Don’t work. Be hated. Love someone.

Don’t work. Be hated. Love someone.

Fantastic commencement address by Adrian Tan to the 2008 graduating class of Nanyang Technological University.

I’m here to tell you this. Forget about your life expectancy.

After all, it’s calculated based on an average. And you never, ever want to expect being average.

Revisit those expectations. You might be looking forward to working, falling in love, marrying, raising a family. You are told that, as graduates, you should expect to find a job paying so much, where your hours are so much, where your responsibilities are so much.

That is what is expected of you. And if you live up to it, it will be an awful waste.

If you expect that, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don’t need years of education by the best minds in Singapore to prepare you to be average.

The Collective Snapshot

The Collective Snapshot

The Collective Snapshot is a photographic series by Spanish photographer Pep Ventosa which blends “together dozens of snapshots to create an abstraction of the places we’ve been and the things we’ve seen.” He layers multiple pictures from several angles to create one image familiar and foreign at the same time.

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Jack White Is the Coolest, Weirdest, Savviest Rock Star of Our Time

Jack White Is the Coolest, Weirdest, Savviest Rock Star of Our Time

White is obsessive about color and meticulous in his attention to detail. Inside, the walls that face west are all painted red, and the ones that face east are all painted blue. The exterior, meanwhile, is yellow and black (with a touch of red). Before he made his living as a musician, White had an upholstery shop in Detroit, and everything related to it was yellow and black — power tools, sewing table, uniform, van. He also had yellow-and-black business cards bearing the slogan “Your Furniture’s Not Dead” as well as his company name, Third Man Upholstery. When he started the record label, he simply carried everything over. “Those colors sort of just mean work to me now.”

The Song Machine, Making Music Hits

The Song Machine, Making Music Hits

Whereas rock is about the sound of a band playing together (even when its members aren’t actually together) and features virtuoso solos played on real instruments, today’s Top Forty is almost always machine-made: lush sonic landscapes of beats, loops, and synths in which all the sounds have square edges and shiny surfaces, the voices are Auto-Tuned for pitch, and there are no mistakes. The music sounds sort of like this: thump thooka whompa whomp pish pish pish thumpaty wompah pah pah pah. The people who create the songs are often in different places. The artists, who spend much of the year touring, don’t have time to come into the studio; they generally record new material in between shows, in mobile recording studios and hotel rooms, working with demos that producers and top-line writers make for them to use as a kind of vocal stencil pattern.

63 Years Flying, From Glamour to Days of Gray

63 Years Flying, From Glamour to Days of Gray

In the early days, Mr. Akana recalls, cigarette smoke filled the cabin as passengers lighted up after takeoff. And between flights, the aircraft was sprayed with pesticide while flight attendants were still on board. He has lived through decades of deregulation and the turbulent industry economics, including bankruptcies and cuts that stripped flights of most services.

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.

What Is It About 20-Somethings?

What Is It About 20-Somethings?

The 20s are a black box, and there is a lot of churning in there. One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year. Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other stretch. Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married. And marriage occurs later than ever. The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation.

The Caging of America

The Caging of America

The accelerating rate of incarceration over the past few decades is just as startling as the number of people jailed: in 1980, there were about two hundred and twenty people incarcerated for every hundred thousand Americans; by 2010, the number had more than tripled, to seven hundred and thirty-one. No other country even approaches that. In the past two decades, the money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education.

Somewhat related are the answers by real inmates to questions asked by Quora users through the Last Mile Program.

$1B of TSA Nude Body Scanners Made Worthless By Blog

$1B of TSA Nude Body Scanners Made Worthless By Blog

As a scientist, engineer, and frequent traveler, as well as the first person to sue the TSA when they rolled out the scanners as primary in Nov. 2010, I studied and learned about both kinds of scanners currently in use by the TSA. Here are several images produced by TSA nude body scanners. You’ll see that the search victim is drawn with light colors and placed on a black background in both images. In these samples, the individuals are concealing metallic objects that you can see as a black shape on their light figure. Again that’s light figure, black background, and BLACK threat items. Yes that’s right, if you have a metallic object on your side, it will be the same color as the background and therefore completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection.

It can’t possibly be that easy to beat the TSA’s billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners, right? The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they?

Unfortunately, they can, and they are.