Five things on Friday #92

Things of note for the week ending October 3rd, 2014.

Happy Friday


1. Other Valleys
I love a good newsletter, me. So much so in fact that you can even get this wonderful post as a newsletter every week if you were so inclined (although about 200 of you already know that – hi fans!). But this item isn’t about me. No no. It’s about Anjali Ramachandran. Or more specifically, Anjali’s rather awesome new newsletter, ‘Other Valleys‘.

The pitch is simple:

A short list of creative/technology ideas, sent weekly, that are by and large NOT from the US/UK/EU. Inspiration can strike from many other places (the multiple Other Valleys spread across the world), and I like to know about them. Now you can too.

Go subscribe.

It might change your life.

2. Fashion Week
Yeah I’m a little late on this one and, truth be told, I’d completely forgotten about it. But I was cleaning out the Chrome tabs on my mobile the other day and I came across this absolute gem of an article: ‘I DRESSED LIKE AN IDIOT AT LONDON FASHION WEEK TO SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO GET STREET SNAPPED’.


This is just one amazing quote of about five million –

Anyone with a smartphone and a pair of socks can be a fashion blogger. Put some clothes on, take a photo of yourself, upload it to Instagram (tagged with #OOTD for easy clarification) and follow it up with a picture of some ladybird nail art or a bottle of aloe vera juice. There you go: you did it!

Go read it.

You never know, you might come away looking like this –


3. Legend of the Yokai
As part of the upcoming launch of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (and as seems part of a growing trend) an art exhibition has been put together celebrating the origins of the mythical mutants and it’s actually alright.




Things that are good:

  • The artwork. I’d say about 90% of it is really quite well done.
  • All of the images are downloadable direct from the website.

Things that are bad:

  • The website UI is painful (it’s like someone has read a book on a responsively designed websites but never actually seen or used one before).
  • The website also lacks any information on the actual exhibition – one assumes that this work will be on display somewhere at some point?

Anyway, if you like the Ninja Turtles, you might like this stuff.

Legend of the Yokai.

4. Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomororw

I can’t remember if I reviewed Edge of Tomorrow or not…

(edit: I didn’t. Short version of what I could write: it’s a good sci-fi epic that is strange as it seems to exist in a world where Groundhog Day never came out (or else Tom Cruise would be running around saying ‘Guys! This is just like Groundhog Day!’) but actually very good as the writing is snappy and the cast is eminently watchable)

…but the above poster is kind of awesome, which is why I’m sharing it.

via this expletive URL.

Oh and the film is out to buy in like, ten days. And it’s been renamed ‘Live. Die. Repeat.‘ – which is much better.

5. Gratify
We live in a world of instant gratification. Don’t know something? Google it. Post a photo? People LIKE it. Someone messages you? The outside of your thigh buzzes and sends a signal up to your brain. The dopamine hits, they’re addictive.

But too much of a good thing can be a very bad thing.

I talk about Leo Babuta on this list a fair bit. He’s probably one my favourite sources of good reading and inspiration. Today is no different. If you’re feeling addicted, then maybe it’s time to switch off. Unplug. Get over that craving of instant gratification and just relax. But I get it. You’re hooked. It’s not easy to just check your phone 200 times a day and then suddenly stop. You need help.

You need a guide on how to overcome instant gratification.

This one’s on me.


Bonuses this week are all film director related.

  • First, PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) has a new film. It’s called INHERENT VICE and the trailer has just been released. Watch it.
  • Second, DAVID FINCHER has a new film out this weekend. It’s called GONE GIRL (you might’ve heard about it – do you subscribe to my movie release date calendar? Maybe you should). I am so excited about this film it’s ridiculous. Seeing it tomorrow. Expect a review on this website at some point thereafter. Bonus Fincher quote? Oh go on then -
“People go to the movies to discover things. They want to see actors as they’ve never seen them before and to see them in situations you never imagined them in because hopefully you never imagined seeing yourself in that situation. I need that sense of discovery when I look at movies.”


  • Third: CLINT EASTWOOD also has a new film. It’s called AMERICAN SNIPER. It stars Bradley Cooper and it looks like it could be quite something; I watched the brand new trailer literally 10mins before I wrote these words. It gave me shivers.

Whatley out.

1 Comment »

Five things on Friday #91

Things of note for the week ending September 26th, 2014.


An image heavy week this week, kicking off with this utterly brilliant collection of mental photography featuring the one and only John Malkovich. Seriously.

Let’s dive in –

1. Audrey Hepburn


Speaking of amazing photography sets, I came across this collection of ‘rare’ Hepburn photos earlier this week and, well, they’re absolutely gorgeous.

Thing I learnt from this post? Audrey Hepburn had a pet deer named Pippin.


2. On Geeks
‘Geeks. You are no longer victims. Get over it.’ is the title of this provocative debate piece in last week’s New York Times (you read it regulalrly, right?) –

Popular culture right now frequently appears to be a large-scale experiment in cognitive dissonance. By any rational measure, the geeks — fans of comic books, science fiction, video games and fantasy — are utterly triumphant. Economically, the genre in the media is dominant, earning billions of dollars a year. Critically, it is celebrated, getting sympathetic reviews in the stuffiest publications and winning national awards. In every meaningful sense, geeks are the overdogs.

Believe it or not, the comments are actually well worth reading

3. What is El Niño?

bad weather innit

Ever heard of El Niño? If you’re not in the US of A, it might be on the periphery of your weather-based awareness. If you’ve got a spare two minutes and seventeen seconds, you could increase your knowledge of the meteorological phenomenon right now by watching this video.

4. Zelda Art
If you’re a gamer of any shape or form, then you’ll probably agree that set of original Legend of Zelda this is unbelievably cool.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 12.44.54 42 - Emj91


5. Mark Ritson on Oreo
Mark Ritson is a professor of brand and one of the smartest people I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. If you’ve known me for a while, I may’ve shared this with you before.

What with it being the end of Social Media Week, I thought it was a good time to share to again. This deconstruction of that Oreo Tweet is utterly fantastic. It’s 90mins long but I implore you – watch it, listen to it, put it on your Chromecast this weekend, or have it playing in the background while you work this afternoon.

Just consume it, and take it in.


No bonuses this week.

Whatley out.

No Comments »

Five things on Friday #90

Things of note for the week ending September 19th, 2014.


1. Sennheiser Urbanites


Featuring the German ‘Ultimate Love of Ears’, this has to be the oddest ad I’ve seen all week.

Obviously I’m sharing it with you.

Sorry not sorry.

2. A complete summary of 17 years of X-Men comics
Doesn’t matter if you’re a fan or not, this Reddit write up of [nearly] everything that’s happened in the X-Universe since its inception is pretty darn awesome.

3. In praise of Fincher’s women
Little White Lies is a fantastic film magazine. I cannot express this enough: Little White Lies is a fantastic film magazine. Bizarrely, I only recently discovered that it actually produces web content too. One of those pieces (titled above) is an excellent read:

A formalist with a forensic eye for detail (and no patience for wading through emotional sludge), David Fincher holds his characters at arm’s length – perhaps all the better to see them in their entirety. Most of these characters are men; Fincher is, after all, a man’s man with a particular predilection for stories about fraternity in crisis (The Game, Zodiac, The Social Network) and the crumbling framework of masculinity in a late-capitalist society (Fight Club, The Social Network and – we think – Gone Girl). However, that is not to say that Fincher’s women are shrinking violets.

Covering off everything from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo all the way back to nods to Alien 3, this article is a celebration of the interesting, complicated, and just plain subversive female characters Fincher commits to celluloid.

Read it.

4. An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words
Lost in Translation‘ is a collection of drawings illustrating words that don’t exist in English (I’ve covered something like this before) and I really, really I like them.




I’m just pouring out my tretår now… :)


Book available at Amazon.

5. Ask the Past
I found this gem in a collection of niche blogs that I came across last week. Ask the Past is basically a blog set up to collate all the best advice it can find from old books.


How to keep your cat (1470):
“If you have a good cat and you don’t want to lose it, you must rub its nose and four legs with butter for three days, and it will never leave the house.”


Cat owners, does this work?


Bonus items this week:

  • Race the Tube started out as item number one this week but so many people have seen it now I relegated it to a bonus item. Still, worth seeing if you’ve not seen it yet (it is rather good).
  • Beyond Contempt is ‘the inside story of the phone hacking trial’ – here’s a PDF of the first chapter.
  • Legendary Engram on Twitter. This is a Destiny thing (yes, another one). Play Destiny? You’ll love this. Don’t play Destiny? You’ll have no idea what it’s about.
1 Comment »
Tags: ,

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 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


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.



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 –


But the whole article is worth reading.



Bonuses this week are all music-related:

Until next week.

No Comments »

Five things on Friday #88

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


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.



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


Happy Friday everyone.


Bonuses this week are all massively self-obsessed:


Until next week.


No Comments »