Creativity, Inc./Cry Once a Week/Voyager Golden Record

Recomendo - issue #389

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The mistakes of Pixar

Managing creative people is a whole ‘nother skill than just being creative yourself. The best practices for managing a group that is persistently creative and innovative is described in Ed Catmull’s bestselling book on Pixar. Catmull co-founded Pixar when it was a computer hardware company, and ran it through its glorious run of producing one hit movie after another. His book Creativity, Inc., recounts the many lessons he learned. I found it a page-turner because throughout the book he focuses on his mistakes, failings, and what he got wrong. Almost no one does that, and yet I found it irresistibly the most powerful way to teach. Get the newly released updated edition, where, true to his spirit, Catmull expands on what he got wrong in the original book! — KK

A website that will make you cry 

I watch sad movies when I’m feeling hormonal, low in spirits, or when the source of my sadness is unknown. Inducing tears has always helped me release stagnant energy in my body, and the website Cry Once a Week seems to expedite that emotional process. I’m not embarrassed to admit that a short 5-minute scene from Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ was enough to make me weep. If you provide them with your email, they’ll send you a free PDF detailing the benefits of crying.— CD

Voyager Golden Record

The Voyager Golden Record, included on the 1977 Voyager space missions, is a collection of Earth’s sounds, music, and images intended as a message for extraterrestrial intelligence. My friend David Pescovitz won a Grammy for the Voyager Golden Record 3xLP Box Set he co-produced, which includes the original content and an illustrated book. Normally priced at $110, it is currently on sale for $88. — MF

Best short films

Many books would do better as an article, and many films should be a short. I’ve really been enjoying Short of the Week, a stream of short videos that carry the punch of a long movie. These shorts can deliver drama, new worlds, innovation, illumination, surprises, and are rarely boring. Wonderfully diverse in form and topic, they are also widely international. The home site has background info on each, but you can also subscribe to its YouTube channel. There’s great stuff here, from Oscar winners to the most ultra indie. — KK

Mechanical watch explainer

This website uses simple interactive animations to explain how a wind-up watch works. It begins with the power source—a spring—and illustrates how the power is transferred through gears to keep the watch running for up to 40 hours. The site then moves to the escapement mechanism and other key components found in modern mechanical wristwatches. — MF

A list of life lessons

I think wisdom can be given by a person of any age or gender, but as a woman turning 40 I was really grateful to hear these experienced lessons from a 44-year-old woman. Below are a few of them. — CD  

  • Start or end every day with writing about your life. There’s always something buried underneath the to do list in your head, something you didn’t realise you felt, that when written down, will make everything clearer.
  • Allow friendships to come and go. Don’t cling onto friendships because they are old. Cling on to them because they bring you joy and comfort and laughter.
  • The small details of your day matter. Be it your first cup of coffee in the morning,  or the way you make your bed, or a walk through the park on the way to work, life is year upon year of stacked up small joys like these. Take pleasure and pride in them.
  • Put your phone down.
    Put your phone down.
    Put your phone down.

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