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The Proust questionnaire - slightly expanded

This questionnaire supposedly has its origins in a parlour game popularised (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist. He believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.

Do you want to see what David Bowie answered Vanity Fair in 1998 when they gave him these questions? Clicky-click.

Here is the slightly expanded Proust questionnaire:

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

2. What is your greatest fear?

3. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

4. Which living person do you most admire?

5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

7. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

8. What is your favourite journey?

9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

10. On what occasion do you lie?

11. What do you dislike most about your appearance?

12. Which living person do you most despise?

13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

14. What is your greatest regret?

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

16. When and where were you happiest?

17. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

18. Which talent would you most like to have?

19. What is your current state of mind?

20. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

21. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

22. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

23. If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

24. What is your most treasured possession?

25. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

26. Where would you like to live?

27. What is your favourite occupation?

28. What is your most marked characteristic?

29. What is the quality you most like in a man?

30. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

31. What do you most value in your friends?

32. Who are your favourite writers?

33. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

34. Who are your heroes in real life?

35. What are your favourite names?

36. What is it that you most dislike?

37. How would you like to die?

38. What is your motto?


Happy international women's day!

❤ to all my sisters - we've got a long way to go before things are equal enough globally between the sexes, but at least the situation is much better than 100 years ago.

I think your biggest fight now is getting equality, respect and recognition in the Islamic world, and we are with you every step of the way. Happy international women's day!

Quotes, texts and links to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay:

"If you want to fight patriarchy but won't fight religion - you're not fighting patriarchy."
- Ali A. Rizvi:

"You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation."
- Brigham Young

We are sorry for the brief interruption today, but don't worry - tomorrow we are back to normal with the first of 364 consecutive days celebrating men all over the world. Hooray for men!

To women and men - stop using words like "sluts" and "hoes" about women who have sex in a way you don't agree with. You have NO ownership of their bodies, they should be free to do what they want without being shamed.

"You can tell who
the strong
women are. They
are the ones you
see building up
one another
instead of tearing
each other

These strong and inventive women changed the world, as shown in this video by Nobel Prize:

"Great minds discuss ideas.
Average minds discuss events.
Small minds discuss people."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO looks at how difficult it can be for many women to have an abortion in the United States of America:

This shit needs to stop. Let women have full control of their bodies. Now.

Eight inventions by women that dudes got credit for, listed by Mother Jones:

Monopoly, nuclear fission, and programming - ladies did it first.



F*ck Iran and Sweden - and this is why

The dictatorship in Iran forces women to cover their hair, and recently a Swedish delegation obediently followed orders. Article in UN Watch:

1) F*ck Sweden. They should boycott Iran and demand specific improvements in the country, and not deal with the theocracy before these changes have been implemented.

2) F*ck the trade minister Ann Linde and the rest of the recent Iran delegation from Sweden - they are a disgrace to both their country and real feminism. ALL of the women should have refused to wear a hijab, instead of giving in. The country only wants money, and would have had to accept a refusal. The women should also have demanded to shake the Iranian men's hands.

3) F*ck Sweden for saying that they have a "feminist government", when Linde is trying to defend her hijab use in Tehran by saying that "failing to do so would have broken the law". No - you don't actually have to respect religious bullsh*t. BBC News:

4) F*ck the Swedish public broadcaster SVT for trying to hide the fact that minister Linde and the women in her delegation chose to wear hijabs:

5) F*ck the Swedish finance minister Magdalena Andersson for comparing hats with hijabs ( No matter what she says, a statement like that shows that she has very little empathy for subdued women. Read this excellent criticism by Masih Alinejad of My Stealthy Freedom:

6) Also watch this speech by Alinejad on why female politicians must challenge compulsory hijab:

7) And finally, f*ck World Chess Federation (FIDE) for allowing Iran to host the women’s world chess championship, when they knew that the players would be required to wear the hijab. CNN ( and (

P.S. This extreme political correctness is a big part of why Sweden is so f*cked, and why the country will have huge problems in the near future.

P.P.S. Why are men's and women's chess tournaments separated anyway? Are men really better than women in the game? If so, are they so much better that women't can't compete in the same championships?

P.P.P.S. Sort of similar hijab case from Norway in 2010, with Martine Aurdal:


Interesting links and texts from previous years on my Facebook: 30/12 - 9/2

(from 30/12 to 9/2)

"If one person can do something, anyone can learn to do it. We can learn an achiever's mental map and make it our own. Too many people think certain things are impossible without ever going out and trying them. Pretend that everything is possible. When there is a physical or environmental limit the world of experience will let you know about it."
- Steve Andreas & Charles Faulkner (in "NLP - The New Technology Of Achievement", 1994)


"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that."
- Norman Vincent Peale (minister and author, 1898-1993)


Last weekend I was DJ'ing at a bar in Oslo, and I was warming up with some very funky afrobeat/disco from 1972 - "Soul Makossa" by Manu Dibango from Cameroon:

During the song an African girl came up and asked me (in English):
- Hey, can you play some black music?
- Uhm, yes... this is actually music from Africa.
- No no, I want BLACK music, maybe R&B or something. Can you play Chris Brown?


Weirdest sight from Oslo, Norway so far in 2015:

Very nerdy looking guy on the bus with a huge laptop and a wireless mouse, and he's playing World of Warcraft online. When he gets to his stop he holds the computer in his arms like a baby and keeps playing the game as he walks towards his house.

You gotta respect game addicts. And maybe feel a little sorry for them too.


"One Man's Loss" is a cool little short film by Philip Sansom​. What goes around comes around, as shown in this clever little flick:


"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."
- George Woodberry (politician)


Nine TED talks about happiness. Look through some of them and find out what could make YOU happy:


Just saw a pretty cool German vampire movie, "Wir Sind Die Nacht" ("We Are The Night"). Directed by Dennis Gansel, who also did "Die Welle" in 2008.

I'm a sucker (pun intended) for vampires and especially female ones like in the film, but I guess it could have been a little deeper. It's pretty, but a little shallow.

Other recommended films about the undead are "Daybreakers" (2009), "Interview With The Vampire" (1994), "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992) or "Shadow Of The Vampire" (2000).


New Year's resolutions by singer/songwriter Woodie Guthrie, from 1941. Wisdom that withstands the test of time:

"This Land Is Your Land" is his most known song, listen here:


a) you are friends with someone on Facebook, and

b) you never talk to them, but

c) keep the friendship because you are attracted to them and want to spy on their photos, and

d) still don't find the nerve to actually talk to them, then

e) you should probably unfriend them, and optionally

f) message them that you unfriended them because you think they are hot but you don't know how to speak to them.


"How foolish for us to punish ourselves in the present moment, because someone hurt us in the long ago past."
- Louise Hay in "You Can Heal Yourself"


"Many employees believe getting a job is the safest way to support themselves. But does putting yourself in a position where someone else can turn off all your income sound like a safe and secure situation to you? You can't have security if you don't have control, and employees have the least control of anyone. If you're an employee, then your real job title should be 'professional gambler'."
- Steve Pavlina

Read the whole article, "10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job":


See this amazing photo of Lauren Lovette from the New York City Ballet:

I saw her dance at the tribute to the legendary ballerina Patricia McBride at the 37th Kennedy Center Honors in 2014.

Imagine how hard she has worked to achieve this physique, shown here on her Instagram:
"With every obstacle I grow in strength. With every challenge I grow in confidence. And with every hurdle my endurance grows. Nobody gains power without pain, tomorrow I will get up and try again."


"Your true beliefs and values are only and always expressed in your actions, especially what you do under pressure. Theodore Roosevelt said, 'Do what you can, with what you have, right where you are.'"
- Brian Tracy


"Stop saying Charlie Hebdo Officiel was 'known for mocking Muslims.' They mocked EVERYONE."
- Gavin McInnes (co-founder of VICE Magazine)


"Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else."
- Les Brown


If you want different results, you need to do different things, or do things differently.


"It's choice, not chance, that determines your destiny."
- Jean Nidetch


If you are looking for a direction in your life, and you're not sure what it is - ask yourself these questions and then answer them:
1) What makes you feel good? What activities do you find fun, satisfying, or energizing?

2) What makes you feel bad? What are sources of anger, irritation, boredom, frustration, or anxiety in your life?

3) Is there any way in which you don't feel right about your life? Do you wish you could change jobs, cities, family situation, or other circumstances? Are you living up to your expectations for yourself? Does your life reflect your values?

4) Do you have sources of an atmosphere of growth? In what areas of your life do you find progress, learning, challenge, improvement, and increased mastery?

The answers should help you to clarify what you want to do. Taken from Gretchen Rubin's excellent site "The Happiness Toolbox":


What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Is there a God or isn’t there, and if there is a God, what is its nature? Of all the world’s religions, which one is the most correct? Is there an afterlife? Are we primarily physical beings or spiritual beings?

Steve Pavlina tries to help you find your own purpose and meaning, in the six part article series "The Meaning Of Life":

Part 1: Intro
Part 2: How Shall We Live?
Part 3: Discover Your Purpose
Part 4: From Purpose to Action
Part 5: Transitioning
Part 6: Conscious Evolution


By the way, "chai" actually means "tea". So you can't say "chai tea", or even "chai latte".

Here's the longer explanation, written by someone who really cares about this:


"In absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia, until we ultimately become enslaved by it."
- Robert Heinlein (novelist and screenwriter, 1907-1988)


I'm guessing you guys - and some of you girls - can appreciate tasteful nude photos of Romanian girls?

If so, check out the gorgeous model Aisii, who is not only very beautiful, but I think also a mother!



"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."
- Malcolm X


The Huffington Post lists 7 types of men you will meet on Tinder in India - but most of these are pretty ubiquitous around the planet as well:

The Sapiosexual likes to brag that it takes more than a pretty face to win him over, as if there were a million pretty women standing outside his door screaming "PICK ME! ME!" He is definitely the type to quiz you on first dates about the latest book you read. I recommend answering "I don't know how to read" for maximum entertainment.

The Traveller describes himself as a "globetrotter" or a "wanderer". He has DSLR-quality photographs of himself in at least four different places on his Tinder profile, often clutching reluctant-looking locals.

The Tinder Addict has perfected his multitasking skills from his seven (minimum) ongoing text conversations with Tinder girls, all of whom he calls "babe". The Tinder Addict will invariably disappear for two-eight months after your first date. Then he'll turn up in your texts saying "Hey, stranger. Where you been?" like you were the one blowing him off.

The Joker claims to be a challenge because he tells offensive jokes on the first date. He loves gritty reboots of superhero movies, has a complicated relationship with his mother and has seriously considered stand-up comedy as a career.

The Entrepreneur applies business principles to his dating life, and will text you to "network and chill" at 3am. Luckily, he always has the family inheritance to fall back on if his startup fails. Date him if you don't mind getting an Ayn Rand book for Valentine's Day.

The Patron is a man in his 30s and up, wearing a suit and smoking a cigar in at least one of his pictures. (Needless to say, the picture is black and white.) He says age is just a number, but exclusively dates 20-somethings.

The Bro is a "fitness freak": possibly the two unsexiest words on the planet. Date him if you've ever wondered what it would be like to be in a reality show. But be warned: there is a high probability that he will take his shirt off in the club. Even if you beg him not to.


Please check this list of seven subtle symptoms of depression, via Psychology Today:

If you see these symptoms in yourself, consider seeking help. If you see them in someone you care about, maybe you can encourage them to get help.

The text is by Amy Morin, the author of "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do". It's a good book on how to build mental strength, and I can recommend it.


When one door closes, many others open up for you.


"Any system or blueprint for success is better than none at all."
- Brian Tracy


Ego says, "Once everything falls into place, I'll feel peace."
Spirit says, "Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place."
- Marianne Williamson


"I think what Lance Armstrong has done is pretty impressive. When I was doing dope I couldn't even FIND my bike."


The New York Times invited a bunch of good actors to kiss in very short scenes, and it became "9 Kisses":

Directed by Elaine Constantine, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Reese Witherspoon, Steve Carell, Laura Dern, Rosario Dawson, Jenny Slate, Chadwick Boseman, Kristen Stewart, Patricia Arquette, Jason Schwartzman, David Oyelowo, Timothy Spall, Jack O'Connell, Shailene Woodley, John Lithgow, Julianne Moore, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Miles Teller.


Wise words about the hip hop of the mid-90s:
"The drums on every track are hard, but the beats drip with 70s-soul crackle and vibed-out jazz. The rapping is immediate and fun, but wordly-wise and far from disposable. And it also has that thing so many 90s rap albums have - a bunch of dudes just yelling shit in the background."

From No Trivia's review ( of the 2009 deluxe edition reissue of Grand Puba's album "2000", originally released in 1995.


The Onion covered Obama's inauguration speech the best:


"And the cost of a thing it will be remembered as the amount of life it requires to be exchanged for it."
- Henry David Thoreau


"The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking."
- Robert H. Schuller (pastor and author)


"Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize."
- Elizabeth Harrison (educator, 1849-1927)


"Here in Africa, we're too polite for not talking to other people when you meet them. It's more important to care of social relationships. That's why we have a problem with being on time."
- Mr. Lwinga


"Don't set your goals too low. If you don't need much, you won't become much."
- Jim Rohn


"If your guard is up, let it down. If you have constructed a defensive wall to protect yourself and keep all the bad guys out, don't forget who that wall also prevents from getting in - the good guys."
- Brendon Burchard (author and marketing expert)


Really cool examples of how you can change your desktop picture and make the computer blend into its environment:


Frustratingly slow torrents are nature's way of telling you to get off the computer, out into the real world, and have an actual life.


Two quotes I like:

"Learn from other people's mistakes, you don't have time to make all of them yourself."

"Some people learn from their mistakes, but smart people learn from other people's mistakes."


Comedian Whitney Cummings in her show "Whitney". She plays a freelance photographer who isn't getting work anymore, because everyone is using Hipstamatic on their iPhones instead:

"I got replaced by an app that costs $1.99. Now I know how pornstars felt when teenage sluts bought webcams."


Vincent Willem van Gogh in a letter to his brother written June 1880, about the two types of idlers. Via Farnam Street:

I think especially people with ADD/ADHD will recognize the sentiments here.

"There’s the one who’s an idler through laziness and weakness of character, through the baseness of his nature; you may, if you think fit, take me for such a one.Then there’s the other idler, the idler truly despite himself, who is gnawed inwardly by a great desire for action, who does nothing because he finds it impossible to do anything since he’s imprisoned in something, so to speak, because he doesn’t have what he would need to be productive, because the inevitability of circumstances is reducing him to this point.

Such a person doesn’t always know himself what he could do, but he feels by instinct, I’m good for something, even so! I feel I have a raison d’être! I know that I could be a quite different man! For what then could I be of use, for what could I serve! There’s something within me, so what is it! That’s an entirely different idler; you may, if you think fit, take me for such a one.

In the springtime a bird in a cage knows very well that there’s something he’d be good for; he feels very clearly that there’s something to be done but he can’t do it; what it is he can’t clearly remember, and he has vague ideas and says to himself, ‘the others are building their nests and making their little ones and raising the brood’, and he bangs his head against the bars of his cage.

And then the cage stays there and the bird is mad with suffering . ‘Look, there’s an idler’, says another passing bird — that fellow’s a sort of man of leisure. And yet the prisoner lives and doesn’t die; nothing of what’s going on within shows outside, he’s in good health, he’s rather cheerful in the sunshine. But then comes the season of migration."


"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."
- Winston Churchill


Entertaining article on about mythical works of art, literature and science that would have been some of the most influential in history, had they lasted long enough:

"Chaucer's Canterbury Tales was expected to clock in at anywhere between 100 and 120 chapters. Unfortunately, the dude only managed to finish 24 tales before he suffered an insurmountable and permanent state of writer's block, commonly known as death."


"Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit."
- Elbert Hubbard


"Everyday, think as you wake up; 'Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.'"
- Dalai Lama


How are things going? Are you having real progress, or are you faking it?

Check out Steve Pavlina's article about the subject, called "Are you faking progress?":


The following is circulating the net as "Answers of a student who obtained 0%" at an exam. But let's change it up a bit and challenge your creativity.

For each of these questions, try to come up with the most creative or funny answer. Then check the bottom to see what the person who wrote the original post answered:
Q1) In which battle did Napoleon die?
Q2) Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
Q3) River Ravi flows in which state?
Q4) What is the main reason for divorce?
Q5) What is the main reason for failure?
Q6) What can you never eat for breakfast?
Q7) What looks like half an apple?
Q8) If you throw a red stone into the blue sea, what will it become?
Q9) How can a man go eight days without sleeping?
Q10) How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
Q11) If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have?
Q12) If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
Q13) How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?

Q1) In which battle did Napoleon die?
* His last battle
Q2) Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
* At the bottom of the page
Q3) River Ravi flows in which state?
* Liquid
Q4) What is the main reason for divorce?
* Marriage
Q5) What is the main reason for failure?
* Exams
Q6) What can you never eat for breakfast?
* Lunch & dinner
Q7) What looks like half an apple?
* The other half
Q8) If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what will it become?
* It will simply become wet
Q9) How can a man go eight days without sleeping?
* No problem, he sleeps at night.
Q10) How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
* You will never find an elephant that has only one hand..
Q11) If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have?
* Very large hands
Q12) If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
* No time at all, the wall is already built.
Q13) How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
* Concrete floors are very hard to crack.


"Hard SciFi Movies" is an entertaining Twitter account that mixes sci-fi ideas with a skewed perspective on contemporary society:

"A dying replicant fears that his memories will be lost, like tears in rain. Fortunately he has automatic backup to the cloud."

"A group of people find themselves in an inexplicable Kafkaesque maze of cubes. They are paid to sit there for eight hours per weekday."

"An alien warlord is determined to conquer Earth. Centuries of sub-lightspeed travel later, his great-grandchildren decide not to bother."

"Using technology a man is imbued with superhuman strength and stamina. He is stripped of all his Tour de France medals."


Today is the oldest you've ever been,
and the youngest you'll ever be again.


A worrying article in PandoDaily about the history of the NSA, and how the first congressman to fight them (Otis Pike) failed miserably:

Definitely something to read if you have interest in the subject. "The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No-one noticed, no-one cares."


Norwegian photographer Stian Rekdal recorded in 2012 timelapses in and around the town of Ålesund, Norway.

See the beautiful video for yourself, including Aurora Borealis (northern lights):


"When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future."
- Bernard Meltzer (syndicated radio host, 1916-1998)


"The misfortune in life is not that it ends soon for many, but people sit around waiting for it to begin."


Did you know that burning wood in your fireplace is very poisonous and 30 times more lethal than cigarette smoke? And that burning wood is one of the worse things you can do to other people and your own body? Facts:

I didn't know this until I read a really good article by Sam Harris called "The Fireplace Delusion":

Harris describes how many people simply refuse to believe this, because we have a traditional view of burning wood as something completely natural.

Then he concludes:
"Even if you reject every intrusion of the 'nanny state,' you should agree that the recreational burning of wood is unethical and should be illegal, especially in urban areas. By lighting a fire, you are creating pollution that you cannot dispose.

I have discovered that when I make this case, a psychological truth quickly becomes visible: People do not want to believe any of it. To try to convince them that burning wood is harmful — and has always been so — is somehow offensive.

And that should give you some sense of what we are up against whenever we confront religion."


Very useful guide to the game of "life", by Oliver Emberton:

Should be presented to all young people, and is insightful for older people too.


In stressful situations, most people do not actually "rise to the occasion". Usually people default to their basic level of training, however high or low that level is. Continuous learning while gaining experience is key in every field.


How to influence your elected representatives if you are a US citizen

So you want to create political change in the US? Read the following.

Advice from a high-level staffer for a Senator:

There are two things that everyone concerned should be doing all the time right now, and they're by far the most important things.

You should NOT be bothering with online petitions or emailing.

1. The best thing you can do to be heard and get your congressperson to pay attention is to have face-to-face time - if they have town halls, go to them. Go to their local offices. If you're in DC, try to find a way to go to an event of theirs. Go to the "mobile offices" that their staff hold periodically (all these times are located on each congressperson's website). When you go, ask questions. A lot of them. And push for answers. The louder and more vocal and present you can be at those the better.

2. But, those in-person events don't happen every day. So, the absolute most important thing that people should be doing every day is calling. You should make six calls a day: two each (DC office and your local office) to your two Senators & your one Representative.

Any sort of online contact basically gets immediately ignored, and letters pretty much get thrown in the trash (unless you have a particularly strong emotional story - but even then it's not worth the time it took you to craft that letter).

Calls are what all the congresspeople pay attention to. Every single day, the Senior Staff and the Senator get a report of the 3 most-called-about topics for that day at each of their offices (in DC and local offices), and exactly how many people said what about each of those topics. They're also sorted by zip code and area code. Republican callers generally outnumber Democrat callers 4-1, and when it's a particular issue that single-issue-voters pay attention to (like gun control, or planned parenthood funding, etc...), it's often closer to 11-1, and that's recently pushed Democratic congressmen on the fence to vote with the Republicans. In the last 8 years, Republicans have called, and Democrats haven't.

So, when you call:

A) When calling the DC office, ask for the Staff member in charge of whatever you're calling about ("Hi, I'd like to speak with the staffer in charge of Healthcare, please") - local offices won't always have specific ones, but they might. If you get transferred to that person, awesome. If you don't, that's ok - ask for their name, and then just keep talking to whoever answered the phone. Don't leave a message (unless the office doesn't pick up at all - then you can...but it's better to talk to the staffer who first answered than leave a message for the specific staffer in charge of your topic).

B) Give them your zip code. They won't always ask for it, but make sure you give it to them, so they can mark it down. Extra points if you live in a zip code that traditionally votes for them, since they'll want to make sure they get/keep your vote.

C) If you can make it personal, make it personal. "I voted for you in the last election and I'm worried/happy/whatever" or "I'm a teacher, and I am appalled by" or "as a single mother" or "as a white, middle class woman," or whatever.

D) Pick one or two specific things per day to focus on. Don't go down a whole list - they're figuring out what one or two topics to mark you down for on their lists. So, focus on one or two per day. Ideally something that will be voted on/taken up in the next few days, but it doesn't really matter - even if there's not a vote coming up in the next week, call anyway. It's important that they just keep getting calls.

E) Be clear on what you want - "I'm disappointed that the Senator..." or "I want to thank the Senator for their vote on..." or "I want the Senator to know that voting in _____ way is the wrong decision for our state because..." Don't leave any ambiguity.

F) They may get to know your voice/get sick of you - it doesn't matter. The people answering the phones generally turn over every six weeks anyway, so even if they're really sick of you, they'll be gone in six weeks. From experience since the election: If you hate being on the phone & feel awkward (which is a lot of people) don't worry about it - there are a bunch of scripts (Indivisible has some, there are lots of others floating around these day). After a few days of calling, it starts to feel a lot more natural. Put the 6 numbers in your phone (all under P – Politician. An example is McCaskill MO, Politician McCaskill DC, Politician Blunt MO, etc...) which makes it really easy to click down the list each day.


Live-tweets by The Onion Politics during Trump's inauguration

The Onion's politics section live-tweeted during President Donald J. Trump's inauguration. Below are the tweets.

(cartoon by Mike Luckovich)

Follow @OnionPolitics now as the nation celebrates a peaceful transition into Ragnarök.

45,395th-largest-ever D.C. crowd gathers at Capitol.

Nation to celebrate peaceful transition of color.

Obama praying Xanax holds out for next 30 minutes.

Melania Trump once again asks military officer to run away with her.

Report: One way ticket to Paris only $480 right now.

Bill Clinton quietly asks Hillary why the fuck they at inauguration.

Report: This the most stairs Trump has ever had to walk down.

Report: Half of inauguration attendees to be ruined by cost of routine surgery.

Priest at inauguration really putting a lot of emphasis behind pleas for God's help.

Mike Pence saying private, more intense prayer.

Trump trying to look prayerish.

Biden turns up volume of Alice In Chains playing through earbuds.

Trump perks up notably at sight of blonde woman at podium.

Report: Muslim prayer next.

This actually a Missouri state university chorale cover band.

Alto in third row singing off-key in subtle protest.

Choir currently singing latin about endless torment of hell.

Eric Trump fondly recalls choir boy he used to torment.

Report: Please let next 4 years be this boring.

Report: This is 96% of inauguration audience's first time seeing jew in person.

Chilly man in audience wishes he'd worn thicker flag.

Crowd thought it'd never have to hear Democrat speak again.

Trump calms nerves before inaugural address by reminding himself he's the only person who actually exists.

Mormon choir somehow second-whitest choir at this inauguration.

Choir accidentally sworn in as 45th president.

Flag in front of Capitol building wishes it weren't waving so majestically.

Report: There still time for something to happen between now and end of oath.

Justice Roberts stops in middle of oath of office to remind audience this just his job.

Melania Trump quickly checks phone for flight check-in information.

Trump to nation: 'There are at least a dozen other places I'd rather be right now.'

'It is a tremendous honor to have every American serve me as their president,' claims grateful Trump.

Trump fact: He has vowed to avoid ethical entanglements through strict and transparent redefinition of the word "Ethical".

Trump accidentally tells nation nuclear codes.

Report: This less scary if you don't know any history.

Obama quietly thinking about how much better his inauguration speech was.

Inauguration fact: An inauguration of a president is the first step in the impeachment process.

Trump vows to eradicate face of earth.

Majority of crowd believes America competing in contest of some sort.

Trump supporter stabs brown man to double-check blood.

Trump: 'Please ignore the 200,000 women you see tomorrow.'

Trump already asleep.

Rabbi: 'Well that was a little scary, wasn't it?'

Crowd not sure what to do with hands, head during Jewish prayer.


Interesting links and texts from previous years on my Facebook: 5/9 - 29/12

(from 5/9 to 29/12)

"I don't want to gain immortality through my work. I want to gain immortality by not dying."
- Woody Allen


"Usually the great things that happen in your life, take place when you are outside of your comfort zone."
- Eben Pagan


"Confine yourself to the present."
- Marcus Aurelius


What's more fun than seeing someone eat very hot chili peppers? Seeing an orchestra play classical music while eating very hot chili peppers:

In this video Chili Klaus forces the (now disbanded) Danish National Chamber Orchestra to play Jacob Gade's "Tango Jalousie" while suffering through the effects of some severely hot chili peppers. Very funny!


If you are an artist/producer or DJ, read these short and good articles via Dubspot and Digital DJ Tips:

a) 5 tips for getting things done and self motivation:

b) 10 tips to fight writer’s block and increase studio productivity:

c) The 7 deadly sins of DJ'ing:

d) 7 deadly sins of record collecting:


Try these free resources if you are having problems figuring out what you want to do, or finding your purpose in life:

1) A "Five Year Plan" by Neil Strauss. These are very specific questions about where you see yourself in five years, concerning career, social life, relationship status, recreational activities - and then forming goals based on your answers:

2) Three free guided audio sessions from Hale Dwoskin, the author of The Sedona Method:
- "Eliminating the blocks to success"
- "Goals, life purpose, and relationships"
- "Why you aren't achieving your goals... and what to do about it"

3) Some really good articles by Steve Pavlina:
- "Life purpose and values":
- "Living your values part I":
- "Living your values part II":

Also read other related articles on Pavlina's site.


35 photographs animated so beautifully they are not merely animated GIFs, but "cinemagraphs".

Photographic art done extremely well:


See this amazing five minute show about deception and illusion, by Swiss magician Marco Tempest, recorded at TED Global 2011.

He uses three iPods as magical and technological props like you have never seen before:


"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."
- Marianne Williamson


"One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching."


Are you doing something creative? Remember - there are no rules.

The more "rules" you break, the more interesting your creative work will be.


"We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them. Don’t let them explore you until they’ve explored the secret universes of books. Don’t let them connect with you until they’ve walked between the lines on the pages.
Books are cool - if you have to withhold yourself from someone for a bit in order for them to realize this then do so."
- John Waters


Neurotics build castles in the sky.

Psychotics live in them.

Psychiatrists collect the rent.


"Happiness, not in another place, but this place; not for another hour, but this hour."
- Walt Whitman (1819-1892, poet)


With a little help from Cassetteboy and Eminem, David Cameron turns out to be a surprisingly good rapper. Here's his new song:

Lyrics extracts:
"I'm hardcore and I know the score
And I am disgusted by the poor
And my chums matter more
Because we are the law
And I've made sure
We're ready for class war
Taking money from the man who works long hours
Giving power to the tycoons in the glass towers
People rising from the bottom to the top
Has got to stop
We have the bravery
To bring back slavery.
We don't care
if you're driven to despair
Don't you dare say
It's not fair
I'm not saying it's not funny
It is for me, I've got loads of money"


"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
- Peter Drucker (1909-2005)


"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
- Mae West


Incredibly cute video of a very elderly couple who discovers a piano in a lobby and gives an impromptu performance. The guy is 90!

Check it out:


"Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?"
- Sir James Matthew Barrie in his play "The Little White Bird" (1902)


Here's the most useful article I've read in a long time and that I recommend.

It's a practical and detailed guide by Buster Benson on how to use chaos to get stronger, instead of giving up. Read via Medium:

Go through the whole article, but basically you start by following these principles of antifragility, posed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder":
* Stick to simple rules
* Build in redundancy and layers (no single point of failure)
* Resist the urge to suppress randomness
* Make sure that you have your soul in the game
* Experiment and tinker — take lots of small risks
* Avoid risks that, if lost, would wipe you out completely
* Don’t get consumed by data
* Keep your options open
* Focus more on avoiding things that don’t work than trying to find out what does work
* Respect the old — look for habits and rules that have been around for a long time


"A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success."
- Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915, writer, publisher, artist and philosopher)


"Do one thing every day that scares you."
- Eleanor Roosevelt


"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen F. Roberts


"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?"
- Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī

He was also known as Rumi, and was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.


"A frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean."
- Zhuang Zhou


"All of us who have had successes with song writing know that a really good song will always sell; we also know that we had to write many, many bad songs before we were able to write a good one. So plow ahead into writing songs, not caring whether they are good or bad, just as long as they are completed. And with only one condition - that each one be better than the one before."
- Stephen Citron in "Song Writing (A Complete Guide To The Craft)".

And of course the same thinking applies to any craft. You don't need 10.000 hours, but you do need more than 10!


I really enjoy reading Roger Ebert's reviews, but only after I've seen the films, because he tended to give away far too much of the plot.

Still, it's very interesting to read him and then compare that to your own experience of the film, you feel like you understand the film better.

Here's an archive of his reviews:


 “If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, your dreams aren’t big enough.”


New neuroscience reveals four rituals that will make your brain happy. Via Bakadesuyo:

Read the article - but here's a shorter summary:
1) Ask “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
2) Label those negative emotions. Give it a name and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
3) Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
4) Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.


"That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital."
- Noam Chomsky

From a lecture given at the University of Toronto, April 7, 2011:


Five things to keep in mind regarding getting the RIGHT things done:
1) Get sufficient sleep
2) Do the most important thing before anything else
3) Take intermittent breaks to renew and refuel
4) Write everything down
5) Continually ask yourself how you're spending your time

Full article by Tony Schwartz, via The New York Times' site DealBook:


"Where women are educated and empowered, economies are more productive and strong. Where women are fully represented, societies are more peaceful and stable."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (via Deeyah)


Check out this article about a guy who hired a girl to slap him in the face if he used Facebook or other non-productive sites:


"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
- John Adams (1735-1826)


Can aging be mostly a mind-set? Even a known placebo can have a medically proven effect, as Ellen Langer's experiments with reversing aging show.


She is the longest-serving professor of psychology at Harvard University, and this article in The New York Times tells her story:


"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
- Anne Frank


On this day 30 years ago one of the most important pop albums ever was released - Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Welcome To The Pleasuredome".

Play it in full, and while listening read some analyses of Frankie and the album, by:
- The Quietus:
- MusicRadar:
- The Guardian:
- This Is Book's Music:


"Bernie Sanders is drawing crowds in the thousands, but for some reason the 'media' has decided you can't be a serious candidate if your hair looks like your dick got caught in an electrical socket."
- Jon Stewart on The Daily Show


"You do not always have to know when you are going to get to your goal, or how you are going to get to your goal, but you do need to take the next step."
- Peggy McColl


"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."
- Helen Keller


For many years the energy drink Red Bull have had lectures by great musicians and producers as part of their Red Bull Music Academy.

On their website you can find hundreds of long video interviews they've conducted with musical pioneers and legends - and here are some of the best:


50 life hacks to simplify your world, via TwistedSifter:


Author, coach and mentor Gerald Rogers got divorced, after 16 years of marriage.

Here's the advice he wish he would have had, so he didn't lose the woman he loved:


"Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye meets "P-Machinery" by Propaganda in this great mashup:

Matt Pop fuses Gaye's smooth sensuality with angst-driven industrial German grooves, and it's unlike most bastard pop I've ever heard. Play loud!

Also check out Matt's YouTube channel for TONS more of his remixes and mashups. Definitely someone to follow:


"At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it."
- Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist monk, author, poet and peace activist)


Some good posts by Steve Pavlina on his Google+ page:
- "To focus on big goals, you'll need to allow many smaller problems to go unresolved."
- "Maintenance is not progress."
- "When do you have the longest stretches of just loving life?"
- "You have the right to be a paradox."
- "If you pay more attention to contribution, you won't have to pay as much attention to money."
- "Don't expect to have much clarity about what lies two chapters ahead. Finish the current chapter first."
- "You have support."
- "You really do care."
- "Doing the right things by accident is more effective than knowing the right things to do and not doing them."
- "There's no shame in doing your best and falling short. There is shame in holding back."
- "An hour from now you could know a lot more about a subject than you do now."
- "If your life was summarized in a 100-minute movie, which events would be included to depict your character's journey?"
- "People often ask me for advice hoping I can provide the solution that requires no courage."
- "If you want to become an overnight success, spend a decade building your skills first."
- "Creativity is free, but the paintbrush will cost you."
- "On a scale of 1-10, how difficult are the challenges you're currently facing? 8-10 is a good range for growth."


Short, sharp and observant - a faux Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer. Very funny by BriTANicK:


This Gotye meme is old, but still good:


I've never before seen this many amazing basketball shots compiled into one video, all done by the same four guys. Beautiful stuff:


Author, coach and mentor Gerald Rogers got divorced, after 16 years of marriage.

Here's the advice he wish he would have had, so he didn't lose the woman he loved:


"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance."
- Eckhart Tolle


"Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do."
- Emmanuel Swedenborg


Doing anything creative? Then you should read these eight tips from Malene B for getting PR - without an agent:

Even though she does carpets, her advice is universal and applies to everyone. Read the whole article for more details, but here are her main points:

1) Define your brand mission
2) Be different
3) Network
4) Attend events
5) Be portfolio-ready
6) Update photography
7) Make contact
8) Be strategic


15 things to do when you are a little lost:

Because we all feel a little lost sometimes.


"Fuck democracy. Fuck freedom of speech. Fuck human rights. Book a vacation in Vietnam, Thailand or Mexico.":


"Megan Fox's appeal is that she looks like a porn star and has the same acting talent as one, yet for some reason she makes mainstream movies. This tonal disconnect is what's so appealing about her."


"If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."
- Tony Robbins


"A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, 'You're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way.'

This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, 'You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you.

We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you.

In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.'"



"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are."
- Bernice Johnson Reagon


Use it or lose it. Snooze and you lose.


"My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me."
- Henry Ford


You must see these fantastic one-minute films by Rick Mereki, showcasing the world in all its beauty.

The three films have different concepts, and takes you through 11 countries and 44 days in three minutes.
- "MOVE":
- "EAT":
- "LEARN":


Cool quote from blogger and erotic writer Violet Blue, writing about X-Art while describing MetArt's newest site SexArt:

"X-Art show hot, hard, sometimes a bit nasty – but always pretty – porn. It's like porn for those that want their anal sex as if it were presented, cast, directed and set decorated by Apple."

From TinyNibbles:


Very important and classic TED talk with Sam Harris about why science can actually be used as a moral compass, and why religion is not a good way of finding right or wrong answers to big questions:


"If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business."
- Gail Dines


I question everything, and worship nothing.


"It’s pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, buy it and bring it home is considered to be less effort than what it takes to just wash the spoon when you’re done with it."


See these short and deeply inspirational videos by The School of Life:

It only takes 10 minutes to see all of them, and the topics are Forgiveness, Gratitude and Calm.

The School of Life is founded by philosopher Alain de Botton and Sophie Howarth.


The School of Life also has lots of free essays in its online library:

Whatever you want to read about you should find something here, as there is a huge selection of interesting writings that you can digest slowly over time.

These are the main topics they are published under:
* Bibliotherapy
* Creativity
* Culture
* Death
* Digital Life
* Family
* Mind & Body
* Money & Status
* Nature
* Relationships
* Society
* Soul
* Travel & Play
* Work
* World


For those who haven't seen them yet, here are Lars Von Trier's new and harrowing tourist adverts for Denmark:

Presented by the ever amusing The Onion.


Fantastic story in The Onion about this image:

Check out Moses and Jesus Christ being masturbated by Ganesha, who at the same time is fisting Buddha.


"You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."
- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)


Now you officially have no reason to say "I'm bored" or "there's nothing to do", because here you get 40 useful sites to learn new skills:

Presented by Marc and Angel, who also have a lot of other good articles on how to maximize your life.


How to set SMARTER goals. Make sure they fit all these criterias:

S - Specific, Simple
M - Measurable, Meaningful
A - All Areas Of Your Life, As If They're Happening Now
R - Realistic, Responsible
T - Timed, Towards-motivated
E - Ecological
R - Rewarding (What will be the actual reward or heart's desire?)


"Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you."
- Hāfez (Persian poet from the 14th century)


Good column in The New York Times about how we are systematically spending 50% more resources than we have available, and what effects this will on the planet and our lives.

"The earth is full":


Really cool and thought-provoking "want that, need this" cards with many subjects:

For example: "Want too many things. Need to want less".


Check out a HD video done with a super high speed digital cinema camera shooting at 2,564 frames per second.

Exceptionally cool extreme slow motion:


Play this loud - it's Curve's "Fait Accompli" in its extended extended extended mix. Dark, slow, moody and groovy. Maybe the best and most futuristic track of 1992:

Toni Halliday is now Chatelaine, by the way. This mix is by Flood aka Mark Ellis and Alan Moulder, released on Anxious, the label of Dave Stewart from Eurythmics.


Funny way to revisit history: "If historical events had Facebook statuses".
- Part 1:
- Part 2:


"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right'. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along."
- Napoleon Hill


See these spectacular photo interpretations - Jane Long Photography from Australia has drastically altered old black and white prints, taken by Costică Acsinte around Romania in the early 20th century.

BuzzFeed has collected them and added a nice transition effect you can do yourself, try it out:

Also there are 5000 more original photographs to see by Colecția Costică Acsinte:


Entrepreneur and author James Altucher has been through more than most.

Here he has some really good and practical tips on how to fight loneliness:


if you're happy and you know it, what combination of prescription medication are you on?


Today I went to see Quincy Jones talk with Mari Pangestu, the Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy. The talk was about the state and future of the music industry, and a part of Hello Asean/ASEAN Fair 2011, held at the luxurious Peninsula Island in Nusa Dua, Bali.

The talk was followed by three contemporary compositions played by the Indonesian national orchestra, led by Franki Raden. During the concert Quincy was sitting in front of us, and when the Minister of Trade arrived in the middle of a song, he started talking pretty loud to Quincy. I felt like leaning forward and saying, "Hey man, keep your voice down, I'm trying to listen to the music", but I imagined that wouldn't have had the best outcome. (Banned from Indonesia for life? Quite possible.)

After we were served a lavish dinner with wine while more acts played very nice and/or interesting music - Sruti Respati, Maya Hasan, Sandhy Sondoro, JFlow and more.

I even got to talk a little with Quincy alone after the talk (and recommended some music for him), and he told me that he has two half-Swedish daughers and used to date Swedish music legend/sex symbol Lill-Babs, so he knows a bit of Swedish. Such a nice guy, you can feel it in his attitude.

And I met a bunch of famous Indonesian musicians and artists, plus other nice people from Jakarta. All in all a good day.

I also want to meet his daughter, the actress Rashida Jones, best-known from the comedy series "Parks and Recreation" by Amy Poehler. Not only because she seems really cool, but also because I think we'd have beautiful children together. And it would be great to have Quincy as my father-in-law!

She did date guys like Mark Ronson and Tobey Maguire though, and I have a feeling it could be hard to top them... Plus she supposedly connects best with Jewish guys, and I don't feel like converting. :p


If you have forgotten how to rock or you feel old, read this.

It's a very inspiring description of a pit experience at a concert, during the legendary parties held by Hype Machine at this year's SXSW festival:

"Right as the band began to play we started dancing like idiots and pushing into people. It was the last night and we completely gave no fucks whatsoever. I had been in so many audiences where people just wanted to stand around while I wanted to move and they would push me and give me glares, and I was absolutely not going to see that on my last night. We were not going to allow a single person to stand in the front and suck the energy out of the band. We were going to match their intensity and amplify it back at them. In the beginning, no one wanted to have fun except one or two people. A bunch of pricks had brought their girlfriends to the front and didn’t want anyone to bump into them despite the fact that they were at a fucking ROCK show!

I had at least 6 drinks thrown into my face by the second or third song (which was a blessing because they were cold and I was hot as balls). I ran into a random co-worker and even he was not allowed to stand idle. I learned later that some ornery guy was ready to beat my ass for bumping into him, but my co-worker told him I had Asperger’s. A few people saw the fun in what we were doing, but most people just wanted to stand there nodding like a bunch of bobbleheads.

Then, finally, this one giant guy saw the fun we were trying to create and the trouble we were having and he bulldozed into the audience, clearing an 8 ft circle. At this point we controlled the space. People were still shoving us in anger, but the tide had turned. Mainly it was those pricks trying to protect their girlfriends, but their girlfriends weren’t pussies like them and they started to jump into the pit. We started to reach critical mass. And this was a GOOD pit, too. Not one of those thrashy metal pits, but a pit where everyone in it just wants to move as one and jump and just give themselves up to the motion of the audience as they try to physically emulate the music. If anyone started to fall 10 hands would catch them. We were not allowing any douchey shit.

Once those girls who were being “protected” started to join in, their prickhead boyfriends were shamed into joining in, too. And then even one of the guys who threw a drink in my face was joining in. And then that same guy was crowd surfing. And then the band was crowd surfing. And someone passed them a flask (okay it was Dave, but don’t tell anyone). Someone else passed them a joint. If they tried to stop and tune their instruments we screamed at them to play out of tune. It was madness. Pure madness in the best sense possible. I knew it was amazing when I saw the normally boring people in VIP jumping the barrier to join us. And then the band really cranked it up. They really picked up the energy from us and just gave it back in spades.

Afterwards, completely soaked through with sweat (pants and everything) I walked outside and faceplanted on the giant ice pile. I’m pretty sure I melted through the entire thing, leaving a human-shaped hole in the middle of it. I was absolutely exhausted. I’ve never had more fun in a week and I may not have ever had more fun in a night. It was one of the most magical moments I think I will ever experience – a house full of people doing nothing more than going wild to some awesome music. Later, the band tweeted at us for being such a good audience.

You guys rock. Can’t wait until next year.

Forever yours,