Five things on Friday #38

Things of note for the week ending September 21st

1. Genetic Portraits
Photographer Ulric Collette has been shooting a range of ‘genetic portraits’ taking two members of the same family and splicing them back together for some quite staggering results. This one above is one of my favourites, but the full set is worth a look too. It’s weird as hell, but awesome at the same time. YES!

2. Assassin’s Creed
I’m still hooked (about two hours into Brotherhood now, FYI) and now the girl is going away for a week (boo!) and I’m going to dive into AC like there’s no tomorrow (yay!) and mission it until there is literally nothing left in my sights but Revelations. Oh, and then AC:III obviously.

Why is this important? Well, it’s a nice pre-amble to this wicked little Assassin’s Creed Parkour video that was kickin’ around a while back.

Any excuse.

On that note…

3. Death by Gaming
There’s a great article over on Eurogamer about there being something in the air at game/internet cafés in Taiwan –

At 10pm the previous day Chen had taken a seat in the farthest corner of an internet café in New Taipei City, Taiwan. He lit a cigarette and began to play League of Legends. Chen played the online game for close to 23 hours, occasionally sleeping for a short while at his monitor before picking up where he’d left off.

While the popular café was half-full that night, the moment of the 23 year-old’s death passed unobserved. No one noticed the melted ice-cubes in his overflowing cup, the ghostly pallor of his cheeks, the idling of his on-screen avatar. It was only when the girl on the front desk went to inform Chen his time was up that, with a gentle nudge of the shoulder, he toppled stiffly.

And –

But I’m not really worried that something like that might ever happen here. We have a system to prevent customers from sitting in front of the computer for too long… We don’t allow any customers to play for more than three days at a time.


Perhaps I’ll just play for a couple of hours after all…

4. Imagine
I’m getting back into books again (having spent most mornings these past few months reading my GReader) and my current book of choice is ‘Imagine: How Creativity Works’ by Jonah Lehrer.

The chapter I’ve just finished deals with the much-documented link between depression and creativity. A few choice quotes for you –

‘If you’re at the cutting edge, then you’re going to bleed’, – Nancy Andreasen

‘The bad post is usually unconscious where he ought be conscious, and conscious where he ought to be unconscious’, – T. S. Eliot.

And this, from the author –

‘There is nothing romantic about this kind of creativity, which consists mostly of sweat, sadness, and failure. It’s the red pen on the page and the discarded sketch, the trashed prototype and the failed first draft. It’s ruminating in the backs of taxis and popping pills until the poem is finished.’

The next chapter is about losing yourself in the moment, using Yo Yo Ma as a case study.

Get this book.

5. Kids are mental – aka the best Star Wars story you’ve never heard
I spotted this on Super Punch the other morning and then not soon after, it appeared on Kotaku – so I’m fairly sure this has been ’round the world twice already but still – it’s totally worth (re)sharing.

One guy, talking about the The Empire Strikes Back reenactments he was involved with back when he was at summer camp –

The second year I was there, we planned the best (and arguably the most dangerous) game that camp has ever seen. We wanted to do our best to re-create the Battle of Hoth, in The Empire Strikes Back. We built plywood AT-AT shells with handles on the inside and a slot cut in the front, that two guys could get in. We tied ropes to bicycles and milk crates to the ropes to make snowspeeders with the tether cannons, just like in the movie. We even got stilts to re-create the AT-STs…

Read it all.

It’s amazing.

Bonuses this week; Fast Company says that ‘Experimentation is the new Planning‘, iO9 has found a quite frankly awesome set of Heath Ledger / Joker promo photos that were never used; and on this week’s episode of The Voicemail Stefan and I have a proper good moan about exactly how bad the maps are on iOS6.

Whatley out.


Five things on Friday #21

Five things of note for the week ending Friday May 25th, 2012

1. Amazing post-Yugoslavia monuments

There are 25 of these monuments (all different, by the way) scattered across the former-Yugoslavia. Built during the 60s and 70s to immortalise battle sites and concentration camps, these relics of remembrance are as varied as they are stunning. Melancholic yet engaging, spend some time looking them over and hey, if you’re ever in the area, seek them out.

2. A whale, in a forest
The work of Argentinian artist, Adrián Villar Rojas, this forest-beached whale is a sight to behold; even just digitally.

Sad, confusing and yet somehow deeply compelling; the life-sized mammal so out of place in such a way is a sight hard to forget. This is a rare occasion where I really wish I could be there in person to see this work.

3. Assassins Creed II – aka ‘playing with Desmond’
I’ve been a huge fan of the Prince of Persia games for ages and ever since the last decent round wrapped, I’ve been looking for a suitable free-playing replacement. The Batman: Arkham Asylum/City games came close (and actually win out in many respects), but I still missed that parkour-esque freedom. That was until, at long last, I finally dived into Assassin’s Creed II.

Thanks to recommendations from Rob (and I think Sweena too), I skipped the first one and went straight to the sequel (a fact I’m kind of regretting now) and I am loving it. If you’re an Xbox* owner and haven’t played these yet, they’re available to download now via the Xbox Marketplace at fifteen quid a pop. Not bad at all.

*other consoles are available.

4. Railroad-based awesomeness
First, this video – found via Mr Siminoff – of a group of mates creating a purpose-built railway go-kart – aka ‘The Rail Rider’ – is just awesome. I can’t watch it without grinning from ear-to-ear.

While you’re still smiling, take a deep breath in, scroll down, and breath out.

Nice and slow.

— —

5. Keep C.A.L.M.
The campaign against living miserably is a charity setup to combat male suicide – aka: the biggest killer of young men the UK today.

I first encountered them just a little over 18mths ago and have been a big fan of their work, and what it is they’re actually trying to achieve, ever since. This past Thursday night I finally met the whole team and am looking forward to supporting them further over the coming weeks, months and years, in their ongoing mission. Expect more on this, soon. In meantime…

If you’re a man (or if you know one) who doesn’t want to admit that things are pretty crap right now, or is really struggling to keep things together or, worse yet, doesn’t feel like they’ve got anyone else in the world to turn to.

It’s OK. You’re not alone. I promise.
And you can talk to CALM.



Whatley out.