If anybody watched CNN's coverage of the elections on Tuesday night, they were treated to an interesting "new" effect, although it was not exactly what it was touted to be.

CNN referred to the effect as a "hologram". In the effect, a CNN reporter on scene at a rally in Chicago was digitally placed into the CNN studio some 700 miles away. The reporter was standing in a circular green room surrounded by some 40 cameras, which recorded her stance and movements from different angles. Her image was then added into the shot in CNN's studio, so that anchor Wolf Blitzer could "look at" and talk with her as if she were actually standing there. The multiple-camera angles in the green room allowed the camera in CNN's studio to change position, moving slowly around the "hologram", while the computers would change the reporter's perspective angle to make it seem like she was a three-dimensional image. It is important to note that nobody in the studio could physically see the "hologram" - it was video manipulation. Wolf did not mention or stress this, which was a little misleading. Still, it was an impressive trick - perhaps not visually impressive, but technologically so; such a thing had never been done on live television before.


Later in the evening, a musician was "hologrammed" into the shot in a similar fashion, to talk with Anderson Cooper. The musician made a comparison to Star Wars as far as the hologram technology goes; later in the interview, Cooper made a reference to "beaming" in Star Trek. I heard the collective groan of geeks the world over, and my heart did rejoice.

One of my guilty pleasures is deliberately confusing important and common details between Star Trek and Star Wars in the presence of their respective fans. Seriously - they get EXTREMELY upset. Like you just desecrated their best friend's grave or something. Some of them show a bit of restraint and won't say anything at first; all you have to do is make a few more mistakes and it won't be long before they simply HAVE to explode, like Roger Rabbit being compelled to finish the "Shave and a haircut" tune.

Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

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