Are these the most beautiful black and white shots in movie history?

Wednesday, 29 March, 2017

The Solomon Society, who I can’t locate much information about, but I’m guessing they’re fans of film, have put together a collection what they believe to be the most beautiful black and white shots in movie history.

That’s sure a big call, so take a look at their selections, and see if you agree.

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Samuël Avril, freelance French photographer

Wednesday, 29 March, 2017

Photo by Samuel Avril

Samuël Avril is freelance French photographer, and art director. Like many of the photographers whose work I find on Instagram, he seems to spend a fair amount of time travelling the world, if his work is anything to go by, that is. Am I in the wrong career? I continue to ask myself.

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What’s better than sliced bread? Advice on how to actually slice bread

Wednesday, 29 March, 2017

Gallager's cigarette card

Earlier last year, the New York Public Library made a huge number of digitised images freely available. Included were cards like the one above, once sold with packets of cigarettes, that offered all sorts of useful tips.

Some of the advice these inserts dispensed may still be useful today. For instance, even in this age of sliced bread, by warming a bread knife in hot water, you should be able to slice bread like a pro, should you encounter an unsliced loaf.

See the rest of the set, there’s one hundred, I think, and useful tips from another age, here.

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Daniel Millington, Cornwall based landscape photographer

Wednesday, 29 March, 2017

Photo by Daniel Millington

Daniel Millington is a landscape photographer, and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguard, based in Cornwall, England.

Despite once living the United Kingdom, it’s a part of the country I didn’t see. Unfortunate, because it looks like a region that would keep a photographer ceaselessly occupied, in that there is so much to take in.

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The Iconic Women, an illustration collection by Sebastian Onufszak

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Illustration by Sebastian Onufszak

Sebastian Onufszak is a designer and illustrator, based in the German city of Augsburg. This work is a depiction of French actor Marion Cotillard, and is one of six illustrations from his series titled “The Iconic Women”.

Also featured are other iconic French women Gabrielle Chanel, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Brigitte Bardot, Simone de Beauvoir, and Catherine Deneuve. See the full set of illustrations on his Behance page.

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The true size of the solar system, seen with an animation

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

A proposal to reclassify what a planet is, may see the planet count of our solar system jump from eight, to one-hundred-and-two bodies. The latter number would certainly make the Sun’s family sound large. But what is the size of the solar system in terms of the amount of room it occupies in interstellar space?

From a human’s perspective, the answer again would be big. Enormous, most likely. An animation, by Imgur member Disclaimered, depicts the solar system as the crew of a departing starship might see it on their way out of it. It offers some sense of scale. The clustering of white lines, visible at about the ten second mark, are dwarf planets.

According to one estimate, there may be ten thousand such bodies, situated beyond the orbit of Neptune, in orbit around the Sun. Ten thousand dwarf planets. That’s a staggering number. The solar system is big, no matter what way you look at it.

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Petros Kasfikis, Washington D.C. based photographer and news producer

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Photo by Petros Kasfikis

Petros Kasfikis is a news producer, documentary maker, and the Washington D.C. based correspondent for Greek newspaper, Eleftheros Typos. His work affords him the opportunity to take some interesting photos at times. This photo was taken at Standing Rock, in North Dakota, earlier this year.

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What are easiest, and hardest languages, to speak, and then write?

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

If you’re an English speaker and wish to learn some other languages, where should you start? If it were me, lazy me, I’d probably go with the easiest choice.

According to Victor Mair, writing for the Language Log, I should learn to speak, but not write, Mandarin. He thinks it is the easiest to grasp. Contrast that with Sanskrit, or written Chinese, which he ranks as a little harder.

  • Mandarin (spoken)
  • Nepali
  • Russian
  • Japanese
  • Sanskrit
  • Chinese (written)

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Rebecca Murphy, Sydney based artist, and pop surrealist

Monday, 27 March, 2017

Artwork by Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca Murphy, who describes herself as a pop surrealist, is a Sydney based Australian artist, whose work I’ve seen a couple of times at local exhibitions in the past. Don’t miss her Instagram page though, which offers an insight to her work and life, and an idea of where the inspiration for her work comes from.

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Driving while in labour? All in a day’s work for a gig economy worker

Monday, 27 March, 2017

Uber, Fiverr, AirTasker, Lyft. A handful of so-called “gig economy” employers, whose workers take on one-off jobs such as driving passengers from one place to another, or doing a variety of odd-jobs for individuals, or companies.

Here you might be doing anything from designing a logo, fixing a home appliance, or buying and delivering takeaway food from a popular hamburger restaurant, usually on a weekend evening, for people who’d rather not leave the house.

Some workers make a few dollars a week from this sort of employment. I’m guessing a determined, flexible, and organised, gig-worker could pull in several hundred dollars a week. I’ve heard of an AirTasker worker in Sydney earning up to four thousand dollars per week, though I suspect that is an exception.

For a lot of people though, the work can entail long hours, and comes with few, if any, employee protections or benefits. In that regard, this story about a Lyft driver working in Chicago, by Jia Tolentino, writing for The New Yorker, is an eye opener, to say the least:

Mary, who was driving in Chicago, picked up a few riders, and then started having contractions. “Since she was still a week away from her due date,” Lyft wrote, “she assumed they were simply a false alarm and continued driving.” As the contractions continued, Mary decided to drive to the hospital. “Since she didn’t believe she was going into labor yet,” Lyft went on, “she stayed in driver mode, and sure enough – ping! – she received a ride request en route to the hospital.”

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