Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Desert Utopia: Mid-Century Architecture in Palm Springs

The small town of Palm Springs, was once the creative playground to several great architects such as William Krisel, E. Stewart Williams and Albert Frey.

In the film Desert Utopia: Mid-Century Architecture in Palm Springs by Jake Gorst, we get to see rare archival images and footage from this very special era, together with interviews with some of these great architects, homeowners and historians, and learn more about the preservation issues that face the region today.

Featured image: The Tramway Gas Station designed by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers. Via Modern Design Interior.

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Hedge Fund Manager Ray Dalio's Principles

Ray Dalio, president of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, runs his business in a manner I'm not that used to hear about. Three years ago, Ray wrote down a set of 295 principles, which now serve as signposts for his employees:

Mr. Dalio's basic philosophy is what he calls "hyper-realism," a notion that brutal honesty, no matter how uncomfortable, yields the best results. Principle No. 8: "There is nothing to fear from truth....Being truthful is essential to being an independent thinker and obtaining greater understanding of what is right."

At Bridgewater, being truthful also requires being a bit ruthless. Employees aren't allowed to talk critically about someone unless the person is present. Principal No. 11: "Never say anything about a person you wouldn't say to him directly. If you do, you are a slimy weasel." If an employee breaks the rule three times, they can be fired.

"Most people actually love this rule,'' says Mr. Dalio.

Recordings of company meetings are stored electronically in what some employees call a "transparency library," and many can be listened to by any of the firm's 1,000 employees.


At a recent staff meeting in a Bridgewater conference room, Mr. Dalio blasted a department head who admitted he'd given an employee a better performance rating than he deserved. "Telling me what I want to hear creates a sugar addiction," said Mr. Dalio, who was wearing chinos, boat shoes and a company name badge with the word "Ray" in big letters.

You find a copy of his principles here.

Featured image: Via Dealbreaker.

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Bikes vs. Cars: The New Documentary by Bananas!* Director Fredrik Gertten

Bikes vs. Cars is the new documentary by Bananas!* director Fredrik Gertten. It's due for release spring 2015.

Growing up and living in Sweden, the hostile environment and the opposition some cyclists in the documentary find themselves in, seem very foreign to me. In this regard, Sweden is much more like Denmark.

This is truly one important documentary and I eagerly wait for its release.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Miami Vice Score: How It Was Made

Jan Hammer talks to Rolling Stone about writing tropical music in a snowy New York for the 80's TV show Miami Vice, the pressure of having to write large pieces of score for every episode and still keeping it fresh, and being creatively free:

For the four years that I worked on the show, yes. I would usually get a rough cut of the episode, with some of the [licensed] songs already placed in. Sometimes I was able to work in and out of those songs, and make transitions. Sometimes I'd just go off on whatever struck me. I never read the script. Getting caught up in the excitement of the story — that's how I was able to get inspired writing music for it.

The pilot, however, was done more of the old-fashioned way. I was in L.A. with Michael in the screening room, deciding where the music would go. When we finished, Michael took me aside and said, "When the show gets picked up, I want you to run with this." That was the password for me to be totally free. I was able to decide what kind of music to write, and where to place it in the story — how to drive the narrative. It's very unusual and I'm very grateful for him, as he said, letting me "run with it."

Jan Hammer on Dutch television with one of my favorite tracks, Crockett's Theme:

Featured image: Jan Hammer during a Fairlight Q and A. Via Fairlight.

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The Pocket Pizza Journal

The Pocket Pizza Journal from Scott's Pizza Tours makes it easy to capture your best pizza moments.

Printed in Portland, Oregon with vegetable-based inks on 100% recycled paper.

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The Man Behind the Twitter Sensation UberFacts

Starting out in 2009 while in college, Kris Sanchez's persistent work with his Twitter account UberFacts has now turned into serious business:

UberFacts might seem like one of those deceptively simple ideas that we all could have thought of, had we been thinking about deceptively simple ideas that would take off on Twitter. But the art of the brand is more than just coming up with oddball trivia and shaving it down to 140 characters. Sanchez has a unique style that is itself deceptively simple, as well as a knack for coming up with facts that walk the line between totally unbelievable and just believable enough. Sample: "Blue whales are so big that a human can swim through their largest veins and arteries."

He is also a keen student of how the web works.

Says Jones [Scott Jones, the CEO of ChaCha]: “Kris only had 200,000 followers when we first met. And in just a matter of a few years, he’s grown that to 7 million. The real trick he pulled off is, he’s tweeting at the right times, and tweeting stuff that resonates. He pays attention to the engagement level of his audience, and he tweets more of the stuff that works and less of the stuff that doesn’t work.”

Featured image: Kris Sanchez via the UberFacts site.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Saipancakes: Not Your Ordinary Pancakes

This dad started to make silly pancakes to entertain his kids while living in Saipan. Some pancakes later and he has definitely turned this into serious art.

The Beatles pancakes:

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Bubble Gum Pink Lake in Western Australia

The water in Lake Hillier located in Western Australia looks like bubble gum pink when seen from above. It's currently not entirely known why the water is pink, but one guess is that it's caused by dye created by some organisms or due to red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts. Reminds me of the toxic soda lakes I've written about previously.

SciShow gives us the details:

Featured image: Via Found the World.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

25 Years Later: 9 New Episodes of Twin Peaks to Be Shown on Showtime in 2016

David Lynch and Mark Frost will start shooting 9 episodes of Twin Peaks in 2015:

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How to Use Essential Oils

A Cup of Jo has compiled a great little list on how to use essential oils, everything from how to create your very own fragrance to how to get your vacuum cleaner to smell fresh.

Featured image: Photos by Kate Jordan for A Cup of Jo.

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