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OK GO. No. Stop. OK GO.

I spent four years at Stevens, am a Computer Engineer by my education there and a computer systems administrator by vocation.  I have a special place in my heart for all things involving engineering of any type, probably because I have an insatiable need to know how things work.  This has a huge downside, which is that sometimes I know too much about how something works and can’t stop thinking about it.  For example, airplanes — my brain understands why they work and can fly through the air.  But my “gut” refuses to understand and takes over and so… boarding planes is not on my list of favorite things.  Do you know how thin the skin of an airplane is, that separates you from a 30,000 foot drop to an intimate meeting with the ground?

This is quite a lead-up, but stick with me.

I found the band “OK GO” by accident on the Internet a few years ago when I was shown their video for “Here it Goes Again.”  This is a fascinating video — you’re watching a very simple setup — eight treadmills, a simple draped backdrop and four men “dancing” on the machines while singing in a single take.  (I know, it’s not really dancing per se, but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe what they’re doing.)  In my opinion this video (and the song) is far better than most of the stuff I hear on the radio today.

It’s been a while since I heard the song or thought about this group, until this week’s TED Talks email hit my inbox.  If you’re not already aware, TED Talks are almost always thought provoking and at the very least entertaining.  An excellent source of mental stimulation.

Imagine my surprise to see a video regarding engineering that was done for a new OK GO video. http://www.ted.com/talks/adam_sadowsky_engineers_a_viral_music_video.html

Amazing!  Again, the entire video done in a single take.  This reminded me very much of the TV commercial done by Honda — if you have another two minutes of your life to spare, you really should take a look.

As I watch these videos it’s hard to separate my enjoyment of the progress of the machine from the analysis of “oh, uh-huh, I understand how that works.”  Fun fun fun!

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  • Matt June 18, 2010, 4:48 pm

    One of the places I fly at has a Citabria covered in fabric instead of metal. It feels like fiberglass to the touch. It’s still better than the Grumman Yankee they have which is glued together. No thanks. Nuts and bolts for me, please. I get that same gut reaction when I think about that.

  • mike June 18, 2010, 5:36 pm

    My favorite plane would be made out of solid cast iron, and never leave the ground. Maybe fill it with cement.

  • Joe D'Andrea June 19, 2010, 8:12 am

    On a (slight?) tangent: If you ever get the chance to see OK Go live, do so. Straight up pop/rock but really well done! Excellent showmen, all of them.

    Numerous pix from the show (including one someone took of my hands holding my camera up in the air – good luck finding that one):


  • mike June 19, 2010, 9:04 am


    So… do I win a prize? Plenty of pics with just a single hand. I think this was the only one with 2 hands. Assuming by camera you meant your iphone.

    This article has definitely rekindled my interest in seeing them or at least picking up some albums. They seem like a really cohesive bunch based on the music videos and some interviews I’ve seen.


  • Joe D'Andrea June 19, 2010, 10:12 am

    Very close to where I was standing. (I was about three feet from the stage, a little to the right of Damian Kulash.)

    This one:


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