Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A New Episode of "The Norden": Can the Maximum Security Attica Prison Become a More Harmonious Place?

In the very successful and beloved documentary series "The Norden", we get a good insight into the Nordic welfare model and the Nordic society from an outsider's point of view (you can watch all the epsiodes of "The Norden" here).

The creators of the series has now released yet another episode called "Breaking the Cycle". In this episode, the deputy warden Jan Strømnes from Norway's maximum-security prison Halden Prison travels to Attica Correctional Facility, a maximum security New York State prison, with the hope that some of the principles that Halden Prison is using, will be implemented at this place as well, making it a more harmonious place for both prisoners and employees.

Watch the trailer:

"Breaking the Cycle" (excerpt):

"Breaking the Cycle" (full episode):

The Swedish Bird Whisperer Who Can Replicate the Sound of 120 Bird Species

Andreas Hansen from Sweden who also is called Andris Fågelviskare (Andris Bird Whisperer), can replicate the sound of 120 bird species. Here, he demonstrates a few of them:

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Comeback of the Vintage IBM Think Notepad

Thomas J. Watson, the founder of the technology company IBM, considered the thought as "the father of every advance since time began".

So, when he joined the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (later to be renamed International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924, he incorporated the "Think" motto throughout the company, which got printed on objects like desk signs and notepads.

When Thomas J. Watson joins the Computer-Tabulating Recording Company -- the forerunner of today's IBM -- in 1914, he brings with him the "Think" motto he coined when he managed the sales and advertising departments at the National Cash Register Company. "Thought," he says, "has been the father of every advance since time began. 'I didn't think' has cost the world millions of dollars." Soon, the one-word slogan "THINK" appears in large block-letter signs in offices and plants throughout the company.

I learned about these notepads back in 2009, and during the last couple of years, I have managed to get hold of a few Think notepads from Ebay.

Via Staples Promotional Products, you can now order a Think notepad from the IBM Logostore that looks very similar to the original. The notepad is part of the Think Collection that offers a wide range of office materials.

World Happiness Report 2017: The Happiest People In the World Are Now Norwegians

Today, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) released their annual World Happiness Report, a survey of the state of global happiness. This year, the Danes is ranked the second happiest people in the world. Can it be due to their export of the concept of hygge?!

I feel grateful for living in Sweden, but at the same time feel sad because of obvious reasons.

Norway has jumped from 4th place in 2016 to 1st place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. […]

The data that has been collected from all the countries is then translated to an average score on a scale running from 0 to 10.

  • 1. Norway (7.537)
  • 2. Denmark (7.522)
  • 3. Iceland (7.504)
  • 4. Switzerland (7.494)
  • 5. Finland (7.469)
  • 6. Netherlands (7.377)
  • 7. Canada (7.316)
  • 8. New Zealand (7.314)
  • 9. Australia (7.284)
  • 10. Sweden (7.284)

And down the list are:

  • 146. Yemen (3.593)
  • 147. South Sudan (3.591)
  • 148. Liberia (3.533)
  • 149. Guinea (3.507)
  • 150. Togo (3.495)
  • 151. Rwanda (3.471)
  • 152. Syria (3.462)
  • 153. Tanzania (3.349)
  • 154. Burundi (2.905)
  • 155. Central African Republic (2.693)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Podcast 'What It Takes' Features Individuals Who Have Achieved Major Success

The podcast "What It Takes" features conversations with individuals that have achieved major success (in lack of a better description) in their profession.

These podcasts are built-up by rare interviews that The Academy of Achievement has conducted over the past 25 years.

For example, here is the episode "Ray Dalio: Maestro of the Markets" that features one of the best hedge fund managers and investors of all time.

And here is the complete interview with Ray Dalio by The Academy of Achievement from 2012:

The Story of the Typeface Futura

Here, presented by Vox, a short story about the great typeface Futura.

Via Holy Kaw.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Berkshire Hathaway's 'Secret' in How to Become Smarter: Read More

It doesn't come as a complete surprise to learn that investor Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Buffett's longtime business partner, are avid readers, but nevertheless is Farnam Street's article "The Buffett Formula — How To Get Smarter" an inspiring read.

Warren Buffett says, "I just sit in my office and read all day."

What does that mean? He estimates that he spends 80% of his working day reading and thinking.

"You could hardly find a partnership in which two people settle on reading more hours of the day than in ours," Charlie Munger commented.

When asked how to get smarter, Buffett once held up stacks of paper and said "read 500 pages like this every day. That's how knowledge builds up, like compound interest."


"Neither Warren nor I is smart enough to make the decisions with no time to think," Munger once told a reporter. "We make actual decisions very rapidly, but that's because we've spent so much time preparing ourselves by quietly sitting and reading and thinking."

HitFilm Express 4: The Free and Professional Video Editor That Is My Alternative to Filmora

A couple of days ago, after having read a comment on YouTube, I found out about this advanced and professional video editor called HitFilm Express 4. The editor is free of charge, the only thing you need to do in order to start using it is to register an account over at the HitFilm website.

Hitfilm Express lets you use all of it functions and export your project files without leaving a watermark on your exported video. In Filmora, the current video editor that I now use, you also have access to the whole program for free, but unless you buy a license, all your exported videos will carry a watermark.

I'll probably going to toogle back and forth between these two, especially since Filmora offers many great and priceworthy effects packs. However, if you're not planning to use effects extensively, I would advise you to choose HitFilm Express over Filmora since HitFilm offers many great effects and color enhancing tools that are included with their editor.

Since I've been using Filmora for awhile, it was pretty easy to get started with HitFilm Express right away. So, one tip I can give you is to install the free version of Filmora, get used to it, and then start using HitFilm Express. In that way, you'll get a much smoother start using HitFilm.

Another reason that I'll alternate between these two video editors is because of some of the functions HitFilm offers today, and that Filmora currently lacks.

  • Motion Tracking – something you can use when for example you want to overlay a moving object, like a car, with a text or graphic, or add a 3D text effect to your scenes.
  • Keying and Layer Blend Modes – lets you change how different layers interact with each other, perfect for those times you want to create a multiple exposure or double exposure effect when footage blend together.
  • Audio and Blockbuster Effects – built-in sound effects include my favorite, the telephone effect, alongside blockbuster effects such as fire, gunfire and lightning effects.
  • Composite Shots – instead of creating a scene with several layers in the editor timeline, you can create all those layers by making a composite shot (a group of layers), wich leaves you with a nice and tidy timeline while in the editor. When it's time to use your composite shots, you just drag them into the editor like the same way you would do with a video clip.
  • The Trimmer – this is a feature I really appreciate. In the trimmer window, you can decide how much of your imported clips you want to include in the editor timeline. Just choose the segment you want to include in your project and drag it into the editor while keeping the original imported clip untouched.

Upon installing HitFilm Express, it shut down when I wanted to create a new project or start editing. After a bit of research, I found out that this problem was fairly common and due to outdated graphics driver. By updating the graphics driver, this solved my issue. You can do the same easily via a software upgrade program that suits your computer model or download them manually from the manufacturer website.

HitFilm Express comes with lots of informative videos and user manuals, and YouTube is filled with additional guides put together by some of its many users.

This is a great video editor, and that it's all for free is not what you would ordinarily expect. Grab it while you can!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cinematographers Say the Interview with the Swedish Policemen in 'Stockholm Syndrome' Was Wrongfully Edited

The cinematographers who worked with filmmaker Ami Horowitz's short documentary "Stockholm Syndrome" say that the segment with the two Swedish policemen that were interviewed was wrongfully edited, and they have the raw footage to back up their claim.

"We don't stand behind it. It shocked us. He has edited the answers. We were answering completely different questions in the interview. This is bad journalism," said Anders Göranzon in an interview with DN.

The Swedish cinematographer Emil Marczak, who filmed the interview, now confirms the policemen's story. Marczak tells DN that Horowitz "time and again tried to get the policemen to agree with him".

"I would never have participated if I had known how unethically and frivolously the material would be edited. To double check that my memory is correct I have gone through the raw material and it confirms the policemen’s view of the course of events", Emil Marczak says.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

An Archive of Digitised DJ Mixtapes From the 70's and Early 80's Disco Scene

The non-profit organization S.F. Disco Preservation Society preserves and digitises DJ mixtapes from the 70's San Francisco disco era and early 80's HI-NRG (uptempo disco or electronic dance music) club scenes. What a treat!

You find the complete archive here.

Via Boing Boing.

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