Video round-up

by Eszter Hargittai on November 25, 2006

Here are some interesting video finds:

Also, as proof that YouTube has grown up, I am now receiving spam through it:

My first YouTube spam

Since the sender’s ID wasn’t created until five days before sending this note and the account has no bookmarked or submitted videos, it’s a safe bet (beyond the content of the message) that its sole function is to generate spam. (I have purposefully removed the URL the user is trying to advertise from the above image.)



vivian 11.25.06 at 9:36 pm

Wow – surfing without sound for awhile, so I only clicked on the Glumberg link. Neat representation of dot products. I’ll send it to a friend whose 11 yr old has math difficulties and see what they think.

On the bright side, youtube might have spam, but they also have the “Silent E” song from the Electric Company. I discovered this before learning that they’ve just come out with a best of on DVD. So we have a lot to be thankful for. (If you missed this series due to extreme youth or living abroad, well, it’s worth the hype I;m too lazy to type.)


MQ 11.26.06 at 1:04 am

So far as I can figure out from her posts, this Eszter woman is basically a professor of surfing the web. Nice work if you can get it.


bi 11.26.06 at 1:46 am

The “new way to multiply” is just the classic multiplication algorithm represented diagramatically. Might be useful for those who have trouble dealing directly with Arabic numerals though.


Eszter 11.26.06 at 3:26 am

MQ – That reminds me of what Kieran said to me when we first met in grad school. It was along the same lines.. nine and a half years ago. So far so good.;)


Jon G 11.26.06 at 5:14 am

For the second link, the clip is actually called Amateur by Lasse Gjertsen. Sure, the video is essentially the same, but it’d be nice if we all visited the actual video by the original artiste.


Eszter 11.26.06 at 6:35 am

Thanks, Jon, I’ve changed the link to that one. I always look for the version that’s oldest, but there are so many of this on YouTube that I missed the original. (I don’t know why people keep uploading copies of the same thing to YouTube. And I wish the system had a way of identifying doubles.)


robotslave 11.26.06 at 7:53 pm

I have two things to say about the young blind man.

1. If you listen closely, you will hear his mother’s name, and that name is “Aquanetta.”

2. The young man is compared to dolphins in the clip, which is the only reason I can think of that no-one on the internets is calling him “Bat Boy.”


roy belmont 11.26.06 at 10:20 pm

I still haven’t thanked you for the jeux chants thing which has consumed a relatively large amount of my relatively limited waking-hour budget.
Thanks. Merci, je ne regrette rien.
While one imagines you, resolute, intent, unswayed, removing that URL, one also imagines your ability to do so involving little more than a flick of the rest, thereby making your removal of said URL intentional, rather more than purposeful.


MIchael Kremer 11.26.06 at 11:18 pm

I am puzzled by how the blind teenager could use echo-location to play a video game. If the game is just a pattern of colors on a screen, his clicks shouldn’t help him to understand what is going on at all. And if he’s relying just on the sounds from the game, I really don’t understand what he’s doing.

Am I nuts?


Eszter 11.27.06 at 2:13 am

Michael, I agree with you, I didn’t get that either. My one thought was what you mentioned, that he uses sounds from the game. I don’t know what game he’s playing and likely wouldn’t know the specifics anyway, but couldn’t it be that something from the sound would indicate one’s position in it?


Alex Gregory 11.27.06 at 6:03 am

On the computer game, I suspect that there are many games you can play by sound alone. Now I think about it, there are probably some games – mainly “beat ’em ups” – you can pretty much play blind and deaf if you know which buttons to bash. It struck me as an odd example to use of how he’s overcome his blindness.

Still, the rest of that video, and the others: all amazing, thanks Eszter.


Daniel 11.27.06 at 6:25 am

There is a reason that he chose 123 x 321. If you have even one or two 8s or 9s in the numbers you’re trying to multiply, the diagram becomes horrible and the multiplication really confusing, quite quickly.


David 11.27.06 at 7:35 am

Not only would handling 8’s or 9’s get hairy using the diagrammatic method, you’d have to find some invisible but scrutable way to keep track of 0’s if there were some zeros in the multiplicants


david 11.27.06 at 7:45 am

Maybe I’m being overly skeptical, but I have a feeling that the blind boy’s abilities were not truthfully represented in that clip. I doubt that humans are equipped to do all the things that the boy is represented as being able to do, and the reporter, the boy, and the parents all have an incentive to overstate matters. The only semi-neutral person they interviewed was the doctor — and he said something like, “The real story is not his abilities — it’s his attitude.” That sounds like a nice way of saying that the boy doesn’t actually successfully echo locate, but it’s great that he tries.


Phil Armstrong 11.27.06 at 10:39 am

Isn’t it well established that people can develop some echo location skills? I’m sure I remember a photo of the paths taken by people put into a room into which had been placed various obstacles for them to walk around in the dark somewhere.

There’s a wikipedia page on it, so it must be true! (*coughs*)


Alexei McDonald 11.27.06 at 11:39 am

Blind Willie McTell could do something like this kid is doing – the sounds he made in order to do it gave him the nickname “Teech”.


Eszter 11.27.06 at 3:01 pm

David, whether it’s the clicking sound or not is not so much what caught my attention. It’s how well he is able to get around. Perhaps it was staged. I guess that’s possible. But otherwise, whatever the reason, I thought it was interesting to see him, even just for the attitude.

Regarding the numbers, yes, it gets super tedious with higher figures. And good point about zero.

On a different note, was it confusing/annoying that I posted three unrelated videos in one entry? That is, is it tedious to read the comments thread since people are talking about only one or the other?


Tom T. 11.27.06 at 10:25 pm

Since no one else has cited it, I’ll mention that a radioactive accident apparently can give rise to an echolocation ability.


vivian 11.27.06 at 10:58 pm

Eszter, not confusing at all, imo. You could tag it with “timesink” if you were worried, but your readers can cope.


robotslave 11.28.06 at 2:01 am

Eszter, when you read an omnibus entry on another blog, do you take care to comment on every item in the post, or do you tend to just comment on whatever first strikes you as worthy of further discussion?

For a supposed expert on teh interwebs, you seem to be, shall we say, somewhat unschooled in the habits of people who leave comments on blogs.

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