My home is a… dumpster, a converted dumpster

Friday, 19 September, 2014

Could you live in a dumpster? More the question, would you want to? If these ideas to convert them to living spaces could be adopted though, there might just be something in the notion. The living space would be confined, but come on, how much room do you need anyway?

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“Apocalypse Now”… starring Winnie the Pooh

Thursday, 18 September, 2014

A re-mix of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 war epic Apocalypse Now featuring characters from the “Winnie the Pooh” stories. It’s not like Apocalypse Pooh is new either, it was made by Todd Graham in 1987, and was re-mastered a few years ago. The things you learn…

Via Kottke.

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How reading the “Harry Potter” books made me a better person

Thursday, 18 September, 2014

Not only will you be treated to a gripping yarn when you read the “Harry Potter” books, you may also emerge a better person, says a study that found readers of the saga tended to become more empathic by the time they had read through the series:

For decades it’s been known that an effective means of improving negative attitudes and prejudices between differing groups of people is through intergroup contact – particularly through contact between “in-groups,” or a social group to which someone identifies, and “out-groups,” or a group they don’t identify with or perceive as threatening. Even reading short stories about friendship between in- and out-group characters is enough to improve attitudes toward stigmatized groups in children.

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Fidelity and interstellar travel, do they mix at the speed of light?

Thursday, 18 September, 2014

There are a million or more scientific, engineering, financial, and who knows what else, hurdles to be jumped before we go taking off to other parts of the cosmos at the speed of light, but I guess now is a good time to address the topic of… fidelity.

Specifically fidelity on the part of the space voyager’s partner, who remains on Earth, while their other half is absent for decades, at the very least, zapping about interstellar space. US author Mary Roach, writer of Packing for Mars, takes the view that such loyalty may not be the best idea, and for good reason really:

And more important, Roach points out, the astronaut who comes back from voyaging to another galaxy will still be relatively young and fit and good-looking (because they were traveling at near the speed of light, so from their perspective the trip didn’t take that long), while the spouse back home will have aged and withered, having waited around on a planet that just kept spinning indifferently. It’s a recipe for disaster, basically. And betrayal. And pain.

It was always my understanding that the crew of interstellar, speed of light craft, would actually be absent for centuries, if not longer, as far as those on Earth were concerned, something that puts another slant on the question all together…

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Yes, atoms make sound, even if no one can hear it

Thursday, 18 September, 2014

Apparently scientists have learned that atoms in an “excited state” become a tad noisy. Thing is the sound is too faint to be heard. So it’s like we’re still on square one in a way, but I guess it’s something that is handy to know…

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Home on the sea, a cliff above the sea

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

Cliff House, design concept by Modscape

At this stage the Cliff House, as conceived by Australian prefabricated home designer Modscape is a concept, but what a concept it is.

Provided there were no concerns with how securely the structure was latched to the cliff face, the home would make for a spectacular vantage point, regardless of the weather. In fact the worse the weather, the better it would be… imagine sitting out a storm in such a building?

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The time my car had to be repaired… an illustrated story

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

Stories of car repairs that proved to be far more expensive than originally envisioned are two a penny… maybe then it’s the illustrations that make Josh Michtom’s tale of replacing the battery of the hybrid electric car he and his partner own, one you want to read.

One place could sell me the battery for $1,900 but wanted $850 for the work, so I pressed the guy. I said, “That’s more than double what someone else quote me for labor. How can that be?” I expected him just to come down a little, but instead, he offered a long discursion on the fine art of Prius battery replacement, the careful steps involved, the inherent danger in the operation. As far as I know, he is Connecticut’s only artisanal Prius mechanic.

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The photo dairy of a ghost hunter

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

San Francisco based artist and photographer Elizabeth Moran has put together a collection of images depicting the work of her uncle, who after retiring, became a paranormal investigator. There’s not much of the supernatural to see, but the photos are intriguing nonetheless.

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Introverts and running companies, it makes sense

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

You’ve likely noticed I have a little to say on the subject of introversion here. Maybe it’s a matter of playing catch up in a way, there was little awareness, and even less talk, of the personality type when I was younger, meaning I was more than accustomed to being told to say more, to socialise more, and what have you.

Even I wondered what was wrong with myself at times, but now there is more, well a little more, appreciation of the fact that people might either be extraverts or introverts, and that they should be left to do what they do best.

Sure the person who is seen to be outgoing and highly sociable is likely to be presented with more opportunities, especially in the workplace, but that’s not to say the upper rungs of the corporate ladder are no place for an introvert. In fact an introvert’s personality traits are well suited for leadership roles:

“Thoughtfulness, consideration, and thorough preparation are principles every leader should employ, but for introverts, these vital principles come inherently,” he explains. Introverts typically think before they speak and act, whether communicating with their team, delivering presentations, or interacting with colleagues. “They devote time [to] thinking through their objectives and preparing for queries.”

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Wish I Was Here

Tuesday, 16 September, 2014

3 stars
Wish I Was Here scene

Would be actor Aiden (Zach Braff) is someone who could never quite see the world for what it was, preferring to think he made his way through life as some sort of action hero. After his father, Gabe (Mandy Patinkin), reveals he is gravely ill though, Aiden is forced to reassess his lot, in Wish I Was Here, trailer, also directed by Braff.

Not only must Aiden change his attitude, he must also bring his socially inept, and reclusive, brother Noah (Josh Gad), around to the situation. At the same time he also takes on role of home teacher to daughter Grace (Joey King), and son Tucker (Pierce Gagnon), after Aiden and his wife, Sarah (Kate Hudson), decide they can no longer afford their school fees.

As a coming of age story for thirty-something adults, “Wish I Was Here” makes a promising start, and certainly has its humorous moments. In trying to take on a number of issues though, religion, purpose in life, quality of school education, among others, it ends up spreading itself a little too thinly, and lacks focus as a result.

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