The Prestige

My passion is equal to the task.

Hi again, I’m Steve Makofsky and this is a semi-whenever list of interesting articles, podcasts and videos that I come across during the week. I hope you’ll enjoy it, find something new to think about, and share it with your friends. In case you forgot, this is in your inbox because you asked me to send it to you. You can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this email.

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I know what you're thinking - another Christoper Nolan post, but this week's featured watch was the 2006 film The Prestige, starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. The movie centers on two rival magicians who are in a 'one up' battle to create the ultimate illusion all while they sacrifice everything in order to create the world's greatest magic trick.

If you want to dig deeper into the psychology of the film, it centers on identity, narcissism, obsession and sacrifice. How how far an individual will go. The consequences of actions and one's willingness to tread deep when there is no turning back.

While I won't spoil the ending to what I consider to be one of Nolan's masterpieces, I will comment that I always enjoy the controversy and rethinkingmany of his earlier films leave with the audience with to dig for deeper clues and meanings. Maybe Cutter (played by Michael Caine), explains it best: "Now, you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because, of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled."

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This weeks "Deep Links"

With the new year upon us, I kept on seeing this meme posted across social media: 'None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.'. The odd part - every time I saw it, it was attributed to different people ranging from Keanu Reeves to Anthony Hopkins. After researching it, I was able to find out who the real author was. - More

One of my favorite gross and humorous items that was released at Disney's Animal Kingdom was their 'Poop-Themed Candy' at Zuri's Sweet Shop. Controversy about them quickly followed and it was pulled from the park, but here's a look at their famous 'giraffe poop'. - More

Sports in 2020/2021 has been an odd thing; this is a fascinating look at the various 'cardboard sports fan' cutouts that have been appearing across games this year. From Tom Hanks to Pedro the Dog and even Barak Obama, these stand-in's for people have interesting stories behind them - More

This read is an incredibly detailed dive into the Apple Watch's 'Solar Face' - I never realized the amount of incredible detail and special nuance that it had until I read 'The Anatomy Of Nightfall' and will play with this one more - More

With a catchy name - the BHI260AP, is a new chip from Bosch that 'can be taught to recognize any activity using AI, so an athlete could train their fitness tracker to detect and record every individual exercise in their routine' - More

Not sure what to say about this, except you have to read the write up on how researchers have figured out how to 'use urine to heat homes' - More

New year, new opportunities - Anil Dash has a fantastic write up on his annual 'personal digital reset' to help make his online life a 'bit more pleasant'. Lots of great tips in here; personally I'm not going as far as factory reseting my phone, but there's lots of great systems in here to make things a little less cluttered and chaotic - More

Have you ever been on a walk and seen a birdhouse-like structures that contained books? The concept of 'neighborhood libraries' has a fascinating history - More

With 22 seconds left, Russel Wilson made an odd pass to receiver David Moore, who gained five yards before running out of bounds. The next play, the Seahawks took a knee, finishing their season with a 26-23 win. Why did they run such a strange play? David Moore earned a $100,000 bonus with that catch - More

A nice article on consistency, and how 'writing a lot is not enough' - More

In this great TED talk, Monica Lewinsky looks at the online culture of humiliation in 'The Price of Shame' - Watch

End Thoughts

Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts.

The first part is called "The Pledge".

The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't.

The second act is called "The Turn".

The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back.

That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige".