Five things on Friday #121

Things of note for the week ending Friday 24th April, 2015.

Things of note for the week ending Friday 24th April, 2015.


There’s a new STAR WARS film on the horizon (well, there’s several actually – but that’s not the point) and one of the key things that director, J. J. Abrams, is keen to do is employ more practical effects than CGI.

To that end, it seems the breakout droid/star of THE FORCE AWAKENS is set to be one BB-8.

This fella –


So far so what. This past week, at the STAR WARS celebration event in Anaheim, BB-8 joined his creators on stage – and look! NO CGI!


Even better than that, uber-talented industrial design student, Christian Poulsen, decided that – once he’d seen the above video – he needed BB-8 in his life.


So he made one.


That’s great, right? Well, because Christian is such an awesome fellow, he went and shared the guide on how to make one yourself!

Sidenote: you need kit.

This is old but of late I’ve been thinking a lot about neuroplasticity (it’s OK, I googled it for you):

OK Google, define neuroplasticity

And the havoc that the digital revolution is causing with it. I’ve been aware of the output for a while but I didn’t know the name of it. An excellent talk that I saw at SXSW (thanks, Hey Human) prompted me to go into full research mode. The one quote that stuck out for me was ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together’.

‘That’s cute’ I thought, as several hundred people around me all took out their phones and snapped the slide in unison. Ironic that just before this the presenter had just warned us all of using our devices as ‘transactional memory replacements’ – but that’s beside the point.

The point is: I went a-googling for that phrase. I wanted to know its origin.

On the way, I found this excellent piece on the New York Times.


Read it.

Reminds me of ‘relationships matter‘ from 2011 and ‘the pressure of immediacy’ from 2012. These things won’t go away unless we make them. As I write this to you, I have three smartphones and a smartwatch within my peripheral vision. I understand I am an edge case however all of these devices are currently turned over or turned off.

I’m mono-tasking so I can Get [five] Things Done.




The Wall Street Journal has created this amazing interactive and colour-coded history of all things Avengers. Proper geeky. Be warned: you’ll lose HOURS.

Speaking of Avengers…

(there be no spoilers here)


I’ve literally just got home (well, about two hours ago – it’s 1am on Friday morning as I type) from seeing AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, the sequel (of sorts) to AVENGERS: ASSEMBLE, and the end of what is known as ‘PHASE II’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and…






Excellent but by no means perfect. There are a few perfect moments however to say it’s the best MARVEL film to date would be an untruth (maybe 3rd best, after Winter Soldier and Guardians); I would give it an 8/10.

You kind of have to forgive a fair amount (as the film moves at such speed – with so many characters to meaningfully touch upon) and there are a few leaps in logic that I felt a little uncomfortable with but whenever my brain went ‘Wait, what?!’ we’d already moved on to the next awesome scene.

The new characters are superb. With James Spader specifically being utterly brilliant as the eponymous antagonist and probably deserved much more screen time as a result. These are minor niggles.

AGE OF ULTRON is a great MARVEL movie; it manages to round off PHASE II of the MCU very nicely indeed while simultaneously time setting up PHASE III (and more) with spectacular aplomb.

You will enjoy it.

So yeah, go see it.

PS: there is ONE mid-credits sequence. That is all.

Tom Goodwin says that if to avoid going obsolete, brands and businesses should hire a ‘Chief Futures Officer’. I see his point, but I’m not sold.

What do you think?



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Whatley out.


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Author: James Whatley

Experienced advertising and communications strategist working in brand, games, and entertainment. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

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