Thursday, August 4, 2016

Gerd Ludwig's Photo Series 'Sleeping Cars': The Secret Lifes of Cars

In photographer Gerd Ludwig's photo series "Sleeping Cars", cars are something more than just ordinary objects, they are full of life with a strong presence all of their own.

There are more than seven million registered vehicles in Los Angeles County, California/USA. Images of traffic jams are omnipresent. But where do all those cars go to rest? These photographs examine where LA cars are spending their nights.

In middle-class neighborhoods people often have 1-2 car garages but rather use them for storage. So cars are left on the streets to park overnight, often getting covered during holidays, or when their owners are out of town.

The series shows cars that have a presence. They command their space. They are mostly loners and shy away from being too close to others. Many sleep in covers, wearing them like nightgowns, though some sleep in the nude. Some take daytime naps, a few lucky ones sleep in pairs.

Sunset Plaza Drive #5, 2012:

Appian Way, 2012:

Los Feliz Boulevard, 2012:

Van Ness Avenue, 2012:

Featured image: Beatrice Street, 2012.

Via Lens Culture.

'Trump: What's the Deal?': The Resurfaced Documentary That Donald Trump Doesn't Want You to See

Elements of extortion, poor working conditions, exaggerations and dissatisfied and overcharged tenants – it's all here in the resurfaced documentary "Trump: What's the Deal?" that Donald Trump successfully managed to prevent from airing 25 years ago until now.

The film was commissioned in 1988 by Leonard Stern as the first of a series on celebrity businessmen and finished in 1991. Back then, the only way for a film to be seen was on television or in the theater. Donald threatened to sue any broadcaster or distributor that took on the film. In effect, it was suppressed. It was screened twice in back-to-back standing room only showings at the Bridgehampton Community House on July 3, 1991, the same day that Donald announced his engagement to Marla Maples.

Rent or buy "Trump: What's the Deal?" on Amazon, Vimeo or iTunes.

It's currently also on YouTube (the documentary begins at the 5 seconds mark):

I have mentioned this excellent documentary in passing in an earlier post, but find it such an important watch that I want to remind about it once again. Especially since Trump's business ethics looks the same in British filmmaker Anthony Baxter's documentary "You've Been Trumped" (2011). See Baxter's full version below.

Soothing Footage of Dry Ice Pellets

Watch and hear the relaxing and soothing footage of dry ice pellets presented by the Wryfield Lab.

Want more from Wryfield Lab? Why not listen to the relaxing sounds of sparkling water.

Best-selling Author Stephen King's Best Advices on Writing

Inc. Magazine's columnist Glenn Leibowitz shares some of the best nuggets of writing advice found in best-selling author Stephen King's memoir "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" (2000).

Update: Do the following Google search to read the article without having to registrate.

16 years ago, King shared everything he knows about writing in a book that instantly became a bestseller: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Part memoir, part codification of his best writing strategies, the book has become a classic among writers.

I discovered -- and devoured -- it a dozen years ago, when I was trying to take my writing to the next level. I recommend it to all of my writer friends.


4. Write for your Ideal Reader.

"Someone -- I can't remember who, for the life of me -- once wrote that all novels are really letters aimed at one person. As it happens, I believe this.

I think that every novelist has a single ideal reader; that at various points during the composition of a story, the writer is thinking, 'I wonder what he/she will think when he/she reads this part?' For me that first reader is my wife, Tabitha... Call that one person you write for Ideal Reader."

5. Read a lot.

"Reading is the creative center of a writer's life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows. Waiting rooms were made for books -- of course! But so are theater lobbies before the show, long and boring checkout lines, and everyone's favorite, the john."

Featured image: Stephen King at his home in '85 photographed by Raeanne Rubenstein. Via Dish Magazine.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A 'Night Guy': President Obama Is Used to Long Hours in the Office and Lack of Sleep

The piece "Obama After Dark: The Precious Hours Alone" in The New York Times, gives you a small glimpse into the demanding work that is required by a sitting president, where long hours in the office and lack of sleep seem to be something ordinary.

There is time, too, for fantasy about what life would be like outside the White House. Mr. Emanuel, who is now the mayor of Chicago but remains close to the president, said he and Mr. Obama once imagined moving to Hawaii to open a T-shirt shack that sold only one size (medium) and one color (white). Their dream was that they would no longer have to make decisions.

During difficult White House meetings when no good decision seemed possible, Mr. Emanuel would sometimes turn to Mr. Obama and say, "White." Mr. Obama would in turn say, "Medium."

Now Mr. Obama, who has six months left of solitary late nights in the Treaty Room, seems to be looking toward the end. Once he is out of the White House, he said in March at an Easter prayer breakfast in the State Dining Room, "I am going to take three, four months where I just sleep."

Image credit: Photography by Callie Shell.

Hedge Fund Manager Ray Dalio In Conversation About Leadership and Transcendental Meditation

In this interview conducted by Laurence Freeman, director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, hedge fund manager Ray Dalio talks about the importance and the many benefits of his daily practice of Transcendental Meditation and how it can enhance both creativity and productivity in the workplace, along with better leadership and a much nicer working atmosphere.

Argentine Professional Footballer Lionel Messi Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Tax Fraud

Today, a Spanish court sentenced Argentine footballer Lionel Messi to 21 months in prison for tax fraud.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner and his father Jorge were handed the same sentence by a Spanish court, but it is understood that neither will serve time behind bars.

Under Spanish law, sentences less than two years can be suspended, so it is likely that Messi will remain out of jail unless he repeats the offence.

Featured image: Messi leaves court in Barcelona after testifying. Via Sky Sports.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Dashuhua: Chinese Fireworks Created by Molten Iron

Dashuhua is a 500 year-old tradition practiced by blacksmiths in the Chinese village Nuanquan, in which molten iron is thrown against a city wall, resulting in a beautiful show of sparkling lights.

The tradition started when blacksmiths found the sparks to be beautiful and to be a good alternative for the city's poor families who couldn't afford fireworks and firecrackers, but instead could contribute with scrap iron.

Filmmaker and journalist Max Duncan writes:

Poor blacksmiths in the town of Nuanquan, in Hebei's Yu county, found that if they hurled molten iron at the old city wall, it exploded in a shower of sparks in the cold night air. They donned sheepskins and straw hats to protect themselves, and used spoons made of hard willow wood to hurl the iron.

The practice, which produced showers of sparks like a leafy tree canopy, came to be known as dashuhua (打树花), which roughly translates as "throwing tree fireworks."

While the rich bought expensive fireworks and firecrackers for the Lunar New Year, the poor pooled scrap iron to give the blacksmiths, and the performance became the centrepiece of the community's celebrations.

Via Holy Kaw.

The Documentary '' (2001): Behind-the-scenes Footage From the Building of a Tech Start-up

The documentary "" (2001) gives an interesting behind-the-scenes look that depicts the hard work involved in building the dot-com startup company Govworks (govWorks), founded by high-school friends Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and Tom Harman in 1998.

Govworks sought to provide citizens with a service that enabled them to manage city services online such as paying traffic tickets. The company raised $60 million in venture capital during its three years of operations, until it was affected negatively by the 2000 dot-com bubble and went bankrupt.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

'Canada – The True North': Breathtaking Drone Footage of the Canadian Landscape

Presented by Man And Drone, drone footage of the magnificent and breathtaking landscapes of British Columbia, Alberta and Yukon.

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