I’ve never been the type to read or really enjoy Crime or Horror as a genre. However, occasionally there will be an author or specific book that will be the exception to the rule.
In the Horror genre, books like I Am Legend and The Road that have really interesting social commentary and an interesting hook are the exception.
In the world of Crime fiction – that exception was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which remains one of my favorite fiction series ever. For some reason, I’m not sure why, but Scandinavian crime fiction has a very different feel and mix of characters than Anglo-American crime fiction. So much so, that I decided to try to find more – and found Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian crime fiction writer.
I started by reading The Snowman, which was one of the most gripping crime novels I’ve ever read, followed by The Leopard – which also lived up to the author’s hype.
I had similar hopes for Phantom by Jo Nesbo. It has the same main character, a detective named Harry Hole, and promised the same crazy Scandinavian placenames. [keep on reading…]
Last week, I ran in my first Trail Half Marathon – specifically the Mystery Mountain Half Marathon by GUTS at Fort Mountain State Park.
Previously, I had run in 2 competitive road half marathons, 1 marathon, several half-marathon distances on my own during training or recreation. I’m a middle of the pack runner and finished 34th out of 108 in the Mystery Mountain race.
Here’s how I did my trail half marathon training, and some observations on what exactly a trail race entails, what to expect, and how to prepare… [keep on reading…]
Linchpin is the 3rd book by Seth Godin that I’ve read (previously Poke The Box and Purple Cow). The book in brief is a manifesto calling for you – for everyone to re-evaluate who you are in relation to your career and what you do for a living.
It’s about defining what an artist is, and the necessity for you to become one at your job. And not simply because you should, but because it’s absolutely necessary in the age of smarter algorithms, crowdsourced labor, and higher standards of excellence.
In hindsight – I should have read Linchpin first among all of Seth Godin’s books. Purple Cow and Poke The Box were both amazing, instructive reads, but Seth Godin has such a perceptive, counter-intuitive view of the world, that he takes some getting used to.
If you’ve never read Seth Godin – you must – and you should start with Linchpin simply because it is less about an abstract topic like marketing (Purple Cow) or an action (Poke The Box), and more about you and the outlook you have to have towards work, career and life. [keep on reading…]
So far on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, we’ve had both an idyllic experience, and a very miserable experience hiking overnight on the Trail. Nothing in the middle.
We’ve slept under a tarp during pouring rain with bears strutting around our camp like they own the place. We’ve also woken up on a crisp, clear November morning with clear views of a million shades of autumn leaves while cooking bacon on a smooth granite rock.
So – 3rd time overnight – and the plan is that we’re going to have a gloriously typical hike. Or at least the typical hike that happens when you’re old hat at the mountain hiking deal. The problem (or, the wonder) of the Appalachian Trail is that that never seems to actually happen.
What did end up happening was that we got to start at the actual Start of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain in Georgia – and hike to Coopers Gap Rd…in a veritable downpour that only let up for a couple hours during the entire hike – which is a bit telling since this portion of trail sees the most people attempt to thru-hike each year…only to quit after just a few miles.
Here’s the run down of hiking on the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain to Coopers Gap Rd (near the Gooch Mountain Shelter). [keep on reading…]
A well-made documentary needs to have 3 key ingredients -
- A fresh, unique, interesting topic
- Good production values and direction that take advantage of the medium (ie, – it needs to be more visual and fast-paced than a book, otherwise I’d just read the book)
- It needs to be upfront with its thesis – or have none at all, and try to be an actual documentary (in the literal sense)
Sadly – those 3 come together much too infrequently. It seems like the choices are usually the umpteenth remake of the Search for Sasquatch (great production, poor topic); something like General Orders No. 9, which was a fascinating topic with beautiful photography…and the pacing and production of a photo gallery that puts you to sleep. Or something like Inside Job, Waiting for Superman, or King Corn that are all engaging, well-produced, and have an interesting topic…but leave you feeling like you’re in the director’s cherry picking orchard and not getting the full story.
Even sadder is that good documentaries are even rarer on television – which is left serve to show re-runs of known topics.
So I was happy to find amazing 25 minute documentaries being produce by Al-Jazeera. I came across a series called Risking It All that, despite being 2 years old, only has 700,000 views. If you are looking for short, well-cut, informative documentaries of topics you’ve never seen. You should check these out. [keep on reading…]
I always find it really fascinating to find out how people from different places can perceive the same things so differently. And especially how people from other countries, regions, and cities perceive my city, region, and country – what they focus on, and what things stand out in their mind. In other words – people’s country, region, and city stereotypes.
For years – it has always been an interesting conversation to have – but finding out stereotypes has always been anecdotal. But last year – Renee DiResta had the brilliant idea to apply something that we all use everyday – Google AutoSuggest – to find out US State Stereotypes (you can see that post here).
Here’s the same methodology used on the top 50 US cities (by metro area population) to get the top 4 to 5 city stereotypes of each. [keep on reading…]