— Noted.


Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.08.10 PMIt’s too easy to get caught up in negativity. It takes effort to see the possibilities, and even more, to take action.


A segment from CBS Sunday Morning about a nine-year-old boy with a degenerative eye condition, who is tackling his bucket list of things he wants to see before he goes blind.



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Thanks to Blizzard Jonas shutting down my yoga studio, I found an excellent new yoga video site: doyogawithme.com

I did this video yesterday, which was perfect for a quiet solo practice.





Poster by Farner Rudolf Werbeagentur.

Cynar is an artichoke based liquor, with herb intonations and a genorosity of sweetness which gives its cocktails the profile of a gentler, ever-slightly prettier younger sister of the Negroni. I once had it straight in a fancy bar in Boston called Drink, and it was not what I expected. We had a conversation with the lovely bartender about the cocktail I and my friend fell for when we were traveling together in San Diego, the Bitter Guiseppe. It is an incredibly simple cocktail, certainly easy to make at home (as I made it for the first time for Thanksgiving pre-dinner cocktail hour). The main detail that I would say is crucial, is to use a big ice cube (or a pile of ice that peeks out on top) so that you can sprinkle salt that will sit on that edge as you go for a sip. The mix of hitting that salt, with a sip of the Cynar mixed with vermouth is the perfect definition of sweet + savory.

Recipe: Bitter Guiseppe
from drinksanddrinking.com

2oz Cynar
1oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
2 small dashes of salt

Combine ingredients in Old Fashioned Glass over ice.
Cut a lemon peel with enough meat to extract about 10-15 drops of juice
Squeeze juice into the drink, twist peel on top, and stir. Sprinkle top of ice with salt and serve.


I’ve been on a documentary kick lately, and there are many good ones on Netflix. Here’s a list of some that I’d recommend.




Chef’s Table
This is a six part documentary, with each 45-minute segment focusing on a chef. I have to admit, I’m a tad over watching food shows. I wasn’t hopeful when I started it, but the first episode blew me away. Created by David Gelb, the director who did Jiro Dreams of Sushi (also on Netflix), the first episode on Massimo Bottura was less about the beautiful food shots and so much more about the story of the chef’s life and his relationship with his wife. Episode two on Dan Barber also offered an honest portrayal that not only shows his untiring drive to make the world a better place, but also a father and manager vulnerable to not being and doing enough.





Twenty Feet From Stardom
I just watched this Academy winner, a dive into the world of back-up singers, singers who arguably have more talent than the lead vocalists on the pop charts. Also, you may not have realized that your lament for what is happening to the music industry was not at a maximum.





The story of Buck Brannaman, a horse whisperer. Trust me on this one.





Man on Wire
If you haven’t yet watched this documentary on Philippe Petit, I have to ask, what have you been doing? Do not, I say again, do not confuse this documentary with the Robert Zemeckis adaptation that is slated to release in September.



Bill Cunningham New York
A story about the passionate and humble man behind the On-the-Street column for The New York Times. Also, this, and this.





Central Park Five
A Ken Burns documentary that tells the story of five black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park in 1989. As relevant as ever.




Ai Weiwei Never Sorry 1

Ai Weiwei Never Sorry
The power of artist as activist is so interesting, if not purely for the idea of art communicating with clarity. Ai Weiwei’s work is powerful, and realizing the depth of his lack of freedom in China is terrifying.





Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
A Werner Herzog film on the people who live in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. The narrative focuses on the story of a few hunters. It’s a fascinating slice of life from a distant part of the world.




On MJ’s Netflix queue:
How to Make a Book with Steidl
The Thin Blue Line
The Unbelievers
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
Paris is Burning
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama
Design is One: Leila and Massimo Vignelli
180° South
Inequality for All
Cave of Forgotten Dreams







Photography by Manuel Irritier.

This is a beautiful series of Hong Kong buildings by Munich-based photographer Manuel Irritier. He writes on his site of the series: As in hardly any other city, there exists a lack of one thing in Hong Kong: space. The photo series Urban Barcode shows the solution for this problem with the help of close-up views: escaping upwards. Housing units are stacked together cellularly and melt into an anonymous mass. However – on closer inspection – one can detect the difference as well as the individuality in detail and that life is pulsing in confined space.

These images are best viewed full-screen. See the full series on his site, here.


By David Guttenfelder, for the New York Times.

These images of North Korea by David Guttenfelder are striking a chord. I think because there are so many cultural references and personal moments recognizable to the Korean in me, but they always come with the cost of knowing it’s an isolated world, far away.

His images of everyday objects from North Korea are also worth a look. The full story here.


A short film by Laura Poitras, documenting an art collaboration between Ai Weiwei and Jacob Appelbaum. From the text that accompanies on nytimes.com:

Ai Weiwei and Jacob Appelbaum are artists, journalists, dissidents, polymaths — and targets. Their respective governments, China and the United States, monitor their every move. They have been detained and interrogated. Ai cannot leave China, and Appelbaum is advised not to return to the United States. They are separated from their families. Ai has been imprisoned and beaten by the police. Yet each continues his work and speaks out against government wrongdoing…

During the encounter, Ai and Appelbaum continually filmed and photographed each other. Between their cameras and mine, we created a zone of hyper-surveillance. Almost everything was documented. Just outside Ai’s studio hung surveillance cameras installed by the Chinese government.

The art project the pair made, “Panda to Panda,” was not about surveillance. It was about secrets. They stuffed cuddly toy panda bears with public, shredded N.S.A. documents that were originally given to me and Glenn Greenwald two years ago in Hong Kong by the whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Inside each panda, Ai and Appelbaum placed a micro SD memory card containing a digital backup of the previously published documents.