Five Things #51 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. A vending machine unlike any other — Japanese origami vending machine makes news around the country
     
  2. Kurt Vonnegut on the shapes of stories and a related article on the shapes of stories as identified by a computer.
     
  3. Eerie is definitely the correct choice of word to describe this. (Great choice of music for the soundtrack)  — The eerie otherworldliness of slow undersea life sped up to a human pace
     
  4. Guilty of using terrible passwords? Have a read of this. A good primer on Two-Factor Authentication from Teen Vogue of all places! 
     
  5. This week's musical recommendation is Gimme Sympathy by Metric. I'm surprised more people haven't heard of them. If you like this song, it's well worth exploring their back catalogue. They have a lot of good tunes!

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and you'll get the next Five Things delivered straight to your inbox. You can check out previous Five Things posts here

Five Things #50 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. A two-part conversation between Adam Buxton and Brian Eno. I'm a big fan of Adam Buxton's podcast and was delighted to hear him interview one of my heroes!
     
  2. If you are trying to learn anything, read this.
     
  3. For April Fools Day, Reddit launched a little experiment. It gave its users a blank canvas and the option to place a coloured pixel anywhere on it every few minutes. The result of the experiment is pretty cool...
     
  4. A fascinating three-part series from Vox on the techniques and technology the BBC uses to make the Planet Earth series look so good. — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
     
  5. This week's musical recommendation is Pyrrhic by Julianna Barwick. The song comes from her excellent album Nepenthe.

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and you'll get the next Five Things delivered straight to your inbox. You can check out previous Five Things posts here

Five Things #49 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. Last week SpaceX made history by successfully reusing a rocket which had already been up into to space. Here's a video explaining the significance of the launch.
     
  2. An interesting read on the potential impacts of electric cars and self-driving cars on our lives and on the places we live. Towns and cities are going to look quite different when people shift from owning cars to just hiring one when they need a ride. It just wouldn't make financial sense to own one when it's capable of driving itself. You could book one when you need it, and once you've reached your destination the car could then move on to the next customer. Any cars that aren't in use could then park in less congested areas outside of towns or cities where the land is cheaper. That would then result in the freeing up of a lot of land in cities that's currently used for parking cars... As you can probably tell, I find all of this rather fascinating!
     
  3. These are pretty cool... Crushed cans in the style of Ming Dynasty ceramics by the Chinese sculptor Lei Xue. 
     
  4. Food for thought from Seth Godin, how are you using your attention?
     
  5. In honour of Piano Day (which was last Wednesday), this week's musical recommendation is a piece called Hammers by one of my favourite pianists, Nils Frahm.

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and you'll get the next Five Things delivered straight to your inbox. You can check out previous Five Things posts here

Here's what makes Jojo Mayer one of the best drummers in the world by Ross Farley

Jojo Mayer is one of my favourite drummers and he's undoubtably one of the greatest drummers alive today.

This solo has a bit of everything. It's musical, technical, dynamic, surprising and built on a cohesive set of ideas. A great example of what makes an engaging drum solo.

What really stands out to me is his use of volume. He utilises a very broad range of dynamics. It's so easy to just play loud all the time, but that's pretty boring to listen to. And once you've reached full volume, that's it, you can't go any louder. Contrasting loud with quiet keeps things interesting, and holding off playing your loudest will mean you always have somewhere left to go.

One of the easiest ways to improve your drumming and soloing is to pay more attention to your dynamics. Jojo keeps you waiting, he teases, he explores the extremes. And that's what keeps you listening.

Five Things #48 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. There are a ton of benefits that come with learning a foreign language. Unfortunately though, it's just not very easy. Here are 7 tips from TED translators to help you on your way. If you fancy learning a language and don't know where to start, I recommend checking out Duolingo — It's free and pretty fun too.
     
  2. And on the topic of learning. Here's an interesting conversation on How to Learn New Things as an Adult. — "You want to learn the systems, or the analogies, of the relationships between things in a certain field, and how they interact with each other. Then ultimately you gain that knowledge so that you can shift your own thinking, so when you see a new problem you’re better able to solve it."
     
  3. A super-short video on speed reading. It's pretty incredible how quickly our brains can process information.
     
  4. A fascinating article from Tim Harford on The Problem with Facts. — "When people are seeking the truth, facts help. But when people are selectively reasoning about their political identity, the facts can backfire."
     
  5. This week's musical recommendation is Dave Pepper's Utrecht Suite. The album was recorded during a soundcheck, two days after the Paris attacks in November 2015. It's beautiful and reflective, consisting of just a solo guitar and a loop pedal.

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and you'll get the next Five Things delivered straight to your inbox. You can check out previous Five Things posts here.

Five Things #47 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 was going to do this anyway... Ignore the Snobs, Drink the Cheap, Delicious Wine
     
  2. A fascinating long read on the events that'll be triggered when the Queen dies. I'd never considered the complexity and how incredibly strange it'll be when she does. — 'London Bridge is down': the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death [here's the audio version]
     
  3. Here's some timeless (and timely) wisdom from the philosopher Bertrand Russell on how to avoid having foolish opinions.
     
  4. ... And from one great philosopher to another. A fun animated video from The School Of Life on Plato and his thoughts on how to live a more fulfilled life.
     
  5. This week's musical recommendation is Go! by Public Service Broadcasting. I was lucky enough to see them play at a tiny venue in Amsterdam last year. If you get the chance to see them, I'd take it!

That's all for this week. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and you'll get the next Five Things delivered straight to your inbox. You can check out previous Five Things posts here.