Reading: Ikiru, a Bible Redesign, The Simpsons, Myers-Briggs, Leaving Facebook, Soccer & more

Also: A shoegazer documentary, the thin line between public and private, debating the salvation of extraterrestrials, and remembering the F‑14 Tomcat.
Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa

Ron Reed contemplates Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru: “Akira Kurosawa’s epic Samurai films are among the greatest movies ever made. But it is a quiet, intimate story about a very different sort of hero, a mid-level bureaucrat confronted with the futility of his own life, that may be the director’s masterpiece. Certainly it’s one of his most spiritual films.” I came to similar conclusions in my Ikiru review.

Adam Greene wants to redesign the Bible like a work of literature: “Greene’s background is in book design, and his understanding of the art behind a great book is infused into Bibliotheca. Every element of the four volumes has been carefully considered to make reading a pleasurable and distraction-free experience.” Simply put, I love everything about this. For more info, check out Greene’s interview on Bible Design Blog or his Kickstarter campaign, which has been a rousing success.

FXX recently announced Simpsons World, a website and app that will give you access to every Simpsons episode ever, along with tons of supplemental material (e.g., scripts, “behind the scenes” info). This almost makes me want to re-subscribe to cable TV. Almost.

I’m very happy to learn that the Myers-Briggs personality test a big load of hooey, but that’s probably because I’m an INTP. “This isn’t a test designed to accurately categorize people, but a test designed to make them feel happy after taking it. This is one of the reasons why it’s persisted for so many years in the corporate world, despite being disregarded by psychologists.” Of course, according to the Myers-Briggs, all of my skepticism concerning the Myers-Briggs can be explained by my Myers-Briggs profile. Turtles all the way down…

Jessica Ferris left Facebook after its confusing privacy controls made it possible for someone to stalk her and she makes a strong case for why more should leave the social network: “Facebook wants us to think that it aims to strengthen our connections with the people we love, but this claim is just as much doublespeak as that 2009 open letter. Facebook wants to strengthen our relationship with Facebook, using our friendships as vectors.”

I know next to nothing about soccer, but that didn’t stop me from writing about the World Cup and the grace of the saddest — and classiest — soccer fan: “Here in the midst of a social media blitz that was clearly finding joy and humor in Brazil’s defeat, an old Brazilian soccer fan showed us all up with a dash of grace and class and in the process, made the already elegant game something truly remarkable.”

The Beautiful Noise shoegazer documentary is finally complete and making the festival rounds, with a general release scheduled by year’s end. Director Eric Green recently sat down with Drowned in Sound for an extensive interview that covers the film’s genesis, who was interviewed and why, and much, much more.

Anil Dash has written a sobering article reminding us that the line between “public” and “private” information is almost non-existant today: “Public is not just what can be viewed by others, but a fragile set of social conventions about what behaviors are acceptable and appropriate. There are people determined to profit from expanding and redefining what’s public, working to treat nearly everything we say or do as a public work they can exploit. They may succeed before we even put up a fight.” Via

Mark Strauss explores some of the ways Christianity might handle the theological conundrums of extraterrestrial life: “O’Meara, in fact, raises the possibility of a seventh option to consider, which is not on Kuhn’s list. What if Earth and humanity merited God’s unique intervention because we are the only species in the universe who actually needed redemption? There can be other worlds with other creatures — but they are not necessarily implicated in our world of sins, they would not need a savior.” Related: J.W. Wartick pushes back against the claim that aliens can’t have salvation.

I recently attended an airshow, and while many of the airplanes I saw were impressive, I did miss seeing the ol’ F‑14 Tomcat. A former F‑14 officer reminisces about his days flying the Tomcat, reflects on why it was so influential, and considers the current state of naval aircraft. “I always like to say there are two kinds of people in this world: those who were a part of it (the Tomcat Community) and those who wish they were. I don’t think we will ever have a plane that captures and defines a culture as strongly as the F‑14 Tomcat did. It was camaraderie, hard work, fun, rock and roll, and sex appeal all rolled into one.”