Tag Archives: picture

Things 16: Colour-changing, Memes, Captain Jack

A video
The video comes first this week because it’s so incredibly good. If you are nearby to someone that might be interested in interesting illusion videos, get them to watch with you. It’s a simple but incredible colour-changing card trick:


It has come to my attention that some people didn’t realise I have a Cineworld Unlimited card, so I better plug that just this once. You pay £12 a month and you can see as many films as you like at Cineworld cinemas all across the country (although it’s £15 a month if you also want to be able to go to those in central London, which fortunately does not include the one on King Street). Last year this meant I saw films for an average of £2.95 a ticket.

One of the objections to the idea of this card is that there aren’t enough films you would want to see in a month for it to be worth it. But of course, you will quite likely find there are more films you are happy to go and see if the cost is working out to be £3 per film on average!

Link: http://www.cineworld.co.uk/Cms.jgi?RUBRIQUE_CMS=UNLIMITED
http://www.cineworld.co.uk/unlimited [link no longer works, try this one – also it is now £13.50. – Tim, 17/8/10]

Furthermore, even if you don’t have one of these cards, the Orange Wednesdays 2-for-1 offer apparently still works with tickets bought with an unlimited card (so seeing a film with such a person on a Wednesday would be free).

So anyway, this week I saw Cassandra’s Dream, which was flawed but very effective at creating tension and so proved an interesting experience, and Smart People, which was not much more than flawed characters delivering pithy lines and so was a bit disappointing.

Next Week’s film
I’ll be seeing Mongol.

IMDb rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating
: 85%
featuring some of the most hilariously overwrought and obvious deep-voiced narration I’ve heard in a while: http://www.filmcrave.com/movie_page_main.php?id=8165

A Puzzle
An open question that emerged from a discussion I had earlier this week:

In evolution, genes are passed on and alter randomly (roughly speaking), and in this way desirable traits emerge. The analogy has been made for ideas and technology, and in this case people refer to ‘memes’ (a cross between genes and memory, as these things have to be remembered by people rather than passed on). But there are several problems with the analogy. What do you think are the main problems or differences?

A Quote
Another personal maxim of mine that came up recently:

“You can’t expect something to get better if you don’t do anything about it. In fact, you can expect it to get worse.”

A Link
A fascinating report on the experiences of a guy that played Jack Sparrow at Disneyland.

An extract:

“Here’s a napkin someone wrote on for me: “I will give you a blow job on your break, so sexy! Kim—714-XXX-XXXX.” I would also get offers from women in my ear: “Anything you want, just find me.” I had a girl who had turned 18 the day before. She was with a high school group, and she wrote down her room number at the Downtown Disney hotel. I had a lady hump my leg one day in the park.”

A picture
I recently passed the picture below on to Bryan when he needed an opening image for a presentation on how to judge creative work.

Things 11: Video Store Clerk, Theremin Cat, Ambigram

(Originally sent April 2008)

This week’s film – one line review
Forgetting Sarah Marshall veered too far away from that interesting brand of comedy I liked in Superbad toward boring old-school stand-up sexist tripe.

Next week’s film
Well, we’re going to see Persepolis on May 1st, aren’t we.

A Puzzle
If you were designing mammals for optimal reproduction capacity, you might think it would be more efficient to arrange for there to be more females than males. But in fact it’s more like 50/50. Why is that this remarkably equal ratio has evovled?

A Quote
This quote sounds profound but I don’t understand it:

William Blake: No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.

A Link
Video Store Clerk, the game. Guess how real customers rated movies. Strangely compelling.

A video
A cat playing with a theremin:

A picture
An ambigram.

Things 9: Statistics Art, Dramatic Prairie Dog, Flag Diagrams

(Originally sent April 2008)

It’s the return of Things!

This week’s film – one line review:
Last night I saw Son of Rambow, which was kind of Beano-like, over the top, strange, and put together with more heart than writing competence much like the film-within-a-film it portrays, and fortunately heart is the most important aspect of a film, so that was rather good.

Next week’s films:
Next week I plan to catch the preview of Happy-Go-Lucky. It’s a film about the power of optimism by Mike Leigh, and Mark Kermode was enthusing about it, so it sounds well worth seeing.

Imdb rating: 8.6 /10 (from 87 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes rating:  N/A (insufficient data)
[Now gets 92% on RT – metatim, 16/5/10]
Clip : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqTlFY84yYU
[Link is dead, I think this is the same one though – metatim, 16/5/10]

The clip doesn’t seem terribly demonstrative given what Kermode was going on about, but it’s the best I could find.

A Puzzle:
In the last Things I left you with the rainbow paradox. I don’t have an answer but I saw a diagram once of the colours the human eye perceives separated by how distinct we perceive them to be, that looked like a clue. If I find it then I’ll use it as the image attachment of a Things one day. [That diagram can be found here, from this Wikipedia article on colour vision – metatim, 16/5/10]

This week: If there are 3 people in a room, what is the probability that at least 2 of them are of the same sex?

A Quote:
Federico García Lorca: The iguana will bite he who does not dream.

A Link:
Chris Jordan has a series called ‘running the numbers’, in which he takes amazing statistics and makes art out of them:


A video:
This 5-second video was big in June 2007 but I somehow missed it. It’s an internet classic and it is vital that you see it with sound:


A picture:
Below is an image which, like Chris Jordan’s art, also presents statistics in an interesting way.

Things 7: Mistranslated Menu, Michel Musicvideo, Mysterious Moneypit

(Originally sent January 2008)

This week’s film – one line review
Charlie Wilson’s War was an extremely bizarre mix of overly polished and sharp dialogue and insanely unbalanced pacing, marred by editorial decisions taken due to pressure being applied to the studio by the people the film was based on. Oh dear.

Next week’s films
Next week looks awesome. I’ll probably see one or more of these films at the weekend.

No country For Old Men
Imdb rating: 8.7/10 (putting it at the all-time #25 after 37,000 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95%
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBqmKSAHc6w
Prognosis: I was already a big fan of the Coen brothers, and now everyone is saying they are at the peak of their powers. The premise and trailer are not particularly compelling, but everything else bodes extremely well.

Sweeney Todd
Imdb rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_hgrfZVlJA
Prognosis: Depp and Burton do a musical. That’s enough for me!

Aliens vs Predator – Requiem
Imdb: 5.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 17%
Trailer: http://www.veoh.com/videos/v1220953wjWkZhyT
Prognosis: It’s rubbish, but it’s got Aliens and Predators and Predaliens in it, and is made by people whose only experience is in special effects. Sounds great!

A Puzzle
Why do clocks go clockwise?

A Quote
Thomas Sowell: Most problems do not get solved. They get superceded by other concerns.

A Link
The worst translated menu in the world

A video
My second favourite music video by Michel Gondry – it requires a lot of mental attention:

A picture
The Oak Island ‘money pit’ remains one of my favourite unsolved mysteries. A helpful diagram is below.