Friday, November 28, 2014

The Potato Chip Bag That´s Actually Non-existent

Wow! At first sight, I thought illustrator and graphic designer Marcello Barenghi begun this illustration by outlining an existing potato chip bag because of the preview image. Such a skilled illustrator!

This is the art supplies he´s using for all his drawing videos.

Via Boing Boing and Gurney Journey.

Just Looking at Money Can Influence the Expression of Your Emotions

A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggests that we don't display our emotions that easily when we look at money:

In one of the six studies, researchers showed undergrads either ten pictures of money or of seashells (ostensibly so that they could rate the lighting and clarity of the photos), and then asked them to fill out a seemingly unrelated survey asking when it’s appropriate to keep their emotions to themselves. Those who’d seen the images of money were less likely to endorse the idea of outward emotional expression than the people who’d looked at the seashell pictures.

Other studies with similar setups showed that people with money on their minds didn’t use as many emotional words in written communication; they also were more likely to judge pictures of smiling or frowning people as more emotionally extreme. “Thinking about money increases individuals’ disposition to perceive themselves in a business-like relationship with others, in which … the expression of emotion is considered inappropriate,” the authors write. “Therefore, these individuals express less emotion in public and expect others to do likewise.”

Photo credit: Aotearoa Adventures

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Drunk Mode App

The app Drunk Mode can assist you in not making thoose calls or texts that you might regret later and "to change the lives of drunk people around the world by providing you an all in one solution for the party professional for both safety and fun". Might be good to use when emotions run high as well?!

And no, I won't tag this post with "lifestyle".

The Funnel Wall in Dresden

This funnel wall (Hof der Elemente) is located in Dresden's student district. It is said that when it rains, music will be created, but after seeing video footage (video link), I can't hear this happening. But I really do love that wall!

The "Courtyard of Elements" is one of the strangest and most enjoyable attractions in Dresden's student district in the new town. It's part of the Kunsthofpassage series of courtyards, which is an art experiment by the tenants of the apartment buildings on which the works are installed. Created by sculptor Annette Paul and designers Christoph Rossner and Andre Tempel, this piece was inspired by Rube Goldberg Machine, converting the mere patter of rainfall into a spectacular orchestral symphony.

Photo credit: Vincent Kwong.

Via Ingenium et ars.

Oliver Reed's Acting Lesson

In this clip from the BBC documentary In At The Deep End (1985), actor Oliver Reed gives journalist Paul Heiney a little lesson in acting. 01.36 min in gets me every time!

Oliver Reed was certainly an actor with a very powerful presence and persona, so I'm very glad to have found the three-part web documentary Oliver Reed: In Search of a Legend in which Oliver's son Mark Reed talks to actor Rob Crouch about his father, a most welcome contrast to some of the videos that can be found showing a rather tipsy Oliver.

Hearing Mark speak in the beginning of part 3 just makes me sad. The reality TV exploitation mindset isn't new after all, e.g. Mark mentions his dad appearance on the show "The Word" (video), when they spied on him in the green room, just cynical.

Featured image: Oliver Reed portrait by Duane Michals. Via Masters of photography.

15k for 100k Retweets

I'd love to hear what happened next:

Via @tessavanderhart.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Slash and Myles Kennedy Perform Bent to Fly on Talk Show Skavlan

Slash' and Myles Kennedy's live performance with "Bent to Fly" on talk show Skavlan is just, great!

Life Management on Richard Branson's Necker Island

When Mexican entrepreneur Salvador Abascal Álvarez visited Richard Branson on Necker Island, the trip made him reflect on how to go from, as Richard puts it, "stop doing to begin being".

I always have a to-do list: send emails, hold meetings, return calls, etc. But I have never had a to-be list: From 1pm to 2:30pm I will feel the miracle of life, from 2:30pm onwards I will be inspired, at 8pm I will enjoy being with my family (without doing anything, just being).


Last week I met a man that by being a great master at "being", can do anything. He can direct over 400 companies, operate in all five continents, plan space trips for the general public and walk around his own island in his bathing suit sharing experiences, asking questions and inspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world.

Richard Branson is a great master at "being"; he is authentically present in body and soul, he looks into your eyes, he is simple and he is having a great time. I was able to spend some time with Richard for three days. I did not see him at any moment carrying a mobile phone or in a hurry to arrive to his next appointment or activity.


My visit to Necker Island shows evidence that it is vital to make an effort to obtain the best inspiration possible from your work team. It is crucial to achieve camaraderie and a good work environment. Having a space to break the routine and surround oneself with different types of people is elementary. We observe that Richard’s inspiration system touches his own people as well as strangers, which leads me to ask myself: Where is my island? What do I usually do or what must I do to inspire my team more? And above all, what changes do I have to make in my life to stop "doing" and start "being"?

We all have our own inspiration island, that place where we stop doing to start being. For some it is their temple or parish, for others it is their family, others find it in the golf course or in the jogging track. How many do we invite into our own island? How inspired are they and we when we leave it? How often do we visit it? Do I have a beautiful island which I never visit? How can I remodel and improve my own island?

Featured image: Necker Island via The Yacht Week.

5 Healing Spices

Professor Bharat B. Aggarwal in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lists five healing spices (cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, fennel seed, ginger) that can do wonders for your health, and guides us in how to put them to good use. A while back, I wrote about the super tea which includes three of these, and I still drink this tea on a daily basis.

When I was growing up in India, spices were not just a part of every meal, they were the main medicines my family used for everyday healing. My mother cooked with brilliant yellow turmeric powder daily, but she’d also sprinkle it on a cut when I hurt myself. Or put it on my forehead when I had a fever. If I was nauseated, my mother gave me ginger to make me feel better. If I couldn’t sleep, she gave me coriander in warm milk. On sweltering summer days, she made our family a refreshing drink out of kokum, an Indian spice that would cool us off as instantly as if we were all standing under a waterfall. It seemed like almost every spice in our giant spice cabinet was a food and a medicine.


Back in 1995, when I started investigating turmeric, there were fewer than 50 published scientific studies on the healing potential of spices. Today, there are thousands. Worldwide, researchers have discovered that spices contain compounds that fight oxidation and inflammation, the two processes underlying most chronic disease. Countless studies have linked culinary spices to the prevention and treatment of more than 150 health problems. These studies have not escaped the attention of the FDA and the NIH — but our government is not acting fast enough to inform the public that the typical American diet is sorely lacking in spices. To me, it seems astonishing that spices are not even mentioned in the USDA’s food guidelines!

Many people talk about including whole foods — such as vegetables, legumes and fruits — in one’s diet, but the real secret to preventing disease and prolonging life is a diet rich in whole foods and spices.

Featured image: via WholeYum.

When Ailin Kissed Lars

When Ailin Kissed Lars is a Norwegian documentary about two kindergarteners, five-year-old Lars and his one year younger girlfriend Ailin. Despite the young age, their relationship is faced with the same emotions and phases that we as adults easily can identify with.

2famous.TV wrote a great review about the movie.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mean Tweets of Jimmy Kimmel Live

To summarize the show segment "Mean Tweets" of Jimmy Kimmel Live, you could say it's about some people's (non-)creative use of the word and then directing it to famous people on Twitter. I had a few good laughs watching this.

Tandoori Lambchop Travels 82,000 Feet Up in the Air

When time came to promote his second book Meatspace, novelist Nikesh Shukla together with graphic artist Nick Hearne, sent a tandoori lambchop 82,000 feet up in the air. What can I say other than great marketing!

When novelist Nikesh Shukla, who lives in Bristol, England, was tasked with promoting Meatspace, his second book, someone came up with the bright idea of taking the title literally. He and graphic artist Nick Hearne got a sizzling tandoori-cooked chop right off the pass at Tayyabs, an East London Punjabi restaurant where the grilled lamb happens to be a signature dish, then they drove it 119 miles to the Cotswolds, where it was affixed to an enormous helium balloon rigged with GPS and a camera and was launched into the stratosphere.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

World's First Hoverboard: Tony Hawk Tries It Out for Real This Time

Tony Hawk rides the world's first hoverboard from Hendo, and this time it's legit. This is really exciting news, and it makes me wonder what the future will hold. And yes, I've always wanted one of these after seeing hoverboards in Back to the Future 2 (video).

A while back, Tony did a hoverboard prank that drew lots of attention:

Arianna Huffington's 12 Steps to Thrive

Arianna Huffington had a rough awakening when she collapsed in her office due to sleep deprivation and burnout, a lesson we can all learn from.

In her book Thrive, she lists 12 steps that you can take to fill you with energy, and make you more present:

1. Unless you are one of the wise few who already gets all the rest you need, you have an opportunity to immediately improve your health, creativity, productivity and sense of well-being. Start by getting just thirty minutes more sleep than you are getting now. The easiest way is to go to bed earlier, but you could also take a short nap during the day -- or a combination of both.

2. Move your body: Walk, run, stretch, do yoga, dance. Just move. Anytime.

3. Introduce five minutes of meditation into your day. Eventually, you can build up to fifteen or twenty minutes a day (or more), but even just a few minutes will open the door to creating a new habit -- and all the many proven benefits it brings.

4. Listening to your inner wisdom, let go of something today that you no longer need -- something that is draining your energy without benefiting you or anyone you love. It could be resentments, negative self-talk or a project you know you are not really going to complete.

5. Start a gratitude list that you share with two or more friends who send theirs to you.

6. Have a specific time at night when you regularly turn off your devices -- and gently escort them out of your bedroom. Disconnecting from the digital world will help you reconnect to your wisdom, intuition and creativity. And when you wake up in the morning, don't start your day by looking at your smartphone. Take one minute -- trust me, you do have one minute -- to breathe deeply, or be grateful or set your intention for the day.

7. Focus on the rising and falling of your breath for ten seconds whenever you feel tense, rushed or distracted. This allows you to become fully present in your life.

8. Pick an image that ignites the joy in you. It can be of your child, a pet, the ocean, a painting you love -- something that inspires a sense of wonder. And any time you feel contracted, go to it to help you expand.

9. Forgive yourself for any judgments you are holding against yourself and then forgive your judgments of others. (If Nelson Mandela can do it, you can, too.) Then look at your life and the day ahead with newness and wonder.

10. Make small gestures of kindness and giving a habit, and pay attention to how this affects your mind, your emotions and your body.

11. During your day make a personal connection with people you might normally tend to pass by and take for granted: the checkout clerk, the cleaning crew at your office or your hotel, the barista in the coffee shop. See how this helps you feel more alive and reconnected to the moment.

12. Use a skill or talent you have -- cooking, accounting, decorating -- to help someone who could benefit from it. It'll jumpstart your transition from a go-getter to a go-giver, and reconnect you to the world and to the natural abundance in your own life.

Featured image: You find the "12 Steps to Thrive" artwork here. Available in high quality if you'd like to print and frame it.

Russell Simmons Teaches Mantra Meditation

Russell Simmons is one of many well-known people that recommend Transcendental Meditation. To my surprise, and delight, I've recently found out that he's sharing the technique, only without branding it as TM.

In his book Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All, he states in the chapter Finding Your Inner Stillness – How to Meditate the following:

Seeing that you already paid your twenty-five dollars for this book, now I'd like to throw in for free some of those "expensive" tricks they teach in the TM course. If after reading this chapter you decide that TM might make sense for you, then maybe you'll go to and sign up for the class. But what I'm going to give you now is more than enough to get started. In fact, it could be all that you'll ever need.

And this is how Russel meditate:

A lot of people ask me how to meditate, expecting it to be difficult, but it’s actually very simple. First, find a comfortable seat and set your alarm for 20 minutes. It’s very important that you are sitting comfortably. After a minute silently repeat (in your mind) the Mantra “Rum” over and over to yourself. You can do this at a fast or slow pace as you like, but repeat this mantra simply as a vibration (it has no meaning). Meditation only requires that you sit, be patient and “watch all your thoughts” as they come and go. But, you MUST be patient, patience is the key.

Don’t expect anything. You will likely lose your mantra, it will slip away and a thought will take over your mind. That’s OKAY. Finish your thought and gently go back to the mantra. In a few minutes you might experience a real calmness and if you do, your mind will notice this and rebel. But you must continue to sit and let your mind go crazy. The mind is like a monkey in a cage: When it realizes the cage will not move, it will settle. It (the mind) WILL eventually slip deeper into meditation.

Just sit, relax and repeat your mantra…. This is how you meditate.

In the video above, Russell gives a mantra meditation workshop to an audience at Google. The learning of the actual technique takes place at 52:56.

The Mantra Ram

You can also choose the mantra "Ram", which I use myself:

How I Meditate

I'd like to add something regarding my own mantra meditation practice:

  • I begin my meditation sessions with 30 seconds of silence with eyes closed.
  • Then, I start repeating the mantra effortlessly for 15-20 minutes.
  • Coming to an end, I once again sit in silence (without repeating the mantra) for 2-4 minutes before opening my eyes and resuming my daily activities.
  • No alarmclock is used. After a few sessions, your body and mind become familiar when time is up.

I can't publish this post without including Deepak Chopra's excellent talk about how to use the mantra:

Tip: See also my post "Transcendental Meditation and the Alternatives".

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Acrobats on the Empire State Building

These acrobats did some amazing feats up on the Empire State Building in August 21, 1934:

Several dates have been linked to this performance, however, the photograph from the Corbis archives is dated with the year '34.

Featured image: "Acrobats Jarley Smith (top), Jewell Waddek (left), and Jimmy Kerrigan (right) perform a delicate balancing act on a ledge of the Empire State Building in Manhattan." Copyright Bettmann/CORBIS.

Via @GeedonBruce.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Split-screen Scene in Indiscreet (1958)

This is genius filmmaking! When the movie Indiscreet came out in 1958, it wasn't accepted to even shown a married couple together in bed. To be able to film the romantic bed conversation between Cary Grant's and Ingrid Bergman's characters, film director Stanley Donen solved the dilemma by employing a split-screen effect:

As noted in a May 1958 Hollywood Citizen-News article, the film employed a split-screen effect showing Philip and Anna in their separate beds in different cities. According to the article, Donen had "two bedrooms built side by side on the sound stage, and...two separate camera and sound crews. Their operations were synchronized, but each color camera photographed only one-half of the action." Although the characters are supposed to be three hundred miles apart, the effect resulted in their appearing to be "side by side in bed." This was significant in 1958, when even married couples could not be shown together in the same bed. Because the actors could hear each other's words as they were spoken, "their emotional reactions had far more romantic impact than if the action of each split-screen half had been staged at different times." The Hollywood Reporter review describes how the act of Grant straightening his blanket in Paris appears "to conquer space by patting Bergman's London derriere." The Hollywood Citizen-News article predicted that this method "might well set a precedent for future scenes of this kind."

Via And So It Begins.

The Leadership Style of Richard Branson and Steve Jobs

Richard Branson talks to Inc. president and editor-in-chief Eric Schurenberg about his and Steve Jobs' leadership style that differed greatly.

"I have enormous admiration for what Steve Jobs achieved, but it was a very different approach," Branson tells Inc. president and editor-in-chief Eric Schurenberg in an interview. While Branson delegates the day-to-day details to someone else high up in the company so that he can focus on the greater vision for Virgin, Jobs was the exact opposite in the way he ran Apple.

"He was very hands-on, to the extent that every little single detail of an advert he was second-guessing," Branson says. "Somehow it worked. Sometimes my rules are meant to be broken."

Jobs also was known for his brusque behavior with employees and for getting heavily involved in product development and design, something that would not be an effective leadership strategy in most other companies, according to Branson.

"He was brilliant himself at a whole variety of different things, but he was not the best delegator or the best motivator of people," Branson says. "Personally, I think his approach for the vast majority of people running companies will not work."

Featured image: Richard Branson for photographic project Fishlove.

Be the Ball: Golf and Spirituality

The documentary Be the Ball by filmmaker Erik Anders Lang combines two of my interests in life: golf and spirituality.

Update: Things seem to be moving, so check out the film's YouTube playlist for updates and new material.

Film is due for release in Spring 2016.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Old Masters

The New York Time's piece Old Masters is a wonderful reading. Several men and women over the age of 80 that still are on top of their game and living very active and creative life (and why shouldn't they?), are interviewed about life, work, hindsights, the future, and so much more. Also, an essay by American writer Lewis H. Lapham.

Frederick Wiseman, filmmaker, 84:

Any advice for young filmmakers?

Marry rich.

R. O. Blechman, illustrator and author, 84:

What do you know now that you didn’t know when you were younger?

It’s important to stay with a project and not give up because it doesn’t seem to be breaking for you. Whatever it is. I’m reminded of what a Russian scientist once said: ‘‘Ice forms instantly, but the process of forming the ice is slow and invisible.’’

Carmen Herrera, painter, 99, who sold her first painting at age 89. Her work is now to be found in the Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Modern.

What was your reaction when you sold your first painting at 89?

I was never bitter. I always wished others well. I thought maybe the market would be corrupting. Without commercial success you can do what you want to do. There is freedom to be working alone. But, oh, when my work began to sell! I thought, Damn it, it’s about time!

Frank Gehry, architect, 85:

What has changed the most for you about your work since you’ve hit your 80s?

Buildings take seven years from the time you’re hired until you’re finished. There’s always that pause in my mind now when we get a new project. And then I think about it for a few minutes, and I say: ‘‘Ah, screw it! Full speed ahead.’’

Photo credit: Photographs of artist Ellsworth Kelly and painter Carmen Herrera by Erik Madigan Heck.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

I´m going to watch this! The documentary Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story tells the story about former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck's dramatic change of lifestyle when he came out as transgender woman Kristin Beck after retiring from the military.

Kristin served for over 20 years as a member of the elite special forces Navy SEALs on SEAL Team 1 as well as the United States Special Warfare Development Group – what many in the public refer to as SEAL Team 6. She retired in 2011 with the rank of Senior Chief and continued high-level clearance work for the United States government and the Pentagon. But Kristin hid her true identity throughout and after her service knowing she would lose it all if anyone were to know her secret. In 2013, a year and a half after retirement, Kristin came out publicly first on LinkedIn and on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 soon thereafter. Many friends, colleagues and family were taken by surprise.

Robert Plant Turned Down Richard Branson's £500 Million Offer to Reunite with Led Zeppelin

Robert Plant turned down an offer of £500 million offered by Sir Richard Branson to reunite and tour with Led Zeppelin for 35 concerts which would take place in three cities:

"They have tried to talk [Plant] round but there is no chance," a source said. "His mind is made up and that’s that."

"Jimmy, John and Jason signed up immediately. It was a no-brainer for them but Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it. When he said no and ripped up the paperwork he had been given, there was an enormous sense of shock."

Branson is a lifelong fan of the group and was allegedly very interested in funding the tour, offering to fly the band between venues. The band last reunited in 2007 for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London.

But according to Robert Plant's publicist, the story is "rubbish" (via UltimateClassicRock).

Update: Richard Branson sets the record straight.

Featured image: Led Zeppelin at Honolulu Airport in 1969. Photo by Robert Knight/Redferns. Via The Times.

The Art of Protesting

This made me laugh so hard! Frenchmen really do master the art of protesting. Back in high school, I saw a picture in one of my textbooks depicting farmers dumping cabbage on the street. They must have been French, or maybe Belgian, I can't remember for sure, but they're still doing it.

During a recent protest of French farmers in Marseille on November 5, 2014, demonstrators throw apples at the riot policemen. (Photo credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images)

The Frenchmen also invented something called "bossnapping": taking your boss hostage. One incident that got widespread media attention was the bossnapping of Caterpillar managers in 2009 when 700 workers were to be laid off:

"We are holding them in the director's office," Benoit Nicolas, a union official, told AFP during the stunt, or sequestration, as it is known in France. The hostages included Nicolas Polutnick, the factory director, and the head of human resources. "They are a little shocked," Nicolas said.

And to end this post, sheep run into the Louvre museum in Paris:

Atlantic piece via @jkottke.

Friday, November 7, 2014

GoPro Camera Inside a Floating Ball of Water

A fun day on the International Space Station! NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman together with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst put a GoPro camera into a floating ball of water when exploring the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity. I like the end part best when Steve Swanson plays with the ball of water with his hands.

Natural Born Jumpers: Kittens Vs Puppies

Which one of the two is best equipped for jumping, a kitten or a puppie? Let's find out in this adorable slo mo footage by Earth Unplugged.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

First Aid Kit Get Their Own Stamp

Despite having a small population of only 9m people, Sweden is the third biggest exporter of popular music, only preceded by USA in first place and Great Britain in second. Celebrating this success, Swedish postal service PostNord issues stamps with artists and music producers such as First Aid Kit and Max Martin. The stamps are illustrated by Jenny Mörtsell and released for sale on January 15.

You find images of the whole collection at the bottom of this page.

Bill Clinton's Latest Photobomb

User Fieldblazer posted a lovely photo on Reddit yesterday that went viral. During a political event in downtown Texarkana, Bill Clinton photobombed the picture of this little girl that was sad and cold, not wanting to be there.

Bill Clinton is certainly no stranger to the camera with several selfies under his belt.

Paul Rosolie Gets Eaten by an Anaconda in Discovery Channel's Eaten Alive

Naturalist and filmmaker Paul Rosolie's stunt is something that's never been done before: get eaten by an anaconda while wearing a custom-built snake-proof suit. Opinions seem to differ about this highly unusual experiment, some claiming that the anaconda might get seriously hurt. Eaten Alive premieres on Discovery Channel Dec 7 9/8c.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wolf of Wall Street on Speaking Tour

In the movie The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Leonardo DiCaprio portrays the former stockbroker Jordan Belfort who was convicted for fraud and sentenced to four years in prison, only having to serve 22 months. Jordan is currently on a major speaking tour promising techniques such as "6 Persuasion and Closing Techniques they Won’t Show you at Harvard, Yale, Princeton or ANY Ivy League School", but in her article "My Miserable Night at Jordan Belfort's Groupon Sales Seminar," reporter Soo Youn tells quite another story:

[…] "Eagles soar above the crowd," Belfort says, before delivering his truth. "One thing I can promise you: There's not a single duck in this room. You know why? Ducks don't come to things like this."

This is Belfort's “Straight Line: Sales & Entrepreneurship" technique. It's basically a bunch of cliches and aphorisms (“results people get shit done”; to win you need to be "sharp as a tack," "enthusiastic as hell" and "an expert in your field"). […]

[…] truth tends to bend in Belfort's world. This is a guy who swindled $110 million from his investors in a "pump-and-dump" scheme over worthless penny stocks.

Just ask Joel M. Cohen, the federal prosecutor who got Belfort to flip on his friends and colleagues within 48 hours. Even the nickname is misleading: "Belfort invented the 'Wolf of Wall Street' name for his book,” Cohen tells me over the phone. “In my months debriefing him and years investigating his firm, no one ever called him that."

On the big screen, DiCaprio's Belfort was contained sleaze, a fastball of unctuousness careening toward its target, amassing collateral damage in the form of cars, boats, strippers, and friends. In real life, Belfort is scattered, restless, and unfocused. He scribbles his points on a series of four easels filled with paper from Office Depot, the handwriting indecipherable. He strides up and down the stage, marker in hand. He's less Tony Robbins, more buff guy at the gym who doles out unsolicited workout advice.


It’s not entirely clear how much money Belfort is making from this tour, or how much of the $110,362,993.87 in restitution he owes the federal government he’s actually paying. According to an Oct. 11, 2013, letter from the Department of Justice, Belfort’s coughed up just over $11 million, but has taken the stance that since he’s now free he’s no longer obligated to pay.

That’s about $99 million still owed to his victims.

Featured image: Leonardo DiCaprio with Martin Scorsese. Via Yahoo.

Via Business Insider.

Notorious B.I.G.'s Street Rap Battle Back in '89

17-year-old Notorious B.I.G. shows off his talent in this rap battle in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn back in '89. Greatness!

Found in the documentary film Biggie & Tupac (2002) by Nick Broomfield. Watch full film on YouTube.

How to Be Parisian with Caroline de Maigret

French model and music producer Caroline de Maigret guides us through 10 ways that characterizes a Parisian.

Featured image: Cover of the book How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are. Via Vogue Paris.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Let Me In by Andreas Kleerup

Let Me In is one of six tracks from Andreas Kleerup's recently released mini-album As If We Never Won (on Spotify). The vocals is done by Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør.

Hoop Dreams: 20th Anniversary

What initially was thought to become a half-hour PBS documentary about a basketball court in a deprived area of Chicago, ended up portraying two teenage basketball players and their goal to make it to the NBA and college, with a running time close to 3 hours. Regarded as one of the best American films in the 90's, Hoop Dreams now celebrates it's 20th anniversary. Dazed met up with director Steve James to talk about the movie:

Why did you decide to go beyond your original half-hour premise?

Steve James: The germ of the idea of following them over time came fairly early on, when Pingatore said to Arthur and his family that if he came to St Joe's and worked hard at the grades and basketball he'd help him get into college. We thought it was such an extraordinary promise for this man to make to a kid he'd literally just met and seen play briefly. That led to us thinking it would be interesting to see what happens to a kid like this in four years. The way we presented it to the families was we would maybe check in once a month and see what was going on. That didn't sound too demanding to them or us. For the first two years we shot a total of about 25 days, but then we became more obsessed as the story was evolving. By the end we shot a total of 100 days just during their senior year and its aftermath. If you watch the film you see the detail and complexities grow as the years pass, and that was due to a growing feeling that there was so much going on in these stories apart from basketball that we needed to capture as it was unfolding.


In the film William and Arthur both dream of making it into the NBA, but at a certain point their focus shifts towards the more tangible goal of getting into college. How did you feel about their changing desires?

Steve James: I think that's something that's sometimes lost on people who like to say, with good intentions, “How can these kids possibly put so much faith in this basketball dream when the odds of making it to the NBA are so minuscule?” Yes, the odds are minuscule, but for the opportunity to get to college and possibly to even get a full or partial scholarship, those odds are far, far better. When kids like Arthur and William look around their neighbourhoods they don't see doctors and lawyers and other professionals. They see guys who have been able to use sports to get out and go to college or get a job because they were a star, even locally, so that becomes a much more realistic dream to them. The tragedy of it all speaks to a larger tragedy, but you can't fault them for seizing on something like basketball as a method of escape.

Watch full movie on Vimeo or SnagFilms.

Featured image: The original movie poster via

Momentum: The Tortilla Chip Moment

Momentum is a dance movie by Boris Seewald starring Patrick Hanna and Shoki Ito. It all starts off with the tortilla chip moment, yes, a tortilla chip:

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