The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

When my friends suggested to go to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, I had no idea of what it was about, but the name sounded cool so I said “why not!”. As soon as the show started, I was so glad I decided to go and I could not stop to thank my friends for suggesting it.

First of all the location: the Esplanade in front of the Edinburgh Castle. The show starts at the dusk, and if you are lucky enough and the weather is nice, you will enjoy a wonderful sunset all over the castle. Fantastic.

The show, which last around one and a half hour, is a series of military parades performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands, and it is held every year in August as part of the Edinburgh Festival.

Here you can see a short video I made. I wish I recorded more, but I was getting too distracted holding my camera and making sure I was recording properly, and I certainly didn’t want to miss any bit of the show.

Fantastic, brilliant, sensational. The whole performance was a continuous surprise; it would be very hard to decide which was the best part.

The etymology of the word “tattoo” is also interesting. It comes from the Dutch “tap toe” which literally means “close the tap”.  Back in the centuries the regiment’s corps of drums used to play a signal every night to alert the taverns owners and “remind” them to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire at a decent hour.
However, in the 18th century the term “tattoo” was also used to describe a form of evening entertainment performed by military bands. For more info, click here.

If you have the chance, you should definitely go!

OpenShot and how to add text balloons to a video

The weather is being miserable these days, so what’s better than some video editing to feed my geek-wannabe side? 🙂
I am so attracted by technology, in all forms and shapes…I would love to be able to code! I have tried to read something, but even just trying to understand where to start is too difficult!  So after a few, unsuccessful attempts to figure out how to start learning to code, I have decided that for the time being this is a too big step for me…so I decided to learn something about video editing instead!

I am a Ubuntu user, so the editor choice was quite easy: OpenShot!
I am starting to move my first steps in this world, and I am still far far far away from being a pro, so if you think that my videos suck…try to say that nicely and at least appreciate my willing to learn! 🙂

I think it is great, especially if you are a self taught like me: it is easy to use and very straightforward, so once you learn to do something, it will also be very easy to remember how to do it.

The other day I was reading something about Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me maybe” video and all its parodies and re-makes that have turned viral in the last weeks and I thought: “it would be great to add one more video to that long list!”…I suddenly remembered that I had a video of three pigeons running after each others (don’t ask me why I recorded it…I probably thought it was funny at that time!), and of course the idea of editing the video on the notes of “Call me maybe” came shortly after! I know it’s not a genius idea, and probably it’s not even funny, but at least it was a good excuse to do some practice with OpenShot.

Cutting the video and adding the music was easy, but I really wanted to add some balloons with some lyrics.
I had no idea how to do that, but this is what I have figured out:

  1. Open Gimp (or any other photo editor) and create a new image. As far as the size is concerned, you have to check what is your video resolution. If you don’t know about it, just google: “NameOfYourPhone video resolution” and you will find it out.
  2. Go to color -> color to alfa -> translucid to your entire image.
  3. Draw your text balloon with some drawing software (I used LibreOffice Draw) and paste it on Gimp.
  4. Save the image as png format.
  5. Go to OpenShot -> create a new track -> add the png image in the new track and adjust the duration as you like (to adjust the duration: right click on the file -> properties -> duration)

Now the thing is…I have learnt to add text balloons, but I still can’t figure out how to position them in different places on the screen. How can I do this? Any tips would be very very much welcomed!

Ah! Btw this is the result:

Hi-Fun: trendy ideas for your iPhone!

Browsing on the internet I bumped into this colorful website which really got my attention.
I was really excited in finding out that this company is 100% Italian and even more when by reading the “about us” section I discovered how young are its founders! Well done guys! 🙂

“Italian fashion gadgets for iPhone, iPod, iPad & digital reader” a simple line that couldn’t describe any better the content of this website.

They produce and sell a lot of nice gadgets and I really fell in love with two of them:

  • hi-Ring: a telephone handset for your iPhone, iPad, Mac etc etc. It is just lovely and it comes in many different colours. I really like the idea of using this fashionable, vintage handset..it brings me back to my childhood.

hi-Ring!

  • hi-Sun: which is at the same time a bag, a beach towel and a speaker!

hi-Sun

Congrats guys! You really have so many brilliant ideas for very cool gadgets!
I am so curious to try a few of them!