Our October 2014 mixtape

After watching this moving mini-doc on Northern Soul, it only feels right to include a track on this month’s mixtape. Besides that, we’ve got indie rock, regular rock, electronic, and much more. Dig in and let us know what tracks you’re feeling.

p.s. Not seeing a tape above? Mobile users treat your ears here.

Websites make themselves now? Word.

There’s Squarespace, Virb and countless other platforms to build websites, but something called The Grid looks like it could be a game changer. According to the company, they’ve created artificial intelligence that takes all the words, pretty pictures and videos you give it and shapes them together in a way that makes sense for you. Right now it looks like you have to drop some loot on becoming a founding member to find out (I haven’t yet), but perhaps you will find it worth experimenting with.

One thing’s for sure though. It will revive the usual AI debate over making jobs obsolete.

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Mill Valley Film Festival shorts worth watching

One of the perks of blogging is that sometimes people deem you influential enough to check out rad stuff. To celebrate their 4K Ultra HD TV, Sharp sent me to the Mill Valley Film Festival to check out a night of short films. I just wanted to share two of my personal faves with all y’all.

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Take me to the sunny side

Oaklandish continues to impress. They sponsor tons of great events, put out dope designs and donate a good chunk of their proceeds to helping improve Oakland. Here’s one of the latest designs I’m feelin’. Give it up, give it up.

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The Happiness of Pursuit [review]

I just finished up Chris Guillebeau’s latest book and in two words, do I recommend it? Yes. I only needed one. My reason for that is it had me stopping midway through and taking some action. That doesn’t happen very often.

The Happiness of Pursuit is Guillebeau’s takeaway from studying people who have embarked on some pretty ambitious quests. Oh you know, little things like walking across Turkey, sailing the world solo or completing the MIT computer science curriculum in a single year. No big whoop. Then there’s his own quest of visiting every country on the planet, which he completed by the age of 35. So yeah, the dude has some street cred to write about these things.

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Chris interviewed to people around the world about their quests to discover what motivated them, what they had in common and what we could learn from them, no matter what our personal ambitions are. He discusses some areas that any of these adventures have in common: courage, routine, struggle and the importance of community.

While I’m not going to try and cover everything in a short blog post, I will say it was inspiring to hear these stories about people attempting such radical missions. It was comforting to hear that no matter how hard-working or talented these people were, there’s always self-doubt, failure, patience and mundane routine involved. I think it’s important to be reminded of this because all we often hear about is the sexy grand finale achievement.

If you haven’t read any of his work before, it’s a good introduction because it references some of his earlier material like annual reviews (also recommended). Chris doesn’t give you an opportunity to make excuses about not going after what you want in life, but stays humble and open to what your personal quest might be. Really you just get the sense that his end goal isn’t just selling thousands of books, but helping others do some remarkable things. Even if you have no interest in running marathons weekly or setting the world record for the most bird species sighted, there’s a lot you can take from this book and apply to your own career or side projects.

p.s. If you were curious about what the action it inspired me to take, it involved creating a life list (while listening to John Lennon’s Imagine on vinyl, of course).

And p.p.s. We just so happen to have an extra copy of the hardcover. Tell us why you’re jonesing to read this in the comments and we’ll pick a winner on 10/16.

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