Monday, June 29, 2015

New York Magazine's Guide on How Not to Do Things

From New York Magazine, the "lazy" man's guide on how not to do things. Although written with a sense of humour, this guide gives some great suggestions in how to make your life richer.

This is how editor David Marchese finds time to meditate:

A great many extremely successful and presumably fully actualized people, from billionaire hedge-funder Ray Dalio to pop goddess Katy Perry, are advocating these days for the life-changing benefits of Transcendental Meditation. TM, they say, will sharpen your decision-making, unlock your creativity, amplify your you. Science is also onboard. Studies suggest that TM practitioners are at reduced risk for heart attack and stroke. All this from just sitting there and focusing on your secret mantra. When I mention this sort of stuff to people—I’ve been doing TM for six or so years—I normally get an interested nod in return. When I say it involves meditating twice a day for 20 minutes a pop, the nod turns into something more skeptical. Where am I supposed to find the time?

I find it on the C train. As long as your commute is long enough, the subway offers a great opportunity for achieving profound inner stillness. First off, you need to find a seat, which is why I opt for the less crowded local, rather than express, train. Then, with your back straight, head tilted slightly down, and eyes closed, do about 30 seconds of deep breathing before you begin silently repeating your mantra—the secret word, supposedly custom-chosen, that your TM instructor (find a nearby class and instructor at will have given you. Don’t try to clear your mind, just favor the mantra. Repeat it. Keep repeating it. Favor it above all other thoughts and sensations. If other thoughts do bubble up—and they will—just come back to the mantra. You’ll be amazed how quickly the ambient MTA blare fades away as you transcend toward pure consciousness. A sort of whole-body inner joy takes over, as if your heart were gently laughing. Hard-core TMers say 20 minutes is mandatory—I use the timer on my iPhone—but if you’re diligent about the mantra, you can transcend after a few minutes, so it’s okay if the train starts running express. Even ten minutes of TM is a nice psychic boon, and, I promise, infinitely more satisfying than another level of Candy Crush.

Featured image: Illustration by Joe McKendry.

Via @kenchawkin.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Smoking Kitten

That kittens guilty look when caught "smoking" a cigarette, is priceless:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Scho-Ka-Kola Chocolate: German Food Engineering in a Tin Can

I have a soft spot for beautiful tin canisters. To celebrate it's 80th anniversary, the German chocolate brand Scho-Ka-Kola, created by the Hildebrand, Kakao- und Schokoladenfabrik in Berlin, 1935, is now being sold in a classic retro tin.

The chocolate has three ingredients; cocoa, coffee and cola-nut, which makes for an energy booster:

SCHO-KA-KOLA has always been sold in the famous round tin with the striking red and white ray design. Each tin contains 16 melt-in-the-mouth wedges of SCHO-KA-KOLA, available in the classic dark chocolate variety or in a milk chocolate version. Whether light or dark: both varieties share the same unique recipe, which contains natural caffeine extracted from cocoa, cola nuts and coffee, and provide a mental boost for more energy and concentration. The cola nuts make SCHO-KA-KOLA such an energy booster. They are the fruit of the cola tree, which grows mainly in West and Central Africa and contains considerably more caffeine than ordinary coffee.

Photo credit: Image via my favorite army shop Varusteleka.

Wearing High Heels All Day is Easy Peasy, or Is It?

BroBible's Brandon Cohen wanted to prove that wearing high heels isn't actually that bad:

To me, there’s nothing quite as disgusting as a girl walking barefoot on the street with her heels in hand. It just screams trash. I don’t care how much pain I’m in, only a vile derelict would let their bare feet touch a sullied city sidewalk. My face has scrunched up many-a-time after witnessing a drunk girl stumbling around barefoot on the street, disgusting feet as blacked out as they currently are.


In an effort to prove that girls are huge complainers, and wearing heels isn’t THAT bad, I decided to buy myself a pair and change the heel game forever.

Well, ladies, it looks like Brandon and the rest of us need to be a lot more understanding and compassionate from now on, if you for no apparent reasons, happen to lash out on your fellow beings.

For the Love of Scotland: A Video Homage

Enjoy the magnificent scenery of Scotland in these two video homages. First out is Josh Brine with "Go, and Be", in which he has captured the Scottish Highlands:

And we continue with Edinburgh-based filmmaker John Duncan's film "Beautiful Scotland":

Featured image: Still from "Go, and Be" by Josh Brine.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hoffmaestro's Kaliffa is Back with the New Single 'Spontanitet'

Kaliffa's newly released single "Spontanitet" is refreshing and upbeat. Lyrics is in Swedish, but I'm sure non-Swedes will appreciate the song as well.

Don't miss out on listening to Kaliffa's "Det Strålar Så Om Dej".

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Meditation is Taking Off Big in Silicon Valley

Meditation is taking off big in Silicon Valley. Not only does it enhance the workplace environment and personal relationships, it's also a tool to get ahead of competition:

But Googlers don’t take up meditation just to keep away the sniffles or get a grip on their emotions. They are also using it to understand their coworkers’ motivations, to cultivate their own “emotional intelligence”—a characteristic that tends to be in short supply among the engineering set. “Everybody knows this EI thing is good for their career,” says Search Inside Yourself founder Meng [Chade-Meng Tan, software engineer and motivator at Google]. “And every company knows that if their people have EI, they’re gonna make a shitload of money.”

Meng has had quite a career himself, joining Google in 2000 as employee number 107 and working on mobile search. But for years, his attempts to bring meditation into the office met with limited success. It was only in 2007, when he packaged contemplative practices in the wrapper of emotional intelligence, that he saw demand spike. Now there are dozens of employee development programs at Google that incorporate some aspect of meditation or mindfulness. And Meng—who was born in Singapore and was turned on to Buddhism by an American nun—has slowly ascended to icon status within the company. More than one Search Inside Yourself student has asked Meng for his autograph.

And for creating more mindful and user friendly technology:

After hearing Kabat-Zinn [Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the wonderful mindfulness book "Wherever You Go, There You Are"], Bejar [Facebook engineering director Arturo Bejar] began looking for ways to bring some of that compassion to Facebook, where bullying and flame wars were all too common among users and the tools for reporting offensive content weren’t terribly effective. Bejar set up a series of “compassion research days” at Facebook and brought in Buddhist-inspired academics from Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford to see if they could help.

The researchers’ advice: Make the tools more personal, more conversational, and more emotional. For instance, let people express their vulnerability and distress when asking for a problematic picture or status update to be removed. The changes were small at first. Instead of tagging a post as “Embarrassing,” users clicked a new button that read “It’s embarrassing.” But those three letters made an enormous difference. It turned the report from a seemingly objective classification of content into a customer’s subjective, personal response. Use of the tool shot up 30 percent almost immediately. This in a field where a change of a few percentage points either way is considered tectonic.

Featured image: Meditation teacher Kenneth Folk. Photography by Brian Finke.

Artist Andreas Lie's Double Exposure Photo Series of Wild Animals

Norweigan artist Andreas Lie has put the double exposure effect to good use when creating his series of animal portraits.

Night Bison:

Snow Fox:

Polar Bear:


Visit Andreas' shop over at Society6 to buy prints, and/or get artwork printed on different objects, such as pillow cases and clothes.

Via ignant.

The Happiness List from the Film 'Hector and the Search for Happiness' (2014)

In the film "Hector and the Search for Happiness" (2014), psychiatrist Hector (played by Simon Pegg), lives a very secure and punctuated life back in London. One day, he decides to step out of his comfort zone and begins a journey in search for happiness, a journey that takes him all over the world.


The film has met some mixed reviews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and give the film four out of five.

Hector's Happiness List

In the movie, there's a nice set of lessons and insights that Hector learned, that will lead to greater happiness. The following happiness list differs somewhat from the one found in the film, since this list is taken from François Lelord's novel of the same name:

  1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness
  2. Happiness often comes when least expected
  3. Many people only see happiness in their future
  4. Many people think happiness comes from having more power or more money
  5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story
  6. Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains
  7. It’s a mistake to think that happiness is the goal
  8. Happiness is being with the people you love; unhappiness is being separated from the people you love
  9. Happiness is knowing that your family lacks for nothing
  10. Happiness is doing a job you love
  11. Happiness is having a home and a garden of your own
  12. It’s harder to be happy in a country run by bad people
  13. Happiness is feeling useful to others
  14. Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are (People are kinder to a child who smiles)
  15. Happiness comes when you feel truly alive
  16. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate
  17. Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love
  18. Happiness is not attaching too much importance to what other people think
  19. The sun and the sea make everybody happy
  20. Happiness is a certain way of seeing things
  21. Rivalry poisons happiness
  22. Women care more than men about making others happy
  23. Happiness means making sure that those around you are happy

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Photo credit: Poster via Flickering Myth.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Watch the Documentary 'The Director Who Disappeared, The Story of The Ninja Mission'

The Swedish documentary "Regissören som försvann – historien om The Ninja Mission" (The Director Who Disappeared, The Story of The Ninja Mission), is an interesting watch about the making of the action film "The Ninja Mission" (1984), directed by Mats Helge. The film was shot entirely in Sweden (and Norway), and while it wasn't particularly well received in its native country, the movie became a major success in the U.S and other countries. It grossed a staggering 250.000.000 Swedish crowns (30750000 USD), proceeds that never reached Mats Helge and his team, but mysteriously went elsewhere. Rumour has it, that a large chunk of the proceeds went to the production of New Line Cinema's Freddy Krueger movies.

Mats Helge continued to direct and produce movies, but none of them became as successfull as "The Ninja Mission". Helge made his last public appearance during Sweden's leading film awards "Guldbaggen" in 2000, and has since then choosed to stay out of the limelight.

Full documentary:

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Johann Sebastian Bach Composition Brings Life to This Beautiful Light Show

German composer Johann Sebastian Bach's "Prelude and Fugue in C Major" (BWV 846), from the book "The Well-Tempered Clavier", brings life to this beautiful light show installation, inside a museum and an underground car park.

Read more about the project here.

The Opening Visuals for the Technology and Creative Conference FITC Toronto 2015

The opening visuals for FITC (Future. Innovation. Technology. Creativity) Toronto 2015, convey FITC's evolution from being a simple Flash conference, to becoming an international meeting place for people who create things in the digital space.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Elgin Park: The Miniature Town of Artist Michael Paul Smith

Elgin Park is the name of artist Michael Paul Smith's miniature town, inspired by his own upbringing and childhood memories, growing up in America. With small scale models, he creates incredible optical illusions of everyday scenes ranging from the 1920s to the mid-1960s.

The buildings are constructed of resin-coated paper, styrene plastic, and basswood, plus numerous found objects. The vehicles are from Michael's collection of 300+ commercially produced, diecast models.

No Photoshop was used in these images; they're all composed in the camera. It is the oldest trick in the special effects book: lining up a model with an appropriate background, then photographing it.

1958 Edsel Station Wagon:

The Giant Hand:

Open Late:

Hudson in the Snow:

1961 Ford Wagon:

1951 Pontiac:

The Rivers Edge Vacation Home:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bernard 'Bernie' Madoff's Personal Secretary Speaks Out in the Documentary 'In God We Trust' (2013)

The documentary "In God We Trust" portrays Eleanor Squillari, who was stockbroker and investment advisor Bernard Madoff's personal secretary for twenty-five years, until the day his massive Ponzi scheme unraveled in 2008. Coming to grips with the situation, Squillari starts to go through documents in an attempt to assist the FBI with valuable information.

Eleanor Squillari went to work every day believing she was working for a great company, a great man. For twenty-five years she sat 15 feet from Bernard L. Madoff as his personal secretary. She never imagined that he was perpetrating the largest financial crime in history. On December 11th, 2008, her life as she knew it was destroyed…until she decided to do something about it.

She became obsessed with unearthing the truth. Through this film we experience this journey with Eleanor, as she examines how she unwittingly participated in the massive Ponzi scheme, which operated right under her nose. Years of Eleanor's files and personal memories begin to unwind the crimes as she aids the FBI investigation, and struggles to determine which of her formerly trusted co-workers were involved. As she probes deeper into the deceit, Eleanor finds that Bernie's Ponzi scheme was only the beginning, a small fraction of the criminal activity that took place everyday for decades, right under her nose.


I don't know when the documentary will be available for the general public, but Al Jazeera America has showed the documentary back in december.

Update: For more like this, visit my post with trading related documentaries.

Russell Simmons Brings Effortless Mantra Meditation to the Masses with a Free Meditation App

Russell Simmons has released a new meditation app to accompany the book "Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple" (2014), which he wrote together with Chris Morrow. The app will learn you how to meditate using a mantra, a process Simmons' previously has referred to as "light" Transcendental Meditation:

His new app—which goes live today—is little more than an audio book companion to his most recent book titled “Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple.” However it fits as part of his strategy for making his meditation message available to more people in more channels. The proceeds from his books go to various charities.

I [Jay Donovan, Techcrunch] can see how the app might be useful as a primer for people trying to get into Transcendental Meditation (sometimes referred to as TM) and it may be useful to hear a person’s voice while you are trying to go to through the motions and procedures (instead of reading and then trying and then reading and then trying, etc.)

Currently, the app is only made for iPhone and iPad. You find it in the iTunes App Store.

If you can't use the app (me included, since I don't own an iPhone/iPad), watch Russell's and Chris Morrow's mantra meditation workshop at Google.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Short Film 'Totally Free' Takes Us Into the World of Roller Skating

The short documentary 'Totally Free' takes us into San Francisco's world of roller skating, and the meeting of some colorful individuals who love to skate.

Kaliffa's Summer Tune 'Det Strålar Så Om Dej'

I've gotten a good start to my morning by listening to Swedih artist Kaliffa's summer tune "Det Strålar Så Om Dej" (actor Joel Kinnaman shows up at 2:46).

Another related music act is Hoffmaestro and their great live performance of "Dreams". That will give you some energy for the day!

Update: Listen to Kaliffa's single "Spontanitet".

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Chef's Table: The Netflix-exclusive and 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' (2011) Follow-up

In the Netflix-exclusive documentary series "Chef's Table", we get to follow six well-renowned chefs, and learn more about their personal backgrounds and how these have shaped the dishes the chefs create today. The series is directed by filmmaker David Gelb, who directed the great documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" (2011), and seems to be a blending of everything from food to art, and some meditation and nature in between.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Morris Engel's NYC Images from the 70's

From the photo series "A Time to Speak" by Morris Engel:

In the 1970's, Engel did a series of photographs called, "A Time to Speak" which is about people engaged in private conversations in public places. Engel saw a drama in the situations he encountered all over New York City. These phone booths once a mainstay of New York, are now obsolete and have vanished. The booths enabled people to be so wrapped up in their own situation or conversation , so that they would be unaware of any camera.

Via PuNk-and-StuFF.

Teh Tarik Man: Large Portrait Made by 20,000 Teabags

By using 20,000 teabags, artist 'Red' Hong Yi made the piece "Teh Tarik Man". Teh tarik is the name of a common beverage within the Southeast Asian countries, consisting of black tea, condensed milk and/or evaporated milk.

Photo credit: Photography by Jeremy Blode. Images via Waqart.

Via @DanielGennaoui.

Kung Fury's Hackerman Shows How to Hack Objects Back and Forward in Time

Kung Fury's Hackerman shows us how to hack common household objects back and forward in time:

The music playing in the video is "West Side Lane" by Lost Years.

Enchanted Miniature Worlds of Frank Kunert

For his ongoing photo series "Photographs of Small Worlds", model builder and photographer Frank Kunert builds and creates miniature models of everyday scenes, with a slight twist to it. He then photographs the models with an 20-plus-year-old analog camera without adding anything else to the process, such as enhancing the images.

Sweet Dreams:

In Depth of Ecstasy:

Hotel Bellevue:

A Place In The Sun:

Via Nicolas Chapuis and La Boite Verte.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Student Faces One Fear a Day with Her Project '100 Days Without Fear'

As part of the School of Visual Arts' "100 Days Project", in the Masters in Branding program, student Michelle Poler does one different thing that terrifies her a day for 100 consecutive days, with her project "100 Days w/o Fear".

Via Brain Pickings.

The Crude Brothers Try Out the Hottest Pepper Extract in the World

"Mad Dog 357 Plutonium 9 Million Scoville Pepper Extract" is one of the most purest and hottest pepper extracts in the world. It should be used as a food additive, and not consumed directly. Well, this dad and his son try the latter one, and you can see some signs of regret within a couple of seconds:

For more videos, visit their YouTube channel "The Crude Brothers".

Via Boing Boing.

The Chicken Sandwich Proposal Goes Sour

I sort of feel sorry for this guy when his well-meant try to a surprising and funny proposal turned sour. Maybe we have all the romantic wedding movies from Hollywood to blame for the somewhat negative reaction?

Via Devour.

Rare First Generation Apple Computer Model 'Apple-1' Found at Recycling Center

The "Apple Computer 1" was the very first Apple computer, and only 200 was made and hand-assembled in 1976. A recycling center in Silicon Valley recently got a nice surprise when they found one of these rare gems:

A recycling center in Silicon Valley is looking for a mystery woman who unknowingly dropped off a rare, first-generation Apple computer that fetched $200,000 at a private auction.

The woman was reportedly cleaning her late husband’s garage when she came across the Apple I, Apple’s first computer that was hand-assembled by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976. The computer came with just 4KB of memory, and originally sold for $600. Only about 200 of this model was ever made.

They are currently looking for the woman, who unfortunately didn't want a tax receipt and never left them with her contact information. If she's found, she will get 50 percent of the proceeds when the computer is sold at auction.

Featured image: The Apple Computer 1 photographed by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images. Via Fusion.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Light Phone: The Card-sized Phone That Gives You Peace of Mind

The Light Phone is the antidote to today's so often compulsive need to check your phone constantly. It will easily fit into your wallet, and do the one thing phones are primary intended for – to phone with.

This Kicstarter project will start shipping the phones in 2016.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Project 'Be You' Teaches Students and Teachers Transcendental Meditation

At West Sussex Alternative Provision College study young students with some sort of emotional and behavioral issues. In this school, the project "Be You" got introduced, a project founded by Ricky Reemer and Kitty de la Beche, with the aim of teaching the school's teachers and students Transcendental Meditation, and thereby offering them a foundation tool, which enables them to take better advantage of skills learned in the future.

Via @EvaCVincent.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

80's Chillwave Synth by Lost Years

Thanks to the amazing soundtrack of "Kung Fury", I found myself a new favorite music act to listen to – Lost Years – who is heavily influenced by the synthpop from the 80's.

Nuclear EP, 2012:

For more, visit Lost Year on Soundcloud.

On Bandcamp, you find the EP "Nuclear" here, and the full length album "Amplifier" here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Listen to the Kung Fury Soundtrack

I have yet to see the long-awaited movie "Kung Fury", but in the meanwhile, I listen to its soundtrack with lots of great synthesizers, 80's style. Nothing has been poorly made in this movie project, that's for sure!

Music is made by Swedish musicians Mitch Murder and Lost Years, and additional artists.

The soundtrack is also available on Spotify.

Later this summer, on 8 July, 2015, it will be released in vinyl.

Country Artist Doug Seegers Performs the Hit 'Going Down to the River'

Country artist Doug Seegers (official website) has been a very busy man since his appearance in the Swedish documentary series "Jill's veranda" (Jill's porch), hosted by country artist Jill Johnson. Seegers' debut album "Going Down to the River" topped the Swedish national record chart "Sverigetopplistan", and a sold out summer tour in Sweden quickly followed.

Today, Seegers' music is much appreciated on both sides of the Atlantic.

The famous segment from "Jill's veranda", in which we hear the song "Going Down to the River":

For a more lenghty performance, see and hear Doug live on KEXP:

Featured image: Doug's portrait by photographer Tamara Reynolds via The Bitter Southerner.

So You Think You Can Stay: The Campaign About Norway's Strict Asylum Policy

The campaign "So You Think You Can Stay" by the the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS), wants to pay attention to Norways strict asylum policy, and the asylum seekers struggle to get much needed protection.

So You Think You Can Stay gives a face to a group of people who often receive negative media attention: Rejected asylum seekers. We wish to show that also most people in this category have good reasons to leave their home country and seek protection in Norway. Norwegian asylum policy is strict and many people are rejected in contradiction with UNHCR’s recommendations.

The stories of the contestants are based on real asylum cases that NOAS engages in through legal aid. Asylum seekers in Norway are rejected for the same reasons as the contestants in So You Think You Can Stay.

Via Metro (SE).

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