AnalogSenses

By ÁLVARO SERRANO

The secret tunnels below the Playboy Mansion that led to the homes of some Hollywood celebrities →

March 31, 2015 |

Amazing story over at Playboy.com:

When you work at Playboy, you hear a lot of stories. Some of them are true: The Playboy Mansion is, in fact, the only private residence in LA with a fireworks license and one of the few with a zookeeping permit. Some of them — such as whether there’s a secret room in the house that lets you see into the Grotto pool — we can’t verify because we’ve never actually seen that room in The Mansion. But we’d never heard anything about a tunnel (…).

So, according this blueprint, tunnels were built to the homes of “Mr. J. Nicholson,” “Mr. W. Beatty,” “Mr. K. Douglas” and “Mr. J. Caan.” We’ll go ahead and assume they’re talking about Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Kirk Douglas and James Caan – all of whom lived near the Playboy Mansion during the late 1970s and early 1980s. There are no dates on the architectural schematics, but the dates on the Polaroids were from 1977.

You can’t make this stuff up. Via Messy Nessy Chic.

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‘The Art of Learning Street Photography’, by Eric Kim →

March 31, 2015 |

Eric Kim:

However the truth is that there are no limits for human excellence. At the end of the day, nobody has really figured out the limits of the human mind or the body. Every year in memory championships, the competitors are able to memorize more digits in their head. Every year in sprinting competitions, there is always a new world-record. There was a long time in which people thought that a 4-minute mile was almost impossible to achieve. Now there are high schoolers who are able to easily achieve a 4-minute mile.

What are your limits as a photographer? How good can you get? There really are no limits— so try to keep pushing yourself to see how good you can truly become. Growth is barrier-less.

Solid gold.

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Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous →

March 30, 2015 |

Tim Cook, writing on The Washington Post:

Legislation being considered in Texas would strip the salaries and pensions of clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — even if the Supreme Court strikes down Texas’ marriage ban later this year. In total, there are nearly 100 bills designed to enshrine discrimination in state law.

These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.

It takes courage to speak up like this. Even more so when you’re CEO of the most valuable company in the world.

Say what you will about Tim Cook’s leadership of Apple but one thing is clear: he does not shy away from a fight.

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Jon Hamm reflects on Don Draper →

March 30, 2015 |

As the final season of Mad Men approaches, Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times sits down with Jon Hamm to reminisce about Don Draper. Via Stephen Hackett:

How this years-in-the-making narrative ends for Draper — conclusively or ambiguously; with his redemption or his demise — remains a secret that Mr. Hamm isn’t sharing. He has, however, managed to portray a character that has grown over seven seasons while nonetheless remaining trapped in an existential loop. In a recent interview, he spoke about some of the moments — triumphant and otherwise — that made Don Draper who he was. In these excerpts from that conversation, he recalls how these scenes were created and shares some final insights about the man they reveal.

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Tyson Robichaud reviews the Sony A7 Mark II →

March 30, 2015 |

Another interesting camera review for the day:

The way that I tend to shoot now has largely grown into being used to some of the new technological bells and whistles like focus peaking, live exposure display, tilting high res LCD screens and EVF’s that enable a variety of information to be overlaid through the finder. They have all have spoiled me to an extent. I’ve been able to compartmentalize my “full frame” system and my micro 4/3 mirrorless setup by separating their skill sets into “work camera” and “everyday camera” which has been easy enough. With the a7II, those lines are starting to blur.

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The radical humaneness of Norway’s Halden prison →

March 30, 2015 |

Jessica Benko, The New York Times:

Norway banned capital punishment for civilians in 1902, and life sentences were abolished in 1981. But Norwegian prisons operated much like their American counterparts until 1998. That was the year Norway’s Ministry of Justice reassessed the Correctional Service’s goals and methods, putting the explicit focus on rehabilitating prisoners through education, job training and therapy. A second wave of change in 2007 made a priority of reintegration, with a special emphasis on helping inmates find housing and work with a steady income before they are even released. Halden was the first prison built after this overhaul, and so rehabilitation became the underpinning of its design process. Every aspect of the facility was designed to ease psychological pressures, mitigate conflict and minimize interpersonal friction. Hence the blueberry forest.

Norway understands that the point of incarceration has to go beyond mere punishment. Rehabilitation is the true test of a nation’s prison system. Via Kottke.

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Jordan Steele reviews the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II →

March 30, 2015 |

Jordan Steele:

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is a very worthy successor to the original ground-breaking E-M5. Olympus has improved a great many things on the camera, including the direct controls, the viewfinder, the rear screen, the autofocus, the image stabilizer and more, while adding very interesting and useful new features such as Wi-Fi or the most-talked about feature, the High Resolution mode. This mode really does break new ground, allowing for 40 (JPEG) or 64 (RAW) Megapixel images for static scenes. It’s most definitely not a gimmick feature, and with a static scene and a solid tripod, will yield truly high-resolution images with good glass.

I really enjoy Jordan’s reviews, but they’re usually terrible for my wallet.

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MirrorLessons reviews the Leica T →

March 27, 2015 |

Interesting review by Mathieu Gasquet of MirrorLessons. It may look like he’s not overly enthusiastic about the camera, but that’s perhaps because of the huge expectations the Leica name invariably sets.

The new Leica T appears to be a very competent camera system, priced way over its current performance level. But then again, that’s what Leica has always been so I guess, in a way, it makes sense.

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