Friday, 16 December 2011

The Enchanting Element of Music

As compelling as the original video, this live performance of 'Pass This On' recreates the same conditions but in a real life situation.

This is a brilliant live act that reflects the genius of The Knife. There is an underlying eroticism in the video that almost makes you feel dirty and voyeuristic watching it.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

RA Top live acts of 2011

Resident Advisor just released their top 20 live acts of 2011, as voted by fans.

I have a lot of catching up to do. Especially with some of the gentlemen in the top 10. Nicolas Jaar, in particular, is going to be huge.

Snapshots of a modern revolution

I bumped into this person's photoblog today. She (I believe it's a 'she' we're talking about) has managed to get into the heart of the uprisings in Greece and capture moments of immense beauty, ugliness, pain, happiness and, above all, truth.

Find them here:

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Dream-like pop sequences, warm chords and ethereal voices - the trademark sound of French duo Air, who have been commissioned to provide a new soundtrack for George Melies' 'La Voyage Dans Le Lune' (Trip to the Moon). They have expanded this soundtrack into an album. Seven Stars, featuring Beach House's Victoria Legrand, is a new song from the album.

What a treat.

(Although, I must confess, the chord progression is a little reminiscent of David Gray's 'This Year's Love')

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A thing of sheer beauty

Sunday music doesn't get any better than this:

The Waste Land

IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell And the profit and loss. A current under sea Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passes the stages of his age and youth Entering the whirlpool. Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look windward, Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The perks of living in London

You get to see bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform live.


Red Hot Chili Peppers Setlist O2 Arena, London, England 2011, I'm With You

I was there. It was worth it. I would do it again.

Friday, 4 November 2011

London by bus

London Bus Tour from moritz oberholzer on Vimeo.

Watching the world go by from a London bus window. Just a reminder that it's not a bad idea to enjoy the journey sometimes as well.

Monday, 31 October 2011

London in 3D

An attempt to make London look much more beautiful than it actually is, whilst making an accidental homage to SimCity 3000.

This is surely fake. Where did the sun come from?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Celebrity mugshots

Endless fun not-so-suitable for the whole family:

Now every average existence in the world can feel like a better person.

It wasn't just Steve who gave grads inspirational life tips

Here's Jeff Bezos' commencement speech to the Princeton University's class of 2010.

(you can skip the really long intro and go to 06:20 for the real deal)

As a kid, I spent my summers with my grandparents on their ranch in Texas. I helped fix windmills, vaccinate cattle, and do other chores. We also watched soap operas every afternoon, especially "Days of our Lives." My grandparents belonged to a Caravan Club, a group of Airstream trailer owners who travel together around the U.S. and Canada. And every few summers, we'd join the caravan. We'd hitch up the Airstream trailer to my grandfather's car, and off we'd go, in a line with 300 other Airstream adventurers. I loved and worshipped my grandparents and I really looked forward to these trips. On one particular trip, I was about 10 years old. I was rolling around in the big bench seat in the back of the car. My grandfather was driving. And my grandmother had the passenger seat. She smoked throughout these trips, and I hated the smell.

At that age, I'd take any excuse to make estimates and do minor arithmetic. I'd calculate our gas mileage -- figure out useless statistics on things like grocery spending. I'd been hearing an ad campaign about smoking. I can't remember the details, but basically the ad said, every puff of a cigarette takes some number of minutes off of your life: I think it might have been two minutes per puff. At any rate, I decided to do the math for my grandmother. I estimated the number of cigarettes per days, estimated the number of puffs per cigarette and so on. When I was satisfied that I'd come up with a reasonable number, I poked my head into the front of the car, tapped my grandmother on the shoulder, and proudly proclaimed, "At two minutes per puff, you've taken nine years off your life!"

I have a vivid memory of what happened, and it was not what I expected. I expected to be applauded for my cleverness and arithmetic skills. "Jeff, you're so smart. You had to have made some tricky estimates, figure out the number of minutes in a year and do some division." That's not what happened. Instead, my grandmother burst into tears. I sat in the backseat and did not know what to do. While my grandmother sat crying, my grandfather, who had been driving in silence, pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway. He got out of the car and came around and opened my door and waited for me to follow. Was I in trouble? My grandfather was a highly intelligent, quiet man. He had never said a harsh word to me, and maybe this was to be the first time? Or maybe he would ask that I get back in the car and apologize to my grandmother. I had no experience in this realm with my grandparents and no way to gauge what the consequences might be. We stopped beside the trailer. My grandfather looked at me, and after a bit of silence, he gently and calmly said, "Jeff, one day you'll understand that it's harder to be kind than clever."

What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy -- they're given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you're not careful, and if you do, it'll probably be to the detriment of your choices.

This is a group with many gifts. I'm sure one of your gifts is the gift of a smart and capable brain. I'm confident that's the case because admission is competitive and if there weren't some signs that you're clever, the dean of admission wouldn't have let you in.

Your smarts will come in handy because you will travel in a land of marvels. We humans -- plodding as we are -- will astonish ourselves. We'll invent ways to generate clean energy and a lot of it. Atom by atom, we'll assemble tiny machines that will enter cell walls and make repairs. This month comes the extraordinary but also inevitable news that we've synthesized life. In the coming years, we'll not only synthesize it, but we'll engineer it to specifications. I believe you'll even see us understand the human brain. Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Galileo, Newton -- all the curious from the ages would have wanted to be alive most of all right now. As a civilization, we will have so many gifts, just as you as individuals have so many individual gifts as you sit before me.

How will you use these gifts? And will you take pride in your gifts or pride in your choices?

I got the idea to start Amazon 16 years ago. I came across the fact that Web usage was growing at 2,300 percent per year. I'd never seen or heard of anything that grew that fast, and the idea of building an online bookstore with millions of titles -- something that simply couldn't exist in the physical world -- was very exciting to me. I had just turned 30 years old, and I'd been married for a year. I told my wife MacKenzie that I wanted to quit my job and go do this crazy thing that probably wouldn't work since most startups don't, and I wasn't sure what would happen after that. MacKenzie (also a Princeton grad and sitting here in the second row) told me I should go for it. As a young boy, I'd been a garage inventor. I'd invented an automatic gate closer out of cement-filled tires, a solar cooker that didn't work very well out of an umbrella and tinfoil, baking-pan alarms to entrap my siblings. I'd always wanted to be an inventor, and she wanted me to follow my passion.

I was working at a financial firm in New York City with a bunch of very smart people, and I had a brilliant boss that I much admired. I went to my boss and told him I wanted to start a company selling books on the Internet. He took me on a long walk in Central Park, listened carefully to me, and finally said, "That sounds like a really good idea, but it would be an even better idea for someone who didn't already have a good job." That logic made some sense to me, and he convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision. Seen in that light, it really was a difficult choice, but ultimately, I decided I had to give it a shot. I didn't think I'd regret trying and failing. And I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all. After much consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion, and I'm proud of that choice.

Tomorrow, in a very real sense, your life -- the life you author from scratch on your own -- begins.

How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?

Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?

Will you bluff it out when you're wrong, or will you apologize?

Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?

Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?

Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story. Thank you and good luck!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

LFF - Tomorrow

'Tis my favourite time of year. London Film Festival = Oscar Movies.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Apples on Fire: Better or cheaper?

This is not your usual case of David versus Goliath. Because when the two parties involved in this digital fistfight are known as Amazon and Apple, then Goliath vs Goliath is the humblest way one can describe their most explicit head-to-head battle yet.

The Kindle Fire is a small and sexy piece of gear. It's not as sleek or out there as the iPad, but it's a case of 'good things come in small packages'. The iPad screams bigger and better. Bigger screen, more space, camera, longer battery life, more apps. 3G.

So, what's the big win the Kindle Fire is going for?

Well, price of course. With the initial price tag at $199 (around £130), Kindle Fire is £270 cheaper than the lowest-priced piece of Apple tablet goodness. If you don't splash out half a grand on a piece of gear, the fear factor immediately diminishes. You use it more, you take it with you more, you don't crap your pants every time someone else holds your baby in their hands, thinking they might drop it any minute now. If your cup of tea is reading and web browsing, then the Kindle is all you need. When it comes to multimedia entertainment, however, the iPad and it's badass screen are clear winners.

An interesting possibility could be current iPad owners also buying a Kindle to satisfy their thirst for entertainment for shorter journeys where the iPad might be a bit of a pain to carry around.

Only time will tell. 40 days to go. Apple has plenty of time to react, but can sit comfortably in its throne for now. Especially with the imminent release of the new iPhone.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Beating aging

This talk by Cambridge researcher Aubrey de Grey suggests that people can extend their lives to live for at least an additional 50 years. His theory is that aging is a disease, and there are ways to cure it.

Long and dense, but interesting.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

No, really. Listen to her. She's great. So is her new album, 'Metals'.

It's such a breath of fresh air to finally get a new 2011 album that doesn't bring you to the brink of fatigue when you listen to it.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Dirty rock

Great riff.

Arctic Monkeys - Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair

Monday, 12 September 2011

Thursday, 11 August 2011

It doesn't have to be loud to have energy

Some underplayed creepiness here, masterfully delivered by the king of contrasting atmospheres, Trent Reznor and his sidekick Atticus Ross.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Inside North Korea

AP Asia chief photographer and bureau chief were granted unprecedented access to parts of North Korea, in an attempt to offer a wider coverage of the nation in its isolated condition.

In some cases these can be appreciated more as artistic pieces than photojournalism, but viewing them still is a worthwhile experience.

Find them here.

Monday, 1 August 2011

There's no place like home

And there's nothing like amazing design ideas from all over the world to make you want to make yours even better:

Sometimes I just want to go pretend-play in IKEA.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Where do YOU want to go?

We are the generation that travels. "Moving is living", says George Clooney's character in Up In The Air, and today's youth seems to have grasped and embraced this concept more than anyone.

Travel is now a common interest, so much so that it is not even mentioned as something special by some, because it is something that should already be implied and assumed about people our age.

This infographic demonstrates this trend in a dual manner, showing the trends and preferences for young and educated people. The trends, unsurprisingly, since the majority of young people in developed countries end up receiving some kind of education (and 'education', in this case, has not been defined), are similar for both groups. The only minor shifts are noted in Europe, where distances are shorter and the Eurozone has given European youth its blessing for easier and more frequent travel between its member countries.

Curiously, the BRIC countries are AWOL.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A taste of things to come

The new Chilis single has finally been released. A couple of first impressions:

1) The guitar melodies during the chorus are great, but I have a suspicion the sound of Frusciante will be greatly missed in this album. His epic riffs during verses and the ability to twist everything he plays into something new are very much absent from 'The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie'.
2) "Hey now"? Uncanny, non?
3) The funk is very much alive.
4) Release date is August 30th - a long time away, and RHCP are usually my summer music, but since I'm stuck in rainy England in the middle of July it really doesn't make a difference anymore.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Why does generation Y buy?

Another interesting look at our generation, this time by getsatisfaction. But, FYI, not all of us are hipsters.

I think one of the most interesting points in the infographic is not given enough weight, and that is the fact that we are massive information-sharers, which, in today's age, is equivalent to the gold-miners in the 19th Century Gold Rush.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I Need Fresh Blood

As a warm up to the first episode of the new True Blood season, and since I've been 'convinced' to wait until Friday to watch it, I found this article on Rolling Stone that will just about manage to keep me going till then.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Let's get together

Creating an emotional connection with your customers is a must - creating an emotional connection between your customers, however, is a much harder thing to achieve.

The new Bacardi advertising campaign, which has to be my favourite of the year till now, seems to be doing just that.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Trent setting foundations for Oscar no.2?

Trent Reznor and Karen O cover (remix?) of Led Zep's 'Immigrant Song', taken from the trailer for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. And the film will be released for Christmas. Exciting times.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Advertising is all about being in the right place, at the right time.

(only in NYC)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Sometimes less is definitely more

The Four Icon Challenge aims to summarize entire books or films in just 4 images.

Check it out here.

Still a work in progress apparently, but one I'll be coming back to.