Five things on Friday [on Saturday] #139

Things of note for the week ending Friday August 28th, 2015.

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Yeah, I thought it might be late this week. 

Want some choons to listen to while you read this week’s packed edition of things? OK! Here’s Acid Stag with it’s 40th volume of SERIOUS COVERS.

Shall we?

1.  NIKITA NOMERZ

nikita-nomerz-big-brother-960x529

Since 2010, Nikita Nomerz has been spending a fair old chunk of time trying to find the ‘inner soul’ of the abandoned buildings around him. The above (and below) are a result of that ongoing artistic search. And I love them all.

nikita-nomerz-the-glutton

Creepy as hell but just so utterly gorgeous you can’t help but stare.

nikita-nomerz-monster-house

“I’m going to eat you…”

Web Urbanist has more.

2. SNAKE ISLAND

snake island

About 90 miles off the São Paulo coast is an island known as Ilha da Queimada Grande – aka: the island of snakes so utterly dangerous that the Brazilian government strictly controls all visitors and literally NOBODY is allowed to stop there, even in passing, without express permission.

And if you do stop there then – get this – you must must must have a qualified anti-venom doctor with you at all times.

Why?

Because Queimada Grande is the home of a unique species of pit viper known as The Golden Lancehead (photo).

Why is this snake so dangerous? I’ll let Smithsonian explain:

Often, snakes stalk their prey, bite and wait for the venom to do its work before tracking the prey down again. But the golden lancehead vipers can’t track the birds they bite—so instead they evolved incredibly potent and efficient venom three to five times stronger than any mainland snake’s—capable of killing most prey (and melting human flesh) almost instantly.

That’s right, you just read the words ‘melting human flesh’ – from snake venom. If one of these things bit you, you’d have up to six hours to get off the island and to a hospital. Up to. It could kill you in an hour. You just don’t know. Terrifying. But amazing.

Oh, and the island also happens to contain highest density of snakes on the planet; a staggering five Golden Lanceheads per square metre.

Mental.

Anyway, while researching this it seems like there’s been a ton of coverage before. I’d never heard of it and thought it was crazy-ass awesome. SNAKE ISLAND. IT’S AN ACTUAL THING.

Brilliant.

PS. Here’s a VICE documentary I found on it too. Enjoy.

3. I’M A PIECE OF LUGGAGE! WEEEEEEEEEEEE!

LUGGAGE! WEEE!

Ever wonder what your luggage has to go through every time you check it in at the airport? The fact is: it gets to enjoy the best rollercoaster you’ve never been on.

True story.

4. FACEBOOK M
Surely you must’ve heard about this by now? No? Fine. Remember Facebook’s whole ‘the future is in our messenger app‘ pitch? Well, here’s another chapter in that story: Facebook M.

'Hello Skynet? When is Judgement Day please?'

To use Facebook’s own words:

M is a personal digital assistant inside of Messenger that completes tasks and finds information on your behalf. It’s powered by artificial intelligence that’s trained and supervised by people. Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more.

Obviously only at test stage right now but it’s clearly doing well enough to show it off like this. I’d give it a year, tops, before you get to play with this…

5. VISION(ARY)
If you’ve seen AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON then you’ve seen Paul Bettany’s turn as The Vision. If you haven’t seen AOU then spoiler alert: Paul Bettany plays a character by the name of Vision.

In the comic books he looks like this:

Marvel-Comics-Vision

And in the film he looks a little bit like this:

1430500341-age-of-ultron-vision-hd

Which means at some point, Mr Bettany had to look like this:

avengers-age-of-ultron

Visionary, right? Ha ha ha ha ha… I kill me.

Whatevs. I thought it was cool.

And Entertainment Weekly has a cute little video to go along with it.

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LOOK! IT’S THE NEW TESTIMONIAL SECTION!
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“Almost everything item I see in FTOF are items I hadn’t seen before. And even when they are, they’re [given with] an aspect, or view, or news I hadn’t previously seen.”
– Roy Calfas

“It makes me smile and think. Thanks for writing it.”
– Finlay Edridge

“I get a lot of newsletters. I delete a lot of newsletters. Yours is the only one I ACTUALLY READ. Before deleting.”
– Karin Robinson

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Bonuses this week are, in memory of one of my favourite websites of old, a[nother] Tab Dump of what I’m reading/looking at right now (at 01:35 on Saturday morning)…

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And that’s me. I’m spent.

See you next week, chums.

Whatley out, x.

 

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Five things on Friday #138

Things of note for the week ending Friday August 21st, 2015.

THE THINGS LOOK AT THE THINGS HOLY GOD

Your Friday wind down starts here…

1. OLIVER SACKS: SABBATH
I read this on the train to Northumberland last Saturday and, by the end, was in floods of tears. As the person said who recommended it ‘This reaches out and touches your heart’

It sits proudly at number one in this week’s Five Things and I implore you all to take the time out of your day and just read this.

2. FOURSQUARE / SWARM STUFF
I’ve got a fairly large network of ‘friends’ who live and work in social media. Of those several thousand people, there can only really be a small handful of people that are still investing time (read: bothering) with Foursquare and its [still oddly superfluous] check-in app, Swarm.

I count myself in that handful of people, and here’s why:

In the first instance, Foursquare can be incredibly useful when you’re investigating a new part of town (I trust it more than I trust Yelp, for example). The tips are pithy and gold is rarely far away (the occasional wifi password tip can be a God send) – in short: Foursquare, in its most recent form, is a pretty handy recommendation engine when you’re stuck in a strange place / at a point of indecision.

When it comes to Swarm, the use case is completely different – for me, at least. There used to be an RSS feed that you could use to pull into your calendar which retroactively put an event in every time you checked in somewhere.

But then that stopped working.

HOWEVER.

Fortunately, after tweeting about said woes, a wonderful person showed me another way to fix it. Hands together for IFTTT!

Look at the Internetty magic!

IFTTT

IF I check in with Fourswarm THEN an event goes into my calender.

Winner!

Why am I telling you this? Well look, if you’ve stopped using Swarm, why not give it another go? It really is quite useful being able to look back in your calendar and actually see where you’ve been.

While it might not be useful for stuff like this –

calendar

– it will/could be/is useful when you’re out and about in future and you’re wondering exactly where it is that you went for that lunch/cocktail that one time.

You know what I mean…

Give it a go.

3. THIEVE
I was directed to this delightful website several weeks ago (w_w) and finally, recently (thanks pay day) spent some money there…

What is it? Well…

THIEVE

And it’s that simple really. The best bits from the [amazing yet super bustling] Ali Express, curated just for you.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 22.45.42

Go shop.

4. WOODSTOCK
Forgive me, I’m about to link to a Buzzfeed post (but for good reason); this week I found a ton of (by ‘a ton’, I obviously mean an arbitrary number that makes a good list, in this instance ’31’) awesome photos from August 15th, 1969.

bf_woodstock

And ^ this one ^ is my favourite by far.

WEEEEEE!

The rest are pretty darn good too.

Go see.

5. THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECT
I do love a good read of Intelligent Life from time to time; it really is a corker of a publication. To round off this week’s FTOF, here is an excerpt from the latest [online] edition – covering a fantastic question:

Question?

‘What’s the most important school subject?’

As IL says itself::

The Big Question: a little learning is a dangerous thing. So what should we spend most time studying? Philip Pullman, Rose Tremain and five others choose their favourite subjects—whether they already exist or not.

The Philip Pullman responds with ‘Music’ and his justification is a delight.

The half that’s thrown away is the body, and all the ways it can move and feel and be intelligent and cause delight. And of all the things the body can do, the richest, the most interesting, the most emotionally and intellectually fulfilling thing is music. Every child needs to encounter music as early as possible, and I don’t mean just listen and then answer questions: I mean make, with voice, with clapping hands and stamping feet, with instruments of every kind.

Go read.

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And that’s this week’s Five Things.

“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BONUSES?” I hear the demons cry.

Here they come…

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After last week’s veritable banquet of bonuses, this week they are few in number (but no less of interest):

wink-point

You’re welcome.

Finally, this week’s minor-request-from-the-author-(in-exchange-for-a-rather-smashing-email-newsletter-blog-post-thing-that-gets-delivered-completely-free-of-charge-etc) is this:

I’d like to collate some testimonials on and about Five things on Friday. Some of you tell me on Twitter from time to time, others click the new ‘click to tweet’ buttons I’ve been playing with.

So please, this week, hit reply to this email (if you’re reading it online, ping me on fotf@whatleydude.com (or on Twitter – either works; pigeons imminent)) and tell me what you think of FOTF.

If it makes it past the censors, it’ll be included in a future edition.

Thanks y’all, x

Whatley out.

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Did someone send this to you? Did you like it? Do you want more? Are you sick of all the questions? Both from me and in life? Solve at least on of the these problems by subscribing to the Five Things on Friday newsletter TODAY!

It could change your life.

________

 

 

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Five things on Friday #137

Things of note for the week ending Friday August 14th, 2015.

I GOT YOUR FIVE THINGS RIGHT HERE

(No I’m not going to talk about the Tinder thing but actually, as you were the one who brought it up, how many of you have actually read the Vanity Fair article? None of you? Some of you? Whatever, forget the Tinder PR stunt and actually seek out and read the original [and really good] article about what it’s like to date in 2015)

Shall we?

1. JACKANORY TIME
Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done.
And Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it,
but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody
when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

So please, everybody, vote for my panel at SXSW.

If it gets selected then not only will the uber-smart people I’m sharing said panel with get to tell keen folk about employing agile techniques to their day to day work projects but also… crucially… I will get to go to SXSW.

VOTE.

Thank you – much x

2. HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL
This wins the prize for the thing I love most this week.

Enjoy.

1

2

3

4

5

Via.

3. NEARLY PERFECT PEOPLE
This thing is basically a review of someone else’s book review. BUT the someone else in this instance is Tyler Cowan and the book he’s reviewing (titled above) is subtitled ‘Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia‘ – and I just ordered a copy.

With sentences like this:

Right now, the Danes are especially preoccupied with role playing — dressing up like Gandalf or elves and acting out violent narratives deep in the woods with their foam “boffers” (the name given to role-play weapons).  There are also 219 folk dancing clubs in Denmark, but do not worry, as with the pigs, you very rarely see them.

Can you honestly blame me?

More here.

4. PHOTOSHOP 1 vs TERMINATOR 2
If you’ve been reading this stuff from me for long enough, you know that I’m a proper filmy. A ‘buff’ one might say. When a thing pops up (and by things in this instance, I mean ‘a piece of trivia’) that I didn’t know, I jump into it, feet first, and soak up the awesome geekiness of it all.

FOR INSTANCE.

Terminator 2 (easily in the top five best sequels ever made) was a phenomenal breakthrough in special effects wizardry. This much we all know. T2 changed everything. Specifically, the creation of the T-1000 changed everything.

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Liquid metal that could take any shape it wanted as a visual effect? In 1991? Are you kidding me? Cameron had a few issues.

As the story goes:

Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) called in lots of people to help, with scientists dropping in to the company’s offices to try and grapple with the mathematical challenges facing them [to make the software work]. But a major breakthrough finally occurred when an ILM employee in his 20s, John Knoll, joined forces with his brother Thomas, a University of Michigan PhD student.

They had come up with a new piece of software that could edit the necessary graphics and, they hoped, resolve the problem. That’s just what the software would go on to do, and when James Cameron saw the in-progress development of the T-1000, he finally dared to think that his imagined villain might actually work.

The name of the software? That’d be Photoshop, the very first version of the now industry-standard graphics and photo editing software.

1433581-2_t1000_robert_pat_1416389i

Photoshop helped create the T-1000 and in return, T2 helped create Photoshop. Amazing.

Who knew?

More.

5. #FIELDWORKFAIL
These are blissful.
fwf2 fwf1

More.

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BONUSES THIS WEEK ARE LITERALLY EVERY TAB I HAVE OPEN TO READ BUT AM YET TO DO SO…

READY?

131003-adam-scott

Yes, that’s right. You’ve had 17 things this week. Not five. 17.

Now do something for me (yes that’s me, above, as pictured):

Push the magic button.

smash

Whatley out.

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Five things on Friday #136

Things of note for the week ending August 7th, 2015.

IMG_20150806_215527

First off: you lot suck.

Seriously. Last week’s Five Things went out a complete and utter mess and only one (you know who you are – thank you. Ps. I still have your birthday present) of you told me. One! For reals. Like, what? Were you all high last week? Did you all not notice that it went 1, 2, then 5?! What’s the point of it all if you’re not even paying attention?

Jesus.

OK. Fine. Whatever. I know I messed up too so I figure we’re even but still, just keep an eye out in future please. Thanks.

Shall we?

1. HAIM // TAME IMPALA
I wasn’t sure of this when I first heard it last night, but it’s growing on me.

Slowly.

Haim, covering ”Cause I’m a Man…’

Listen.

2. THE DAILY SHOW
By the time you read this, Jon Stewart would’ve recorded his last ever episode of The Daily Show and as a result, you can’t move for ‘We’re going to miss you, Jon Stewart’ posts right now.

THIS IS NO BAD THING.

My favourite [so far] came from the New York Times:

“The Daily Show” began in 1996 as a snarky chat show parody hosted by Craig Kilborn. But after Jon Stewart took the chair in 1999, the show began to transform into something more substantial: a nightly comic dissection of current events, politics and the media. As Mr. Stewart’s tenure comes to a close, “Daily Show” writers, producers and guests look back on key moments from the host’s 16-year run, and reflect upon his legacy.

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show: 9 Essential Moments‘ is essential reading. I’m guessing that you know who Jon Stewart is and what he has done in his 16 year tenure at the head of The Daily Show but if you don’t… it’s OK. I am both sad and envious.

Sad because you’ve missed out on so much!
Envious because you have so much to catch up on!

Go swim, and enjoy.

EDIT 1: Rolling Stone has ‘10 Times Jon Stewart Outdid Journalism‘ (also great).

EDIT 2: This tribute from Stephen Colbert is beautiful (watch it ’til the end).

3. MICKI KRIMMEL’S  SUPERFIT HERO
Question time, readers. Question 1: are you a woman? Question 2: if you’re not a woman, do you know a woman?

If the answer to either of those questions is ‘yes’, then this next bit is for you.

An old friend of mine (Nokia Open Lab, Helsinki class of ’08!), Micki Krimmel, is launching a new sportswear brand designed specifically to make women ‘feel supported and confident in the gym and beyond’.

SUPERHERO FIT

Of course this is a Kickstarter and, better yet – it’s already fully funded (GO MICKI!) – which begs the question: why am I telling you about it?

Well, there are only a few days to go on the Kickstarter which means if you wanted to ensure you get your hands on any of this kit now then now is the time to do it.

Check it. Back it. Buy it.

SUPERFIT HERO.

4. HAHA, HEHE, LOL, AND EMOJI

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 17.22.07

In a week of interesting content from Facebook, it really is nice to see one that actually uses data to prove a point (and not marketing/fluff/jargon/spin etc – more on this later).

The above titled (and utterly pointless) deep dive on who uses what expression of which e-laughter how and when is just lovely.

It features charts such as…

THIS!

LAUGH AT MY PIE
AND THIS!

WHAT A GREAT LAUGHTER [DATA] TRACK
AMAZING, RIGHT?!

So if you’ve spent the past week wondering about expressions of online mirth really do measure up against each other, then wonder no more.

I’m so good to you.

5. A GUY IN A CUBICLE
I may’ve told you about The Listserve before (in fact, I’m certain I have – see thing 3, FOTF #75) but it’s high time I told you about it again.

The Listserve is an email lottery. Every day someone wins. What do they win? They win the chance to write to everybody else who has signed up. There are currently around 24,000 subscribers and it’s kinda cool getting a new email from a perfect stranger every day.

I love it.

Why am I telling you about this again, a good year or so since I last mentioned it? Because this past week I read one that truly moved me.

If you’re not a subscriber, you probably missed it. Fortunately for you, there’s a Listserve archive website that captures all the notes that go out every day and this one, the one I’m about to link you to, is just beautiful.

So please, as we close off this week’s five things, go and read this piece. It’s utterly charming and it will make your heart melt.

It’s called, ‘A guy in a cubicle’

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Bonuses this week are all things that are fairly dated [in the one-week-equals-an-entire-decade-obvs realms of social-media/dog years] and that you probably already should have read already but if you haven’t they’re collated below for your perusal/last ditch attempt to say something smart in the office next week when someone mentions Facebook Video, Google+, or YouTube…

I’M TRYING TO HELP YOU HERE.

  • YouTube creator, Hank Green, takes Facebook to task on its road to video victory (to its credit, Facebook responded (this is the other post I was taking about earlier) but of course got a right fisking in the comments shortly thereafter). Ah well. Expect a revisit on this from me at the end of the year. The Video Royale is far from over.
  • Mashable posted an excellent long read (I know that sounds utterly absurd but trust me – it really is good, I couldn’t believe it either) entitled ‘Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook‘ and if you haven’t read it yet, I recommend you do. A while ago now, I said in a very public forum that ‘Google+ was the one to watch’ – I was so utterly and completely wrong but hey, it turns out Google was too. Hurrah…?
  • Google/YouTube is saying goodbye to the mystic ‘301+’ views. Never heard of this? I’m sure you have. Whatever. Read the article and you’ll understand. As a side note: everyone is saying how awesome this is but for me, the magic ‘301+’ was always a good sign to look out for to try and tell if something was going viral at that point in time. First world Internet problems, I know BUT as someone who enjoys finding things first, the 301 was one of those dead certs.

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1ocA6LHws7RHSrw

Whatley out.

Ps. Liked this? Tell your friends.

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Five things on Friday #135

Things of note for the week ending Friday July 31st, 2015.

COUNT THEM

1. TRIBE LONDON

‘The very best of London with the very best of company. Tribe is an effortless way to date for those who are independent, unattached, and living in London.’

TRIBE LONDON

Set up by a dear friend of mine, Emma Forsyth, Tribe is a brand new take on dating that tailors relaxed, exclusive dates for two different groups of three friends.

Whether it’s taking over a kitchen at the latest pop up, boozy games of Pétanque, private sushi-making classes or exclusive late night whisky tastings; Tribe brings you a selection of the very best London venues each and every month.

I’m biased – of course – but honestly, if you’re single and in London; if you’re sick and tired of the casual swiping of Happen or Tinder; if you find yourself yearning for a different class of dating… then maybe Tribe is for.

Check it.

2. SPOTIFY THINGS
From classic literature to vintage radio, and perhaps everything Monty Python in between, this list of of ‘Awesome things to do listen to on Spotify that isn’t music‘ was a great little find this week.

Fancy learning a new language? Spotify’s got you covered.

Amazing.

Related: this is pretty interesting too.

3. MORNING COMPUTER
More Warren Ellis stuff (I’m a fan – so what?). This time around it’s taken from a post from his favourite blog of mine: Morning Computer.

Ellis, on writing –

A lot of this job is about learning how the inside of your own head works. You spend a lot of time alone, in small rooms, eyes closed or staring at the ceiling, poking around at the machinery and peering into all the nooks and crannies. Finding out how all the machines turn, and realising how little you really know about those machines. Picking through the litter of the culture that blows in through your ears and eyes and arranging it by date and colour and sound.

Unsurprising.

Related: I really liked this too. 

4. GOOGLE NOW STUFF
This is cute. And by ‘cute’ I mean ‘awesome because it applies a metric ton of anonymised data just so it can really quite useful for users’.

Google Now will now till you when your favourite coffee place will be busy. Hurrah!

Like this –

Googlecoffee2

As The Next Web so eloquently puts it:

Google Search understands that you hate people. So, in a blog post today, the company announced that it will now show you the busiest times of the week at millions of places on Google Search. Simply type in the name and location of the place you want to go, and Google will show you peak times at these places throughout the week.

As mentioned, I like the way that Google is applying the data it secretly learns about you (because it’s basically Skynet) has collected for the good of all mankind.

How does it know? Well, you do know about the whole location history thing, right?

Think about it.

5. VICE ON *THAT* GLAMOUR ARTICLE
If you missed the furore earlier this week about the [since deleted] GLAMOUR article citing ’13 little things that can make a man fall hard for you’ – worry not! VICE has taken the initiative and not only re-published the thing in full but also deciphered the madness-inducing drivel into fully-fledged and totally legit life advice.

OBSERVE:

VICE YOU LEGENDS

Told you.

SOLID. GOLD.

Go read.

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Bonuses this week are blog posts by me (yes, and?)

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Finally – thank you to all of you that shared last week’s Five Things on Friday.

You’re all lovely.

If you didn’t well, fine…

Whatever you do DON’T CLICK THIS.

Whatley out.

yay

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