Hi Welcome to the 2019 May issue of ‘The Notebook’. This is a list of books, movies, blog posts, interviews, video clips and other stuffI found interesting and feel worth sharing.I hope you’ll like some of the stuff I am sharing.
If you have any feedback, please drop me a line…Here it goes…
“An obscure Israeli academic writes a Hebrew-language history of humanity. Translated into English in 2014, the book sells more than a million copies. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg includes it in his book club in 2015. Ridley Scott wants to turn it into a TV series. Barack Obama says it gave him perspective on “the core things that have allowed us to build this extraordinary civilization that we take for granted”. It’s sales spike when it is mentioned on Love Island. That book was Sapiens, which is bold, breezy and engaging, romping its way from the discovery of fire to the creation of cyborgs in less than 500 pages. The future-gazing follow-up, Homo Deus, was also a global bestseller, and now Harari has turned his attention to the present with 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.” – Helen Lewis I am a fan of Harari. And I’ll definitely reread the book a second and third time… Read Bill Gates’ review of the book here…
A Movie Worth Sharing:
One of the most beautiful films I have seen in my life…
“Great poets are masters of words, but their most finely tuned skill is often simple attentiveness: to the matches on the kitchen counter, the water slipping over the boulders in the falls, the beer softly frothing in the half-drunk mug.”Read the complete review here…
“People sometimes ask me why I don’t use a phone to take notes when I’m ‘out’ in the field. The answer is that phones smash, while notebooks bend. I also like the way that notebooks record where they’ve been not just in terms of what’s written in them, but also in terms of the wear they bear as objects.” – Robert Macfarlane A Quote Worth Sharing: “If we can forgive what’s been done to us… If we can forgive what we’ve done to others… If we can leave our stories behind. Our being victims and villains. Only then can we maybe rescue the world.”—Chuck Palahniuk ( Via Tim Ferris 5-Bullet Friday )
Since 2013 Mihaela Noroc has travelled the world with her backpack and camera taking photos of everyday women to showcase the diversity and beauty all around us. The Atlas of Beauty is a collection of her photographs that celebrates women from all corners of the world and shows that beauty is everywhere, regardless of money, race or social status, and comes in many different sizes and colours. Take a look at some of the photographs here…
“It has been said that Western art is the art of putting in, and Eastern art is the art of leaving out.
The new Japanese film “Fireworks” is like a Charles Bronson “Death Wish” movie so drained of story, cliche, convention and plot that nothing is left, except pure form and impulse.
Not a frame, not a word, is excess.
The film is an odd viewing experience. It lacks all of the narrative cushions and hand-holding that we have come to expect. It doesn’t explain, because an explanation, after all, is simply something arbitrary the story has invented.”Fireworks” is a demonstration of what a story such as this is really about, fundamentally, after you cut out the background noise.” – Roger EbertRead the complete review here…
Here are two quotes of Werner Herzog from the article…“I’ve always been more interested in teaching myself. If I want to explore something, I never think about attending a class; I do the reading on my own or seek out experts for conversations. Everything we’re forced to learn at school we quickly forget, but the things we set out to learn ourselves — to quench a thirst — are never forgotten, and inevitably become an important part of our existence.”“Read, read, read, read, read. Those who read own the world; those who immerse themselves in the Internet or watch too much television lose it. If you don’t read, you will never be a filmmaker. Our civilization is suffering profound wounds because of the wholesale abandonment of reading by contemporary society.”
A Quote Worth Sharing:
“Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed. He’s making sure your imagination withers. Until it’s as useful as your appendix. He’s making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it’s worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what’s in your mind. With everyone’s imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.”— Chuck Palahniuk ( via Tim Ferris )
This is an amazing graphic novel written and drawn by Israeli author and illustrator Rutu Modan. “Exit Wounds is a lovely and strange and unpredictable story. Exit Wounds is surprisingly quiet and restrained. There’s never a big reveal, or a Shocking Plot Twist™, just a lot of small character moments that show you how little people are knowable, even the people theoretically closest to you.” Read the complete review here…
“Here’s a cool trick to show the kids at parties. Take a problem—any problem—in your life, and you’ll realize that it’s fundamentally an emotional problem.
Working too much? Anxiety and stress are driving you mad = emotional problem.
Not working enough? Lethargy and indifference = emotional problem.
Sister pissed off at you for stealing her birthday cake? Being a selfish asshole = feeling entitled and vindictive towards your sister = emotional problem.
Don’t have any friends? Inability to connect with others in any meaningful way = emotional problem.
I could do this all day. Name a personal problem and I guarantee there’s some sort of emotional dysfunction at the heart of it. A lot of my next book is based on this idea. And one of the realizations that came up while writing it is that we tend to think of self-discipline in terms of having the right knowledge and ideas and then executing on them. We always think of a disciplined person as having their mental shit together, when really, it’s that they have their emotional shit together.Because when you get down to it, self-discipline isn’t about knowledge or even effort—self-discipline is fundamentally about emotions. If an action or behavior doesn’t feel right then eventually, you will stop doing it. Or, conversely, if the wrong behavior feels right, you will keep doing it. So really, self-discipline, in many ways is about getting a handle on your own emotions.” – Mark Manson
A Quote Worth Sharing:
“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” — Bertrand Russell. (Via, BrainFood#303)
It’s a long article. But this is well worth a read, so please take your time to read it. And I’ll tease you with few quotes… “But the second thing it does is more important. The technology forces you to be present—in a way flat-screens do not—so that you gain authentic experiences, as authentic as in real life. People remember it not as a memory of something they saw but as something that happened to them.” “It will be the most social medium yet. More social than social media is today.” “Something certainly has just happened. A threshold has been crossed. After a long gestation, it is good enough to improve quickly. It’s real.”
The book is a little difficult to get into. But once you get past that… you’ll not regret it.
Here, in her own words…
“I really enjoyed writing it, but I feel like it’s a bit difficult to get into. There’s this constant issue of the narrator’s ambiguity and the question of whether or not she’s actually reliable. It’s like Rashomon: Can the information she gives be trusted? Or is it a lie? Grotesque was a hit in Japan, but I was really surprised. I thought it was more of a self-indulgent work that would never become popular the way it did.”
This film is on Netflix. So anyone can watch it with Netflix subscription.
But read Austin Kleon’s comment about watching the film on a big screen…
“The picture was striking on the big screen, but I thought the soundwas actually what made it worth seeing in the theater.
Much has been made over seeing Roma on the big screen — the filmmakers have even posted a guide to TV settings for getting the best picture. I’ve yet to hear anyone argue that you should go to the theater for the sound. I don’t see a guide to sound settings. That—the perfect ambient sound in a large theater like the Capitol in Gordon Square here in Cleveland—is what I doubt you could get at home from your TV, without expensive speakers.” – Austin Kleon
“And people get all fouled up because they want the world to have meaning as if it were words… As if you had a meaning, as if you were a mere word, as if you were something that could be looked up in a dictionary. You are [the] meaning.”
I knew that Satyajit Ray wanted to make a science fiction film at one point in time. But I never knew that he wanted to call it “Avatar”.
Take a look at the photo below. It’s the cover page of the draft treatment. He had three names in mind… ‘Avatar”(written in Bengali), ‘Martian Tales”(written in Bengali) and “The Alien”.
This is a meticulously researched book on how and why this movie never got made.
“But there’s more to this book—a collection of essays, letters, drawings, articles, short stories and interviews—than the “Alien-E.T.” controversy. Chiefly, it showcases Ray’s boundless passion for science and science fiction.” – How E.T. came home: Satyajit Ray’s science fiction
There’s also the script of the film. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Grab this book if you want to know the mind of a genius and his creative process.
“If you go to Tokyo, you’ll see there are all sorts of really, really strange shops. There’ll be a shop that, only 1970’s vinyl and like, 1980’s whisky or something. And that doesn’t make any sense if it’s a shop in a Des Moines suburb. In a Des Moines suburb, to exist, you have to be Subway, you have to hit the mass-market Immediately.
But in Tokyo, where there’s 30-40 million people within a train ride of a city, then your market is 40 million. And within that 40 million, sure, there, a couple thousand people who love 1970’s music and 1980’s whisky. The Internet is Tokyo. The Internet allows you to be niche at scale.
“Everybody enjoys what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy, and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when they walk into the room. Everybody wants that. It’s easy to want that. A more interesting question, a question that most people never consider, is, “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.” ― Mark Manson
— 05:00 — pre-workout — green smoothie (spinach, apple, orange, banana — heavy on the spinach, and you can see the recipe below)
— 06:00 — 1 hour workout — usually kickboxing, yoga or light weight training with high intensity intervals
— 07:30 — breakfast — sometimes tofu “scrambled eggs” or a quesadilla made with plant-cheese, sometimes red beans and rice — always a protein shake made with fruit, nut butter, pea protein — use this to wash down supplements (hemp oil capsules, MSM for supple joints, vitamin D) — B12 is a sublingual tablet — and a cup of Oolong tea
— 11:00 — mid morning snack of fresh fruit (grapes, watermelon, berries) on set
— 13:30 — lunch — bowl of soup plus any one of the scores of great lunch dishes prepared by Brad and Sandy, our vegan chefs at the studio — mexican fiesta, Indian, thai, Italian (pasta, pizza, lasagna), burgers (Beyond or Hungry Planet) — these are comfort food dishes with a conscience
— 16:30 — mid afternoon — a green salad, on set
— 20:00 — dinner — a very light meal, sometimes a plant-based burger, sometimes just some humus and pita and a handful of olives, sometimes an avocado chopped up with salsa — plus always a glass of wine for stress reduction
He is currently in production on Avatar 2, 3, 4 and 5.
If I have to choose one Haruki Murakami fiction, I’ll choose this one…
“Wind-Up Bird” is part detective story, part Bildungsroman (a novel dealing with one person’s formative years or spiritual education), part fairy tale, part science-fiction-meets-Lewis Carroll. Like “A Wild Sheep Chase” and “Dance Dance Dance,” it features a very ordinary man as its hero – a passive, affectless sort of guy with a lowly job and even lower expectations. Like those earlier novels, it sends its hero off on a long, strange wild goose chase that turns into a sort of Kafkaesque nightmare.”
“You’ll have to take your eyes off teen temptress Ludivine Sagnier to navigate the psychological twists in Francois Ozon’s thriller. It’s almost worth it. The French director is a major tease, as proved by the way he blended song, dance and homicide in last year’s 8 Women.”
“The first time I heard a mathematician use the phrase, I was sure he’d misspoken. We were on the phone, talking about the search for shapes with certain properties, and he said, “It’s like looking for hay in a haystack.”
“Don’t you mean a needle?” I almost interjected. Then he said it again.
In mathematics, it turns out, conventional modes of thought sometimes get turned on their head. The mathematician I was speaking with, Dave Jensen of the University of Kentucky, really did mean “hay in a haystack.” By it, he was expressing a strange fact about mathematical research: Sometimes the most common things are the hardest to find.”
“The Mona Lisa has a huge social media presence. Her picture is everywhere. But she doesn’t tweet. She’s big on social media because she’s an icon, but she’s not an icon because she’s big on social media.”
“The opposite of every other book. Don’t try. Give up. Be wrong. Lower your standards. Stop believing in yourself. Follow the pain. And oh yeah, kill yourself. Each point is profoundly true, useful, and more powerful than the usual positivity. Succinct but surprisingly deep, I read it in one night, then read it again a month later.”
That’s what Derek Sivers wrote in his blog. And he is right. You can read it in one night and you will want to reread it again.
“More than a practical guidebook to choosing what’s important in our lives and what’s unimportant, it’s a brutally honest and much needed reality check about our personal problems, fears and expectations. It’s a bold confrontation of self, our painful truths, faults and uncertainties, without all the positive airy fairy fluff we’ve been spoon-fed to believe by self-help gurus.
“Fuck positivity,” Manson says. “Let’s be honest; sometimes things are fucked up and we have to live with it.”
“The path to happiness is a path full of shit heaps and shame,” he remarks.
By far, my favorite quote in the book.” – Tree Franklyn