Sunday, November 15, 2020

Coca-Cola Christmas Commercial 2020 (By Taika Waititi)

Directed by Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok, The Mandalorian Chapter 8, What We Do In The Shadows).

Small Axe

November 20, 2020 (Prime Video / BBC One)
Created by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Widows)
Starring Letitia Wright, John Boyega 

Princess Diana Style King

Saturday, November 14, 2020

America: Endgame

"The concept was simple: a video remix of the big fight from the end of the last Marvel Studios movie, Avengers: Endgame, in which the Avengers are prominent Democrats, the baddies are prominent Republicans, and Thanos is Trump. But it was so intricate. There were dozens upon dozens of characters to account for, and the choices of which fictional figure to associate with each real-life person were either shocking or shockingly appropriate. I’ll fully admit that my first response was to assume it was a turducken parody of the sorts of memes that equate politicians with superheroes, so I was stunned to learn, an hour or two later, that it had been made in earnest. 

...But who could make such a fascinating cultural artifact — a relic of our quar-brained isolation amid a never-ending election cycle? His name is John H. Piette, a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and editor...

..."And the idea was earnest. Because it was happiness. It was just a raw happiness. I hate to admit it, but I think I was in a state of mild depression for four years about the state of the country, and I feel like I was sort of awakening from that. It is tongue in cheek, to an extent; I think it’s important not to take ourselves so seriously. But the main thing I was feeling was unity. Unity, unity, unity. It’s been such a bitter period in our politics, so I did kinda wanna be like, “Look, we won and we’re happy and this is a beautiful moment for America. But at the same time, let’s laugh, let’s heal, and let’s not take ourselves so seriously that we can’t listen to each other or think that we’re 100 percent right all the time.” So I think it was a mixture of both. But it was definitely earnest.""

Saturday Night Live in Last Months of 2020

Maria Bakalova - Bulgarian Star of Borat Sequel

Q: Were there ever times when it was hard for you to stay in character? 

A: When Sacha starts doing his thing, and you’re right next to him, he has this super serious face. I have to act like it’s the most normal thing ever. But he’s so funny. There were moments when the scene was extremely funny and you just can’t stop laughing. It’s bad, because people were able to realize that it’s a joke. He taught me a trick to cross my fingers, to put pressure on my fingers, to stop laughing. 

Q: Were there any marks that you sympathized with? Jeanise Jones, the woman hired as Tutar’s babysitter, was extremely kind to you — did you feel you were deceiving her? 

A: We spent maybe five, six hours with Jeanise and she is the person you see onscreen. She is just incredible. She’s not an actress — she just wanted to help Tutar and for Tutar to appreciate herself, to follow her dreams and educate herself. We need people like Jeanise. She is an angel. 

Q: Did you know who Giuliani was before you recorded your interview with him? 

A: I knew who he was, because 9/11 is something everybody should know. It’s one of the hardest moments in recent history. But I’m not American, I don’t get into American politics. I don’t think I’m that informed with the situation in America and its political system. Sacha has been living here for a long time. I trust him. 

Q: Were you still nervous about filming it? 
A: Yeah. I was nervous. My heart was racing. But Sacha was like, you should be nervous in this situation. So use your nerves. Convert them and accept them and they’re going to help you through everything. "

Succeeding Alex Trebek (R.I.P.)


Via @zeitchikWaPo.

New York Times – "Alex Trebek, Longtime Host of ‘Jeopardy!,’ Dies at 80"

Lego Zooming


Via @WolfBruening ("Today I reached the next level of remote work excellence.").

Sunday, November 1, 2020

American Migration

From Axios @Work Newsletter:

For decades, the share of Americans moving to new cities has been falling. The pandemic-induced rise of telework is turning that trend around. 

Why it matters: This dispersion of people from big metros to smaller ones and from the coasts to the middle of the country could be a boon for dozens of left-behind cities across the U.S. 

By the numbers: 22% of American adults either moved or know someone who moved during the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center survey. 

Flashback: Fewer than 10% of Americans moved to new places in 2019, the lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking domestic relocations in 1947. 

The two biggest exoduses are out of New York City and San Francisco, per data from moving companies cited by Bloomberg's CityLab. 

HireAHelper said requests for help moving out of a New York or San Francisco home were 80% higher than requests to move in over the summer. 

United Van Lines saw moves out of New York and San Francisco jump 45% and 23%, respectively, during the summer months. And while many of the people moving out of these cities are going to other superstar metros — the top destination from San Francisco is Seattle, and the top destination from New York is Los Angeles — many other are relocating to smaller, up-and-coming cities, like Tampa Bay, Raleigh, Houston and Denver. 

The impact: Before the pandemic, the top 15 most expensive cities in the country had just 19% of the population but the vast majority of business activity, writes Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork, which connects freelancers to employers. Now, with remote work, 49% of business spend on Upwork's platform is going from those cities to lower-cost places, he notes. 

And while companies like Facebook and Microsoft have said they'll adjust workers' salaries according to the local cost of living if they move to less-expensive places, the relocation could still be worth it, Ozimek says. 

The price-to-income ratio — which is the ratio of the median price of a home to the median annual household income in a given area — in the top 15 most expensive cities is double (or more) than in the rest of U.S. cities. 

But, but, but: The migration numbers have been inflated by the massive spike in young adults, aged 18–29, moving back home during the pandemic. 

"I think this is temporary," says University of Toronto urbanist Richard Florida. While nearly 30 million young people have moved back in with their parents since March, most of them will return to the big cities they left when the pandemic is behind us. 

The bottom line: It's too early to tell whether American migration has made a true comeback, but the pandemic has — at least in part — shaken up a decades-long period of stagnation in the country.

WFH Future (July 2020)
The Cool-ification of Mid-Size Cities (December 2019)

Why Do White Girls Love Fall?


Jezebel – "Why Do White Girls Love Fall?"

By Hazel Cills

Mank Trailer


Missing Museum Going

"Reproductions reproduce, and they often do it well, but they can’t reproduce the sex appeal of museumgoing, the carnal intersection of one physical object with another, you and it. It’s a thing, there; you, a thing, here."