Flower

What would happen if we drained the Mediterranean sea?

I was reminded in the Natural History Museum in New York that the Mediterranean sea was dry at some point.

If the connection to the Atlantic Occean was cut off, it would dry again. That is why it is so salty, especially in the East, it evaporates more than it can be replenished from rivers.

It did not take too long to go from there, to this video with graphics and some speculation about the consequences of no water in the Mediterranean.

How much of Europe would be a desert, how much deeper than the Grand Kanyon would it be, and how much higher the rest of sea level would be?

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Athens Portrait

Here is a nice video showing the capital of Greece. From the description in Vimeo:

The film is a homage to the capital of Greece. It features hyperlapse, timelapse and drivelapse cinematography of the urban area and the skyline of "το κλεινόν άστυ" / the glorious city. Shot almost entirely from the highest rooftops, hills and mountains at night, the film explores the urban core, the city center and beyond.

Worth watching in a 5 min break.

City of Athens - A Portrait of a Changing Metropolis from Alexandros Maragos on Vimeo.

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Ronig rebetika

I recently came across Christian Ronig, a German guy who seems to love rebetika songs, i.e. Greek songs from 2 generations ago. He has translated and modified some of them to a different style, which still captures the original essense. It is quite interesting to see what a person with completely different influences sees in a different culture. I think he does a great job.

He has an album named “Greece is mine”, here is one of the songs (morning in minor). Youtube has some more which might brighten your day.

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How starwars was saved in the edit

Here is an interesting video on how editing can change a movie.

It is all on the first starwars movie, the first cut of which was much worse than the final product, and was saved by editing. This is a very useful 20 min video explaining pacing, audience engagement and storytelling in general.

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Time well spent

Have you wondered why Youtube videos automatically start playing a new one, once the one you have been watching ends?

It is because many online services compete for our attention. For example, they are interested in which news timeline would grab your attention the most. If you ask yourself, in the end of the day, what sort of news timeline you would consider time well spent, it will probably be a very different timeline than the one served to you.

Here Tristan Harris argues that what teenagers do on social media is different than what they did on the phone in the 70s. The reason is that in the 70s there was no arms race for using the phone more, even though there was still an economic incentive to use the phone.

If you want a more in depth conversation on the same topic, listen to the 2 hour episode from Dan Harris’s podcast.

Similar to using step trackers to help people to monitor their physical health, he calls for something like a timeline tracker or phone usage tracker to help people monitor their smartphone usage.

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