July 22, 2017


This is the start of a series about highlighting cool events, people, media, etc. that happened or I encountered recently and don't need their own note. I'll try to keep this up at least every two months!

Movie: Dunkirk (★★★★★)

Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan, outlines the miracle evacuation of British and Allied infantry after the Battle of Dunkirk. Nolan emphasizes the helplessness of the Allied infantry to the onslaught of Axis fighter-aircraft bombers by initially giving us the perspective of the infantry. He then continually transitions from this perspective to that of Allied aircraft pilots risking their lives to shoot down Axis aircraft bombers and boat-owning civilians making the dangerous journey to save the Allied infantry. Even though I was not able to hear a significant portion of the dialogue through the sounds of war in the background, I understood the emotions behind the incomprehensible words through the numerous environment shots framing the fear and desperateness of the infantry and selflessness of the aircraft pilots and civilians. Any movie that makes me feel as intense emotions as Dunkirk did deserves five stars.

Book: Ready Player One (★★★★★)

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline details a world in which VR has become an integral part of society. The Oasis is the virtual world in which most of society frequents for work and leisure. The multibillionaire who created the Oasis publicly announced the first person to find the three easter eggs he hid in the simulation would inherit all of his fortunes. The novel is told from the perspective of 18-year old Wade Watts (in-game name: Parzival), who found the first easter egg. The book helped me remember why I loved video games so much before college while offering an interesting viewpoint that caused me to consider the following points I encourage you to reflect on:

Will I allow my future children to play video games? Should I give them the option to have this form of entertainment (and escape at times) in their lives or should I expose them to more physical and intellectually demanding hobbies?

How would I justify my job if I were to be a video game developer? I am bringing happiness to people’s lives, but this is at the cost of their time to focus on things possibly of more significance.

As a corollary, I reflected if I ever would want to build a successful addictive app if predominantly it will only provide temporary enjoyment/distraction into people’s lives.

YouTube channel: Foureyes

Chris Salomone explains the design and building process of his personal woodworking projects. In my early-30s, I would like to seriously invest my time into woodworking so I enjoy exposing myself to the woodworking world so I can pick up this hobby more easily in the future.

I would also like to have a greater understanding of design to appreciate more design efforts I see in my life. Chris’ videos are engaging, visually stimulating, and filled with entry-level woodworking knowledge which is why I choose to watch his videos over any other woodworking channels.

YouTube video: The Distraction Economy

Derek Muller, better known as Veritasium, reflects on his mindless intake of information, often checking the news on his phone whenever he has a minute to spare. He argues this immense and consistent information intake is debilitating as humans were not to meant to consume as much information as we currently do. Thus, he explains his decision to move to a low-information diet and encourages viewers to as well. He comforts viewers by offering his opinion that dead-time is not always wasted time. Sometimes it is good to be bored–to have your mind wander and eventually stumble upon something of significant interest. To me, a low-information diet means to stop listening to podcasts and music while working out, cleaning up the apartment, walking to and from work.

Podcast: The Bible Project

Casual, engaging, and interesting conversation about stories in the Bible. I also recommend their YouTube channel as they create some seriously great free content to spread the story of the Bible.

Song: Light Up (Acoustic)

Allowed me to slow my thoughts down and appreciate things I have been overlooking while I was having a rough day.

Food: Del Seoul

Cheap and amazing Korean food in tacos. Need I say more? It is a 20-minute walk away from the free Lincoln Park Zoo. Try it out next time you are in Chicago!

Productivity tool: Spectacle

A window manager for OS X. Keyboard shortcuts for full screen, half screen, thirds, and so on. Simple and super useful!