Trauma cleaning, this type of cleaning is not for everyone…

Monday, 25 May, 2015

And you thought your job was rough… try working as a trauma cleaner, or those charged with the task of clearing up the sites of murders, suicides, illegal drug laboratories, and anything else others won’t go near, as husband and wife team Steve and Lorinda Penn do.

Nothing squeamish, or potentially NSFW here, in case you were wondering.

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Together we’ll break the stigma of doing things alone

Monday, 25 May, 2015

Back in the day when I used to write far more film reviews than I do now, I’d often be going along to the movies by myself. Often these would be morning, mid week screenings, and numerous times I’d just about be the only person in the auditorium, but I’d still make sure my notepad and pen were prominently visible.

After a time though, I became less concerned by the apparent stigma of being alone at the movies, even it were for work purposes. Even so, it’s still unlikely that you’d see me at the movies on Friday or Saturday nights, alone. Any other day, any other time, no problem.

But that’s where I might be letting the team down. You see, if more people did more things by themselves, such as going to a film solo, the easier it becomes for everyone else to do likewise. Put another way, it’s better to go and do something, even if that means doing so alone, rather than staying home potentially doing nothing.

But the best way to get rid of the stigma of doing things in public alone is probably for people to just start doing it more. “We need the norms to shift a little. We need for people to think it’s a gutsy cool thing to have fun on our own,” said Ratner. “Someone needs to start the new trend.”

And regarding film screenings in empty auditoriums, and why bother showing them if no one’s there, the cinemas are obliged to feature a movie as advertised, regardless of how many people are, or aren’t, seeing it. I have it on good authority that film distributors actually go around at random to make sure that’s happening.

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Set in the street, whatever scene you care to create

Friday, 22 May, 2015

Photo by Justin Bettman

#SetintheStreet is a project by New York City photographer Justin Bettman that involves the building of a set, such as the dining room scene above, from discarded materials that are found on the street, that he then photographs. The sets are then left for passersby to use to take their own photos.

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In your time on Earth…

Friday, 22 May, 2015

Quite a lot has happened, even if you’re not aware of every last occurrence. Type in your date of birth and get up to speed, thanks to this interactive from the BBC.

Find out how, since the date of your birth, your life has progressed; including how many times your heart has beaten, and how far you have travelled through space. Investigate how the world around you has changed since you’ve been alive; from the amount the sea has risen, and the tectonic plates have moved, to the number of earthquakes and volcanoes that have erupted.

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Food cubes, unprocessed, uncooked, but looking irresistible anyway

Friday, 22 May, 2015

Artwork/photo by Lernert & Sander

Working on a commission from a local newspaper, Amsterdam based artists and filmmakers Lernert & Sander, took ninety-eights items of unprocessed foodstuffs, and cut them into two and half centimetre neatly set out cubes. It may be unprocessed food, but it still looks good enough to eat right now.

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Heads I work, tails I sleep, living on flip of a coin

Friday, 22 May, 2015

As much as I like reading Hopes&Fears, I’m not sure that I’d ever want to write for them, on account of the assignments they seem to hand out. Recently I linked to an article by Meg Mankins, who described the experience of only speaking if someone spoke to her first, for a entire week.

Now Jordan Michael writes about making all his decisions over a twenty-four hour period, based solely on the flip of a coin, that he could only make every thirty minutes.

The coin flipping relaxes. Being told not to check Facebook or watch a YouTube video makes not doing it easy. Maybe I can in half an hour? I clean the house quickly and text my mom a picture of her dogs so she doesn’t get lonely on her trip this weekend.

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Shanghai in reverse, that’s one way to see a city

Thursday, 21 May, 2015

Walk in Shanghai by JT Singh, takes an off-beat stroll through central Shanghai… at first I wondered how they filmed some of the sequences, but that curiosity quickly gave way to a desire to be walking those exact same streets myself.

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What might be our last working device if we suddenly vanished?

Thursday, 21 May, 2015

Now here’s a question. If people were to completely vanish, just like that, for whatever reason, what electric/electronic device would continue functioning for the longest time?

Something robust, low maintenance, and with access to a consistent source of energy. Nuclear power plants on naval vessels? Space probes, such as the Voyager craft? A solar powered yard light? Those are a few of the suggestions at this Slashdot discussion on the question.

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The flight of the model P-51D Mustang, as seen by the model pilot

Thursday, 21 May, 2015

A remote controlled, scale model of a P-51D Mustang, a US single seat fighter and fighter bomber, that first flew in 1940, is outfitted with a camera that films its flight from the perspective of a would-be pilot. Somehow looping the loop, or landing for that matter, doesn’t seem so terrifying here…

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Distracted for enlightenment’s sake, thanks to our smartphones

Thursday, 21 May, 2015

So all those people on buses, trains, at cafes, walking in the park, and in queues at the supermarket, gazing at the screens of their smartphones, are not so much doing so because their device makes for a distraction, but because they are seeking information, or knowledge, of some sort at least.

Others may prefer to call it the pursuit of enlightenment, and it’s something we can only do when we’re by ourselves, usually, or some of the time at least, and that therefore serves as justification enough for choosing to stare at a smartphone screen while supposedly isolated.

Even if we are surrounded by people, some of who may not even be strangers. That’s the persuit of enlightenment, by way of a smartphone. Yes, that sounds pretty good to me.

In The World Beyond Your Head, he explores how we got to what he calls a “crisis of attention”. His starting onslaught is no less challenging a task than an assault on the “Enlightenment self”, because, it seems, it is the isolated self that permits distraction. Immanuel Kant is frequently taken to be the epitome of the 18th-century philosophical Enlightenment, and Crawford blames him for constructing its notion of the self as an isolated being for whom true knowledge can arise only from solo enquiry.

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