SMOKE BREAK #1129 | Photo Series Sees Transit Passengers Through A Foggy Haze

October 22, 2014 


This mesmerizing photo series depicts the isolated stillness of transit passengers from the outside looking in. The work by London-based street photographer Nick Turpin is aptly titled Through a Glass Darkly.

Turpin peered in from a distance to capture individuals as they stared out foggy windows during the winter months. Some have wiped the fog away to get a better view of the exterior while others have rested their heads against the glass for a nap. The fuzzy profiles of men and women, young and old, is indistinct. As a result, viewers are invited to invent stories and interpret the scenes based on only what we can distinguish through the haze.

Needless to say, Vancouverites should find the works strikingly familiar. More here.


SMOKE BREAK #1128 | Scientist Questions The Reality And Purpose Of Consciousness

(via) Professor Nicholas Humphrey digs into the reality and purpose of human consciousness for The Royal Institute:

Consciousness is at the core of our very existence. An intangible constant that underpins our experience of the world. But for centuries it has been the frustrating source of a seemingly impenetrable explanatory gap – it is largely a scientific mystery.

As we interact with the world, stimuli trigger physical processes in our body. Nerve cells transmit messages around the body and through the brain. But how do these physical interactions give rise to the conscious sensations we experience? Can we get conscious sensation from nerve cells alone?

In this video theoretical psychologist Professor Nicholas Humphrey asks whether consciousness could all be an illusion. Could it be a mirage constructed in the theatre of our minds? Perhaps the questions we should ask are not centred on sensations themselves, but merely on the appearance of those sensations.

And why does consciousness, in any form, exist at all? How did it evolve? The answer might lie in our social interactions. Consciousness elevates our interpretation of the world and the people around us. It alters our psychological profile and breathes joy into our experiences, and makes us value life itself.


SMOKE BREAK #1127 | On Depression And Running From The Grand Canyon’s Depths

In this fascinating, highly personal short film that’s completely unstaged and shot mid-run, Rob Krar shares his battle with depression while going hell for leather up and down the Grand Canyon.


SMOKE BREAK #1126 | The First iPhone 6 Ever Sold Was Dropped In A Pitcher Of Beer

As part of a clever ad campaign for Reviveaphone – a new product that apparently fixes soaked phones – this guy travelled from Montreal to Brisbane to buy the first iPhone 6 to ever be sold (for thousands of dollars) in order to drop it into a pitcher of beer.


SMOKE BREAK #1125 | On The History Of Melancholy & Why It Might Be Good For Us

Courtney Stevens digs into the history of how societies have viewed sadness and how melancholy can actually be construed as a positive, evolutionary advantage in this recent TED-Ed animation.


SMOKE BREAK #1125 | Up Close With The Science Of Tattooing In Super Slow Motion

September 25, 2014 

(via) This informative short video from Smarter Every Day takes us into a tattoo shop and nerds the hell out on the process with animations and super slow mo sequences.


SMOKE BREAK #1124 | Understanding How And Why Tree Leaves Change Colour In Fall

September 22, 2014 


(via) Fall officially arrives tomorrow. If you want to understand the chemistry behind the imminent turning of Vancouver’s leaves, study this handy chart by Compound Interest. Short version: “Leaves are green because of chlorophyll, yellow because of a combination of carotenoids and flavonoids, red because of carotenoids combined with anthocyanins, and orange when only carotenoids are present. The chart is presented with detailed explanations of each of the different pigments.” The more you know…


SMOKE BREAK #1123 | Starbucks Baristas Misspell Your Name Just To Fuck With You

September 9, 2014 

If the baristas at Starbucks have been spelling names wrong on take-out coffee cups by accident to date, this satirical video by comedian Paul Gale gives them an out: they’re just ”fucking with you”.


SMOKE BREAK #1122 | Wes Anderson From Bikes, Sleds, Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

September 5, 2014 

This new supercut by Jaume R. Lloret splices together iconic POV vehicle shots from the following Wes Anderson movies: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).


SMOKE BREAK #1121 | Time Lapse Shows Rise & Fall Of Beer’s Fermentation Process

This time-lapse video shows the hoppy, yeasty, worty ups and downs of the fermentation process at California’s Sierra Nevada brewery, specifically of their Bigfoot Ale. Freaky good!


SMOKE BREAK #1120 | Skateboarders Set Upon A Concrete Metropolis Bereft Of Cars

REDirect – a celebration of skateboard filmmaking between and – imagines the concrete terrain of a Los Angeles that is empty save for a handful of professional skateboarders who quickly adapt to their winfall. Everything is fair game, from off-ramps and drainage ditches to highway dividers and shoulder embankments. The makers are donating all proceeds from the dreamy video to LA County animal shelters. Dig the poignant return of reality (traffic) at the end.


SMOKE BREAK #1119 | Short Film About Bill, Who Delivers Pizza On By Fixie In Brooklyn

(via) “Bill’s fifty-two years old, has a mountain man beard, and delivers pizza on a fixie in Brooklyn. Over the course of several shifts, DELIVERY unveils an intriguing man rushing food to your door while it’s still hot and fresh.”


SMOKE BREAK #1118 | What It’s Like When Your Wifi Connection Is Lost For 2 Minutes

Julian Smith taps into your anxiety whenever the wifi cuts out. The Awesomer nails it: “We’d call it a lazy sketch, but that wordless retreat when the Internet comes back on is depressingly accurate…”


SMOKE BREAK #1117 | “Munchies” Digs In For Chef’s Night Out At Chinatown’s Bao Bei

It’s been about four and a half years since Bao Bei opened on Keefer Street. Despite its many awards, accolades, and nightly queues, sometimes it takes the jolt of an outsider’s perspective to be reminded of its unique awesomeness. This Munchies video from Vice certainly does the trick…

Tannis Ling is an ex-bartender and chef Joël Watanabe is a French Japanese ex-Montrealer. Together, they run Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown district. They let us follow them around for a night to their favorite Vancouver haunts—Keefer Bar, Damso Modern Korean Cuisine, and Cascade. But to finish off the night right, the crew headed back to Bao Bei, where Joel cooked up copious amounts of fried chicken and pork belly.

Beyond the food porn (mmm, truffled dumplings!), dig the natural symbiosis between Bao Bei and The Keefer Bar down the block.


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