Link

Junk Head 1

This is a stop motion film made by Takahide Hori. I was really impressed by the production and writing. After only five minutes of watching, I became a fan. A funding campaign is running for for Junk Head 2, which hopefully will lead to further additions.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/junk-head-2–2

Hori made this virtually by himself over a period of four years. I would be interested to see if a full crew would improve an already excellent piece.

I don’t recommend the film for children (mostly for violence and scary imagery), but if this is your kind of thing, check it out.

Link

Ridley Scott producing Halo movie???

According to the article, Microsoft has denied that a movie is in the works, although there is an Xbox Live series coming. I didn’t know about that, so I am pretty excited. There has been one “movie” made called Forward Unto Dawn. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not a Halo fan. Originally a web series, this movie is ripe with great acting and special effects.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2262308

It’s probably too early to tell, but Halo may very well be the next Star Wars. It may be no coincidence that a big name like Steven Spielberg is attached to the new series. Halo lore already transcends the gaming world and has spawned comics, anime, books, toys and more.

In the meantime, here’s an old video I made with suggestions for making a Halo movie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI5Rbb18S-4

The Myth of 10,000 Hours

Delanceyplace.com is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

 

the myth of 10,000 hours — 1/9/14

In today’s selection — from Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman. The oft-cited 10,000-hour rule, which states that you must spend 10,000 hours practicing a task to attain mastery, is only half true:
 
“The ‘10,000-hour rule’ — that this level of practice holds the secret to great success in any field — has become sacrosanct gospel, echoed on websites and recited as litany in high-performance workshops. The problem: it’s only half true.

“If you are a duffer at golf, say, and make the same mistakes every time you try a certain swing or putt,10,000 hours of practicing that error will not improve your game. You’ll still be a duffer, albeit an older one.

“No less an expert than Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research on expertise spawned the 10,000 — hour rule of thumb, told me, “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal” …

“Apart from sports like basketball or football that favor physical traits such as height and body size, says Ericsson, almost anyone can achieve the highest levels of performance with smart practice. …

“Ericsson argues that the secret of winning is ‘deliberate practice,’ where an expert coach takes you through well-designed training over months or years, and you give it your full concentration.

“Hours and hours of practice are necessary for great performance, but not sufficient. How experts in any domain pay attention while practicing makes a crucial difference. For instance, in his much-cited study of violinists — the one that showed the top tier had practiced more than 10,000 hours — Ericsson found the experts did so with full concentration on improving a particular aspect of their performance that a master teacher identified.

“Smart practice always includes a feedback loop that lets you recognize errors and correct them — which is why dancers use mirrors. Ideally that feedback comes from someone with an expert eye and so every world-class sports champion has a coach. If you practice without such feedback, you don’t get to the top ranks.

“The feedback matters and the concentration does, too — not just the hours. …

“Daydreaming defeats practice; those of us who browse TV while working out will never reach the top ranks. Paying full attention seems to boost the mind’s processing speed, strengthen synaptic connections, and expand or create neural networks for what we are practicing.

“At least at first. But as you master how to execute the new routine, repeated practice transfers control of that skill from the top-down system for intentional focus to bottom-up circuits that eventually make its execution effortless. At that point you don’t need to think about it — you can do the routine well enough on automatic.”

“And this is where amateurs and experts part ways. Amateurs are content at some point to let their efforts become bottom-up operations. After about fifty hours of training –whether in skiing or driving-people get to that ‘good-enough’ performance level, where they can go through the motions more or less effortlessly. They no longer feel the need for concentrated practice, but are content to coast on what they’ve learned. No matter how much more they practice in this bottom-up mode, their improvement will be negligible.

“The experts, in contrast, keep paying attention top-down, intentionally counteracting the brain’s urge to automatize routines. They concentrate actively on those moves they have yet to perfect, on correcting what’s not working in their game, and on refining their mental models of how to play the game, or focusing on the particulars of feedback from a seasoned coach. Those at the top never stop learning: if at any point they start coasting and stop such smart practice, too much of their game becomes bottom-up and their skills plateau.”

Football and Eating Lunch Alone

From Delanceyplace.com

Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

football and eating lunch alone — 1/9/14

In today’s encore selection — as reported by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jeffrey Marx in Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood. Gilman High School in Maryland has a highly successful football team. And its coaches have a few unusual rules — such as an ironclad rule that no Gilman football player should ever let another Gilman boy — teammate or not — eat lunch by himself. And the requirement that players constantly base their thoughts and actions on one simple question:
What can I do for others?:

“What happened that first day at Gilman [High School] was entirely unlike anything normally associated with high school football. It started with the signature exchange of the Gilman football program — this time between [head coach] Biff [Poggi] and the gathered throng of eighty boys, freshmen through seniors, who would spend the next week practicing together before being split into varsity and junior varsity teams.

” ‘What is our job?’ Biff asked on behalf of himself, Joe, and the eight other assistant coaches.

” ‘To love us,’ most of the boys yelled back. The older boys had already been through this routine more than enough times to know the proper answer. The younger boys, new to Gilman football, would soon catch on.

” ‘And what is your job?’ Biff shot back.

‘To love each other,’ the boys responded.

“I would quickly come to realize that this standard exchange — always initiated by Biff or [defensive coach] Joe [Ehrmann] — was just as much a part of Gilman football as running or tackling.

” ‘I don’t care if you’re big or small, huge muscles or no muscles, never even played football or star of the team — I don’t care about any of that stuff,’ Biff went on to tell the boys, who sat in the grass while he spoke. ‘If you’re here, then you’re one of us, and we love you. Simple as that.’ …

” ‘I expect greatness out of you,’ Biff once told the boys. ‘And the way we measure greatness is the impact you make on other people’s lives.’

“How would the boys make the most impact? Almost anything Biff ever talked about could be fashioned into at least a partial answer to that question.

“For one thing, they would make an impact by being inclusive rather than exclusive.

” ‘The rest of the world will always try to separate you,’ Biff said. ‘That’s almost a law of nature — gonna happen no matter what, right? The rest of the world will want to separate you by race, by socioeconomic status, by education levels, by religion, by neighborhood, by what kind of car you drive, by the clothes you wear, by athletic ability. You name it — always gonna be people who want to separate by that stuff. Well, if you let that happen now, then you’ll let it happen later. Don’t let it happen. If you’re one of us, then you won’t walk around putting people in boxes. Not now. Not ever. Because every single one of them has something to offer. Every single one of them is special. Look at me, boys.’

“They were looking.

” ‘We are a program of inclusion,’ Biff said. ‘We do not believe in separation.’

“The boys would also make an impact by breaking down cliques and stereotypes, by developing empathy and kindness for all.

” ‘What’s empathy?’ Biff asked them. ‘Feeling what?’

“‘Feeling what the other person feels,’ said senior Napoleon Sykes, one of the team captains, a small but solid wide receiver and hard-hitting defensive back who had already accepted a scholarship to play college football at Wake Forest.

” ‘Exactly right,’ Biff said. ‘Not feeling for someone, but with someone. If you can put yourself in another man’s shoes, that’s a great gift to have for a lifetime.’

“That was the whole idea behind Biff and Joe’s ironclad rule that no Gilman football player should ever let another Gilman boy — teammate or not — eat lunch by himself.

” ‘You happen to see another boy off by himself, go sit with him or bring him over to sit with you and your friends,’ Biff said. ‘I don’t care if you know him or not. I don’t care if he’s the best athlete in the school or the so-called nerd with his head always down in the books. You go get him and you make him feel wanted, you make him feel special. Simple, right? Well, that’s being a man built for others.’

“How else would the boys make an impact?

“By living with integrity … and not only when it is convenient to do so. Always.

“By seeking justice … because it is often hidden.

“By encouraging the oppressed . . . because they are always discouraged.

“Ultimately, Biff said, the boys would make the greatest overall impact on the world — would bring the most love and grace and healing to people — by constantly basing their thoughts and actions on one simple question: What can I do for you?

” ‘Not, what can I do to get a bigger bank account or a bigger house?’ Biff said. ‘Not, what can I do to get the prettiest girl? Not, what can I do to get the most power or authority or a better job title? Not, what can I do for me? The only question that really matters is this: How can I help you today?’

“Biff and Joe would constantly elaborate on all of this as the season progressed.

” ‘Because in case you haven’t noticed yet, we’re training you to be different,’ Biff said. ‘If we lose every game of the year, go oh-and-ten on the football field, as long as we try hard, I don’t care. You learn these lessons, and we’re ten-and-oh in the game of life.’ “