This is a copy of the bi-monthly email newsletter I send out with things to see/read/listen to during the weekend. You can sign up here, if you’d like.
Blue Ruin (Netflix)
This revenge thriller from 2014 is criminally under-seen. It’s stripped down and simple – no jumping from helicopters, no miraculous last-minute interventions – yet tense enough to keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. If you don’t believe me, check out the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, where it has a 96% Fresh rating.
Self-Compassion (4:42 on Youtube)
I must admit that I can be too hard on myself sometimes, and I’m sure the same can be said for many of you. This beautifully animated video is a bit cheesy, but a useful reminder of the necessity of self-compassion. It’s a quick way to brighten your day and feel a bit more positive. Be warned that there is a tiny, tiny amount of animated nudity in here, so it might not be safe for work for all.
Better Call Saul (Netflix)
Easily my favorite show of 2015. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen Breaking Bad, no background is necessary to enjoy this darkly comedic character study. There’s little in the way of drugs or violence in this show, so if that turned you off Breaking Bad, have no fear. Perfect for binge-watching.
A Timelapse of the Northern Lights (2 minutes on Youtube)
For the past week, I’ve been trying to get my head around the incredible phenomena of the Northern Lights (a.k.a Aurora Borealis). It’s now on my bucket list to see this cosmic beauty in person before I die. Here’s a quick GIF that explains how the phenomena came to be, and of course Wikipedia has all the further reading you could want.
A Drug to Cure Fear (~5 Minutes)
I’ve been interested in cognitive supplements (a.k.a Nootropics) for years now, but this article from the New York Times is one of the more fascinating cases I’ve come across. Research suggests that a perfectly timed dose of proporanol, a beta-blocker, could cut the tie between an anxiety inducing event (like public speaking) and the anxiety itself. As we continue to uncover new insights into how the mind works, it’s interesting to think of the other ways we could counteract undesirable states of mind.
In India, a Small Band of Women Risk It All for a Chance to Work (~20 Minutes)
It’s not often you get such a close, personal, and human look at women’s issues in the developing world. This fantastic piece of journalism takes you into a small Indian village where women must fight tooth and nail against community expectations in order to work. The major characters all feel 3 dimensional, and the story alternates between uplifting and tragic. Make sure to read to the end.
Rubio’s Surge Is a Triumph for Trumpism (~3 Minutes)
I would be willing to bet that Marco Rubio will be the Republican nominee in 2016, but it’ll be interesting to see just how “Trumpian” he’ll have to become in order to get there. Even if Donald Trump doesn’t get nominated, his impact on politics in America is already becoming clear, and it’s quite concerning.
2016 Will be the Year of Conversational Commerce (~11 Minutes)
Consider this article a followup on last issue’s Wechat writeup. The idea, in a nutshell, is that the way we interact with companies will become increasingly conversational (i.e. literally taking place within messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Slack, etc) and that shift will unleash new opportunities for startups and businesses alike.
Majid Jordan – Hold Tight (Music)
Majid Jordan are a Canadian duo signed to Drake’s OVO label, and if their name sounds familiar, its because they wrote the giant hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home“. They have a new album out this week, which has me revisiting some of their old material. This is my favorite song by them, a late night dance groove with some R&B thrown in.
Radiolab: Mau Mau (Podcast)
For decades, the secrets of the former British Colonial Empire have been hidden away in miles and miles of documents within Hanslope Park. Finally, some of the documents are coming to light. This Radiolab episode examines the discoveries made when a professor tried researching British action in Kenya, and the findings are staggering.