Five things on Friday #77

Things of note for the week ending June 20th, 2014.

Bat bites. Like Whatley bits. But battier.

1. Burberry Twitter Cards
I’ve written about Twitter cards before and this year we’ll be seeing more and more of them appear in our collective streams. Further evidence of that is brought to us by a brand continually at the nexus of fashion and technology innovation, Burberry.

Imagine you’re Burberry and you want your oh-so-loyal and avid Twitter followers to absolutely tune into your next runway show. Got that far? OK. Now imagine you create a tweet with a calendar invite embedded in it.

Calendar Invite Card!

Ta da! Amazing.

Now, I want you to continue imagining you’re Burberry. But this time I want you to feel a pang of regret for the 98.98% of your followers that didn’t see your calendar event tweet (fact) and instead have to try and catch up somehow.

Well, that’s easy! You’re about to imagine a tweet with an embedded image gallery that your fans can easily browse, all without leaving Twitter.

Amazing Gallery Card!

Aren’t you fantastic, Burberry. Well done.


2. Good Music


I’m a Spotify fiend. This Spotlight on new music playlist is the best new one I’ve listened to in a while. You should listen to it too.

Oh and for bonus sunshine action, subscribe to this beauty – Welcome to Summer folks x

If you don’t use Spotify well…


Maybe I’ll link you to something next week.

3. Hannibal
Last night, I finished season two of Hannibal.


Mads Mikkelson stars an the eponymous anit-hero/villain/cannibal and the show is loosely based on the events before and during those of Red Dragon. Telling the story of Will Graham and his first dealings with Hannibal Lector, Hannibal it is a stunning show.

Some of you may have heard of this show, some of you may have already finished it. But if you haven’t, or if you’re looking for something new in a post-Breaking-Bad, post-Game-of-Thrones-Season-4 world, Hannibal is it.

The season two finale is one of the best pieces of television I have ever seen.

I am still gushing about it.

Just watch it.


4. Ghostbusters 3


It is happening. Bill Murry will return. It’s based on the video game. It’s based on Hell invading New York. Bill Murray won’t be back. It’ll feature new, younger ‘busters. It isn’t happening.

Much has been said about this long-gestating non-project but ever since Harold Ramis passed away, I’ve been firmly in the camp of IT ISN’T HAPPENING, but Max Landis (son of that awesome director guy I met once) has a hella wicked idea for the opening scene.


Last weekend I was extremely lucky to be invited along to the opening night of the East End Film Festival.


The opening film? DERMAPHORIA.

Described as ‘An inspired experimental chemist, wakes up in a New Orleans jail, accused of arson that’s linked to an illegal drug-manufacturing ring. Suffering from amnesia, he’s unexpectedly released on bail, determined to find his missing girlfriend.’ DERMAPHORIA is an unforgiving trip into the mind of a drug-addled way of life and is a non-stop back and forth between the worlds of the way up high and the deep come down.

It is grimy.
It is a horror show of what it’s like to be under the illusion of being touched by God and it does not give its audience an easy ride at all. So go in ready. DERMAPHORIA requires concentration. You, like the film’s protagonist, will feel lost, frustrated, and at times utterly beaten.

I can’t recommend it enough and, without the East End Film Festival, I doubt I would’ve seen it at all. Good work, EEFF. Keep it up.

Find it and see it, as soon as you can.

Here’s the trailer.

Sidenote: Ron Perlman’s in it. I met him afterwards. That wasn’t as cool as I hoped it’d be. Ah well.

Until next week,

Whatley out.


Bonus items this week


Five things on Friday #76

Things of note for the weekend ending June 13th, 2014.


Tons of video stuff this week. If you’re reading this in a newsletter, I’ve thrown in the links to the videos along the way so you TOO can enjoy teh awesomez.

1. Silent Crickets
On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Marlene Zuk has been studying crickets. Between 1991 and 2000, the crickets got more and more quiet and in 2001, Zuk heard only a single calling male cricket. The volume had decreased, but had the volume actually decreased?

The crickets hadn’t disappeared. Zuk would go for nighttime walks and see multitudes of the insects in the light of her headlamp. If anything, there were more of them than before. They just weren’t calling out. When she dissected them, Zuk found out why.

Male crickets call with two structures on the backs of their wings—a vein with several evenly spaced teeth (the file) and a raised ridge (the scraper). When the cricket rubs these together, the effect is like running your nail along the teeth of a comb—you get a thrrrrrrrrrrrp sound. But on all the silent Kauai crickets, the file was growing at a weird angle and had all but disappeared. Their wings were flat.

The reason?

The crickets were targeted by a parasitic fly, whose larvae burrow inside them and devour them alive. The flies finds the crickets by listening out for their songs and they’re so effective that, in the early 90s, they had parasitised a third of the males.

But the silent males escaped the attention of the fly. As they bred and spread, they carried the flatwing mutation with them. By 2003, the cricket population had rebounded. And in fewer than 20 generations, they had gone from almost all-singing to almost all-silent. The crickets have become a classic textbook example of rapid evolution.

Nature is awesome. Via.

2. Slow motion Ballet

slow mo ballet

In this video, six members of the Washington Ballet demonstrate their most challenging moves.

Worth watching.

3. What day is it Sunday?

Video link.

4. The best of E3
I am a gamer. If you’ve listened to this past week’s Voicemail podcast, you’d know that I confessed to not reading anything about mobile technology over the last seven days because, thanks to the Electronic Entertainment Expos – aka ‘E3’ – I’ve been totally and utterly bingeing on game trailers at almost every opportunity. The three stand outs?

The fourth third* game in the Arkham series, this final part of the Rocksteady trilogy looks IMMENSE.

The one thing need to know? You get to drive the Batmobile.

*Batman: Arkham Origins, though officially part of the Arkham games canon, is widely accepted to ‘not count’ as it wasn’t built by Rocksteady Studios and, as a result, is a poor imitation of what makes a good Arkham game.

[video link]

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Assassin’s Creed series is probably my favourite set of games of recent years. AC: Black Flag was a day one purchase for me and this latest iteration looks like it might be the same.

The one thing need to know? In the video the commentary mentions that certain parts of Paris have been built at a 1:1 scale. That’s awesome.

[video link]

This one very nearly passed me by completely (so big love to Matt for making sure I didn’t miss it), No Man’s Sky is a simple science-fiction game about exploration and survival. It looks stunning.

The one thing you need to know? Your character exists in an infinite procedurally generated universe. In. Sane.

[video link]

5. Clickhole
This is everywhere right now.

The Onion is a satirical take on American news. In a post-listicle world, where click-bait and headlines such as ‘Seven things Nigel Farage could learn from Vladimir Putin‘ are commonplace, you could read this as some kind of post-modern take on what ‘news’, or news delivery, has become.

Or you could read it as The Onion not-that-subtly trolling the hell out of Buzzfeed. Either way, they uploaded 16 pictures of Beyonce not sicking in quicksand yesterday, and you won’t believe what happened next.

And that’s it, we’re done.


We’re not.

Bonus items for your oculars this week are:

  • The Calvin & Hobbs story
    If you missed this, read the write up. I must confess, I’ve never been a huge C&H fan (sorry), but this story made me smile from ear to ear.
  • Winging it
    Everyone is totally winging it, all the time. A great read.
  • Articulated TMNT
    The concept of ‘arty images of 80s pop-culture accompanied with deep and meaningful thoughts’ is not new to me however the mutant turtles are going through a bit a revival at the moment, so this seems timely.

See you next week.

Five things on Friday #75

Things of note for the week ending June 6th, 2014.


1. Click bait fixer!
Filed under ‘my favourite new Twitter account of the week’, @SavedYouAClick is here to thwart clickbait headlines and save you time. Examples below –

2. Hercules
I love THE ROCK. There, I said it. I don’t care. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s latest film, Hercules, is out soon and it looks a suitably special-effects-laden cheese fest that I’ll be seeing at the cinema because that’s the kind of thing I like to do and I don’t have to justify it to anyone. GOT IT? GOOD.

Anyway, here’s the latest trailer


3. The Listserve
The premise is simple: one person a day wins the chance to write to a growing list of subscribers. Add your name to the list and that person could be you. What would you write if you had the chance to speak to 25,000+ people in one go? The Listserve is beautiful, ugly, perfect, dull, exciting, boring, sad, moving, and sometimes utter drivel. It is human.

Sign up today. I read a good one recently called ‘The Girl in my Phone‘ – maybe start with that.

4. The Last Billboard
Speaking of interesting lotteries, The Last Billboard is a 36 foot long rooftop billboard located on the corner of Highland and Baum in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Each month a different individual is invited to use the billboard and display their own message on the custom designed ad space.




It is quite wonderful.

5. Farewell, Fantastic Four (?)
You can park this one under RUMOURSVILLE however there have been a lot of murmurings of late about Marvel dialling down on the marketing of all things Fantastic Four just as Twentieth Century Fox starts to get going on its latest iteration/reboot of the franchise.

Fantastic Four imagery was apparently taken down at Marvel HQ and an artist claims that they were instructed by Marvel not to use “FF characters or supporting cast such as Dr Doom, Galactus, Surfer, Skrulls etc” when it came to sketches for the 75th anniversary. Another artist backed the claims up, submitting an instruction sheet from Marvel which read, “all Marvel characters related to Fantastic Four are now off limits and will be immediately rejected by Marvel.” It even listed the characters that couldn’t be used. Even Fantastic Four-related assets have been reportedly been taken down by Marvel, so that promotional partners and licensors can’t access them.

The reason? Money, of course. But Screenrant has a great rundown of the conspiracy so far.

If true, comic book fans lose out, as always.

Bonus items:

1. The best Nicolas-Cage-based prank ever.

2. Thinking about The Internet of Things.

3. A happy hello to all the new and lovely Five Things on Friday newsletter subscribers. If you’re on the list, you’ve probably found it via a fancy Twitter Card. Wanna know how you make your own? I got you covered.

See you next week!

Five things on Friday #74

Things of note for the week ending May 30th, 2014.

1. ‘Super Important Tweet’
I first found out about this web app via the always interesting Web Curios newsletter. Basically, the premise is that you can add ‘importance’ to a tweet by creating a text-based-image that you can embed in your tweet which subsequently hammers home the importance of what it is you’re trying to say.

However, what it actually does is allow you to create a perfectly sized image for Twitter. That’s right brands, a simple web app now does that thing you all seem incapable of doing.

Amazing, right?

Try it.

2. Ocean Piglets, Shield Toads, and Naked Snails
Aka, how to name animals in German. I used to study German at school and while I’m not a big one for publishing infographics on this here blog of mine, there’s no harm in linking to one.

Seriously, this is brilliant.

3. Beautiful Brands on Instagram

Beautiful Instagram Brands

The value of branded activity on Instagram is still very much a point of argument amongst the marketing folk of today. Does it drive any meaningful value? Can you actually measure anything? Why are we bothering? – are all questions that float around when this comes up for discussion, and you really have to know your onions to formulate a decent response.

If you don’t know your onions and want to know more about how Instagram can ‘work’ for brands, the blog of those folk at Nitrogram is a good place to start. There’s a ton of stuff to read up on and, if you’re looking for inspiration, they’re latest post isn’t a bad read at all.

4. Faking Cultural Literacy

It’s not lying, exactly, when we nod knowingly at a cocktail party or over drinks when a colleague mentions a movie or book that we have not actually seen or read, nor even read a review of. There is a very good chance that our conversational partner may herself be simply repeating the mordant observations of someone in her timeline or feed. The entire in-person exchange is built from a few factoids netted in the course of a day’s scanning of iPhone apps. Who wants to be the Luddite who slows everything down by admitting he has never actually read a Malcolm Gladwell book and maybe doesn’t exactly understand what is meant by the term “Gladwellian” — though he occasionally uses it himself?

This, from the New York Times, is remarkably spot on.

Go read it.


Without skimming.

The final paragraph is a knock-out.

5. Gorgeous Art, at High Speed

From this:

High speed art before

To this:

High Speed Art

Cool, right?

Made to been seen at high speeds, these colorful patterns form a sequential whole for commuters whizzing by at top speed. Dubbed ‘Psycholustro’, the artist (Katharina Grosse) created the work as a way to ‘engage everyday travelers with a project that addresses their in-motion perspective and the passage of time’ (more at the source).

I think it’s awesome and, bizarrely enough, similar to an idea I had for the Channel Tunnel when I was nine years old.

It’s OK, I’m pretty sure she didn’t copy me.



Five things on Friday #73

Things of note for the week ending May 23rd, 2014.


1. The birth of the $60 billion videogame industry
I think I picked this up from the rather excellent Web Curios newsletter (go subscribe) but I’ve only just got around to reading it. The bit I’m linking to is an excerpt from the book ‘Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation and it covers off the creation of gaming icon, Sonic the Hedgehog.

The fax machine stopped sputtering, and Kalinske picked up the sketch. “Ah,” he said, trying not to sound repulsed. “Very interesting.” Kalinske stared at the drawing, trying to see in it what Nakayama saw, but it was no use. The hedgehog looked villainous and crude, complete with sharp fangs, a spiked collar, an electric guitar, and a human girlfriend whose cleavage made Barbie’s chest look flat. “I assume this is his girlfriend?”

I’m a gamer, so I loved it*. But its also a great insight into one of the biggest parts of recent pop culture came to pass, so non-gamers might love it too.

*So much so, I bought the book.

2. Godzilla (2014) is ACE.

I loved it. Gareth Edwards is a fantastic director and, while there’s a few clunky bits in places, overall his interpretation is a brilliant take on the Godzilla legend (let’s face it, you couldn’t get much worse than the last attempt).

The good news is, Edwards has already been signed for not only Godzilla’s 2 & 3 but also the first Star Wars spin off film (as yet untitled) in 2016.

Tip of the week? Go and seek out his original creature-feature-but-not, Monsters.


3. Good Art

Antonio Mora


4. Three new trailers for your eyes

New Pixar/Disney/Marvel film – Big Hero 6
The next big Marvel adventure – Guardians of the Galaxy
Christopher Nolan’s next epic – Interstellar


5. Tab Dump
My podcasting partner in crime, Stefan Constantinescu, writes Tab Dump pretty much every day.

He’s going through some technical difficulties at the moment (due to a lack of Internet while travelling) however you should definitely sign up to his newsletter, as it’s one of the best resources for interesting news (tech + real world) every day.


See you next week!



Five things on Friday #72

Things of note for the week ending May 16th, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 09.26.43

1. #SadBatman
I blogged about Ben Affleck’s new Batman recently opinion has been fairly divided (as usual). Whatever your thoughts, thanks to the amazingly morose stance Bats is in (in said new press shot), Batfleck just looks so sad.

Hurrah for new memes!

The Internet is a cruel mistress… chortle.




Joking aside, I think he looks excellent. Especially in contrast to a) what’s gone before and b) what version of Batman we know he’s going to be based upon.

Now just deliver a great film (less destructo-porn this time though please, Mr Snyder).

Looking for hi-res wallpaper? Try this.

2. These guys


The Licker, The Happy One, and The Pooper. That last one is definitely my favourite.  You can see the rest of the family over at the website of their creator, Vanessa Ramirez.

I love ’em.

3. The Flash is coming
Some of you may know of the [actually very good] TV show known as Arrow. Taking a realistic look at the development of the DC character, Green Arrow, the show has won acclaim from TV critics and geeks for its ambitious story-telling and smart creative choices. If you’ve not seen it, it’s worth looking it up.

Halfway through season two, they introduced a character named Barry Allen and well, thanks to a series of unfortunate lightning-based events, he’s now got his own TV show.

4. Fish
About a month ago, I finally laid my hands on a rather awesome Sony Z2.

It’s awesome.
It’s waterproof.

So I’ve been taking pictures of my fish.

That is all.

Sony Z2 Fish

If you’re looking for my thoughts on the phone, by the way, check out Episode 095 of my mobile technology podcast, The Voicemail. That’s where my initial thoughts can be found.

5. The Long Tail of ‘Feedback’

The Long Tail of Feedback


That’s it for this week. Not only is it Friday, but the sun is shining (all weekend) and it’s going to be awesome!



Five things on Friday #71

Things of note for the week ending May 9th, 2014. This week featuring gorgeous art, fantastic film, and provocative pieces of YouTube fodder.

Things of note for the week ending May 9th, 2014

Don't Complain

1. What We Do In The Shadows
A couple of film previews this week, first up What We Do In The Shadows, a vampire mockumentary co-written and directed by he of Flight of the Conchords fame, Jermaine Clement.

Yeah, I’d say it looks suitable mental.

Via Total Film

2. 101 Things to love about NYC… in 1976
Scouting New York is one of my favourite casual blogs. Casual in that I don’t read it religiously, but I like to swing by every now and then and see what’s up. Written by a chap named movie location scout based in New York, it’s an awesome take on all things esoteric from the big apple.

His latest discovery is this list of 101 things to love about NYC and it’s pretty awesome.

101 things

More here.

3. The Phones Show Chat
Every week, pretty much without fail, my buddy and I, Stefan Constantinescu, record a 30 minute podcast covering about mobile technology. We’re not the only guys that do mobile-related podcasts, 361 degrees is one, Steve Litchfield and his Phones Show is another. In fairness, Steve’s actual show is a 15min video on YouTube, however it comes packing with an accompanying podcast covering that week’s topics in a bit more detail.

Why am I talking about it this week? Steve invited me on as a guest and it was probably the geekiest and best conversation I had all week.

MP3 Download Link Get Adobe Flash player

4. Untranslatable Words Illustrated
New Zealand artist, Anjana Iyer, recently undertook a personal project to ‘illustrate words found in foreign languages that cannot be Anglicised word for word’. The series, entitled ‘Found in Translation‘, is wonderful –


But it has to be said, this one, for ‘Rire dans sa barbe’, is definitely my favourite.

Rire dans sa barbe


5. The Most Important Sexy Model Video Ever
Caught this in Marketing Week yesterday.

Just watch –

Opinions in the comments please.





Bonus thing this week, from one Mark Jennings
In 1692, some 270-odd years before Pantone, an artist decided to document and describe every colour imaginable over 800 (completely handwritten) pages.

The result is amazing.

Not Pantone


Bonus bonus thing: Mark Jennings also goes by the moniker of ‘Mark of Respect‘ and is the sole proprietor of Drinks Galore – ‘elegant drinks tasting for spirited amateurs’. There’s an event coming up in June that is all about gin.

For a reasonable price you get –

  • 5 incredible gins – 3 of which will be neat to show you the true essence of gin
  • Hands-on gin and tonic masterclass
  • A cocktail on arrival
  • Chill out in the wonderful private space at The Hox
  • Friendly, expert information about the gin

If you like gin, you should go. Tickets are available now.

That’s me done, see you next week.