Posted on | September 11, 2010 | No Comments
Just watched Eastern Promises with a friend. I think I really liked it, but it’s the kind of flick that may need to sink in for a day or two before I really know what I thought of it.
Naomi Watts plays a midwife in London. A 14-year-old dies on the table, leaving her diary and newborn behind. There’s a business card for a restaurant in the diary. In a search for the infant’s family, the midwife unwittingly follows the card into the world of a Russian mob family. Viggo Mortensen is the family’s driver.
Things get ugly.
The thing with a movie like this, especially one directed by David Cronenberg, is that you have to leave any expectations that Hollywood has engraved in you at the door. The pace is slower. The plot doesn’t necessarily go where you want. The violence isn’t pretty. The climax, while thematically satisfying, isn’t cathartic. But it works. It’s solid.
And the performances. My god. I almost believed Mortensen was Russian. I also really appreciated the attention to the importance of Russian prison tattoos, which are serious shit in that world.
It reminded me of another excellent story told in the Russian mob world. This one is called The Last Thief by Lee Lamothe. It follows an old thief who is trying to live by the code of thieves in Toronto and has a difference of opinion with the young Russian gangsters in the area. I haven’t read it in years, but I think it’s time again. As brutal as Eastern Promises is, The Last Thief makes it look tame.
All in all, I’ll probably own this movie at some point down the line. However, it’s not going to be one I watch all the time. Kind of like The Wire.
Posted on | September 9, 2010 | No Comments
I prefer Blogging Teacher’s take: “Priority Inbox is just a way of automating and simplifying something that people already do with their email.”
For the uninitiated, Priority Inbox applies an algorithm that sorts messages into two piles based on how you’ve interacted with similar messages in the past. There’s the Priority Inbox, which displays at the top of the page. Then there’s “Everything Else”, which displays at the bottom. If the sorting algorithm gets it wrong, you can tell it by marking messages as important or unimportant. Then it knows for next time. You can also tweak the filters you set up yourself to mark certain kinds of messages as always important. If something is important but you need to come back to it later, star it and it’ll be displayed in the middle of the page between Priority Inbox and Everything Else.
While the real test will come down the road when it’s lost its novelty, I love it right now. It makes sifting through e-mail that much easier by skipping the scan of the 20-odd messages that come in in a day for the important stuff. Then, once I know I’ve dealt with the important stuff, I can move through everything else fairly quickly. I’m actually reading more of the newsletters and whatnot that I’ve subscribed to than before.
Photo by Dan4th
Posted on | September 3, 2010 | No Comments
The good people behind Dexter are running an “Alternate Reality Game.” The quotes are because I have only the vaguest idea what that might mean. It looks like an interesting way to extend the story off-screen.
Posted on | September 3, 2010 | No Comments
I’ve been tracking for years, but only recently decided to start systematically documenting my finds. While there are excellent field note systems described in many mammal tracking books, I wanted a stripped down version. Once I designed it, I thought it would be nice to share. Enjoy!
Posted on | August 31, 2010 | 2 Comments
While you may not want to carry all five of these into the field with you when you go mammal tracking, each one is a valuable addition to your personal library. I use them all on a regular basis and each has added to my knowledge of animals and tracks.
How to Track
- The Tracker’s Field Guide: A Comprehensive Handbook for Animal Tracking in the United States
- A Field Guide to Mammal Tracking in North America
- Tom Brown’s Field Guide To Nature Observation And Tracking
Have a favourite tracking guide not mentioned here? Please share in a comment below!
Posted on | August 24, 2010 | No Comments
Apparently not that hard. Here’s an extremely quick lesson in how.
First, find an image on flickr you want in your post. Make sure you’re allowed to share it by checking the permissions listed under “License.” If it says you can share, you should be good to go. Be sure to give credit.
Second, find the following text that should be located above the photo: “Share this”. Click on it. In the menu that drops down, click “Grab the HTML/BBCode.” Follow the directions that appear.
Third, paste the code that you copied in the previous step into your blog post.
Posted on | August 10, 2010 | No Comments
There was a time in my life where I felt like I was sinking into a moral black hole. The way out was The Code. Now I’m sharing a free 11-page document that describes the problem I faced and the way I solved it. You can download it here:
This is also the first post in a new category on this blog, one called A Principled Life. In this category you’ll get links to relevant articles, original blog posts, and news about documents like the one I’ve linked to above.
You can subscribe for free to get updates from this category in by the RSS feed at the right, or by e-mail below.
Subscribe to Aaron Jacklin » A Principled Life by Email
Posted on | December 24, 2009 | No Comments
“Many newspapers fail to grasp that bloggers are their most avid readers,” Missing the Link.
Posted on | December 22, 2009 | 2 Comments
Jay Rosen recently sat down for a Q&A with Clay Shirky and then posted it to YouTube in five parts. Shirky is the author of the excellent Here Comes Everbody, which I’ve recommended nearby. (Full disclosure: I’m a tad conflicted. If you buy it through my affiliate thing at the bottom right, I’ll get a cut. Just saying.)
In the first part, embedded below, Rosen starts the Q & A with his single prepared question:
On March 15, you sent me an e-mail at about 11 o’clock at night with a link to a post you had written called ‘Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable,’ and the last time I looked this post had 1,100 links to it, which is, for [as] anyone who is a blogger knows, a very difficult feat to get that many in-bound links to one single post. When you sent me that e-mail at 11 o’clock at night, you said, “I’m becoming obsessed.” What obsession was this and why were you obsessed?
The Q&A goes on from there.
Part 2 (17:17), where they discuss Jeff Jarvis (briefly), an amazing thing called the “business model,” micropayments, the persistence of pressures on newspapers other than economic ones, Habermas, the origins of the press and the public, Tocqueville, infovores, the threat of surveillance, and the missing front page in online news.
Part 4 (13:34), where Rosen asks for Shirky’s opinion on why American public confidence in the American press dropped over the last 30 years despite the rise in journalistic professionalism, Rathergate, factchecking vs. after-the-factchecking, Trent Lott, and the forwarding of articles about priestly abuse.
Part 5 (4:35), where each explains why he studies media. Rosen shares his experience as a kid “marooned on the end of the television set, connected up to the media but totally isolated from anyone else.” Shirky describes his first experience with the Internet and then moves from that to his more recent reasons for studying media.
Posted on | December 14, 2009 | No Comments
David Eaves has an excellent piece up today about the use of the hyperlink in journalism. He argues that online journalism that doesn’t link to other content, specifically its own sources of information and other relevant content, fails its readers.
In a similar vein, Eaves and Taylor Owen prepared a report for the Columbia Journalism Review in response to a piece by Robert Kuttner. Kuttner had argued that the “print-digital hybrid model,” where newspapers shovel their print content out through a digital platform, could save newspapers. Eaves and Owen disagreed.