"Not Your Average Bread and Butter"

Chef Dan Richer has been dubbed the "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" of bread and butter, and rightfully so. Rather than carelessly serving up some dull and forgettable form of this pre-meal staple at his New Jersey restaurant, he has poured his soul into perfecting the recipe.

His approach to food is rather similar to the editing practices of great writers:

“I'm like the anti-chef. Like, I wanna do less to something, and I wanna put less on the plate. If there's an ingredient I can take off of the plate to make it more simple and more pure so you can actually experience the essence of what it is that we're serving, that's what's special to me.”

Absolutely wonderful video. Set aside eight minutes to watch it and prepare to salivate.

"Take a Talk Show and Make it Move"

Speaking of Jerry Seinfeld, I really enjoyed this recent hour-long chat between he and David Letterman. They discuss the inner workings of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, why the series was created in the first place, the importance of good editing, and a whole lot more. Lots of funny moments and interesting insights.

"A Little Hyper Aware"

Season four of my favorite web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, kicked off yesterday with a delightful interview featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, an old station wagon, and...a singing Seinfeld?

Overall, this was a great episode to start the new season with. I only hope Jerry never decides to do that intro again.

Neil Gaiman's 2012 Commencement Speech

Somehow I completely missed out on watching this speech until a few days ago. It seems like the kind of thing my internet friends would have been linking left and right, but I guess better late than never, right?

Here are a few of my favorite highlights, with accompanying time markers:

[1:51] - “First of all, when you start out on a career in the arts, you have no idea what you're doing. This is great. People who know what they're doing know the rules, and they know what is possible, and what is impossible. You do not, and you should not.”

[2:10] “The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can. If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do. And because nobody's done it before, they haven't made up rules to stop anyone doing that particular thing again.”

[19:29] “And now, go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.”

Tokyo: The Peculiar Traveler

Alex Cornell shot 48GB (!) of footage while visiting Tokyo with his girlfriend Nikki Desuasido and somehow managed to take all that video and extract a 7-minute montage from it. Then, he added a quirky narrator voiceover.

The result is a delightful travel diary and an incredible glimpse into one of the biggest cities in the world. Now I want to visit Japan more than ever.

I particularly liked this quote:

“Unlike some cities, which are only about 40% interesting, Tokyo consistently scores at least a 94%.”

An Obsessive’s Guide to Field Notes COLORS Editions

The guys at Field Notes put together a series of videos covering the last five years of their COLORS editions, and the stories behind each one.

As of this writing, it'll take just under an hour to watch them all. If you're a huge fan of Field Notes though (guilty as charged), it's worth setting aside the time with a cup of coffee in hand.

'A Dream of Flying'

Written and narrated by Neil Gaiman, A Dream of Flying is an excellent short film about a girl who can fly. Rather than experiencing true freedom through her abilities though, she is put into an institution with other gifted children, where the adults try to "cure" them and force them to become "normal".

Stories like this, no matter how beautiful, always aggravate me a little inside. If such gifted individuals were ever discovered, I'd like to think that we would celebrate them rather than react out of fear. But maybe I'm just naïve.

How would you react?

Behind the Scenes of a Nine Inch Nails Tour

Nine Inch Nails allowed a Vevo video crew to come film a behind-the-scenes featurette about the stressful process of developing their Tension 2013 tour. It's just under fifteen minutes long and definitely worth checking out.

Rob Sheridan, creative director for NIN and the guy behind some of my favorite wallpapers, described what it was like to be filmed this way:

“These features are interesting (and sometimes hard for me to watch) because they’re very honest. There’s no makeup, no interview prepping, no re-shoots, these guys were in our faces while we were trying to work, catching us off guard and capturing moments that we sometimes would prefer not be filmed. We didn’t script or plan these features, these guys were annoying the hell out of us during production rehearsals - but in the end it’s nice to have a document, however personally uncomfortable, of the work we put into something like this.”

I wish more artists would allow these kinds of fly-on-the-wall glimpses into their creative process.

'How Designers Destroyed the World'

Mike Monteiro of Mule Design gave an impassioned (and profanity-laden) talk at Webstock 2013, in which he discusses the importance of speaking up when a project is about to head downhill. I think it's a must-watch for anyone in the design world, and probably people outside of it too.

If you like Mike's talk, be sure to also check out his book.

Maciej Cegłowski's XOXO 2013 Talk

Maciej Cegłowski (MAH-tchay Seh-GLOW-ski), creator and developer of awesome bookmarking service Pinboard, gave a great talk at this year's XOXO Fest (of which there's also a transcript with slides, if watching videos isn't your thing).

As one might expect if they follow the @pinboard Twitter account, Maciej is a very funny and intelligent man, and his talk reflected both sides of his personality. I highly recommend watching it, along with all the other videos being put out by the XOXO Fest people.

Another thing many people seem not to know about Maciej is that he's also a very gifted writer and has run a personal blog called Idle Words for a long time, filled with wonderful stories about travel, food, and technology. I'd start by reading Argentina on Two Steaks a Day and A Morning in Iceland.

'The Time You Have (In Jellybeans)'

A video by Ze Frank, using jelly beans to depict how little time we truly have in life for our creative pursuits. Neat concept, although I disagree with the way he divides the 'Work' and 'Creative' portions up from one another.

For creative people at least, I think the goal is to have those two aspects of life coalesce into something harmonious, not treat them as separate, untouching buckets of time.