Five things on Friday #22

Things of note for the week ending June 1st, 2012

Summer is here

1. Good times
Writing this blog throughout the week as I do (picking up links throughout the week and saving them to WordPress on the fly), means there is often a close kind of overlap with some of the awesomeness out there. As I type this particular segment, it’s 9:30 on Sunday May 27th and the sunshine is GLORIOUS.

Yesterday was the first picnic of the year and, as well as hanging out with friends and generally having a laugh, there was Frisbee (see above), Lasagne and then later, EUROVISION. Which, thanks to Twitter, was actually quite bearable.
Note to self: add this to your ongoing 2screen case study collection

As the girl quite perfectly put it: super fun time

2. Love this from Steven Sanders

First, I found this from one of my new favourite tumblrs, and second, I have a soft spot for awesome-pencils-on-white-backgrounds because they totally work with my blog theme (thanks again Vero).

Oh, and I just really love the picture too.

3. Awesome Brothers
I have an awesome brother. Fact. Having this guy as a brother would be awesome too. For his sibling’s birthday not only did he go out and find a pair of Iron Man bracelets (if you haven’t seen Avengers Assemble yet, you won’t know how awesome these are) but he also drew this pic of him using them. AMAZING.

I guess that’s what happens when your brother works at Pixar.

4. Empty Underground
I like to take photos of the London Underground when there’s noone else around. I’ve blogged about it before, others have too. There’s a hashtag and a Flickr group but it’s just a hobby more than anything else, and it’s fun. Anyway, this one is from last week. It’s one of mine and it’s probably top five favourite all time Empty Underground shots.

You get a coffee on me if you can guess where and how I took it.

5. Amazing comic book people are amazing
I admit it. I cried.

If you can’t bear to sit through the 30second ad at the start (sorry – can’t do anything about that),why not go read the story instead. Either way, it’s a lovely piece of good news to sign off with.

Bonuses are all long-form pieces again this week; How to Spot the Future, via Scroggles, is very similar to Where Good Ideas Come From in its nature, but still worth a read all the same; Beating the anxiety of online reading; and A Guide to Influence(rs) Chapter One has made me want to write my own guide on how to engage with communities.

 

Five things on Friday #21

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 25th, 2012

1. Amazing post-Yugoslavia monuments

There are 25 of these monuments (all different, by the way) scattered across the former-Yugoslavia. Built during the 60s and 70s to immortalise battle sites and concentration camps, these relics of remembrance are as varied as they are stunning. Melancholic yet engaging, spend some time looking them over and hey, if you’re ever in the area, seek them out.

2. A whale, in a forest
The work of Argentinian artist, Adrián Villar Rojas, this forest-beached whale is a sight to behold; even just digitally.

Sad, confusing and yet somehow deeply compelling; the life-sized mammal so out of place in such a way is a sight hard to forget. This is a rare occasion where I really wish I could be there in person to see this work.

3. Assassins Creed II – aka ‘playing with Desmond’
I’ve been a huge fan of the Prince of Persia games for ages and ever since the last decent round wrapped, I’ve been looking for a suitable free-playing replacement. The Batman: Arkham Asylum/City games came close (and actually win out in many respects), but I still missed that parkour-esque freedom. That was until, at long last, I finally dived into Assassin’s Creed II.

Thanks to recommendations from Rob (and I think Sweena too), I skipped the first one and went straight to the sequel (a fact I’m kind of regretting now) and I am loving it. If you’re an Xbox* owner and haven’t played these yet, they’re available to download now via the Xbox Marketplace at fifteen quid a pop. Not bad at all.

*other consoles are available.

4. Railroad-based awesomeness
First, this video – found via Mr Siminoff – of a group of mates creating a purpose-built railway go-kart – aka ‘The Rail Rider’ – is just awesome. I can’t watch it without grinning from ear-to-ear.

While you’re still smiling, take a deep breath in, scroll down, and breath out.

Nice and slow.

— —

5. Keep C.A.L.M.
The campaign against living miserably is a charity setup to combat male suicide – aka: the biggest killer of young men the UK today.

I first encountered them just a little over 18mths ago and have been a big fan of their work, and what it is they’re actually trying to achieve, ever since. This past Thursday night I finally met the whole team and am looking forward to supporting them further over the coming weeks, months and years, in their ongoing mission. Expect more on this, soon. In meantime…

If you’re a man (or if you know one) who doesn’t want to admit that things are pretty crap right now, or is really struggling to keep things together or, worse yet, doesn’t feel like they’ve got anyone else in the world to turn to.

It’s OK. You’re not alone. I promise.
And you can talk to CALM.

 

 

Whatley out.

;

Five things on Friday #20

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 18th, 2012

1. Mother of Dragons Disney T-Shirt
Game of Thrones fan? You’re gonna love this

Available to buy from Etsy (warning: the model used has seen happier days)

2. The Networked Urban Environment
I have few industry heroes and, ever since I saw his TED Talk on ‘Our Mobile Phones‘, Jan Chipchase has been one of them. His latest post, ‘The Networked Urban Environment‘ is (so far) a great read. I’m about halfway through it at the moment and it’s one of the better future-gazing pieces I’ve read in a while.

Imagine never having to look for a parking space ever again. Imagine that from here on out, this problem is solved. Fast-forward to 2025. You’re driving from Brooklyn to Manhattan…because driving in New York City, and everywhere else, has become much simpler a task than it was a decade or so before… or has it?

Definitely worth a look.

3. The OTHER inbox in Facebook
Look, some of you are going to know about this and have known about it for ages. For the rest of you (like me, about two days ago), this will completely and utterly blow your mind.

A couple of nights ago, the girl casually mentions how useful it is that the ‘other’ inbox is on Facebook’s iPad app.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“The other inbox on Facebook, I’ve just found it on the iPad app. Cool.”

“Hang on, rewind, what is this ‘other’ inbox.”

“The other inbox.”

“No, you’re just repeating the same thing.. what is the other inbox.”

She shows me.
It blows my mind.

It turns out that if someone isn’t your friend on Facebook and then they message you, their messages end up in the other inbox.

This is ridiculous. First off, this is NOT obvious. I’ve missed a whole bunch of messages from people I’ve met from all over the world! Second, this will also explain why a whole bunch of messages I’ve sent to non-friends haven’t responded either (at least, that’s what I’m telling myself).

Admittedly, a fair amount of the stuff in there is spam, but still – I’m into double figures on the amount of messages I’ve missed. I’m gutted. But hey, I know about it now and will check it more regularly.

Every day’s a school day.

4. The Marketing Academy: The New Batch
Two years ago, almost to the day, I was waking up in Maidenhead to commence my first few days as a Marketing Academy scholar. Next week, the next batch of lads and ladies to go through the year will kick-off their own journey. One of them is a really good friend of mine and I’m chuffed to bits for him. Best of luck to all of the new starters.

You’re in for an amazing year!

5. Howard Stern / Sacha Baron Cohen
An extremely rare out of character interview with Sacha Baron Cohen, (thank you Howard Stern). Cohen says himself this is only the third time he’s ever been interviewed as himself (preferring to turn up to talkshows etc as his creations such as Ali G, Borat or, most recently, The Dictator) and is clearly a fan of Stern’s work.

Engaging and enlightening throughout, I’ve been listening to it while writing this blog post and it really is brilliant. Featuring hilarious anecdotes about the comedy-writing process, the dangers of filming Bruno in Arkansaw and the unforeseen perils of attempting to sneak the ashes of Kim Jong Il into TheAcademy Awards

Listen now, before it gets taken down.

___

Bonuses – This Could Hurt for iOS looks pretty good (I’ll be downloading as soon as I hit publish); this bookcase + chair hybrid just made my ‘want’ list; and these 1950’s takes on the Batman universe from artist Denis Medri are fantastic. Poison Ivy + Bane are definite faves.

Liked this week’s edition? Hit the Tweet button and tell your friends.

Whatley out.

Five things on Friday #19

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 11th, 2012

1. Back to the Future Business Card of WIN
Tom Wilson played ‘Biff‘ in the Back to the Future films. Apparently, he carries a business card that he gives to fans to answer all those BTTF questions in one.

Perfect.

2. Some (more) decent lengthy articles
First up, ‘Frequent fliers who flew too much‘ is a brilliant read about unlimited first-class tickets that used to be available from American Airlines.

“Creative uses seemed limitless. When bond broker Willard May of Round Rock, Texas, was forced into retirement after a run-in with federal securities regulators in the early 1990s, he turned to his trusty AAirpass to generate income. Using his companion ticket, he began shuttling a Dallas couple back and forth to Europe for $2,000 a month.”

You can see why they stopped it. Have a read.

Next, I’m halfway through this fantastic interview with Joss Whedon. He directed, amongst a whole host of other things, The Avengers. And he is awesome.

Finally, Kathryn Schulz on ‘Internal Time‘ is proving to be a fantastic read. Purely because I never thought I’d ever read the line ‘Modern human beings are not much like mimosas’. Check it.

3. 100,000 LED Lights Illuminate a Japanese River

4. Retro-active Foursquare tracking
For some reason (and this is proper geeky) I love the idea that you can track your check-ins with GCal. Use case: ‘Had a meeting with Robbie the other week at that cool place on Wardour St., what was it called?’ – which means I now have a 4sq layer in my Google Calendar.

So simple.

Via.

5. Useful Apps / Plug-ins
Attachments.me is a great Chrome plug-in for searching through Gmail attachments. It’s proved to be an absolute life-saver lately. And their CEO, Jesse Miller, is a thoroughly nice chap too.

Build apps in iOS? Take a look at Alau.me. It’s like bit.ly, but for app download tracking.

——-

Bonuses –  Stunning Star Wars toy photography (click) and Avengers Concept Art (below) have both made my day today. Until next time…

‘Aftermath’ – click to embiggen

Five things on Friday #18

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 4th, 2012

1. Jack White
First, this fairly-lengthy [but totally worth reading] profile piece from The New York Times ‘Jack outside of the box‘ was a great read at the start of the week. They really do mean it when they say ‘Jack White is the coolest, weirdest, savviest rock star of our time’.

If anything, just read it purely for the comedy Tom Jones anecdote midway through…

Second, White’s first solo album, Blunderbuss, launched this week and debuted at number one on the Billboard 100. Nicely done. The album is pretty damn good – listen to the album [Spotify link] now, or just give the first track, Missing Pieces, a go below –

2. Marvel Movie Universe Infographic
It struck me last weekend, after seeing the quite frankly awesome Avengers Assemble, that what the world really needed was some kind of visual timeline of how all the movies overlaid on each other and affected each others’ respective stories.
After all, it was revealed a couple of years ago that Iron Man 2 would set before the events of The Incredible Hulk (what, you didn’t know?).

Back to the point – my brain figured that someone had probably made this thing already and hey, a quick Google later, it turned out they had!

Huzzah! The image above clicks through to the monster version but Slash Film has a clearer, listed description, for the more discerning viewer.

3. Switch Off
No, not another attempt from me to tell you all how important it is to unplug from time to time. Instead, a huge mural reminding us (well, me at least) to do the same.

Part of the Polish Katowice Street Art Festival, I think this is quite magnificent. There’s a whole other set of photos to be viewed over on My Modern Met. Great stuff.

4. Olympics-based Tweeting for brands (or lack thereof)
I read a blog post from Rax Lakhani recently, entitled ‘Will your brand be tweeting about the London 2012 Olympic Games this Summer? Think again.‘ It’s an interesting post as it talks about what will and will not be allowed in the realms of social media throughout this summer’s Olympics and, vitally, has the documentation to back it up.

Key quote?

Companies that are not Olympic sponsors cannot link themselves with the Olympics. For example, Company X cannot tweet: “Good luck to Jane and John at the Olympic Games!”, because it links their brand with the Olympics and Olympic athletes.

Alright, this is only slightly difficult to monitor BUT, am I the only one who smells snake oil around the potential / opportunistic Lawyer + Social Listening partnership? It will be an interesting few months over the Olympic period, especially when it comes to social.

5. Today
Is a big day for someone very dear to me. It’s not been an easy road but, at last, we’re at a turning point. As we head into the weekend, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Not far now.

 

Bonuses – this week has been a week of long form reading. First with the Jack White piece I mentioned above; then ‘Mysteries of the Connected Age‘ via The Wilson Quarterly; and finally ‘The Deceptive Nature of Bipolar: a First Hand Account‘ from the inspiring, moving and yet ever-insightful CALM Zone. 

 

Five things on Friday #17

Five things of note for the week ending Friday April 27th.

1. Iron Man

Iron Man Wallpaper Mondo

This art work (from Mondo) is superb. I like, a lot. Speaking of which…

2. Avengers Assemble!
It’s out this week. I’ve seen it. It’s awesome. You should see it too.
(and yes, of course I’m going to review it – at some point)

3. New Music
Two tracks of note (from the week before in fact, that I didn’t get time to blog this week) are X-Factor reject, Aiden Grimshaw’s first single – ‘Is this love?

And this awesome Gonzo 70’s-style remix of Adele vs Liquid Gold – ‘Rollin’ in the Deep

4. Prometheus
Pretty much a weekly feature at the moment…

…but tickets have just gone on sale here in the UK (if you know where to look) and I’ve got mine booked in — Bring it on.

5. John Cleese on Creativity
30mins of brilliance. Watch it.

Bonuses: Stunning dear-shaped electrical pylons – no, seriously; a couple of trailers for Cronenberg’s latest – Cosmopolis; and some breath-taking images of android-augmented women – which have to be seen to be believed.

Five things on Friday #16

Five things of note from the week ending Friday, April 20th 2012
(shorter than most weeks – blame being ill, still) 

1. Awesome Drive art is Awesome

Any excuse to post more stuff about DRIVE – aka the best film of 2011really, via my usual source of brilliant stuff.

2. Being ill sucks
I was diagnosed with acute sinusitis on Tuesday (having been out of action since last Friday) and the only thing I know about it is that a mate of mine at college used to suffer with it a lot. ‘Sicknote’ we called him, bless. But, if you’re reading this now – Bodger – I apologise. I take it back. This thing is agonisingly painful and OH MY GOD I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

Also, I can’t go outside.

3. Happy Birthday David
More (read: better) Prometheus goodness. This time in the shape of Michael Fassbender’s take on the now-required Ridley-universe Weyland android.

Watch this with your eyes –

I like, a lot – via Total Film.

4. Useful QR codes?
Maybe.

5. Just add Monsters

I love this stuff; Artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal like to buy second hand paintings and then just add monsters. Apparently the trick is to match the paint originally used (e.g., acrylic or oil) and try to blend the monsters into the original scene as if they were always there. I’m actually tempted to give it a go myself.
via Siany

5. WWE kick ass at social
Who new?

 

Bonuses this week are a two super great long form posts that I read in my sick bed –

Travelling every bus route (much more interesting that interesting than it sounds) –
Tumbling to success (the story of Tumblr)