Quora had a few nice responses to the question What’s the craziest thing you ever said (or did) at an interview and still got the job?
When I got out of college I decided I wanted to live somewhere on the east coast, but didn’t really care where. I’m a web developer, so I built a system to scrape jobs from Craigslist. Based on keywords in the job listing, the code would construct a cover letter from paragraphs that explained my experience with the associated keyword. I sent out around 1,500 resumes in 24 hours.
The next day I was swamped with calls and did a bunch of interviews, and one company flew me out for an in person interview the next day. I ended up getting the job and while I didn’t mention how I sent out my resumes during the job interview, it came up later while I was working there. After explaining the app, they informed me that had I told them that story, they would have probably hired me on the spot without more interviewing.
And my favorite
I was asked if I could pass a drug test. I politely responded I need 2 weeks to study. I was hired on the spot.
And for bonus points, how to answer “what’s your biggest weakness?”
A: Cheese dip. If it’s on the table, I can’t stop eating it.
After making the important point that most Holocaust deniers aren’t all that interested in ‘truth’, Tim O’Neill has given the most persuasive argument possible for the Holocaust’s existence. Namely
No Nazi was ever a Holocaust denier.
This one, simple fact shows that everything the modern deniers try to claim is a post hoc contrivance. From 1945 onwards, thousands of Nazis were captured and hundreds tried for their part in the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity. They tried to pretend they were someone else, they tried to pretend they didn’t know what was happening, they tried to pretend they didn’t have as much to do with it as others, they tried to claim they were just following orders and they tried to justify it as “the kind of thing that happens in war”. But what not one of them ever did was deny it happened.
Even men on trial for their lives, in the full knowledge they would be hanged if convicted, never stood up in the courtroom and shouted “This is all a lie! This is a fabrication! There were no gas chambers and no crematoria! I’m being framed!”
Video games reporter Joe Keiser looks at the culture of hacked PS2 games in his temporary home of Nairobi, including my favorite – this Kirk Douglas version of Grand Theft Auto.
Just look at it! It’s exquisite. The game itself is as grand as the cover. It is San Andreas, with the load screens replaced by EXTREME closeups of Kirk Douglas—and occasionally his son Michael Douglas, because hey, close enough, right? In the game, the main character appears to be a rough approximation of Kirk Douglas. Oh, and all the missions have been removed, so there’s nothing to do.
More games your friends definitely won’t have at gameological.
Slime has been on earth a lot longer than us – perhaps up to a billion years. Certain types (if you want to be formal, P. Polycephalum) might also be a lot smarter that we thought. Slime can have a sense of time, it can work its way through mazes and – in a recent discovery – it can be used to design efficient railway systems.
The single-celled brainless amoebae did not grow living branches between pieces of food in a random manner; rather, they behaved like a team of human engineers, growing the most efficient networks possible. Just as engineers design railways to get people from one city to another as quickly as possible, given the terrain—only laying down the building materials that are needed—the slime molds hit upon the most economical routes from one morsel to another, conserving energy.
Researchers created a mini petri-dish Japan, with food for all the major cities, and slime-like obstacles where human engineers might find them. In a matter of hours they had recreated something very similar to the complex Japanese railway system.
Andrew Adamatzky of the University of the West of England Bristol and other researchers were so impressed with the protists’ behaviors that they have proposed using slime molds to help plan future roadway construction.
The US is looking to raise its minimum wage to $9. This is still short of the minimum wage in many Western nations (one of the highest in Australia, whose minimum wage is closer to $17, more on weekends and evenings). But do higher minimum wages lead countries to go broke? Or to produce less jobs?
PBS interviewed Obama’s chief economics adviser Alan Krueger, who explains many studies find minimum wage rises can actually help economies, and even are often secretly welcomed by employers.
One issue that arises is that when employers contemplate an increase in the minimum wage, they don’t take account of the fact that their competitors will also face a higher minimum wage, and therefore they won’t be at a disadvantage compared to their competitors. Instead, prices will rise and that will help to offset their higher costs.
Costs rise by a very small amount (<3%), which is more than made up for greater spending power by poorer people, and other benefits to bosses. There are a range of reasons why employers might need to offer slightly higher wages, however in competitive markets they actually need governments to step in apply them, universally.
You would expect somewhere higher prices to reach a tipping point, where they start to negatively affect profits. Krueger says in all the studies he’s read, we haven’t ever seen that point be reached.
Curzio Malaparte is one of the most intriguing figures to emerge from of the chaos of Italy’s involvement in World War Two. He worked as a poet, literary journal editor, filmmaker and novelist, and his literary style can be seen as an important precursor to contemporary magical realism. And he also designed and built the most beautiful house in the world. But more on that later.
As a poet, journalist, and literary journal editor, Malaparte played a dangerous double game, both courting and ridiculing the rising Fascist leaders of Europe. A participator in Mussolini’s infamous March on Rome, he was later exiled for speaking out against Italy’s elite, and imprisoned by Mussolini on multiple occasions (partly for the unhealthy habit in 1931 of referring to Adolf Hitler as a woman).
Despite this, Malaparte was invited to cover the war, and most notably the German invasion of Eastern Europe. Malaparte’s father was German, and his mother Italian – influences which enabled Malaparte to both happily dine with the Nazi elite, and critically observe the civilian and battlefield turmoil. The paradoxical recording of this duality (particularly his masterpiece Kaputt) remain amongst the most intriguing documents to have emerged from that terrible conflict.
Kaputt itself is a book very much of two sides. The Italian experience of the war was necessarily ambivalent, and reading the novel can be a frustrating experience of inaction and distance towards the horrors witnessed. A tour of the Warsaw ghetto is contrasted with ghost stories, and other purely fictional passages of lyrical genius. Elsewhere, dead bodies falling from train carriages are described as cooly as the architecture of Stockholm. Most notably, there is little by the way of a traditional narrative.
‘Written as a Fascist, edited as a Communist’ would be too simplistic a description of the novel, as Malaparte’s political opportunism remained constant. But an analysis of its editing process reveals a personal journey of someone who once thought German victory assured, and later witnessed its dramatic collapse first hand. The book remains both a rare perspective from the point of view of the losing Axis powers, and of the emergence of a new postwar reality. The Skin followed Kaputt, itself a fascinating examination of the (almost innocently naive) US forces as they invaded a very complex, shattered Southern Europe.
Paris – and international Communism – became interests after the war, as it was for much of Western Europe’s avant-garde. However, further literary success was elusive for Malaparte. Politically, he continued to maintain consistent individuality. A more notable later interest became film, and Malaparte was awarded the City of Berlin prize for his movie “Forbidden Christ”, at the first ever Berlin Film festival. It could be seen as the closing act of his wartime narrative, a revenge tale against fascist horrors in his homeland.
After literature however, it is perhaps in architecture that Malaparte’s influence has been most widely felt. During a period of internal exile in Italy’s isolated coast, he had the architect Adalberto Libera draw up plans for a house for a particularly spectacular clifftop location in Capri. Dissatisfied, Malaparte redit the design, and had it built by a local stonemason. Extreme architectural porn follows.
Isolated, outward looking, and blank, Malaparte conceived of architecture as an act of self-portraiture. The roof becomes a sun deck, it’s views of the Mediterranean a place to observes the trials of Odysseus.
The interiors have since been restored to their former glory, and sit between seeming remarkably contemporary, and a record of a peculiar time of forward looking 1940′s Italian modernism.
The house was notably used by Jean-Luc Godard in his film Le Mepris, with Brigitte Bardot sunbathing on its roof platform. The views of the Capri coast used as an almost ‘second’ screen, with the commonality of passionate desire to both love and film – and their inevitable dissolution – central concerns of the film.
Malaparte’s house remains an accessible reminder today, even as his literary legacy is still under examination. His surname Malaparte itself was always a textural puzzle. First used in 1925, it could be literally translated as “Wrong” or “Evil Side”, a futurist counter to Bonaparte’s “Good Side”. Throughout his life, the author’s distance and mutability mirrored his own country’s experience, and perhaps today also our own.
One of the most surprising influences is Laurel and Hardy. Providing almost direct content at times (particularly for their scenes with more slapstick humor) rewatching the originals it is remarkable how this 1920s material still remains useful to the brothers today.
In Big Business (1929) we see an almost direct source for the scene in The Big Lebowski where some mistargeted violence from Walter results in the destruction of The Dude’s car. Even the LA streets of Big Business seem familiar.
Laurel and Hardy also have to look after an adopted baby (Raising Arizona), come close to falling off of skyscrapers (The Hudsucker Proxy), escape prison and climb out of the mud (Raising Arizona) – they also pretend to be African Americans as they escape through Southern cotton country, police on their heels (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?).
If you think about it, fat men are consistently funny in Coen Brothers films – falling Waring Hudsucker in Hudsucker Proxy, or just about any sight of John Goodman. Frequently we see a fat and skinny characters in a state of conflict (Walt and The Dude from The Big Lebowski, say).
Perhaps time lag is necessary – after all, how much more can a director draw from the sixties, seventies or eighties – and still hope to produce something original?
This objectivity through temporal displacement could even be seen as a key Coen brothers strategy. Nearly none of their films are set in the ‘present’ day (even The Big Lebowski backdated events seven years earlier, to the early 1990s, when it was seemingly irrelevant.
It will take me some time to pull apart the many threads in the book, so I will discuss more of it soon (and add a link to future articles).
This article by George Monbiot is as succinct a report on the dominant economic theory of the past 30 years as you could wish for. We have seen that wealth hasn’t trickled down, but formed in vast pools upwards. Economic belt-tightening has dried up demand, stifling overall recoveries.
The apostles have conducted a 30-year global experiment and the results are now in. Total failure.
His conclusion is just as stark.
As I say, I have no dog in this race, except a belief that no one, in this sea of riches, should have to be poor. But staring dumbfounded at the lessons unlearned in Britain, Europe and the United States, it strikes me that the entire structure of neoliberal thought is a fraud. The demands of the ultra-rich have been dressed up as sophisticated economic theory and applied regardless of the outcome. The complete failure of this world-scale experiment is no impediment to its repetition. This has nothing to do with economics. It has everything to do with power.
Broadside zine posted a movie review they watched on acid, and for it they chose the very un summer of love Django Unchained.
I’m not in a position to really criticise plot continuity…There is a lot of horse riding that happens. Probably an unnecessary amount of horse riding… At some point in the dramatic denouement of the film Leo’s hand is bleeding as his character is making some overarching societal comment about America and power and race and I am just thinking “holy shit dude why is your hand bleeding, that’s totally distracting, did I miss something,” because probably yes I did miss something.