The trailer for "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."
[I saw this for the first time while a member of a film society in college. It was stunning.]
Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
The trailer for "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari."
Cultural Offering has an impressive video of Microsoft's vision of the future.
The trailer for "Restoration."
In the two years after October 1938 the fortunes of Winston Churchill underwent the most dramatic reversal of any politician of modern times. At the time of Munich, Churchill was dismissed as a warmonger and a has-been, and many viewed his career to that date as a catalogue of the failures of an over-ambitious adventurer. Yet twenty-four months later he was the national saviour, personifying Britain's defiance of Hitlerism and enjoying almost unanimous public approval.
Eclecticity shows us a clean, well lighted place to blog. [This is part of a very enjoyable series.]
These concealed bunkers, or Operational Bases (OBs), were dug out by Auxiliary Unit members, or in some cases created by the Royal Engineers. Accessed via a camouflaged entrance, they generally consisted of a corrugated-iron main chamber fitted out with bunks, a cooking stove and provisions to sustain a patrol for up to a month, as well as a smaller secondary chamber and an emergency escape tunnel.
Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do.
Should you let that dreaded call go to voice mail?
At Unhappy Hipsters:
At Steven Pressfield's blog, Shawn Coyne on how the writing business changed:
October 12 was a good day for a killing. It had rained all week, but on this Friday, after the church fair, our good Lord was in a kindlier mood. Though autumn had already come, the sun was shining brightly on that part of Bavaria they call the Pfaffenwinkel - the priests' corner - and merry noise and laughter could be heard from the town. Drums rumbled, cymbals clanged, and somewhere a fiddle was playing. The aroma of deep-fried doughnuts and roasted meat drifted down to the foul-smelling tanners' quarter. Yes, it was going to be a lovely execution.
Still publishing: The Tombstone Epitaph.
First Team Meeting
There is no mistake; there has been no mistake; and there shall be no mistake.
Whenever someone compiles a list of the world's best cities, it won't be long before the ranking is challenged and omissions are cited.
Art Contrarian on the finalists for the Turner Prize. [Be sure to click to see them.] An excerpt:
A U.S. Supreme Court justice recounted over cocktails a while ago his travails with his hometown zoning board. He wanted to build an addition onto his house, containing what the plans described as a home office, but he met truculent and lengthy resistance. This is a residential area, a zoning official blustered—no businesses allowed. The judge mildly explained that he would not be running a business from the new room; he would be using it as a study. Well, challenged the suspicious official, what business are you in? I work for the government, the justice replied. Okay, the official finally conceded—grudgingly, as if conferring an immense and special discretionary favor; we’ll let it go by this time. But, he snapped in conclusion, don’t ever expletive-deleted with us again.
FutureLawyer, who likes to tap-dance on the edge of controversy, points out confessions of a former iPhone user.
'How can a hundred people be led by a single person?' That was one of the essay questions in my Cambridge University entrance exam and, although it has long fascinated me, it has taken me twenty years to get round to trying to answer it. Yet this question lies at the heart of history and civilisation. If one person could not command one hundred others there would be no wars, but neither could there have been any cathedrals, space exploration or philharmonic orchestras. The ability of one person to make a hundred others do his bidding is the basic building block upon which all collective human endeavor is based, for better or worse. So how does it happen?
Many thanks to Cultural Offering for posting his collection of "Execupundit's greatest hits."
Mark Steyn writing in Commentary:
The trailer for "Wonder Boys."
Historian Victor Davis Hanson is now a novelist.
This is a drag, man. They're going after the drums!
At the first gesture of morning, flies began stirring. Inman's eyes and the long wound at his neck drew them, and the sound of their wings and the touch of their feet were soon more potent than a yardful of roosters in rousing a man to wake. So he came to yet one more day in the hospital ward. He flapped the flies away with his hands and looked across the foot of his bed to an open triple-hung window. Ordinarily he could see to the red road and the oak tree and the low brick wall. And beyond them to a sweep of fields and flat piney woods that stretched to the western horizon. The view was a long one for the flatlands, the hospital having been built on the only swell within eyeshot. But it was too early for a vista. The window might as well have been painted grey.
Kathleen Arnn examines the old and new versions of the Boy Scouts' handbook and her conclusions are not encouraging. An excerpt:
No one can go on being a rebel too long without turning into an autocrat.
"I only had three problems with him. He was inept, deceptive, and he lacked style."
DarteData has an intriguing tip on how to reduce your chances of being infected with malware.
Chief Executive: Raising sales force effectiveness.
As Halloween approaches, here is a question: What is the scariest novel you've ever read?
A friend once told me about a farewell party he'd attended at a corporation. The party, a pretty informal affair, was held in a lunch room. A few streamers were strung. Someone had brought in a sheet cake. There were some joke gifts. The mood was light but it changed a tad when the guest of honor arrived, took a look around, said, "I think you all are a bunch of bastards" and then walked out.
A needed message at Cultural Offering.
This is not your average beer commercial.
When all other subjects fade, a blogger can always turn to Shatner.
Cake Wrecks: Why cakes of pregnant women are inadvisable.
It is a general error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
Call me Sherlock. I studied this sign and know exactly where Nicholas Bate went.
Cultural Offering has done the heavy lifting and assembled a slew of Halloween film trailers to get you ready for the holiday.
This incredibly rare and expensive chocolate was produced by the venerable firm of Felchlin, which claimed that it was unique in the world, made from an ancient strain of cacao native to the Bolivian Amazon—i.e., wild cacao, au naturel, unmolested by millennia of botanical tinkering. It hit me with an intense nuttiness, but without the slightest hint of bitterness, a combination I'd never experienced. Aromatics burst in my sinuses. Citrus and vanilla. The flavor dove into a deep, rich place, and then, just as I thought I had a handle on it, the bottom fell out and it dove some more. That might sound ridiculous, but I've spent an inordinate amount of time "researching" the best chocolate in the world, geeking out on it like the most obnoxious sommelier, and this was something entirely new.
Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same thing.
The German Finance Ministry is handing out fortune cookies. [You can't make this stuff up.]
Johnny Carson chatting with Vincent Price.
Back by popular demand.
Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project interviews Andy Borowitz:
When a fresh-faced guy in a Chevy offered him a lift, Parker told him to go to hell. The guy said, "Screw you, buddy," yanked his Chevy back into the stream of traffic, and roared on down to the tollbooths. Parker spat in the right hand-lane, lit his last cigarette, and walked across the George Washington Bridge.
On my to-do list: Read Nicholas Bate every morning:
Steven Pressfield recalls his years in the wilderness:
Too big to fail is too big to allow, reads one hand-lettered sign on the east side of Zuccotti Park overlooking lower Broadway. Good point. As a few protesters (not all) understand, the problem with “the banks” isn’t that they exist, but that they’re isolated from the consistent rule of law. The bizarre irony, then, is that five weeks in, Zuccotti Park’s live-in campers are behaving more and more like the banks against which they are railing.
I've had The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini around the house for several years.
Yes, the book publishing game is changing and, in many cases, it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.
At Anderson Layman's Blog, a post to remember:
Two key components of happiness in the workplace: control and achievement.
Working on several consulting proposals. Sending notes to clients regarding classes. Posting new workshops. Ruthlessly tossing out files related to something that once had promise. [Will I regret that later? Perhaps, but they go nonetheless.]
Cultural Offering has "The Cook" with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton. Brilliant stuff.
The Universe has as many centers as there are living beings in it.
Some music for brooding: The theme from "Phaedra."
What would you do right now if you learned that you were going to die in ten minutes? Would you race upstairs and light that Marlboro you've been hiding in your sock drawer since the Ford administration? Would you waltz into your boss's office and present him with a detailed description of his personal defects? Would you drive out to that steakhouse near the new mall and order a T-bone, medium rare, with an extra side of the really bad cholesterol? Hard to say, of course, but of all the things you might do in your final ten minutes, it's a pretty safe bet that few of them are things you actually did today.
Ricochet provides a Martini Shot audio clip of Rob Long talking about deadlines and the TV biz.
Tanmay Vora has an intriguing post on the virtues of not following up. An excerpt:
If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.
The King yawned as one of his valets threw back the heavy brocade curtains that surrounded the royal bed on four sides. The light that streamed through the tall casement windows now flooded the entire room. The King rose at once. After he had said his morning prayers, the elaborate process of dressing him began. First, one of his valets shaved him. Then, one at a time, each nobleman who had earned the privilege of waiting on the King handed him the article that was officially his to present. One might hand him his stockings, another his satin breeches, yet another his garters. Once he had been dressed, the King's hair was carefully curled and powdered.
Absolutely true: Tim Berry on a time-tested way to reverse a bad day.
L.A.P.D. Officer Jack Dunphy on the London riots. An excerpt:
It is important to understand that in a great many jobs, good performance involves various political skills, such as:
Fumble any of these and all other performance achievements may be neutralized. Some points may seem minor, but they have the potential to become major within seconds. They can be simply summarized: Be a solution, not a problem.
If the authorities were able to arrest and convict the creators and distributors of malware, adware, and various computer viruses, what would an appropriate punishment entail?
Cultural Offering points to a helpful article on avoiding negativity.
Quality (meaning getting everyone to do what they have agreed to do) is the skeletal structure of the organization; finance is the nourishment; and relationships are the soul. All of this comes together in what I call Completeness. Management has learned that they cannot delegate the policies and decisions of finance, and they must learn the same about the other two. Executives spend most of their time on finance and turn the rest over to functional professionals whose main concern is to protect their own turf and pride. It is hard to find any of these who are more interested in the company as a whole than in the success of their own functions. It is as if they feel they have to get re-elected all the time. In the twenty-first century, management will not have the latitude to fail regularly and still get on somehow, as is the pattern today.
An audience member just frowned. That means:
Spiegel has a three part series on the Euro crisis.
Back by popular demand: "The Rainbow Connection."
This is an odds-and-ends day.
I hope you are following the Music for Roctober series at Cultural Offering. It is a public service.
I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.
Marco da Cola, gentleman of Venice, respectfully presents his greetings. I wish to recount the journey which I made to England in the year 1663, the events which I witnessed and the people I met, these being, I hope, of some interest to those concerned with curiosity. Equally, I intend my account to expose the lies told by those whom I once numbered, wrongly, amongst my friends. I do not intend to pen a lengthy self-justification, or tell in detail how I was deceived and cheated out of renown which should rightfully be mine. My recital, I believe, will speak for itself.
SoxFirst has an amazing story about former Apple executive Ron Wayne . An excerpt:
FutureLawyer on the future of online universities:
Ms. Tzortzatos’s tolerance for the newcomers finally vanished when the sink was broken and fell to the floor. She installed a $200 lock on the bathroom to thwart nonpaying customers, angering the protesters.
The film "Contagion" raises an interesting question of what you would do if a highly contageous illness made grocery stores off-limits and the police force was unlikely to come when called.
Alison Krauss and Union Station: "Man of Constant Sorrow."
The odd story of a dead cruise ship.
Commentary, the greatest magazine in the world, now has a literary blog.
The most critical missing piece, Randolph explained as we sat in his office last fall, is character — those essential traits of mind and habit that were drilled into him at boarding school in England and that also have deep roots in American history. “Whether it’s the pioneer in the Conestoga wagon or someone coming here in the 1920s from southern Italy, there was this idea in America that if you worked hard and you showed real grit, that you could be successful,” he said. “Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that.”
The implications of such a discovery are so mind boggling, however, that these same scientists immediately requested that other labs around the world try to replicate the experiment. Something must have been wrong to account for a result that, if we know anything about the universe, is impossible.
If you haven't seen the new film, "Moneyball," do.
In the summer of 1944, the year before the year I fell in love, I hitchhiked from Pennsylvania to Seattle by way of Chicago and Yellowstone National Park; from Seattle down the coast to San Francisco; and from there by way of Barstow and Needles via boxcar, thumb, and bus through the Southwest back home to the old farm, three months later. I started out with twenty dollars in my pocket and a piece of advice, cryptic I'd say, from my old man: "Don't let anybody take you for a punk." I didn't know what he meant. I was seventeen: wise, brown, ugly, shy, poetical; a bold, stupid, sun-dazzled kid, out to see the country before giving his life in the war against Japan. A kind of hero, by God! Terrified but willing.
Alan Rickman reading "The Lion, the Hare, and the Hyena."
People have told Jack Horner he’s crazy before, but he has always turned out to be right. In 1982, on the strength of seven years of undergraduate study, a stint in the Marines, and a gig as a paleontology researcher at Princeton, Horner got a job at Montana State University’s Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. He was hired as a curator but soon told his bosses that he wanted to teach paleontology. “They said it wasn’t going to happen,” Horner recalls. Four years and a MacArthur genius grant later, “they told me to do whatever I wanted to.” Horner, 65, continues to work at the museum, now filled with his discoveries. He still doesn’t have a college degree.