I hope everyone's exams went well, and for those of us still with some to go; best of luck. Some horrible things happened in Paris on Friday night. I'll leave The New York Times to summarise if you need catching up (they, thankfully, drop their paywall in times of important news). 🇫🇷
Firstly, Tropfest announced it won't be running next year. From the sounds of things it has less to do with not making money, and more to do with spending it too fast. Hopefully someone else can come along, buy the rights, and have it back up and running soon.
In Union Square (San Francisco) a bunch of people were seriously injured after a tour bus crashed into some scaffolding. I've been two San Francisco twice in the last eleven months. The first time I caught a tour bus from Union Square, the second time I stayed in a hotel at Union Square. This more just news for the few people that have been there.
Facebook decided to grace us with another iOS app this week. Notify by Facebook - Notifications that matter. Just what we needed; more Facebook apps. Also, who would willingly sign up for push notifications from advertisers? I go out of my way to turn off as many notifications as I can, and here is an app who's sole purpose is to encourage you to receive more notifications. Hmmm people are certainly weird.
Oh and of course, again we learnt that sometimes companies should avoid social media. Things just can't go well for them.
It's nearing the end of the year, so end-of-year-zeitgeist pieces are beginning to be released. From magazine's announcing their people of the year (see link 6), to musical mashups. Daniel Kim has released Pop Danthology 2015 in two parts [One and Two]. Part two is definitely better than one, but neither are as enjoyable as 2013's.
Lastly, Gene Amdahl—who played an intergral role in the creation of the IBM mainframe—died this week. The closing quote of The New York Times piece linked gives a good insight into why this important: “He’s always been right up there with Seymour Cray or Steve Wozniak.” Google those names if they mean nothing to you. Hell, the guy even has a computer/scientific law named after him; Amdahl's law.
I'm sure many of you have seen this video (it is now over 15 million views), but in case you havent; you must. Furthermore, once you've watched it, watch the behind the scenes. That actually shows how absolutely crazy this whole stunt was. Those jet packs do not go for very long, it must have been a frantic time trying to get all the shots.
The case for not removing snacks and free food from offices. Snacks are seen as a way to engage employees and keep them happy. I know that I'm happier at my job when I have something to snack on that doesn't require me going out. But then again I work from home… The article argues the economic cost benefit of removing snacks and how it can actually cost more to remove them (in loss of productivity) than the savings of removing them.
Why Getting Rid of Free Office Snacks Doesn't Come Cheap
by Rebecca Greenfield for Bloomberg on 10 November 2015.
3 min read
“Given hypothetical, anything-goes permission to choose from a creepy, unlimited vending machine of endings, what would you select? Should you have the right to choose?”
This is quite a long read, but I definitely recommend it. I'm not sure if dying painlessly amongst loved ones, or in a blaze of glory sounds better to me. Hmmm. First one, then the other?
What’s the Best Way to Die?
by Robyn K. Coggins for The Wilson Quarterly in Fall 2015.
21 min read
Is is that reality has changed or expectations have changed? Maybe a little of column A, a little of column B.
“With expectations so high, less happiness in adulthood may be the inevitable result. Big dreams feel great when you’re an adolescent or a young adult just starting out. But somewhere around their late 20s, most people begin to realize reality isn’t going to match up. When those dreams are more widespread than they used to be, the inevitable crash will be, too.”
The Connection Between Age and Happiness Is Breaking Down
by Jean Twenge for The Atlantic on 5 November 2015.
5 min read
The history of drinking fountains in America. An in-depth look at the evolution of the drinking fountain, it's part in segregation and the competition it faces today with bottled water. I think they're should be more around, but I also understand that they end up pretty broken and disgusting. I tend to just carry a reusable bottle of with me instead.
Episode 188: Fountain Drinks
by 99% Invisible on 10 November 2015.
34 min listen. 5 min read
An interview with Barack Obama about what has gone down to be the largest year for LGBTQ rights in not just America but much of the world. Sure Australia are still being laggards about marriage equality, but the US showed us for certain it is inevitable. It just depends which government want's to claim the victory.
“Well, I try not to guess how the Supreme Court is going to rule. But even before the decision came down, one thing was clear: There had been a remarkable attitude shift — in hearts and minds — across America. The ruling reflected that. It reflected our values as a nation founded on the principle that we are all created equal.”
Out100: President Barack Obama
by Aaron Hicklin for OUT Magazine on 10 November 2015.
13 min read
Review of Sam Mendes’ second contribution to the twenty-four instalment franchise, the 2015 James Bond film Spectre. Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, and Léa Seydoux.
All round though Spectre is not the greatest Bond film, but it’s definitely one of the better ones. We’ve been so spoiled with Craig’s Bonds we’ve forgotten what a bad James Bond is actually like. From the largest real explosion for a film, to tens-of-thousands of dollars Tom Ford suits, Spectre won’t disappoint. I’m not itching to see it again, but don’t let the negative reviews convince you it’s a bad film.
It tries to be too many things at once, gets confused, and stuggles to find it’s feet. But it’s still better than 90% of films out there. Acknowledge it has shortcomings, and enjoy it for what it is; a great action film with impeccable suits and a bit of humour.
by Patrick Murray on 13 November 2015.
10 min read