Five things on Friday [on Sunday] #129

Apologies for the delay this week – zero dead time plus Father’s Day weekend meant there were many many other things to do before I could get to these things.

Shall we?

Things of note for the week ending Friday June 19th, 2015.

Cat things

1. ZOO KEEPERS OF JURASSIC WORLD

JW

I saw Jurassic World last week and, aside from the EPIC PRODUCT PLACEMENT throughout, it’s actually a very good summer blockbuster (and absolutely well worth seeing at the cinema).

Now that the movie is on general release, some lovely little memes are popping up, such as this lovely little one entitled ‘Zoo Keepers Posing Like Chris Pratt‘.

LOOK!

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So much fun.

PS. Even my friends are getting in on the act.

PPS. There’s a cool ‘Making of’ video re the animatronics said uber sequel. That’s pretty good too.

2. VIDEO ROYALE (MORE PROOF)
When the end of the year rolls around and Marshall Manson and I have to see how many of our 2015 trend predictions came true, we’ll be able to point to the bad boy below as yet another piece of evidence to support the social media platform ‘Video Royale’.

Autoplay_videos_on_Twitter

That’s right, Twitter has rolled out Autoplay.

3. CHEAPS BY DRE

beats

Own Beats headphones?
They saw you coming, man.

In these headphones, 30% of the weight comes from four tiny metal parts that are there for the sole purpose of adding weight. [It is] estimated that the COGS without labor or shipping is $16.89 – yet Beats is able to successfully retail these headphones for $199+. This is the power of brand.

Ouch.

4. TAXIDERMY
Ever wondered what happens at the World Taxidermy Championships?

(Yes, they’re an actual thing)

Wonder no more.

5. STEALING TIME
A guide (that I practice), by Warren Ellis.

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Bonuses this week are things that have genuinely made my jaw drop:

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Until next week.

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Five things on Friday #128

Things of note for the week ending Friday June 12th, 2015.

5TOF

1. ENGINEERS IN THE MIST
Regular readers will know how much of a passion I have for the words that appear on the website social-creature (the author of said words isn’t so bad either) however, the latest post ‘Engineers in the Mist‘ covers five days of hanging out with the startup millennials of San Francisco; their loves,  lives, passions, desires, sexual habits, and more.

Example:

We wake up in a Mongolian yurt. It’s sunny and warm out here in Colfax, and we are sitting by a pool waiting for breakfast as hawks fly overhead.

People are talking about working at pre / post IPO companies as different career strategies; “making money off the speculation;” “upside.” People are talking about deciding whether to work at Stripe, Slack, Reddit. People are talking about strategically deciding to work at a series B company; “career scoping.”

This is how people talk. And oddly it already feels less grotesque than it did yesterday. We become accustomed to things. These are just the elements of their actual lives. They can’t help it any more than you or I can help the inevitable echo chambers of our lives. We are all stuck in our own myopias.

A better insight into this absurd life of the cali-culture perhaps there has never been.

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

2. THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

THE CREW OF AWESOME

Back in the day, four crazy mobile geeks used to a weekly half hour show about the most exciting things happening in mobile technology that week (seriously, it’s nuts when you think about it now).

The trio of presenters (above) were Ben Smith, yours truly, and Dan Lane. We each had our specific areas of expertise and for the latter, Dan, his thing was being a back end kinda guy. He knew, loved, and worked in the tech that went into the actual telecommunications business.

Such was the breadth and passion of Dan’s techno-know-how, he once actually tried to set up his own mobile network.

Not. Kidding.

This is his story.

3. HANNIBAL
So Hannibal is back on TV. Season 3 kicked off in the UK this week and, of course, it is AMAZING.

If you want to know why it’s so good, just go and watch it (see item 3 in FOTF #77 for my last ZOMG HANNIBAL IS AMAZING outburst) but that’s not why it’s here this week. No no.

To celebrate the return of this incredible show, some genius (also ridiculously in love with this fantastic series) over at Grantland has gone and made a mini Hannibal colouring book.

And it’s awesome.

hannibal_lecter

hannibal_cello1

IMAGE

The My Little Pony is a nice touch.

4. BLACKBOARDS
This is wonderful.

blackboards

While undergoing renovations last week, workers at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City made a surprising discovery: when removing several old chalkboards they found an even older set of chalkboards hidden in the walls. Apparently the school didn’t remove or even bother to erase the oldest boards they replaced back in 1917, leaving various lessons and illustrations untouched for nearly a century.

I have no more to add. Just go and look at the pictures.

5. WATER TOWERS

postcard_benfleet_115__Medium_ (1)

I spent my childhood admiring the water tower in the above photo but not once did I ever stop to wonder how it work or what it was for (instead opting to create large drawn out fantasy fiction stories about how evil wizards and dragons lived therein).

Fortunately, Mental Floss have answered the question I’ve never asked:

Exactly how do Water Towers work?

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Bonuses this week are as follows:

  • APPLE STUFF AND NONSENSE

Is Apple Music / Beats 1 the end of radio/Spotify? No, of course not. Is Apple Pay coming to the UK a massive deal? No, of course not. But if these things are of interest to you, then please, by all means, go and listen to the latest episode of the five star rated podcast, The Voicemail.

  • MEX SHATTERED DREAMS

The actual name of this piece is called ‘shattered images’ but I prefer my title. Whatever. This is taken from the MEX newsletter (an excellent read) and covers a core 21st century issue for the clumsy and the unlucky. Give it a go.

  • AMAZON STUDIOS FINDS DON QUIXOTE

Terry Gilliam is at last being given the opportunity to create the forever-unfinished cinematic work of ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’. I’m including this piece of news for two reasons. One, this is great news (I love Gilliam and his work); two, if you haven’t seen it then please do seek out the documentary about his last [failed] attempt to make said film, Lost in La Mancha.

 

Right then, the weekend is here.

GO GET IT!

GO GET IT

 

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Five things on Friday #127

Things of note for the week ending Friday June 5th, 2015.

HMM TINGS

1. HAPPY FERRIS BUELLER DAY
If you’ve ever received an email from me or, better yet, we’ve ever spent any time hanging out, you know how much Mr B resonates with me.

Ferris-Bueller-Quotes-3

Well, friends, it’s true: today (Friday June 5th, 2015) is a GREAT day.

2. PAM DOOVE
This is so old but it recently came up in conversation with a friend of mine recently and it’s still brilliant. Enjoy.

3. THE ORIGIN OF THE SHARED UNIVERSE
These days, the idea of films existing in a ‘shared universe’ is pretty par for the [summer blockbuster] course. While this trend has been predominantly superhero-led, the roots of this way of thinking (on-screen, at least) can be traced back quite a way. iO9 has taken a look back at some of our current cinematic cultural forebears, Stargate and Star Trek.

It’s a very good read.

4. DISCOVERING MANHATTANHENGE

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 15.47.00

Manhattanhenge‘ is a quasi-natural phenomenon that can probably be best described as:

A special day (that) comes twice a year, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid.

And it is STUNNING.

Discovered by Neil deGrasse Tyson himself, and as part of their ‘Creation Stories’ series, Fast Company has a wonderful video of exactly how this happened. NdG was 15yrs old when he first ‘discovered’ it; amazing.

5. IN SEARCH OF THE RED CROSS’ $500M IN HAITI RELIEF
Back in 2010, an earthquake of devastating proportions pretty much levelled Haiti. In a matter of days, millions of people all over the world donated to the American Red Cross. Now, five years later (and as NPR has discovered) it’s difficult to know where all the money went.

Bonuses this week are as follows:

  • Do you use Hola VPN ‘for better Internet’? Yeah, uninstall that.
  • I have a new phone. It’s a Sony Xperia Z3. It’s not a review unit and it wasn’t sent to me by a PR company; I bought it with my own money. Wanna know why? Listen to Episode 126 of The Voicemail and find out.
  • Alastair Campbell’s words on late Charles Kennedy is a great tribute. If you haven’t read it yet, you should.

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Finally, thanks to all of you that got in touch re the above bonus section last week; it’s probably the best response I’ve had to any blog post ever. Warm words abound and I feel all gooey inside.

Lovely stuff.

Have a great weekend everybody!

 

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Five things on Friday #126

Things of note for the week ending Friday May 29th, 2015.

the things, look at the things

1. GOLDFISH WHEELCHAIRS
It’s late but this is really too cute to not share.

SOLID. GOLD.

It’s a Mashable link but I don’t care. If you’ve got a wonky goldfish you should a) do this immediately then b) maybe consider feeding it less protein.

2. USE FIREFOX? USE THIS
Seriously though, do you really use Firefox? I mean, I actually saw someone using Safari the other day (weirdo) – why you aren’t all using Chrome I don’t know. But whatever.

If you’re one of the five oddballs who read this blog and you use Firefox, then this little thing called ‘tracking protection‘ might help you load stuff infinitely faster. By infinite, I mean ‘44%’ but you get the point.

3. HOW TO MAKE A WRIGLEY’S AD
Submitted without comment.

4. SXSW – WHAT?
It’s been several weeks since SXSW interactive and, to be honest, I finished my ‘SXSW Report’ stuff ages ago. But I realised last week we hadn’t actually published it publicly. Oops.

So yeah, here it is (if you find it useful – yay! If not, well, bums).

5. THE DESIRED EFFECT
It’s the new album from Brandon Flowers and I really like it.

That is all.

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Bonuses* this week are as follows:

  • Google I/O happened this week. Not sure what that is? Well imagine a big cake. This cake isn’t just any cake mind. This cake is from the future. With its myriad layers and its reflective icing, this cake grants you the power to see all things that are coming from a tiny little start up named Google. Thing is, this cake is quite big and if you ate it all in one go you’d feel bloated and fat and, well, that’s not very nice at all. What you want to do is create one perfect slice. A slice that’s thin enough to consume in one sitting, but deep enough to touch all magical layers. A slice of cake that is like the highlight of all cakes. If you managed this, it’d be like you HACKED CAKE. Or like you’d read this article of the most important things at Google I/O.  You decide. Oh, and if that’s not good enough, Stefan and I will be covering all of the Google I/O goodness on this weekend’s edition of The Voicemail.
  • Get In The Sea is still yet to get old.
  • The Verge reviewed the old Google+ Photos app thinking it was the new one. It’s a bit mean to poke fun but hey, if all your writers use iPhones, how do you expect them to know the difference between two MASSIVELY DIFFERENT Android apps?
  • Did you hear? Daredevil should be called Batman.

*By the way, does anyone ever enjoy the bonuses? I mean, I throw them in there because they’re kinda left in my inbox staring at me and I figure you crazy kids might enjoy them.

If you read this on my website – LEAVE A COMMENT, if you read this as a newsletter, HIT REPLY. Either way, all feedback is welcome.

And Marek, if you liked my Crystal Maze, one has to wonder if you’d enjoy my recent purchase too…

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Five things on Friday [on Saturday] #125

Things of note for the week ending Friday May 22nd, 2015.

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This isn’t a thing to be a big enough thing on its own but I’m super interested in what Hillary Clinton is doing with her Twitter account in the run up to the Presidential election.

Worth keeping an eye on.

OK, shall we?

1. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

MAD MAX FURY ROAD WALLPAPER

So yeah, I saw MAD MAX: FURY ROAD this week (Thursday) at the IMAX (obvs) in 3d (natch) and it was pretty awe-inspiring. Admittedly it should be called MAD MAX: FURIOSA ROAD or even just ‘FURIOSA: THE ONE WHERE SHE MEETS MAD MAX’.

But whatever. The film is EXCELLENT. The cast is fantastic. And the visual spectacle of it all truly is something to behold.

See it big. See it loud.

A true wonder.

2. MOBILE TECH NEWS: IN YOUR EARS
After a short hiatus at the end of 2014 and a time-zone enforced attempt at publishing monthly, the five-star rated mobile tech news podcast, The Voicemail, returns to its usual ’30mins, weekly’ schedule this weekend.

If you like a) mobile tech, b) the sound of my voice, or c) listening to two mates chew the cud about one of their favourite topics; then The Voicemail is for you.

And if you’re not a mobile tech head but know someone that is, be a darl and pass it on x

3. THE CRYSTAL MAZE

START THE FANS PLEASE

Know who this man is? (sit down at the back, Rocky Horror fans) Or what the little thing in his hand stands for/means? No? Then where the hell were you during the 90s?!

If however, the the very sight of this man makes you think of the phrase ‘START THE FANS PLEASE!’ then you’ll understand just how important this awesome piece of reporting from Buzzfeed truly is.

Entitled ‘The Inside Story Of “The Crystal Maze”, The Most Epic Game Show Ever Made’ this piece is a great read for anyone who literally raced home from school to catch the utter randomness on their TVs that was The Crystal Maze.

crystal f

This quote, from Richard O’Brien himself, is wonderful:

“On the first series we had five cameras, two outside the cells and three looking at the game. And the producers weren’t watching the ones outside because they were too busy seeing how the game was playing out. One of the camera operators outside said, “What are we supposed to do, Richard, are we supposed to shoot the backs of their heads?” And I said, “No, no, come over here.”

I just started talking into the camera, about anything. I was just trying to make the cameraman laugh and as soon as I saw the camera shaking on his shoulders I’d look back at the clock and say, “OK, half a minute to go.”

They didn’t know they had any of these asides until they came to edit the series together, and once they did, they realised how that worked – a quick cutaway of me saying, “They’ll never manage this”, or I’d pull out the harmonica, and unknowingly it added a complicity between me and the audience at home because I was looking straight into the camera. I never did it when the contestants were there, only when their backs were turned.”

Go read the whole thing.

4. TESTING SOCIAL DATA ACCURACY
This post, by my friend and colleague, Daniela Badalan, is a write up on the accuracy of self-reported data vs third party.

So how do you test social data accuracy and how do you decide if third party data might be a better choice to reach your audience across a social platform?

To answer those questions, we’ve done a little test of our own at Social@Neo recently to analyse the accuracy of employment data specifically – as offered by LinkedIn vs. Facebook, against a known data set.

When Daniela told me she was working on this research I was really excited (as the process and the findings are really interesting) and I said ‘You have to blog this!’ and Daniela has. So hurrah and hurrah again.

To me this is the first scratch on a much broader itch of research that could be triggered across our entire group both at a regional and global level.

Check out the methodology and findings yourself, I’m sure Daniela would love to hear from you.

5. CULTURAL BLEEDING

story influence

The headline above is taken from a piece that appeared on Vox earlier this week. We’ll come onto the specifics of the article shortly but reading it prompted me to return to a broader theme that I’ve been noodling on for a little while now; that of the influence of real world events (and the subsequent hopes and fears they bring about) on both the story telling industry (read: ‘Hollywood’) and moreover, popular culture as a whole.

After watching TRANSCENDENCE, EX_MACHINA, and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON in the space of about a month, I read up on artificial intelligence (see more at item three back in FTOF #112) and, while ‘killer robots come to earth/get invented by man and then attempt to destroy the world’ isn’t exactly a new trope, the prevalence of the theme on today’s science [near]-fiction cannot be ignored.

So it was with great interest that I ‘discovered’ the article in the above image. Analysing everything from Sam Raimi’s 9/11 adjusted original SPIDER-MAN through to the destructo-porn of MAN OF STEEL, it is a well-constructed critique of our recent obsession with the superhero genre and overall probably the best thing I’ve read this week.

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Bonuses are all in the medium of Medium –

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Whatley out.

 

 

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