Five things on Friday #152

Things of note for the week ending Friday November 27th, 2015.



May as well get this out of the way first. Nothing major / particularly newsworthy but a few interesting developments across a couple of the main platforms nonetheless.

Instant articles launched on Facebook last month and you may have already seen them appear in-feed. You can tell them apart from standard articles because they have a little lightning symbol on the top right of the image.

Like this:


If you see that little icon, that article will load SUPER QUICKLY (one might say ‘lightning fast’ – you can see what they did there, right?) – so yeah, keep an eye out for those, friends.

While we’re on the Facebook thing, something else it did last month was open up its search functionality to all TWO TRILLION posts.


And that’s kinda awesome. What’s also awesome is that Facebook has also decided to push this on you to let you know it’s there. Like this:


So that’s cool, right?

I mentioned a while ago that Facebook would need to start taking search seriously and, by the looks of things, it finally is. Next stop: indexing the web, right? Oh wait.

While we’re on the subject of social platforms doing new and exciting things – I spotted this on Twitter this past week and thought it too was worth sharing.

I’ve edited out the potential #WalkingDead spoiler but the key thing you’re looking at is the part in the blue circle:


‘Well hello there algorithmic content-serving suggestion, how the hell are you doing? I say old bean, someone’s used a jolly popular hashtag and wouldn’t be it just be super of us if we directed the people out there to other similar content related to aforementioned conversation anchor? Then let’s!’

You click on that button and you get this:


Pretty snazzy.

As Twitter continues to try and prove its waning relevance, media partnerships (?) and content curation in this manner will only increase.

Something to keep an eye on.

Shall we move on?


James Whatley in ‘writing about Batman’ shocker. Yes, yes – I know. Back in your box. Anyway. Two things of note here – both around the same subject.

Frank Miller, much loved/maligned comic book author, returned to the series that perhaps he is best known for: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (if you haven’t read it, please fix that – immediately) with the third book in the [now] trilogy: The Dark Knight III: Master Race (Dark Knight II: the Dark Knight strikes again is a sore point, we don’t talk about it).

Master Race came out this week and as a result there is much lovely Batmanny things out there for me to share with you.

First off, let’s look at some art shall we?

Those lovely folk at iO9 collected the best of the variant covers for TDK:MR #1 and published them all in one place. Here’s a selection of my faves –

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That first one is just beautiful.

There are more at the source so yeah, go check ’em out.

Oh, the other Batman thing I wanted to share with you was, if you’re that way inclined, a brief history Frank Miller’s Dark Knight. Worth a read.


Three things here. Two trailers and one film recommendation. If you’ve been living under a rock you may well have missed the release of the next big MARVEL feature: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.


Yes, of course I am excited.

Watch the Trailer.

The other trailer that you should watch this week is for a film called The Big Short.

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From the author behind The Blind Side and Moneyball, and starring Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, and Brad Pitt – this looks really good.

Watch the trailer.

Finally, watching that last trailer reminded me of another, similar film covering the bank scandal – Margin Call. Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci… ach, it’s such a good film.

Seek it out this weekend.


Where you can find such beauties such as:





Off you pop then.


It’s important. If you’re worried about your own, then maybe you should fix that.


Bonuses this week are as follows

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Oh, and thanks for all the lovely birthday messages too.

You’re a lovely lot.

Whatley out.

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Five things on Friday #151

Things of note for the week ending Friday November 20th, 2015.



In this rather volatile news climate that we live in it can be quite commonplace to see an old (read: out of date) ‘news’ article doing the rounds on the old Book of Faces / Twitterz.

There you are, thumbing your feed on a Saturday morning and some numbskull is tattling on about how issue X shouldn’t be blamed on minority Z and you’re getting all irate about it but then you realise that the article is over nine years old.

And you feel like a fool.



Well, feel foolish no more my friend!

The Stale News Warning Chrome Plug-in is here!

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Currently supporting BBC News, CNN, Daily Mail, The Guardian, HuffPo, The Independent and MANY MORE, this plug-in saves you from tomorrow’s social media embarrassment, today.

Go get it!

Oh and it was built by my friend Denny.

Altogether now…



The news is of their existence is not news (well, it won’t be for many of you) as it was first reported back in September. They look (and work) a little bit like this:

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So while isn’t THE LATEST THING EVER (oh hello there, clever call back to Thing Number One), what is news is that these ad units will [probably] roll out formally in early Q1 next year.


So if you’re looking for a shiny/innovation thing to wave at your client/boss over the coming weeks, wave this and lay back and let the plaudits wash all over your your lovely face.



For reasons that I shan’t go in to here, I spent my Monday night (11pm – 7am) at St Mary’s Hospital. While awaiting for one of many AMAZING AND BRILLIANT NHS employees to attend to the matter at hand, I happened across THIS outstanding weblog.

Entitled simply: ‘David Fincher Doesn’t Give A F***’ this tumblr, amongst other things, has pulled in myriad examples of when famous film director, David Fincher, has expressed the very small (read zero) amount of F***s he gives.

It is a thing of wonder.

Exhibit a)

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(and this is one of the poorer ones)

If, like me, you’re a fan of Fincher, you will love this blog. It is by far and away my Five Things Find of the Week.


No, not that one (although that was an amazing joke, right) THIS one, in Fast Company.

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Covering Mr Zuckerberg and his vision for Facebook and its future, this is an excellent profile piece. Go read it. Even for killer stuff like this:

The Facebook of today—and tomorrow—is far more expansive than it was just a few years ago. It’s easy to forget that when the company filed to go public on February 1, 2012, it was just a single website and an app that the experts weren’t sure could ever be profitable. Now, “a billion and a half people use the main, core Facebook service, and that’s growing. But 900 million people use WhatsApp, and that’s an important part of the whole ecosystem now,” Zuckerberg says. “Four hundred million people useInstagram, 700 million people use Messen­ger, and 700 million people use Groups. Increasingly, we’re just going to go more and more in this direction.”



Terence Eden is an interesting man. His blog is recommended reading generally but this latest post form him captures what he’s been getting up to throughout 2015.

Alright I get a name-check, but it’s a mere nod – I assure you. If you like interesting things and you like interesting people well then, you’ll probably like this interesting write up of Terence’s interesting year.

Try it.


Bonuses this week are all interesting reads in their own right.

Go swim.

Bonus bonus thing: getting a cab this weekend and have never used Uber? Here’s a tenner off your first ride.

Ps. It’s my birthday tomorrow and, aside from showering me in champers and chocolate, it’d make me super happy if you shared this latest edition of FTOF all over the place.


Whatley out, x


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Five things on Friday #150

Things of note for the week ending Friday November 13th, 2015.


It’s me! There I am! Writing Five Things!

Holy bananas, it’s Five things on Friday issue #150.

That’s 150 times I’ve pulled together five of the most interesting things I’ve seen/found online (and off )over the past few years. Every week (not always on a Friday), but every week nonetheless.

Not bad!

Hurrah for arbitrary numbers and celebrations therein.

Enough silliness, shall we dive in?


No edition of Five things on Friday (which, by the way, go through a minor change/facelift in the New Year – I’ve literally just decided so, y’know, expect more on that… next year) would be complete without a link to a fairly awesome/substantial photo album now would it?

Which is handy, because National Geographic is currently underway (entries must be in by Monday, in case you’re considering entering) and the submissions thus far are, of course, outstanding.

Have a squizz at these few…

She had moved from remote Northern Sumatra, and out of the Batak tribe, one of the last practicing cultures of Cannibalism, to the heavily congested and touristed streets and beaches of Bali, bridging the gap from old to new in a single generation. I met her after a surf sitting under a grotto, and she told me of the way she had seen her country change.

Whilst shooting the majestic Southern Stingray in the crystal clear water of the Sandbar in Grand Cayman, I was stunned when this newly wed couple arrived, the bride was still in her wedding dress! This shot "Dressed for Adventure" for me captures the beginning of a new life together, one where a couple will brave the troubles of the world hand in hand. The couple march confidently towards the clouds in the frame ignoring the beasts at their feet, this is an adventure they will seek together

And then please do go and check out the rest, they are stunning – all of them.

Thanks to Sizemore for this late entry in at Thing Number Two this week. Some bright spark in Finland has made this wooden hug machine:


According to my very poor Finnish:

“The viewer must trust the construction and lean on it, then he/she is able to reach the handles. The viewer can turn these handles as if he/she would be hugging someone. The mechanism will in turn hug the viewer in the same way with the mechanical arms which have three turning points. Instructional video is included. In the video people try the work for the first time.”

Suitably bonkers.


I had no idea these things existed.

This, ladies and gents, is a fall streak hole.

Check it:



This one appeared over Australia just last week.

Wanna know how?

Of course you do.

The super smart Ben Evans is back again, this time talking about how mobiles and ecosystems have effectively ‘killed’ the era of the PC.


This chart is somewhat meaningless without the context (you can read Ben’s post here) and one could argue (as my podcasting colleague Stefan Constantinescu did on last week’s episode) that Ben is just trundling out the same old ‘mobile is eating the universe’ stuff as per, however, whatever your opinion aside, it is utterly compelling and expertly written.

This is my recommended read of the week.

This is a beautiful read.

Carsie Blanton, author of the weblog ‘thoughts on love, sex, music and ferocity’ (love that), put together some words on the importance of practicing heartbreak.

And I adore it.

The whole thing is endlessly quotable but…


When we love somebody, even casually or briefly, we give them the power to hurt us. Falling in love with someone means looking them in the eye, handing over your guileless, muffiny heart, and saying, “do your worst”. We do this because some part of us, despite our best attempts at logic, trusts them. I’d argue that we don’t trust our beloved notto hurt us; we trust them to hurt us in a way that we need to be hurt. Our hearts may strike us as foolish, illogical, and idiotic (heck, I dedicated a whole album to the subject), but they are geniuses at one thing: they know exactly what will make us grow, and they have no qualms about yanking us towards it.

And this?

When we practice heartbreak, we get better at it. We gain confidence in our own ability to hurt and heal, which gives us the courage to stride into the world, with all its disappointment and cruelty and unsavory characters, and embrace it joyfully. We broaden our emotional horizons – venturing a little further into the dark, cobwebby corners of our souls, feeling things we’ve never felt before, expanding our understanding of ourselves and other people. When our hearts break, they break us open.

All utterly mesmerising.

I doubt there are many of you out there who have gone without some form of heartbreak in your lives. I myself have been through the gut-wrenching heart-smashing, soul-crumpling numbness of heartbreak more times than I care to mention.

It is everything.

It is endless.

But you grow.

And above all, at the end, you realise it was worth it.



Bonuses this week are many:


I know I bang on about Shaken Cocktails from time to time (transparency: I am a minor investor) but I thought it’d be worth pointing out to you lovely lot that, if you missed out the first time, there is another investment round open right now.

Not heard of Shaken Cocktails?

Go read!

(also: £5 off your first box thanks to yours truly)

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Anyway, now you’re all read up: with an abundance of success stories already behind them (and many more ahead) this investment round is definitely something to check out.

AND [actually] FINALLY.


Thank you all so much for reading.

150 editions is pretty darn awesome.

Which means, by association, you are too.

I love you, all of you.

James, x


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Five things on Friday #149

Things of note for the week ending November 6th, 2015.

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Hey there everybody and HAPPY FRIDAY to you. It’s been a lovely old week, hasn’t it? The weather turned, the fires burned, and the Internet (and Canada) learned some more.

But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for FIVE THINGS ON FRIDAY.

So… here they are then.



PREACHER is an incredible series. Those of you who have read it will know exactly what I’m talking about. Those of you who haven’t, well, either borrow it from someone or go out and buy book one immediately – you won’t regret it.

The reason this is a thing this week however is not just a simple book recommendation, oh no. AMC – the American cable channel behind amazing TV such as The Walking Dead – has commissioned a series based upon PREACHER and the first trailer for the show dropped this week.

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(click image to view trailer, yo)

And it looks ACE.

Bring it.

The ‘they’ in this context is ESPN and Grantland, if you’re unaware, is/was a phenomenal sports and culture website that featured some of my favourite articles of recent history – many of which ended up in an edition of Five Things or three.

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From Fincher, to Hartman, to the America’s Cup – Grantland was an EXCELLENT publication. To read about its demise, I suggest you head over to Deadspin for the 411.

However, if you’d rather not make yourself sad about the loss of such amazing writing, why not head over to The Grantland Archive where all of the goodness linked above (and more) is there ready and waiting for your consumption.

I can’t believe it’s over.


For reasons I shan’t go into, this passage speaks to me…

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The image itself I nabbed from the Instagram channel of one Rishi Dastidar – aka, Betarish. A talented and kind individual who, where asked when said quote was taken, not only updated the post with the title but then also sought out, purchased, and subsequently sent me a copy to read myself.

Sir, you are a gent.

Friends, the book is known as ‘Microserfs‘, it is beside me as I type – and I recommend it to all of you.

Go get.

Every time I thought I had the fourth thing cracked this week something else came along and nudged it over. So here, in thing four of this week’s five things, I present to you several things that all come under the fairly rough banner of ‘film stuff’.

First up is a trailer for Charlie Kaufman’s latest ‘Anomalisa‘ – aka ‘The most human film of the year that doesn’t star a single human’.


(click image to view trailer, yo)

Next up, we have this rather snazzy compilation from those wonderful folk at Screenrant regarding MOVIES THAT STOLE FOOTAGE FROM OTHER FILMS.

For example:


Amazing, right? I mean, it’s just so blatant.

Full video available here [4mins].

And finally, while not strictly a film thing it is an interesting film. This next video is of two daredevils (read: crazies with balls of steel) flying jet wings next to and around an Emirates A380 airliner.

That’s right, the smallest human flight and the largest – next to each other.

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I mean, it’s not like that plane has got jet intakes or anything, right?





This one is definitely this week’s must watch.

And now, after all that, we come to…

CALM, in partnership with LYNX, launched its ‘BIGGER ISSUES’ campaign this week and you can get help raise awareness to this cause quite easily by simply going to the BIGGER ISSUES website and signing up to the impending Thunderclap…

But wait, what is CALM and what are BIGGER ISSUES?

Take a look:


As the website says, people are talking about the wrong things. There are BIGGER ISSUES at play here.

You can help.

Happy Friday, to all of you.

Bonuses this week are things that you should know by now but if not here it is anyway just in case:

Whatley out.


Ps. FTOF #150 next week. EXCITING.

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Five things on Friday #148

Things of note for the week ending Friday October 30th, 2015.


Halloween tomorrow, innit.

Reuters is amazing. Full stop. Business Insider thinks so too. That’s why they’ve pulled together a list of the 35 best photos from Reuters so far this year.

Here’s one to get you in –


The rest are simply breathtaking.





A few things here. First off, UNDER PRESSURE is an amazing song. AMAZING. Go and listen to it right now in fact.

Second off, I had no idea of how this whole thing came together.


In the summer of 1981, the British band Queen was recording tracks for their tenth studio album, Hot Space, at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland. As it happened, David Bowie had scheduled time at the same studio to record the title song for the movie Cat People. Before long, Bowie stopped by the Queen sessions and joined in. The original idea was that he would add backup vocals on the song “Cool Cat.” “David came in one night and we were playing other people’s songs for fun, just jamming,” says Queen drummer Roger Taylor in Mark Blake’s book Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Freddie Mercury and Queen. “In the end, David said, ‘This is stupid, why don’t we just write one?’”


More (including a stripped down isolated vocal track from both Bowie and Mercury) here.

(there’s a lot to see/read and it’s probably the best thing on the list this week)

This is potentially quite old but I only found it recently and just really, really liked it. If you’ve ever read any interviews with Tom Hardy about his experiences on TDKR then you’ll know how true this whole thing sounds…




Friday Mixtape has the [often very awesome] solution.



Yes, this is all my own work (studied a year in stage make up in my teens). It’s relatively simple to do BUT if you’re yet to sort your costume, get yourself to Charles H. Fox in London’s Covent Garden. If you’re need of a make up job, they’ll sort you right out.



Bonuses this week are as follows:

Oh, and sorry it’s late, I genuinely had publishing issues.


Enjoy the weekend, wherever you are in the world.

Whatley out x

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