What prison is really like

October 17, 2010

Here’s an excellent, really long post / Q&A on an online message board about what prison’s really like, written by a Michigan guy who did two years in prison for armed robbery. It’s sweary and parts are kind of graphic, in case you’re sensitive to that stuff. And it’s lengthy- expect to settle in for at least half an hour. Really interesting though; best of the web for sure.

One of the most surreal moments [in prison] was the Superbowl, all these convicts crowded around this caged screen watching a repeat of Blue’s Clues – muttering about how the Superbowl was really on. It was like even though they couldn’t watch it, they wanted to be a part of a national, communal activity. Two days later they replayed the Superbowl, with the ads and half time show taken out – no one watched it. How fucking weird is that?

Online here. Found via Kottke.

Notes:

1. There are a couple of weird auto-replaces throughout the article: “girlfriend” -> sister and “-band” is changed too. An explanation is here.

2. Metafilter says it may be fake. Sure. It’s still a good read, so read it first with your BS goggles on, and then read the “fake!” thread after.


Bubbles on the Beach

August 23, 2010

Not the pet chimp, not the trailer park boy. Something better.

Thanks to Peneycad for the tip.


1910 Russia, photographed in colour

August 21, 2010

Gorgeous photoset- actually a full century old, and so vivid. Online here.
Thanks to Hillery for the tip.


Opossum pedicure

August 6, 2010

I cannot for the life of me figure out what the hell this is. But I enjoyed it a lot anyway. That little opossum’s hoary face, and this strange, strange, time-warp of a woman. Is it a joke? It’s pretty flawlessly executed, if so. She also has several other videos where she massages and aura-cleanses her opossums, huh? I know, right?
This video is just another reason why I love the Interweb so very hard.

Via MeFi.


Inception (no spoilers)

July 26, 2010

Saw Inception this weekend and really liked it. If you want to read a little more about some different interpretations of the film, you might want to check out these links: a solid article on Chud, one at Salon, an interview with actor Dileep Rao (who played the Chemist), and, at a glance, this handy chart showing who dreamed what.

Finally, here’s one of Nolan’s admitted visual references: this luscious scene of Fred Astaire dancing up the walls from the 1951 film Royal Wedding, shot by spinning the room and the camera simultaneously. You can skip ahead in this clip to about the 2-minute mark if you like.

Links via Mefi and AskMe.

UPDATE:

One more big thing:

After you see the movie, check out this short article and YouTube video.
That seems pretty definitive to me.
Thanks to Donaldson for the tip!


Jason Bourne is the James Bond of our time

July 14, 2010

Here’s a great comment from MeFi, in which a user named wuwei describes why James Bond is passe:

“James Bond was a character that people in his era could identify with:

“Think about how that works in the post war era. The office dwelling accountant/lawyer/ad man/salesman has an expense account. This covers some lunches at counters with clients , or maybe a few nice dinners. He flirts with the secretaries and receptionists and sometimes sleeps with them. He travels on business, perhaps from his suburb into Chicago, or from Chicago to Cleveland, or San Francisco to LA. His office issues him a dictaphone (he can’t type) or perhaps a rolling display case for his wares. He has a work car, maybe an Oldsmobile 88 if he’s lucky, or a Ford Falcon if he’s not. He’s working his way up to the top, but isn’t quite ready for a management slot. He wears a suit, tie and hat every day to the office. If he’s doing well he buys this downtown at a specialty men’s store. If he’s merely average, he picks this up at Macy’s, or Sears if he’s really just a regular joe. If he gets sick his employer has a nice PPO insurance plan for him.

“Now look at Bond. He has an expense account, which covers extravagant dinners and breakfasts at the finest 4 star hotels and restaurants. He travels on business, to exotic places like Istanbul, Tokyo and Paris. He takes advantage of the sexual revolution (while continuing to serve his imperialist/nationalist masters) by sleeping with random women in foreign locations. He gets issued cool stuff by the office– instead of a big dictaphone that he keeps on his desk, Bond has a tiny dictaphone that he carries around with him in his pocket! He has a work car — but it’s an Aston Martin with machine guns! He’s a star, with a license to kill, but not management. Management would be boring anyways, they stay in London while Bond gets to go abroad and sleep with beautiful women. Bond always wears a suit, but they’re custom tailored of the finest materials. If he gets hurt, he has some Royal Navy doctors to fix him right up.

“In today’s world, that organization man who looked up to James Bond as a kind of avatar of his hopes and dreams, no longer exists.

“Who is our generation’s James Bond? Jason Bourne. He can’t trust his employer, who demanded ultimate loyalty and gave nothing in return. In fact, his employer is outsourcing his work to a bunch of foreign contractors who presumably work for less and ask fewer questions. He’s given up his defined benefit pension (Bourne had a military one) for an individual retirement account (safe deposit box with gold/leeching off the gf in a country with a depressed currency). In fact his employer is going to use him up until he’s useless. He can’t trust anyone, other than a few friends he’s made on the way while backpacking around. Medical care? Well that’s DIY with stolen stuff, or he gets his friends to hook him up. What kinds of cars does he have? Well no more company car for sure, he’s on his own on that, probably some kind of import job. What about work tools? Bourne is on is own there too. Sure, work initially issued him a weapon, but after that he’s got to scrounge up whatever discount stuff he can find, even when it’s an antique. He has to do more with less. And finally, Bourne survives as a result of his high priced, specialized education. He can do things few people can do — fight multiple opponents, tell which guy in a restaurant can handle himself, hotwire cars, speak multiple languages and duck a surveillance tail. Oh, and like the modern, (sub)urban professional, Bourne had to mortgage his entire future to get that education. They took everything he had, and promised that if he gave himself up to the System, in return the System would take care of him.

“It turned out to be a lie.”

Nice, huh? Taken from here.


Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

June 27, 2010

rewards daniel pink motivation incentive

Here’s a great 10 minute presentation about motivation and incentive. Turns out that for higher-level cognitive work, financial rewards are actually a disincentive to do good work; Pink discusses other incentives that work better. Great topic + engaging artwork = solid video.

Thanks to Reub for the tip.


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