HandBrake
is a free program that allows you to grab video from DVDs and save it as a file on your computer, saving you time in the classroom.  In other words, instead of skipping around inside a DVD to find the relevant section, you can simply save the relevant portion as a file that can be played immediately.  The program is available for Mac, Win and Linux, and the user manual is here.  It’s pretty straightforward – put in the DVD, run HandBrake, choose specific chapters (or the whole DVD), and click Start.  The end result is a digital video file saved to your computer.

Even though this kind of use is likely a Fair Use, it was formerly a violation of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions.  This changed in the latest exemption language, which states:

(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances:

(i)  Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students;
(ii) Documentary filmmaking;
(iii) Noncommercial videos.

You can read the whole text here.

Note – I am not a lawyer, and whether or not something qualifies as a Fair Use is a decision made by judges in courts.  That being said, fill out a Fair Use Checklist and keep it in a drawer somewhere, and you’ve probably done your due diligence.  YMMV.

Further reading:

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication

Creative Commons

ALA – Copyright

…and everyone has shampoo commercial hair.

On Thursday, September 30 2010, I teamed up with Kim Harrell (Kinesiology) to generate some high-speed camera footage of her “Kinesiology 410 – Personal Trainer Certification: Exercise Science and Fitness Assessment” class punching, kicking, jumping, running, spinning, leaping and skipping rope (among other things). Kim’s students will use the videos to study forces on the body, musculature, joint stress, etc.

We set up in front of the Roost, and many passersby stopped to watch and ask questions. The students were fired up, and each one ran over to the computer to witness their performance, critique their form, etc.

I’m scheduled to work with the golf coach on Friday, 8th October for some golf swing analysis. Good times.

Gear nerds, behold the specs:
Mikrotron MotionBLITZ Cube2 @ 1020 fps
Fujinon C22x17A-M41 w/ Fujinon CRD-2A Remote Control Box

The students were slow-to-warm, but once they saw Kim giving Bob the business in super slow motion, everyone was coming up with ideas – leapfrog, handstand pushups, medicine ball catch, etc.  Stay tuned for the videos.

After lots of technical heartache, I finally got the high-speed camera back up and running.  Candy Smith and Gerry Tryhane were talking to some students, and I was able to convince one of them – the students, not Candy or Gerry – to jump for the camera.  This video is about ~1100 frames per second.  Kim Harrell (Kinesiology) is going to have her students jump, and use the footage to analyze forces on the body, or something like that.  Stay tuned.