Along the Way

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”If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.” – Neil Gaiman

Last monday, I finally had the chance see Spectre. I was astonished at how the critics were brutal with that movie. It’s a step down from Skyfall and Casino Royale, I admit it. But, it’s not worse than Quantum of Solace. When I look at the big picture, I remember the Pierce Brosnan’s years. Die Another Day is still a nightmare I want to forget. Spectre is a league above that movie. People forget fast, the James Bond’s franchise was down the sinkhole 10 years ago.

My goal here isn’t to talk about movies. I thought that the Bond’s example was perfect to make my point. Progression will never be linear. In whatever you’ll do, you will hit obstacles, plateaus and you will have set backs. The idea that your progression must be a straight line going upward on and on is simply not real life. A multitude of factors will always influence your performance. You can hit 70 push-ups as a record, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be at 80 next month. It’s possible that you’ll go back down at 63, before going back up again. The idea is that you keep doing it, keep trying.

You cannot have your best day everyday. It’s the same for the Bond movies. The next will probably be better. In the end, we must look at the big picture. Can we see a global improvement? That’s the real question that must be answer. The only way to make that question relevant is to at least attempt something.

Eyes Wide Open

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“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck

Last Sunday, I wanted to watch a movie. I didn’t have any idea what I would watch. I finally stopped my choice on a movie I’ve seen 8 years ago. It was David Lynch’s Dune. The version was three hours combining theatrical cut, extended TV cut and deleted scenes. The film was good, but it made me remember how great the book was.

After watching it, I was curious about the book follow-up Dune Messiah. I found myself reading about Frank Herbert, the author. I was astonished by the way the book was born. Herbert was making an article on the sand dunes near Florence, Oregon. He became really involved with his subject. The article was never finished. But it became the seeds of the book Dune.

It’s crazy that one of the best sci-fi novel of all time started  just like that. Nothing fancy here. He didn’t have a sign of God or something like that. He was just inspired in the moment by something he was witnessing in his daily life. You never know what the world could teach you. That’s why you should always keep your eyes wide open.

Judgment Day

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My whole outlook on life is, never judge a book by its cover.Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Last week I was at home with my girlfriend. As usual, we were fighting over which movie we would watch. She suggested Paddington. My first reaction was:”It will be total shit“. After a few minutes I surrendered. We watched to whole thing. To my surprise…it was good. Nothing amazing, but good entertainment.

I remember when my brother was reading Game of Thrones.  He introduced me to the TV show right after the first episode was aired. I seriously thought it would be awful. I watch it and I was instantly sold. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since. I’ve read all five books of the series.

Why am I telling these little stories? Good question. As you can see, both these anecdotes as one thing in common: we make ignorant judgment. The same pattern repeat itself everywhere. This can go from people to cultures to ideas. We judge what we don’t know.

I could say that Winnipeg is a boring city (nothing personnal Winnipeggers). I’ve probably already said it in the past. The truth is that I’ve never set my foot there. I have no idea if it’s boring or not. In that case, I should simply shut my mouth. I could say that “it look boring“, but that I would need to see for myself to make a proper judgment.

The wise abstain from making judgment until he experience. That’s what we should aim for.

Randomness #6: Steve Jobs, World War II, a Millionaire Living in a Van and More.

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Life & Culture

[*] The Man in The Van (ESPN) – The no.1 Jays’ prospect, Daniel Norris, lives in a fucking van. Yes you’ve read well. A millionaire living in a VW Camper. You can consider it his own way to escape to stress of the major league. He doesn’t want to change who he is because of the money or because of what society think is normal. Amazing article.

[*] The Scene of the Crime (The New Yorker) – The My Lai massacre of 1968 was a pivotal moment of the Vietnam war. Take a look at this event as reporter Seymour M. Hersh goes back after 47 years. He was the one who broke the massacre story in 1969.

[*] Undeveloped World War II Film Discovered (10 minutes @ Vimeo) – This is a video about The Rescued Film Project. They discovered and processed 31 rolls of film shot by an American World War II soldier over 70 years ago.


Growth

[*] The Library of Ernest Hemingway (Art of Manliness) – I’m always curious to hear about great people reading list. Ernest Hemingway was a huge reader. He spent many hours a day reading. He had the habits of reading 4 books at the same time. Books by Tolstoy, Dumas, Thomas Mann and Marcel Proust were among his bookshelf.

[*] 10 Things I Learn From Richard Branson (James Altucher) – We can learn a lot from people who has achieved great success. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, is one of them. Altucher take 10 quotes from Richard Branson and tell us how we can learn from these.

[*] 17 of our favorite Steve Jobs quotes from the new book about his life (Business Insider) – All these great quotes are from the new book Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli. The book will be release this week.


Health/Fitness

[*] You’ll Never Guess What’s Actually in Your Supplements (Exo Journal) – Interesting article about how some supplements could be misleading. Imagine buying a St-John wort bottle and that in fact is just rice. An other example? Finding plant species not listed on the label. The University of Guelph study was only about herbal products. It would be interesting to take a look at sports supplements.

[*] The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide (1hr40 @ Tim Ferriss Show) – Interview with James Fadiman (Ph.D. from Stanford) the author of the book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide. Fadiman is seen as “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use”. Jim Fadiman has been involved with psychedelic research since the 60s.

[*] How Tea Works (55 minutes @ Stuff You Should Know) – An interesting podcast on the origin of tea and how it works. Tea is the second most popular drink on the planet after water. They explain the different categories of tea and the process for each of them.


Motivation

[*] THE HIMALAYAS FROM 20 000 FEET  (3 minutes @ Vimeo) Short video filmed from a helicopter with a crew flying from Kathmandu at 4,600 ft. up to 24,000 ft. on supplemental oxygen. The images are simply breathtaking. I highly suggest you watch it.

[*] Kron Gracie Highlight Reel (6 minutes @ YouTube) – Kron Gracie is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and a member of the famous Gracie family. He is the youngest son of Rickson Gracie. If you remember, I’ve talked about the Gracie in Against the Grain. It’s a short video of his best highlights.

[*] MMA: When Taunting Goes Wrong (4 minutes @ YouTube) – I hate people who are taunting and disrespecting the opponent. It’s always a satisfaction when taunting goes wrong. Including Anderson Silva getting knockout by Chris Weidman.


Entertainment

[*] Birdman (movie) – It is the winner of the 2015 Academy Awards for the best motion picture. Mikael Keaton is in the role of a washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero. We follow him in the days leading up to the opening of his Broadway play. The movie his filmed in one long sequence.

[*] The Imitation Game (movie) – What a great movie! This is the story of Alan Turing, who helped break Germany’s Enigma code during World War II. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Great performance by Benedict Cumberbatch.

[*] Tracing the History of Pinball from Illegal Gambling Game to American Obsession (14 minutes @ Vice) – Did you know that between 1940 and 1970, pinball was banned in some of US biggest cities? Learn about the game past and future in that interesting video from Vice.

[*] The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (Book) – A little book I’ve started few days ago. It’s a classic business book by Al Ries and Jack Trout that was published more than 20 years ago. Marketing has its laws just like nature. We should violate them at our own risks.

[*] The Making of NHL 94 (Blake J. Harris) – A great article by the author of Console Wars. NHL 94 is classic game from my childhood. It’s interesting to see the history behind that game.  I had a great laugh when I read about the confrontation between the producer Michael Brook and the hockey player Ken Baumgartner.


The Wasteland

[*] Bourbon cocktail: Wild Child (Daily Shot) – Here is a good idea for a cocktail with Bourbon. You’ll need lemon juice, maple syrup and Aperol. Enjoy your drink!

[*] 12 IMAGES THAT SHOW THE GRIT AND BEAUTY OF MYANMAR (Matador Network) – Last month I’ve talked about wanting to go to east Asia. Take a look at these pictures of Myanmar. You’ll want to buy your plane ticket in the next hour.

[*] THE WORLD’S BEST WHISKIES 2015 (Cool Material) – The best single malt of the world in 2015 is from…Taiwan. Get ready to hear about whiskies you didn’t know at all.

Randomness: Jamie Oliver, Psychedelics, Fight Club 2 and More

Life & Culture

[*] Foundation: Kevin Rose interview Jamie Oliver (YouTube/59 minutes) – Great interview with chef Jamie Oliver about the passion cooking and how technology can positively impact our food system. 

[*] Extraordinary Vintage Photos Capture NASA’s First Space Explorations (Esquire) – A bunch of crazy pictures taken in space and on the moon.

[*] Will Smith on Kids, His Career, Ferguson, and Failure (Esquire) – Will Smith is now 46 years old, didn’t know he was that old. Good interview by Esquire. Will talk about Basketball, fitness, his new movie Focus and a bunch of other stuff.


Growth

[*] Tim Ferriss Interviews Arnold Schwarzenegger (Podcast/67 minutes) – Tim Ferriss interview the one and only Arnold. They touch different subjects like confidence, having a vision, life obstacles and meditation. Mr. Schwarzenegger also talk about his childhood, his move from Austria to United States and his movie career. Really interesting.

[*] 33 Ways To Be An Insanely Productive, Happy Balanced Person (Ryan Holiday at Thought Catalog) – Learn great productivity advises like inbox zero, ignoring false emergencies and learning to say ”no”. Once again, another great blog post by Ryan Holiday.

[*] Unmistakable Creative – This is a really interesting podcast. The host meet creative entrepreneurs from different backgrounds like writers, cartoonists, psychologists and much more. As I write these lines, I saw that the last interview was with Seth Godin. Most interviews last more or less an hour.


Health/Fitness

[*] The Trip Treatment (The New Yorker) – Amazing article by Micheal Pollan the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. It’s an exploration of the current research about psychedelics and health. Get ready for a long read, but it’s worth it.

[*] MAGIC MUSHROOMS AND THE HEALING TRIP (Video @ The New Yorker/6 minutes) – While we are here, we could go on with the theme of psychedelics. Follow Eddie Marritz’s experience in this short video. He was a participant in one of N.Y.U.’s Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety research studies.

[*] 7 SURPRISING WAYS TO BOOST YOUR MEMORY – (Fast Company) – I’m 100% confident that writing something help to remember. As for the other six ways to boost memory, I think you should take it with a grain of salt.


Motivation

[*] Top 100 Inspirational Quotes (Forbes) – You like quotes? Here are a hundred of them by sports legends, famous writers, musicians and historical figures. Here is one by Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

[*] GoPro: Vebjørn Enersen Goes Big in Norway (YouTube/2 minutes) – That is a scary ski jump in the back country of Norway by Vebjørn Enersen. You will get fear of height just by watching it.

[*] Risk Takers: Extreme Kayaking (National Geographic Live/11 minutes) – Extreme kayaker Trip Jennings almost died during his source-to-sea first descent of the Pandi River in Papua New Guinea. In this video, he talk about why we take risks, facing death and having a passion.


Entertainment

[*] Fight Club 2 (Rolling Stone) – If you didn’t know about it yet, Chuck Palahniuk will release a sequel to Fight Club. It will be released in May 2015 as a 10-issue comic book series. Fight Club 2 picks up 10 years after the events of the first book. We will find the anonymous narrator married to Marla Singer and struggling to be a good father to his nine-year-old son. And, expect Tyler Durden to comeback. I can’t wait to get my hands on Fight Club 2.

[*] Nightcrawler (movie for rent) – Oscar nominated film with Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s the story of Lou Bloom, a more or less crazy guy, that start working as a Los Angeles crime journalist. The movie explore the idea of the dehumanization of the victims of crimes in media for the sake of good tv ratings. What is shown on the internet and TV today would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. Is violence becoming too casual?

[*] Fury (movie for rent) – Good entertaining movie with Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf. It is the story of a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines, in the heart of nazi Germany. The film isn’t a true story, but it’s based on a collection of true stories from veterans. It’s violent and sometime disturbing.

[*] Better Call Saul (TV show @ AMC) – New TV show from the creators of Breaking Bad. It also in the same universe as Breaking Bad. The first season is a prequel. We follow criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


The Wasteland

[*] 57 Best Cooking Tips of All Time (Epicurious) – 57 tips to make you a better cook now. I’ve read it and I’m still bad. Seriously, I’ve learned a bunch of stuff I didn’t know.

[*] 100 trips everyone should take in their lifetime (Business Insider) – I love to travel. I was nostalgic of my last trip at number 13 (Dubrovnik). But, it gave me some ideas for my next trip. I would love to go Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

[*] Classic New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch (Boulder Locavore) – If you didn’t have the chance to go to Mardi Gras like me, here is a nice cocktail to try at home.