This is page is part of my almanac.
Some of My Favorite Things
- Daily Newsletter. NextDraft by Dave Pell is a thoughtful and fun summary of the day in 10 mini articles. Pell does this as an unpaid side gig but takes this job as “Managing Editor of the Internet” seriously.
- Annual Event. Improv Everywhere does the MP3 Experiment in New York each year. Thousands of people download a 40 minute set of instructions and play them at the same time together in the same park, everyone morphing into a giant single group. The boys and I have been going for the last few years. I also posted my favorite Improv Everywhere videos.
- Truth Telling Site. Post Secret is a website where people send in anonymous postcards with secrets they haven’t told anyone else. What you get is brutal raw honesty. Founder Frank Warren has a great video summarizing the site. I saw Frank live and he opened the presentation with the music video Dirty Little Secret which used actual Post Secret cards.
- Inspirational Speaker. Brene Brown has a great Netflix Special The Call for Courage and a recorded seminar The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage. To take a quick bite, check out her animated shorts on Empathy and Blame and her TED talks on The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame. Bonus! My favorite inspirational talk is Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, a wonderful summary of how to live a life.
- Internet Artist. Ze Frank is my favorite Internet artist. Here’s a great retrospective of his work. If you like that, the first half of an early TED talk is equally entertaining (the first 5 minutes is one of my favorite things ever). I also wrote a piece about how Ze has helped me understand how social media really works.
- Card Game/Corporate Prank. You’ve probably played Cards without Humanity, the adult card game of association. Each year on Black Friday, they do a publicity stunt. It’s probably the most fun thing I buy each year. This year was the battle between Artificial Intelligence and their human writers (spoiler alert: humans won and get to keep their jobs.) A few years ago was Eight Sensible Days of Hanukkah where I and 250,000 other customers received 8 gifts, 3 of which were socks.
- Unknown Hero. Vasili Arkhipov, a Russian submariner, did more to save the world than anyone else. In a vote on whether or not to start a nuclear war, the vote was 2 to 1 with Arkhipov the only one against. Take a look at this video to learn how we came that close to self destruction.