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June 23, 2019

A giant squid has been caught — on video — for the second time ever

Pictured above, it happened this past Wednesday, June 19, 2019, 100 miles southwest of New Orleans, at a depth of 759 meters in a spot where the ocean bottom lies at 2,200 meters.

It's the first giant squid to ever be filmed in U.S. waters.

The scientists who made the video explain how they did it here.

June 23, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wim Wenders' cinematographer Robby Müller was never without a camera

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As a result, the world-renowned Müller, who died in Amsterdam last July aged 78, and who also shot for Jim Jarmusch, Lars von Trier, William Friedkin, Sally Potter, Peter Bogdanovich, and Michael Winterbottom,

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kept snapping photographs every waking moment with his Polaroid.

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His widow, Andrea Müller-Schirmer, a Dutch art magazine photo editor,

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whom he met on the set of Wenders' "Until the End of the World" in 1990, said,

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"For Robby, there was no division between life and work."

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A show of the best of some 2,000 of his personal photos (exemplars above and below),

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taken over three decades and kept in a wooden box at his home in Amsterdam,

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is going up at the Place de la République in Arles, France starting July 1, and will remain up through July 28, 2019.

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[via the Guardian]

June 23, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Three simple rules to ensure humiliating failure

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From Schumpeter in the March 31, 2012 issue of The Economist:

There are three principles that have proven particularly effective over the years.

First: Slaughter a sacred cow.

The most spectacular slaughter, of course, was Coca-Cola's decision to kill off the drink that gave it life.

Coca-Cola quickly discovered that it was merely the custodian of the brand, rather than its owner. Angry Coke-drinkers accused the company of doing the equivalent of redesigning the American flag or blasting Teddy Roosevelt off Mount Rushmore. One group complained that the company was violating their freedom of choice. Less than three months after their foolish decision, Coke's bosses grovelled to customers and reintroduced classic Coke.

Second: Mix oil and water.

Theatrical impresarios are the masters of this — over the years they have tried, unwisely, to turn Hamlet, Lolita and Ernest Hemingway's drunken last days into musicals. ABC once added song and dance to an otherwise formulaic cop drama, "Cop Rock." Other industries have made similar mistakes, albeit less noisily. McDonald’s spent $100m launching a burger for upmarket customers, the Arch Deluxe. The snag was: who goes to McDonald's for upmarket food? Ford once produced a pickup truck for the luxury market. Same problem. Bengay tried to stretch its heat-rub brand into the aspirin market. Ouch. Colgate made TV dinners; you could eat one and then brush your teeth with Colgate toothpaste. Few found this appetizing.

Third: Produce a genuinely awful product.

The Ford Pinto had a nasty habit of catching fire if it was rear-ended (the petrol tank was behind the rear axle). Microsoft's Vista operating system appeared to be incompatible with every other programme. Worst of all was the former Yugoslavia's Yugo car. It enjoyed such a successful launch that hundreds bought it sight unseen. The trouble began when they tried to drive it. Consumer Reports slammed it: the bonnet (hood to Americans) came loose, the rear window-washer quit, the ignition switch broke and the brakes squealed, the review complained. Motor Trend reported that it even broke down during a road test. "What comes with every Yugo’s owner's manual?" went one of the thousands of jokes inspired by the car. Answer: "a bus schedule."

Still, the surest way to guarantee failure in the long term is to be so paralyzed by the fear of it that you don't try anything new. The line that separates a hit from a flop is thin. Companies sometimes have to slaughter sacred cows to escape obsolescence: IBM only recovered from its death spiral when it abandoned its focus on building hardware. Some of the most successful products are the result of mixing oil and water — most obviously, phones with computers and entertainment systems.

[Illustration up top by Brett Ryder]

June 23, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunrise at Stonehenge

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Live feed here.

Back story here.

June 23, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

World's best paper towel holder

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The king is dead, long live the king.

This puppy just arrived and it's all that.

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Not only is it better than my former #1 but it's also 2/3 the price.

"Perfect single-handed tear, every time," just like the inventor said.

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The inventor being the nonpareil Scott Amron, of yesterday's Clocked Optimism post.

You can too!

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$17.99.

June 23, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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