Five things on CHRISTMAS DAY (aka FToF #156)

Things of note for the week ending Friday December 25th, 2015.


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Yes, I know it’s Christmas and yes, I know the last thing you’ll be doing is looking at email/the Internet. I was going to write some lark about how you shouldn’t worry about me as I wrote this several days ago etc…. but it wouldn’t be true. I am, as I type to you now, hurtling up the A505 to Norfolk for to see some extended family in a BARN of all things.

Quite fitting when you think about it.

Anyway, wherever you and whatever you’re doing, I hope you are having / have had a lovely Christmas. I’m scheduling this to go out shortly after Doctor Who (wasn’t it great/awful/brilliant/annoying – delete where applicable / add your own – EDIT: I LOVED IT) so I’m hoping you all will be fairly vino’d up and at the point of bursting by the time you read this (the rule is: if you can reach it, you can eat it).

So if if granny has slipped off into a nap and your rude uncle has gone down the pub with Dad, you’re more than allowed to sit and stare at your phone for a while.

On that note… to the things!


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The next edition of FToF will arrive on Jan 1st, 2016 so we may as well get all the year end round ups out of the way now, right? Remember when everyone used to go nuts for the YouTube one? Yeah, how time flies.

For me, the big round up I’d like to share is the admittedly somewhat sombre effort from the New York Times. I looked at this a few days ago and there were definitely a few tears.

Maybe save this one until after Christmas Day.


Big love to my dear friend Zsa Zsa for this slice of Instagram fried gold.

Looking for somewhere to go when you’re feeling low? The relatively new Sad Topographies Instagram account is there for your every need.

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Featuring such wonders as ‘KILL’, ‘PITY ME’, and ‘CRYING CHILD ISLAND’ (someone was definitely having a bad day that day), Sad Topographies really is quite brilliant.

Go check it out.

And on a kind of related note: aforementioned friend and discoverer of the above has recently kicked off an ambition to write every single day over on Medium. Strong start so far and definitely worth checking out if you fancy something different to read [every day], some of them are in fact that good that I’ve actually installed the Medium app just so I wouldn’t miss an edition. There’s some high praise indeed.

Remember, it is a marathon not a sprint but if y’all go subscribe/read/share/like or whatever, it’ll help drive my dear friend forward (no pressure, Frith). Plus! Did I mention it’s pretty good stuff?

See: quitting vs giving up for example.



Some of you know him as a fearsome WWF/E wrestler. Most of you should know him as the friendly giant Fezzik from The Princess Bride. A handful of you might even recognise him from the piece of graffiti / pop culture known simply as ‘OBEY‘.

However you know him, André Roussimoff, aka André the Giant, was a true wonder of the world. Earlier this week I happened across an article that was part of an ongoing serious known as Camera Obscura. The objective of which is to take a deep dive into a famous photograph that is seemingly ‘inexplicable’.

The photo in question for this article?

This one – of Roussimoff’s maw clutching a beer can.

It’s a wonderful photo.


What’s more, the story behind it is truly quite lovely.

It begins:

There are 42 half- or full-page ads in the December 21, 1981 issue of Sports Illustrated, and 29 of them are for alcohol or cigarettes. But that two page photo spread featuring what appears to be a new miniature version of the Molson beer can? It’s not an ad at all. It’s the opening image to an amazing story about one of the largest characters the world has ever known: André Roussimoff, aka André the Giant.

This small glance into the life of one of the world’s largest men is a great read and is probably my favourite thing of the week.

Go read.


On the hunt for a New Year’s Resolution? Try this.

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Go on.

I dare you.


You can always rely on Hype Machine for an epic end of year round up and their Zeitgeist playlists once more do not disappoint.

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Bonuses this week are as follows:

And that my friends, is that.

The last Five things on Friday of 2015.

I hope you enjoyed both this edition and the rest of interesting things I threw your way throughout 2015. Feel free to send feedback via the usual channels.

Replying to this, tweeting me, whatever.

Y’know what – just have a nice Christmas and sincerely, the hugest of well wishes for the year ahead.

Great things are coming.

I promise.

. .

Whatley out.

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Five things on Friday #155

Things of note for the week ending Friday December 18th, 2015.


One week ’til Christmas.


Trends, yo

The first time we did it, it was so successful that we joked that we were probably already on the hook to do it again the following year.

The second time we did it, we half-joked that we’d probably made a yearly rod for our backs.

This time around, our third in the series, we just got our hands dirty and got the darn thing completed via late night emails, corridor conversations, and the occasional early morning breakfast meeting.

And so, with a decent support team (special thanks to Leo and Ed), Marshall and I cracked it.

The deck is available on Slideshare [for viewing, sharing, and downloading] and comprises of three main sections:

Section 1: a review of our trend predictions from the previous year (eg: did we actually get anything right last time)
Section 2: our key digital trend predictions for 2016 (the good stuff)
Section 3: a few bonus things (that we’re still noodling on and may have more throughout 2016)

It’s about 80 slides (but that’s mainly because of the slide builds) and it’s fairly digestable. 12,000 people have read it since it went live on Wednesday, so why not go make it 12,001 and see what you’re missing out on.

It’s Christmas for movie people – not least of all because OH MY ACTUAL GOD I’M GOING TO SEE ACTUAL NEW STAR WARS TONIGHT WAAAAAAGH (sorry / not sorry) – but also because all the trailers came out this week.

Ready for this? 

  • Bryan Singer is completing the ‘First Class Trilogy’ with X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. Trailer makes it look a bit silly but screw it, the rest of [these versions] have been awesome, so I am IN LIKE FLYNN.
    [watch the trailer]
  • Haters gonna hate but the new trailer for STAR TREK BEYOND looks IMMENSE and I will be seeing this one big and loud at the IMAX when it hits later next year.
    [watch the trailer]
  • Missing the world of Harry Potter? It’s barely a teaser but we’ve had a first glimpse at FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM this week and, it has to be said, I got shivers.
    [watch the trailer]
  • This one came out of nowhere. HIGH-RISE. I will say no more. Just watch the stunning trailer and then count the days until March.
    [watch the trailer]
  • What else? Well, howsabout HOUSE OF CARDS S4: #FU2016. Love it.
    [watch the trailer (if you can call it that)]
  • And finally, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE is one you should all look at too. Yeah, it’s been ages since the original but what the hell, I’m a sucker for a good switch-your-brain-off actioner.
    [watch the trailer]


Much to look forward for next year (and tonight too – did I mention I’m seeing STAR WARS later?) – YES.

Right, where were we?


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God this makes some sombre reading. One could argue that we’ve come so far in the realms of equality but when you read this, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d been going in reverse.

Read this and remind yourselves just how many times people just GOT IT WRONG on so many levels throughout 2015. Go on, I dare you.

Oh, and if you ever see something resembling anything even barely close to any of this: CALL. IT. OUT.


PS. Who you gonna call?


Game changer? Possibly the start of one.


So this is only in testing phase in some parts of the United States but the whole FACEBOOK MESSENGER WILL EAT YOUR LIVES thing (see Thing 4, here) is slowly coming to pass (and do please expect more of this in 2016).

In short: if you’re in the test group, you can type an address in Messenger, tap that address to see an Uber quote, then book said Uber to that address, and then track /travel etc… all without leaving Messenger.


We live in interesting times, my friends.

Ps. There’s a video too.



If you’re buying one for yourself or for someone else this Christmas, of if you know someone buying one for themselves or for someone else then please do pay attention to what I’m about to tell you:

If you’re gifting or getting any of the big three consoles this Christmas – aka: a PS4, an Xbox One, or a Wii U – I would 100% recommend OPENING THE BOX and installing all updates before wrapping it up / opening it on Christmas Day.

Here’s why:

  1. A LOT of people will be getting consoles at Christmas – the servers, for all of them, will be overloaded and it will take a LONG time to download 30GB+ of updates across each one.
  2. Servers could even go down (last year, both Sony and Microsoft suffered attacks from hackers throughout the holiday period).
  3. You will want your console to work RIGHT AWAY and not have to wait for many, many hours/days to get it up and running.

So please – if you’ve got a console under that tree, do this.

You’ll thank me on Christmas Day.

H/T Lifehacker.


Bonuses this week are:

  • Christmas Party pain kicking in? Maybe you need a visit to the hangover clinic. And yes, if any of you have spent enough time with me you would’ve heard my pitch for a similar idea. This kind of gets most of the way but not completely in line with my overall vision for a hangover shop but hey, there’s still time.
  • The first annual ‘Comedy Wildlife Awards’ came out this week and they are ALL amazing. Go, laugh, and enjoy.
  • JackFA80 is new to Instagram but he’s one of the most respected mens’ style voices in the agency. Do me a favour and go follow him – he’s going places.


And that, ladies and gents, is that. My hangover from last night’s Christmas party is kicking in so, for now at least…

Whatley out, x


PS. Got feedback? Reply, tweet, or comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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Five things on Friday #154

Things of note for the week ending December 11th, 2015.

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Today, at the time of writing, is Friday.

Aren’t Fridays are amazing?


OK, so I don’t actually use this product* but after reading about this latest update, I’m kinda tempted to start. If you’ve not used it before, the iOS and Android app known as Pocket is a read it later service that lets you save stuff for reading… you guessed it… later.

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But this is not news.

(if it is – yay! I’ve just changed your life for the better! (But for reals, this app/service has been around for time))

The NEWsworthy part of why I’m telling you about this is that Pocket has just rolled out a brand new feature that everso reminds me of the halcyon days of GOOGLE READER (remember those?) – check it:

Millions of people – including your friends, tastemakers, and the writers and editors behind the stories you love – have already been using Pocket to curate the best, most interesting stories on the Web. And starting today, you can follow them to see what they’re publicly recommending as being worthy of your time and attention.


If you’ll recall, the best thing about Google Reader was the fact that you could follow and subsequently be recommended articles from people you know/love/enjoy and basically swim in the amazing and curated content recommendations from the smart people in your life.

And now Pocket does that too.

I might give it a whirl.

You should too.


Oh my God this is so achingly beautiful is probably my most favourite this week.

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This short film (3mins) is made up entirely from photographs taken the Project Apollo Archive and is worth your time right now.

Just watch it.


This thing was found via the rather wonderful Mental Floss (check it out – if you fancy losing HOURS of your life). Basically, it’s Sir Ian McKellan being fantastic (in the year I was born, no less) and giving an ‘in studio masterclass’ on how brought one of Macbeth’s soliloquies most famous to life.

Got 12mins? Go watch.

Honestly, it’s wonderful.


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Your year in review.

Done it yet? YOU SHOULD.

Wanna know mine? YOU DO? OK!

Track one for 2015?

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Great song.

Speaking of great songs.

Most streamed track

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Such a good album.

Also, these are my most listened to genres this year –

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Like what? INDIETRONICA?! How is that a even a thing?!

Well, it is.

And there’s a cracking playlist too!

Now go do yours.

Off you pop.


The wonderful people at Dark Star sent me a box of alcohol yesterday (just in time for the [first] Ogilvy Christmas part – amazing). You’ve all learnt this by now, right? Send me FREE STUFF and the chances are it’ll appear on this newsletter/mailshot/post thing.



A lovely pale ale and yes, that’s right, a CRÈME BRÛLÉE flavoured beer as well. It’s insanely good. Admittedly the feedback was varied but still – I liked it.


(all of you must now go buy / drink some – etc)

Abi Titmuss everybody!


Bonuses this week are thus:

OK, and we’re done.

But for real guys – IT’S THE WEEKEND!


have a great

Until next time,

Whatley out.

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Five things on Friday #153

Things of note for the week ending Friday December 4th, 2015.

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Oh, hi December.

Shall we?



I am – would you believe – a fan of the understatement. That said, I am also achingly guilty of a number of things laid out in this wonderfully on point article from the NYT.

It begins –

“The text exchange was unspectacular: a friend explaining a video that had been posted by a classmate to his Snapchat feed. Jordana Narin, my 20-year-old research assistant, was half paying attention, sitting in my living room working on a project, texting between breaks.

“Omg literally dying,” she typed back, not missing a beat. She turned back to her computer.

But Jordana wasn’t literally dying. She wasn’t figuratively dying, either. In fact, she didn’t even crack a smile.

“I don’t even know what she’s talking about,” she told me when I asked. “I want to be like, ‘I don’t care.’”

But instead, she typed what to some may seem like the most dramatic response imaginable. Except that it wasn’t.”

The whole thing is so good, I can’t even.

Read it.


This is up there with NASA saying they found water on Mars. In a week where the Zuck announces a 99% giveaway of his really-actually-quite-well-hard-earned wonga to [mainly] charitable organisations‘philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good’ – you could almost be forgiven for missing this other huge and potentially world-changing investment…

From this guy (and his pals).



No, this isn’t about Game of Thrones (but hey, six months to go [oh, and if you know where to look – the first trailer just dropped – woop! – but this isn’t about that]!) this is for those of you suffering with a blocked up nose or cold right now (like me, last weekend).

Here’s a one minute video featuring two handy tips on how to clear a blocked up nose INSTANTLY.

The first one is super weird and makes you feel like a nincompoop but it 100% works – legit.

It’s actual magic.


The first full trailer for this quasi-sequel to Man of Steel dropped a couple of days ago. It pretty much gives away almost the entire plot and also the big bad (which hitherto had only been rumoured).

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So if you’re up for and want to know nothing: avoid it.

But if you don’t care and fancy it, it’s here.


This is my favourite thing this week.

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Lee and Luke are back. What was once known as ‘The Art of Dancing’ has mutated into #Dancember. It’s still two amazing men dancing in the best possible way to some of the greatest music ever made but this time it’s for charity.

It is the best advent calendar I’ve ever seen.

And it will be your favourite too.

Go see.



Bonuses this week are a variety of articles that have been open in my tabs as the days ticked by; here they are for your enjoyment –

And that’s this week’s Five things on Friday.

Y’all have a good weekend.

Whatley out.



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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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