Transit Journal
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The Tediously Slow Life of an Inanimate Object

The reason we don’t see rocks running around and living their lives, is because—unlike us—they have millions of years at their disposal to contemplate their next move.

So now you know.

The Breakup of Belgium

Or: Fifteen Ways to Crack an Egg

Every few months, the media feels inclined to warn us of the impending break up of Belgium. And these news reports have been steadily feeding us for what? The past hundred years?

It is said that Belgium is, not only the only failed nation state in the world that actually works, but that it is also an accident of history. It’s not hard to imagine why. Consider this: In the summer of 1830, after a night of heavy drinking at the opera, some blokes woke up the next morning, not only discovering that they had acquired a set of cool new tattoos, but that they had also in-avertedly created a new country.

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Inception Explained, almost.

One of the strangest lucid dreams I’ve ever had was indeed being caught inside a dream in a dream in a dream in a dream. I found myself waking up one morning, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, getting dressed, and going to school. During my first class, I woke up again. And so I got out of bed and repeated my morning rituals. This time round though, I only got as far as the bus ride to school. I found myself waking up again. That’s when I realized something strange was going on. This scenario would continue to repeat itself several times, each dream sequence getting shorter and shorter until I couldn’t get any further than stepping out of my bed before ending back to where I was. Finally, I was awake. But even then, doubts remained. How could I be sure I wasn’t still dreaming? It was only after my day had progressed well passed the afternoon that I started to relax and assume that I really had returned to reality.

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Short film: Tanghi Argentini

Scene from Tanghi Argentini

Once in a while, something worthwhile can be seen on television. Yesterday, Canvas not only aired the quirky love story “Steve + Sky“, but  also several pretty good short films. In my opinion, it’s something they should do more often.  Even though shorts are perfect for the internet, they are not always easy to track down.


One short I did manage to find on the net was actually the Oscar nominated “Tanghi Argentini” (subtitles). It is not the first tango short film I’ve mentioned here, but I guess it’s a subject that lends itself well to telling short passionate stories.

In Tanghi Argentini, an office clerk, after having landed himself a date with a woman he met on the internet,  finds he has only two weeks to learn the tango if he want to make an impression on her. Having never danced before, he enlists the help of one of his colleagues to help him learn the dance of passion. The big question is: will he be able to convince his date he has been a Tango dancer all his life? As with all good shorts, it ends with a twist. So watch it here.

Learning the Tango

While two weeks is indeed very short to master this dance, this is in many ways how it was taught 19th century.  Only, it usually took a bit longer than just two fortnights. Before a young boy could actually step on the dance floor and impress the ladies, he would first have to find a more experienced male dancer to teach him. First he would have to watch and observe the more skilled dancers, than learn how to follow (the woman’s part), and only when he got that down could he be taught to lead. Once he got all that down, a process that could take up to three years, would he now be able to dance with an actual real woman.

screenshot from the altruists

You can choose your friends.

Of one of the other shorts shown yesterday, “De Onbaatzuchtigen” (The Altruists / no subtitles), I was only able to find a fragment. You might have heard of the phrase: “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family”. Well, in this short film, you can. As a matter of fact, every member of the family can be sold or bought as long as the rest of the family agrees. Though never explicitly mentioned, in this society, prestige and wealth is exhibited by the size of a family unit and the qualities of each member. Showing off to the other families is done by the daily walks on the street with the entire family together.

A member of one family, who like the rest, constantly lives in fear that the others will tire of him and sell him off, decides to play his cards in such a way, that only he is left. After realizing he is now alone, he gets himself a dog for companionship. Someone he can trust won’t sell him off if they ever disagree.

Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times: The Ultimate Reality Game

Play the Modern Times Game! The idea for this game came to me in a dream. It is based on a scene from Modern Times, a Charlie Chaplin film. It’s the one where Chaplin is working on an assembly line, mind numbingly screwing in bolts with a spanner until he finally goes mad. Continue reading…

Animation: Logorama

Logorama is a pulp fictionesque animation contrived completely out of logo’s. You have to watch it once, and then watch it again, the second time freeze framing a single frame at a time to notice every single detail such as Pink Floyds The Wall or the colonel himself serving at his own KFC and so much more… really well done.

Saint Amour: Russian Bride English

These are some of the letters I’ve received from gorgeous, sexy Russian girls, in search of their one true love on the open plains of the internet. Unlike the other spam I receive, there is something sweet about Russian Bride English. Most likely because they are literal translations from Russian, but oh, are they filled with so much drama and passion.
The first is a letter I received from Anara, a girl prepared to even learn the language of love. I can only imagine what Russian Bride French is like… that could be fun time:

Hello! My name is Anara and I would like to start a conversation with you. I hope that you will answer me. I would like to know more about you and see some of your pictures as well.

I live in Russia and I am 27 years old now. I hope to see the only serious intentions from you, not the game or just the desire to hold your fun time for our conversation.

With respect and a desire to see your reply soon, Anara.

P.S. I hope that we will be able to speak English, the language I know well, but I’m ready to learn French in the future!

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Missing Socks and Washing Machines: Vessels of Inter-Dimensional Travel

I have long held the belief that washing machines can on occasion become accidental portals, which in turn allows travel to other dimensions. It would explain the missing sock phenomena which states that given enough time, you’ll end up with just one half of each pair.

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Short Film: The Third and The Seventh

The Third and The Seventh by Alex Roman

This architectural short film grabbed my attention once I noticed it included the parliament building in Dhaka. I briefly mentioned it in the TEDx post (it includes a link to the video about its history and the life of Nathaniel Kahn, the architect).

This short however starts with some beautiful architectural imagery. It’s filmed in high definition and best viewed full screen. But just when you think that there isn’t that much more to it, it slowly starts to pull you in as a wonderfully strange imaginary world comes to life. One I wouldn’t mind living in to be honest. I was quite impressed by the camera work and first thought it was done with the new range of DSLR’s that support video while offering more depth of field control at affordable prices.

But I was a bit surprised that one would travel all the way to Bangladesh just to film a building. Then I realized the entire movie was created with CGI. Quite impressive as it was all done by one man, Alex Roman, and a lot of time. That it really is all just bits and bytes can be seen here. Real buildings in an unreal world.

The Men’s Guide to Color Theory

Color theory applied to lingerie

A few days ago, a color conspiracy, enacted by women, swept over the social webs to raise awareness and at the same time, pull one over on us men. So now more than ever seems like the appropriate moment to publish an excerpt from the longest ‘short’ story I’ve ever written, but decided not to complete. (I happen to be working on something more important right now). Never the less, rather than leaving this to collect dust, I’ve decided to share with you these little wisdoms and what fascinating things the colors of lingerie have to reveal:

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T-shirts with the god Shiva print