Five Things #43 by Ross Farley

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. Some pithy wisdom from Seth Godin that really stuck with me. — The opposite of "more"
     
  2. One for the curious. — Where did England’s counties get their names?
     
  3. Bruce Springsteen seems to be pretty good at the viral video thing (this is his second Five Things appearance in two weeks). He also seems to be a pretty cool guy! — Bruce Springsteen Invites Teenager on Stage Who Steals the Show
     
  4. Good advice and a challenge from cartoonist and teacher Paul Karasik. — Study something you love in depth
     
  5. This morning I interviewed my good friend Jay Goodrich for a new project (more on that another time). Last week his band Druids released the video to their song Stuart Slater Alligator (it was directed by my brother Scott). Their debut album is out on the 3rd March. Can't wait to hear it!

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive future posts or check out my previous Five Things posts.

Five Things #42 by Ross Farley

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. I just finished reading John Seabrook's fantastic book The Song Machine. It explores the evolution of popular music, how chart-topping songs are written (or manufactured…) and how the music industry tries its very best to guarantee hits. A pretty mind blowing book, essential reading for musicians and music fans.
     
  2. I’ve recently been enjoying The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads podcast (I prefer to read long-reads with my ears wherever possible). A recent episode, The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell (an extract from a book of the same name), tells the true story of Brian Regan and how his plot to sell American secrets was foiled by the FBI. It’s a fascinating story. (Here’s the non-audio version of the piece).
     
  3. Here’s a video of Bruce Springsteen working out (with help from his band) how best to play You Never Can Tell live on stage. Great musicianship and great to watch!

  4. “When you can’t create you can work” — Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing and His Daily Creative Routine

  5. On Monday evening I saw the film Lion. It featured one of my favourite pieces of music, Atomos VII by A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The whole soundtrack was great but I love that song! If you get a chance to see Lion, I’d recommend it, just be ready to shed a few tears…

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive future posts or check out my previous Five Things posts.

Five Things #41 by Ross Farley

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. Some midweek inspiration from Derek Sivers. — Obvious to you. Amazing to others.
     
  2. A fascinating long read on a small group of people who never forget. My first instinct was that it must be like having a superpower, pretty cool! But can you imagine never forgetting anything? On reflection it sounds more like a curse. This quote stood out to me: "Memory is not about looking backwards, that is not why we have it. It’s there so that your past experiences will make you more adaptive in the here and now and in the future."
     
  3. I've been listening to Note To Self's Privacy Paradox series. Which led me to the University Of Cambridge's Apply Magic Sauce personality prediction tool. As a test, I copied last week's Five Things post into the tool and it returned a scarily accurate description of my personality, and my correct age. It's disturbing to think how predictable we all are and how exploitable that makes us as we hand over so much personal data online. Advertisers must love it.
     
  4. I really enjoyed Radiolab's latest podcast, Stranger in Paradise. It's the story of how a dead raccoon changed the history of Guadeloupe forever.
     
  5. Following on from last week's musical recommendation. Here's another, Noveller performing No Dreams

That’s all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive the next Five Things in your inbox.

Five Things #40 by Ross Farley

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman's simple formula for learning anything. (If you haven't read it, I highly recommend his book "Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman". It's one of my favourite books. He was a fascinating, brilliant and hilarious guy.)

  2. Our brains are weird and have the unfortunate habit of playing tricks on us. This is a particular problem when it comes to being unbiased and impartial. Our brains are great at highlighting evidence that confirms our beliefs whilst ignoring the evidence that contradicts it. This is called confirmation bias — How to get people to overcome their bias

  3. This is such a clever idea! "Rogue One editor Colin Goudie shares how he made a full-length story reel for director Gareth Edwards from similar scenes from 100s of other movies so that Edwards could work out the pacing for the action and dialogue." — Rogue One’s unique storyboard, remixed from 100s of films

  4. I'm sharing this for no other reason than it made me smile. Even though this Useless Box is clearly useless, part of me wants one...

  5. One of my favourite musical discoveries of 2016 — Nocturne 4 by Ben Lukas Boysen

That’s all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive the next Five Things in your inbox.

Five Things #39 by Ross Farley

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. Interesting work by Sugata Mitra on bringing teaching into the 21st Century. —  "How one man revolutionized teaching by trusting kids to teach themselves."
     
  2. "The photo shows the 14-story-tall first stage of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket moments before it landed on a barge at sea this past weekend" — If you hadn't gathered already it's a pretty cool photo!
     
  3. Nerdwriter recently did a fascinating breakdown of one of Louis CK's jokes. I'd never really considered how much work goes into the writing and delivery of one joke.
     
  4. The inspiring story of scientific marvel, Ed Whitlock — "In October, at 85, he set his latest distance-running record, completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 3 hours 56 minutes 34 seconds and becoming the oldest person to run 26.2 miles in under four hours."
     
  5. In the latest episode of the Song Exploder podcast, Solange explains how she wrote and recorded her song "Cranes In The Sky". I love learning how different musicians approach songwriting and this was a really great episode. Recommended listening for anyone studying or making music!

That’s all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive the next Five Things in your inbox.

Five Things #38 by Ross Farley

Every Wednesday I share five things I liked and think you might like too. Here are this week’s Five Things…

  1. "If you spin these sculptures by artist John Edmark at a certain speed and light them with a strobe, they appear to animate in slowly trippy ways." — Surreal and more than a little trippy!
     
  2. The owner of this record store and label won't take your credit card, doesn't use a computer and unplugs the phone if it rings too many times. The fascinating story of Mississippi Records.
     
  3. One of my students sent me this video of a Romanian Monk playing the semantron, which (according to wikipedia) is "a percussion instrument used in monasteries to summon monastics to prayer". The monk's playing is really beautiful and hypnotic. As a musician, there is so much to learn from different cultures and their use of percussion and rhythm!
     
  4. A great article on pop music's not-so-secret secret — "The songs are written industrially. . . often by committee and in bulk. Anything short of a likely hit is discarded. The constant iteration of tracks, all produced by the same formula, can result in accidental imitation—or, depending on the jury, purposeful replication."
     
  5. Food scientists at Impossible Foods are on a mission to help the environment by winning over meat eaters and reducing our consumption of meat. The Impossible Burger is one of their attempts to do this. As a meat eater I'd be curious to give it a try!

That’s all for this week. If you enjoyed it, sign up to receive the next Five Things in your inbox.