Monthly Archives: July 2009

Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World

You have to see this amazing South Pole documentary by director Werner Herzog . Came out in 2007, nominated for an Oscar. Netflix surfaced it for me, probably because I liked his Grizzly Man so much, which, if you haven’t seen it you also must. Herzog has this way of turning a nature documentary inside out so it has nothing to do with the nature and everything to do with the human heart and soul in connection to the natural. The native American pipefitter who reflexively shows his oddly sized fingers to prove his Aztec ancestry. The elder biologist caught in a pensive mood because he knows he is making his last few dives below the ice sheet into the frigid waters to discover new species of microorganisms. The former businessman and now McMurdo station bus driver who has disavowed financial success. There’s this one scene in which Herzog captures three biologists in their parkas laying on the ice sheet with their ears pressed to the ice listening to the inorganic hums, whines and groans of Weddell seals. I can’t get that image out of my head. The scene is in this trailer

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The Cove: A Movie We All Have to See

Dying to see this when it comes out. Animal-rights documentary disguised as a great caper movie en if you don’t love dolphins. Who doesn’t love dolphins?

Bezos’ Great Explanation for Buying Zappos

Another World Changing Idea: Clean Water

Millions of lives can be saved by providing access to clean water. It doesnt have to be expensive. Michael Pritchard was inspired to invent a portable bottle with micropores that can turn the foulest water into sterile drinkable stuff. Learn more about it here.

Clever Video From Animal Activists

Great and thoughtful piece on paid content in CJR

Thanks to Michael Shapiro for putting together a cogent analysis on how and what kind of news could be paid for. money graf:

Niche sites succeed, in large measure, by staking out a line of coverage that represents precisely the kinds of stories that newspapers decided to abandon years ago because so many readers found them so tedious: process stories. The relentless journey of a bill through a legislative body—cloture vote! Tracking a running back as he decides between Baylor and Texas. But process stories are stories that, by their nature, offer an endless source of developments; there is always something new happening, even if to those on the outside of the conversation, it is news of little value. Robert Merry wonders, for instance, why so many newspapers abandoned their statehouse bureaus when those capital cities were awash in money, lobbyists, legislators, and eager-beaver aides who’d be willing to pay quite a lot for information that might give them an edge. They did so because most readers said the stories were boring—and that was true for most readers, but not all.

Read entire story here.

BusinessWeek up for sale

I dare not say anything negative, but attention must be paid.