Animation

Frugal, Yet Fine Living

Michael Animation, Interactive, Photo July 23, 2018

Some handy projects* to elevate the city living while adding a bit of DIY fun:

  • Non-conventional AC installation:

    Imagining side panels generating little or zero drafts, we got customized, hand-crafted acrylic or poly-carbonate sheet glass panels, for all 3 air conditioners. Crisp clear view and double pane for winter-proofing! [Over 10 hours of labor though.]


Not sure about the foam’s life expectancy, as in a couple of weeks there’s already a strip of dip along the dripping line.

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How Many Degrees? What Sea Level Rises Look Like

Michael Animation, Photo editing June 7, 2018

My previous work significantly touched upon climate change and environment. It’s a painfully complicated subject and the harsh reality is, it’s even harder to get people to pay attention continuously and engage in constructive conversations.

Tip of my hat to amazing work by groups like Climate Central, whose Surging Seas has really stood out with criminally simple visualization of the consequences and nifty tools (such as Mapping Choices) for average Joes to look up whether their communities are safe from rising seas.

[Above: Two scenarios of how rising seas will engulf the lower Manhattan area around the Charging Bull. Credits go to Climate Central, and be sure to check out Google Earth videos of more global cities here.]

Photos That Make Skier Look Amazing

Michael Animation, Michael's touch, Photo January 17, 2018

This past weekend has been my 6-year-old son’s second time in his skiing career, if we can call it one. He started to like it. He’s not as remarkable as I have heard about other kids of his age. In my eye, and in particular through my lens, he is a pro already. Alright, I admit, he looks much greater in these photos than he really is. But hey, that’s what photos are for right?

Yoyo elegantly dodging a fallen skier on his way down

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TD GIFs & Clips [data guzzler]

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo July 26, 2017

There is a little bit of buzz lately of China’s ascendance, even on innovation. And here are a couple of numbers from a NYT article about urban China leapfrogging on mobile payments (2016 data via iResearch):

112
United States ($ billion)
5500
China ($ billion)

This, below, is my personally preferred way of looking at this, thanks to GIF and data visualization and things that I love doing at TD Bank now:

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Air Quality Action Day? Worry Not, NYers!

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo, Video July 22, 2017

If you have never heard of an air quality action day, you are most likely a perfectly typical resident in the U.S. who is also lucky, the latter of which you may have been taking for granted. Because a hazy day like July 20, 2017 in Manhattan almost never happens. (Hazy is not the same as “foggy.”)

Manhattan skyline July 20 vs 21, 2017 seen from Queens

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GIFs: California Reservoirs From Drought to Deluge

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo April 20, 2017

A five-year drought in California ended spectacularly this winter, with the state emerging from one of its driest periods on record by enduring one of its wettest. Reservoirs, lakes, and mountainsides are now brimming with water and snow, though scientists caution that the unseen reservoirs—underground aquifers—are a long way from having the same bounty that is visible on the land surface. [Full post on NASA Earth Observatory]

Trinity Lake, the third largest reservoir in the state (after Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake). The artificial lake in northern California connects to the Trinity River and is part of the Sacramento basin. On April 29, 2015, Trinity stood at 59 percent of its historical average level for that date; by April 2, 2017, it stood at 114 percent.

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GIFs: Shanghai Adds 10 Manhattans

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo April 1, 2017

Before I did my googling and math, I couldn’t believe it but here it is: Shanghai has added as much land as 10 Manhattans over the past couple of decades. Here are some satellite images as witness:

The number of people living in Shanghai is not the only thing about the city that has increased dramatically since the 1980s. The amount of land available to its residents has grown as well. By building seawalls just off the coast to capture outflowing sediment, and by using dredging equipment that sucks up and moves large volumes of sand, Shanghai has added well over 580 square kilometers (220 square miles) of land to its shorelines since 1985.

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GIFs: Spanish Peaks Turn Tan (by NASA)

Michael Animation, Photo March 5, 2017

来自非洲撒哈拉大沙漠的沙尘千里迢迢洒在了西班牙的雪山上,山舞银蛇的景象不再,在滑雪爱好者眼中尤其大煞风景。【原文见NASA Earth Observatory

Two days after it was lofted into the air over the Sahara Desert on February 20, dust blew north into Spain and Europe. As dust particles settled down en masse on the snow-covered peaks of Spain’s Sierra Nevadas, they left the mountains a very different color. [GIF shows Feb. 18 – Feb. 27, 2017. Original post on NASA Earth Observatory]

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GIFted Tweets @TDNews_US

Michael Animation, Michael's touch February 15, 2017

Yoyo’s 2017 Resolution: Beat Federer (After Murray)

Michael Animation, Video December 31, 2016

My son has had a fulfilling 2016: winning chess trophies and making leaping progress in piano. And he also beat Andy Murray (video below). Among his 2017 (parents-bestowed) New Year resolutions is: beating Roger Federer in the new tennis season. I, for one, have a lot of hope on that…

 

 

Red Alert for Beijing Air Looks More Like Orange on NASA Map

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo December 23, 2016

北京12月中的空气污染红色警报再次牵动了大家脆弱的心肺,但是在NASA的空气污染色阶图中,北京天津似乎也就是个橙色级别,再看看石家庄才叫红得骄傲呢。NASA原文及滚动条互动图点这里

Smog was particularly bad in cities like Beijing, which declared a five-day pollution “red alert” on December 16. The Chinese capital reached dangerous levels of more than 400 micrograms per cubic meter. In Shijiazhuang, capital of the Hebei province, airborne pollutants surpassed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines by 100 times on December 19. (A safe level is 10-25 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5, according to the WHO.)

Fine, airborne particulate matter (PM) that is smaller than 2.5 microns (about one thirtieth the width of a human hair) can cause lung damage. Industrial practices like fossil fuel burning and agricultural fires produce most PM2.5aerosol particles. Despite efforts to curb these emissions, China continues to struggle with its air quality.

From space, the smog appears gray. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a natural-color image (top) of northeastern China on December 22, 2016. Heavy, gray smog shrouds parts of the country, while the brightest, whiter areas are likely clouds or fog. The second image shows the severity of haze as measured by satellite, with deepest reds indicating the most affected areas. The map is based on MODIS measurements of aerosol optical depth—how much sunlight the aerosol particles prevent from reaching the ground.

For full NASA post and interactive slider image tap here.

Moonshot 2016

Michael Animation, Interactive, Photo November 13, 2016

November 2016 has been an eventful month in the US. Someone has made a moonshot in the most colorful presidential election. And here below are some of my moon shots, starting with the biggest full moon in almost a century on November 13, with a few variations of shutter speed, in GIF:

moon_shutter-speeds_20161113

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Top 10 GIFs on Climate for Trump

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo November 9, 2016

Dear President Trump,

Congratulations on being elected the 45th President of the United States.

In all seriousness though, I have to say climate change isn’t some scheme cooked up by the Chinese, which I am one of. Look at this chart below showing the historical CO2 emissions of the US, Asia and China, my best estimate is that China will probably catch up on the US as the biggest cumulative emitter by 2045-2050. But I am hoping that you will provide much needed leadership on this regard and push both the US and China to the positive direction and for the good of all humanity.

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world's largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016. (In the chart below, the leogryph icon, from the Asia Society logo, in the orange background represents Asia)

Asia would have surpassed the United States as the world’s largest cumulative CO2 emitter by 2016.

Now here are 10 most important GIF animated pictures/maps/etc. that you may want to have a quick read/watch before entering the White House: Read More

Arctic Ice Meltdown Has Gone So Bad…

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Video November 4, 2016

Every year in September or October (before Halloween probably), the Arctic ice cover drops to its minimum size. According to NASA, the ice meltdown in the Arctic has been nothing but heart breaking. If you care a tiny bit about climate change, you’ve probably seen the arctic ice cover shrinking in an animation or video or something. Yet what you are about to see below is many times more alarming. The key message is: old ice cover in the Arctic has shrunk to 6% of what it was in 1984. [Read caption for details.]

The age of the ice is represented in shades of blue-gray to white, with the brightest whites representing the oldest ice. In September 1984, there were 1.86 million square kilometers of old ice (5 years or older) spread across the Arctic at its yearly minimum extent. In September 2016, there were only 110,000 square kilometers of older sea ice left. Original post on NASA

The age of the ice is represented in shades of blue-gray to white, with the brightest whites representing the oldest ice. In September 1984, there were 1.86 million square kilometers of old ice (5 years or older) spread across the Arctic at its yearly minimum extent. In September 2016, there were only 110,000 square kilometers of older sea ice left. Original post on NASA

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Perspective B: Climate Ain’t A Joke (, Politics Might Be)

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo, Video September 22, 2016

Earlier this year, I dived into the New York City public school application mechanism and studied everything inside out, upside down. By May, my family got the letter from the Department of Education notifying us that my son got into our dream school. And his first couple of weeks in this school have been nothing but perfect.

Now this is about something that is also close to my heart but is way out of my control, or out of control by our species at large. (Someone correct me if I am wrong , please!) I have also studied the question of climate crisis for a number of years and it is worrisome, and alarming to be precise.

First, take a look at the 20-year difference between these what I’d call heat maps, color coding the temperatures’ anomalies compared against the 1951-1980 average. In August 20 years ago, only Antarctica was boiling like a hot pot. This past month, the world map looks as orange (and red) like a U.S. presidential nominee. I don’t think there’s anything else that needs to be said about such a drastic change in just a generation. (For more about the maps and to generate your own months or versions, click on the links on “NASA” in captions.)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 1996 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

 

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

Anomaly map of world temperatures in August 2016 vs. 1951-1980 (via NASA)

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GIF: Tibet Dumped World’s Largest Ice Avalanche

Michael Animation, Data & Graphics, Photo September 6, 2016

On July 17, 2016, a huge stream of ice and rock tumbled down a narrow valley in the Aru Range of Tibet. When the ice stopped moving, it had spread a 30-meter-thick pile of debris across 10 square kilometers. Nine people, 350 sheep, and 110 yaks in the remote village of Dungru were killed during the avalanche.

[Before and after ice fall on July 17. Images showing June 24 and July 21, 2016 via NASA, original post here]

7月17日,西藏阿鲁错湖边的一个冰川怒了,甩了个大包袱下了山,一个创世界纪录的冰崩,在山脚下10平方公里铺开了一个厚达30米的冰床,九人和数百头牲畜当场死亡。【NASA原文点这里

“On July 17, 2016, a huge stream of ice and rock tumbled down a narrow valley in the Aru Range of Tibet. When the ice stopped moving, it had spread a 30-meter-thick pile of debris across 10 square kilometers. Nine people, 350 sheep, and 110 yaks in the remote village of Dungru were killed during the avalanche. ”

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