To raise awareness about ocean pollution, the Surfrider Foundation is using surfing shots filled with plastic debris.
Did you know that almost 90% of all material floating in the ocean is plastic, and every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of the stuff?
The ad is for Harrison’s Fund—a charity set up by the parents of Harrison, a 6-year-old boy with the degenerative condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is incurable, barely known outside medical circles, and receives little research funding. Here’s the full ad, and the rest of the story.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Here’s Co.Create contributor and new mother Jessica Gross on 4 Ways To Be A Happier Parent- One Mother’s Experiment
1. Learn coping mechanisms for minor annoyances.
2. Remember to balance your own needs with your child’s needs.
3. Remember the big picture.
4. Take time off…
[Images: Flickr users José Manuel Ríos Valiente]
The executive producer of The Office talks to Co.Create about the challenges of writing a final season for the long-running show, including how to make satisfying endings for so many characters.
The PBS special 10 Buildings that Changed America, which premieres May 12, explains the origins of some of the country’s most influential building styles.
Anthony Jeselnik On How To Be Funny By Being Mean
There are plenty of ways to be mean. Anthony Jeselnik uses them all. Here, the creator and star of Comedy Central’s The Jeselnik Offensive talks about finding the funny in everything.
Anthony Jeselnik has nothing nice to say about anything. His persona is that of an arrogant prick, constantly airing grievances and confessing evil deeds. Frequent targets of abuse include family members, small children, and any woman with the misfortune of being one of his girlfriends. Through sheer commitment to character, though, and a deep respect for old-school joke crafting, Jeselnik has elevated “being a dick” to an art.
Of course, nobody gets laughs merely by saying horrible things. There’s a certain finesse to it—a strategy built on misanthropy—of which Jeselnik is the undisputed master. The cranky comedian recently shared with Co.Create the tricks to cracking jokes by being a jerk.
Appeal to your audience’s dark side.
I think the biggest laugh is when someone laughs at something they don’t think they should be laughing at. It’s just a different kind of laugh, and that’s the only laugh I want from an audience.
Desensitize through quantity.
People can feel a little better about laughing at something awful when it’s surrounded by other horrible things.
Smuggle mean in with the humorously tragic.
When I wrote for Fallon, my favorite stories were the more tragic ones that people could still make fun of. Like when the inventor of the Frisbee dies. It’s a chance to make a funny, silly joke about that, but it was also making fun of someone who just died.
Go ahead and offend people; they’ll get over it.
There’s a guy from New Zealand who was demanding an apology from me for this shark bit I did on the show recently. And I couldn’t care less. I would never apologize for anything. He’ll forget about it in a week. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t know who I am. The criticism was “How can you make fun of New Zealand sharks when you wouldn’t make fun of 9/11 or Newtown?” I’ve made fun of both of those things a few times on the show.
Be mean for the right reasons.
Laughing after a tragedy takes the power away from it.
It depends on why you’re making the joke. Are you trying to get attention for yourself? Or are you really trying to make people laugh at something. I think one is more noble than the other.
People like being insulted…sometimes.
There’s something about not taking yourself seriously that’s really fun. Especially if someone’s good at it.
Use “third thought” to make mean twists surprising.
If I give you the setup of a joke, a punch line might pop in your head right away. That’s the first thought. But if your punch line is the first thought, nobody’s going to laugh at it because they’ve all already thought of it. If you sit there and think about what else might happen—the second thought—that could be an okay joke. But the third thought is where you really blow people away, because it’s something that they would have put together eventually, but it takes a while.
The bigger the tension, the bigger the release.
Sometimes the punch line is something offensive, sometimes the setup is offensive—where it just makes people uncomfortable. That’s when you can really pull the rug out—because they’re looking one way. You build up the tension and then release the tension, and everybody laughs. I just think you get a bigger laugh when you’re talking about offensive subjects
Pretend there’s no line (because there isn’t one).
There’s no line. Comedy can go anywhere, as long as you can make it funny.
The Writer Behind “Dark Night” and “Man of Steel” On Multitasking, Meditation, And Using Your Good Ideas.
David S. Goyer, the writer behind “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Man of Steel,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops” and the new Starz series “Da Vinci’s Demons,” credits a rigorous schedule and daily meditation with his multitasking successes.
Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, conceived of the helicopter and developed a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics (among many other things), making him one of the most famous figures in history. And yet we know surprisingly little about the Renaissance Man—all of which makes him ideal fodder for historical fiction.
Da Vinci is just the kind of superhuman figure that David S. Goyer relishes. The screenwriter who crafted the Dark Knight movies (he cowrote that trilogy with director Christopher Nolan) and Man of Steel (the upcoming reboot of the Superman mythology, directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Nolan) has created Da Vinci’s Demons, a new series debuting this week on Starz.
Goyer is no slouch himself. The last TV show he created was the one-season ABC series FlashForward; he has directed movies, including Blade: Trinity and Zig Zag; he’s written two novels and he developed the story for the wildly successful videogames Call of Duty: Black Ops Iand II.
In a tightly scheduled 15 minutes, Co.Create asked the master multitasker how he manages it all and how he balances the expectations of die-hard fans with his own creative vision. Naturally, we couldn’t help squeezing in a question or two about the much-awaited Man of Steel.
- Stick to a rigorous schedule- unless Zack Snyder calls.
- If you have a good idea, don’t save it. Use it.
- Help a director out.
- Find the hole in the history.
- Embrace Reinvention.
How To Tell If You’re Creative
A new personality test determines the markers of a creative mind.
Forget Myers-Briggs. A study out of BI Norwegian Business School has determined the signposts of a “creative” personality. Conducted by Professor Øyvind L. Martinsen, the study posed 200 questions to 481 people. The subjects fell into three categories. One group of “baseline” subjects such as lecturers or managers, and two groups of people who are generally considered to be creative, such as students of advertising and performing artists. Martinsen says he found meaningful differences between the creative and noncreative groups.
Here’s someone who can definitively answer “Yo, Is This Racist?”
Andrew Ti’s racial-issues blog has birthed a podcast that determines whether certain people and ideas are in the wrong (spoiler alert: yes, they are).
One day, years ago, Ti was engaged in a bout of typical, boring office banter when a coworker mentioned the cartoon character Yosemite Sam. This person pointed out how Yosemite Sam sometimes utters a string of cartoon swears, among them the term, “Cotton pickin’.” (Usually when he’s crazy mad at Bugs Bunny.) It slowly dawned on everyone involved that they all had this same shared memory, and it had somehow never bothered them before. Within five minutes, Ti had created the Yo, Is This Racist? tumblr to catalog such prickly concerns.
How One Company Taught It’s Employees To Be Happier And What Happened Next
Media agency MEC offered a happiness workshop to a group of workers in its Manhattan office. Co.Create looks at the thinking behind the effort and the results.
Remembering Roger Ebert, Aspiring “New Yorker” Humorist, And One-Time Caption Contest Winner
Roger Ebert submitted more than a hundred entries to “The New Yorker” cartoon caption contest over the years.
See A Brief Cultural History Of An Auto Giant: The Volkswagen Beetle
It’s hard to think of any small car—or, indeed, any car—that’s had such an outsize cultural presence. From the ugly associations of its past to its role in advertising history and its multiple rebirths, the Beetle transcended its role as conveyance, or even brand, and became a cultural icon.