Five things on Friday #46

Things of note for the week ending November 16th, 2012

1. The Skyfall Island is REAL

Seen Skyfall yet?


Well that’s OK*, this next bit is no real big spoiler so you can stick around if you haven’t seen it.

Like all great Bond villains, Javier Bardem’s ‘Silva’ has a fairly awesome lair. However, not many people would guess that this abandoned island / secret base would actually be a real place in the real world.

But it is.

And quite unbelievably, Hashima – to give the island its proper name – used to be one of the most densely populated places on Earth. But why is it deserted now?

Despite what it might look like, this was not a war zone. There was no outbreak of disease or biochemical disaster here. Hashima Island is the victim of a country’s rapid industrialization. Once a thriving coal-mining town owned by the famous Mitsubishi Corporation, it was home to more than 5,000 employees and their families.

The full story, plus a whole load more photos, over on Messy Nessy Chic.

*Spoiler-free review, just in case –

2. Three videos worth YOUR TIME
First, Paul Simon’s ‘Call me Al’ in Zimbabwe (4mins 55), embedded because it made me smile so much and reminded me of why Zimbabwe is one of my favourite places in the whole world.

Second, The Escapist’s [NSFW] review of Assassin’s Creed III, (5mins 18), not embedded because the site won’t let you (but still worth watching).

Sidenote: I’ve finally crumbled and asked my sister to get me AC:III for my birthday next week. I was hoping to leave it for as long as possible (delayed gratification, innit) but I’m ploughing through Need For Speed: Most Wanted at an astonishing rate and I really need to get my runny-jumpy-stabby-stab-stab on fairly soon.

Third: Precisely why the Daily Mail is evil (21mins 33), not embedded because Cory Doctorow’s US-perspective intro adds that little extra bit.

Actually, scratch that – I’ve just finished watching it – make this the one thing you watch today. Please.

3. Interesting People & Interesting Things

Will Cooke at Rubber Republic – we spoke at length this week about what makes a viral, viral and how things travel through the internet. It was quite a revealing conversation which told me more about my own content sharing habits than I think I wanted to know. Findings of the research should form part of their LOL_PROJECT – something to keep an eye on, definitely.

Dominic Pride (a chap I first met at a mobile geek up in Vegas of all places) and I had lunch to chat about NewsCred – it’s like an iStock Photo/Getty Images but for the written word; branded content marketing. Interesting, and useful.

There’s a decent white paper that’s worth a look also.

Coney Agency; the Show and Tell I went to this past week probably deserves its own post (I have many notes). But I haven’t done that yet so I may as well tell you that it was both scientific without being too science-y and was overall a thoroughly enjoyable evening. You should go.

4. Munich Subway Stations

A great photo set, and one that speaks to my heart, ‘Eerily devoid of passengers’ is ace.

5. To Twitter ‘whom I once loved’
This is a great read –

Oh that night, and the many nights we shared. Of ignoring people we had long known in favour of the unknown, of staying up later and later to never miss a moment together…

That was three years ago now. I’m not saying we’ve changed. Oh, who am I kidding, of course we’ve changed. No don’t look away, you know it’s true. The passion has gone, well it has hasn’t it? We shared everything with each other, not a moment wasn’t recorded and broadcast. Our very location drew comments or people checking in with us but now our relationship is more and more, well, normal. The honeymoon is over.


Bonuses this week are a few my sources of interesting things (this week at least). If you’re on the Twitters, go and follow these people –



Whatley out.

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x