Archive for the ‘Brain Recharge’Category
For nearly 60 years, Pyongyang’s mysterious University of Cinematic and Dramatic Arts has been training young actors to work in the regime’s propaganda film industry. It took the team behind this doc two years to negotiate with the North Korean government to earn the right to be the first foreign crew to film at this enigmatic school. If you’ve got time to dig into this 25-min video, I highly recommend it:
-via The Daily What
* Forgetting your past is virtually impossible because of the cringeworthy digital trails we leave on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Those embarrassing mistakes you made in college are often the first things that strangers know about you. Uh oh. – NY Times
* Go behind-the-scenes at the Library of Congress as the pros preserve and digitize ancient texts…it’s an insanely delicate (and unbelievably important) job. – Boing Boing
* Humans spend the majority of time (even more than having sex) in imaginary worlds through books, films, video games, etc – Why is it that even when we know something is fictional, there’s a biological part of us that truly believes it’s real? – Chronicle
* Take an in-depth look at Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, and how the production revealed cracks in the seemingly unstoppable Jackson Machine. – Vanity Fair
* The age-old mystery has finally been solved – why do some countries drive on the left versus the right? Great info for your next cocktail party (or a dive bar, or wherever you get drunk). – Today I Found Out
* A Russian dude turned down the $1 Million he won for solving one of the world’s most difficult math problems, the Poincare Conjecture, because he got in a little tiff with the ‘math community’ (bitchy mathematicians). Here’s what the Poincare Conjecture is all about. – Slate
* Did you hear how Chinese corporations are hiring white dudes to act like the president of the company in the hopes of attracting more investments? So crazy. Check out these interviews with guys that have actually taken part in the bizarre stunts. – VBS & The Atlantic
* I’ve wanted cities to install moving sidewalks for as long as I can remember…it’s been a slight obsession of mine. (Yes, I need a hobby.) But is it really a good idea? – Slate
* The potential successor to the Dalai Lama isn’t an old sage sitting silently in a forest cave waiting for his turn. His name is Karmapa Lama. He’s 24 years old, loves video games, listens to rap music, and is WAY cooler than you and me – Global Post
* Have you noticed the new subculture called ‘Steampunk’ gaining steam lately? (Sorry, bad pun). It’s based on an intense love with Victorian-era machines and the world of Jules Verne (think “Back to the Future 3″). Learn more about this crazy world. – More Intelligent Life
(Did you see I used a photo from my Awkward Stock Photos post? Apparently they ARE useful!)
BRAIN: Summer’s almost here…are you excited?
YOU: Absolutely. I’m looking forward to getting involved in some new projects.
BRAIN: Great…tt’s nice to see you engaged and ready to apply yourself. What projects?
YOU: ’America’s Got Talent’, ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’, ‘The Bachelorette’, ‘Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami”, and drumroll please…’Jersey Shore 2′! I can’t wait to see what trouble that lovable and precarious Snooki gets into this year!
BRAIN: … I think we have a Situation on our hands.
* I know it’s hard to believe, but Cheetos (my ultimate favorite) aren’t natural. I know, crazy. Find out how a silo filled with cornmeal becomes a delectable guilty pleasure. And if anyone knows how I can become one of the ‘quality control’ experts on the assembly line, please let me know. – Wired
* This is the true story of 3 mental patients who each believe they’re Jesus Christ, picked to live together in a mental hospital and have their lives observed, to find out what happens when delusional people stop being crazy, and start being…well, they’re still crazy at the end. - Slate
* With hi-tech 3D graphics being shoved down our throats lately, why are so many designers still attracted to crudely simple 8-bit pixel art? Is it simply nostalgia, or the challenge of representing an image with as little information as possible? – Ars Technica
* Are the lovers in Botticelli’s “Venus and Mars” high on aphrodisiac drugs, the Renaissance equivalent of popping Ecstasy pills? According to an art historian, it’s absolutely possible. Break out the glow sticks and pacifiers. - Guardian
* Legendary American author Mark Twain wrote an autobiography with strict orders for it to not be published until 100 years after his death. Time’s up, and we’re about to learn some dark secrets about him. Let’s just say he wasn’t always Mr. Nice Guy. - Independent
* Warning! Cuba is overrun with condoms! Don’t worry…Cubans have invented countless non-traditional uses for condoms, like smuggling alcohol into clubs, doubling as beach balls, attaching messages to the legs of messenger birds, becoming missiles in kids water balloon fights…the list goes on and on. – Global Post
* Surveillance cameras are only useful when a pair of eyes are actually watching the footage being recorded. But whether you like it or not, the future is finally here, and it’s not humans doing the monitoring…automated computer brains have taken over in many areas. – Popular Mechanics
* Attention geeks: It’s been 28 years since Mario first appeared in a video game. Enjoy this essay which explains what it is about that little mustached Italian that keeps us coming back for more koopa-stomping and Princess-saving fun. - 1 Up
The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce) has a new video lecture series called RSA Animate that adds a layer of clever hand-drawn animation to their most compelling talks…if all my college lectures were animated like this, my GPA would have taken me out for a drink to thank me.
This talk, by Professor Philip Zimbardo, is titled “The Secret Powers of Time” – he explains how shared time perspectives can characterize a nation. For example, in Sicilian dialect, future tense verbs (like ‘will be’) simply don’t exist – Zimbardo says this is because Sicilians are more focused on traditions of the past instead of the future.
I think I’m a “Present Hedonist” – so I want to watch this video NOW, and I’ll be ANGRY if I have to wait more than 5 secs for it to load.
YOU: We’ve got a lot of reading to do this time, so no dilly-dallying.
BRAIN: Don’t you want to talk?
YOU: About what?
BRAIN: Um, Alex vs. Jill? Lindsay vs. Avril? Andrews vs. Hasselbeck?
YOU: … … …
BRAIN: OK…your silence is deafening. I get it. (But seriously, as much as I’ve stopped liking Jill, Alex was completely out of line…sure, Linsday is a mess, but Avril has always been a little twit… and I still can’t believe 95% of the things that come out of that Hasselbeck’s mouth…)
YOU: SHUT UP!
* We always root for the underdog…in sports, crappy reality shows, and life in general. Learn about the hard-wired psychological reasons why we just can’t help loving losers. – Slate
* “Mommy…I want THAT one”, little Johnny screamed as he pointed his fat finger towards Double Choco Crispy Fruity Flaky Pebble Chunks. Marketing junk food to kids is complicated, conflicted, and wildly controversial. Get the real story. – Alternet
* Imagine spending 10pm to 7am every single night cleaning gum and spit off lamp posts at Disneyland. The overnight shift is an incredibly busy and hectic time for workers…go behind-the-pristine-scenes of the Disneyland overnight cleanup crew. – LA Times
* The rest of the world doesn’t look down on plastic wine corks like us snobby Americans do…the battle between cork and plastic has been raging for about 30 years, and it’s getting nastier and more intense by the minute. – Wall Street Journal (via @patkiernan)
* The next time you let out a sigh, think about this – sighs are actually part of an intricate system that regulates our breathing patterns. Learn what these little puffs of air really mean to our bodies and minds. – Discovery
* Each year, people who’ve had their genomes mapped gather at an exclusive meeting. The club’s membership grows exponentially each year as technology becomes more accessible. Be a fly-on-the-wall at this unusual and compelling meeting. – Discover Magazine
* If you really want to learn about how the TV business makes money, check out this clear and concise article explaining the golden ticket of revenue…affiliate fees. – Above The Crowd
* Please cover your ears if you work in the pharmaceutical industry: it’s hard to ignore the fact that some placebos actually work well in clinical trials. Is it time to proactively use placebos to help cure what ails us? – Boston Globe