a most unique manner.

More at:
http://yasminaalaoui.com

6. Joanne Gair: At the Pinnacle of the Body Art Genre



If you were already an adult in 1992 chances are you bumped into Joanne Gair's work in the August issue of Vanity Fair. Featuring Demi Moore wearing nothing but a suit of body paint this spectacular cover put Gair at the pinnacle of the body art genre. Her major breakthrough as an artists came in 2001 after 50 of her most famous creations were presented in the Vodafone Body Art Exhibition at the Auckland Museum in New Zealand.

Gair had worked with almost every top photographer, director, super model or "A Class" celebrity you can think of including Cindy Crawford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kim Basinger, Christina Aguilera and Sophia Loren. Her work with Madonna spanned over a decade including some of Madonna's top rated music videos such as Express Yourself, Vogue, Fever, Rain and Frozen.

More at:
http://www.joannegair.com

7. Akiyo: Henna Designs as Art of Body Embellishment



Henna also known as Mehndi decoration is an ancient form of body art that became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s. Unlike tattoos Henna decorations only involve pigmenting the surface of the human skin and are temporary. With over 10 years of experience with professional textile design, Akiyo transforms common Henna designs into a new art of body embellishment. Her art spans from contemporary designs to traditional Indian, Moroccan and Arabic patterns including spectacular hands and feet designs.



Akiyo practices Henna art in parties, bridal and baby showers and bridal mehndi, yet her respectful client list includes names as HBO, Bloomingdales, Camel and NYU. Akiyo is one of the contributors of henna design book “Henna Tribe Hot 100” put together by Henna Tribe and currently working on a first design book to be published on Henna Tribe. For those who are interested - a long list of other Henna / Mehndi artists can be found on hennapage.com.

More at:
http://www.akiyohenna.com

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