A bigger picture would help when it comes to overtaking big trucks

Tuesday, 30 June, 2015

It happens to me all the time, especially on the freeway, I find myself stuck behind a large lumbering truck. Usually there’s the option of eventually overtaking it by moving into another lane going in the same direction.

But what about situations where there is only one lane available in your direction of travel, and an overtaking manoeuvre requires moving into the on-coming traffic lane?

A clear view of the road ahead, before attempting to move into the other lane, would be useful, to say the least, but sometimes such chances are far and few between. How about then attaching a widescreen monitor to the back of large vehicles, that projects an image of what lies ahead? Sounds like an idea worth looking into.

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If someone is “opinionated” is it ok for them to be tactless?

Tuesday, 30 June, 2015

Do you feel you’re encountering more people who lack in tact, or a respect for the often unique situations that others might find themselves in?

Let’s talk about tact: a noble virtue, a lost virtue, a very necessary virtue. Long gone, it seems, are the days when tact was common, or in which people behaved with thoughtfulness, discretion, and sensitivity. Long gone is the era wherein people generally minded their own goddamn business.

I sometimes find people who are tactless attempt to warn others of this by stating they are “opinionated”. They speak their mind, fair enough. Try giving an opinionated person a taste of their own medicine though. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

Don’t be so sure.

On the other hand, there are one or two people who struggle, or are, for whatever reasons reluctant, to express themselves in a direct fashion. Theirs is a world of silence and involuntary agreement. There has to be a happy balance between the two, right?

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Madame Bovary

Monday, 29 June, 2015

3 stars
Madame Bovary scene

Propelled into marriage to a well meaning, though work focused doctor, Charles Bovary (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), Emma (Mia Wasikowska) soon tires of life in the quiet nineteenth century Normandy country town where they have settled, in Madame Bovary, trailer, the second feature of French-American filmmaker Sophie Barthes (“Cold Souls”).

In a bid to stave off boredom, the once virtuous convent student is soon fornicating with local men including Leon (Ezra Miller), and the Marquis of Andervilliers (Logan Marshall-Green), while racking up ever more debt with Monsieur Lheureux (Rhys Ifans), a manipulative merchant, who continues to extend credit to her and Charles.

Gustave Flaubert’s acclaimed 1856 novel of the same name saw the French writer charged with obscenity, such was the scandal it caused at the time. Barthes often lifeless adaptation however runs no risk of making waves. Its beautiful, and intricately fashioned, scenes will though be the envy of Instagrammers the world over.

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What are the chances of your job being automated in the future?

Monday, 29 June, 2015

Robots powered by artificial intelligence, and other similarly “smart” machines, stand to deprive many of us of jobs at some point in the future. The question for many then is, how long could I continue in my current line of work, before I need to re-skill?

Planet Money has put together a guide that estimates the likelihood of a particular role becoming automated over the next twenty years. Provided I continue working as a writer, there remains about a four percent chance that my job could be automated.

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Tastes mainly like food to me, beer that is

Monday, 29 June, 2015

Porter and stout ingredients, image by VinePair

With the variety of flavours that can be identified while drinking certain types of beers and ales, it could be argued that a fair amount of actual food is also being consumed.

For example, nuts, coffee, chocolate, and cherries, are but a few of the essences can that be discerned from some porter and stout beers. So, liquid lunch, or what?

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A set, not CGI, the five dimensional library from “Interstellar”

Monday, 29 June, 2015

Remember the library scene from Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar?

The library, or, more to the point tesseract, that existed in a mind boggling five dimensions that is, meaning the astronaut Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), could view every past moment that had played out in the room, from a single, if sprawling space, and also use gravity to tap out messages to his daughter, Murphy.

The film nerd in me was thinking that the scene must have been shot in a green-screen room, probably the size of an average garden shed, but much to my surprise, it was an actual set. How mind boggling is that?

The idea of the tesseract scene alone was so daunting to the filmmakers, Nolan and his special effects team procrastinated for months before trying to tackle how it might work. After months of concepting and model building the team opted for the unusual approach of using minimal digital effects in favor of fabricating a massive set which the actors could physically manipulate. A remarkable feat considering not only the complexity of the concepts depicted, but the cost and labor of building something so large.

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Closed for the Winter Solstice

Friday, 19 June, 2015

I’m stepping out of the disassociated studio for the next week, so it’s going to be quiet around here until I return on Monday 29 June.

I’ll depart to sounds of Sleep Lighter, by British musician Iglew. There’s no actual video to watch here, just music to listen to. See you the week after next.

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Travelbox, take home with you when you’re away from home

Friday, 19 June, 2015

Travellers, or I’m thinking more like minimalists, will appreciate Travelbox, a trunk that includes a fold-out table, chair, and bed, plus a bicycle, to furnish their home, as designed by Stefan Juust, an Austrian architect.

At a little over two metres in length, by a bit more than one metre high, and weighing in at some sixty kilograms, it just might be a little too hefty to hit the road with though. The truck’s frame can also be used as a small wardrobe unit, and a bookcase.

As I say, ideal for the minimalists among us.

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Flat out on the slopes of San Francisco’s streets

Friday, 19 June, 2015

The steeply inclined streets of San Francisco have doubtless been the subject of many a photo series that levels, or flattens them, by appropriately adjusting the angle of the final image, but applying the concept to video might be something we’ve not seen too much of before.

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Drawing every person in New York, I guess that’s possible…

Friday, 19 June, 2015

New York City artist and illustrator Jason Polan has set himself an incredibly ambitious goal… to draw every person, that’s about eight and a half million people, in the city. There’s in the order of three and a half thousand people in the town where I’m writing this, and even drawing that number of people would seem like a monumental challenge.

I am trying to draw every person in New York. I will be drawing people everyday and posting as frequently as I can. It is possible that I will draw you without you knowing it. I draw in Subway stations and museums and restaurants and on street corners. I try not to be in the way when I am drawing or be too noticeable.

You can keep tabs on Polan’s progress here, where he posts his work.

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