In this new weekly column, filmmaker Danish Aslam will be your purveyor of the finest quality random facts, useless trivia and other esoterica from the world wide web. He lives mostly behind a keyboard and may or may not be a wizened old green man who speaks in grammatically incorrect aphorisms.
Awesome People Hanging Out Together
It's pretty much what it says. A Tumblr about really cool people captured in the brief moment when their paths intersect. Most of them are quite funny too, like Elton John, Lady Gaga and Sting.
Jonathan Mak & His Designs
I'm pretty sure most of you have seen the Steve-Jobs-in-the-Apple-logo image that went viral after his death. But I'm also pretty sure not too many of us bothered to find out where it came from. And the answer is the fertile mind of Jonathan Mak, a 20 year old student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was so sure that his design was too obvious not to have been created already that he asked people to let him know if someone else had already beat him to the idea on his blog.
But nobody had. And Graham Fink, the Chief Creative Officer of Oglivy China, liked it so much that he did actually bother to find out who was responsible so that he could offer him an assignment - design a new poster for Coke with the brief "Sharing a Coke". And this is what Jonathan came up with. This has to be one of the better designs I've seen in a while and that's mainly because it's so simple. Just like the Steve Jobs image, this too elicits a "how-the-hell-could-nobody-have-thought-of-this-before" reaction.
63 Reasons Why Boybands Were Better In The '90s
Backstreet Boys! Boyzone! Take That! N'Sync! Hate them, love them, secretly bop your head and tap your feet every time "I want it that way" plays on the radio - the one thing you can't deny was that the 90s was almost entirely the decade of the boy bands. And here are 63 reasons why the new ones just can't hack it in comparison.
Also, this has to be the single best collection of Justin Timberlake photos ever put together. Take that, David Fincher!
It's not intentional, but I do love a good minimalist design. Hence the second post on the topic. But this one is in two parts: children's stories distilled into one single, clean image by designer Christian Jackson and TV shows in the form of puzzles that you have to guess the names of. Personal favorite in Category One: The Wizard of Oz.
Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square
Flash mobs started off as social experiments and ironic comments on conformity back in 2003. But, as with all things fringe, they've now been ingested into the mainstream andare the latest in many tools used by advertisers to sell things without making it seem like they're selling things. Which doesn't mean that they can't be a barrel of fun at the same time!
This one takes place in “an average Flemish square of an average Flemish town" where a mysterious red button has been planted with a sign hanging over it which says "push to add drama". And somebody does.
PS: Although this isn't technically a flash mob, the definition is fairly loose and nobody has a copyright. So there.
With Friends Like These
Everybody knows the exact lilt and the exact amount of swagger to project when saying "How you doin'?" And everybody knows that Ross and Rachel were almost perpetually "on a break". F.R.I.E.N.D.S. was a part of everybody's life for ten years, which is more than we can say for most real-life friends. And thanks to the magic of syndication and re-runs, it still is. And this Vanity Fair article (which is actually an adaptation from former NBC president Warren Littlefield's book) recounts the genesis of the show right through those 10 years unto the point where they finally bid farewell. Written in the form of first-person quotes form most of the major players, it's a fascinating insight into how the world's most popular show was (and almost never was) made.
Click on the link to the slideshow for some vintage set pictures as well.
The Quietest Room In The World
You can have too much of a good thing. In this case, it's something that all city-dwelling people yearn for (and often very loudly) on an almost daily basis: silence. The Anechoic Test Chamber at Orfield Labsin in Minnesota is the world's quietest place. And the maximum amount of time that you can survive in there: about 45 minutes. This is because absolute silence (they test the room every day by measuring the sound in negative decibels) causes absolute dementia. In a room where you can hear every beat of your heart, every gurgle of your stomach and sometimes every expansion and collapse of your lungs, you become the sound. And it isn't very pleasant.
Sorry, Kashmir Is Happy
I'm a fairly apolitical animal, but every once in a while a piece of journalism comes along which reveals a point of view that our so-called mainstream media has just not bothered to focus on. This Open Magazine article by Manu Joseph asks a question that most people today would react pretty violently to: is Kashmir happy? And he pinpoints the people who would have the aforementioned violent reactions as well.
People living in war zones inevitably have a very different viewpoint on the cessation of conflict from the "Facebook revolutionaries" scattered around the world. And it's this ground reality that this article brings to light. Read it to understand a little better the answer to the question that I get asked by just about everybody when they realise I'm a Kashmiri: "So what do the people of Kashmir really want?"
Just one of those asides where you see a chocolate innovation while browsing the net, smile and say "that's a great idea", move on and then can't think of anything else for the next four hours. So, in an attempt to get it out of my system, here it is. The only candle you don't need to blow out as soon as it's lit. And if you make one, do send it across.
The Ridiculously Automated Dorm Room
If college had been like this, I might have moved into a hostel and never moved out. Derek decided to completely automate his room during his freshman year at Berkeley and as of last month, it's finally ready. Or rather, BRAD (Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm) is ready!
Some of you might find it a slight case of overkill, but the Emergency Party Button makes up for everything!