Saturday, September 10, 2011

contagion billboard

Talk about your viral videos... I recently received a link to one of the most innovative billboards I've learned about.

From the YouTube page,
In support of Academy Award ® winner Steven Soderbergh's latest film "Contagion" -- in theatres September 9th, Warner Bros. Pictures Canada teamed up with microbiologists and immunologists from around the world to create a one-of-a-kind bacteria message board located at 409 Queen Street West [Toronto, Canada] in an abandoned store-front window. On August 28th, two large Petri dishes were inoculated with live bacteria including penicillin, mold and pigmented bacteria and almost overnight have revealed the true Contagion -- an artistic interpretation of the spread of a virus as depicted in the film.

Wow! You can visit the Contagion's IMDd page for more info on the movie itself, including the trailer. I am a big fan of virus movies... my favorite being the 1995 film, Outbreak.

The movie was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia (no doubt near or in the CDC) and San Francisco. In fact, one day in February 2011, I was riding down Polk St. and was forced to stop. Apparently, they were filming Contagion in downtown SF that afternoon. It was cool, but also a little scary - military personnel, and long lines of people waiting to get into the imposing "MEV-1 Vaccination Center" (normally the Civic Auditorium)...

I was surprised to learn that Contagion was actually filmed at both my "homes" - the Bay Area and Chicago - at Central Elementary School (Wilmette, IL), Midway Airport, Sherman Hospital (Elgin, IL) and various other places in Glenview, Naperville, Waukegan, Western Springs & Chicago itself! (Oh, and Hong Kong & Los Angeles, but I am not connected to those places, so I am less excited about those shots.)

Anyway, back to science...

If you want to learn more about how agar is poured into petri dishes and inoculated with bacteria, you can watch this Steve Spangler video below. Then imagine it on the large scale of those billboards!

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