Friday, December 25, 2015
Popular Science - "We Talked to the Man Who Shot Leonardo DiCaprio (and a Bear)"
"We decided to film in two locations [Canada and Argentina]. When we started doing all of the scouting, we were very extensive. We drove more than 10,000 miles, and found that we couldn’t do it in America because the nature was just decimated. Rivers were dammed, all of them, and the forests have been cut and replaced with farmland everywhere. It was a sad situation. We went to Canada, then, and there is a little more left, and it was still accessible. We didn’t want to shoot at the end of the world."
CNN - "Japan unveils design for 2020 Olympic stadium ... again"
"The steel and wood concept resembles traditional Japanese temples and stands at a relatively short 50 meters (164 feet) with its main sports field sunken under the ground. The stadium is estimated to cost 154 billion yen ($1.26 billion) and will accommodate 80,000 people."
(previously: Andre the Giant Tall Tale)
Atlas Obscura - "The Story Behind the Famous Portrait of Andre the Giant Clutching a Beer Can"
"The writer who penned the piece, Terry Todd, noted that Roussimoff’s wrists are more than a foot in circumference—“about average for an adult male western lowland gorilla”—and that you can pass a silver dollar through his ring, which would make it around a size 30. In the accompanying 8,000 word article, “To the Giant among Us”, Todd takes the reader on a rollicking journey with the amiable Roussimoff from New York to Montreal, where they finally end up in the wrestler’s own French cafe, Le Pitcher."
"Rousimoff knew his life was likely to be shorter than most. “If I were to die tomorrow,” he said in the article, “I know I have eaten more good food, drunk more beer and fine wine, had more friends and seen more of the world than most men ever will.”"
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Vulture - "The 10 Best Podcasts and 10 Best Podcast Episodes of 2015"
1. Death, Sex, and Money
2. You Must Remember This
3. BuzzFeed's Another Round
4. Reply All
5. NPR's How to Do Everything
6. Song Exploder
7. The Watch
8. Limetown / The Message / The Black Types Podcast
9. Happier With Gretchen Rubin
IndieWire - "Francis Ford Coppola Reflects on the Past, Present and Future of Cinema"
"We've had so many years of canned stories, the only area where there's still some surprise is in sports, where you don't know what's going to happen and they don't know what's going to happen. With this, stories will be really exciting."
"Sunday Night Football Is the Best Show on TV"
New York Times - "Walmart Can’t Escape Clutter. Can You?"
"Consumer spending this fall has barely budged upward and many store chains are struggling with low sales and falling stock prices. The reluctance to spend might be a result of general skittishness or a residual fear left over from the Great Recession. Or perhaps, inspired by books like the No. 1 best seller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” Americans are striving to lead simpler, more spiritual lives, free of the stuff and clutter filling up their homes and lives.
They won’t find much Zen at the mall, where stores are cluttered with merchandise and promotions like never before.
There is a basic rule of thumb in retail: The more stuff in the aisle and the more promotional the environment, the higher the sales."
Friday, December 18, 2015
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Vulture - "Game of Unknowns Glossary: Every Major Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones Fan Theory"
Side note 1: New York Times - "Who Said ‘Game of Thrones’ Wasn’t for Kids?"
Side note 2: The Verge - "The world needs an African Game of Thrones"
Previously: Jon Snow Theories
AdWeek - "How Star Wars Action Figures Became the Toy World's Most Powerful Force"
Hypebeast - "Sotheby's to Auction off NIGO's Rare 'Star Wars' Collectibles"
The Atlantic - "Our Action Figures, Ourselves"
Monday, December 14, 2015
From Peter King:
"Interesting side note: The only perfect team in the modern era of pro football to go unbeaten through the regular season and playoffs is the 1972 Dolphins. Don Shula coached that team, of course. And his son, Mike Shula, is Carolina’s offensive coordinator. I asked Mike Shula to be honest: Does his father want Carolina to go unbeaten, or is he just saying he does because he’s a good dad?
“Deep down?” said Mike Shula. “I think he’s rooting harder than anyone for us to do it.”"
New York Times - "Soldier Field: A Football Cathedral Never Really Meant for Football"
"As Liam T.A. Ford wrote in his 2009 book on Soldier Field (University of Chicago Press), Chicago boosters wished to “outrival Paris” and “build the largest, most beautiful public arena in the world.”Their mayor, William Thompson, known as Big Bill, called for a vast 150,000-seat stadium, which would honor Chicago’s fallen World War I soldiers, exceeding what “the Romans had ever built.”"
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
FiveThirtyEight - "It’s Time To Take The Warriors’ Chances Of Going 73-9 Seriously"
New York Times new Critic-At-Large Wesley Morris on destination TV shows:
"I am trying to watch less professional football, for any number of reasons, and more professional basketball, for many reasons more."
Monday, December 7, 2015
Sunday, December 6, 2015
MinnPost - "'I am dying to win': a Q&A with the Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio"
"I think I bring something that is unique. The leadership [pauses] — I think it is part of playing the point. When a point guard is unselfish and thinking about the team, about winning first, it relates to the other players. So, I think that is my style of play. I come from a winning team in Europe and I know what it takes to win games and to win championships.
And I am dying to win. When I go to bed and we’ve won that day, no matter what I did on the court, I am happy. And if we lost, no matter what I did, I am sad. That feeling comes from me, on the inside, and I think when I am out there playing I am sharing that with my teammates."
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
New York Times - "The Best Teams? Look at the Big Games"
By Gregg Easterbrook
"Virginia Tech just replaced the storied Frank Beamer with Justin Fuente of Memphis, who walked out on a five-year contract he signed less than 12 months ago. Nobody put a gun to Fuente’s head and forced him to agree to that December 2014 deal. Fuente, who’s leaving Memphis immediately — good luck in that bowl game, Tigers — breaks his promises to the University of Memphis and to the young men he recruited. In recruiting, most college football coaches preach loyalty and family. Then when dollars are waved, it’s see you later. Virginia Tech faithful: Fuente did not keep his word at Memphis; why assume he will keep his word to you? Apparently the Virginia Tech program is changing in more ways than one, from Beamer’s character-first approach to the almighty-dollar mind-set.
To the N.C.A.A., Fuente’s move is fine, because anything that enriches coaches and athletic administrators is kosher. If a big-college N.C.A.A. football player wants to be released from his written commitment to accept a better offer at another university, this can be forbidden. What about the sanctity of the contract you signed, son!"
Vice Sports - "Amateur Athletics Programs Don't Pay Coaches $15 Million to Not Coach"
Wall Street Journal - "Director Alejandro González Iñárritu on Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘Birdman’ and the Importance of a Proper Lunch"
Andrew Goldman: After your father was kidnapped, and your mother brutally robbed in Mexico City, you chose to relocate your family to Los Angeles in 2001 to escape the violence. Culturally, what American habit was the hardest thing to accept?
Alejandro González Iñárritu: Eating from plastic in offices. I couldn’t understand it. Because when I arrived, a friend of mine gave me a room in his office, and there were a lot of people there. And they would have this food come in, and they’d eat it at their desks in plastic containers using plastic tools. It was shocking to me. I have a lot of work too, but I could always go have a nice lunch with the proper kind of tools. And I missed the sobremesa, which literally means the “over table.” When you finish your meal, you spend maybe the same time that you took eating to talk, with coffee, maybe a little wine. It’s when you have a little cigarette with your wine and then—deliciously gossip. It’s that pleasurable moment.
. . . . .
AG: So you’ve never been sitting with some Hulk script with your wife, seriously debating doing one?
AGI: No. And I’m an idiot, because, honestly, financially it would solve a lot. I’m not a very smart person. I reject those things and maybe I shouldn’t, you know, because that would solve a lot of problems in my life.
AG: So Hollywood hasn’t made you super rich?
AGI: Me? I’m absolutely not super rich. I would have been better off making tacos. But I feel rich in many other senses. I always said, you know, Donald Trump is a poor man whose only possession is money. I don’t want to be that.
Vulture - "Creed Director Ryan Coogler on Reimagining Rocky and Convincing Stallone"
John Horn: Adonis Johnson is played by Michael B. Jordan, who was your star in Fruitvale Station. But I understand your interest in Rocky goes back. Did you grow up watching these movies?
Ryan Coogler: Yes, I did. My father was a Rocky fan. He would watch them as bonding time with me and my brother. We watched the movies constantly and grew to love them through my father.
JH: How long ago did the idea for Creed start to take shape?
RC: It was around 2011–2012 that I went to film school. I was getting ready to make Fruitvale. Then my father got really sick, and my world kind of crashed. He had a neuromuscular condition, so he was becoming weaker. In the process, he was struggling mentally. I got this idea about telling a story about it. I thought, What if this happened to my father’s hero, to Rocky? That’s kind of when I came up with the idea of Adonis, and the idea of the movie.
JH: What was it about Rocky that was so meaningful to your dad?
RC: My dad always kind of saw himself as an underdog. But I later found out it was really about him and his mom. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was 8 or 9, but she fought the disease for 15 years. My father saw her as an underdog fighting like Rocky. In the last few months of her life, they would kill the time by watching TV. Rocky II was on television all the time. That’s what made the movie so special to him.
JH: You’re talking about father-son stories, which are very personal. But with Sylvester Stallone, you’re dealing with a guy who’s very strong. So approaching him with, “By the way, Mr. Stallone, you’re going to start losing it in this movie” must have been an awkward conversation to have.
RC: It was. But the thing about Sly is, he’s an artist, an actor. He’s nothing like the characters he became famous for. The only thing he has in common with them is his physicality. But he’s an intellectual — very articulate. He was definitely apprehensive about the idea of people seeing Rocky like this — and the idea of aging and vulnerability — but at the same time, he was excited about a challenge.