Five things on Friday #89

Things of note for the week ending September 12th, 2014.

Five things on Friday

Apologies for the delay this week, kids. A trip to Ireland mid-week (for the rather fantastic Measurement.ie Conference), plus a shed load of work upon my return, threw my writing schedule out of whack.

It’s nothing to do with Destiny being out this week at all. No sir ree bob.

Also: lots of recommended reading this week.

Enjoy –

1. Love is not enough.
This is a hard read.
This is a tough read.
This is a good read.

Mark Manson on Love.

2. Sound of Net
I think I’ve written about Warren Ellis’ ‘Morning, Computer‘ blog before but a) this is lovely and b) no harm in recommending it again.

There are lightbulbs that are also wireless bluetooth speakers. Imagine being able to send robot text to one. A lightbulb that quietly recites The Shipping Forecast, or Dark Sky local rain alerts, or pings from the IFTTT Space Channel that tells you when an astronaut goes into orbit, or calendar tasks or any number of things. One of the many things I wish I knew how to make. I stopped being able to parse code somewhere between HTML 2.0 and CSS. It may be just as well that my ability to cause things is way, way below my ability to annoyingly conceive of things. Existing in a constant condition of low-level frustration with the small things in life probably prevents me from obsessing on the big things and then building bombs. Which anyone can do.

If I’d been able to make that thing, it would have been whispering “hashtag Ferguson” all night.

You should read it all.

3. Werner Herzog on Creativity

Werner

I picked this next piece up from the rather excellent ‘Brain Pickings‘ blog of Maria Popova. The article in question is a selection of highlights from Werner Herzog‘s new book ‘A guide for the Perplexed‘ and it’s not only a) brilliant reading but b) a collections of reasons to buy said book; this stuff is gold.

For example, when asked how he sees his ideal film school, Herzog says:

You would be allowed to submit an application only after having travelled, alone and on foot, let’s say from Madrid to Kiev, a distance of nearly two thousand miles. While walking, write about your experiences, then give me your notebooks. I would immediately be able to tell who had really walked and who had not. You would learn more about filmmaking during your journey than if you spent five years at film school. Your experiences would be the very opposite of academic knowledge, for academia is the death of cinema. Somebody who has been a boxer in Africa would be better trained as a filmmaker than if he had graduated from one of the “best” film schools in the world. All that counts is real life.-

I know, right? He goes on

My film school would allow you to experience a certain climate of excitement of the mind, and would produce people with spirit, a furious inner excitement, a burning flame within. This is what ultimately creates films. Technical knowledge inevitably becomes dated; the ability to adapt to change will always be more important. At my utopian film academy there would be a vast loft with a boxing ring in one corner. Participants, working every day with a trainer, would learn to somersault, juggle and perform magic tricks. Whether you would be a filmmaker by the end I couldn’t say, but at least you would emerge as a confident and fearless athlete. After this vigorous physical work, sit quietly and master as many languages as possible. The end result would be like the knights of old who knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and play the lute.

Sold. Gold.

Read the whole piece. Then buy the book.

4. IKEA Instructions gone wrong (right?)
These instructions on how to be a monster and more are excellent.

harrington-illustration

harrington-illustration4

More, via Beautiful Decay.

5. Why Amazon has no profits (and why it works)
Informative post from one of the smarter brains on the planet, Ben Evans, talking about the economics of Amazon. Admittedly, it can kinda be summed up in one image –

download

But the whole article is worth reading.

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Bonuses this week are all music-related:

Until next week.

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Five things on Friday #88

Things of note for the week ending September 5th, 2014.

shuttle

1. Disappearing Drive-Ins

Drive In

Photographer, Stephanie Klavens, has been documenting the fading world of US-based drive-in cinemas in a series of photos called ‘Vanishing Drive-Ins‘.

Strangely beautiful and, for me at least, a little poignant – these snapshots of disappearing Americana make me long for a UK revival.

drivein

via

2. Become Legend

Destiny: Live Action

Destiny arrives in less than a week from now (advance warning: Five Things might be late next week BECAUSE PLAYSTATION) and this newly released live action trailer is so much better than it should be and could’ve been OH so much worse.

Well done.

3. Interesting London Talks
I’ve been following the Talk London Twitter account for some time now and I still get such joy from it. The premise? A Twitter account specifically for keeping track of interesting talks, debates, and seminars in and around London.

Awesome and dead useful too.

Not in London but want a new Twitter account to follow? Try Saved You A Verge. It’s like Saved You A Click, but for The Verge. Brilliant.

4. UK Cinema Release Dates for your Calendar
I made this thing the other day. I was going to just throw it in as a list item on this week’s Five Things but then I figured it was so good, it deserved its own post.

Basically, I’ve made a calendar-based RSS feed for the UK film releases that I think are going to be good/worth seeing and you can add it to your calendar (iCal, Outlook, or Google) with this handy guide.

That’s all.

Next thing?

5. Inside the ISS
It’s Friday afternoon as you read this (probably). The weekend is around the corner and you’re feeling on top of the world (maybe). But now imagine being above it, looking down, and seeing the whole planet flow by beneath you.

Well, if you were sat in the Cupola section of the ISS, that’s exactly what you’d be able to do.

Like this –

Looking down

Wouldn’t be lovely if you had an awesome camera? With a telescopic lens? Something with which you could get a proper look at everything down there?

Like this –

ISS photo shoot

Now what if you were to take a video with that camera? One that came in at around 3mins and 40secs long, something that was just wonderful and allowed people to get lost in the wonder that is the planet we live upon?

Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Like this

via.

Happy Friday everyone.

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Bonuses this week are all massively self-obsessed:

 

Until next week.

 

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Five things on Friday #87

Things of note for the week ending August 29th, 2014.

FALL INTO THE THINGS

1. McMoons
No, this story isn’t about a lunar McDonald’s opening up sometime soon. No. This is in fact a STUPENDOUSLY AWESOME story about a bunch of ex-NASA civilians deciding to capture an abandoned satellite by taking over a disused McDonalds and assembling the tools they need from EBAY. Yes, that’s right, EBAY.

Not. Kidding.

MCMOONS!

Honestly, this is one of the best things I’ve read this month.

You should read it.

McMoon’s is, of course, what the crack team of space commandos have [re]christened their new home. Love it.

2. Ricky & Jerry
Jerry Seinfeld has, for some time now, had his own web series simply called ‘Comedians in cars getting coffee’. If you’ve never watched it before well hurrah! You’ve got loads to catch up on.

Ricky and Jerry

I watched the Ricky Gervais one last week and, aside from being hilarious, it reminded me not only of the lovely friendship the two have but also the quite frankly, fantastic HBO special, ‘Talking Funny‘.

It’s a 49 minute long discussion about comedy between Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Louie CK, and Ricky Gervais – and it is GOLD.

Watch it tonight instead of TV.

You won’t regret it.

3. Minority Reporting
A short dissection of the finale of the [criminally underrated] Minority Report. Spoilers, obviously. But read this and I doubt you’ll ever be able to watch it in the same way again.

4. Distracting Extras
I’m not a big one for adding list posts to a list of posts you should read. HOWEVER. This list of ‘The 12 most distracting extras in movie history‘ genuinely made me chuckle. Yes, the Star Wars Storm Trooper is in there, but what about the underwear girl from Teen Wolf? You ever seen her before?

Great work.

Link contains 12 YouTube clips. FYI.

5. What’s next for Twitter?
A great piece of conjectural thinking from Alex Young of We Are Social. If you’re sat around thinking ‘Exactly what is next for this Twitter thing I work so hard on?’, then this post is a really good place to start.

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Bonuses this week:

 

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Five things on Friday #86

Things of note for the week ending August 22nd, 2014.

THE THINGS. THERE ARE FIVE OF THEM.

1. Annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year Finalists
There isn’t much I can add to this. The photos are, of course, amazing. These are just a couple of my favourites but the whole set really is worth ten minutes of your time.

 Wildlife Photographer of the Year 1

STRETCH.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2

TWEETING.

via Distractify.

2. Cap and Hulk = SCIENCE
Here is a three minute video explaining how the science behind Captain America and the HULK [if they actually existed in the real world].

Super interesting. Super fun. Super SCIENCE.

Speaking of superheroes…

3. The Phantom of Papua New Guinea
Have you ever heard of The Phantom? No, not that scary fella from the Opera. The purple one, from the jungle. The ghost who walks. The man who cannot die. Him. Once played by Billy Zane in a [terrible] film of the same name.

This guy:

Phantom

Yeah, you remember him.

He was in [the frankly awesome] Defenders of the Earth Saturday morning cartoon show, remember?

Right.

Anyway.

Apparently – and this is so random – back in the 1960s and 1980s, Mr Purple Pants started appearing on the war shields of the people of New Guinea.

The Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea have long made enormous shields from tree trunks, and have continued to make these shields as a form of ritual artwork. In the late 20th century, many of these Papua New Guinea highlanders began incorporating “new ideas” into their traditional works, so that shields bore emblems of football teams, beer brands, and, yes, the Phantom. Western comic books became widely available in the region after World War II, and the Phantom became a particularly popular character.

I picked this story up from iO9 and they’ve got a huge bank of various images of The Phantom depicted in multiple ways on said shields.

THE PHANTOM

It’s really awesome; I just love the idea that there were these badass warriors walking around with THE PHANTOM on their shields. ‘COME ON THEN! WE’VE GOT THE GHOST THAT WALKS!’ – or something like that.

4. Cyborgs

I know a cyborg. His name is Dan Lane (and it’s his birthday today – happy birthday Dan). His level of human/robot integration is probably higher than others but then again, if you know someone who wears contact lenses; they’re a cyborg too.

Do you know who else is a cyborg? Neil Harbisson. He has an antenna that comes out of his head specifically for turning colours into sounds.

Not kidding.

Go read.

5. Batman photo album
A bit of a superhero-fest this week (sorry not sorry) but I couldn’t not share this.

EItHIlD

Last week, someone posted this rather fantastic, 32-image photo set from The Dark Knight.

Specifically focusing on the interrogation scene between The Joker and Batman, the set is interspersed with quotes from an interview with Christopher Nolan discussing the work and effort that went into the scene, both from the actors therein and also the director of photography, Wally Pfister.

Great reading.

Great photos.

Great link.

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Bonuses this week:

See you next week.

 

 

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Five things on Friday #85

Things of note for the week ending August 15th, 2014.

Whirlwinds of light

— Whirlwinds of Light, via This is Colossal.

1. Smartphones leak, dumb phones don’t
International master of misadventure,  John McAfee, spoke at Def Con recently and one of the things that picked up as a headline over at the Wall Street Journal was the following:

‘On the subjects of privacy and security, McAfee said smartphones are spying on American consumers, who don’t bother to read user agreements. “The most promising privacy thing is stupid phones,” he said. “I’m dumping all my smart phones.”

He said he had started brownlist.com, to collect complaints against large corporations. He also said he has an app for Android phones that tracks privacy permissions for various apps.’

A few things:

  • This is not news.
  • This could be the start of a new trend against all things privacy-related.
  • I get the impression that this is especially not news to the people it matters most to.

Something to think on maybe?

If you want to stay clean, and prevent THE MAN from getting his dirty hands on your lovely, lovely data. Go get a dumbphone. Like a Nokia 106 for example.

2. There’s a hexagonal hurricane on Saturn

Hexagonal Hurricanes

The above was first sighted back in the 1980s, when the NASA Voyager probes flew past Saturn for the first time. In the 30+ years it takes Saturn to pass around the Sun, we can finally get to see it again.

And the New York Times has made a gorgeous, sub-three-minute video to help tell the story –

This is my favourite item this week. By a long shot.

- via Mental Floss

3. Planes IRL vs Planes Hollywood-style

0aircraftcutaways-002

0aircraftcutaways-007

I really, really liked this photo-essay. Interesting for not only seeing how crazy big planes can be (in contrast of your average human being) but also gaining an insight into how plane scenes are shot on film.

Check it out.

4. Samsung + New Ad Space
I’ve never owned a Samsung phone (something about the version of Android that it runs combined with the achingly boring product design really puts me off) however every now and then you have to applaud the epic trolling enjoyed by its marketing team over Apple (‘Screen Envy‘ definitely made me chuckle).

One of Samsung’s latest was this little video poking fun at ‘wall huggers’ – aka – iPhone users who have to sit next to plug sockets all the time while their [poorly-powered] iPhones charge. It seems, not happy with its near-15m views, Samsung has taken this down another level. Literally.

Samsung wall huggers

‘Samsung Galaxy S5 with Ultra Power Saving Mode. So you have the power to be anywhere but here’

A super smart use of ambient media in conjunction with an already well-established viral video. Contextually relevant and guaranteed to hit your target market. I think this is great.

Well done, Samsung.

Sidenote: I guess this makes me a Samsung blogger now, right? Christ.

5. Behind the Scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy’s aliens
Seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet? If not, why not? It’s not ‘just another superhero movie’, nor is it ‘one of those Marvel films that I know nothing about’ neither is it ‘a film for geeks’. GotG is probably the summer blockbuster of 2014 (with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes running a close second).

So yeah, see it.

Now that’s out of the way, Fast Co.Create has published a [completely spoiler free] behind the scenes look at some of the make up and special effects that went into creating the aliens that appear in said film.

GOTG Aliens

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Bonuses this week:

  • This Louis CK interview is a long read, but both excellent and worth your time.
  • Anagramatron hunts for tweets that are anagrams of each other. It’s so brilliantly bizarre that it’s my recommended Tumblr of the week!
  • If you’re a male social media expert who happens to be vegan, single, and an active Tinder user, I’d recommend not reading this AMAZING comic strip.

 

Did you like this stuff? Did you find any of its interesting? If you did, do me a favour and tell your friends. I’d really appreciate it, cheers.

Have a great weekend.

 

 

 

 

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