Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dancing with Cats: 15th Anniversary Hardcover Edition

The book Dancing with Cats by writer Burton Silver and photographer Heather Busch, celebrates its 15th anniversary with a reissued hardcover edition.

Hmmm, I´m not sure if this is for fun or for real (from Heather's website):

All around the world today, people are rediscovering the ancient practice of cat dancing, tapping into this remarkable method of channeling feline energy.

Share the gift of feline grace, and connect with your cat on an intirely new level. Let yourself be inspired by the joyous photographs and moving testimonials within this books pages. A brave leap forward in the history of human-feline relations, Dancing With Cats will have you and your cat jumping for joy in no time.

Featured image: Via book wholesaler Hardie Grant Gift.

Via @Choire thanks to

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The Wall Dogs of New York

The term wall dog comes from the way sign-painters are chained to a wall by a safety line much like a dog on a leash. In this video we meet some of New York's wall dogs, responsible for all the beautiful and gigantic murals around the city:

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Vic Clinco Is the Go-to Guy for Hot Chilli Sauce

Vic Clinco has probably one of the world's largest private collections of hot chilli sauce. Having collected bottle's ever since his wife bought him 12 bottles as a Christmas gift back in 1996, the growing collection now consists of nearly 6000 bottles:

In his collection is an extremely rare pair of 'Adam and Eve' sauces from CaJohn’s Fiery Foods and one of his 'prized additions' is two bottles of Blair’s Calderas (caldera means volcanic cauldron) that are incredibly hard to find. Blair’s also makes the Guinness World Record-certified hottest sauce on the planet – the Caldera 16 Mil. This is short for 16 million Scoville units. Scoville units measure the pungency and spiciness of chilli peppers. And of course Vic managed to get his hands on a bottle. Apparently there are only 499 bottles in existence and on specialist hot sauce websites, a bottle sells for almost £3,000.

Vic said: “To put how hot that is in perspective, 11 million Scoville units is hotter than most police pepper sprays in the States – they mostly range from between 2 Mil and 9 Mil. “It is actually not even a true sauce, it’s in crystallised form, pretty darn cool.

Vic says this his most expensive bottle is worth about $900 (£580) – a one-of-a-kind – and the most he has ever paid for a bottle is $400 (£260). [...]

Image credit: Barcroft Media

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Monday, September 15, 2014

The Observer: A Short Film About Stalker Photography

In Alex's images, the people are unaware of having had their picture taken because she´s doing something called stalker photography. Filmmaker MP Cunningham captures her rare form of photography in the film The Observer:

I was introduced to Alex about a year ago through a mutual friend. I had heard about a "stalker photographer" from a couple people and was pretty intrigued. After about a two month process of trying to get her to sit down with me she finally agreed to tell her story. I was pretty blown away. Seeing the world through her eyes has been a unique experience to say the least. Her photos are unreal. Can't say I completely agree with her craft but its very beautiful in its own way. [...]

I'm not entirely convinced that this is a true story and that the girl in the film is the real Alex, but nevertheless I find the film and story intriguing:

Here is an interview with MP Cunningham made by Directors Notes.

You find more of Alex's photography here.

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Record Producer Rick Rubin Talks to Rolling Stone Magazine About Transcendental Meditation

American record producer Rick Rubin talks at lenght with Rolling Stone Magazine about the practice of Transcendental Meditation, creativity, making music and odd studio times:

How did you get interested in transcendental meditation?
When I was 14 years old, I went to see my pediatrician, the doctor who delivered me, because my neck hurt when I went to school. He said, incredibly for his day, that it was stress and I needed to learn to meditate. As he said it, I remember thinking, My parents aren't going to go for this. But they said, "Oh, well, if that's what the doctor says."


Did TM work for you?
I can't remember how it affected my neck issues, but it definitely affected my life. I did it from when I was 14 until I was going to NYU. Maybe stopping was a backwards version of trying to find out who I was — meditating was part of my family life, even though nobody else in my family did it.

After I moved to California, I decided I was going to start again, after not doing TM for five years. To actually start took months: it seemed like a very big decision. From the first meditation back, I realized that the person I am was shaped by the experience of the years of meditation. I feel like I can see deeply into things in a way that many of the people around me don't, or can't


Are there times when you're in the studio with somebody and you think they'd benefit from learning TM?
[...] There's a great deal of bullshit that people think about when they make music, things that don't matter. TM kind of wipes that away, and you focus on the real job at hand, as opposed to thinking about what the management wants, or what the record company's saying, or what somebody at a radio station might think.

Here is a short film made by Alison Chernick with Rick talking about being in harmony, the power of music, creativity and silence:

Featured image: Portrait of Rick (unable to find photo credit).

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Friday, September 12, 2014

99 Locations of New York City

OK, here we go! Let´s visit 99 locations of New York City in less than two minutes:

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The Verge´s Documentary About the Infamous Sweat Lodge Incident in 2009

The Verge has made an important mini-documentary about motivational speaker James Arthur Ray´s infamous sweat lodge incident that tragically killed three people back in 2009.

One of the many bizzare facts surrounding this retreat is the one about the Peruvian ponchos. When the participants went out into the desert for the vision quest exercise that would last for 36 hours, in which they don´t intake any water or food, Ray offered them to buy ponchos for $250 in addition to the sleeping bags they already brought. Reading about this, you should be aware of that some had paid close to $10.000 to sign up for the retreat. So, show me the money!

Here is Verge´s lenghty article that accompany the documentary.

Update: After now having read the full piece, it´s so full of sickening details that I considered to delete the part about the ponchos for obvious reasons.

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The Marketing Behind Heroin Bags

Scottish photographer Graham MacIndoe´s former addiction gave rise to the photo series All In: Buying Into The Drug Trade in which he displays heroin baggies that carried the dope he used. Not only were the bags visually interesting, they also had selling power due to their product names:

The glassine heroin bags in Graham MacIndoe’s photos have been emptied of their poison, removed from their context and illuminated in a professional’s studio, but they remain powerfully haunting. They become even more so when you learn MacIndoe shot all the junk those bags once contained.

MacIndoe’s been clean about four years. But he’s kept those bags because, even in the depths of his addiction, he saw something compelling about their names and logos. Even drug dealers understand the power of branding, and these crude efforts at it summarize the drug world MacIndoe inhabited for five years. “The promises that some of the baggies offered was just really intriguing,” he says. “References in the names reflected the addict’s illusions of grandeur (So Amazing, Rolex, High Life) but also the insidious destructive nature of drugs and the ultimate end game (Flatliner, Dead Medicine, Killa).”

Via Boing Boing.


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Toolman of Productivity

David Allen is the productivity consultant who´s given us the work-life management system Getting Things Done. In this footage from inside his office, David takes us through his own system setup and the tools he uses:

If you´re like me and this feels a bit overwhelming, read about personal development pioneer Earl Nightingale´s thoughts about time management and John Zeratsky´s "Post-it" time management technique.

Via Lifehacker.

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Steve Jobs: The Iconic Photograph by Diana Walker

The above photograph of Steve Jobs was taken at his home in Los Gatos, California in 1982 by Diana Walker when working for TIME. The following quote by Steve has been linked to this image:

This was a very typical time. I was single. All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and that's what I had.

And when Steve listened to music, his preferred sound format was the vinyl record:

[...] Neil Young said in 2012, “Steve Jobs was a pioneer of digital music. But when he went home, he listened to vinyl.”

This wasn’t a just wealthy man indulging in some hipster fantasy. Jobs’s analog roots ran deep, stretching back to at least to 1982. That’s when photographer Diana Walker snapped this candid portrait of him in his Woodside, California home. Other than the Tiffany lamp, the room’s only furnishings are a clutch of stereo components and a small stack of vinyl LPs. The shiny boxes loom large in the background like sacred totems, which is precisely what they were to Jobs. They embodied everything he held dear in high-end industrial design: clean lines, quality materials and workmanship, outstanding performance–price be damned. Although he would eventually upgrade to far more exotic equipment, like six-figure Wilson Audio speakers, this old school rig is still considered serious audio porn today. [...]

For the curious, if you were to put together this same stereo rig today by picking up the components on the used market, it would cost about $8,200 — not including the records.


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